The 6 Best Infrared Grills for 2020

best infrared grill

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You can’t walk down the aisle of your local grill shop without seeing the word “Infrared” plastered all over the place.

While some would claim this is a hyped-up feature to sell more grills, there’s no denying that infrared burners offer of blistering heat for searing and even heat distribution

But choosing the right infrared grill is no easy task. That’s due to the many different grill configurations and types of infrared technology available.

The short answer is that the Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill is the best infrared option for most people.

In this guide you’ll find the best infrared grill at a range of price points as well as lots more information to help decide if you need infrared on your grill.


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  • Cooking surface 450 + 150 sq in
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  • Cooking surface 500 + 175 sq in
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  • Cooking surface 200 sq in
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  • Cooking surface 320 sq in
  • Dimensions 24.4 x 25.2 x 38.2 in
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  • Cooking surface 500 sq in
  • Dimensions 66.3 x 26.5 x 50.1 in
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  • Cooking surface 180 sq in
  • Dimensions 23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2 in
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  • Cooking surface 180 sq in
  • Dimensions 23.1 x 23.4 x 36.2 in
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Our Top 6 Choices For The Best Infrared Grills For 2020

We’ve selected six of the best infrared gas grills on the market today. These are our favorite grills for intense searing across a range of price points.

1. Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Infrared technology used to be limited to the most expensive grills.

Char-Broil has been changing that perception with the Performance TRU-Infrared gas grills.

We think the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill is the best infrared grill for most people.

You get 450 square inches of primary cooking area with 24,000 BTU’s spread across three burners with a 10,000 BTU side burner to boot.

For warming, there is also a 150 square inch warming rack which is porcelain coated, and swings away when not in use.

The grill itself performs well, reaching high temperatures with ease. Searing is a pleasure, as the heat is distributed evenly across the cooking plate.

The consistently good results you can achieve on this grill really do rival some of the more expensive competitors we’ve seen.

The lid and firebox stand are also porcelain coated for increased durability.

What we like:

  • Value for money – Infrared technology with plenty of cooking space at an affordable price point.
  • Straightforward assembly – Other than the side burner, installation is straight forward. The the instructions appear a little unclear, but it is not impossible.
  • Easy Ignition – iThanks to the electronic ignition system which syncs all the burners to ensure they all light up at once.
  • Good mobility – This unit has a couple of large wheels, so you can move it around your patio with ease.
  • Use side burner for prep – The side burner has a fold down lid so that it can also be used as an additional space for food prep.

What we don’t like:

  • The infrared plates on this unit can be difficult to clean – There are small holes in the infrared plates which can get bits of food stuck in them. Not only does this contribute to the difficulty in cleaning the grates but may lead to the odd flare up as these bits of food catch alight.
  • Gas bottle placement – is stored under the unit where other manufacturers may take advantage of the space for shelves.

This really is a matter of preference and placing the gas bottle here makes the unit compact and easy to move around, however you might prefer some shelves under the grill to store bottles and utensils. The two side shelves give you plenty of room for food prep in our opinion.

There are also some natural gas conversion kits available if that is important to you, just double check it’s compatible with the year you end up buying.

Overall, this is a great infrared grill, at an affordable price point. Aside from the difficult to clean infrared grates, this grill is well worth some consideration.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

2. Saber Cast 500 32-Inch 3-Burner Infrared Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner

If you are looking for a high-end infrared gas grill, Saber are an excellent choice. They have developed their very own patented cooking system which uses infrared heat.

The Saber Cast 500 32 Inch 3 Burner hits the sweet spot for price and quality out of all the infrared options over $1,000 and earns our top spot for the best luxury infrared grill.

All the burners on the grill use this technology, and unlike most infrared grills that only have one temperature (blazing hot), Sabers patented technology allows for great temperature control.

Saber grills also offer fuel efficiency, the capacity for incredibly high temperatures, flare up reduction and the resilience and durability of stainless steel construction.

You get 500 square inches of primary grilling area plus an adjustable, enamel-coated 175 square inch warming rack can be folded down to keep foods warm or folded away to give you more space.

