Grilling Has Been the Cooking Method of Choice for Centuries
The numbers don’t lie. People, regardless of social status or ethnic background, love to cook and BBQ on an outside grill because they feel the food tastes better. Oudoor grilling is the ancient way of enjoying juicy and flavorful meats and vegetables so over seventeen million grills are shipped to retailers every year. Typical charcoal and gas grills are the most popular grills, but every year the infrared technology incorporated in new grill designs become more popular. Infrared grills are easy to use as well as clean, and prices are finally falling into the main stream affordable range.
Infrared technology has been around since the early 1960s. It was first used to dry car paint. Automakers used this gas burner technology to get cars off the assembly lines faster. The founder and inventor of the infrared gas burner, Bill Best, received a patent on the burner. Best’s company, TEC, distributed these gas burners to the industrial heating market before they entered the commercial and residential oven market. TEC Air Radiant Ovens, Tubular Ovens, and Radiant Wall Ovens saved energy thanks to the intense and almost instant heat generated from these new burners.
The discovery of a infrared grill was purely by chance. Best was looking for a way to produce more heat in a typical grill so he put a ceramic infrared burner in it. He was the first to notice that radiant heat applied to an infrared grill could cook food faster without drying it out like the typical gas grills. Best developed a system where the infrared radiation that was created with pressurized natural gas or propane produced hotter grills in a relative short amount of time. Infrared grills are hotter than traditional grills so professional as well as backyard cooks can enjoy succulent barbeque faster and with less mess.
New Technology Represents Change and Fear Sometimes Surrounds the Facts
Just like the microwave and other modern conveniences infrared grills had their share of negative publicity. The fear that more heat would dry out meats and other foods, and the misconception that this method of cooking would cause cancer still keeps some people from buying infrared grills. Most professionals agree that the cancer threat is non-existent and rather than drying food out, infrared cooking keeps the natural juices in and flavor is enhanced.
The original patent has expired so more companies are offering infrared grills at popular prices although some of these brands don’t meet the quality standards of the TEC, Alfresco, and Solaire models. Infrared grills can be purchased for less than five hundred dollars these days and they are worth the money in terms of faster cooking time, less fuel used, better taste, and a simpler cleaning process. An infrared burner can reach a temperature of one thousand degrees in less than three minutes so that saves fuel. The food tastes better because the burners are wide and rectangular so the heat is distributed evenly which means food cooks quickly and that prevents the natural flavor and seasonings from escaping.
High temperature cooking creates less mess because the channel design of the cooking grate catches the juice that falls off the food and vaporizes it before it hardens on the grill. The typical drippings that cause flare-ups and grease fires vaporize because of the grate design. The cooking grates do get greasy after use but a blast of fourteen hundred degrees on the grid makes the grease easy to brush or scrape off with a regular grill brush.
Infrared grills do cost more than other grills, but they are the quickest and most efficient grills on the market, plus there is a distinct difference in the flavor of the food. Cleaning an infrared grill is as simple as scraping the grates after cooking, but even when poor maintenance is a factor an infrared grill starts and cooks perfectly in a matter of minutes.