Get the Perfect Sear, The Best Infrared Grills

Get the Perfect Sear, The Best Infrared Grills

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You can't mistake a perfectly seared piece of steak for anything else. Searing roasts can often make the difference between a flavorful but dry serving, and moist deliciousness.

Getting the perfect brown can make even boring cuts of meat interesting again.

We've now harnessed infrared heating to control and direct your grill’s energy. This latest innovation means higher temps, less heating time, and many other benefits.

But, most importantly, it’s simple to get a perfect sear every time.

But, as in most things, infrared technology by itself doesn’t always guarantee a good grill. You need a combination of quality parts, brilliant design, and functionality. That doesn’t come with every grill on offer. So, we’ve taken the time to find the best infrared grills on the market.

This article discusses the pros and cons of each of these grills, so you can be confident in your purchase. We'll cover everything you need to know before making an investment that should last for years.

It Just Works, The Best Infrared Grills for Amazing Cookouts

All these grills made our list for superior quality and durability. You may notice that some features are mentioned several times as we work through the pros and cons of each grill. Repeated features are some of the most important considerations in a grill. 

These are worth paying attention to since they are important in all grills, not just the ones on this list. 

1. Royal Gourmet Mirage Stainless Steel Infrared Grill 4-Burner

There are two versions of this grill on our list because it's worth looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Because of that, we're going to spend a little more time on this first grill. Later will focus on the differences between the two in the entry for the next version.

The 4 burner version of this grill gives you 4 stainless steel 12,000 BTU burners. You also get a powerful covered side burner geared toward sauces and other side dishes. The existence of the covered side burner expands the versatility of this grill a good bit.

If you want to good more than hardy meats, look for a grill with that added versatility.

Stainless steel works well with infrared technology. It’s easy to clean and maintain and doesn’t suffer from uneven temperature distribution.

Infrared helps with temperature distribution by itself. But, you still want a grill grate that holds and releases heat predictably.

One of the biggest downsides of a traditional grill is the tendency to develop hot and cold spots as you cook. Inexperienced grillers are likely to find burned meat in one section, and raw food in another.

The electric ignition system on the Mirage is nicely dependable. No more worries about using a long lighter. No more burning yourself when the gas is on too-high at ignition.

One feature that can be both a bonus and a con, are the fixed side tables. Folding tables are more convenient for storage and won't collect leaves and debris. But they can also become unstable over time.

With the fixed side tables on this grill, you’ll need to clean and maintain it more often. But, you can also count on them to hold your tools and cooking supplies. No more wobble and balancing acts.

Importantly, the Mirage also offers a closed cabinet for your propane tank. That will keep the area clean, protect the tank from wear and tear, and also reduces wind blow-through. Too much wind can reduce the heat in some grills, but it isn’t much of a concern with the Mirage line.

All in all, the 4-burner version of this grill (there are also 3, 5, and 6 burner versions) is a good option for family grillers. It's also great for anyone who likes to host small to medium-sized summer parties. It's fuel-efficient, delivers incredible heat, sears meat perfectly, and is long-lasting.

Like most infrared grills, it's not a great option if you prefer more delicate poultry and fish proteins. Or, if you prefer to use the grill for low and slow cooking and smoking. It can do those things, on its lowest settings, but that isn’t where infrared grills, like the Mirage, shine.

What We Liked:

  • ·Good size for most families and hosting small gatherings
  • Impressive heat
  • Good heat control
  • Heat is evenly distributed through the whole grill
  • Maintenance is reasonable and easy
  • Fully enclosed propane cabinet
  • Side burner for pot and pan cooking, very versatile

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Knobs are plastic
  • Side tables are completely fixed, no folding
  • Internal drip plates need occasional attention, can cause flares
  • We’re going to get a little more of the Mirage later on, but for now, let's move on.

2. Tec Sterling 44-Inch Freestanding Infrared Natural Gas Grill

The Tec Sterling Freestanding is a high-end grill designed for homes with a natural gas hookup. If you happen to have one, this is a grill that will likely last you a lifetime. It's a solid investment in your food and your home.

We chose to go with the freestanding grill since it has slightly lower install requirements than the built-in versions. But, their performance and general features are almost identical.

The Tec Sterling is one of the few infrared grills that can be easily used as a low-and-slow cooker and barbecuer. Its temperature range is 200-900 degrees F . 900 degrees is great for quickly searing hardy meats like steak that can be served still pink in the middle.

200 degrees is good for long cook times. Slightly higher cooking temperatures work well for delicate meats like fish and poultry.

The natural gas version of this grill does seem to be more readily available.

Unfortunately, propane is more accessible for many people.

If you have a natural gas hookup, that reversal is probably refreshing. But, for those of us who rely on propane for our grilling needs, it can be frustrating to find the right version.

The grill is also made almost entirely from stainless steel. It distributes heat evenly and well. It also contains heat well. You won’t be uncomfortable grilling at the highest temperatures as long as you can close the hood. Admittedly, you’ll probably only close the hood for a minute or two at those temperatures. You'll need to check food often at that heat so you don't accidentally overcook it. But, it's still a useful feature.

