Benefits of Cooking with Infrared BBQ Grills

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Right along with fun outdoor activities is barbequing. Gathering around the grill with family and friends and enjoying meals outdoors elevate a usual dinner to something special. There are many great reasons to consider using an infrared BBQ grill for outdoor cooking.

There’s lots to like about these grills. This is especially true with technological advances and price decreases. What was once almost a luxury item is now more affordable.

Keep reading to learn about why I love using my infrared barbeque grill more than a charcoal or gas grill.

How Do Infrared BBQs Work

Instead of heating the air around the food like a regular grill, the infrared grill heats the food directly. It does this by using a ceramic tile with lots of tiny holes in it. When the grill is turned on, the burner heats up this ceramic tile, and the tile then gives off infrared radiation. This radiation cooks the food on the grill.

This results in an extremely hot cooking surface. It can be as hot as 600+ degrees F. This means food cooks quickly. Infrared grills are ideal for searing meat. The steaks will cook, locking in the moisture and becoming caramelized… resulting in a juicy, delicious meal!

Why Do People Like Infrared Grills?

This type of grill has been becoming more popular, especially as the prices have come down. As technology as progressed, newer infrared grills often combine the infrared technology along with gas functions. It’s the best of both for outdoor chefs.

Benefits of Infrared Grills

What I like most about using infrared technology is foods don’t dry out. Foods hold more moisture which means they are more tender and juicy. Some more pros to infrared grilling are:

  • Grill is ready fast; preheating time is shorter than traditional grills
  • No hot and cold spots on food; cooks evenly
  • Less waiting time; food cooks faster
  • Safe; don’t have grease splattering
  • Really easy to clean because it gets hot and food burns off
  • Uses less propane or natural gas because foods cook faster
  • Great for searing meat, juicy
  • Safe when using precautions and smarts
  • Uses radiant heating instead of conduction or convection
  • Improved technology over the years

If you had an infrared BBQ grill from awhile ago, while technically-advanced for the time, a lot has changed. Manufacturers have definitely improved some things, changing from ceramic to all-metal designs. The result is now overall better cooking and a more reasonable price tag.

Many infrared grills now also offer a range of temperatures instead of just one. This makes them easier to use for slow-roasting bone-in meats, etc.

Some are more compact nowadays as well. This makes them better suited for smaller patios, etc.

These grills provide an even cooking surface and are simpler to clean. Despite the initial cost, the benefits of energy efficiency, faster cooking times, and better-tasting food can make infrared grills a worthwhile choice for barbecue enthusiasts.

Disadvantages to Infrared Grills

  • Not as good for cooking vegetables and fish but if your grill has different settings, this won’t be an issue
  • Can be more expensive than other grill types
  • There’s a learning curve to using it; heats up faster and is hotter than other grills

Differences Between Cooking with an Infrared Grill vs Other Grills

An infrared grill heats up faster and cooks more evenly than a charcoal grill, and can reach higher temperatures ideal for searing meat. Compared to a gas grill, an infrared grill offers quicker heat-up times and more efficient energy usage, while also providing better moisture retention in the food.

Infrared Grill

  • Direct heat: Cooks food using infrared radiation, providing direct heat
  • Quick to heat: Heats up much faster than other grills
  • Even cooking: Offers uniform heat distribution across the grill surface
  • High temperatures: Can reach higher temperatures, ideal for searing meat
  • Moisture retention: Seals in juices quickly, keeping meat moist
  • Less chance for flareups: Reduced flare-ups as grease is less likely to drip onto flames
  • Energy efficiencies: Uses less fuel compared to other grills; heats faster

Charcoal Grill

  • Indirect heat: Cooks from heat of burning charcoal
  • Longer time to heat up: Coals need to heat up
  • Uneven cooking: Warm and cool spots on food because heat isn’t always even
  • Lower temperatures: Typically less hot than infrared grill temperatures
  • Smoky flavor: Charcoal flavor from the coals sometimes
  • Can be more dangerous: Lighting the charcoal, flames, hot coals, dripping grease all can be safety issues
  • Manual work: Have to handle charcoal to fill the grill; move coals around while using; deal with hot coals; empty coals safely

Gas Grill

  • Heat up time is faster than charcoal but slower than infrared
  • Heats food evenly for the most part though some parts can become overdone
  • Temperatures usually not as hot as infrared grill
  • Can have some food flare ups but less than charcoal grills
  • Less fuel efficient than infrared grills

What’s Important to Know About Using an Infrared Grill?

  1. Preheat the grill before placing food down.
  2. Use high temperatures for searing meats and lower temperatures for delicate foods. (If your grill has different settings; earlier models may not.)
  3. Clean the grill regularly to prevent flare-ups.
  4. Monitor food closely; it cooks faster on an infrared grill.
  5. Ensure proper ventilation when using.


Do infrared grills have flames?

Infrared grills have a flame to heat the cooking element but it’s not exposed like if you were using a charcoal grill. It’s there to heat the cooking surface.

How is an infrared grill different than a gas grill?

Infrared grills provide direct heat using infrared radiation. They also usually reach higher temperatures than a gas grill. They are ideal for searing meats.

How is an infrared grill different than a charcoal grill?

An infrared grill heats up faster and cooks more evenly compared to a charcoal grill. Unlike charcoal grills, infrared grills don’t impart a smoky flavor and have less risk of flare-ups.

Are infrared BBQs safe?

Yes, infrared BBQs are safe when used correctly. They have a lower risk of flare-ups compared to traditional grills.

How long does it take for an infrared grill to warm up?

An infrared grill usually warms up faster than gas or charcoal grills. They are often heated and ready to use in cooking temperature in around 3 – 5 minutes.

Does the outside of an infrared grill get hot?

Yes, the outside of an infrared grill can get hot during use, just like with “regular” grills. It’s important to be cautious, walk safely around it (don’t run), and keep children and pets away from the grill.

Why I Love My Infrared Grill

I enjoy barbequing with my infrared grill. It’s a great reason to spend more time outdoors — even though it’s fast cooking on this type of grill because it heats up so fast. The technology with my BBQ brings a bit of modern conveniences to my homestead. It’s a great way to relax and unwind at the end of a day. I get to spend it in nature enjoying the evening.