April 27, 2022 3 min read

Looking to buy a new grill but not sure what kind? You could choose a traditional BBQ grill such as (add 1-2 bbq grills, maybe weber?). But you may have heard whispers about infrared grills, and they’re saying some pretty positive things. As a griller, you of course want your food to taste incredible. So why not test both kinds of grills on their ability to create delicious food? Infrared versus traditional BBQ grills: What is the difference? Let’s find out.

What Are Infrared Grills?

We’ve all seen a traditional bbq grill before which heats the grill grate below to cook your food, but not everyone knows what an infrared grill is. An infrared grill is one that uses  direct infrared heat to cook your food. Infrared grills work by heating a ceramic tile which produces extremely high temperatures  up tp 1500 degrees.

Infrared vs.  Traditional BBQ Grills

The biggest difference between infrared and traditional BBQ Grill is that infrared grills get much hotter. Most grills max out at 500°F. Infrared grills can produce up to three times as much heat. This extra heat has a huge added benefit: it triggers the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction is actually a series of small reactions in which the proteins and sugars in a food combine to create amazing new aromas, colors, and flavors.

Another difference between infrared and traditional bbq grills is the cooking systems they use. Infrared grills, heat your food directlyTraiditonal grills heat the grill grate which heats the food. Therefore, infrared grills cook much more quickly than conventional grills. With infrared, most meats only need one to two minutes of cook time per side. Because the cook time is so short, infrared grills give meat a fantastic crust without overcooking the inside.

Finally, infrared grills don’t flare up like conventional grills often do, which translates into a more even distribution of heat and a more even cook.

What are the Benefits of Infrared?

  • Taste – achieve a maillard reaction and a much juicer result.
  • Time - cook a steak in as little as 3 minutes, lobster tails in as little as 5 minutes, salmon in 3 minutes.
  • Credibility - the world’s best steakhouses, including Morton’s, CUT432, and Ruth Chris use infrared technology to grill their steaks.

Overhead Infrared vs. Underneath Infrared

  • Underneath Infrared grills heat the grill grate which heats the food. This means the grill grate blocks the infrared heat from heating the food directly.
  • Overhead grills heat the food directly which not only cooks much faster, but leave the food much juicier.
  • With an underneath grill, meat juices drip onto the tile leaving it more susceptible to damage.
  • With an overhead grill, the meat juices drip into a drip tray below meaning less damage to your infrared tiles and more flavor for your food. By adding butter, spices, or oils to the drip tray, you enhance the flavor of your food by mixing it in the drip tray.

If you’re looking for an infrared grill that will help you step up your grilling game, check out the Schwank1500 Degree Portable Infrared Grill.. This overhead infrared grill reaches an astounding 1,500°F and cooks food directly, allowing juices to drop into a lower drip tray. You can then use these juices to imbue your food with extra flavor. With the Schwank Grill your steaks and other favorites will taste incredibly juicy .


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