A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked, has written widely about the world of barbecue and grilling.
Shopping for a new grill is hard enough when you compare gas to charcoal models. When you throw in the idea of infrared grills, you may feel even more confused. This is a different type of grill that uses infrared technology to heat the ingredients and meats on the grill rather than the surrounding air.
With most grills, the heat comes from below and rises through the air before wrapping around the food. This often causes food to dry out before it finishes cooking. Infrared grills use a different process that helps lock in the juices and flavors of those foods. We’ll go over all the benefits of infrared grills to help you understand why these models are worth the price.
Are Infrared Grills Better Than Regular Grills?
Infrared grills are better than regular grills in some applications. If you love steaks and other types of meat, you can benefit from one of these grills. You can cook the steak to the perfect temperature and make sure that it’s cooked through without losing any of the meat’s natural juices. Some also like that these grills come up to temperature faster and provide an even level of heat too.
Is Infrared Cooking Better?
One reason why infrared grills are popular is that they let users sear their meats. You can get the great sear marks on steaks that you usually only see in fancy restaurants. With some grills, the temperature climbs so high that it cooks the exterior of the meat but leaves the inside raw. This isn’t a problem you’ll have with an infrared grill.
How Do You Cook a Steak on an Infrared Grill?
When cooking a steak on an infrared grill, you will want to oil the grates first. It’s usually best to use peanut oil or canola oil because those oils have a high smoke point. You should also apply a light coat of oil to the steak before you place it on the grill. As soon as the grill reaches the temperature you need, place the grill on the grates.
Though you can cook with the grill lid open or closed, closing the lid reduces your overall cooking time. If you want sear marks like the steaks in restaurants have, you can place the steak on the grates, wait a minute and then turn it 90 degrees. You should make sure that you cook the steak for the same amount of time on each side to ensure even cooking. Most of these grills require that you cook steaks for just 60 seconds on each side.
Benefits of These Grills
Now that you know how to cook a steak on an infrared grill and how those grills work, you can look over all the benefits of using one to cook for your family and friends.
Sear Meats to Preserve Flavor
Charcoal grills use briquettes that change the flavor of foods. While some like the flavor that it imparts, others find that want to taste the natural flavor of those foods. Infrared grills are great for those home cooks. They let you get a nice sear and add a smoky taste to steaks and other meats without significantly changing the flavor.
Some of the latest models will also work as a smoker. Let's say that you want to make a rack of ribs and add a fruity flavor to the meat. With one of these grills, you can sear the outside of the ribs to preserve the natural flavor of the meat before slowly cooking the ribs with cherry wood chips added to the smoker. This gives the ribs a slightly fruity flavor that works well with the natural taste of the meat.
A common issue when using most standard grills is that grease and other liquids can cause flare-ups. Those flare-ups occur when any liquid touches the hot coals below. Flare-ups can also happen if any pieces of the food fall inside the grates. With infrared grills, flare-ups are almost nonexistent.
Infrared grills help you save time because they both come up to temperature faster and cook faster than other types of grills do. These grills have a preheat setting that lets you pick the temperature based on your foods. Most can reach the highest temperature setting in only five minutes or less.
If you ever used a charcoal grill before, you know how long they can take to reach the right temperature. You also need to spend time stacking the briquettes and lighting them. Even propane grills take some time to reach the maximum temperature level.
Infrared grills also help you cook quicker and are great for the middle of the week barbecues. You can come home after a long day at work and whip up a grilled meal in less time than it would take to make dinner in your kitchen.
Most of the popular grills and smokers that are now available claim that you can use them for baking. If you want to make a homemade birthday cake for someone special without turning your kitchen into a furnace, you can bake that cake outside on your grill. Infrared grills typically have a much higher temperature setting than ordinary grills do.
We found that some of these models can reach a maximum temperature of 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Though you need a lower temperature to bake cakes and other treats, this high setting is perfect for searing foods and other dishes.
Use Less Energy
As much as you like grilling, you probably dislike cooking outside on a hot summer day. Simply standing over the grill as you watch the food cook can feel like an inferno. Those grills use more energy and require more energy on your part too.
Infrared grills are a good alternative because they use less energy. This keeps the areas directly on top and around the grill cooler, which will help you stay cool too. You'll use much less energy with one of these models.
No matter what type of grill you use, you know that most have both hot and cold spots. A cold spot is an area of the grill that is significantly cooler than the other spots, while a hot spot significantly increases the temperature in that area. Those spots can occur because of the design of the grill or due to the way you use it.
Infrared grills eliminate those spots to help you cook evenly. You don't need to rotate your food multiple times and move ingredients across the grates to cook them through. Infrared grills maintain a constant temperature level across all of the grates.
Cleaning your grill is such a chore that manufacturers now sell dozens of products designed specifically for the job. You can get a robotic cleaner that moves on its own across the grill and brushes that help you remove stuck-on food without damaging the grates.
Infrared grills are the best type for those who hate cleaning. As this grill reaches a much higher temperature than other grills do, it turns most of the debris left behind into harmless ash. It takes just a few seconds to wipe that ash off the grates and to get the grill ready for your next party.
Use an Infrared Grill
With so many benefits to infrared grills, why not buy one and try it out? You can make steaks, ribs and other types of foods that look like they came out of a restaurant kitchen in your backyard.
Check out full reviews of the best infrared grills today!
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