Elevate your kitchen to a gourmet level. Learn all about infrared cooking in our buyer’s guide then find a red hot deal on the best infrared grill.
Dynamic Combustion System
Simple, color based thermometer
Hard to use pans and pots with it
This adaptable grill features Char-Broil’s TRU technology, a 245 sq inch cooking area, a temperature of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, and a removable dial control.
With a 450 sq inch cooking area, this Char Broil product features a stylish black & silver design, reaches temperatures of up to 10.000 BTUs, and has the signature TRU technology built in.
With four burners, this Char-Broil Professional series features the TRU Infrared technology, supplemented by gas heating, and comes equipped with a water resistant cover.
An extremely compact design, Char-Broil’s to go option features no flare TRU infrared tech, 200 square inches of cooking area, and all the legs and handles you may need to carry it around.
With an advanced infrared technology, this Philips Indoor grill is guaranteed to not smoke your entire apartment, all while featuring a fast set up time, low maintenance needs, and a consistent 446 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.
Portability and a cool design speak out for this Solaire Infrared Grill, being supplemented by gas and featuring a 155 sq inches of cooking surface
Theo is a freelance content writer with an interest towards education and online business. He has a natural trendsetter and loves covering topics related to fashion. Besides making sure he’s current on the seasons latest styles, you can also find Theo immersing himself Theo is a freelance content writer with an interest towards education and online business. He has a natural trendsetter and loves covering topics related to fashion. Besides making sure he’s current on the seasons latest styles, you can also find Theo immersing himself into testing out the latest electronic gadgets and video games.
We all love the taste of a well-made steak, and while a delicious barbecued meal would take up to three hours to make, some of the best infrared grills can help with that. A tender, juicy rib can be cooked in a matter of minutes, with these efficient wonders of modern technology.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Traditional grills are great for a well made barbecue you enjoy with friends on a day off, but if you’d like to enjoy that same type of delicious meal after a long, hard day at work, you may want to keep reading this article.
It does seem like a fight between a qualitative infrared technology or the other, which we’re going to measure by consulting our trusted experts and our focus group, but going further than that, we may need to look for certain gimmicks and small edges to make our pick.
We’ll look at how much of the infrared technology is used, and how much of the cooking process is complemented by traditional means. We’ll also look at the sturdiness of the product build overall, but we’ll also consider additional benefits such as utensils and extra functions.
Moreover, you’ll see us taking size into account in addition to showing you what advertised functions do work, and which are just marketing stunts. This review will show you both the best of the best, as well as products that seemed fantastic but ultimately disappointed us.
Infrared grills can set you back a few hundred bucks, so it’s important to wrap our heads around what they are. More specifically, what to look for. Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple as we introduce you to how infrared technology works, and what the subtle differences are that ultimately make the best infrared grill.
Humanity has known about this piece of technology for longer than you may think. The man that discovered infrared rays (because that’s what it is, radiation – we’ll get to that in a moment) was William Herschel, all the way back in 1800.
Infrared light is actually a type of radiation, but don’t worry, it’s not harmful in any way. What it is, basically, is a type of electromagnetic wave, but one that is lengthier than that of visible light, that’s why we can’t see it. These tiny waves appear after a sudden change of movement from a molecule, and our great scientists were able to create devices that gather and use these waves.
The thing about these rays, however, is that they can be absorbed by other molecules, and that’s how the heating of your beloved pork takes place. The grill emits these rays, and the meat absorbs them, ultimately cooking that succulent rib.
Imagine, if you will, a sci-fi laser that blasts through a steel door, only much tinier. And, in this case, it’ll get you a fine meal.
One thing worth mentioning is that infrared grills don’t work in a vacuum. What this means, is part of the infrared waves will be lost in the atmosphere, so no device out there works solely with infrared light. All grills that feature this technology also feature traditional means of heating, like coal, but generally gas.
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about each component of an infrared grill.
