Thursday, September 26, 2013

How Does Infrared Cooking Work?

It's September - a time when prime time television revamps, pumpkins grace the front stoops of porches, and the tips of leaves begin to change color. But, you don't have to put your grill away for the season just yet. According to the Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association (HPBA), almost two-thirds of polled participants use their grill year round. The cooler fall temperatures can actually make for a more comfortable cooking experience. With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, these colder months may be the perfect time to think about preparing your holiday dinners outside, especially if you're considering infrared cooking.          \

Unlike convection or conduction cooking, infrared energy is not altered by cold air. Infrared grills administer electromagnetic energy (EM) directly into your food, not around it. When these rays strike the organic molecules inside your food, the molecules begin moving around, creating their own heat. Essentially, infrared cooking prepares your food from the inside out. For that reason, make sure that you use a food thermometer to gauge the inner temperature of your meat, rather than cutting into it and breaking the flavor seal.

Infrared waves exist in some capacity in all grills - from charcoal to wood burning to gas models. However, not all infrared energy produces heat. The difference lies in the length of the wavelengths emitted. Near infrared waves, like those activated by remote controls, don't radiate heat that we'd be able to sense. It's the far infrared waves - those with longer frequencies - that feel warm against our skin and ultimately, are
used to grill our foods.

Infrared grills generate much higher temperatures and can heat up faster than standard gas or charcoal grills. With convection cooking, temperatures top out around 750° F.Conversely, the temperature averages about 900° F and can reach as high as 1,600° F for infrared grills, making these units ideal for searing meats.

Proponents of infrared cooking often boast that you'll enjoy meats or vegetables with twice the flavor in half the time. These grills emit heat so quickly that you should be able to prepare your meal in a matter of minutes. That's a convenience that everyone can enjoy!

***Please note: Infrared cooking is completely safe. Though incredibly efficient for cooking food, these burners and grills do not carry enough power to transmute or damage DNA.

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