Infrared grilling is the latest craze among homeowners who love to have barbecued food. It is energy efficient and takes lesser time for cooking than other grilling alternatives. However, grilling with infrared heat is associated with certain drawbacks, like no option for low temperature setting and high cost.
As we all are aware, barbecuing is one of the most popular and healthy ways of cooking. It is evident from the fact that more than 75 percent of American households have grills. Grilling can be considered as the ideal method for preparing vegetables, while retaining their nutrients. Out of the different varieties of grills, the most common types are the traditional charcoal grill and gas grill. As the terms suggest, the former uses charcoal as a fuel source, while the latter works either with natural gas or propane.
With the advancement in technology, new methodologies with simple grilling tips have been introduced, such as infrared grills and portable grills. Infrared barbecue is becoming very popular, especially among chefs and cooks. The proponents of infrared grills are of the opinion that they are much cleaner, energy efficient, and quicker than other grills. Though there are several benefits of infrared grilling, it is associated with disadvantages too. Let’s take a look about infrared grills, and their pros and cons.
Infrared Grills: At a Glance
In an infrared grill, a ceramic top is installed as the cooking surface. While the basic fuel source for infrared grill and conventional gas grill is the same, the difference between them lies in the heat usage for cooking. In a gas grill, the cooking surface of the grill is heated by a direct flame; whereas in an infrared grill, the fuel source heats up the infrared element, which in turn transfers infrared radiation for cooking food. In simpler terms, other grills use hot air directly or indirectly to cook food, whereas infrared grills use infrared radiation to heat and cook the food directly. But it is important to understand infrared grilling pros and cons before purchasing the grills.
Pros of Infrared Grilling
As the market demand for infrared grills is on the rise, most manufacturers incorporate an infrared grilling feature in the traditional gas grill. The benefits of infrared grilling are as follows.
- Uniform heating surface: In infrared grilling, the heating mechanism is configured below the ceramic tile, which help in uniform distribution of heat.
- Less time for ignition: As infrared radiation is used to heat the food directly, the preheating time for infrared grilling is much lesser in comparison to other grill types.
- High temperature option: A major advantage of infrared grilling is the high temperature setting option, which can be as high as 700 °F. Hence, it is preferred for recipes that require elevated temperature for cooking.
- Energy efficiency: Less ignition time and faster cooking are the proofs for energy efficiency of infrared grilling over other options of grilling.
- Tasty and juicy food: Since infrared grilling requires less time for ignition and cooking, it aids in retaining the nutrients and fluid content of the food items. Many people opine that food cooked by means of infrared grilling are tastier than other ways of cooking.
Cons of Infrared Grilling
As mentioned earlier, there are certain drawbacks of infrared grilling, which should be taken into consideration. Following are some disadvantages of cooking food by infrared grilling.
- Temperature setting: With infrared grilling, you do not have option for low temperature regulation. Hence, due to the intensity of high heat, infrared grilling is not preferable for vegetable and fish recipes.
- Health risks: Because of the extremely high temperature used in infrared grilling, the chances of burning and charring food are always high. Burned food increases the risk of cancer and other health conditions.
- Less portable: Once installed, most of the infrared grill models are difficult to move, especially due to their bulky configuration. Though portable models are released in the market, they are not suitable for regular usage and barbecue parties.
- Expensive: As infrared grills are configured with sophisticated technology, they are more expensive than the conventional grill units.
This was a brief info about infrared grilling pros and cons. With practice and proper grilling techniques, you can definitely prepare delectable meals in infrared grills. On the concluding note, analyze the pros and cons of infrared grilling before considering it as an ideal method of cooking food. Also, make sure that you opt for grill models that provide a wider range of temperature settings.