The 6 Best Infrared Grills for Flareup-Free Cookouts

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When you’re looking for a new BBQ, you’re spoiled for choice.

The great news is, there’s no right or wrong answer, and you should experiment until you find the cooking method that works for you. Some people insist nothing competes with a charcoal grill, while other dislike the mess and hassle of grilling with charcoal, despite the authentic results. For others, the convenience of a gas griddle is unbeatable.

Today, though, we’ll be exploring the benefits of the best infrared grills, and we’ll also be reviewing the leading models on the market.

In many ways, infrared grills are the complete grilling tool. The infrared plate will stop direct flames from scorching your food, while still ensuring it’s evenly and efficiently heated throughout. Cooking times should be reduced, while you should also experience fewer flareups when you’re grilling.

Luckily, choosing the right infrared grill isn’t rocket science. Here are a few simple pointers that should inform your buying decision.

  • Grill size: We showcase grills in varying sizes today so there should be something for everyone. We highlight overall dimensions in the features section of each of the grills we review so you can readily compare them like-for-like. Think about where you plan to place the grill and ensure you buy in line with this. You should also give plenty of consideration to how many people you plan to cook for on a regular basis. A combination of these two elements should lead you to the right grill for your needs
  • Primary cooking surface area: The total cooking surface area is expressed in square inches and we flag this for each model. If you plan to cook for a small family or a couple of guests, the smaller grills in this class measuring from 200 to 300 square inches should suffice. For larger cookouts, step up in terms of overall cooking area to avoid cooking in multiple batches. Look for cooking grates made from stainless steel and coated with porcelain enamel to minimize food splatter
  • Number of burners: Many of the infrared grills on our list today only feature a single burner. The more burners you have, though, the more flexible the cooking environment you can create. Think about the dishes you intend to whip up and choose accordingly when it comes to burners
  • BTU rating: The heat output of the burners is rated in BTU (British thermal units). We demarcate this for each of the infrared grills on our shortlist. The higher this rating, the quicker the grill will get up to temperature. The heat radiates into the food, giving you a swifter cooking time while using less fuel than other types of grill
  • Portability: Always think about your intended usage before whipping out your credit card. Do you often grill when you’re camping, fishing, out in the RV, or tailgating? If so, there are several highly portable models worth your consideration. If you’re settled on a permanent installation, look for a grill with lockable casters so you won’t strain yourself moving it around

OK, if you bear this guidance in mind, you should have no problem finding the best infrared grill the easy way.

Explore our reviews now to see if any of these models makes the grade.

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I. The 6 Best Infrared Grills

1. Our #1 Pick: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared 450 Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil-Performance-TRU-Infrared-450-3-Burner-Cart-Liquid-Propane-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Number of burners: 3
  • Total cooking surface area: 600 square inches
  • Dimensions: 23.4 x 54.1 x 45.5 inches

When you’re shopping for the best infrared grills, you can’t escape the mighty Char-Broil. This brand has a deep bench of grills and smokers in a range of styles, but this TRU-infrared model is among the very strongest in the line.

This is a cart-style grill that works best when permanently installed in the yard or out on the deck. As you would expect from a full-sized grill, you’ll get a correspondingly generous cooking surface area. The primary grate measures up at 450 square inches. This is coated with porcelain enamel to prevent food debris sticking on.

You also benefit from a 150-square inch warming rack, ideal for keeping your food ready to serve

Heat is delivered through a trio of top-ported burners. The TRU-infrared technology onboard leads to consistent and even heating every time. It’s super-simple to tweak the temperature on these burners, too, making this a beginner-friendly grill.

Startup couldn’t be easier thanks to the sleek electronic ignition. You won’t need matches or a lighter, and the grill should start first time, every time.

There is a temperature gauge baked in to the front of the lid so you can keep fully abreast of your cooking environment without opening the lid or relying on third-party kit.

As with all the best grills in this class, you should experience few flareups when you’re grilling with the Char-Broil.

Aside from a handful of gripes about the difficulty of cleaning this grill, you’re getting one of the best infrared grill money can buy, and it comes from an industry heavyweight, too.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Efficient electronic ignition
  • Swing-away warming rack
  • Rugged but lightweight alloy steel
  • Reasonably awkward to clean

2. Char-Broil Grill2Go Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil-Grill2Go-X200-Portable-TRU-Infrared-Liquid-Propane-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Number of burners: 1
  • Total cooking surface area: 200 square inches
  • Dimensions: 23.7 x 15 x 13.6 inches

Next up comes another Char-Broil infrared grill, this time a much more portable and travel-friendly model. How does the Grill2Go shape up, then?

Well, made from die-cast aluminum, this grill is rugged enough to stay the distance. It’s also highly portable, measuring up at just 15 inches across and weighing just 20 pounds. For anyone looking for a grilling travel companion, the Grill2Go is tailor-made.

