Thermal Engineering Corp: TEC Uses Glass Panel with New Grill Grates.

I never liked the U channel grill grates TEC used. Although I recognized the value of the concave design and I love the flavor generated by vaporizing the dripping while we are grilling I never did love the spot-welded construction that made the U channel grates so fragile. New Thermal Engineering glass panels under the grid creates a wider vaporization area and better heat diffusion than the old stainless steel design. Below is more information about how the glass panes enhance grilled flavor and how this design evolved from the first TEC infrared grills.

tec infrared grill burner glass

The original TEC infrared grill was a Huge invention for the world because the infrared burner could generate over a thousand degrees in less than a minute without burning exponentially more gas. When Thermal Engineering Corporation started making gas grills with this intense heat one of the changes to the traditional barbecue design was the cooking grates.

The TEC grilling grates were different from the ubiquitious wire rod grids every barbecue in the world had used. Instead TEC looked at the "Finger Grates" designed by DCS because the finger grates had the ability to hold the greases and sauces in a concave groove so the flavor was vaporized by the grills heat. However, the heavy and dense cast stainless design would be problematic at fourteen-hundred degrees so TEC made concave U channel grates fabricated from 18 gauge stainless steel.

tec u channel infrared grill grate

The stainless U channel grates were spot welded and were very easily broken or knocked out of square. After the original TEC Sterling 28 and Patio model infrared grills TEC released the updated TEC Sterling 2 and Patio 2 and all of these used the stainless concave U channel grids.

When TEC stopped using the ceramic-topped infrared burners and started using all stainless steel infrared burners they also changed the cooking grate design to the convex grates in the large image above. The design still has the same effect as the original U channel grates but only because the glass acts like a vaporizer and heat diffuser. Any moisture lands on the glass and vaporizes to add flavor and texture to grilled meats, vegetables and even fruits.

full TEC infrared glass panel image
smooth side glass is like a black mirror
detail of the texture for heat diffusion spreads infrared grilling heat
close detail of rough side of tec infrared glass vaporizer on infrared burner

Glass panel for TEC G model infrared gas grills. 16 inches by 9 inches black glass panel is flat and smooth on one side and textured on the other side. After the production of the Sterling 2 and 3 the G series and the stainless burner models have been using glass panels as heat diffuser and as vaporization shields with the changed design of the convex grilling grates.


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glass panle used in TEC infrared grills since the G series and stainless burners

The original TEC infrared burners had ceramic tile tops with thousands of ports -- or holes -- for gas to come through. Intense direct heat is generated by the lower stainless steel housing where gas is pressurized. Theflames come through as tiny red flames while the more common gas barbecue burners have an average sized of one and a half inch long blue flame.

new TEC gas barbecue grill stainless steel burner with infrared heat

This picture is one of the newer Thermal Engineering Corporation infrared grill designs. Instead of the normal look of the infrared burner the new TEC burner is a left-to-right installed rectangle. This grill burner intensifies heat in excess of 800 degrees by relying on the angles that make up the bottom of the firebox. The heat comes off the stainless curve and intensifies below a sheet of glass. The same cooking grate that looks like lonk bars with the glass below is on these new grills so the U channel concave design is still used without the U channel grilling grids.