Best Infrared Grill Reviews of 2021
Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 525 4-Burner Cabinet Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Perfect for big families
A huge cooking surface and powerful side burner make this infrared grill perfect for restaurants or big families.
1 Char-Broil 463276016 Review
Do you like throwing big parties? Or perhaps you plan to become the envy of your neighbors? Then you have to get yourself a Char-Broil 463276016. Dubbed the best infrared grill around, this bad boy boasts a huge cooking surface that can hold food for the whole neighborhood – indeed, it can fit 29 burgers.
It runs on either liquid propane or natural gas; a converter kit lets you hook it to a municipal gas pipe if you want to save on fuel.
No matter your fuel choice, rest assured this grill will cook perfectly whatever you’re throwing on it, be it meat or vegetables. The main cooking area features Char-Broil’s signature TRU-Infrared that heats the surface evenly for effortless grilling.
This professional 4-burner gas grill also impresses with its 13,000 BTU side burner that’s perfect for sides and sauces. Intuitive to use and easy to maintain, it’s the best infrared griller for busy eateries.
Char-Broil 463655621 Performance TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Best for small homes
Two burners and lots of cooking surface make it perfect for small yards if you don’t want to break the bank.
2 Char-Broil 463655621 Review
If you’re looking for a smaller and cheaper infrared grill, the Char-Broil 463655621 might be it. Featuring two burners and 310 inches of primary cooking surface, it can grill up to 16 burgers at a time.
The TRU-infrared technology ensures an even heat with no hot or cold spots. You won’t have to worry about flare-ups either, thanks to the special cooking grate that protects your food from the flames.
The grill also features electronic ignition and is as easy to use as your kitchen stove. The cabinet has plenty of storage for the propane tank, kitchen tools, and accessories. Easy to use and easy to clean, it could be what you need for delicious outdoor cooking.
Char-Broil 463371719 Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Cabinet Style Gas Grill
Larger but more expensive
A good compromise between our best value and our best in class.
3 Char-Broil 463371719 Review
The Char-Broil 463371719 stands in-between our best value and best-in-class. It has a primary cooking surface of 450 square inches, which is more than enough for cooking 24 burgers at a time. Like our other grills, it also has a warming rack as well as a side burner.
It only runs on liquid propane, which could be inconvenient if you’re looking for a smaller infrared grill for your business.
Nevertheless, it’s as performing as you’d expect from a Char-Broil, so you will never have to worry about imperfectly cooked food. No doubt, a good choice if you don’t need a grill as big as our top choice but do need one that’s bigger than our best value.
Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Gas Grill
Compact and portable option
Lightweight countertop grill runs on liquid propane for convenient indoor or outdoor use.
4 Char-Broil X200 Review
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is ideal for the camping enthusiast looking for a portable infrared grill.
It is small yet powerful enough to grill food in a breeze and comes with a 9,500 BTU main burner easy to ignite thanks to the convenient built-in push button ignition.
Compact yet spacious enough to hold over three burgers, the grill has a cooking surface of 200 square inches and comes equipped with a stainless steel grilling grate that is easy to clean.
Weighing less than 20 lbs., this infrared grill was built for travel and comes at a competitive price point. Small and powerful, perfect to use at home or outdoors, the Char-Broil X200 is perhaps the best infrared grill for those looking for convenience and portability.
1. Benefits of an infrared grill
Infrared grills are similar to the best Weber gas grills up to an extent, but they employ the latest cooking technology that introduces infrared elements between the burner and the grates, creating a barrier between the flame and the food.
The flames heat up the infrared elements which then radiate the heat directly to the food rather than heating the air inside the grill. This seals the food juices and promotes a faster and more flavorful cooking.
Infrared grill benefits
Due to the advanced technology used, infrared grills come with a series of benefits over the traditional gas or electric units. Some of the most important include:
- Fast cooking
- Uniform heat
- Reduced flare-ups
- Tastier food
- Performing in adverse weather
2. Types of infrared grills
There are two types of infrared grills, countertop and freestanding.
- Countertop infrared grills: Are small units similar in size to or slightly larger than a contact electric griddle. These grills are compact, easy to transport, and perfect for camping. They can be used indoors if wanted, but were not built for this purpose. Countertop infrared grills typically run on liquid propane and are safer to use outdoors.
- Freestanding infrared grills: Are large units built for backyards or commercial kitchens. The grill is typically mounted on freestanding legs equipped with wheels, which provide some mobility. Some of the best infrared grills come with foldable side tables and enclosed cabinets designed to offer working and storage space to the user.
