As an outdoor grill enthusiast, there are a lot of things to learn. From the quality of meat to the right kind of grill, you make an educated decision to improve the results.
Some people prefer to grill steak with a traditional gas grill, but there are still chances you never achieved that consistent moist texture. You get a flat and dry steak when you grill with propane gas grill.
If that is not because of the meat or the marinade, then it probably because of the grill. If you don’t know how to maintain the flame, then the infrared grill may be the solution. But what is the difference between infrared vs gas grill? Let’s reveal it!
How Does a Gas Grill Work?
A lot of people use a gas grill for outdoor BBQ and picnics. It has been the most utilized grill because of its efficient mechanism and even heat distribution.
Gas grills use natural gas or propane gas that burns cleaner than a piece of wood or charcoal. Compared to the scorching charcoal that emits carbon dioxide, either natural gas or propane gas grill is more environment-friendly.
Gas grills are connected to a portable gas tank that supplies the fuel. When you ignite the regulator, the heat is distributed to the racks. With the temperature range of 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat is cooked at a steady blazing flame. It cooks fast though sometimes it results dry food.
The conventional gas grill works through an open flame that warms up the grilling plate in 20 minutes. The ceramic rods or other kinds of heating elements distribute the heat evenly, although hot spots occur that relays the temperature downward. As a result, warm air circulates within the grilling area. This air movement reduces the moisture in the meat.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Gas Grills
A gas grill could be the best outdoor grill for some because it generates extreme heat for the meat and fish. It is more energy efficient too than an electric grill. However, just like any other cooking equipment, gas grills come with advantages and drawbacks.
- Available wide variety of sizes from small to massive dimensions
- Results to authentic smoky taste and aroma
- Maintains an even high temperature
- A cheaper alternative to other types of grills
- Cooks food fast
- Suitable for outdoor grilling
- Can draw the moisture out of the food
- Cleaning the grill plates can be a challenge
- Requires safe storage and regular check
- Not suitable as a smokeless indoor grill
- Prone to flare-ups
How Does an Infrared Grill Work?
The infrared grill, also called the infrared all-sear burner, has been around since the 1980s. However, it is relatively new to some homeowners. It works in an innovative technology relying on far infrared waves. The gas or electric element heats the solid plate until it reaches an extreme temperature of up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a lot hotter than the conventional grill’s 550 to 750 degrees F.
This temperature is reached in three minutes which also a lot faster than the gas grill. Because of this extreme temperature in minutes, infrared grill cooks food in a short time. It is the appropriate grilling technique for some types of food such as seared salmon and reheated steak.
Instead of relying on hot air to cook the food, the infrared grill transfers the heat directly. This technique retains about 35 percent of the moisture in meats, fish, and vegetables.
And when drippings from the meat happen? The intense heat instantly vaporizes it to an aromatic smoke. It does not flare up. It is also how the infrared grill’s self-cleaning feature works. The extreme heat turns the drippings and other food debris to vapor.
The Two Types of Infrared Burners
When the infrared technology in grills first came out, there was only one kind – the TEC Grills. But as years passed by, more manufacturers produced different designs and styles of infrared grills. All of these infrared grills available in the market today can be categorized into two: the traditional ceramic infrared burners and the TEC Radiant Glass Panel System.
1. Traditional ceramic infrared burner
This type of infrared burner is the most commonly used. It is made with a stainless steel housing that encloses the ceramic plates with a stainless mesh on top.
The tiny openings in the ceramic plates generate little flames of up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit temperature in just three to five minutes. The pores, when touched by drippings or other food debris, can cause flare ups.
2. TEC radiant glass panel system
The TEC Grills has the advantage of being the pioneer in infrared grilling technology. It also comes first in reinventing the design and mechanism of infrared grills. It is apparent in the second category described as the TEC radiant glass panel system.
This infrared grilling system is made of a heavy-duty steel burner, grilling tray on top, and a radiant glass panel. It generates heat that is as low as 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered the most economical temperature among the other types of grills today. It cooks food slowly and evenly, thanks to the no flare-up design.
The infrared grills are expensive. Of course, when you purchase one, you choose the product that is reliable and will last for years. Aside from the category, there are several factors to consider when buying an infrared grill. Among them are the following:
- The number of burners
- Temperature range and regulator
- Other features
2. Infrared Grill Pros and Cons
Restaurants use the infrared grill. Since not all households own one, infrared cooking is probably the secret to achieve steaks with deep, rich flavor. You probably want to purchase an infrared grill now, but did you know that it’s a lot more expensive than a gas grill?
Here are the other reasons why you would want an infrared grill, as well as the reasons why you would not want one.
- Cooks faster than other types of grills
- Retains the moisture in food
- Self-cleaning function
- Vaporizes the drippings, so it prevents flare-ups
- The heat is not affected by wind
- Great for outdoor and indoor use
- Very expensive
- Not suitable for low heat cooking (TEC radiant glass panel is an exception)
Is Infrared Grill Better Than Gas?
The gas grill heats the air around the grilling plate. The hot circulating air cooks the food but also dries it out. On the contrary, the infrared grill uses electric or gas element to radiate heat to the surface where the food is placed. The far infrared waves are emitted from the surface. The heat transferred directly to the food cooks the food. In the infrared technology, less air is circulated the grilling area keeping the moisture in.
If you want a faster way of roasting with no flare-ups, the infrared grill is the better option. For a more authentic outdoor experience and aromatic flavor, the gas grill is still the way to go. Having described the main difference between infrared and gas grill, is infrared grill better?
When it comes to cooking steak and retaining the moisture of the food, the infrared grill is better. There are other factors to consider and the decision depends on your preferences. Just like any other product, the infrared grill is not perfect. It has some minor drawbacks too.
The Final Say
Make grilling a fun way to cook food outdoors. You can do it by using the right kind of grill that is fast, convenient, and safe. Both infrared grill and gas grill have these qualities. But which one is better? With the above-mentioned pros and cons of each type of grill, you can now make an educated decision. The choice lies in how you would want to cook your food and the quality of meat you want to achieve.
Gas grills are the cheaper alternative to electric grills and infrared burners. Historically, they also last for longer years. Although infrared burners come at a high price, more manufacturers are innovating cheaper models. Still, you need to be aware of imitations and quality.
Regardless of the type of grill you choose, safety precautions should always be observed. You can’t enjoy your sumptuous steak and BBQ when the accident happens.
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.