This is all the fuss in an infrared grill. The burner is the plate device that sends infrared light into your future meal. They come in ceramic plates or U-shaped versions, but the experts we talked to recommend the ceramic version, since it lasts longer and are typically more efficient.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider a grill with a U-shaped burner. It’s just a small characteristic you should take into account when comparing two seemingly equal grills.
Since this is the bulk of an infrared grill, many are bound to deteriorate over time. You shouldn’t worry, however, since you can find replacement burners for basically any grill out there, of any size or build. The best way to avoid getting a faulty burner is to clean it regularly and to make sure you don’t overheat it when you don’t have to.
Always clean your grid before, and after using it, since it’s the most prone to wear, and look for signs of rust. If your grid is rusty, it’s about time you get a new one, but just as before, don’t sweat it. Grids are replaced every day by most grill manufacturers, traditional or infrared, and the price is usually not deal breaking.
This component is, almost literally, the fire starter. Ignitions consist of two parts, the wires, cables and buttons, as well as a spark generator. The ignition will start the process for infrared light heating and is among the cheapest, but most important parts.
Note that replacing your ignition is rarely the case, since it’s not a complicated system, and with proper care it will serve you well for years. Regardless, the wiring or placement of the ignition may get faulty after a season or two, so a few tweaks are sometimes necessary. You won’t need tools or a lot of time to do this tweaking, and you can see the full process explained here. If you just need to change the battery, the whole deal becomes even easier.
Gas vs. Coal
The chefs we talked to about grills strongly support a gas hybrid. Coal is fine and dandy, but it seems a bit counterintuitive to use that type of combination. Coal is messy, emits a lot of smoke and needs more maintenance. All of which are things people usually steer from if they’re looking for an infrared light grill.
Regardless, if your product will be used outside, or in a large room, and you still want to retain some grilling authenticity, coal might be for you. It’s just something to take into account.
Another important factor is the size of your future purchase. Are you interested in using your grill once a week, and have a quite spacy home, with possible guests now and then? A larger grill is for you, since you can cook more at once.
If your family is not that numerous and you plan on using the device often (which in turn means more maintenance), we suggest a smaller grill. No need to worry, the market is full of them, with a lot of options marketing themselves as “to go”, so you won’t have a hard time finding the perfect size.
Modern grills come equipped with a variety of features and gimmicks, such as timers, utensils, and extra parts. These are definitely not the most important thing, but are something to take into account when struggling to decide between one or another product. Just think of what you want to cook, and you’ll definitely find the nuts and bolts to look for.
Built with a tubular design, the Char-Broil Big Easy is bound to come in handy for those seeking versatility. You can use it to smoke, grill, or roast your favorite delicacies. And we have to appreciate it’s compact, yet spacious build. Withstanding all of that, there’s bound to be a downside somewhere, so we put this product through some tests. Before reading, you can entice yourself with the product in action, here.
The first feature we have to mention is the TRU infrared technology, which translates to a minimum of 65% infrared light usage, and the ability to spread that evenly upon the grid. While it may look small in the pictures, it can cook up to 25 lbs of delicious food.
Another cool feature is the system for temperature control, which allows you to thoroughly respect any steak recipe. We suggest getting this product with some additional Char-Broil utensils, that you can find here, and a heavy-duty cover, available through this link.
But wait, there’s more...
We were pretty satisfied with this Char-Broil product, and we can stand behind all of the advertised features - they work. Our focus group also reported customer satisfaction, with just a few of them complaining that it’s quite hard to cook ribeyes on it. Besides that, focus group members said that sometimes it’s hard to remove the lid.
Once, one of our colleagues even broke the handle trying to do so, and we had to spend a few bucks on a new one, so that robs this product of a 10 plus.
The few chefs we consulted also spoke in favor of the grill, one of them stating that he even has on at home.
Efficient Infrared Technology
Hard to cook ribeyes on it
Sometimes faulty lid
If you want to bring out the big guns at a family barbecue, you may want to check the Napoleon Grill out. This beast of an infrared grill just screams “heavy duty”, with the size and design to back it up.
