Review: Solaire Portable Infrared Grill

There are three vital Bs to hosting a good BBQ: brews, bros and BTUs. And it’s not tough to decide which two should come first (sorry bros!).

At the annual get-gadget summer cook-off, we’ve definitely got the BTUs covered with the Solaire Portable Infrared Grill. The biggest kicker with the Solaire is not just how much heat the toolbox-size barbecue can muster (a respectable 14,000 BTUs), but mostly how quickly it reaches that max output. After firing up the propane, we found the 155-square-inch grill raring to go in about two and a half minutes. Simply put, the grill handles and outputs better than any portable propane grill we’ve put our wieners on. The propane heats a ceramic tile at the base of the grill, sending infrared heat direct to the meat, which helps lock in flavors by vaporizing much of the drippings. Unlike a lot of propane stoves, we found the heat to be much more evenly distributed, allowing for some thoroughly cooked steak.

Backyard grill masters argue about the flavors given off by a traditional coal fire versus propane. Fair enough. However, coals are messy and harder to lug around, and they spew smoke. Apart from portability (the Solaire weighs just 20 pounds, fits easily inside the bundled carrying bag and features handles that keep cool during use), the grill is stainless steel, so arguments about which bro bats cleanup won’t ever get too heated.

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