3. Infrared grill BTU
The heat output of an infrared grill is measured in British thermal units (BTU) just like propane smokers and determines the grill’s capability of cooking your food at a decent speed. The BTU rating is typically determined by the size of the cooking surface and vary from around 8,000 BTU on the entry level models to over 25,000 BTU on the best commercial infrared grills.
Contrary to the popular belief, the best infrared grills don’t necessarily need a high BTU to cook food to perfection. Due to the technology involved, a too high BTU can, in fact, spoil your food by drying or burning it.
How many BTU do you need?
Infrared grills cook through radiant heat that is transmitted directly to the food. This makes them much more efficient than a gas or electric grill, that’s why a BTU rating from 50 to 80 BTU per square inch of cooking surface suffices.
To assess how many BTU you need, simply multiply the square inches of your cooking surface with the lower and the higher numbers above to find out the BTU range you need.
For example, a mid-size infrared grill with a cooking surface of 300 square inches needs between 15,000 and 24,000 BTU to cook your food effectively.
4. Determining the ideal grill size
Determining the perfect size of the grill is essential to ensure the appliance serves its purpose. There are two things to consider, your lifestyle and the size of your family. If it’s just you and your partner and typically cook for only the two of you, a small infrared grill is more convenient.
If you have a large family or enjoy spending quality time grilling with your buddies, you’ll need a larger grill.
In broad terms, look for a cooking area of at least:
- 150 square inches for two to three people
- 300 square inches for up to six people
- 400+ square inches for seven or more people
For a more accurate assessing of the size, consider that an average burger with a diameter of four inches needs around 20 square inches of cooking surface.
5. Infrared grill burners
The infrared technology shows its advantages once again, by allowing manufacturers to produce highly performing grills that use fewer burners than a traditional gas or electric grill. However, having more than one burner comes with advantages, including:
- An even distribution of heat, allowing you to cook for more people at once.
- A greater temperature control, allowing you to cook more foods at the same time at different temperature ranges.
How many burners do you need?
How many people do you want to cook for? Do you want to cook just one type of food or several foods at the same time? Once you’ve answered these questions, use the guide below to assess the number of burners you need:
- One burner: Cooking one type of food for three people or less.
- Two burners: Cooking one type of food for up to eight people or up to three types of food for up to four-six people.
- Three burners: Cooking one type of food for up to twelve people or up to three types of food for up to six-eight people.
For larger groups or for cooking more types of food at the same time you’ll need either a commercial-grade infrared grill or a model with an additional side burner.
6. Stainless steel vs. cast iron grill grates
Most infrared grills come equipped with either stainless steel or cast iron grill grates.
- Stainless steel grates: Heat up fast, are easy to clean, and ensures a good heat dissipation. However, this material also loses heat fast, which makes it less efficient if you have to open the grill’s lid frequently.
- Cast iron grates: Heat up slower but the material absorbs the heat, stores it, and gradually emits it ensuring a more efficient heat dissipation and minimal heat loss when the lid is open. The best infrared grills come with cast iron grates coated with a ceramic layer that provides a non-stick surface and is easier to clean.
7. Liquid propane vs. natural gas
Infrared grills use liquid propane as fuel, but some of models allow you to convert to them use with natural gas.
- Liquid propane: Is a natural fuel that burns at a higher temperature, thus it outputs more BTU than the same amount of natural gas. The fuel also comes in a tank, which means you’ll be able to move the grill (and the fuel tank) from one place to another.
- Natural gas: Is another type of natural fuel that is distributed to your home via a pipe by a utility company and is cheaper than propane. Some infrared grills can be converted to use with natural gas, which is a great thing if you don’t mind having a lower BTU and no mobility but want to save on fuel in the long run.
8. Other important features
A series of other features can boost your grilling game and improve your experience.
- Infrared grills are intended to use outdoors, and an integrated work surface may come in handy. A folding side shelf is ideal for both workspace and storage purposes.
- If you like sauces or also want to cook sides, a side burner provides you with the right cooking space near the grill area.
- Freestanding units benefit from an enclosed storage cabinet where you can keep your wood chips or tools.
- Wheels are important if you want to move the grill around. Make sure they come with lockable brakes.
- An electronic ignition system is essential, allowing you to start the grill faster.
- Another important feature is a temperature gauge that allows you to monitor the temperature to adjust the heat level.
9. The Best Infrared Grill for the Money
Char-Broil 463655621 Performance TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas GrillBest for small homes
Two burners and lots of cooking surface make it perfect for small yards if you don’t want to break the bank.