Its sleek design is also easy to maintain and attractive addition to your deck or patio. But, if you don’t like the appearance of modern appliances, it can appear a little industrial.

This grill is a good option if you’re willing to really invest in a grill to carry you through many years of regular use. If you have a natural gas hookup, you can even consider this grill a permanent addition to your home.

But, we do recommend it primarily to grilling lovers, since it is a premium product. 

What We Liked:

  • Wide temperature range
  • High-quality construction and materials
  • Easy to maintain, inside and out
  • Natural gas and propane versions available
  • 100% infrared, with good temperature control and adjustability
  • Comes with a 10-year warranty (bought through a licensed retailer)

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Significantly easier to find the natural gas version over the propane version.
  • Weighs over 300 lbs, need tools and assistance to place the grill. Don’t plan on moving it. 
  • Looks a little industrial to some users

3. Saber Grills Elite 3-Burner Infrared Grill

Another premium, stainless steel, infrared grill, the Elite is one of the more fuel-efficient offerings out there. Sensing a theme, yet? If you’re an eco-conscious grill lover, or simply want to save from money on propane, the Elite may be a good choice.

It’s also a good option if you like to grill outside of typical grill season. The lights help extend your cooking light well past sunset. When sunset starts creeping earlier in the day, you can still be outside grilling.

Or, if you're a bit of a night owl, this grill will let you safely grill at night, too.

That’s because the Elite has built-in halogen and LED lights in the hood. If natural lighting isn't available, this grill has you covered. This is only a small bonus when you consider that most grills are near an electric light source on a patio or deck.

You’ll have better-quality light, and won’t have to worry about your shadow making it hard to see what you’re cooking. But, this isn’t a make it or break it feature.

One more important feature is the built-in rotisserie rod. If you like rotisserie chicken or other roast-sized meats, grilling can open new flavors and new cooking styles. That adds a lot of variety to your meals.

That rotisserie rod also means that you need to have superior temperature control. You'll find yourself cooking low-and-slow more often. The Elite delivers in this count as well.

Low temperatures are usually a weakness in infrared grills, this is an exception. Temperature control is easy, and it doesn't tend to overheat the way many infrared grills do.

That said, the Elite can be prone to flare-ups and can be more challenging if you cook with fattier cuts of meat. Some roasts need special attention to make sure they aren't damaged by a flare.

If you would prefer to use natural gas, there is a conversion kit available. It's sold separate, but makes switching fuel sources easy. 

What We Liked:

  • Lit interior grill
  • Option to purchase a separate conversion kit for natural gas
  • Reasonable temperature control
  • Rotisserie rod makes it possible to slow-roast with your grill
  • Stainless steel offers good heat distribution and easy maintenance
  • Up to 30% more fuel-efficient than similar models
  • Lots of included accessories and built-in convenience features

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Prone to flare-ups

4. Char-Broil Signature Tru-Infrared 525

Char-Broil's Signature line offers premium quality grills for middle-class consumers. This is a good option if you're looking for a great grill that will last for years but aren't looking for a grill as home-improvement.

The 525 is also a little different from many of the grills on this list because it has a porcelain-coated grate. Porcelain coating is a little more delicate than stainless steel or cast iron grates. But, it is also superior in heat distribution.

Simply switch from steel grate brushes to nylon or silicon versions. Maintenance is the same. But if you don’t switch you will end upwith scratched coatings. Scratched ceramic tends to grab your food instead of providing a near-non-stick surface.

It does have a 13,000 BTU side burner for added versatility, along with powerful heat on the main grate. The electric starter has ignition points at every burner. That helps make sure you aren’t in trouble if one or two ignition points go out. The burners will all catch, every time, helping give you even more temperature control.

Char-Broil also offers a conversion kit to switch from a propane grill to a natural gas grill.

The large storage cabinet works to keep your fuel, and your tools, clean and debris free.

Overall, this is a good option for a versatile grill. It's an upgrade over many traditional propane grills. But it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other grills and isn’t well suited to roasting or other non-traditional uses of a grill. 

What We Liked:

  • 525 square inch cooking surface
  • Reasonable heat control, but still best for searing 
  • Porcelain coating offers superior temperature control
  • Good-sized stainless-steel storage cabinet
  • Lightweight for a grill of this size

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Slightly challenging to put together
  • Less well suited to delicate meat than competitors
  • Grate is vulnerable to rust if the porcelain coating is damaged

5. Napoleon Prestige Pro 500 Infrared Grill

The Napoleon Prestige Pro gives you a hint toward its design and quality in its name. Prestige. The Prestige Pro is one of the better-infrared grills out there, so, credit to its name.

This is one of the sleeker and more modern looking grills. Blue LED lights around the control knobs provide an also sci-fi look if aesthetic is important to you.

The LED lighting also makes the Prestige Pro, like the Elite, an easier grill to use in the dark. While the lights aren't in the hood, you'll still be able to see the burner controls more clearly. That means you'll have better control over your temperature.

The rolling lid is also incredibly convenient. Instead of fighting a heavy lid and wearing hinges, it’s easy to move up and down. Less of the weight rests on your arm, making quick opening and closing simpler. Quick lid movements also help maintain the internal temperature of the grill.

