Holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics, loves traveling and learning new languages. Fluent in Spanish, is learning French and Czech at the moment. Enjoys exploring national cuisines every time he visits new countries.
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous online and offline grilling masterclasses runs his own BBQ accessories shop.
Last updated: August 23, 2021
LilGrill is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Nobody knows precisely when and where grills were invented. Anyways, these appliances have seen a massive degree of evolution since then, and it isn’t surprising that more people keep joining the BBQ bandwagon. If you’re a BBQ enthusiast, it’s high time you moved away from the primitive charcoal grill and started using the newer and more modern infrared grill. Apart from being much easier to set up and use, the best infrared grill offers much better performance than traditional grills while helping you to save on fuel. Not only that, but an infrared grill also delivers more flavorful food, thanks to its radiant heat that provides an even temperature grilling surface.
Since the infrared technology is an innovation in the grill industry, however, buying an infrared grill is never an easy task, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. There’re many options to choose from, and if adequate care isn’t taken, you could possibly end up with a poor-performing unit that you may not even be able to use. With that in mind, we have scoured the entire grill market to assemble this guide, which comprises of the top nine infrared grills currently available out there. Some of the factors we considered for our compilation and that you might also need to consider when making your selection, include primary cooking area, availability of a warming rack, BTUs, and dimensions of each grill.
We have invested about 50 hours on research, reading customer reviews and technical specifications for several of the most popular infrared grills on the market. The result of that research is our compilation of the ten best infrared grills enumerated in the table below. As you read further, you will find our comprehensive reviews for the nine chosen infrared grills, before eventually landing in our buying guide. It contains all the useful tips you’ll ever need when shopping for the right product for your needs.
The Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro is one of the most unique-looking grills around, and that’s in no small thanks to its retro clam-shell design. Being an infrared grill, this appliance allows you not to fuss with charcoal or propane – just plug in and utilize a simple knob to control temperature. The cooking area of the grill measures 240 square inches, which makes it sufficiently large to handle hot dogs and burgers for your whole family and a couple of friends. Also, it features a useful warming rack above the primary grate, which enables you to cook multiple foods concurrently.
In addition, the grill comes with folding side shelves, which apart from serving as a prep space, also double as storage for your essential cooking items. The cooking grates are also porcelain-coated, which make them durable and easy to clean. The easy cleaning is even aided further by the removable grease-tray included. If you need an infrared grill that you can rely on, this model from Char-Broil is the obvious candidate. Its simple controls and compact size make it a perfect choice for most people.
Nonetheless, there are some small details that could have even been better. The most dramatic one is that the cord is too short, which means you’ll have to use it right beside a power outlet or purchase an extension cord. Apart from that, there aren’t many flaws in this incredible model from the leading manufacturer of infrared grills, Char-Broil. We have little doubt that this is the best infrared grill on the market.
Looking for a heavy-duty infrared grill that is capacious enough for having a huge BBQ party? Look no further than the Royal Gourmet Mirage 5-Burner Propane Gas Grill. Featuring a large primary cooking space that measures 530 square inches, this grill can easily fit 46 hot dogs at a time, making it an ideal choice for a large family and big get-togethers. The main grilling area is also supplemented by a 208-square-inch warming rack, which expands the total cooking area to 738 square inches. Indeed, this model right here is one of the first products you must consider when looking for something to cook for many mouths, perhaps during a large backyard party or a family reunion. Its high price is the only factor that may deter you.
Furthermore, the grill retains heat during cooking, thanks to its stainless steel lid with cast aluminum end cap. Certainly one of the most powerful grills on the market, this product features five burners, which produce 12,000 BTUs each. Apart from the primary burners, you will also find an infrared sear burner and a brass side burner which also product 12,000 BTUs each, making a total of 84,000 BTUs. Bear in mind, though, that the infrared technology is only restricted to the sear burner, which is where other models might edge this one.
For optimum oil flowing, it also comes with porcelain-enameled grates with slope design, which also helps to retain the natural flavor of the food. Besides, there is a steel cabinet that offers ample storage space for your cooking tools. If that is not enough, there is also an integrated side table that provides some hooks for extra storage. It doesn’t stop there – the grill is also equipped with four heavy-duty caster wheels for easy movability and a built-in thermometer for temperature controls.
What do we love it for?
