Heat-up And Cooking Time
It is fairly common for infrared grills to reach a surface cooking temperature of 700⁰F (370⁰C) in under 8 minutes. This remarkably short heat-up time is unique to infrared grills. These grills are unaffected by wind or external weather, which reduces the cooking time. Additionally, infrared grills heat the food efficiently since they don’t heat the air that eventually escapes whenever you open the lid to check on your food!
Charcoal grills take about 15-20 minutes to start up. Using a chimney starter may quicken the process. The cooking time required also depends on the external climate since cooler temperatures result in more heat loss due to convection.
Infrared and charcoal grills both come in a variety of sizes. Infrared grills are often larger, making them a favorite for commercial purposes. However, the amount of food that can practically be cooked on infrared grills is limited because the entire cooking surface has an even cooking temperature. This means that you can’t pair any two types of food that need different cooking temperatures.
With charcoal grills, you can easily set up multiple cooking zones by offsetting the food in relation to the charcoal.
Another great feature of charcoal grills is their portability. Charcoal grills have many lightweight variants like kettle grills that can be dismantled and packed into your car’s trunk. If you’re planning to grill outdoors, please ensure you know how to prevent BBQ fire hazards when camping.
Even if you have a small infrared grill, transporting a grill powered by a massive gas bottle is not easy. However, infrared grills have portable variants too. Electric infrared grills are perfect for you if you love the outdoors, but also love technological convenience.
With charcoal grills, you can grill as well as smoke your food. By creating a two-fire zone, you can sear your food over the hot coal or smoke it by indirect heating.
Infrared grills are usually only suitable for hot-and-fast grilling since they cannot maintain low temperatures. However, on some of the recent models, it’s possible to lower the temperature to 148⁰F-200⁰F (64℃ to 93℃) to cook lean meats, fish, and veggies.
Since infrared grills heat up quickly, the reduced cooking time saves you a lot on fuel. It’s not uncommon for infrared grills to last twice as long as conventional gas grills, saving you a lot of money.
Running charcoal grills is generally more expensive than infrared grills. However, how much more you spend will depend on what kind of charcoal you use. Charcoal briquettes are much cheaper and last longer than natural lump charcoal. However, if you want to grill on high heat with charcoal briquettes, you will need many briquettes since they don’t burn as hot as lump charcoal.
Even though many people claim that infrared grills are self-cleaning – it is nothing but a ploy to increase sales. Sure, infrared grills require much less cleaning than other grill types because the fat and food juices are instantly vaporized by the infrared rays. However, if you don’t believe in cleaning your grills the right way, please let me know before you invite me to your barbecue!
Charcoal grills are more difficult to clean because of all the ash they produce. Disposing this ash is often a challenge unless you use natural lump charcoal and have a garden that needs fertilizer. If you use charcoal briquettes to heat your grill, you have to deal with more ash, and you can’t even put the ash to good use.
Infrared grills are less likely to be a fires safety risk because the grease is vaporized before coming in direct contact with the flame.
Charcoal grills can be risky if not handled with care. Managing the fire is a manual task that requires a lot of skill. Even a strong gust of wind can often send embers flying onto flammable objects. Neglecting the fire safety guidelines could land you in hot waters.
There’s no doubt that charcoal grills, which sometimes is as simple as a cooking grate and a drum, are inexpensive cooking devices. You can get charcoal grills for as little as $100, while the quality ones will cost you around $500.
Infrared grills are much more expensive than charcoal grills because of the technology used. They cost about 15% more than conventional gas grills, but they could be a good investment if you cook commercially.