When it comes to durability, all burners, infrared emitters, side shelves, and cooking grates are made of 304 stainless steel.

This particular model also includes an 18,000 BTU side burner. The burner is dual control and offers you that extra spot on the grill for boiling, wok cooking or keeping food warm.

Like the Char-Broil reviewed above, the side burner has a lid so you can use it as a side shelf for extra prep area.

Manufacturer Specifications:

Main Cooking Area500 Sq. Inches
Secondary Grilling Area175 Sq. Inche warming rack
Burger Count20
WiFi/Bluetooth Enabled No
Burners3
BTUs24,000
Exterior Material help 304 Stainless Steel
Weight216 lbs
Dimensions56.5W, 25″D, 48.4H
PriceCheck latest price

The Saber is very efficient, with the manufacturer claiming it will use up to 30% less propane than other propane grills. This unit can also easily be converted to natural gas, with a conversion kit available.

The unit also comes with two halogen lights positioned inside the grill. This is ideal if you place your grill outside in an area with low lighting – you can still cook at night without needing to rig up an elaborate lighting system.

What we like:

  • Excellent build quality – Built from 304 stainless steel, this is a heavy, substantial grill that was built without cutting corners. There are no nuts or washers to rust because Saber has installed high quality rivets into each component which provides better engagement. This makes the grill nice and stable.
  • No flare-ups – The cooking grate and flame tamer design help to prevent flare-ups from overcooking your steak.
  • Straight-forward assembly – Just because the unit is quality, it does not mean it is complicated. Most people will find it quick and easy to assemble.
  • Simple clean up – Cleaning is not too much or an arduous task with these grills. They will clean up well with a grill brush or similar.

What we don’t like:

  • The thermometer isn’t great -This is standard on just about any grill, no matter how much you spend. In the case of the Saber, they are inaccurate, small and positioned in a spot that makes them hard to read.
  • The grill can get smoky – This is the case with most infrared grills. This is the trade-off for the lack of flare-ups, however.

If you like the sound of this grill but you want to save a little money, you can opt for powder-coated steel instead of stainless steel and save $300.

And if budget isn’t a concern, you could opt for the Saber Elite although the price makes our eyes water.

Because infrared grilling is a little different from normal convection cooking, there might be a slight learning curve for the first couple of times you use this grill. However, the ease and speed at which you can cook with one of these units is well worth the adjustment.

Get the latest price from BBQGuys.com

3. Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill

Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Portable TRU-Infrared Liquid Propane Gas Grill

If you are looking for a portable infrared propane gas grill, the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 Infrared grill is the perfect size grill for a motorhome, a boat, or your next camping trip. The firebox is cast aluminum and can be latched shut for travel.

Just because this unit is small and only weighs 20 pounds, do not think it is flimsy. It is built for life on the road and all the bumps and bruises that go along with it.

Similarly, it’s small size does not mean it cannot pack a punch temperature wise.

It will get just as hot as the big boys, in fact, the intense heat produced by this little unit needs some reigning in – but we have addressed this issue further down in this section.

What we like:

  • Great portable option – Perfect size for those who want to take their grill on the road.
  • Solid construction for the price – Cast aluminum firebox and lid with stainless steel latches mean this grill should be good for many camping seasons.
  • Heats up super-fast, and can sear like a full size grill – Some portable grills struggle to get a good sear, that’s not the case with the Char-Broil.

What we don’t like:

  • Runs hot – Sounds like a good thing, but without a regulator, keeping the temperature down when cooking pork or chicken is near impossible. With the addition of a valve such as the ‘Bayou classic Control”, you should be able to stay at temps around the 300-400°F mark and cook chicken with no problems.
  • Requires regular cleaning – You do need to clean and season these cooking plates thoroughly, as they can develop surface rust quickly if food residue is left on them.

The 200 square inches of grilling area is enough to cook for two at the very least.