But does it stand against heavy duty testing?
Let’s find out if the big design is good enough to cook a quality meal for the entire family.
The Napoleon Grill comes equipped with two ceramic burners and 4 U shaped ones. It reaches a heat of up to 74,000 BTU and has a large storage department, as well as a huge grid. These features come together to form one of the largest and heaviest duty grills on the market. Moreover, this product also supplements the infrared technology with natural gas, to ensure you cook it up till the end.
But the enormous size is also where this grill falls short.
You need quite the spacious home to install it. If you’re interested in how this grill works in real life, check this video out for a pragmatic look.
What’s the bottom line?
The experts we consulted came in favor of the Naopleon Grill. In terms of infrared grills, it’s definitely one of the best in the market and our focus group agreed with ease.
However, we have to admit that our team had a bit of a hard time setting it up, which was also a complaint of the people we interviewed. Moreover, this product comes equipped with a lot of gimmicks and minor features, but seeing as they are so many, it may become confusing. In one instance, we weren’t sure what controls we should use to properly smoke some pork, so take into account.
As a last reminder, since this product is extremely hard to move. We suggest grabbing a special cover with it, like this one since you won’t be able to wheel under shelter to protect it from the elements.
Large cooking area
Confusing features at times.
If you’re usually in a hurry, you may want to take a look at the Magma A10 grill, since the fold away legs, relatively compact design, and the nice polished steel design make up quite the product.
The Magma Infrared Grill has a glass window to observe your meat being cooked, perfect for accurate cooking, but also nice to make you yearn for that steak even more. The dynamic combustion system is also a gem, since it spreads the heat evenly, making sure you have a clean meal.
Last but not least, infrared rays cook your meat with gas and the Magma A10 comes equipped with a regular 1 lb propane tank.
But it gets better
Experts that had a say in our process generally gave mixed reviews of the A10, which was curious since our focus group loved it.
The reason most chefs steer away from this grill is that the thermometer has no degrees on it, just colors.
Well, of course regular folk don’t care about a minor detail like this, but for an aspiring Michelin star chef such things matter a lot, because they offer a small edge to make that perfect meal.
If, however, you’re not planning to get competitive with your cooking (which is probably the case, since neither our team, nor the focus group cared about this) this Magma product is surely a choice to consider, since the general features are attractive.
One last thing we discovered is that, although directly placing your food on the grill works perfectly, using pans or pot is sometimes difficult due to the size and combustion system, which were built with a direct contact between future steak and grid in mind.
Dynamic Combustion System
Simple, color based thermometer
Hard to use pans and pots with it
If you’re a fan of the hamburger, want a stylish red design and quality to top it all, the Bistro 240 Char - Broil grill might just be for you. It looks nice, and we trust the TRU technology, but does it stand up to quality standards and is it durable? We searched for an answer to these questions and the result is down below.
This red beauty has a 240 square inches cooking surface, with 80 square inches on the side, built as a hamburger cooking surface. The 240 also features Char-Broil’s TRU infrared technology, making sure you get at least 65 % infrared light in your meal. It’s also designed with porcelain coated grids, for an authentic taste to your favorite steak.
That’s all fine, but the porcelain coating also significantly increases the maintenance required for this one, since they accumulate grease much easier.
If the Bistro 240 sounds like the choice for you, we suggest also grabbing an official Char-Broil brush, through this link. It’s made especially for this type of grills, and it will serve you well.
So what do the tests conclude?
Our team can vouch for the advertised features, since all of them work. We also loved the area dedicated to grilling hamburgers. The focus group had a field day on this one, and from the first glance they got, they loved it, due to the awesome aesthetic.
With that in mind…
As stated before, experts advised the porcelain coating will give you some extra dish washing to do, and that’s certainly the case. Other downsides we observed were the fast loss of energy if you open the lid just a little, so that’s a bummer in the control department - it’s just not as versatile.
