17. September 2013
Labor Day marked the end of the grilling season for many, but nearly half of American grill owners — 48 percent — barbecue year round, according to the most recent Weber GrillWatch survey. A third of grill owners even barbecue when temperatures drop below freezing. It’s not hard to see why. Grilling can be easy and fun, and produces superior flavor profiles – as long as you have the right equipment.
The science of grilling and the technology behind it have come a long way since early humans first speared a mammoth and fed it to an open flame. We recently pooled several advanced grill technologies and materials and built one ultimate concept grill — a vision of a potential future in which glass revolutionizes the barbecue.
Here are four ways grillers might benefit from these glass-ceramic concept ideas, which could create the ultimate backyard barbecuing experience:
1. Grill faster, at hotter temperatures. Some infrared (IR) grills use glass-ceramic panels between the burners and the grate to crank out even, elevated heat at temperatures up to 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit. Glass-ceramic’s thermal properties allow it to handle the heat of the burners and radiate that heat directly into the food. As a result, these grills create a perfect sear and seal in juices and flavors, but they also achieve a 50 percent savings in fuel over other grills, reducing the frequency of propane tank fill ups.
2. Keep an eye on your steak. To check on the progress of a steak or burger, most barbecuers need to lift the hood and therefore crash the grill’s temperature. The concept grill’s NEXTREMA glass-ceramic viewing panel, strong enough to withstand the intense heat of grilling, allows cooks to keep a constant eye on their meal without lifting the lid.
3. Heat up side dishes on a sleek, rugged burner. A panel of glass-ceramic to the side of the grill can be used as a heating surface for hamburger and hot dog buns or as a burner to cook baked beans or another side dish. The glass-ceramic allows for easy clean-up and it doesn’t rust, warp, or yellow, so the burner looks brand new for years to come.
4. Clean up in a flash. The glass-ceramic panel above the IR burners and the side burner can be wiped clean after every grilling session, preventing the buildup of grease, charred food, and ashes that can hurt a grill’s performance.
Drawing on the thermal advantages of glass-ceramic, this concept grill is what we imagine when we think about the perfect barbecue. What other features would you add?