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Grills are a classic cooking tool.
But they’ve got one problem.
Their biggest asset—high, direct heat—often doesn’t work quite as well as promised.
For steaks and many other foods, it’s important to get a good sear if you want maximum flavor. But, many grills just don’t get hot enough, or the heat disperses too much inside the grill, baking meat instead of searing it.
Infrared grills are changing all that.
Rather than pumping out heat from a gas burner or a lump of charcoal, infrared grills radiate heat directly from the grates, ensuring the heat goes right where it needs to.
Stick around for an in-depth look at some of the best infrared grills on the market and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Best Infrared Grill Reviews
How to Pick the Right Infrared Grill
Infrared grills come in a few different varieties.
Picking the right one can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
What is an Infrared Grill?
Traditional charcoal and gas grills use a heating method called convection. Much like the oven in your kitchen, heat rises from the hot coals or propane burner, heating the air within the grill. The hot air naturally circulates throughout the grill, cooking the food inside.
The problem with convection cooking, is that the constantly circulating air tends to dry out food.
In an infrared grill, heat is transferred immediately from the source to a solid heating element. This heated surface then radiates infrared waves directly to the foods on its surface. A good infrared grill will transfer most of the heat directly into your meal, with little heat lost to the air.
Benefits (and Downsides) of Infrared Grills
Infrared grills solve many of the problems found in gas or charcoal grills, but also have a few downsides of their own.
One of the biggest benefits of infrared grills is the ability to heat food evenly. Most traditional grills have areas that are both warmer and colder on the cooking surface. But, infrared grill grates create a nearly uniform cooking surface.
Another big advantage infrared grills have is very high heat. This makes it easy to sear steaks and cook food faster.
One of the disadvantages of an infrared set up is that most can’t be dialed down to the low heats needed to smoke meats or cook larger cuts more slowly.
When shopping for an infrared grill, it’s important to look for one fitted with grates that heat evenly and can be turned down low enough to do the kind of cooking you’d like to do.
Determining Your Budget
When shopping for an infrared grill, be sure to keep your budget in mind.
Many infrared units are priced a bit higher than their conventional counterparts. But, the price is worth it if you’re looking for a premium, high heat cooking experience.
Budget grills can be found for around $100, but be prepared to spend $200 to $500 for most units. High-end infrared grills can reach prices well over $1000.
Picking the Right Size
Much like other grills, infrared units can be found in a variety of sizes. From small portable units, to large commercial grade cooking machines, infrared grills come in sizes similar to conventional grills.
With more even heating, an infrared grill may provide more usable space that your current grill if you have warm or cool spots, but be sure to measure and plan your space accordingly before buying.
Buying an Infrared Grill
Infrared grills give backyard chefs a unique experience.
The high heats allow you to put a chef quality sear on a steak and cook food more quickly when needed. But, they’re definitely not the best choice for smoking a brisket.
If you prefer grilling foods that can be cooked quickly or like the idea of quickly firing up the grill for a speedy weeknight meal, then an infrared grill just might be for you.
The Best Infrared Grills for Every Purpose
The Best Portable Infrared Grill: Solaire SOL-EV17A
This premium, portable infrared grill is perfect for your next camping trip or cookout. With 140 square inches of grilling space, this grill can easily cook up to six regular size hamburgers at once.
The infrared grates of this grill are formed into a V-shape, which quickly incinerates drippings and almost completely reduces flare ups while cooking.
This Solaire grill is lightweight at just 15 pounds, but still puts out plenty of power with 14,000 BTUs of energy. It can be used with small, portable propane cylinders or larger tanks with an optional adapter.
Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill Specifications:
Best Electric Infrared Grill: Char-Broil Bistro 240
For those looking to keep their grilling experience simple and hassle free, the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 240 is an excellent choice. With no gas or charcoal to mess with, this electric infrared grill is simple to use and maintain.
240 square inches of cooking space provide plenty of room for cooking. A set of folding side shelves ensure that cooks have enough space to prepare food and store utensils while grilling.
This grill sports a porcelain coated cast iron grate for easy clean up and long-term durability.
Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro 240 Specifications:
Best Value Infrared Grill: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill
If you’d like to pick up an infrared grill, but can’t quite swing the cost of most units, check out the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill.
This grill has a compact, simple design, but still boasts 320 square inches of cooking space. 240 square inches can be used for cooking, while another 80 square inches provide space for warming.
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill Specifications:
Best Small Infrared Grill: Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
If you’re looking for a small infrared grill that can go just about anywhere and fit in the smallest of spaces, consider the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill.
This small grill packs 200 square inches of cooking space into its cast aluminum body that’s built with durability in mind. A built-in thermometer and cast iron infrared grates help keep even temperatures in check.
Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill Specifications:
Best Infrared Gas Grill: Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525
If you’re looking for one of the best infrared grills, it’s hard to go wrong with the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill.
