What is an infrared grill?
Infrared grills are outdoor gas grills or indoor electric grills that cook foods using a radiant heat cooking system. This differs from traditional gas grills as well as charcoal, which use a convection-style cooking system.
While convection gas and charcoal grills heat the cooking grates and the air surrounding the foods you are grilling, infrared is different. It heats only the food and not the surrounding air.
This allows infrared grills to quickly cook food that is juicy inside. Convection grills, since they heat the air around the food, tend to pull moisture from food during the grilling process.
How do infrared grills work?
Infrared grills use the heating element in a gas or electric grill to heat the cooking surface. This heat then radiates far infrared waves into the food, cooking food faster than traditional convection grills.
Though some convection occurs as the air around the food is somewhat heated, it is not as much, meaning foods are less deprived of moisture.
As mentioned, infrared radiant waves heat the surface and not the entire inner chamber of a grill. This means that preheating time is shorter and cooking time is quicker, something every griller appreciated.
Pros and cons of infrared grills
Though we better understand how infrared grills work, it is also worth considering their pros and cons. This will help you make a more informed decision on whether they are a good fit for you and your home.
Features to consider in the best infrared grills
All infrared grills have certain features that are the same, in particular the fact that they use a radiant heating system to cook foods. But there are many that also have differing features that may or may not appeal to consumers.
By considering the different features you can find with infrared grills on the market today, you can make a better choice on what types appeal to you. Next, we’ll examine these features closely.
Size is an important feature when it comes to choosing an infrared grill. The first size consideration should be that of that grilling surface.
The average size of an infrared grill’s grilling surface ranges from about 150 to 450 square inches.
If you intend to grill for large gatherings of people, say friends and family during a summer barbecue, it makes sense to buy an infrared grill with a larger cooking surface. The opposite can be said if you will probably only be grilling for yourself and a couple friends or family members.
The size of the entire unit can play a role in your purchasing decision. Apartment dwellers may prefer petite indoor infrared models, while those with spacious yards may opt for full sized infrared gas grills.
The portability of an infrared grill may appeal to you if you are someone who enjoys camping, sailing and other outdoor trips. There are portable infrared grills available, all of which make it easy to take the grilling fun with you on the go.
If you only plan on grilling on your home turf however, a portable unit is probably not worth considering.
If you are interested in more than just grilling, keep an eye out for infrared hybrid grills. These cooking devices utilize more than one cooking style in a single device.
You can find an infrared grill that is either electric or gas powered, as well as those that are gas and charcoal powered.
Additionally, some infrared grills have built-in hybrid features such as smokers. So while you can still enjoy the succulence an infrared grill imparts to meats, an added feature like a smoker can enhance the barbecue flavor.
Because hybrid grills provide different cooking styles in one, they are often on the higher end of the infrared grill price spectrum. More on that next.
You may already have a budget in mind as you shop for an infrared grill. This may be one of the most important features for you, in fact.
The price of an infrared grill will depend on several factors, some of which we’ve already covered, namely size, the season you are shopping in and the grill’s versatility.
Infrared grills tend to be more expensive the larger they are and the more features they can boast. The price can also depend on the brand and the size of the device.
By determining your individual budget for an infrared grill and the features that matter most to you, overcoming a price hurdle can be easier.
There are many popular grill brands that manufacture different models of infrared grills.
The most popular brands of infrared grills include Char-Broil, Tenergy, Chefman and Magma. Many of the top infrared grill reviews are attributed to these brands.
Comparison Table – Our Top 12 Infrared Grills
|Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Magma Products, Newport II Infrared Gourmet Series Gas Grill, A10-918-2GS||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Weber 7170001 Summit S-470 4-Burner Liquid Propane Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Chefman Electric Smokeless Indoor Grill with Infrared Instant Heating Technology||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Napoleon LEX 485 BBQ Grill, Propane Gas - LEX485RSIBPSS-1||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Char-Broil 17602047 Infrared Electric Patio Bistro||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Tenergy Redigrill Smoke-Less Infrared Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|NORTHFIRE Inferno Single Propane Infrared Grill||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Top 12 Infrared Grills Reviewed
#1 – Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
This exceptional Char-Broil outdoor grill is propane powered and features smoking and roasting cooking styles in addition to classic infrared grilling.
Its grilling surface is less than 200 square inches, which means it can only grill a few burgers or steaks at a time. What is unique about this Char-Broil infrared grill is its ability to deep-fry turkeys, smoke ribs and grill tender fish fillets all in one.
It has a built-in smoking box and roasting basket, while its TRU-Infrared technology prevents flare ups. It is an exceptional choice for those who want to cook foods with different flavors and textures during small gatherings.
Thanks to its sleek design and thoughtful features, this Char-Broil infrared hybrid grill is our number-one choice.
#2 – Magma Products, Newport II Infrared Gourmet Series Gas Grill, A10-918-2GS
This sleek Magma infrared grill features a beautiful design and thoughtful details that put it near the top of our list.
