Why Does my Infrared Grill smoke? Is it Normal? [Cause & Prevention]

  • By: Brendan

Ever since I first started my grilling adventure, the awe never seemed to fade away. The fascination of grilling just stuck to me, and I’m sure I’ll be grilling ever-so-gracefully when I hit 80 years of age – if I hit that benchmark with all the red meat, of course.

My point is that since then, I’ve tried out every type of grill there is, and when the time came to try out the fancy infrared grill, I was so excited. It was the moment I tested the grill out, and it just started to release smoke.

Why does my infrared grill smoke? – I started to panic a little.

Why Does my Infrared Grill smoke

As a grilling novice back then, that was my immediate and impulsive reaction. When I calmed down, I picked up the phone and called the shop where I got my grill. It turned out to be just fine, and I felt a deep relief when I heard that it was nothing to worry about.

But don’t mind my story; if this has happened to you too, let’s go a little in-depth about infrared grilling and the smoke it gives off.

Is it Normal for Infrared Grills to Smoke?

Many barbecuing fanatics don’t usually start off grilling with an infrared grill and instead take up a propane or charcoal grill. However, when they switch to an infrared grill, they get startled when they see lots of smoke coming out from the infrared grill the first time they barbecue with it. Then, the inevitable question arises in their mind – “Why does my infrared grill smoke?”.

In the beginning, you don’t even know what’s causing this issue and if there’s a way to prevent it. But, if you’ve recently purchased an infrared grill and you’ve started barbecuing some fresh meat and veggies, do not fret. It’s entirely normal for an infrared grill to smoke heavily when you’re using it for the first time ever.

There’s lots of industrial waste when an infrared grill is initially put into practice, and that makes the smoke coming out of the grill fully normal. And no, it’s not bad for your health as some people would assume. This is true for most sorts of typical grills and not just the infrared ones.

Because infrared grills operate contrastingly to traditional propane grills, they’ll surely take up some practice before getting used to the grill. There are a bunch of reasons why your infrared grill gives out smoke even after using it a couple of times.

So let’s answer the pressing “why does my infrared grill smoke” question in a proper manner, and how you can fix or prevent this issue entirely.

Why Does an Infrared Grill Give out Smoke?

There are two thoughts that pop into your mind when you see that your infrared grill is giving out so much smoke. The first one is why does it do that, and the second one is what can I do to stop the excess smoke that the infrared grill releases. There are a bunch of factors that cause smoke build-up from an infrared grill, and just as many solutions to prevent it.

Let’s address the issues and solutions then.

Manufacturing Remnants in New Infrared Grill

It is quite typical for a perfectly new infrared grill to give out smoke like that so you’re safe and secure. As we discussed previously, it’s because of the manufacturing remnants that are left in the grill itself. When you turn on your grill, that’s when the remnants start to burn off and release smoke.

The remnant smoke is not at all dangerous.

The remedy for this issue is straightforward, and it’s resolved using a technique called “burn-in”. This is a standard procedure for every new infrared grill out there since it’s the simplest and quickest way to remove the layer of factory debris that causes the smoke.

You just simply need to throw a little bit of grease or oil and just leave it to burn out for a couple of moments at a high temperature. When the grease or oil is completely burnt out, then the smoke will clear along with it.

Grill’s Temperature is Unacceptably High

If your infrared grill’s temperature is unacceptably high, this means the grill isn’t set up correctly and will cause it to release smoke. Let me tell you a little secret – it’s never a good idea to grill on the highest temperature, it’s really bad for the grill and whatever you’re barbecuing will probably be burnt to a crisp.

The answer to this problem is always setting up your infrared grill on medium-to-high heat. Low won’t do since you’ll probably need lots of time for the meat to grill, and medium works fine if you want to leave the food barbecuing for a couple of minutes more. After turning down the heat, check whether the amount of smoke is reduced.

Infrared Grill is Not Cleaned for a Long Time

dirty infrared grill

Definitely, the most prevalent cause of excessive smoke from an infrared grill is that it’s practically a mess and it’s been a few moons since you last cleaned it. And this goes for all sorts of grills, not just your average infrared grill. Naturally, this occurs when you’ve used your grill to barbecue some finger-licking meat, and after that, you’ve probably forgotten to clean it thoroughly.

To solve this issue you’ll need to – yes you’ve guessed it – clean the infrared grill squeaky clean. Now that you’ve done that, there shouldn’t be any smoke coming out of your infrared grill on your next grilling session.

Internal Grill Parts are Damaged

Some people have been using infrared grills for years now, and up until now, there were no problems with smoke coming out of the grill. Well, if that’s the case then, your grill is probably practically outdated and old, and that’s the reason why it has smoke issues. It’s possible that something within the grill is aged or damaged.

Most of the time it’s because your radiant burner is damaged or some parts are starting to fall out. This can be extremely dangerous and needs to be addressed quickly. And you know what the solution to this predicament is – buying a brand new infrared grill!

How Do I reduce Smoke Coming From my Infrared Grill?

First of all, you have to find what’s causing the smoking issue in your infrared grill. If you’re using it for the first time, it will likely fade away on its own since the cause for smoke coming out is the factory residues that are burning inside the grill.

But, there are instances where you need to do a good clean-up on your infrared grill so that the smoke problem will go away. Other times it might be that your infrared grill is turned up to maximum temperature and you just need to turn down the heat a little bit. Going from the highest setting to a medium setting will likely solve the issue and it will do the food that you’re barbecuing wonders.

However, if your grill is outdated, meaning that it’s old and needs renewal – buying a new one instead of fixing your old infrared grill is the best course of action to stop the excess smoke. Additionally, you won’t damage the radiant elements for heating when you turn the temperature down on your infrared grill.

How to Prevent an Infrared Grill From Smoking

The quickest and most efficient method for preventing an infrared grill from smoking is utilizing the “burn-in” technique. You just throw in some oil or grease on top of your grill and let it burn until there’s no smoke. Remember to put it at a higher temperature so that this technique will be as efficient as it is supposed to be.

Another measure to take for stopping your infrared grill from smoking is cleaning the grill on a regular basis so that there are no meat or vegetable residues stuck. Sometimes, it depends on what oil you’re using, so if none of these methods apply to your grill to stop the smoke, change the oil and buy a tad more expensive one, for starters.

Is the Smoke From an Infrared Grill Bad for Your Health?

Well, if you’re grilling for the first time, the initial smoke that comes out of the infrared grill is not dangerous for your health. However, if the smoke is persistent, and continues to give out that unpleasant smell, inhaling grill smoke can be hazardous to your health.

The smoke from a barbecue grill has cancerogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) that are rapidly absorbed by your lungs. So it’s without a doubt bad for your health if you’re exposed to the infrared grill smoke over and over again.

How to Remove the Smoky Flavor From Meat From This Smoking?

Nobody likes extra smoked meat, it’s outright disgusting. To prevent this, you may start by stir-frying your meat for around 5 to 10 minutes. You can also add some aromatizing spices to hide the smoky flavor altogether. You can even add the spices and reheat the meat again. Onions and carrots also work wonders to lift out the smoky flavor of the meat.

There are tons of ways to go around the extra smoky flavor. Another option is to cut out the smoky parts (if the whole meat isn’t charred), and just season the rest of the meat with your favorite seasoning. What I like to do is add some spices and seasonings, and then stir-fry the meat for 10 minutes tops.

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