Make the Most of Your Infrared Grill: Tips and Tricks

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One of the best parts of summer is cooking outside. Grills have come a long way since the small spaceship-like grills of the 1950s. More cooking methods have developed, catering to different personal preferences from charcoal to gas and now to infrared grilling. Tips and tricks have changed just as the cooking methods, tools and technology have changed.

Infrared grills are relatively new to the outdoor appliance market. They maximize flavor, energy and convenience by using an infrared cooking system as opposed to the convection system traditional gas grills use. Infrared grilling does not disturb the moisture boundary that surrounds all food, allowing it to retain up to 35 percent more moisture. Infrared systems use a layer of heat between the grates and the flame. This radiates heat into the food, cooking it more efficiently.

Infrared grills offer several advantages, but becoming a grillmaster can be tricky. The following infrared grill tips will help you tame your grill and master everything from classic cheeseburgers to filet mignon and fresh fish.

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Grill Combinations

Creating the perfect combination of burners, infrared technology and heat elements will help you become the neighborhood’s best grillmaster. The three most effective options are ceramic briquettes, an infrared searing zone and an infrared rotisserie. Ceramic briquettes use a lower temperature, keep heat for a long time and evenly distribute it. An infrared searing zone is used to sear meats on high heat for one minute per side. The infrared rotisserie work in combination with ceramic briquettes to evenly cook and sear at the same time. A combination of all three zones will help produce the perfect cook every time.

Viking, Lynx, Alfresco, Coyote, DCS, Sedona and Kalamazoo all offer infrared modules.

Direct Cooking

Unlike traditional grills, infrared grills use direct heat to cook your food. This means no waiting around for the grill to heat up and calculating for temperature fluctuations. Once the gas is on and up to the temperature you need, you’re good to go. Direct cooking cuts down your cook time and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of wind interference with your flames.

Blue Is For You

One of the many benefits of your infrared grill is being able to use it for traditional grilling methods, but with more control. You can still smoke meats and fish on your infrared grill. Tips for doing this include looking for blue flames coming from your wood chips and being cautious of smoke and other colors since they can indicate damp wood or the wrong cooking temperature. The blue flames indicate that the wood is burning appropriately to produce a nice, smoky flavor.

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Temperature Range

While infrared grills are known for their ability to sear meats at extremely high temperatures, they are versatile enough for low, slow cooking as well. Make sure you test out both methods so you can get a good understanding of how each works and how it will affect your food. Either method will produce an enjoyable meal: a seared filet will still remain juicy and a slowly-cooked pork tenderloin will be tender.

Food Prep

Infrared grilling tips also include a few tricks for food preparation that will produce the best results. Pat your meat and fish dry before grilling. If moisture is left on the surface, it will turn to steam and cook your meat or fish instead of searing it. It’s also important to let the meat or fish come to room temperature slowly so it stays tender while cooking. Grilling meat that you just took out of the refrigerator will produce a protein that is chewy and tough. To ensure that you get the best sear possible, lightly rub or spray oil on your meat or fish. If cooking fish, place it skin-side down to get a crispy skin and tender filet.

Patience

Timing in everything when it comes to the infrared grill. Tips and tricks are limitless, but the most important thing you must practice is patience. You may have gotten into the habit of turning your food more than once on a traditional grill, but with infrared, don’t touch that steak! In order to get a good sear, you need to put your meat on the grill plate and leave it alone. Set a timer, clean your serving tray or make drinks, but you must let your meat go uninterrupted on the grill. Once the proper amount of time has passed, then you can flip it over. You should also only turn your meat once. Grilling with a glaze also takes patience, as you should wait until the last 10 minutes to baste your meat or fish.

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Now that you know several infrared grill tips, you will be well on your way to becoming a grill master. Make sure you take your time, experiment with different temperatures and cooking methods and have fun!

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