Get the answers to all your hot Infrared grill frequently asked questions in my Infrared grill FAQ. Learn more with the Grilling Life Q&A.
Infrared grills are one of the hottest innovations in outdoor cooking right now (pun absolutely intended).
Infrared technology allows you to grill without the risk of your food drying out, resulting in flavorful, juicy results. On top of that, they are capable of producing steak house quality searing as a result of their high heat output. What’s not to love?
If you’re new to the infrared cooking train, you likely have some questions about how infrared grills operate. After all, they’re not your average backyard grill!
That’s where we come in. In our Infrared Grill FAQ guide, we’ll break down how these grills work, how to use them to their fullest potential, and the benefits of investing in them.
By the end of this guide, you’ll hopefully have your questions answered and be ready to go out and buy an infrared grill of your own.
And be sure to check back on this FAQ guide in the future, as we often add questions and update the answers with new information!
Time to fire up this infrared grill FAQ guide!
In This Article, We’ll Explore:
Click a topic below to be taken directly to that section.
Why Choose an Infrared Grill?
Infrared grills use radiant heat to cook food instead of the convection heat cooking method that conventional gas and charcoal grills use. Since the heat from the cooking system goes directly into the food, there’s no hot air or dried-out meat involved — just tender, juicy results.
How Does an Infrared Grill Work?
Infrared grills work by heating a surface (usually made from ceramic, glass, or steel), which then directs infrared heat waves directly onto the food.
Standard gas and charcoal grills rely on heated air circulating around the food to cook. Infrared grills use infrared energy that is emitted directly into the food resulting in less drying out and moisture food.
For a more in depth look at infrared grills, check out my guide What Is An Infrared Grill – Is Hotter And Faster The Future Of Grilling?
What Is Infrared Energy?
Infrared energy is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that’s completely invisible to the human eye. However, humans can sense this energy at longer wavelengths — we feel it as heat.
What Is the Difference Between an Infrared and Regular Gas Grill?
While traditional grills heat the air, which then heats the food, infrared grills produce heat that’s directed straight onto what you’re cooking. The result is a grill capable of reaching high temperatures, searing meat, avoiding flare-ups, and cooking food quickly.
Infrared grills also tend to be more fuel-efficient since they use less gas or propane to preheat or reheat the air after you’ve opened the lid. Those pros, of course, come with a heftier price tag than a standard gas grill.
Is It Safe to Cook With Infrared?
Yes, it is safe to cook with infrared. There has been no specific research linking food cooked with infrared to health hazards. However, there have been studies that link meat cooked at high temperatures to an increase in carcinogens, regardless of how they were cooked.
So, as with everything, it’s recommended that you practice moderation when eating grilled meats.
Do You Need to Pre-heat an Infrared Grill?
Yes! Pre-heating your infrared grill will ensure it’s at the right temperature for cooking meat and killing any bacteria. Thankfully this process will go way faster with an infrared grill than with a traditional gas grill!
How Long Does It Take for an Infrared Grill to Heat Up?
It should take just three to five minutes to get your infrared grill to your desired temperature level. Compare that to 15 minutes for a traditional gas grill or 30 minutes plus for a charcoal grill and you can see the benefit. Get your food to the table and hungry guests much quicker.
How Hot Will an Infrared Grill Get?
Infrared grills will be able to reach 900°F and possibly much higher, compared to a gas grill’s average max of 600°F.
Do Infrared Grills Take Longer to Cook?
Infrared grills are capable of cooking food much faster without drying out the food. Thanks to their high-temperature range, infrared grills are great at cooking food super quickly — and keeping food juicy and tender.
Do Infrared Grills Reduce Flare-ups?
Yes! Infrared grills run so hot that any juices or marinades that drip down from the food are instantly burned off and returned to the food as flavor-enhancing steam when they hit the heat source.
Can You Slow Cook on an Infrared Grill?
Yes, you can slow cook on an infrared grill. While infrared grills are fantastic for hot and fast booking, you can also cook low and slow on them! Thanks to their precise temperature controls, many infrared grills can maintain the low temperatures (200°-250°F) required for slow cooking.
Can I Smoke Food on an Infrared Grill?
You can smoke food on an infrared grill! You’ll just need to create a tinfoil wood packet (or use disposable packets or smoker boxes) to place your wood in. Then, once your grill is pre-heated, just toss your wood packets on, and you’re ready to go!
Can You Cook Vegetables on an Infrared Grill?
While infrared grills are stellar for searing cuts of meat, veggies aren’t excluded from the fun! Vegetables can be cooked at medium to high heat. Just spritz them with some oil, cut them up if they’re on the larger side, and toss them on. They’ll definitely beat your run-of-the-mill steamed veggies!
Do Infrared Grills Need Less Fuel?
Yes, infrared grills do use less fuel! Infrared grills are incredibly fuel-efficient because of their ability to heat up fast and cook food quickly.
Are Infrared Grills Hard to Clean?
Infrared grills are relatively straightforward and easier to clean than traditional gas grills. After every use, turn the burners to high and simply burn off any remaining food or excess grease. When the grill has cooled down, wipe off any remaining ash with a damp cloth or paper towel.
For a deeper clean, let the grill cool down, clean out the drip tray, then scrub the heating element with a brush or steel wool. After that, you can tackle the grate with a brush (wire for metal grates, nylon for cast iron or porcelain) and wipe down the infrared heating surface with a non-abrasive chemical cleaner.
Is Infrared Cooking Healthy?
Infrared heat itself is perfectly safe to cook with since it doesn’t have enough power to alter the molecular makeup of your food, as some people claim. But, of course, if you end up going overboard and charring your food, there can be possible risks associated with the carcinogens found in burnt meat.
What Are the Disadvantages of Infrared Grills?
While they’re fantastic outdoor cooking tools, infrared grills can be pretty expensive and not as versatile compared to traditional propane or charcoal grills. Their great firepower also comes with great responsibility — if you aren’t used to cooking on an infrared grill, there’s a chance you may burn the food you’re cooking.
Can You Convert an Infrared Grill to Regular?
While converting an infrared grill to a standard gas-powered one is possible (you can remove the infrared grill plates and replace them with standard stainless steel ones), the bigger question here is why you’d want to do that at all? An infrared grill is a serious investment, so we recommend leaving it be!
Can an Infrared Grill Be Used Indoors?
There are smokeless infrared grills made specifically for indoor use! They’re usually on the smaller side, so you can use them on your counter and stow them away when not in use. If you aren’t quite ready to invest in an outdoor infrared grill, an indoor option could be a smart way to get accustomed to infrared cooking.
The Ultimate Infrared Grill FAQ Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a convenient and fast way to create steakhouse-quality meals (and are willing to look past the high price tag), infrared grills are the way to go.
If you’re just getting started looking into infrared grilling, we hope this FAQ guide helps shed some light on these powerful outdoor cooking tools!
An infrared grill is more than just a convenient way to get a steak house quality sear at home, they also produce juicer meats and are great for vegetables. Whether you’re looking to get started with a smaller indoor model or are ready to jump in with both feet with a full-size infrared grill, we believe the perfect grill is out there for you.
If you have any questions we didn’t answer, or if you’re interested in learning more about buying and using an infrared grill, let us know! You can leave us a comment below or email us for more information. We’ll do what we can to get you an answer, and you might even see your question show up in this guide!
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A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!
I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!
I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.