Large grilling area
Easy temperature control
Wheels for portability
Slope design for optimum oil flowing and flavor retention
If you are looking for an infrared grill that offers a large amount of cooking space whilst being affordably priced, then the Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 Gas Grill might be a suitable choice. Featuring a primary cooking area of 450 square inches, a warming rack of 150 square inches, a lot of space for food prep on both sides, and a side burner with 10,000 BTUs, the power and convenience offered by this option cannot be quantified. It also sports a wheel-cart design which enables it to be easily moved around a yard or patio.
Primarily, the unit has three main burners that offer 8,000 BTUs each, and which are heated evenly by just a single ignition button. Apart from increasing the ease of use of this grill, it will also heat up all the food simultaneously. The cooking surface is porcelain-coated, which makes it very durable and easy to clean. Measuring 23.4 x 54.1 inches and weighing 91 pounds, however, this product is on the larger side and may not be suitable for on-the-go usage.
And while this model comes with three burners, there is a less expensive two-burner version on the market, which could be a great alternative provided you don’t find the weight and large footprint of this one convenient. As for the drawbacks, several buyers noted that the grates are not that easy to clean.
If huge charcoal grills aren’t your thing, we are confident that you will like this infrared grill from Char-Broil. The infrared cooking system built into the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill allows you to enjoy high temperature for food searing, no flare-ups, and evenly grilled meat that remains moist. Thanks to the unique design on this infrared grill, you can add some smoky flavor as well. All you need to do is directly add little wood chips on the grate and you are set.
Both the grill and the cooking grate are porcelain-coated, which makes this unit incredibly durable and allows it to weather different types of storms. Not only that, but it also has a 240 square-inch primary cooking area, which is decent enough for a small infrared grill. It’s important to note that this space fits about eleven burgers. The primary cooking area is complemented by a detachable warming rack that you can easily use indirectly for cooking as well. For portability, the unit comes with two large wheels which allow you to move the grill around. Although, there are no locking casters on the wheels to keep the unit in place, though the design of the rubberized base doesn’t require it.
Living in an apartment complex or a condo doesn’t mean you cannot relish some backyard BBQ. This infrared grill from Char-Broil is a quite basic unit that allows you to enjoy delectably grilled meals with your friends, family, or even neighbors without the mess of charcoal grills. Of course, nothing comes with a flaw, and the few drawbacks you might encounter with this grill include its high-maintenance grate and difficult-to-use igniter.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is a well-made portable grill that provides plenty of BTUs for high heat and improved cooking performance. This makes it a good choice for cooking burgers, dogs and steaks and you can get trendy with “infrared cooking” options. The lid locks in place for easy storage and three 1 lb propane tanks can be held in transit. One main drawback to this grill is that it’s ill-suited to lower and slower cooking styles. If you like to grill chicken slowly you will soon notice that the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is too hot. Even on the lower settings the heat will char the exterior of a chicken breast before the meat inside is cooked safely!
The output power of this grill is high due to the “infrared” capability that has become very popular in recent years. When you want to cook fast and you don’t mind smoke, they are a great option. The theory behind infrared cooking is that the juices are vaporized before they drip below the heat source and this improves the taste of the meat. There is some truth to this, but this feature does limit the flexibility of the grill when it comes to more delicate meats and fish. The control of the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is pretty narrow and the lid works well.
What stands out?
The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is a portable, sturdy and lightweight grill.
If you want to experience infrared cooking techniques this is a great option.
What cons did we manage to find?
If you want to cook white meat, fish or vegetables this grill is too hot.
With about 40 years of experience when it comes to manufacturing high-quality cookware, Magma Products is a company you just can’t doubt. One of their recent inventions, the Magma Products Newport 2 A10-918-2GS comes with an advanced design and the latest infrared technology. Not only that, but it is also produced using corrosion-resistant 18-9 marine-grade polished stainless steel, which allows it to stand up against the toughest of conditions and last for many years. To further back our claims about its superb quality, this grill has been designed without the sharp edges, and the new stylish round ones it features will cut on the odds of an accident.
Furthermore, the design features a reliable combustion system which helps keep the flame on regardless of the weather conditions. There are also reduced odds of heat discoloration and flare-ups, thanks to the fully double lower safety shell. The unit even comes with a hermetically sealed thermometer, which allows you to control its heat level effortlessly. Apart from that, the manufacturers have also integrated fold-away legs, which allow you to take the unit anywhere you go. As we mentioned earlier, this unit is packed with advanced features, and another one is the tempered glass viewing window, which enables you to keep an eye on the dish at all times.
