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When it comes to cooking, appliances and tools can make all the difference. And the thing is, there are plenty of different options for cooking the same things, depending on your style of cooking, your preferences, and your needs.
For example, there are different types of grills, and if you’re getting into more professional kitchen work, you might start hearing about the infrared grill. Maybe you’ve bought one, and now you’re having some issues with excessive smoke being caused by its use, or you simply want to get to know more about it.
So to help you out, we’re going to explain exactly what an infrared grill is, and we’ll then go on to explain different possible reasons why it might be causing so much smoke, and how to solve it so that you no longer have that issue!
Let’s get right into it!
What is an infrared grill?
Let’s start by clarifying exactly what an infrared grill is, as it is important to understand the basics of a kitchen tool before you begin to use it or attempt to get to the bottom of its issues.
An infrared grill is a type of gas grill that is set apart due to its use of infrared technology, hence the name. In a conventional gas grill, a flame of fire heats the grates, and this then heats the food.
But with an infrared grill, the gas heats the infrared element which is placed between the flame and the grates. As the infrared is heated, this, in turn, radiates a far more intense heat to the food, in order to cook it.
As infrared grills work slightly differently from conventional gas grills, they can take some time to get used to, especially if it’s your first time with one. There are also differing opinions as to whether infrared grills are actually better or not, and we’ll get into that a bit more later on in this article.
But as a general rule, those that prefer infrared grills mainly love them because they are better at searing meat, they provide more uniform heat for cooking, and they also have fewer flare-ups compared to other types of grills.
Causes of Smoke with an Infrared Grill (And How to Fix It)
Some people that begin to use an infrared grill for the first time, report that they have a problem with an excess of smoke. And most of the time, they don’t quite know why there is an excess of smoke, or what is causing it, so they also don’t know how to go about fixing the issue.
So in order to avoid this ever happening to you, (or maybe it’s already happened, and that’s why you are reading this article), then we’re going to go over some of the most common reasons why infrared grills might be causing a lot of smoke, and how to fix this.
Ready? Then let’s jump into it!
The infrared grill is brand new
If you have just purchased your infrared grill, and it starts to smoke quite a lot upon your first use with it, then this is completely normal.
When an infrared grill is brand new, it still has a lot of manufacturing residue, which will begin to burn and will release smoke when it is first heated up. Not to worry, this manufacturing residue should be completely safe, as it is non-toxic, and to be expected.
The solution to this is very simple, you have to “burn in” your infrared grill. This is a common practice that should be done with every new infrared grill that you purchase, as it is the easiest and fastest method to get rid of the coating of manufacturing residue, which is producing the smoke.
You essentially have to just put some oil on the grill, and then let it burn for a few minutes on the highest heat setting, until it stops smoking and the residue has been fully burned away.
The heat is on too high a setting
Sometimes, if the heat is too high for the type of food that you are grilling, there might be excess smoke. A lot of people think you should just grill on the highest setting, to cook faster, but the truth is that you should be cooking on the appropriate heat, depending on the food. Not everything fits the same heat!
The solution to this is to make sure the heat is on an appropriate level. Try turning the heat down a little, and see if that reduces the amount of smoke produced.
The grill is dirty
One of the most common reasons for a grill to produce excess smoke is for it to be dirty. Not only for infrared grills, but for most types of grills in general. This happens when the grill has been used and hasn’t been cleaned properly afterward. So essentially, there is food residue on the bottom of the grill, causing the extra smoke.
The solution to this is to make sure you always clean the infrared grill after use so that it is always clear of residue and ready to be used.
This should be super easy, as infrared grills are mostly self-cleaning. Just turn the heat up to the max for a few minutes, after you have cooked the food, and the heat will vaporize any residue that has been left behind.
Is an infrared grill worth it?
So…to conclude, is an infrared grill worth it? Well, now that you know what might be causing the excess smoking, and how to fix it, then there should only be benefits left behind, meaning the infrared grill is indeed worth it!
Infrared grills, as a general rule, have fewer flare-ups, and can therefore be easier and safer to use. They are also self-cleaning, as we mentioned, and they use less gas. Plus they allow for a more even distribution of heat, they maintain moisture, and they are ideal for searing meat and cooking steak.
With that being said, we think they are totally worth the extra price! We hope this guide has helped you take your infrared grilling knowledge to the next level. Think we missed something? Reach out in the comments section below.