For years, charcoal-powered barbeque grills were a staple of backyards everywhere. But charcoal is costly, dirty, and difficult to cook with if you’re not used to it. And so, gas-powered grills slowly displaced them as the backyard barbeque of choice. For owners, they’re simple to use. As long as you’ve got propane in the tank, all you need to do is turn on the gas and click the ignite button – and you’re ready to cook.
But gas grills are more complex than they seem at first glance. There’s quite a bit of technology under the hood making everything work. And with every passing year, barbeque manufacturers are adding even more technology to help owners cook the perfect barbeque meals. Here’s a look at the technology involved in how grills work.
The most basic technology involved in a gas grill is a liquid propane tank, a regulator, supply hose, and burners. Together, they deliver the propane to the inside of the grill, where it’s ignited to heat the grill for cooking. Those are the parts that all gas-powered grills have in common. And those technologies haven’t changed much since the first portable gas grills hit the market back in 1954. But if you were to go looking for a new gas grill today, you’ll find models that go well beyond those basic technologies.
Although the basic components of a gas grill haven’t changed much over the past 70 years, other technologies have evolved to make gas grills work better and cook more delicious foods. These include:
Modern gas grills sometimes include assistive technologies that monitor cook time and temperature, and that will even manage fuel levels for their owners. Such grills fall under the category of smart grills. Advanced models are voice-activated and can store recipes. They can also connect with purpose-built smartphone apps so their owners can monitor grill conditions from anywhere. That means they make standing over a hot barbeque a thing of the past.
Another recent innovation in gas grills is the use of infrared heating technology to improve efficiency and cooking performance. Most of them combine a standard gas burner system with a ceramic plate, radiant glass, or a heat emitter system. Those components absorb the heat coming from the burners and evenly radiate that heat into the grill’s cooking area. This improves heat distribution and provides for faster high-temperature cooking. They also eliminate flare-ups, making them safer for their owners to operate.
One of the big downsides to barbeque grills is that they can get dirty in a hurry. And they’re quite a chore to clean. But today, gas grill owners can outfit their grill with a cleaning robot that makes short work of the task. All they have to do is place the robot inside the grill, set the cleaning time, and walk away. It’s a technological solution to one of the only big downsides of using a gas-powered grill.