Ready to celebrate summer? The best infrared grills enable you to host barbecues in style so you can make the most of the season. Unlike your average grill, infrared grills put you in the driving seat with control over the speed. This is thanks to nifty technology that allows you to heat food directly rather than using a heat source to warm the air. Even better, the best infrared grills boast even heat distribution so you can rely on them to cook barbecue food to perfection.
When it comes to selecting one of the best infrared grills, a key consideration is how much cooking space you need. The larger models tend to be more expensive, so if you only intend to use your grill for a small household then you can save money by choosing a more compact one. Alternatively, if you’re planning to feed a crowd, it may be worth investing in one of the larger models.
Don’t forget to think about where you plan to position your infrared grill. All of the models in our round-up are designed to be used with the lid open so be sure to consider that when searching for a grill to fit your location. Looking to take your grill on the road? You’ll find there are portable options, ideal if you’re planning a camping trip.
When buying one of the best infrared grills there’s a lot to consider but help is at hand as we’ll walk you through what you need to factor in and explain how infrared grills differ from the best gas grills (opens in new tab). Our round-up includes our picks of the best infrared grills, including a variety of different types. You’ll find top brands like Broilmaster and Char-Broil as well as more affordable alternatives if you’re on a tight budget.
The best infrared grills encourage you to make the most of your outdoor space in the summer months. Wanting to transform your backyard before you welcome your guests? Check out our guides to the best fire pits (opens in new tab) and the best patio heaters (opens in new tab).
1. Broilmaster R3B: Best infrared grill overall(opens in new tab)
If you’re serious about grilling, then Broilmaster R3B may be the best choice for you. Great for consistent cooking, this infrared grill is built to last and its left-hand burner is great for cooking food slightly slower.
Specially designed to prevent your food from drying out and overcooking, the Broilmaster R3B infrared grill also features a right-hand ceramic burner which is great for searing steaks before transferring them onto the left-hand burner.
If you’re cooking for a crowd or simply have a lot to prepare at once, the Broilmaster R3B has a handy warming rack so that you can serve everything at the same time. The main cooking area isn’t as big as some of the others we reviewed, however, the heat consistency is great and the quality build somewhat makes up for this. This infrared grill is also made in America.
2. Char-Broil Grill2Go X200: Best portable infrared grill(opens in new tab)
It’s certainly not the most stylish grill on this list, but the Char-Broil Grill2Go X200 is a compact infrared grill that’s designed to be tossed into the trunk of your car or stored out of sight, so it needs to be able to take a few knocks and bumps.
It also offers really good value too. More expensive grills often don’t include a temperature gauge, so it’s a really nice inclusion on the Char-Broil Grill2Go and allows for greater control over your grilling.
It’s not an especially powerful grill, producing up to 9,500 BTU worth of cooking energy, but it still manages to reach good cooking heats that can cover most grilling needs. As a compact infrared grill, it is on the small side, but it can still grill a decent amount of food.
3. Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill: Best electric infrared grill(opens in new tab)
Skip the hassle of charcoal and gas with an electric infrared grill that’s quick to set up and easy to cook with. The Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill is designed to plug and grill and while it’s small, it still has enough space to cook a decent amount of food.
It’s a little light on features, but for just $180 that’s understandable. It’s certainly not the most powerful grill on the market either, gas grills tend to be able to heat up quicker and maintain the heat better too, so you are swapping power for the ease of electric. But for quick or regular meal cooking it’s not a bad swap to make.
The integrated control knob is nice for greater temperature control, while the removable warming rack is nice for keeping cooked food at the right temperature while your other food cooks, but using it does reduce the grilling space.
4. Solaire SOL-EV17A Everywhere Grill: Best propane infrared grill(opens in new tab)
The Solaire Everywhere Grill is a portable grill that operates well in quite a narrow temperature range. This makes it a good choice for anyone who has struggled to find a grill that can sear good cuts of red meat as it reaches high heat well and cooks quickly. It struggles with medium and low heat cooking, often charring chicken, so it is quite a niche grill.
As a portable infrared grill, it needs to be durable so the stainless steel construction is a good choice by Solaire. The propane gas canister is awkward to attach though.
The Solaire SOL-EV17A can struggle to keep the heat in more exposed conditions too. While it’s unlikely to go out with a good gust of wind like a blue-flame grill might, windy conditions do mean the grill struggles to keep the heat on the food and, as you can’t close the lid with food on the grill, it’s even more difficult to control this loss of heat.
How to choose the best infrared grill for you
First of all, you’ll want to consider how you intend to use your grill so you can choose one that’s right for you. Whether you’re looking for a grill that will take center stage at summer parties or you’re looking for a compact model for barbecue food on the go, there’s something out there for you. If you love entertaining from your backyard, you may want to opt for one of the bigger models so you can comfortably feed a crowd. Look out for nifty tabletop options which offer ultimate convenience when cooking on the move. They’re also a sound choice if you have limited outdoor space or you’re worried about storage. We were impressed by Char-Broil Grill2Go, which had the edge over other tabletop models.
If you don’t necessarily need a grill with a huge capacity or a portable tabletop model, a decent midsize grill should do the job. If this sounds like you, we recommend the Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill.
Catering for vegetarians? You can rest assured that the best infrared grills are as good at cooking vegetables as they are at searing steaks. You can easily adjust the heat levels so you can get your vegetables just right.
A grilling surface with uneven heat distribution can be a nightmare if you’re cooking meat. This leads to variable results where some guests receive a charred burger while others end up with one that’s raw inside. You can rely on infrared grills for heat consistency so you can wave goodbye to unevenly cooked food. We made sure to check user reviews on this front and you’ll be pleased to know that the grills on the list had positive feedback on heat consistency.
Infrared grills vs gas grills?
So, what's the difference between gas grills and infrared grills? Your regular gas grill works by heating the air which in turn cooks the food. Infrared grills on the other hand are specially designed to heat food directly. The other difference is that they use radiant energy to cook rather than regular or blue-flame grilling. They’re designed to be used with the lid one, unlike some gas grills.
Thanks to this clever technology, you can rely on infrared grills to deliver even heat distribution. No more food that’s burnt on the outside and raw in the middle. Infrared grills have the bonus of cooking food more quickly so you don’t have to worry about hungry guests.
Are infrared grills better than gas grills?
Infrared grills offer quick and even cooking. This means they ace foods like steak that benefit from searing at high heat. Foods such as ribs and chicken typically do better with a low, slow cook so you won’t necessarily taste the difference so much with these. Whatever you’re cooking, the best infrared grills help your food retain moisture so it stays succulent.
When it comes to practicalities, cleaning an infrared grill is similar to a gas one. You’ll just want to pay a little more attention to cleaning the heating element and infrared surface to maximize the lifespan of your grill. Many manufacturers suggest burning off excess grease once cooking is over. Turn your grill to high and close the lid, leaving it for 15 minutes before turning it off and allowing it to cool. The good news is that the grease and crumbs should have turned to ash. This makes it a breeze to brush away. For more tips, check out our advice on how to clean a barbecue grill (opens in new tab).