Unfortunately, the grilling area is smaller than most people would have wanted. But even with the 162 square inches, it is capable of producing an intense amount of heat, which is in no small part to the infrared system. With this grill, you are guaranteed of even heat distribution as well. Remarkably, this model features multiple fuel systems – propane or CNG or LPG system – unlike most other models on our list. However, all the advanced features you will get to enjoy on this unit come at a price. While the grill is expensive, you are sure to get your money’s worth.
The Solaire SOL-EV17A is an epitome of a portable grill, and if portability is your primary concern, you can’t look further than this model. It has an extremely compact design and will only take up about 140 square inches of space in your abode. Despite the very small footprint though, it is still capable of fitting six pieces of burger which is quite impressive considering this was mainly designed to be small. And thanks to its infrared burner, this unit has an incredible heat control.
Being an American product, this grill is also very reliable, not like we were expecting any less though. The grates have a unique “V” design, which improves the flavor of the food significantly. At the same time, there are no risks of flare-ups, so you can rest easy knowing you can safely use your grill without any accidents. And this grill is also exceptional when it comes to durability, which is understandable since it was built with ceramic and stainless steel. Since you don’t have to worry about break or rust from regular cleaning, you can trust the unit to serve you for many years.
Weighing in at only 15 pounds, this unit is also outstandingly lightweight. Its lightweight design means you can move it wherever you want comfortably, making it suitable for women and teenagers as well. The only flaw we could attribute to this grill is its unattractive design. While that may not seem any detrimental to most people, some buyers actually care about aesthetics. It’s perfect for indoors usage though, and that alone might be enough.
Simple Living Products is one of the leading companies when it comes to infrared grills, and the Simple Living Products Advanced Indoor Smokeless BBQ Grill is yet another excellent offering from the company. With its capability to quickly heat up within three minutes, this lightweight infrared grill from Simple Living Products will maintain a constant temperature of 446 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the cooking area. Also, this will effortlessly grill a wide range of foods adding more flavor and juice to whatever you’re cooking.
Besides, this is almost a smoke-free grill, and the infrared technology it incorporates means it doesn’t use charcoal or gas. It is ideal for both outdoor and indoor use and is perfect or all kinds of weather. Furthermore, the grill comes with a removable stainless grease collector tray. Thankfully, the grease-tray can be washed by hand or by the dishwasher, which eliminates the stress usually involved in this process.
Like we also mentioned earlier, there is no unpleasant smoke with this unit since it is not a charcoal grill. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that the smoke-free operation won’t reduce the flavor of your food in any way. However, some users complained about the grill being insufficiently hot, so you might want to keep that in mind. But it should still be hot enough to grill most of your foods.
While Kushi is not one of the household names in the grill industry in any measure, it’s safe to say that they are on the right path to the top with high-quality products like the Kushi Infrared Smokeless Indoor Grill. Being an infrared grill, all the mess and inconvenience you used to encounter with charcoal and gas grills are now issues of the past. This unit helps to cook your food perfectly without creating any smoke or mess, making it suitable for people living in a condo or an apartment.
Another excellent thing about this product is its unique design, which allows it to keep up a consistent temperature of up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit during the grilling process. Also, this grill heats up very quickly and is therefore ideal for a wide range of items. It guarantees to deliver to you a crispy outer-shell, tender, and juicy meat. And you don’t even need to be worried about cleaning – every part of this unit is removable so that you can easily hand-clean them or even wash them in a dishwasher. However, you might still have to put a little effort since the surface isn’t designed to be non-stick. It’s usually a tricky chore scraping off food stuck to it.
But that is one of the little prices you have to pay for buying such an affordable product. While it is the least expensive model on this list, it delivers much more than what you pay for. Additionally, it meets ETL standards, making it a very safe product to use.
What makes it stand out?
Maintains consistent temperature
Cooks food perfectly
Smokeless and meets ETL standards
Heats up quickly
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Difficult to clean
Things to Consider
While finding a quality infrared grill is a quite exciting endeavor, it is still very challenging. With the market packed with many models, choosing the ideal one for your unique needs may be hard. That is why this comprehensive guide was created to help buyers narrow down their options.
How do infrared grills work?
Cooking with the aid of infrared heat isn’t really anything new. Albeit unknowingly, people have been making use of infrared to cook different dishes through gas and charcoal grills. As the temperature of the grill increases, it creates a particular degree of infrared heat. The traditional charcoal grills, for instance, effortlessly reach temperatures of about 700 degrees Fahrenheit whilst gas grills are capable of reaching about 750 degrees Fahrenheit. An infrared grill, however, reaches 900 degrees Fahrenheit on an average. Keep in mind that is only the average temperature that can be reached by infrared grills as some models are capable of achieving up to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the same level of temperature needed to melt down stones at the core of the earth.
