The 7 Best Infrared Grills

Updated August 28, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

7 Best Infrared Grills
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you find charcoal barbecuing suffers from hot or cold spots along your cooking surface, or that propane can cause your meats to dry out a little too quickly for your liking, you might be interested in one of these infrared grills. They use their initial heat source to increase the radiant temperature of an infrared surface that then cooks all your foods to perfection. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best infrared grill on Amazon.

7. Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal

If you want the even heating that this class of cooking can provide, but you still prefer the process and flavor of working with charcoal, the Char-Broil Kettleman Charcoal gives you the best of both worlds. It also features a removable ash bowl for fast cleanup.
  • sturdy hinged lid
  • 10-year warranty
  • awkward to roll on its wheels
Brand Char-Broil
Model 16301878
Weight 50.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Char-Broil Portable Grill2Go

The Char-Broil Portable Grill2Go is an ideal option for camping trips. It has a high-impact aluminum case and steel latches for secure transporting, and its cooking system won't flare up or produce dangerous sparks or embers.
  • 200-square-inch cooking surface
  • large sturdy handles
  • difficult to control the temperature
Brand Char-Broil
Model 12401734
Weight 24.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Char-Broil Patio Bistro 360

The Char-Broil Patio Bistro 360 provides you with 500 square inches of grilling grate for a very reasonable price. It also features two prep tables, one on each side of the unit, that can fold down to save deck space when they're not in use.
  • oven-style ignition
  • convenient towel bar
  • takes time to assemble
Brand Char-Broil
Model 15601832
Weight 81.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Char-Broil Big Easy

The Char-Broil Big Easy will smoke, roast, or grill your food using its cylindrical heating chamber. It can easily cook a turkey as large as 25 pounds, and is also great for other big cuts of meat, like brisket. A smoker box can add flavor.
  • seals in juices
  • comes with grease collection tray
  • limited grilling area
Brand Char-Broil
Model 14101550
Weight 54.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Solaire Anywhere Portable Stainless Steel

For a superlative cooking experience during your next tailgate party or camping trip take the Solaire Anywhere Portable Stainless Steel. It is powered by portable propane cylinders and can prepare up to eight large hamburgers at once.
  • includes a carrying bag
  • weighs only 20 lbs
  • keeps meat juicy
Brand Solaire
Model SOL-IR17B
Weight 26.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Char-Broil Electric Bistro 180

The Char-Broil Electric Bistro 180 is just about the safest small-form grilling option on the market. Its heat won't cause flare-ups like charcoal and gas grills can, so you can use this unit on covered patios or under trees.
  • removable dial control
  • porcelain grid and rack
  • 1500 watts of grilling power
Brand Char-Broil
Model 15601711
Weight 29 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Char-Broil Professional TRU 4-Burner Cabinet

Invite the neighbors over for a cookout and fire up the Char-Broil Professional TRU 4-Burner Cabinet. Its even heating sears in flavor and keeps food from drying out, and its 525-square-inch cooking space can handle large feasts.
  • easy-to-use electric ignition
  • porcelain-coated cast iron grates
  • powerful 13000 btu side burner
Brand Char-Broil
Model 463276016
Weight 183 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Inventor Of The Infrared Grill

The infrared grill has become a household term and has changed the world of grilling, but not many people have heard of its inventor, Bill Best. He is CEO and chairman of Thermal Engineering Corporation in Columbia, South Carolina. He first came up for the idea of the infrared grill when he was working on his doctorate at the University of South Carolina. He was up late at night developing a flame arrester for rocket guidance systems when he noticed that the ceramic plate on the arrester would turn bright red and emit high levels of radiant heat, also known as infrared.

This gave him the idea to develop an infrared ceramic burner, which he patented in 1961. He initially marketed it as a commercial burner for use in making radial tires and paint-curing systems. It wasn't until the early 1980s that Bill incorporated one of his ceramic infrared burners into a food grill.

Whether out of boredom or a stroke of genius, one night he decided to take some scrap metal from his plant and one of the ceramic burners to build a grill. He took it home to cook some food and discovered that not only did it cook food quicker, it also didn't dry out food as much as traditional grills. This was the beginning of TEC Infrared Grills.

His first grills used a 50/50 combination of infrared energy and hot air. This was because, while the ceramic burners had a number of benefits, they also had one major drawback; the heat couldn't be lowered very much. In applications where low heat was needed, a ceramic burner would burn the food. Combining both methods of cooking into his grills allowed for users to cook at a range of temperatures, while still enjoying the benefits of infrared cooking.

Bill is a lifelong inventor with more than 60 patents to his name. Nearly 80 years old now, he still regularly works 50 or more hours a week and often shows up at work in the middle of the night to continue working on new ideas. He may appear to be just like any average South Carolina guy who loves to grill steak while listening to country music, but unlike the average guy, his favorite book is "Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers.”

How Infrared Grills Work

Infrared red grills work by emitting infrared heat into the food being cooked. Infrared waves, are electromagnetic waves that are between microwaves and visible light waves on the electromagnetic spectrum. The different types of infrared waves are categorized by their frequency; near, mid, or far.

Near infrared waves are the kind generated by pushing the button on a TV remote control. They don't generate a noticeable amount of heat and aren't suitable for cooking. Far infrared waves do generate a significant amount of heat, making them ideal for cooking.

Charcoal and gas grills can only reach roughly 700°F, whereas infrared grills average around 900°F, and can reach as high as 1600°F. Charcoal and gas grills also cook food predominantly through convection, which is the movement of hot air. As the fire in charcoal and gas grills burns, it causes the air to heat up and rise, continuously circulating around the food. This constant flow of air is what causes food to dry out on a grill.

Infrared grills utilize the heat radiated from a solid surface to cook food. This heat is radiated in the form of far infrared waves. The heating element also heats the air in a similar manner to gas and charcoal grills, but circulates less air so the food can retain more of its natural moisture. The higher temperatures of infrared grills also allow for the food to be cooked quicker, with less time exposed to the circulating air.

Tips For Using Infrared Grills

As with more traditional grills, an infrared red grill must also be preheated before starting to cook food. This allows the grate to get hot, sterilizing it and expanding the metal enough so that the pores close, reducing the chance of food sticking. Unlike gas grills, which need to heat up for roughly ten minutes, and charcoal grills, which often need twenty minutes or more, infrared grills are preheated and ready to cook in five minutes or less.

Protein and vegetable cooking time must be reduced on infrared grills or the food will be overcooked. As mentioned previously, infrared grills cook at temperatures well above what traditional grills can reach. For his reason, the cooking on infrared grills takes about half of the time it takes on gas and charcoal grills. For example, a chicken breast can be fully cooked in roughly ten minutes.

Until one is accustomed to the shorter cooking times of an infrared grill, it is best to keep an instant read grill thermometer on hand to ensure the food reaches the proper internal temperature.

One should also reduce the heat setting they normally cook with on infrared grills by 30%. So if you normally cook your steaks on high, start by setting your infrared grill to medium or medium high. It is easier to increase the heat without hurting the food than to decrease it.

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Last updated on August 28, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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