MAINTAINING YOUR INFRARED BURNERS
What is an Infrared Burner?
Infrared Burners look very different from traditional gas grill burners. Instead of the typical oval or “H” shape, Infrared burners are large rectangular boxes that are considered the burner housing. This housing is topped with ceramic tiles that have thousands of small ports (holes) for the gas to come through and become the small flame that you see. The gas builds up a small amount of pressure in this infrared housing so there are tens of thousands of flames that burn on an infrared burner. Although the flames are very small and very bright there are a lot of them and they get very hot. The housing and tile is then covered with a screen. The function of the screen is to stop larger pieces of food from landing on the burner when they drop through the cooking grids but to also spread the weight of other falling objects (like cooking grids or grill utensils) so the drop does not chip or crack the tile. If you have a cracked or chipped tile your burner may not work and it may need to be replaced.
The best thing you can do to maintain your Infrared grills is to follow our Infrared Grilling Tips.
Cleaning Your Infrared Burner
5-10 MINUTE BURN-OFF
After each use, close the lid and turn the burners to “high” for 5-10 minutes. This will burn off any food drippings, enhance the grills performance, and increase the burner longevity.
- It is important to inspect your burner and protective screen from time to time. Look for cracks in the tile or any rust-through that may have occurred. Both of these situations can cause your burner to heat unevenly or not work at all.
- The burner reaches such a high temperature that most drippings evaporate as soon as they hit the grill burner. However, if you marinate or use heavy sauces on your meat, we recommend turning your infrared burner up to high when you are done for approx. 5 to 10 minutes. This will help burn off any sauce or food particles that may not have burned off during the cooking process.
- You should remove the burner from the grill, shake out any debris that may have accumulated inside the burner and brush off any ash from the surface of the ceramic with a soft cloth. Inspect the ceramic burner plate for any clogged holes and open any that are clogged with a wooden toothpick. Do not subject the ceramic plate to any moisture and be sure to do a 5 to 10 minute burn off after each use.
- Clean out the venturi tubes to remove any debris including spiderwebs and insects that can inhibit gas flow to the burner.
- You can also do a deeper cleaning by removing the burner. Use a wooden toothpick to remove any debris blocking the air holes in the ceramic tiles. When you’re done, take a vacuum with a brush attachment over the burner screen to remove any leftover food particles and debris.
The images below show some possible consequences of not maintaining your infrared burner properly.
How to Remove the Infrared Burner and Clean the Orifices
How to Clean the Venturi Tubes on an Infrared Burner
Locating the Orifice on your Infrared Grill
What if my infrared burner is popping?
Try removing the burner and slightly shaking it upside down over a trash can. While the burner is removed from the grill, clean out the orifice and venturi tubes. If the burner ports on the ceramic burner are clogged the burner can pop and have a high flame pattern. Unclog any holes in the burner surface using a wooden toothpick.
If this does not help, take a close look at the ceramic tile as it may have a crack. If so, the burner will need to be replaced. The flame is being pulled back into the burner and fails to ignite the gas inside the burner, resulting in the pop or boom.