We have heard some say they can cook for six on this little grill – in the end it comes down to what you are cooking and how hungry you are. Not that there are no side shelves so you’ll need additional table space for prep work.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

4. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Patio Bistro Gas Grill, Black

If you have a limited amount of space and can’t fit the Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3, then the patio grill could be the best infrared grill for you. This one offers 320 square inches of cooking area, which means around 8 – 10 burgers, and will fit on a smaller patio with ease.

The gas bottle fits neatly under the unit itself which is another plus for those who do not have much room to spare.

Due to the unit being a smaller size and infrared, you will also notice that it does not chew up the gas much at all.

What we like:

  • Small footprint – Great if you are short on space, or if you have a convection grill and can’t afford a new infrared unit, you could purchase one of these to sear on the side.
  • Affordable purchase price – and lower running costs.

This unit is nice and easy when it comes to cleanup. Like most infrared grills, it is simply a matter of closing the lid, turning the temperature up full blast and leaving it for 15 minutes.

Food will burn off, and any residue will be nicely charred and easy to scrape off later.

This unit is easy to ignite thanks to the electric ignition system.

What we don’t like

  • The paint on this unit is not as resilient as it could be Don’t be surprised if you notice some color changes or bubbling after a few cooks.
  • This grill can be a little complicated to assemble – So make sure you set aside plenty of time just in case you find it baffling.

If you are looking at buying one of these second hand, be aware that in 2013 there was a recall related to the ignitor switch. The fault meant that there could be a build-up of gas which, when lit, caused a fireball – clearly problematic.

The issue was addressed, and parts sent to affected customers free of charge. Make sure you check the year model of the unit, and confirm that the issue was fixed if it is a 2013 model.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

5. Napoleon Prestige 500 Freestanding Propane Gas Grill With Infrared Burner

Napoleon Prestige 500 Freestanding Propane Gas Grill

These high quality grills aren’t the cheapest option, but there isn’t much they can’t do. If you have a bit of cash to throw at a grill, then the Napoleon Prestige 500 is definitely worth a look.

With 500 square inches of cooking space, and the capability to grill, sear, bake, smoke and roast, these units can handle anything you throw at them.

The lid is well insulated so when closed, the grill can be used as a smoker. Throw in a smoker tube filled with your favorite wood chips to make the meat as smoky as you like.

When you want to grill, the lid folds away, right out of the road.

Note that not all of the burners are infrared. The Prestige 500 has a 18,000 BTU rear infrared burner and rotisserie kit and a 14,000 BTU infrared side burner for high temp searing.

The sear plates reach a staggering 1800°F – so to say searing is easy is an understatement.

All components are made of quality materials and the unit itself is made in Canada

What we like:

  • Thoughtful design features – such as a cupboard under the grill for storage, tool hooks inside the doors, reversible WAVE designed grill rods to reduce the amount of food that falls through the cracks, and the ability to order the grill natural gas ready.
  • The rotisserie kit – that comes with the grill can hold up to 25 pounds.
  • Large size – You can cook up to 30 burger patties on the main cooking area of this unit.

What we don’t like:

  • Lacking some luxury features – The knobs on the controls don’t light up at night, so make sure you set it up in a well lit area.

There is also the option of a charcoal tray for this grill, but you will have to order it separately.

If you are serious about grilling, and are not into DIY’ing a cheaper unit to suit your needs, then the Napoleon Prestige 500 is definitely worth a look.

Get the latest price from BBQGuys.com

6. Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill

Another grill form Char-Broil you ask? I swear they aren’t paying us to write this article.

The simple fact is no other company does affordable infrared as well as them.

While we don’t think this is the best infrared grill for most people, you can’t ignore that The Big Easy smoker, roaster and grill has gained a loyal following.

This odd shaped grill has been designed to smoke, roast, and grill and uses TRU-Infrared technology to cook food evenly with no flare-ups although you only get 180 square inches of cooking area.

What we like:

  • Extremely easy to use – From assembly to cooking, everything is nice and easy and food tastes great. Good for cooking a variety of food from turkey to chicken, ribs and vegetables.

