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Infrared Grill vs Gas Grill: Differences Explained

What is an Infrared Grill?

If you're in the midst of setting up your outdoor kitchen, you've most likely heard the phrase "infrared grill.” But what are they, how do they work, and are they really better than traditional grills?

Today, we'll answer those questions and examine the claims that when you grill with an infrared burner it’s faster and more consistent than with a commercial grill because of the equal dispersion of heat and the high temperatures they can reach.

We'll also discuss infrared grilling's several advantages and disadvantages that you should know about before you spend the extra money on one.

So, let's take a deeper look at what is an infrared grill and how it works!


What is an Infrared Grill?

In the 1980s, the earliest infrared grills employed a ceramic plate on top of a regular barbeque grate, substantially shortening cooking times.

The directly heated ceramic plate sent infrared radiation into the dish at incredibly high temperatures. The configuration produced some convection heat, raising air temperature, but the shorter cook time meant the meat did not dry up.

But, fast forward to today and how does an infrared grill work?

Less convection and uniform infrared heat are achieved with new infrared grills, which use glass plates to divert airflow away from the food. As a result, the cooking time is more reliable, and the meat is more tender.

One of the best infrared grill features is how easy it makes clean up. It is nearly impossible to leave any residue or drippings because of the extremely high temperatures, a characteristic of most infrared grills, which are meant to catch the drippings. Because of this, traditional grills' fare-ups are eliminated, preventing you from overcooking your meal by vaporizing the flavor back into the dish.

Infrared Grill vs. Gas Grill

Temperature settings is the primary difference between an infra-red grill and a gas grill.

Infrared grills generate substantially greater temperatures than conventional gas burners. It is not uncommon for infrared burners to achieve temperatures above 700°F.

Cooking thick portions of meat like steaks is a cinch with this temperature apex. An infrared grill is your best option if you plan to prepare these kinds of meals during your barbeque.

On the other hand, gas grills are adequate for most forms of grilling, although their temperature is significantly lower than that of infrared grills.

The burners of a gas barbecue with a maximum temperature of more than 600°F are unlikely to be available.

There are several similarities between infrared and gas burners regarding heat sources. Their equipment is all powered by gas. However, some infrared grills may be powered by electricity. Propane and natural gas are also available as fuel types.

How food is cooked on an infrared grill vs gas grill is also a significant distinction.

Let's start with gas grills that use propane. For example, cooking with the convection method on high-end grills is a common practice. Convection is similar to a fireplace in that hot air and heat are circulated throughout the space.

Even while grills use convection cooking, this has one drawback. The meat's moisture barrier is broken down by convection heating, which means food loses its moistness and becomes dry throughout.

On the other hand, grilling using infrared grills is less likely to result in the same problem. Instead of transmitting heat via convection, infrared burners do so using radiation. Infrared grills don't heat the air like convection grills but rather heat ceramic plates or metal plates that distribute the heat to the food.

An infrared grill uses a ceramic plate or grid to distance the heat source and the food being grilled. Because of the ceramic plate's role as a barrier, it will heat the food on the grill uniformly. The ceramic plate's perforations help amplify the heat the meal receives from the gas flame, making it even tastier.

It's speculated that infrared cooking yields better-tasting, more juicy meats since it doesn't disrupt the meat's moisture barrier.


Pros and Cons of an Infrared Grill

Typical grills use convection cooking to prepare a meal. The grates and the air around the food are heated by convection utilizing a power source. An infrared deviates from this conventional method resulting in several benefits and a few disadvantages. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of infrared grilling:





When feeding a big group of people in your outdoor kitchen, the sooner you serve up food, the better.

Using infrared grills instead of a gas barbecue is your best option in this situation. With an infrared burner, you can cook food faster than a gas grill because of the greater temperatures.

Infrared grills also have shorter warm-up periods. As a result, you can start cooking in only a few minutes, saving time and energy.