It is made with 100% marine grade stainless steel and boasts a tempered glass viewing window. You can watch as your food grills to perfection, without having to continuously lift the lid and interrupt the cooking process.
This Magma grill is powered by propane gas tanks and an electronic ignition infrared radiant screen for deep, even cooking.
A removable grease tray and a hermetically sealed thermometer are other useful features. This tabletop infrared grill is both beautiful to look at and easy to enjoy.
#3 – Char-Broil 463370719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cart Style Gas Grill
Another Char-Broil infrared grill tops our list, thanks to its durable design and spacious cooking surface.
This outdoor infrared grill is perfect for larger gatherings, boasting more than 400 square inches of porcelain-coated grilling space. A swing away warming rack holds freshly grilled foods above the cooking surface to keep them heated until you are ready to serve.
Three burners and one side burner are built in, while the lid mounted temperature gauge keeps you apprised of the cooking progress. TRU-Infrared technology ensures there no flare ups or cold spots.
This Char-Broil grill is also simple to use, meaning you do not need to be a grill master to use it to grill incredible meals.
#4 – Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill, 22.5 Inch
Char-Broil manufactures many distinct infrared grills, with many more still to come on our list.
Its TRU-Infrared Kettleman is charcoal powered and boasts the brand’s popular TRU-Infrared heating technology. This means food is evenly cooked, moist and filled with smoky barbecue flavors.
For added convenience, this Char-Broil infrared grill has a removable ash pan for easy cleanup. It also has two wheels for easy maneuverability.
The spacious porcelain-coated grilling gates are spacious enough to grill several burgers, steaks and vegetables all at once. These incredible features make it our number-four selection and ideal for those who prefer the taste imparted by charcoal grills.
#5 – Weber 7170001 Summit S-470 4-Burner Liquid Propane Grill
Weber gets in on the infrared game with its exceptionally sleek and impressive 7170001 Summit S-470.
It has spacious stainless-steel cooking grates for traditional gas grilling, as well as an infrared rotisserie burner. This hybrid Weber infrared grill also has built-in smoker burners, side burners and sear station burners.
Use it to cook rotisserie-style whole chickens and succulent steaks, like those served at high end restaurants and more casual barbecue joints.
This particular Weber grill is certainly for the serious griller and totes a serious price tag. However, Weber’s lengthy warranty protects the purchase, which speaks to the quality of the grill and the confidence of those who make it.
#6 – Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325 2-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Char-Broil’s dual burner infrared gas grill is a medium-sized outdoor grilling device, made for powerful performance and with thoughtful detailing.
It boasts Char-Broil’s Surefire Electric Ignition System to allow for a simple and instant startup process. The two burners are made with stainless steel and are top mounted for even heat distribution.
This Char-Broil infrared grill has two foldable side tables for convenience and separate temperature knobs. Wheels along the bottom of the grill make it ideal for moving around your yard with ease.
It is out number-six selection thanks to its welcomed blend of traditional grill details and modern infrared technology.
#7 – Chefman Electric Smokeless Indoor Grill with Infrared Instant Heating Technology
The first indoor infrared grill on our list comes courtesy of an easy to use and smokeless model by Chefman.
Thanks to its infrared heating technology, this grill imparts delicious flavors without filling your kitchen with smoke. The temperature ranges from 200°F-400°F, while the entire grill preheats quickly.
With this easy to use Chefman infrared grill, you can grill burgers, sandwiches, steaks, veggies and so much more, year-round. It is also simple to clean, as the grill top and drip tray are both removable and dishwasher safe.
While not made for outdoor grilling, it is our number-seven pick as it brings the grilling experience indoors, and for an affordable price.
#8 – Napoleon LEX 485 BBQ Grill, Stainless Steel, Propane Gas – LEX485RSIBPSS-1
This spacious Napoleon outdoor grill is powered by propane gas and boasts side and rear infrared burners to grill more foods at once.
With four burners, including searing Sizzle Zones, WAVE stainless-steel grates and the ability to smoke, roast and bake, this grill maximizes flavor. Backlit knobs and oversized side shelves enhance the thoughtful detailing.
The versatility of this Napoleon infrared grill makes it one of our top picks and is ideal for large summertime cookouts. Use it to grill your meal’s delicious centerpiece and tantalizing side dishes all at once.
#9 – Char-Broil 17602047 Infrared Electric Patio Bistro
Perfect for small outdoor spaces, Char-Broil’s 17602047 electric infrared grill is a plug-in model that ignites with the turn of a knob.
Its sturdy porcelain-coated lid and grill box makes it safe for all weather conditions. Above the grilling grates is a warming rack, with a temperature gauge built into the lid.
On top of its grilling prowess, its portability, ease of use and simple to clean features make this one of our favorite infrared grills. It is ideal for smaller patios and deck spaces, whether you are a homeowner or apartment renter.
