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Infrared Vs. Charcoal Grills: Latest Tech Vs. Greatest Taste

Infrared VS Charcoal Grill | BBQanswers

Types Of Heating Methods

Before we get into the differences of each grill type, it helps to understand the three main heating methods found in a grill:


Conduction is the direct transfer of heat between two objects that are in direct contact with each other. 

Conduction occurs between the grill grates and the food since they are in direct contact with each other. It also happens when the flame comes in direct contact with the food that you’re grilling. This type of heating is seen in electric grills.

Conduction helps us get beautiful sear marks on food, but flames coming in direct contact with grease are also the cause of flare-ups in overly greasy grills.


Convection is when heat energy is transferred between two objects indirectly through fluids.

Convection occurs when the flame inside the cooking appliance heats the air, which then heats the food. This type of heating is the most common form of heating – seen in all grills except for electric and infrared grills.

Convective heat enables you to heat your food for a long time without burning it, but it also causes heat loss since not all the air comes in contact with the food.


Radiation heat transfer is when the heat is transferred between two-bodies through electromagnetic waves (including visible light) without the need for an intermediary medium (like air). 

Radiation is how we receive heat from the sun and also how infrared grills cook your food. This type of heating is seen in infrared grills.

Radiation helps you avoid heat loss when cooking your food, but it can often be unsuitable for slow cooking because sufficient heat is only generated at higher temperatures.

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