Infrared grill was invented by Bill Best in 1980 in attempt to cook his food more evenly. Like most inventions, Bill accidentally stepped into it. A founder for Thermal Engineering Corp, Bill had a penchant for tinkering with grills to come up with innovative ways to barbecue your meat and vegetables. The first generation of infrared grill was born with the name TEC Infrared Grill.
“We’d have large pieces of stainless steel left over,” said Bill, as he was explaining about his new technology. “It was kind of just by coincidence – it was not any massive plan. I started off building a grill for my house, with infrared burners in it. Well, it worked real well and we just started selling the (leftover) stainless steel as a scrap.
After the patent for infrared grill was expired in 2000, many manufacturers got into producing them. Touted for its ability to evenly cook food fast and efficiently, infrared grill utilizes hot air to cook food evenly.
So what advantages does Infrared Grill have over traditional gas and charcoal grill?
[img caption: Americans love barbecuing and the numbers don’t lie. Over 15 million BBQ grills were purchased in 2010. ]
Unlike traditional gas or charcoal grills, infrared grill requires less energy to operate. Due to its efficient thermal conductivity, it will save you money on gas used compared to other types of grills. For environmentally conscious consumers, infrared grill is the most energy efficient and green grill they can purchase in the market.
SugaryKitchen.com recently reviewed top infrared grill currently available in the market. The review noted that IR grills can use natural gas or propane, with newer models preferring natural gas option.
Why charcoal grill should be phased out for the greener earth
Eric Johnson, director of Atlantic Environment Consulting Services, appeared on NPR criticizing the charcoal grill. During the interview, Eric Johnson claimed that carbon footprint of charcoal grill is three times that of gas grill.
This effect becomes even more magnified when compared to Infrared grill, as it uses even less energy to heat the food than conventional gas grills.
What makes Infrared Grill so efficient, uses less energy?
There are many variants of infrared grill and the differences are based on the type of burner and panel systems they use.
Here are 3 major types of infrared gas grills systems currently popular in the market
- Ceramic infrared burner system: Providing surface temperature of 600 to 1,000 degrees, ceramic conducts heat incredibly efficiently. In this type of cooking system, ceramic top is usually sitting under some type of steel burners.
- TEC Radiant Burner System: A revision of the original TEC system that Bill invented, it allows cooking surface to reach 350 to 850 degrees.
- Stainless steel Tube System: Reaches only 300 to 650 so these types of IR grills are only suitable for consumer use. Commercial kitchens are better off with grills that can reach higher surface temperature.
IR grills are simply not buzz words to sell more BBQ grills to consumers. Its impact alone environmentally should be more talked about and promoted among green conscious consumers.