Infrared technology is experiencing rapid growth in popularity. They compete head to head against gas and charcoal grill technology and it’s no accident. An infrared BBQ can cook in half the time of any gas or charcoal grill with maximum fuel efficiency. It reaches cooking temperature quickly and is simple to use.
With a gas or charcoal grill, burned fuel creates a heat source that circulates around the food, heating the air which cooks the meat. This is known as the convection process. The infrared barbeque uses a different technique. Infrared energy is located in an area of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes radio waves, microwaves, millimeter waves and X-rays. Infrared energy transfers its energy directly to the food while avoiding heating the moisture and air around the food. Traditional grills heat the air around the food and dry it out.
Previously, the cooking area was lined with ceramic tiles containing thousands of microscopic holes. Gas or propane heats the ceramic tiles which produce infrared radiation. The high temperatures of the infrared radiation cooked the food. Recent improvements in infrared cooking technology have created an all metal infrared grill built from 304 stainless steel, the top choice of appliance building materials. It lasts longer than ceramic tiles while providing a superior cooking surface. Previously, infrared grills operated with a 35% heat efficiency. With this new technology, heat efficiency has been radically improved to 100%.
As a result, cooking time has been considerably reduced and less fuel is consumed in the process. Grilling becomes a less expensive outdoor activity and the cook has more time to socialize. Cleanup is much easier. Turn the grill on high for 5-8 minutes with the lid closed incinerates all leftover grilling debris, reducing it to a light ash that can be easily removed once the grill has cooled. Wiping it down with a damp cloth finishes the job.
In addition to reduced cooking time and fuel consumption, the intense heat generated by infrared cooking sears the outside of a steak, seals in the juices and prevents hot air from drying out. Barbequing a steak takes only a few minutes. Heat is distributed evenly across the grilling surface resulting in a larger cooking area. Hot and cold spots that exist on all gas and charcoal grills have been eliminated.
This sounds great. Let’s buy one, but wait a minute. There is a small downside. The intense heat the sears your steak can ruin a piece of fish or grilled vegetables. Manufacturers have addressed this problem with a dual function grill providing infrared and traditional technology.
Infrared technology was patented in 2000 and the barbeques are more expensive at this time but the price should come down as they increase in popularity.