Sunday, August 8, 2010

New Toy: Char-Broil Infrared Grill

OK, so I had a brief respite from my grill lust when I got the BBQ/smoker, but after a few days the gas grill lust returned.  The smoker is good for the weekends, but I'm hungry and tired when I get home from work.  I wanted to be able to throw some meat and veggies on the grill and eat within 30 minutes.
I got lucky on Craigslist - the full story is posted on my other blog.  Suffice it to say I am now the proud owner of a brand new Char-Broil Red infrared gas grill.  I like it pretty well so far.  There are settings for high heat (clean/preheat) sear (for steaks, etc), grill, and BBQ/smoke.There is a U-shaped pan so grease never drips directly on the flame.  That's good for me since I was always having grease flare-ups in  my old mini-grill. I think the pan also serves to radiate/diffuse the heat so stuff cooks quickly and evenly.  There were mixed reviews on the grill and the infrared.  A lot of people really like it, and Consumer Reports gave it a high rating, but some people got lemons or were die-hard BBQ or gas grill snobs.  Anyway, so far my grill isn't a lemon (knock on wood) and I'm always open to new technology, so I'm happy.
Last night I cooked some chicken breasts* and zucchini.  The zucchini was a gift from the lady that sold me the grill.  The chicken cooked in about 10 minutes, and the squash took 15.  As it was cooking, it smelled really good, like a rotisserie chicken.  That was a good sign.  My old mini-grill always was pretty smoky due to the flare ups.  At five minutes I took a look at it. It looked done on that side so I flipped it.  At ten minutes it was done.  I let it rest while the squash finished.  Anyway, the chicken was really good - it was fully cooked but not charred on the outside, and it stayed very moist inside, even though I hadn't brined or marinated it. The squash was better than usual, but not perfect.  I've never had much success with grilled squash.  All in all, I was pretty pleased with my first attempt.  I'm looking forward to cooking other stuff on it.

*  this is my standard quick meal, so it's a good test.

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