An infrared grill may be a good investment if you're concerned about getting the temperature just right. A gas infrared grill is far more versatile in terms of temperature control. As a result, an infrared grill might be used to prepare various foods, including searing, grilling, roasting, and barbecuing.

Dissipation of Heat

Infrared burners provide more uniform heat and eliminate the need for direct contact between food and flame.

On the other hand, gas grills have flames that come into close contact with the food, which can make the heat distribution a little erratic. Searing food on a gas grill can be problematic because of the uneven heating caused by hot and cold patches.

Cooking with infrared technology ensures even heat distribution throughout the meal, which is essential if you want your food to be consistently cooked every time.

Fuel Economy

When choosing between a conventional gas grill and an infrared one, you might assume that the latter will cost you an arm and a leg in fuel costs with its high-temperature thresholds. However, this isn't quite the case.

Infrared grills don't expose their flames to the elements. The gas grill does the exact opposite.

As a result, the temperature within an infrared grill does not decrease as much when the lid is opened as gas grills do.

Consequently, the grill needs to be reheated to attain the desired temperature. As a result, more fuel is required to keep the temperature stable.

The second factor in infrared burner fuel efficiency is the high temperature it generates.

Less fuel is consumed as well, owing to the shorter durations required for preheating and cooking.

Stable Flames

If you're cooking on a standard grill, bursts of flame aren't so unexpected. This puts your safety at risk, so use caution when cooking meals.

When it comes to sudden jets of flames, you might assume that infrared burners are prone to them because of their high-temperature capabilities. However, this is not the case.

Flare-ups in grills are frequently caused by liquids dripping from the meat and airflow.

Infrared grills are far more precise than gas grills regarding temperature control since the flames are contained behind the ceramic plate rather than exposed to the open air.

The concave form of infrared grill grates helps catch the juices from the food while it cooks. Because of this, liquids and sauces are kept from the actual flame during searing.

An open flame on a gas barbecue increases the possibility of flare-ups while searing foods.




Grilling at a Low Temperature

Infrared burners aren't for everyone or every situation. Using a gas barbecue instead of an infrared grill if you want to smoke and slow cook your food is the best option.

For novice grillers, it’s easier to make mistakes on infrared grills. It's possible to overcook food on an infrared burner grill since the high temperature causes everything to sear and cook more quickly.

While an infrared grill provides some lower temperature control choices, a gas grill is preferable if you prioritize low-temperature cooking.



Price is a significant factor for many consumers when making a purchase decision.

The price of an infrared grill is higher than a traditional gas barbeque, which might sway your ultimate decision.


How to Use an Infrared Grill

Here are some tips to get the most out of your infrared grill:

Account for your infrared grill’s speed

When using a gas grill, it takes around 10 minutes to warm, and when using a charcoal grill, it takes about 20 minutes. Grills that use infrared technology may achieve their maximum temperature in only a few minutes.

Because of the higher temperature, proteins cook in half the time on an infrared barbecue than on a standard grill. You can have a medium-rare steak or a thoroughly cooked chicken breast while other grills are still warming up.

Check to ensure everything is operational before grilling

Inspections of an infrared grill should be performed at least twice a year, paying particular attention to any damages that can impact its performance. Before your next barbeque, go over your grill looking for wear-and-tear, replacing any parts that need to be changed.

When it comes to high-end, commercial-grade grills, you might want to contact the manufacturer to find a repair facility that the company authorizes.

Give it a thorough cleaning

Remove any buildup from the burner holes and use a wire brush or steel wool to remove debris from the infrared grill's heating element.

Apply some elbow grease to the grate if your infrared grill has one. Remove the grate and sweep a coarse wire brush over both sides of the metal grate to remove any cooked-on food residue. Avoid scratching porcelain or cast iron grate surfaces with gentle nylon brushes. Finally, turn on the grill to burn away anything left over.


Cook the Perfect Cut with Grillscapes

Now that you have a better understanding of infrared grills, you can decide if purchasing one is right for you.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our high-quality infrared grills. Call (800)311-4356 or email, and we'll assist you in making the best decision for your outdoor kitchen.