#10 – Tenergy Redigrill Smoke-Less Infrared Grill
This Tenergy indoor infrared grill is simple to use and preheats in just a couple minutes, so you can get grilling faster.
Thanks to its infrared heating element, it grills foods evenly across the entire cooking surface. It also produces little to no smoke, meaning less eye burning, lingering smells and a clearer atmosphere are assured.
It can reach searing temperature in just a few minutes, imparting grill marks and delicious smoky flavors in your foods. It is also easy to assemble, dismantle and wash, with the grill grate and drip plate dishwasher safe.
#11 – Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill
Solaire’s SOL-EV17A propane-powered infrared grill combines sleek and durable components with a portable aesthetic.
It is the ideal size for one to four diners, cooking up to a couple steaks or four burgers at one time. The burners are constructed of ceramic and stainless-steel materials and ignite with the push of a button.
The most unique feature of this Solaire infrared grill is that it utilizes special V-shaped grates that eliminate flare-ups while enhancing flavor and texture. It is also simple to use and a superb choice for delicious grilled foods on the go.
#12 – NORTHFIRE Inferno Single Propane Infrared Grill
This German-crafted Inferno infrared grill by NORTHFIRE is uniquely designed and reaches temperatures of up to 1500°F.
It is sleekly designed to sit on a tabletop and is made of pure stainless steel. The grill includes a drip tray, the grill plate, a food tray and a tray handle, so you can get grilling immediately.
The cabinet design will both catch the eye and help you grill foods as you want them.
Whether you want to grill steaks, seafood, vegetables or burgers, this NORTHFIRE infrared grill can cook them fast and to perfection, no matter where you are.
After considering the features and reviews of various popular infrared grill models, you may still have some questions. Below are consumers’ frequently asked questions and our answers, meant to add more dimension to your infrared grill knowledge.
Do I need an infrared grill?
Because of their versatility and consumer-driven advancements, it is hard to imagine a grilling enthusiast not needing an infrared grill.
Infrared grilling technology is utilized in both indoor and outdoor grills, so you can choose which type you prefer. Both indoor and outdoor infrared grills heat quickly, grill fast and are simple to use.
They are also available at a range of price points to suit almost any budget. No matter what price range you are hoping for, there is likely an infrared grill to suit it.
Are infrared grills simple to maintain?
Infrared grills are easier to maintain than other types of grills. Unlike charcoal grills, you do not need to clean out an ash pan (unless you are using a hybrid grill with charcoal and infrared components).
For the most part, you simply have to remove the grill grates and the drip pan, clean them and put them back in the grill for the next use. Once or twice a year, it is recommended to examine the infrared heating components to ensure they are clear.
Indoor infrared grills can typically be stored in a cabinet or pantry after they are used, cooled and cleaned. Outdoor grills should be stored in a garage or shed in the off season and covered with a grill cover after they have been cleaned post use.
Are infrared grills environmentally friendly?
Yes, infrared grills are an environmentally friendly grilling option, for many reasons.
Outdoor versions are designed to resist flare ups, and indoor models are smokeless. Because of this, they do not release harmful smoke, particles and emissions in the air.
Infrared technology helps grills reach higher temperatures faster, so less electricity and/or fuel is burned during the preheating and cooking processes.
Grilling tips and tricks
Once you own the infrared grill of your choice, it is time to put it to good use. By following these simple tips and tricks, you can make the most of your infrared grilling activities.
Because infrared grills cook food unlike any other type of grill, practice makes perfect. They reach high temperatures, fast, so it is important to have a couple test-run grilling sessions before you decide to grill for a big group of hungry diners.
Unfamiliarity with these grills can result in burnt food. Practice will allow you to get a feel for the various features and understand how infrared grills cook different foods.
As mentioned, infrared grills are often more expensive than other types of grills. It is important that you protect your investment.
Always follow the manufacturer instructions enclosed with your grill to understand how to set up your infrared grill properly. You can also read the manufacturer’s guidelines on how to provide continuous care to keep your infrared grill operating optimally.
Your manufacturer’s instructions may also include grilling recipes. Along with these, look for blogs and video recipes from popular grill masters online.
This will help you build your infrared grilling recipe repertoire, helping you enjoy a variety of delicious grilled meals whenever you like.
Infrared grills offer an easy solution to grilling a variety of delicious foods. They preheat quickly and grill foods fast, saving you time and energy.
Because infrared grills allow you to grill delicious foods fast, you have more time to enjoy the moment instead of laboring over a grill. These grills also ensure foods do not lose moisture during the grilling process, unlike with other types of grills.
You can choose an indoor infrared grill or an outdoor infrared grill, an infrared grill powered by electric or propane, and other personal preferences.
After finding the best infrared grills for you and your home, you can enjoy years of grilling foods that are moist and flavorful, fast and easy.