Gas and charcoal grills use the convection method to cook food, which involves the constant heating of the rising surrounding air that circulates around the meal by the frames, thereby cooking it during that process. The regular air movement, unfortunately, is capable of causing the drying out of the food. Contrastingly, there is nothing of such as far as infrared grills are concerned – no contact occurs directly between the food and hot hair. The fundamental principle by which infrared grills work is heating up of the hard surface which absorbs energy and heat from the grill’s burner. Rather than radiating hot air, the hard surface (Special Emitter) directly radiates intense heat to the meal on the cooking grate again. And unlike gas and charcoal grills, air circulation is reduced to the minimum when it comes to infrared grills, and your foods, therefore, are able to maintain their moistness.
Advantages over other types
Quick heating up
Infrared grills typically heat up much faster (within three minutes). Averaging around 900 degrees Fahrenheit, infrared grills also generate a higher temperature when compared to gas and charcoal grills, which significantly reduces your cooking time. This implies that there is no need for you to stay for long around the grill and its heat to obtain a delectably cooked food. With an infrared grill, you can choose to grill every day rather than weekends only.
Even though infrared models pre-heat quickly and are capable of reaching extremely high temperatures, they don’t utilize as much fuel as other grill types. If you pit an infrared gas grill and a traditional gas grill against each other, the infrared model will reach a higher temperature faster while expending less fuel.
Of course, infrared grills add juicer juice to your food, and that isn’t far-fetched. There is usually less dry air circulating around when using an infrared grill, so your food is able to retain more moisture, and your steak is, therefore, juicer when compared to a charcoal or gas grill.
Better flavor and fewer flare-ups
Infrared grills also add better flavor to the food. Apart from being able to sear your food quickly, any drippings from your marinade or meat fall on the plate directly vaporize, returning to your meat. In addition, infrared grills are also safer to use since you don’t need to worry about flare-ups most times, which makes them a great choice for a boat grill.
Even distribution of heat
An infrared grill’s heating element is usually put above the plate directly, so there are no cold or hot spots along the grilling surface. That is, a gas grill gives you more even heat distribution, which leads to more consistent outcomes.
Most infrared grills automatically clean themselves. When you turn the grill up to a high temperature, all the food particles and remnants stuck on the surface will be burnt off and you can easily utilize a brush to remove the dogged ones that refuse to burn off.
Features to consider while choosing an infrared grill
While infrared technology has become more easily-reached than it has ever been, you must keep in mind that all infrared grills aren’t created equal. While each grill we listed in this guide is worth purchasing, based on your own unique needs and requirements, some models may be more suitable for you than others.
Primary cooking area
The primary cooking area is one of the most critical factors you must think about when buying any grill. The number of individuals for whom you will be cooking and the purposes for which you are purchasing a grill in the first place will play a big role here.
For example, if you are cooking for a family with only six members, a model with a grilling space of around 250 to 300 square inches will be sufficient. But you might have to look at larger models like the Royal Gourmet Mirage 5-Burner Propane Gas Grill with at least 550 square inches if you intend to be hosting BBQ parties and events.
Of course, not every grill comes with a warming rack, but it’s always great if you could buy a unit with one. Most times, the warming rack only supplements the primary cooking area and can’t serve as the area for the main cooking.
The best IR grills provide an extensive variety of temperatures. While their grates sear food at 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit or thereabout, they are also capable of cooking at lower temperatures. An infrared grill with extensive capabilities like that is very useful as it can not only sear steaks but also cook vegetables and fish, which don’t do well against very high temperatures. Only a couple of infrared grills are capable of such, however.
Number of burners
Often thought as of a standard among grilling enthusiasts and professionals, any infrared grill worthy of any respect must be equipped with two burners at least. The primary reason most enthusiasts don’t consider single-burner models is because infrared cooking heavily relies on the ability of a grill to distribute heat evenly. There are many models of gas-powered grills that utilize a single burner only, but you must remember that they are engineered for convection cooking purely, which will work well with such a simple set up.
Another vital factor you need to look at is the material with which the cooking surface is made. The cooking surface, of course, takes a lot of heat, which means it has to be durable enough to stand the test of time.
Stainless steel is often the most preferred material as it is usually durable enough to take whatever is thrown at it. Avoid aluminum materials by all means as they are generally very lightweight and not able to stand up against severe heat.
