Infrared Grills: The Smart and Convenient Choice for Barbecue Lovers
Some people assume that backyard grilling is simply a matter of throwing a piece of meat over a fire or hot charcoal. Ordinary backyard grills, however, are usually not capable of generating the ideal temperatures for cooking the best steaks. This is why it’s pretty hard to duplicate the juicy tenderloins served at restaurants.
Fortunately, grilling technology has advanced to such a degree that you can confidently grill restaurant-quality steaks in your backyard. With infrared grills like those manufactured by Rasmussen Ironworks / Solaire Gas Grill, you can cook the juiciest steaks at your convenience.
Infrared Cooking Basics
To understand how an infrared grill works, take note of how people cook with heat, particularly in the form of conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction involves the direct transfer of heat from one medium to another; this is what happens when you cook a steak on a pan. Convection is what takes place when you cook something via another medium, like air or water (e.g. boiling a potato in water or roasting a chicken in an oven). Radiation is cooking by using the radiant heat of a heat source, such as live coals. This is where infrared grilling comes in.
Infrared heat is present in all types of grills, whether they’re charcoal, wood, or gas. The main difference is the intensity of heat produced. A charcoal grill can reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit, while a fast hot infrared grill can reach over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes, which, for products like Solaire Grills, can take just about three minutes. Gas and charcoal grills often cook via convection, using the air to convey the heat to the meat, while infrared grills use radiation to directly cook food. For Solaire infrared grills, adequate grilling heat is produced by 15,000 tiny flames fueled by natural gas or propane to heat a ceramic plate. The plate then starts to radiate intense heat onto the food.
The main reason you’d want to take a look at infrared grills for your backyard is the high temperatures they can achieve and the way they cook food. Conventional grills merely heat the air, resulting in meat that is dry and lacks flavor. A fast infrared grill with a full size burner, on the other hand, generates intense heat that goes straight to the food to lock in the juices, resulting in steaks, sausages, or patties that are naturally more flavorful. The best hot grills, such as Solaire infrared grills, now have v-shaped cooking grids that let the juices drip in a controlled fashion and vaporize them back into the food for optimal flavor. Backyard grilling can’t get any better than that.
How Infrared Grills Work, How Stuff Works
Infrared grills: a hot idea or hot air?, LA Times