Infra-red BBBQ

Discussion in 'The VIP Lounge' started by capsuleri, May 28, 2007.

  1. capsuleri

    capsuleri Well-Known Member War Zone Member

    I saw this advert for infra-red BBQ - claims to cut cooking time significantly. Anyone has one? What's your experience? What are the pros and cons? Other than stainless steel construction what other features to look for? Size small to medium.

    Target purchase at the end of the season. Which brands to consider? Budget NMT $400 -600.

  2. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    I have a Napoleon that has 3 main burners (+ rotisserie). The left and center burner are regular burners, and the right burner is an infra-red burner. Also, when I was working in Chicago, the corp apartment I was in had two infra-red BBQs up on the roof.

    One thing they will provide you is the ability to have really really high heat from a gas grill. With a regular gas grill, you will never get the kind of heat this thing puts out, which means you can get rare steaks that are well charred on the outside. Great for searing, and those items that need high heat for a short period of time.

    On the flip side, the burners don't go down as low as a regular burner. So they aren't good for those really low-heat situations. However, ways around it include having a BBQ like mine, where you can chose to use one of the other burners, or shutting off one side of the grill, and having the infra-red burner on high.

    As far as the marketing claim to cut cooking time -- kinda misleading. It will certainly burn your food faster! :) But just like the stove, you don't generally run your burners at 100% all the time. One thing it will do is reduce the time it takes for your BBQ to pre-heat. I know with my two regular burners and my Infra-red burner running at 100% with the lid closed, I'll hit 500 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

  3. Max Yokell

    Max Yokell Well-Known Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    Like Graeme said, it isn't to really cook faster it is to get youmore of a steakhouse cook on a gas grill you take a nice steak and sear each side quickly on the inferred section then grill to desired wellness and you will get more of a juicy steakhouse taste. Everyone I have talked to about them have sworn by them.

    I will be getting one with inferred when the time comes.

  4. Mike Parent

    Mike Parent New Member

  5. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Actually, Charbroil looks to be licencing technology from TEC, which was the inventor of the infra red grill, and until 2000 the patent holder (hey, where's merc?). The infra red burner on my Napoleon, for example, is identical to the ones on the TEC grill I used in Chicago. I see on their sites (TEC's and Charbroil's) that they have updated the technology, so I'd say that Charbroil is using TEC's latest innovations, while others may not be.

    Regardless, I notice that it wasn't apparent in my post whether or not I like it. My opinion is this -- I will never buy a gas grill without it. You just cannot get a sear on a regular gas burner like you do with an infra-red burner (or something similar). I have been able to grill a thin skirt steak on it and get deep char marks on the outside, and still have it deep red on the inside. The only other way to get that is by using charcoal.

    One method that we figured out on the TEC grill was to run the right burner on max, and the left burner on min. We'd take a seasoned 1.25 to 1.5 inch steak (dry aged of course) and toss it on the right burner for 1 min to really sear, and then move it over to the left side (not flipping it, same side down) close the lid and wait 6 mins. Then we'd flip the meat over back onto the right side for 1 min, and then back to the left side (not flipping it), and close the lid for 4 mins. Then we open it up and poke the meat for a doneness test. Usually another minute or two and it'd be medium-rare (remember, this is a fairly thick steak).

    Oh man, let it rest and then tear into some beefy goodness! :)

  6. Chris Slade

    Chris Slade Active Member War Zone Member Top Poster

    sweet rare dry aged steak
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    Forgot to add -- on my current grill (which has regular burners on the left and center) I do the same except I have the left and center burner on medium.

  8. Mike Parent

    Mike Parent New Member

    I have a char-broil grill - too bad they wouldn't come out with a retrofit TEC burner for my bbq :)
  9. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    I haven't tried it myself, but from what I've heard, you can use some nice thick cast iron grates in a gas grill to get an excellent sear. Of course, you've gotta give the grill time to heat up the cast iron.

    Just justifying the lack of IR on my Weber. :)
  10. Alfer

    Alfer New Member

    The first thing we cooked on our new Brinkmann this past weekend was a pork tenderloin...I preheated (thermometer said 500 degrees) and set the meat on the top rack and man did that sucker sear it to a nice golden and bottom...then I backed the heat off some and ended up with a nice juicy yummy tenderloin with a side of rice etc... Mmmmm

  11. Mike Parent

    Mike Parent New Member

    I can testify to this: I have big cast iron grates on mine and when I preheat it I can get some pretty good grill marks...
  12. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    I agree as well. I mean, I know what searing is and you can do it on a gas grill. I'd bet at least 50% if not more don't wait for their grill to heat up properly before beginning to cook. I know I even don't do it right sometimes.
  13. Eric

    Eric Active Member

    Yeah, my Weber's got stainless grates. Been meaning to get some cast iron ones for searing duties. I've been happy with the searing from my grill so far though. Upgrade fever, I guess.
  14. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member War Zone Member

    It goes beyond grill marks, and searing from the actual grills. It's the consistent, constant heat across the gaps that I have yet to see on any regular gas grill, including my dad's Vermont Castings with cast iron grill. Sorry, but unless you've actually tried it, you don't know what you are missing.

    Example -- my idiot friend tried grilling on the TEC on high, without moving it over to a lower heat part of the grill. He had a steak that had a hard black "skin" on both sides, and was completely raw in the middle (barely warm). Not something you want, but it shows you what it can do.

  15. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Yes, what you're describing cannot be accomplished with a gas grill, but that's no searing. Searing is a defined culinary term and you can definitely sear a steak on a gas grill. Can you char it and have it be 40 degrees in the middle? Probably not.
  16. AndrewM

    AndrewM New Member

    Well...I guess, kinda-sorta. The best steaks I've ever had are seared/cooked at temps that one just can't hit at home, Ruth's Chris advertises searing at 1800 degrees (F!).

    I did give it a shot once at home, cast iron pan in the oven to heat it up to 500+, then put it on the burner (on high), throw the meat on, flip it a few minutes later, then slow cook it in the oven. Filled my apartment with enough smoke I couldn't see across the tiny kitchen. Damn if it wasn't a good way to cook a filet...except for all the water dripping out of my eyes from the thick smoke still in the house.
  17. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Interesting Andrew. Yeah, you're not going to hit 1800 at home. Anyone know what the actual temps on the Infrared burners are?
  18. David Head

    David Head New Member

    I recently picked up the Char-Broil TEC grill and love it! Graeme is right...unless you've actually tried it, you don't know what you are missing.

    It has a glass plate between the grate and the burner which distributes the heat, keeps the burners from getting clogged and prevents flare ups because there's no space between the plate and the grate (no oxygen circulating).

    The glass grate is also wonderful because you can pour sauces directly on the meat without it dripping inside the grill or put wood chips on the grate and they will immediately start to smoke.

    Char-Broil says the TEC burner should get up to 900 degrees, but I've only had it to 550.
  19. Shane

    Shane Active Member

    Looks like Lowe's is the only seller of the Char Broil TEC grills.

    Which model did you get David?
  20. David Head

    David Head New Member

    I did get mine at Lowe's. I got the three burner model, not the four burner model.

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