On a last note, our focus group complained that it’s pretty clumsy to move around, even if it comes with two wheels installed, so getting it in and out of the house will be a challenge.
Spacious and well built cooking surface
The famous TRU technology
Porcelain coated grids make it hard to maintain
Loses energy fast if you open the lid
Have fun with the small 180 Char-Broil infrared grill, since you can basically carry this anywhere (again, yes, it’s compact, but as compact as a grill can get), enjoying it’s advanced cooking technology and a round, aesthetically pleasing shape.
This compact Char-Broil comes equipped with the signature TRU technology, evenly spreading the energy across the cooking area. It always uses at least 65% infrared, but it’s also built with a 245 sq inch cooking area and can muster a temperature of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, it has removable dial control that plugs into any 220 V socket.
Although we have to praise it’s portability, it seems quite lacking in the versatility department. It just comes without many of the small gimmicks and utensils that turn a grill into a best pick. However, if this looks like the choice for you, a more in depth look is available in this video.
In our research
Experts say it works just fine, our focus group liked it. We certainly loved cooking our favorite seared beef on it. With that in mind, we couldn’t help feeling there was something off with it...
The thing is, the 180 is a great choice, it certainly meets market standards, but it just doesn’t have that edge, that knack - nothing makes it special, like a specific type of burner, or a considerably large cooking area. It’s just a grill. A good one, but there’s nothing about it that makes it better than it’s market competitors.
Moreover, our focus group reported it takes quite a while to heat up, and it will lose a lot of energy if you open the lid for just a bit.
Efficient infrared Technology
Can reach pretty high temperatures
Nothing special about it
Takes a while to heat up
The 450 Char - Broil comes equipped with a surefire electronic ignition system, and we can say that button starts up a pretty good device. The design, the technology, and the supplementary gimmicks make up a pretty robust grill.
But is it right for you?
This black and silver polish grill has a 450 sq inch cooking area, can reach temperatures of up to 10.000 BTUs, and has the signature TRU technology built in. To top it all, everything starts with a an electronic ignition that our engineers guarantee is well built.
This all sounds pretty nice, but let’s see the downsides of this Char-Broil product. At a first glance, we observed the materials are pretty cheap: poor plastic wheels, a weak alloy, and also some problems with the lid. You can see it in action here.
The focus group we interviewed also complained about the cheapness of it’s build, but the experts cared to make a statement on the matter; while the aesthetic components and auxiliary gimmicks are poorly made, the burner, grid, and ignition - the systems that matter, work perfectly.
Well - made ignition
TRU infrared Technology
If you’re not bothered to get your grill inside when the rain falls down, this package will be a good deal for you. The small cover advantage, however, is completed by the signature Char-Broil TRU technology, a large cooking area and four heavy duty burners. With that in mind, let’s see if they truly come together to form quality grill.
Featuring four burners, this Char-Broil Professional series works with the TRU Infrared technology, making sure you get an even spread of the heat. But when that fails, propane gas is used to make it up. We also have to praise the large storage department and the stylish design, yet we couldn’t help but notice a few downsides.
Most importantly, it’s hard to assemble, but the searing trays down under are also a bummer to clean.
But there’s more to it...
If you want to see this Char-Broil gem live, check this video out.
Our tests concluded pretty much the same, with both experts and people from the focus group praising the overall quality of the grill, but, oh man, was it hard to clean those trays.
Good infrared technology
Hard to assemble
Bummer to maintain
A barbecue grill couldn’t get more compact and portable than this, but even if the X200 features Char-Broil’s signature technology, let’s see if quality comes in the same package as portability.
Yes, the Grill2Go has an extremely compact design, and a special version of the TRU tech - with no flare. To top it all, a great surprise we had was the strikingly large 200 square inches of grid (at least large for a portability of this magnitude).
With that in mind, it seems this iteration of Char-Broil’s infrared technology is a bit lacking, since your meat will get burnt before it’s fully cooked on the inside, and we have a few problems with heat loss after opening the lid just a little.
