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If you're looking to pick up a high-end infrared gas grill, odds are you've come across the TEC Grills brand name. You might be wondering why their grills are regarded as some of the best on the market - if that's you, you've come to the right place.
In this article, we'll go over all of the things that make TEC Infrared Grills so great, and we'll take a closer look at all of their series of grills - that way you can know which of their products is the best fit for you and your outdoor kitchen.
Over 40 years ago, TEC invented infrared grilling. Yes, you read that correctly.
We'll touch on why infrared grilling is so special in a moment, but the punchline here is that TEC's infrared grills blew the competition out of the water in terms of cooking performance and consistency.
Their cookers all utilize patented infrared technology which leads to zero flare ups, and an incredibly uniform heat dispersion inside the hood of their grills. And no flare ups combined with consistent and even heat all but makes the perfect surface to grill delicious food.
While other brands have entered the market in recent years with infrared grills of their own, TEC has remained ahead of the curve when it comes to pure infrared grilling in a couple of ways.
First, their grills have an incredibly wide temperature range of 200-900ºF, making roasting and smoking BBQ possible. It's not all that uncommon for a high-end gas grill to be able to achieve that high of a temperature range, but it's extremely rare for a gas grill to be able to hold a steady and reliable temperature as low as 200ºF.
Second, they have developed quite an extensive line of grill accessories and outdoor kitchen appliances to seriously upgrade your outdoor kitchen setup.
With two powerful 30,000 BTU infrared burners and 592 square inches of primary cooking surface area, it's easy to see why the Sterling Patio 44-Inch grill is TEC's most popular size. This grill comes in a built-in, freestanding, and BBQ Island configuration, so there'e something that works for almost every outdoor kitchen vision.
No matter what you're cooking, you can count on no flare ups and no cold spots while your food heats. Further, the grill uses less gas and produces juicier foods compared to other grills, thanks to two high tech infrared burners.
Almost every single component of this grill, including the ever so important grill housing and burners, are made of heavy-duty 304 stainless steel. The stainless steel finish looks great and is designed to last for decades.
With a temperature range of 200ºF to 900ºF, you can cook virtually anything on this grill. The range goes high enough to cook authentic, Neapolitan style pizza, or low enough to slow cook a pork shoulder or brisket (the infrared smoker/roaster attachment lets you add authentic wood smoke flavor too). Of course, the Sterling Patio 44-Inch Grill performs excellently when it comes to the classics like steak, burgers, chicken, etc.
If you're looking for a more compact grill, the Sterling Patio 26-Inch grill is an excellent choice that comes in a built-in and freestanding configuration. This grill is somewhat unique because it's only a 1 burner gas grill!
You simply just don't come across those often, but it's a testament to how powerful and efficient this grill's single infrared burner is.
Even with the single burner, this grill boasts a temperature range of 200ºF to 900ºF, so you can enjoy the same wide range of cooking capabilities as the wider 44-Inch counterpart.
Size wise, this grill has 296 square inches of main cooking surface area to work with - enough to comfortably cook up to 16 burgers at a time.
At the end of the day if you're looking for a grill that's powerful, yet compact, TEC Single Burner 26-Inch Grills are an excellent choice.
TEC's flagship series of grills are their Patio FR and Sterling Patio FR cookers. Each series offers grills in a built-in, freestanding, or pedestal configuration. The Sterling Patio also come in a BBQ Island configuration with side drawers and countertops for extra storage and work space.
What's the difference between TEC Patio and Sterling Patio grills? The hood. Patio grills come with a flatter hood whereas Sterling Patio grills come with a curved, double-walled hood.
Much of the difference is aesthetic, but the Sterling Patio hood does a tiny bit better at insulating - so has the slight edge in performance, especially in extreme cold weather (this is why the Sterling Patio series grills cost a little more than their Patio series counterparts).
If you're looking to take infrared grilling on the go, the G Sport Series is one of the best in class. Many portable grills are designed to be so compact that you have to sacrifice serious cooking surface area to accomodate.
That's not the case with the G-Sport - with 309 square inches of cooking surface area it's essentially a full sized grilling surface that you can take with you on the road. An optional warming rack adds an additional 115 square inches of cooking surface area to work with.
This grill comes as a table or countertop configuration, but TEC also offer a pedestal stand which transforms the grill into a freestanding unit. The base unit comes with handles and weighs 80 pounds - which is probably a little heavy for most individuals but it's easy for two people to carry.
The G-Sport is fueled by 1 oversized infrared burner that cranks out 22,000 BTUs of heat, and can reach temperatures of 850ºF. So it can't go quite as high as the Patio and Sterling Patio series, but it can get pretty darn close!
Performance wise, the G-Sport doesn't miss a beat. It can achieve max temperature in as little as 10 minutes and can be used as a stove top cooking surface. The self cleaning functionality is also present here, so your clean up process is a breeze.
For a deep dive on the G-Sport, head on over to our TEC G-Sport review next.
So what's with all of the hype around infrared grilling? We've touched on a couple of reasons why it's so great - namely that infrared heating eliminates the risk of flare ups and heats the inside of your grill perfectly even.
Infrared heating is fundamentally different than other types of heaters. Without getting too deep into the science, the gist is that "traditional" heating elements heat the air, which in turn heats your food. Infrared burners radiate actual infrared waves which heat the objects that they hit (like your food)!
There's a noticeable difference in how infrared cooked food turns out compared to food cooked over traditional heat. Food retains significantly more moisture on TEC Infrared Grills compared to the competition.
Plus, this style of cooking leads to incredibly fast heat up times and lends itself nicely to stovetop cooking and baking.
One of the most impressive aspects of TEC's product line is their extensive offering of accessories. Each is carefully crafted and thoughtfully designed to add value and versatility to your outdoor kitchen set up.
If you're going the built-in route, TEC offers matching built-in drawers and access doors which can be installed into your custom counters. Additionally, they carry an outdoor rated under-counter refrigerator and an outdoor rated under-counter ice maker to truly complete your outdoor kitchen.
TEC offers warranty protection on their products in the following ways (labor not included):
TEC is undoubtedly one of the best of the best when it comes to outdoor kitchen brands. If you're looking for a high-end infrared grilling experience, it's hard to beat what they have to offer.
All TEC Infrared Grills provide great value crafted in the USA and built to last. If you have any questions about their grills or product line, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.