Infrared grills cook food quicker, more evenly, and leaves the product juicier than conventional gas or charcoal, and although it will be the future of the grilling industry, the technology and concept of infrared grilling has actually been around for over 25 years. TEC recently reached its 25th year of being the leader of the infrared grill industry, making their patent open to the public and creating another niche market for appliance manufacturers to fill. With the proprietary aspect out of their business, TEC sold their line of products to Vulcan who now sells commercial and home use full infrared grills.
Infrared grills will be the future because they actually perform better. The grill typically uses propane to heat up a full metal or ceramic plate laid directly beneath the grating of you grill. This plate acts the same way a pizza stone would in your oven, it evenly disperses heat for a uniform cooking surface. The heat transfers from the plate to the food via radiation (not the glowy green kind, the fire hot red kind), and since the plate covers the full area of the grill, none of the convection heat reaches the product. The reason the product will be more juicy is because the convection heat found from an open flame is hot air rising, carrying away juices from the food with it, thus less convection means more juice in you end product. Another interesting feature is that the grills can be heated up to 900+ degrees Fahrenheit. This makes the radiant heat much more intense, and will penetrate the food easier, decreasing cook times.
These grills are getting a good bit of attention as major steakhouse chains have begun to switch to the infrared method of grilling, as well as major barbecue and grill companies including infrared burners as a secondary unit on their traditional gas grills. This technology is still in many cases nearly twice as expensive as an equal sized traditional char broiler, but as it continues to spread and further develop, I am sure we will start seeing more of them in everyday and industry use.