What does the testing say?
It seems this product is quite famous amongst the chefs we interviewed, but all of them gave mixed reviews. The portability was praised, both by them and by focus group members, but the slightly less efficient infrared technology was a common complaint, so it does fall short in that category.
Auxiliary equipment (legs & handles) work perfectly
This Philips product is, at a first glance, the best choice for a person that lives in an apartment, but still wants to cook some tasty steak on a grill. It’s got a pretty good technology, a slick design, and it’s built for an “inside job”.
But does it surpass a market standard?
The Philips Indoor grill has an advanced infrared technology--while it’s not as great as the TRU systems, it’s generally efficient in searing a delicious piece of beef. One thing this technology surely does, however, is keep your indoors smoke free (well, as smoke free as cooking gets).
To top it off, the HD6371 maintains a consistent 446 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, the perfect temperature for searing. With that in mind, we should criticize the apparent lack of versatility, since there’s not really a lot you can do with it. Although the small size means almost no maintenance at all.
What does a hands-on reveal?
Experts generally spoke against this Philips grill, since there’s not really a lot you can do with it--no extra features, not a lot of room, just a plain ol’ grill. Nothing to make it surpass market competitors.
Notwithstanding, people from our focus group loved the simplicity of this indoor grill, coming in favour of it, and we have to admit - it’s easy to set it up, easy to use it, and if you’re not into complicated recipes, it will do just fine. If this Philips product sparks your interest, learn more about it here.
Easy to set up and use
Overall qualitative technology
Nothing special about it
Pretty simple, even for a household.
This silver, polished steel beauty is one of the most compact grills we’ve seen today, and it’s got a pretty good infrared light tech. With that in mind, let’s see if there’s anything about it that could make it run for our top pick.
Portability is the way to characterize this Solaire Infrared Grill, being supplemented by gas when infrared fails and giving you 155 sq inches of well made grid. The burners are ceramic, which is a big plus since the grill will get heated up in no time.
But on the downside, it seems as if the burners are working too well. Even on the lowest temperature settings, we overcooked some meat. The BBQ guys, an awesome youtube channel about grilling, has a review of this product, and you can check it out here.
Results from our lab
While that overcooking of the meat might have been an honest mistake of ours, experts we’ve consulted on this, as well as focus group members said they also felt the Solaire Portable Grill goes into overdrive when it comes to heat. Even if we generally received good reviews on this one, people also complained about the grid being a hassle to clean, and the lid having problems closing sometimes.
Heats up really fast
Overheats, even on lower settings
Problems with the lid opening and closing
First thing I would like to mention about Infrared Grills is the set up time. These are complicated pieces of technology that literally play with fire, in this case natural gas and infrared light.
One should take great caution when setting up their grill. I even recommend using a video support if you can find one. Most grills will come equipped with a small book detailing each step, but I cannot stress this enough, make sure everything is set up properly before pressing that ignition.
For a general idea of what you’re going to have to do, see this video.
Second point to be made is use indoors. Although many infrared grills advertise themselves as smoke less, perfect for the indoors, one should make sure there’s enough airing in one’s kitchen. You just can’t be too sure, and I guess it’s better to open that window instead of paying for new curtains.
In the end, our sights were set on the Char-Broil The Big Easy. It wasn’t hard to come up with an answer, since The Big Easy can muster a similar punch to most grills, with a very qualitative TRU infrared technology.
Do you agree with our choice? Do you think we were wrong all along, and the best infrared grill is not in this list? Let us know in the comments below!
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, it’s a pretty old way to measure heat, and one BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Well, it’s definitely better to use an infrared grill indoors than a regular grill, but with that in mind, remember you’re still going to be cooking, smoking, and searing, which sometimes can produce a considerable amount of smoke.
The experts we talked to said meat cooked with infrared technology is more succulent than on a regular grill, because of the even spread of heat. With that in mind, taste is much more affected by condiments, type of meat, and cooking technique, not the technology of the grill.