Which Is Better- Gas, Charcoal Or The New Infrared Grills?

photo credit:wendy cassidy

BBQ enthusiasts have long debated which is better, the gas grill or the charcoal grill? Well, soon they will have to add the infrared grill to the debate.  

Infrared technology was invented by Bill Best for the auto industry in the 1960’s to help paint dry faster. Eventually Best found other uses for the technology within the industry. 

Then in the early 1980’s Best took one of the ceramic infrared burners and installed it in his gas grill, creating the first infrared grill. He realized that radiant heat was a perfect way to cook food. Over the next thirty years top chefs swore by the method and slowly the concept reached the masses. 

The advantages of the infrared grill are many. To begin with it cooks at a higher, more even temperature allowing for a better sear and locking in natural juices and flavors.  The food is said to taste much better than either the gas or the charcoal grills. Infrared grills also heat up much faster, shortening both your prep time and cook time.  

A big plus is that it costs less to run it. It takes less fuel, is easier to clean and will last much longer. It may have a steeper upfront cost, but you won’t be replacing costly parts each year as you do with a gas grill. 

Until recently only the extremely affluent have been able to afford it, with prices hovering around the $5,000 mark. As the prices of the infrared grills come down, the die-hard kings of the grill will eventually move away from cooking with gas. 

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