For years backyard chefs have been trying to duplicate those flavorful and juicy steaks that have made certain restaurant famous. The old charcoal and even the modern gas grills don’t perform like those high priced infrared grills that use to be too expensive for the home chef. Infrared gas technology has come a long way and infrared grill prices are finally in the affordable range so more people are leaving the comfort of their charcoal or standard gas grill and jumping into the waves of light produced by infrared burners. More companies are producing infrared grills so there are more choices, but there are some companies that produce better quality components so a little reserach should be done before purchasing this technolgy that has been around for over forty years.
How Does Infrared Gas Cook Food?
The fundamental element that puts infrared cooking in a league of its own is the infrared gas burner. The ceramic burner transforms the gas into infrared radiation. The pressurized gas inside the ceramic burner produces a red flame due to the infrared waves of light that produce the radiation. Rather than heating the air around the food like the average gas or charcoal grill the infrared grill send a wave of light through the food and cooks it.
Infrared gas burners provide direct heat to the food quickly which means cooking temperatures are much higher than the eight hundred degrees produced by a regular gas grill. Infrared gas burners produce temperatures that are well over one thousand degrees and they do it in less than a minute even when the hood is open.
The concave shape of the cooking grate collects all the moisture or juice that is released during the cooking process and vaporizes it so it returns to the food. The grate eliminates dryness because the natural juices are locked inside the food. Since infrared burners heat quickly, steaks and other meats can be seared first to lock in the flavor and then the burner’s temperature can be adjusted so meat is cook all the way through, but even when the temperature is lower cooking time is still only around five to seven minutes.
The Benefits of Infrared Cooking
Most outdoor chefs want to cook a meal quickly and then want the clean-up to be simple and easy. Infrared grills are designed to make the outdoor or indoor cooking experience a professional one. The beauty of infrared burners lies in its ability to cook faster and with less mess.
Most of the juice that cause the mess in other grills is vaporized during the infrared cooking process so cleaning the grill is simple. It’s almost a self-cleaning technology, but the grill still has to be lightly scraped with a wire brush and wiped clean. The cleaning process can be completed faster than the meal was cooked.
Since all the natural juices are still in the cooked food, the flavor of an infrared meal exceeds the preparer’s expectations because the burners distribute heat evenly so the food is cooked on all sides. Even in cold weather infrared burners will cook with the same intensity because the burners are not affected by the air around them.
The price of an infrared grill can be a deterrent for some people, but when all the facts are considered an infrared grill is a very cost effective choice. Infrared grills last longer than regular gas grills and they use fewer resources. The infrared gas BBQ grill is a sound financial investment and most home chefs call it a culinary bonanza.
Using infrared does take a little practice and patience, but the rewards of perfectly cooked vegetables and seafood begin to reveal themselves once a cook adjusts to the heat settings and time sequences needed to cook different meats and other foods. Once that happens professional meals become the norm not the exception.