Plus, the Prestige Pro has a rear rotisserie rod. That gives you the option or taking advantage of slow-roasting larger cuts of meat. You can even make your own rotisserie chicken!

Additionally, it offers an infrared side burner. That means you get the versatility of both the rotisserie rod and a burner. That makes the Prestige Pro one of the most versatile cooking appliances out there.

Certainly, it’ll cut down on the number of other cooking utensils you need to create a full meal.

While we’ve talked about the temperature versatility of other grills on our list, the Premier Pro has a better temperature range, still. Its temperature range goes up to 1500 degrees.

Cooler temperatures are possible, though it can be difficult to maintain the low 200 degree temps other grills can match. Your minimum temperature will still handle some more delicate varieties of meat. You may not get true low-and-slow. But, you can still get a good medium between a brilliant sear and then medium heat for certain cuts of meat.

1500 degrees also gives steak lover's the opportunity to get a browned outside and a rare middle. High cooking temps are perfect for leaving the right amount of pink. It's worth experimenting with higher settings until you find the combination of temperature and time that works best for you.

The Premier Pro is also a little larger than most grills. It gives you 900 square inches of cooking surface. That's plenty for hosting even the largest parties.

Impress friends and family by serving grill barbecue, rotisserie chicken, and vegetable kebabs. You can even include homemade sauce.
All off the same grill.

The Premier Pro is one of the better options if you're willing to invest in your next grill. It's a highly versatile, durable, high-temp machine. You'll have plenty of cooking space, and many new preparation options. 

What We Liked:

  • 6 burners and lots of cooking space
  • Durable 9.5 mm stainless steel grate
  • Incredible temperature range
  • Good temperature control
  • Includes accessories and more cook surfaces for added versatility
  • Rear Rotisserie design doesn’t get in the way of other cooking

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Assembly instructions are unclear and difficult to follow

6. Royal Gourmet Mirage 6-Burner Grill

Okay, let's get back to the Mirage. We talked about the 4 burner version before, so anything we don’t mention here, that we already did, carries over. We’re going to focus on differences.

Many grills come in different burner counts, but, they usually have different names or only 2 or 3 options. That’s because a 6 burner grill is significantly different than a 4 burner grill. So, treating them as different models makes sense.

That said, this grill has the advantages of the 4 burners, but with more cooking area and correspondingly more fuel consumption. It's a good option if you have a large family, or like to hold gatherings of more than 10 people for grilling parties.

It also features two hoods and almost entirely separate sections. Both have their own thermometer, temperature control, and ease of use features. That's a huge advantage.

You can use the smaller section when prepping an intimate meal. Simply upgrade to the larger side when needed. Or, for large gatherings, choose one side as a vegetarian cook surface while you handle meat on the other side.

It’s also slightly larger, with more built-in storage, and greater overall stability.

We don’t recommend this for smaller families, because of the increased fuel consumption. But, if you need a lot of space, this version has enough advantages to make it a good large-scale grill. 

What We Liked:

  • Independently operated sections
  • More storage
  • More tool space and built-in storage and hanging hooks

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Larger Scale increases fuel consumption considerably

7. Solaire SOL-EV17A Portable Infrared Grill

In the name of versatility, it’s important that we include at least one portable or countertop option. While countertop grills have some notable problems, they’re also incredibly useful. Watch for bleeding heat, and a small cook space. Fortunately, this grill cuts down on those issues.

This portable grill works for indoor winter grilling, camping, family picnics, and more. It's also a good option as a backup for even cooking. Plus, the Solaire consumes less fuel than it's larger competitors.

You get 140 square inches of cooking space with this grill. That's enough to grill several sizeable chunks of meat at the same time but small enough not to get cumbersome in a kitchen or campsite.

The Solare also has a new grease trap design the reduces flare-ups while grilling. Since flares can be more of a safety hazard when you're grilling indoors or even camping, extra safety in that regard is incredibly important.

Even for its relatively compact size, the Solaire is also lightweight. Out of the box, this grill only weighs 15 lbs. It’s ready to use in 3 minutes and provides the kind of high heat and searing ability you expect from a full-size infrared grill.

If you want to convert this grill over to a natural gas grill, conversion kits are readily available.

What We Liked:

  • Very lightweight even for a portable grill
  • Provides high heat 
  • Minimized heat bleed for its size
  • Innovative flare-reduction system
  • Includes important safety features and ease of use qualities

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Requires a level, heat resistant, surface
    Frequently needs cleaning, especially the grease trap

Closing Thoughts

In this article, we've gone over the pros and cons of some of the best infrared grills on the market. Remember that these grills are best suited to hardier meats, think beef, venison, and pork. While some grills can make fish and other delicate meats work, an infrared grill may not be what you need if you prefer those proteins.

Even if none of these products are right for you, hopefully, you have a better idea of what you want to look for in a grill. We know you can find high-performance grills in a wide spectrum of features. Whether you swear by cast iron or porcelain coating, there's a grill for you.

At the end of the day, we’re confident in every grill on this list. These are the grills that will last through the decades and produce amazing food the entire time.

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