What we don’t like:

  • Smoking capabilities are limited – The wood chip tray is small and requires regular refills. A good option to get a little bit of smoke flavor, but won’t compete with a dedicated smoker.

What Are Infrared Grills?

If you want to find in-depth information about infrared grills, we have a detailed break down that looks at if they are worth the cost. If you want a quick rundown though, read on to learn the essentials.

The word “infrared” refers to a method of heat transfer. On infrared grills, grill plates are designed to transfer heat into infrared radiation, and then cook the food.

Some infrared grills have one or two grill plates designed to transfer infrared heat, and might be called a ‘sear zone’ or something similar. Other grills are comprised solely of infrared grill plates.

You might think this sounds very high tech, or you might even think it could be a health hazard.

In reality, the burning coals on a fire also emit infrared radiation. So cooking with infrared radiation has really been around as long as fire has. It just hasn’t been harnessed in a convenient and efficient way until recently.

How Do Infrared Grills Work?

Infrared radiation heats food when electromagnetic waves are emitted from the heated surface. These waves travel at the speed of light and in every direction, so they cook very efficiently and at incredibly high heat when compared to other grilling methods.

For example, on an infrared gas grill, the infrared plate is heated by the gas flame underneath the plate. The heat is then emitted off the plate as infrared radiation and cooks the food sitting above.

Infrared Pro’s:

  • Speed – These grills cook incredibly fast. They can reach 700°F in around 7 minutes.
  • Even Heat – When you grill with infrared, there are no “hot spots” or “cool spots”.
  • Efficiency – Because these grills heat so fast and burn so hot, you can have your cooking done in a very short time.
  • Less Flare Ups – Some types of infrared burners are less likely to cause flare ups due to the sheer intensity of the heat.
  • Easy to Clean – Those super high temps also make cleaning a breeze. Just crank up your infrared burner when you are done and any food left hanging on will be incinerated.

Con’s of infrared cooking:

  • Burns Easily – As you can imagine, such intense heat can end up burning your food if you don’t watch it carefully. Some meats like fish may be too delicate for most infrared burners.
  • Less Versatility – Again, the intense heat limits your options. Generally, searing robust meats like beef is where infrared burners come into their own. For this reason, many grills will offer infrared as a “searing zone” with just one or two infrared burners rather than have these burners as your only option on the grill.
  • Adjustment Period – Using infrared is unlike any other type of cooking. For some, the first couple of times they fire one up, it all feels unfamiliar and perhaps a bit hard to control. If you can get past this adjustment period however, infrared cooking does have its place.

The best infrared grills are designed to take advantage of the pros while minimalizing the negatives

Should You Buy an Infrared Grill?

Infrared grills burn hot, sear better than any other type of grill and brown your meat evenly.

However they can be a bit of a one trick pony when it comes to grilling – and that trick is searing.

While you are most likely to see infrared technology in the form of a ‘sear zone’ on a grill, you can get barbecues which use this technology in the cooking chamber as well, and this opens up a whole new area in which infrared technology is an appealing option.

If your burner has an infrared plate in the cooking chamber, the heat coming up from the coals is converted into infrared radiation.

This means that your food is being cooked by convection (the heat circulating within the oven) conduction (the heat from contact with the cooking grates) AND infrared radiation (coming up off the infrared plate).

In short, every last bit of that heat is going to be used up to cook your meat evenly and efficiently.

Compare that to a normal cooking chamber. Your food is cooked by convection and conduction only.

So yes, your food will still be cooked if you have a “normal” grill, and it will still be mighty tasty. But infrared cooking does have an edge.

But – infrared grills cost more. We’ve included the best budget infrared grill as well as some great more expensive options.

So while there are many advantages to owning an infrared grill, you need to consider your budget too.

Hacks to Turn Your Regular Grill into an ‘Infrared’ Grill

If your budget is tight, don’t despair. There are a couple of handy accessories on the market that can convert parts of your ordinary grill into infrared and give the best infrared grills a run for their money.

We found these infrared hacks suggested over on amazingribs.com.