Like all Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grills, this model is guaranteed to kick out a minimum of 65% heat by infrared. This leads to the heat being evenly distributed across the entire surface to generate consistent results every time you grill.

Using natural heat radiation and hot air, you’ll cook your food so it’s tender and succulent rather than dried to an unappetizing crisp.

As with all the best infrared grills, you should enjoy a stable cooking environment with very few flareups to mar proceedings.

The main burner is rated at 9,500 BTU. This is made from stainless steel, as is the cooking grate.

Total surface area of 200 square inches lets you whip up a half-dozen burgers, although you’ll obviously lack the cooking real estate of some of the full-sized infrared grills on our shortlist.

The ignition is intelligently obscured by the right front leg of this unit, keeping it safe from harm and ensuring you can start this infrared grill with push-button ease.

Ready to use with a 1pound bottle of propane gas, you can also reconfigure this grill so it runs with a 20-pound tank of propane. You’ll need an adapter for this which is not included.

Overall, this is arguably the best portable infrared grill in a crowded market segment, so why not see if it makes the right fit for you this summer?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Stainless steel cooking grates
  • Minimizes flare-ups while cooking
  • Space to cook 8 burgers
  • Some reported issues with temperature

3. Magma Products Infrared Gourmet Series Grill

Magma-Products-Newport-2-Infra-Red,-Gourmet-Series-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Number of burners: 1
  • Total cooking surface area: 162 square inches
  • Dimensions: 22.5 x 11.6 x 11.6 inches

While you’re not buying a grill primarily for its aesthetics, it doesn’t hurt when a grill makes a striking visual statement. This single-burner unit from Magma Products is finished in marine-grade stainless steel that’s buffed to a highly mirrored finish.

Sitting on 4 sturdy legs, this is a grill that’s equally at home on the patio, deck, or when you’re out tailgating or taking a road trip in the RV. This grill is also a neat camping and fishing companion. The legs fold down to streamline storage and transportation.

Like all the best infrared grills, this unit delivers a consistent heat that generates tender and succulent meat with the juices locked in rather than parched food that’s dried out.

There is a thermometer integrated so you can keep a loose eye on temperature. As with most built-in thermometers, though, accuracy can be an issue, so it’s worth considering a third-party thermometer if precision is key.

The grease tray on this grill is lockable and serves to efficiently collect the debris and grease, keeping it well away from your food and the cooking grate.

You can start the grill up at the push of a button, so you won’t be hunting for a lighter or matches.

This grill uses 1-pound disposable propane gas bottles as standard, but you can adapt this to an onboard liquid propane gas system if required.

While the total cooking surface area might be slightly tight for some home grillers, anyone looking to embrace the benefits of infrared grilling on the go will be delighted with this Magma grill.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Marine-grade stainless steel
  • Lockable grease tray
  • Electronic ignition system
  • Overpriced for functionality

4. Char-Broil TRI-Infrared Patio Gas Grill

Char-Broil-TRU-Infrared-Patio-Bistro-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Number of burners: 1
  • Total cooking surface area: 320 square inches
  • Dimensions: 24.4 x 25.2 x 38.2 inches

Next up is another entry from the inimitable Char-Broil with a patio gas grill powered by liquid propane gas that deserves a place on any curated list of the best infrared grills.

This cart-style grill comes with lockable casters so you can more easily shift it around the yard if required.

The overall footprint of this grill is reasonably compact considering the 320-square inch cooking surface area. This gives you the space to whip up 8 or 10 burgers in a single session.

Using TRU-infrared heat, you can expect few flareup when you’re grilling with gas. There shouldn’t be any hot or cold spots spoiling the finished results either. This is a forgiving grill that makes a great option for beginners.

The ignition is designed to fire this grill up first time without any hassle.

The bulk of user reviews for this model are positive, although a few consumers report the hose is cut too long and tends to melt if not monitored. Keep your eye on this to avoid any potential safety issues.

It’s hard for us to recommend this model over some of the others on our shortlist. It’s not as portable as some of the compact grills we review, yet it doesn’t offer the cooking surface area of a full-sized infrared grill. If you want a permanently installed grill on the patio or deck, though, why not try cooking with infrared?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Easy light integrated ignition
  • Fewer hot or cold spots
  • Cook a dozen burgers simultaneously
  • Hose is too long and can touch bottom of grill

5. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker and Grill

Char-Broil-The-Big-Easy-TRU-Infrared-Smoker-Roaster-&-Grill

Features

  • Number of burners: 1
  • Total cooking surface area: 180 square inches
  • Dimensions: 23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2 inches

As we mentioned above, Char-Broil dominates this vertical thanks to their pioneering TRU-infrared technology. This gives you the assurance of at least 65% of the heat coming from infrared, and leads to a grilling experience marred by far fewer flareups and delivering consistent cooking results every time.

This model offers you the combined functionality of a smoker, a roaster, and a grill in a single powder-coated package.

