What’s The Difference Between Infrared And Gas Grills?
On learning the basic definition of infrared and gas grills, people are often confused. This is because both grills use gas burners. So let’s take some time to examine their distinctions.
Infrared grills use direct radiant heat for cooking the food. It gives you the best heat distribution, least heat loss, and cannot be blown out by the wind.
Gas grills use indirect heat or convection for cooking the food. The problem with this method is that since the burners heat the air around it, there is a lot of air movement. This hot air can absorb all the moisture from your food, leaving it dry – like when you blow-dry your hair with a hairdryer.
Infrared grills produce higher temperatures than regular gas grills. It is not uncommon to see these grills reach cooking temperatures of 700⁰F (370⁰C) in under 8 minutes. Standard infrared grills cannot operate at temperatures below 200⁰F (90⁰C), but if your infrared grill has an adjustable grill grate height, you can cook at low temperatures. This means you can cook lean meats, like shrimp and chicken, to perfection.
Regular gas grills can attain temperature at 550⁰F (287⁰C). Using heat diffusers like ceramic briquettes and lava rocks, you can reach temperatures of 600⁰F to 700⁰F (315⁰C to 371⁰C). However, these temperatures are subject to the temperature of the surrounding air.
Infrared and gas grills both come in large sizes, making them a favorite for commercial purposes. However, the amount of food you can practically cook on infrared grills is limited because infrared grills guarantee even cooking temperatures across its surface. This means that you can’t cook veggies alongside steak or pair any two types of food that need different cooking temperatures.
With gas grills, you can easily set up multiple cooking zones by controlling the burners independently.
What good is BBQ if it doesn’t taste good? And when comparing gas and infrared grills, the results are a mixed bag.
While both gas and infrared grills can help you achieve aesthetic sear marks on your steak, once infrared grills guarantee juicy results when you are grilling your meat. This is because infrared grills prevent your food from drying out.
On the other hand, gas grills are better for smoking your meat. The presence of a direct flame helps you burn your smoking wood to get a beautiful wood-smoke flavor. Gas grills are also better for low-and-slow cooking when compared to ceramic infrared burners.
Infrared grills take less time to heat up, but gas grills are not far behind. Infrared grills reach high temperatures very quickly and transfer it to the food without any loss of heat. This high heat doesn’t burn your food since it is evenly distributed across the cooking surface.
Gas grills take longer because they use convection to heat the food. The air that gets heated but doesn’t touch the food result in wasted heat energy. To avoid this, it is best to keep the grill lid shut when cooking.
As the infrared grills preheat quickly and directly transfer the heat to the food, you will end up saving a lot on fuel. On the other hand, gas grills consume more fuel because the cooking time is affected by external factors like weather, wind, etc.
Both gas grills and infrared grills were not portable in the past. This is because even though they were available in a variety of sizes, both needed you to carry a gas cylinder to power it. However, today there are infrared grills that run on electricity, which makes them perfect for BBQ enthusiasts who love the outdoors.