an infrared grill, there is an infrared element between the grates and the flame. The gas heats the infrared element, which then radiates intense heat to the food.">
A. Infrared grilling is one of the newest trends in outdoor cooking. An infrared grill is a gas grill that uses infrared technology as the heat source or as an optional burner. In a conventional gas grill, the flame heats the grates directly. But in an infrared grill, there is an infrared element between the grates and the flame. The gas heats the infrared element, which then radiates intense heat to the food.
TEC, formerly the Thermal Engineering Corporation, claims it introduced the first radiant gas grill in the early 1980's, using small flames to heat ceramic plates; the plates emitted infrared energy that cooked the food. You'll still find infrared grills with ceramic plates, but under the grates of TEC's latest infrared system are glass panels directly over stainless steel burners. Char-Broil's infrared system relies on one or more gas burners to heat up a metal cavity between the burners and the grates.
Enthusiasts say infrared grills are good at searing meat, provide uniform heat and cut down on flare-ups. But because they cook differently, they may take some getting used to. In our tests of gas grills, we haven't found that infrared grills or grills with an infrared element are any better than those with standard burners. All the best grills in our tests cook uniformly. To find out what else is new in gas grills, see our latest ratings of more than 60 models.