The primary grill offers 180 square inches of cooking space, ideal for smaller families or a handful of guests.

There is an internal cooking basket capable of accommodating a 21-pound turkey, so you won’t shortchanged when it comes to catering. You can also smoke food inside this basket. Use the smoker box mounted on the side to load up some wood chips and impart that trademark smoky taste.

Compact and reasonably lightweight, you get a pair of carrying handles on the side of this grill to complete a winning package from a class-leading brand.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Compact form factor
  • Use for roasting, smoking, or grilling
  • 1200-square inch roasting basket
  • Small grilling surface

6. Solaire Everywhere Infrared Propane Gas Grill

Solaire-SOL-EV17A-Everywhere-Portable-Infrared-Propane-Gas-Grill

Features

  • Number of burners: 1
  • Total cooking surface area: 140 square inches
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 21 x 8.25 inches

As we reach the end of our quest for the best infrared grills, the Solaire Everywhere rates a mention.

Like its name suggests, this grill is portable and capable of going anywhere and everywhere with you. Whether you want an infrared grill permanently installed on the patio, or you need a travel companion for tailgating, camping, and fishing trips, this lightweight and compact grill is just the ticket.

Made from rugged stainless steel, this lightweight unit weighs in at juts 15 pounds, so you can pop it in the trunk of your car without straining yourself.

As you would expect from a portable grill, the total cooking surface area is reasonably limited. At 140 square inches, you could rustle up a half-dozen burgers in a single sitting on the Solaire.

With the Solaire infrared burner, you can get this grill up to heat in minutes flat. You’ll have the grill up to searing temperature in as little as 3 minutes.

The real infrared ceramic burner is rated at 14,000 BTU, ensuring your food is grilled quickly, evenly, and with all the juices locked in. Not only that, but you should also minimize the chances of flare-ups when you’re grilling.

Sitting on 4 fully adjustable feet, this grill is ready to roll right out the box with minimal assembly required.

While the vast bulk of user reviews of this infrared grill are overwhelmingly positive, we found a number of complaints concerning the difficulty of cleaning the ceramic burner.

If you’re looking for a truly portable infrared grill, the Solaire Everywhere delivers as promised.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Cook 6 burgers on v-grate
  • Impeccable brand heritage
  • Electronic ignition is seamless
  • Quite difficult to clean

II. FAQs

1) How does infrared work?

Infrared burners on grills utilize radiation to cook food. This occurs when electromagnetic energy waves are beamed out from a heated surface. These waves can travel in any direction at the speed of light, making them super-efficient for heating food.

2) What are the benefits of cooking with an infrared grill?

One of the primary benefits of using an infrared grill is the speed delivered. The best infrared grills can hit 700F in just 7 minutes. This allows you to sear your food quickly and effectively. Some people claim these grills help lock in the juices, but there is insufficient scientific evidence to flesh out these claims. What is not disputed is the even heat distribution infrared grills are famed for. The speed and efficiency of these grills lets you cook more food in less time, and you’ll use less fuel, too. Finally, you should experience few flareups when you’re grilling with infrared technology.

3) Are there are any drawbacks to using an infrared grill?

As these grills give out intense heat, this can burn your food if you’re not careful. The heat is too intense for some delicate foods like fish. Instead, stick with sturdier meats – steal for instance – especially when you’re first using an infrared grill. Some of these grills will offer a sear zone to mitigate this inflexibility and intensity of heat. Despite the initial learning curve and some drawbacks, the benefits of infrared grills outweigh the disadvantages.

4) What is a hybrid grill?

With a hybrid grill, you get a combination of traditional burners and an offset infrared burner. This is a variation on the searing station featured on some grills. This allows you to sear your meat using the infrared burner and then shift it over to more moderate heat to finish it off.

5) Can infrared grills cause any problems?

One issue with the older infrared grills was the ceramic burners were very prone to cracking. When this happens, the grill starts struggling to achieve the right temperature and can make a popping sound. Avoid splashing cold water on hot ceramic burners, as this can easily cause them to crack. Most modern infrared grills counter this by using stainless steel burners. In general, this type of grill is very good for limiting flareups when you’re grilling. Unfortunately, some specific models have a reputation for worsening flare-ups. We have no included any of these volatile models on our shortlist for obvious reasons. Overall, while infrared grills are not perfect – and let’s face it, no cooking method is – they are neither problematic nor dangerous, so why not give this intense and rewarding method of grilling a try this summer?


III. Conclusion

We hope today’s glimpse at the best infrared grills has given you an insight into the benefits of cooking using this nifty technology. You’ll get a user-friendly grilling experience with very few flareups, and your meat will be tender and succulent not dried to a crisp.

If you roll with any of the grills we review today, you can buy with a clear idea of where they stand and fall. If you encounter an infrared grill we didn’t showcase today, we hope the brief buying guide above helps you choose the right one.

Before you head off, bookmark Madiba and be sure to pop back soon!

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