Summer and grilling go together like peanut butter and jelly. Like peas and carrots. Like Ernie and Bert. . . well, you get the idea!
So I’ve been doing a lot of grilling this summer–and lately I’ve been doing it on the new Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared grill that Walmart and the folks at Char-Broil sent me to check out!
I’m sure the first thing that you are thinking (I know I did) is “What the heck is an Infrared Grill???”. Seriously. I had images in my head of little red laser beams and complicated electronics. That is NOT what it is 🙂 Infrared grilling is a different method of getting the heat to your food–instead of heating the air and having the air cook your food, it heats an emitter plate, which then conducts the heat to your food directly. This quick 2 minute video explains it far better then I can, with diagrams and everything (and you really only need to watch the first 60 sec to get the info).
So why even bother with Infrared? Well according to Char-Broil there are several benefits:
Prevents Flare Ups
Uses Less Fuel
100% Even Heat
Faster Cooking Times
Widest Temperature Range
Infrared Heat = Jucier Food
So we tested it out with some burgers that we spiced up with my homemade Midwest Steak Seasoning (a take on some other spice “steak seasonings” you might see out there at the store). They came out great.
The grill plates are very different on this grill. They are sort of like a ripple or accordion with holes in the “valleys” rather then an open grate. There is an easy push ignition (no matches needed) and 3 knobs for 3 zones on the grill. Each nob had it’s own thermostat which is a nice feature. The food did cook evenly, without any hot spots, and there were NO flare ups. Usually with homemade hamburgers Yankee Bill has to poor some of his beer on the grill at least once!
With multiple uses I have noticed that the design of the grill plates does require you to ensure that the little holes in the valley are clear at the start of your grill session so it can channel the drippings away and prevent those flare ups. There is a little tool included with the grill, but I prefer my good grill brush.
Now about that steak seasoning. We like to mix our spices right into the burger, and then sprinkle more on top (along with some Worcestershire sauce) while the meat is cooking.
Midwest Steak Seasoning
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
- 1/2 tablespoon dehydrated garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed
Place in blender jar or pint sized mason jar, blend for several seconds till well ground.
I’m glad there are plenty of happy grilling days left this summer!