BBQ How To: Infrared Side Burners

Hey You! The one with the fancy new bbq.
The one with the big upgraded IR side burner. Do you know how to use that thing? 

Infrared sounds cool. It sounds like something you need to have if you're into the grilling game. It sounds like it's going to be life-changing and to be honest it works even better than it sounds.These are facts, people.

Before we do the bare minimum to sell you on infrared grills and side burners, because it speaks for itself really...

Let's start with what infrared is and how it works: 

Infrared is using radiation to cook food, meaning the heat is direct and concentrated, like a lazer beam. It also travels at the speed of light, meaning it is very efficient when heating food evenly. It's basically all the cool things you see in action-packed movies about space. 

Think of fire coming up from the coals, although you are using electromagnetic waves of heat, you're not actually at any health risk. On a gas grill's infrared side burner the gas chamber is covered with a radiant panel, typically this panel is perforated ceramic tile that is then covered with steel mesh.

Let's move onto why you would consider a side burner on your grill:

Well the obvious comes to mind here: feeding a crowd!

Use a side burner for a quick sauce-fix, to char a little bit of edge of your veggies or quick fried foods. It can potentially do the same work as a conventional stove top, but it is best for searing steaks. Throw a pot or frying pan on top and power through your side dishes. It also comes in handy when boiling water, or cooking something that needs the lid to stay up. 

An infrared side burner can do all this and cook meats in record time. 

Napoleon P500RSIB with infrared sear burner

Infrared side burners do not only use radiation in their cooking process but conduction is also present from heating the metal cooking grids and transferring this from metal to food. It is prime efficiency.

Now lets get into why you NEED an INFRARED side burner:

Infrared boasts faster cooking time at temperatures you could only dream of and the added value of quick pre-heating. The most awe-aspiring feature? That steakhouse quality searing. If you're a fool for aesthetic and know that a juicy steak needs to look the part before you eat it, then you want an infrared burner. You'll want to be witness these marks. Broil King baron PRO IR grill comes with an infrared side burner

Now if you are thinking big time, like 3 side dishes before the main is ready, then you've come to the right place.The dividing panel also allows for even heat, thanks to the tiny holes and grooves that the gas is forced through. Unlike other side burners, you won't have to sit around waiting for your food to heat. 

Basically, with an infrared side burner you're getting all the conventional ease and beauty of a gas grill or stove-top, but with the added time-saving and undeniably fast high-temperature capabilities.

Must Have Features:

  • Being able to sear steaks, boil water and cook regular dishes all on one piece of machinery is not something to take for granted
  • Incredible lightening fast preheating.
  • Infrared cooking can reach sky high temperatures, meaning you can cook more foods in a shorter amount of time and while using less fuel. 
  • Manufacturers also claim that cooking on infrared grills leaves food juicier. They base this on the the Maillard reaction of browning foods and reducing the sugars due to the high heat.
  • Due to the intense heat there will be less of a chance of flare ups. 
  • Even heat distribution thanks to the small pores of the ceramic panel.


  • The intense heat that can easily sear steaks and cook thick cuts of meat, can also burn food, however, if too much efficiency is your biggest problem then I wouldn't worry too much. Just be sure to watch your food throughout it's cook. 



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