Infrared technology was invented in the 1960s for the automobile industry as a way to dry paint faster. It was soon adopted as a way of preparing food by high end restaurants. The technology is now marketed by bar-b-cue manufacturers and is catching on fast with consumers. It is regarded as a perfectly safe way to cook food.
Infrared energy comes from just below the visible end of the light spectrum. When infrared energy strikes organic (food) molecules it causes them to vibrate and rub together causing friction and creating heat. This type of heat (radiant) is very efficient, enabling it to heat food much faster and to a much higher temperature.
Heat is a type of energy that is transferred to foods through conduction, convection, or radiation. Conduction involves the movement of heat through direct contact. Convection involves the transfer of heat through a fluid. Radiation transfers energy through waves of heat or light striking the food. There are two types of radiant heat infrared and microwave.
Advantages of infrared cooking
The convection grill heats the air and pushes it across the food. This draws the moisture out of the food drying it out. Infrared cooking has the opposite effect; it pushes the moisture into the food making it remain moist and enhancing the flavor. It also cooks the food up to 50% faster than other methods because of the added efficiency.
Infrared cooking is safe as long as the normal food preparation precautions are followed (as with any type of cooking). In fact since infrared cooking heats food faster and hotter and heats the inside at the same rate as the outside it is more likely to kill any dangerous bacteria on the food.
Infrared cooking is powerful and will require much more attention than other methods of cooking. It will be easy to over cook and ruin food because of the higher temperatures and different amounts of time needed for cooking. But once the cook has gotten used to cooking with infrared heat it will be a safe and convenient way to prepare tasty meals.