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The Best Infrared Grills of 2020

Infrared grilling is something new and completely different from traditional cooking with standard grill. 

How exactly does it work and what are the pros and cons of an infrared grill? You will find detailed answers to those questions in the second part of this guide.

These are expensive grills so before you spend a large amount of cash on buying a new infrared grill it’s a good idea to find out what is worth your money.

I took many criteria into account and tried to find something in different price ranges.

Based on my research, here are the best infrared grills you can buy:

  1. Best Overall: Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325
  2. Best Quality & Versatility The Char-Broil The Big Easy
  3. Best Budget Pick: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Grill
  4. Best Portable Pick: Char-Broil Grill2Go X200
  5. Best Charcoal Option: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman

Comparison Table

MODEL

BURNERS

Main Cooking Space

PRICE

Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325

Best Overall

Char-Broil Signature 325

2

325 sq. in.

har-Broil The Big Easy Grill & Smoker

Runner-up

Char-Broil The Big Easy

2

180 sq. in.

Budget Pick

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio

1

320 sq. in.

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 TRU-Infrared

Portable Pick

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200

1

200 sq. in.

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman

N/A

360 sq. in.

The Best Infrared Grills for 2020

1. Best Overall Char-Broil Signature 325

I have to undoubtedly say that the king among the infrared grills is the Char-Broil company. 

Their best model in terms of quality, efficiency and of course the price to value ratio is Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 325.

A small infrared grill will work great in many places, especially on a small patio or backyard. It is also a good choice for a smaller number of people who don’t cook much food.

Surefire Electronic Ignition provides a quick and reliable startup of the burners.

The TRU-Infrared technology is characterized by heating up very fast and evenly as well as the ability to reach high temperatures in a very short time.

Let me mention other less significant things. The assembly instructions are clear and simple ( short description + pictures ), it shouldn’t take too much time ( 2-3 hours ).

The grill is equipped with foldable side shelves, durable porcelain-coated cast Iron grates and an enclosed storage cabinet where you can keep the gas tank and other accessories like the brush for cleaning the grates

On the grill’s lid, on the other hand, you will find a built-in thermometer, sadly it doesn’t work very well when it comes to the TRU-Infrared technology which is why I suggest buying a high quality grill thermometer.

PROS

  • Good Quality
  • Great Size

CONS

  • For some people too small

What about the quality of workmanship? It is certainly a solid structure mostly made of stainless steel.

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared 325 is undoubtedly a great Infrared grill for this kind of money.

It really heats up very fast and reaches high temperatures in just 10 minutes. The grill’s size is perfect for small spaces or for a smaller number of people ( perfect for two people ).

2. Runner-up Char-Broil The Big Easy

Char-Broil The Big Easy lets you smoke, roast and grill which is three in one. It's obviously different from a traditional grill ( it looks more like a bbq smoker ). 

Sadly it isn’t a big smoker, but I’d like to focus on its versatility and quality of workmanship.

It is a gas powered grill, between the external and internal wall of the grill there’s a burner that heats up the internal wall, which in turn emits heat and cooks the food inside (TRU-infrared technology ).

One advantage here is that hot air responsible for making food dry leaves through the upper chamber, leaving your food wet. 

Another advantage is pretty much completely eliminating flare-ups.

TRU-infrared technology is also characterized by heating up evenly, there are no cold or very hot areas here. A huge advantage of this technology is heating up very fast and the ability to reach high temperatures.

Inside you will find enough space to fit a 25-lb turkey. The chamber is equipped with a special rotating basket that will firmly keep your food in its place.

If you want to significantly improve the quality of your food, on the other hand, there’s a smoker box on the bottom. All you have to do is put wood chips to start producing characteristic smoke that will give your food an incredible flavor.

I almost forgot about an important feature which is the ability to cook like on a regular grill.

If you wish to grill a steak, a hamburger, wieners or chicken wings, then there’s a place on the top of the grill for special grilling grates.

When it comes to the grates grilling feature, my only real complaint is a slightly small cooking area compared to other full-size grills.

PROS

  • Good Price
  • Great Quality & Performance
  • Smoker Box

CONS

  • Not a typical real smoker or grill
  • Small Cooking space

After a longer consideration I have to say that it’s a great device that kind of reminds me of a hybrid. Char-Broil The Big Easy is in my view a unique device that was not made to replace your charcoal or gas grill.

A very versatile, convenient and efficient device that allows to prepare very tasty food. It is easy to use and heats up very fast, if you’re looking for something different from a standard smoker or grill then think about buying the versatile Char-Broil The Big Easy.

