Infrared grills cook food using intense, radiant heat provided by a special element located between the gas-fueled flame and the cooking surface. The grill's flame heats the infrared element, which then emits radiant energy to the cooking surface. These types of grills reportedly reach high cooking temperatures in minimal time.
While traditional gas grills rely on hot air for cooking food, infrared grills typically create limited hot air flow, and instead rely on intense searing heat that helps lock in flavor and moisture, according to Char-Broil. Proponents of this cooking method enjoy the infrared grill's ability to sear meat while minimizing flare-ups.
Using an infrared grill may require some getting used to, particularly since the cooking surface and quickly reach temperatures of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 10 minutes. This high intensity heat works well for solid, dense foods. However, timing delicate fish and vegetables may prove to be tricky, particularly for novices.
Because the higher, more intense heat of infrared grilling translates to reduced cooking times, it's important to monitor the food being cooked frequently to avoid overcooking or burning it. Grill manufacturers claim that infrared grills need approximately 30 percent less fuel than their traditional counterparts.