Infrared grills don’t really require as much BTU output as traditional gas and charcoal grills. The infrared cooking system generates an intense heat that is evenly distributed over the grates. This heat generated is efficiently and quickly transferred to your food directly. Quickly searing food and retaining juices and flavors, these grills expend less fuel. When buying an infrared grill, you are recommended to be looking at a model with at least 8,000 BTUs.
The grill’s size is the most important consideration for several prospective buyers – regardless of how good the grill is, buying it has no point whatsoever if it won’t fit in your available space. And even if it fits, you shouldn’t buy a giant grill if you often cook for not more than three people. Apart from consuming more space, larger grills take a longer time to preheat as well. Also, moving a heavy grill or storing it away during the wintertime will be much more difficult.
Virtually every infrared grill is engineered to work with either natural or propane gas, which means you will have either line hookups or tanks to keep in mind. Several high-quality infrared grills work upon the basics of gas grills – a durable body that will be put on either a steady surface or an inbuilt stand or caster wheels. If you don’t like grilling outside at all times or you like being able to reorganize your cooking setup, look for freestanding models or those that are totally portable. The Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is the best portable infrared grill on our list.
The weight is also as important as both size and portability. While most infrared grills are known for their heavy construction, there are still some models like the Kushi Infrared Smokeless Indoor Grill that weigh less than ten pounds. If you are likely to be moving your grill around a lot, we recommend looking at the lightweight models.
The best products usually feature longer warranty periods. Of course, a more extended warranty means the company is convinced of delivering exactly what it promises, and you can’t really complain about that. Some IR grills have different warranty terms for various parts. Notwithstanding, your ideal grilling machine ought to be backed by good warranty terms for adequate protection in case of defects.
Most times, the extra features don’t have any direct effect on your cooking, but they just bump up your level of convenience. That’s why you might want to look at features such as a temperature gauge which offers you more control on the grill’s temperature. Also, you may want to know whether the grill is easy to assemble or not.
How to maintain your infrared grill
Like traditional charcoal and gas grills, your infrared appliance has to be preheated before grilling. It makes sure that the unit will be expanded and sterilized. And your food won’t stick to the unit when cooking. On average, it takes around five minutes for the grill to be heated.
You need to reduce the temperature when preparing vegetables and protein foods. Typically, infrared grills usually offer high temperature all through the grilling process. So, basically, cooking on infrared grills takes a shorter time when compared to cooking on traditional gas and charcoal grills.
Except you are very familiar with the grilling time on an IR grill, we recommend equipping your grill with a thermometer to ensure precise internal temperature.
We recommend you to use the grill at the maximum temperature level. You should decrease around thirty percent of the set temperature when cooking steaks. Meanwhile, your foods aren’t affected when you raise the temperature.
Since infrared grills are usually smokeless, all infrared grills can be used indoors, should you prefer indoor grilling to outdoor grilling. Simply put, all of the models featured in this guide (apart from the Royal Gourmet Mirage 5-Burner Propane Gas Grill whose sear burner is infrared only) can be used indoors.
Infrared grills have a tendency of being costlier than regular gas grills due to their high performance and the fact that they are produced using high-quality materials.
Due to the extremely high temperatures at which they run, you can easily burn your food if you aren’t paying attention. You will definitely get used to it after some time and a couple of practice runs though.
Some infrared grills will just be excessively hot for some particular foods. Sometimes, fish and vegetables require lower temperatures, and if your grill lacks a wide range of temperature, you might be unable to cook them simultaneously.
Yes, it is recommended to look for a two-burner model at the very least as multiple burners ensure that heat is distributed evenly.
Gas and charcoal grills are rapidly turning obsolete in recent years, thanks to the rise of infrared technology, an invention at which Char-Broil are masters. Unsurprisingly, our pick for the best infrared grill is the Char-Broil TRU Infrared Electric Patio Bistro, thanks to its wide range of great features. Functional, durable, compact, and easy to use, you will struggle to find a better option than this grill.
Our second best grill is the Royal Gourmet Mirage 5-Burner Propane Gas Grill, a unit that packs five powerful burners without costing excessively. Apart from packing a lot of power, this excellent product from Royal Gourmet also has the largest cooking area on this list, making it perfect for BBQ parties and get-togethers.
Our last pick is another product from Char-Broil, the Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 Gas Grill. Featuring a myriad of features which include an inbuilt temperature gauge, three powerful burners, and an electronic ignition button, it is hard to argue against this inclusion.