Let me also say a word about the quality of workmanship, which is very high level. I can say in full honesty that it’s a great versatile grill with the TRU-infrared technology that is worth your money.

3. Best Budget Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio

This time I present an infrared grill for those with a limited budget or those who simply need a compact grill.

This model is perfect for small spaces such as a patio or balcony. I’d like to start by pointing out that it’s a cooking system with the gas TRU-Infrared technology.

I recommend Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Grill for 1-3 people who don’t need a large cooking area. 

Plenty of people only cook for themselves or maybe one more person, it’s pointless for this kind of people to spend a lot of money on a big infrared grill.

The whole area is heated by a single burner using the TRU-Infrared technology.

Those who have never cooked on a grill like that before might think that it’s not enough. But the reality is completely different, an infrared grill with even just one burner heats up very fast, evenly and reaches high temperatures.

Of course, the grill is equipped with an electronic ignition, which allows to start cooking fast and securely.

One big advantage of the Char-Broil patio grill is its mobility and size. 

PROS

  • Great size for patio
  • Price
  • Mobility & Efficiency

CONS

  • Low quality grates
  • Not a typical full-sized grill
  • Many plastic elements

It is perfect for places with limited area, it doesn’t take much space, it’s pretty lightweight compared to full-size grills and it comes with two wheels that make it possible to easily shift places.

Unfortunately the owners of this model mention quite often about the problem of peeling paint and poor quality of less significant plastic elements.

Sadly, all of that is a result of a pretty low price of this product. I think that if all the tiny elements and the paint job had been better taken care off, this grill would have been truly phenomenal.

4. Best Portable Char-Broil Grill2Go X200

Of course, my list wouldn’t be complete without something for those who value mobility, small weight and efficiency.

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is an Infrared grill that you can bring along anywhere you want. 

It was designed for those who wish to cook outside home when camping, on a trip, at a park or anywhere else.

You get 200 square inches of the main cooking area here.

The lid is equipped with double stainless steel latches for problem-free transporting of the grill.

One very good advantage is the grill heating up very fast, if you wish to cook your food fast, this grill makes it possible. Within few minutes it heats up to a high enough temperature that makes fast cooking possible.

Solid, durable and efficient – It’s also a good grill for those who don’t need a big full-size grill in their backyard. If you only cook for yourself or for two people, such small grill will be enough for you.

One small downside might be the fact that on low settings it burns too hot.

PROS

  • Mobility
  • Price
  • Cooking Space

CONS

  • Heat source too near the grill grates
  • Too hot on low settings

The temperature being too high might cause problems when cooking thick slabs of meat. When it comes to cooking hamburgers, steaks, cutlets, chicken or vegetables, however, it’s a perfect grill.

Its biggest advantage is how fast it heats up.

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 makes it possible to start cooking within few minutes, it is great for fast cooking.

5. Best Charcoal Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman is undoubtedly one of the best option in this category. 

Large cooking area, great grates, high quality of workmanship and most important, affordable price.

Great Tru-Infrared grates (porcelain-coated) were designed to hold the food on top and to prevent flare-ups. Grates with such design heat up evenly, preventing formation of cold and hot areas.

The charcoal is located close to the grates so that you need definitely less charcoal for cooking than in other standard grills.

When it comes to the cooking area, it is truly large, you get 360 square inches of space which is a lot of space for food.

A very pleasant solution when it comes to the grill’s lid that is not present in most competitive grills. Hinged Lid for easier and more pleasant use of the grill, just lift the lid supported by hinges and cook food with both your hands instead of putting the lid on the ground or hanging it somewhere around.

A very interesting looking thing is the upper and lower air vents, they were designed definitely differently from other competitive grills. 

Of course, one of the biggest problems of charcoal grill owners has also been solved, which is ash removal. There’s a replaceable ash tray under the grill that can be easily removed at any moment and emptied of the ash, then put back in its place.

PROS

  • Great Quality
  • Price
  • Many Air Vents

CONS

  • Heat source near the grill grates

The structure is solid and heavy, made of good quality materials. The assembly instructions are clear and simple, and the entire process doesn’t take much time and I doubt that anyone could have problems with this task.

If you’re looking for something different from a standard charcoal kettle grill then maybe it’s just the right choice for you.

 You get what you pay for which is a great high-quality charcoal Infrared grill for decent money.

Buyer's guide

What is an infrared grill ?

It’s a device that uses the TRU infrared technology as the source of heat. 

How exactly does it work?

For example, in a standard gas or charcoal grill the flame heats the grates directly. When it comes to the TRU infrared technology, on the other hand, there’s a special infrared element ( the plate ) between the grates and the source of heat ( charcoal, burners etc ) that retains natural heat and then emits it directly to your food.