This grill has plenty of space for a crowd with over 500 square inches of primary grilling area and an additional 200 square inch warming rack above. Additionally, this grill includes a 13,000 BTU side burner that’s excellent for preparing side dishes, sauces, and more.
Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill Specifications:
The Best Infrared Grill Brands
One of the oldest names in grills, Char-Broil continues to innovative with a complete line of infrared grills.
The Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill is one of Char-Broil’s best grills. This grill has plenty of space with four burners and 525 square inches of cooking area.
The infrared grates are ceramic coated cast iron and are designed for easy clean up and long. Below the grill, a large storage cabinet provides plenty of storage. A side burner makes it easy to prepare a side dish or sauce while grilling.
Royal gourmet makes a number of premium gas and infrared grills. The Royal Gourmet Mirage MG6001-R Two Split Lid 6-Burner Cabinet Propane Infrared Burner Gas Grill is one of their most interesting infrared models.
Six burners and nearly 700 square inches of grilling space mean you’ll never run out of room with this unit. A split lid design makes it easy to cook for a smaller group or cook multiple dishes and keep them separate. This grill also includes a side burner for help with other dishes.
This grill has several spacious storage cabinets under the grill and shelves built in to both sides.
With all of their products made in the USA, this family owned grill manufacturer makes a number of premium infrared grills.
One of Solaire’s best small grills is the Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere Portable Infrared Propane Gas Grill. With 140 square inches of grilling area, this unit can easily handle grilling for a small family or a few friends. The durable 20 gauge steel exterior make this grill durable enough to take along on camping trips, tail gating, or cookouts.
The V-shaped grates of this Solaire grill quickly incinerate drippings, virtually eliminating flare ups. A 14,000 BTU burner provides plenty of power for searing and speedy cooking.
Napoleon is another maker of premium infrared grills. With six burners and 74,000 BTUs of power, the Napoleon Grills LEX485RSIBNSS-1 with Infrared Side & Rear Burners Natural Gas Grill is one of their best grills.
This grill is solidly built with a stainless steel exterior and a robust, rolling design that’s complete with cabinets beneath the grill.
Ceramic infrared grates provide very even heating and are capable of very high temperatures. To help retain heat, the lid is double wall insulated for maximum control.
If you’re really looking for a premium infrared grilling experience, check out Broil Master. The Broilmaster R3 Infrared Propane Gas Grill is one of their better models.
The R3 is plenty large enough for a crowd with nearly 700 square inches of cooking space. And, 40,000 BTUs of power combined with two burners capable of 1600 degrees Fahrenheit provide more than enough heat to effectively sear steaks and cook just about anything else you’d like to grill.
A heavy duty stainless steel exterior along with a pedestal stand and locking caster wheels round this grill out.
The Best Infrared Grills for Every Budget
Under $1000: Royal Gourmet Mirage MG6001-R
For less than $1000, the Royal Gourmet Mirage MG6001-R Two Split Lid 6-Burner Cabinet Propane Infrared Burner Gas Grill is one of the best choices on the market right now.
With six powerful burners and nearly 695 square inches of grilling space, you’ll have plenty of space for a crowd with this grill. The lid of this unit is split, making it easy to cook for a smaller group or prepare multiple dishes and grill them at separate heats. This grill also includes a side burner for help with other dishes.
The Royal Gourmet Mirage also has several large storage cabinets under the grill and shelves built in to both sides.
Under $500: Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525
If you want to keep your grill purchase under $500, it’s tough to pass up the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill.
This Char-Broil grill has a good amount of space with 525 square inches of primary grilling area and an extra 200 square inch warming rack over the cooking grates. This grill also includes a 13,000 BTU side burner that’s perfect for preparing side dishes and other items.
Below the cooktop, you’ll find a storage cabinet provides space for storing grilling tool and utensils. Side shelves give cooks room to work and set down those tongs when you need to.
Under $300: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio
For those that would like to keep the price under $300, check out the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill. This simple, inexpensive grill gives users a lot of bang for the buck.
The Patio Bistro has a smaller, spartan design, but still has over 300 square inches of total cooking area. 240 square inches is available for cooking, while an additional 80 square inches provides space for keeping food warm.
This grill doesn’t have any shelves or storage areas, just a single bar along the front for hanging tools or utensils. Heat is nice and even though with the included ceramic coated cast iron grate.
Final Verdict: The Best Infrared Grill for The Money
With so many great infrared grills on the market, it’s tough to pick just one.
But, if you’re looking for the best, it’s hard to go wrong with the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill.
This Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 has plenty of space with over 500 square inches of primary grilling area and an extra 200 square inch warming rack that sits over the cooking grates. This grill also comes with a 13,000 BTU side burner built right into the right-side shelf that’s perfect for preparing side dishes and sauces.
A storage cabinet is also included for storing grilling tool and utensils. Side shelves provide space for food prep and to set down utensils when needed.
If you’re in the market for an infrared grill, take a look at the Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill today.