We have added TEC infrared burner grilling glass and we have added a TEC grill glass page that describes what this item is, what it does and why it is both important and an added benefit to Thermal Engineering Corporation infrared burner and grilling grates design.
The original TEC cooking grate design followed the concave grid design of the DCS “finger” grates. Concave grids allow moisture to sit in the grate and vaporize while grilling in order to add favor and texture to grilled meats. Concave grids also can lay at a slight angle so the groove allows grease and marinades or other moisture to roll off the cooking surface rather than drip through and flare up in the grill.
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The original TEC grates were fabricated as a bunch of U channels spot welded to a front and back support. They would rattle when moved because the spot welds were always allowing the channels to be loose. If the grates dropped the rectangle would be off-square and difficult to bend back because the structure was so weak.
As TEC started changing their infrared burners and making changes to become competitive as a high-end grill again one of the changes was to the cooking grates.
As you can see in the attached image the new TEC grates that have been used for about 5 years now are more like typical wire-rod grates that all barbecues used at some time. The main different is the channel is now created by the deep stainless grid sitting on a glass panel. Moisture drips past the grid to the glass and the glass is extraordinarily hot from the burner sitting just below it. The TEC glass acts like a vaporizer shield.
Heat from the stainless steel infrared burners would spread across the grease shield and the glass would get very hot. Any dripping marinade, grease, bastings, etc drip through the the glass and vaporize to add texture to the grilling food and add flavor to the convectional heat circulating inside the firebox
More recent TEC designs that do not se the traditional pressurized infrared burners still claim tremendous heat and use the glass above the burner as a heat shield vaporizer.
We have just started stocking these glass panels in addition to the other TEC gas grill parts so they can now be ordered and shipped immediately. We also published (see links above, at beginning of article) a separate page that shows close-up images, measurements and information about the infrared glass panels and anything else.
As time goes by it will be interesting to see how the grills perform and sell for Thermal Engineering. For a company who changed the world of grilling in an amazing way they control a surprising small percentage of new grill sales. Most of the customers who use TEC gas grills absolutely love these amazing infrared gas grills and plan to repair them as needed and keep them forever.
A few years back when the infrared burner design became available to companies manufacturing barbecues overseas there were some lower priced hybrids available. Today TEC uses a rectangular burner which they call infrared even though the burner does not look or behave like an infrared burner.
There are also new low-cost gas grills that have been selling “infrared” grills that are not over one-thousand degrees because the definition of the term “infrared” has been sliding. The newer charbroils barbecues and the new Saber by charbroil are perfect examples.
These barbecues have the small, typical, low BTU straight pipe burners we always see in low priced barbecues. They are calling the barbecues “infrared” because of the grilling grate design. Like the TEC glass design there is no heat radiating from the burner directly to the food because the glass separates the burner area from the grilling grid. Charbroil cooking grates are all thin stainless steel but they use the same design. The thin stainless separates the burners from the grids so the stainless radiates some heat to cook with.
Typical “gas barbecues” barbecue with the hood closed: burners slowly heat up the air trapped in the closed hood and hot air surrounds the food to cook. The absence of hot air, convection cooking is not being defined by the effectiveness of the system but referred to as “infrared” because of the absence of the common heating style.
Majestic Grill Parts
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