It is worth noting that the special plate effectively prevents numerous flare-ups and eliminates the hot and cold areas on the grill grates ( it heats up evenly ).

This technology has plenty of upsides as well as few downsides, but more on that below.

What to look for in Infrared Grill

The best solution is to compare different grills in order to make sure that your new grill lives up to your expectations. If you don’t do that, it might turn out very fast that you have simply bought an infrared grill that was not worth your money.

Below you’ll find my tips on what to pay attention to before buying a new infrared grill. The tips below relate directly to the structure of a grill, your style of cooking and the place where you will cook the most.

  • The place where you’re going to cook – at first it’s good to start by analyzing our basic needs. Do you have a big backyard or patio, do you live in the city and have a small terrace, or maybe you’re going on a trip? The answers to those questions are very important, because they influence what type of grill you’re really going to need. The size matters a lot if you have a limited space in your backyard or you simply need to bring the grill along, like when going camping.
  • How many people are you going to cook for – Another important question, analyze how many people you have cooked for in the past. Do you have a big family and throw many family mini parties? Maybe there’s just the two of you and you only cook for yourselves? It’s worth thinking about because the bigger the grill the higher its price and the fuel consumption as well as the bigger the amount of time required to cook and then clean up afterwards.
  • The grill size – The size is closely related to the two paragraphs above. In terms of economy, there’s no point keeping a big infrared grill for just 1-2 people because you will never use its full potential. On top of that, the bigger the grill the higher the fuel consumption and more time is needed to clean up. Also, a bigger grill takes a lot of space in the backyard and is more difficult to move somewhere else.
  • The number of burners – Despite infrared grills being characterized by a short time of heating up to high temperatures, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the number of burners. Of course, my list of the best infrared grills includes models that have the right number of burners relative to the main cooking area. However, if you want to compare infrared grills on your own, like when at a store, make sure that a small grill has at least 2 burners, a mid-size one 2-3 burners and a big one 3+ burners. That way you’ll be sure that your grill will be sturdy and efficient so that it heats up the entire cooking area fast enough.
  • The quality – Sadly, the quality is tied very closely to your budget, a truly good quality infrared grill costs within the range of 300-500$+ depending on the size. Still, it’s a good idea to carefully check out more expensive infrared grill models, because plenty of manufacturers offer poor quality products at inflated prices.
  • The budget – The last, but also the most important factor when choosing a new infrared grill is obviously the budget. Actually, what you buy largely depends on it. If your budget is small then you can buy a cheaper, efficient infrared grill that will sadly only last for a few seasons. If your budget is big then I suggest buying something from the upper price range so that you can get satisfaction not only out of great efficiency but also the quality of workmanship of the entire structure.

If the grill that interests you matches at least some of what I wrote above, you’re on a good path to buy a product that you’ll be satisfied with. Of course, there’s plenty of other aspects you should pay attention to, but I picked the most important ones.

Why an infrared grill ?

why infrared grll
  • The convenience and time saving – Unlike gas grills, an infrared grill heats up definitely faster ( up to 5 minutes ). It also reaches much higher temperatures that allow to cook your food much faster. All of that means that you don’t have to trouble yourself with starting the grill and waiting a long time for it to reach the right temperature for cooking. I know perfectly well that it’s a perfect solution for those who, for example, come back home late and have to give up on cooking on the grill due to the time constraints.
  • Lower fuel consumption and higher temperatures – the tru-infrared technology is used in many different types of grills ( gas, charcoal, electric ) and in each of them, much lower fuel consumption compared to standard grills was proven. Another advantage of this technology is also the ability to reach much higher temperatures than standard grills and the much lower number of flare-ups.
  • Juicier food – The manufacturers assure that infrared grills heat up very fast, prevent flare-ups, hold the juices in the food and cook fast. The infrared heat holds the juices inside as it doesn’t violate the moisture barrier in the food.

What are the downsides?

  • No low temperatures – Undoubtedly, the speed of heating up to high temperatures is a great advantage if you want to cook food fast, but the downside of infrared grills is inability to hold low temperatures. In this situation, it is impossible to cook delicate things or very thick slabs of meat.
  • It requires some practice – At first there’s a huge chance that you will burn your food. Cooking at high temperatures requires some experience in order to prevent the food from getting burned or undercooked. At first it’s a good idea to observe the process of cooking very carefully, because even a short distraction might get your food overcooked.
  • High price – A good quality infrared grill will cost few hundred dollars. Compared to other grills it really is a lot. Of course, there are much cheaper models available, but you have to understand that it will only be an investment for few seasons.