Grill Grates

GrillGrate Set of Three 13.75' (Interlocking) + Grate Tool

These interlocking grates amplify heat, prevent flare ups and sear your food really well. No they are not “infrared” technology, but they produce very similar results for a fraction of the cost.

To use these grates, just measure up your grill and buy the right sized grates. Simply take off your existing grates, replace them with the Grill Grates and enjoy great searing.

Get the latest price on Amazon.

Charcoal Grill for Searing

If you have a charcoal grill hanging around, put it to use!

For big cook ups when you have multiple things on the go, set up your charcoal grill on the side and sear you meat there.

Not only will it leave more space in your grill, but you will get much better results searing over charcoal than you will with other types of grill (aside from infrared, of course).

Griddle Pan

Whack your griddle pan on the grates of your barbecue or side burner, get it piping hot and coat it with just a little oil.

The superheated surface will make better contact with your meat and produce superior results for searing than you could expect from an ordinary grill.

Main Types of Infrared Grill

Deciding whether or not you would like to get an infrared grill is only half the story. Not only are there different types of infrared systems, there are also different infrared grill configurations.

First, let’s have a look at the different infrared systems that are on the market.

1. Ceramic Infrared Burner System

  • Generally this type of infrared system is for hot and fast cooking.
  • Most ceramic burners are at home around the 600-1000°F mark, which is great for searing, but they don’t offer much versatility.
  • Ceramic systems can be prone to flare ups, as the food sits close to the fame.

2. Heat Emitter System

  • These systems tend to be cheaper, but they will not produce the same high temperatures as other infrared systems.
  • Heat is produced from stainless steel tube burners, and then transferred to the food by a stainless steel heat emitting panel.
  • You can expect to reach temperatures between 300-650°F when using this type of burner.

3. TEC Systems

TEC is the name of a company which pioneered infrared cooking earlier on in its commercial history. A couple of the systems they manufacture include:

  • Stainless Steel IR Burner and Radiant Glass Panel – You can expect temperatures around 350-850°F from this style of burner. It is not prone to flare ups and will produce even heat across the cooking surface.
  • Stainless Steel Conversion Burner and Radiant Glass Panel – This system is basically a slightly improved, more robust version of the system mentioned above. You can expect to reach temperatures of 200-900°F with this system.

4. Hybrid Grills

One of the most popular ways to take advantage of infrared technology is with a hybrid grill.

These grills usually have one or two infrared plates only, and the rest of the grill uses a more conventional cooking system.

Generally, there are three configurations of hybrid grill:

  1. One Preinstalled Burner – One of the burners inside the grill is a permanently fixed infrared burner. You will usually find grills with this feature at a higher price point.
  2. Interchangeable Infrared Burner – This is a great option if you are after a slightly cheaper and more flexible option than a preinstalled burner. In this configuration, a regular convection barbecue comes with a seperate infrared burner that can be taken in and out as you need it.
  3. Sear Station Side Burner – If you don’t like the idea of taking up precious real estate inside your barbecue with an infrared plate, then you can opt for a “sear station”. This is a fixed infrared burner which is located on the outside of the grill.

Wrapping It Up

We have had a look at quite a few grills in this guide, but for most people, we think the best infrared grill is the Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 450 3-Burner Cart Liquid Propane Gas Grill.

All of the grills we have looked at in this article are good, and some are specifically designed for special circumstances, for example, portability – for which the Char Broil Grill2Go is in a class of its own.

If you are after more of a luxury grill that has room to cook for a crowd, and comes ready for use without the need for modifications and DIY’s, then the Saber Cast 500 3-Burner Infrared Propane Gas Grill is a great choice.

We hope you have found this article helpful. Do you have experience using infrared grills? Which one would you recommend?

Let us know in the comments section below. And if you did enjoy this article, please be sure to share.

Last update on 2020-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Joe Clements

Joe Clements

As the son of a vegeterian, I grew up dreaming about meat. Now as the founder and editor in chief of Smoked Barbecue Source I get to grill, barbecue and write about meat for a living! I'm sharing everything I learn along the way on my journey from amateur to pitmaster.

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