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Infrared portable grill

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I'm looking at purchasing a portable infrared grill.

Any advise or feedback on any of the models out there ie TEC, Solaire, Turbo etc.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I lusted after one of these for quite a while. I have tried the Napoleon. It was not bad, but was still disappointing. An infrared should be able to generate really searing heat, but the Napoleon portable simply didn't come close. However, if you are specifically looking for portability, a portable infrared may be better than any other option. They are very convenient to use and the Napoleon was relatively inexpensive.

    I have also tried a full size TEC and was very disappointed. I found that it tended to incinerate fatty foods. Protecting these foods from destruction eliminated the benefit of the searing heat. It wasn't worth its extremely high price to me, but your mileage may vary. What I don't know is whether this problem, the opposite of the Napoleon portable's shortcoming, also happens with a TEC portable.

    I have an alternative suggestion -- one that I am thrilled with but that few others seem to want to try. It's called a "Woodflame" and it lives up to the claims made on its website. The address is www.woodflame.com

    This gets as hot as an infrared and makes food taste really delicious. You can use any kind of hardwood - you don't need to buy from the manufacturer. It heats to 1000 F in a couple of minutes and uses amazingly little wood.

    11 Replies
    1. re: embee

      I'm looking at a portable bbq from a price point perspective - full blown units are quite pricey to say the least.

      Your suggestion sounds interestig - with regards to the woodflame how much is it and where did you get it? How is its heat/flame control?

      1. re: Pizza Lover

        http://woodflameusa.com/

      2. re: embee

        embee, I registered just to reply to you. THANK YOU!!! for the suggestion of a woodflame grill. I was searching the net for info on portable infrared grills and ran across your post. This grill sounds wonderful except its now 2009 and they still don't sell in the states. $75 from Rona? What year and where did you buy yours? The manufacturer will ship to the US for $325.
        I was lucky enough to find one from a seller in Toronto not using hers anymore. She shipped it to me (US) for $150 total. I'm so excited to try it out. Thanks again for your post!

        1. re: Chaugar

          I got it several years ago and can't remember exactly when. Rona Ontario decided they didn't want to carry it any more and sold off their stock. I took a floor sample. You will not get one of these new for $75. $325 including shipping to the US doesn't sound too bad.

          I'm not surprised that it didn't sell, given that Woodflame has no visibility outside of Quebec and selling these successfully requires product knowledge.

          I have suggested to several BBQ enthusiast stores in Toronto that they consider carrying this line. None were interested. When my most recent gas BBQ was delivered, by the owner of a great local store, I suggested that he have a look - I even offered to cook something on it. He just laughed.

          The principle is so very simple - it's just an electric fan (read bellows) blowing on burning hardwood in a confined space. It replicates the process for cooking Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

          I hope arrived in good condition, and with its cleaning brush and power adapter.

          I love mine. However, it does have some quirks. It is very lightweight, and there are some finicky parts which can get out of adjustment easily if you (or the previous owner or shipper) aren't careful.

          - While the unit cooks perfectly well on batteries if you are away from a power source, it works much better when plugged in. The fan will run faster and more steadily and the wood container will get red hot. You need THEIR power adapter for it to run properly.

          - Older units had grill surfaces that could rust. Newer ones are stainless steel, which is much better.

          - You may need to fool around with the loose flame spreaders under the grill surface. These are crucial, since they determine whether you are cooking over radiant heat or directly in the flame (which you likely don't want). Be careful not to damage these when you slide the grill apart to add more wood.

          Please post your experience.

          1. re: embee

            Thank you for the suggestions and the useful tips. Yes this grill is a used grill, but I feel fortunate to have gotten my hands on one. All too often in life, I find the best ideas, products, recipes, etc are the simplest ones.
            Unfortunately the lady who sent it did not send the power cord. I just shot off an email to her and the manufacturer to try and get a replacement. I do not have high hopes of getting a reply from the manufacturer as I have emailed them twice about purchasing a new grill and have not gotten a response. It has been well over a month.
            Can you tell me about the adapter itself? I know it is a 110v AC 6v DC power adapter, but I don't know the size of the end you plug into the grill. Any chance you know the size in mm? I know that's probably a near impossible question to answer. I was hoping there would be some universal size and I can just go down to my local Radio Shack and buy a generic adapter if I can't get in contact with the manufacturer. I will try to call them on Monday as well. Thanks again for all the tips. I will update with my experience once I get some batteries and start cooking with it.

            1. re: Chaugar

              You can get a transformer with adjustable voltage, polarity, and (probably) an adapter for every connector that exists. That's what I got and, yes, it was from Radio Shack. It didn't work very well so, assuming it to be defective, I exchanged it. Same problem, so I returned it.

              I have no idea why this happened. I ordered an adapter from Woodflame, and it was fine. The Woodflame adapter has a large, heavy cylinder near the connector end - about 1 1/2 in long and 5/8 in in diameter. The Radio Shack unit didn't. This could be related. It is also possible that the Radio Shack unit did not deliver the selected output accurately.

              The Woodflame adapter is marked as follows:
              - regulated switching power supply, model 2001P
              - input 100-140 v AC, 60 Hz, 14W
              - output 6V DC
              - current DC 1500 mA
              - made in China
              - It has electrical approval stickers for the US and the EC.
              - the connector is a standard size and type
              - I can't read the polarity marking, but this shouldn't be a problem

              If you can't find something that matches these specs, there's no reason not to try an adjustable one. If it doesn't cause the fan to run very steadily, and much faster than the battery at top speed, just return it.

              You can try calling Woodflame at 514-916-0918. There's a toll free number listed in the manual, which you can download from

              www.woodflame.com/docs/delecto.pdf

              I don't know what's happening there, but there are some unsettling signs. When I got mine, they had retail distribution through Rona and Canadian Tire (almost 2000 stores between them). They were also going to be listed on Stephen Raichlen's BBQ Bible website. The only retailers they now list on their website are a Quebec based outdoor sport chain and a couple of appliance stores in the Montreal area.

              Good luck!

              1. re: Chaugar

                I just went through the process of buying a generic adapter with multiple tips at Radio Shack. The key is to make sure you have sufficient power. The juice it takes to charge a cell phone is not enough to turn a fan. Based on embee's post above, this one should do the trick:

                http://www.radioshack.com/product/ind...

                So is Woodflame still in business? The website hasn't been updated since '06, the company doesn't respond to emails, and the few retailers who still list them on their websites have been out of stock for years. I just assumed the company had folded.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  I don't know. I just looked up the toll free number, it still works, and the voice on it is the same as always. However, she just gives another number to call for parts.

                  The Atmospheres sporting goods chain, listed as a retail outlet, doesn't actually have it and the other retailer listed is a parts supplier.

                  So perhaps they have folded, but support still seems to exist and someone is still paying for the website.

                  1. re: embee

                    Thanks all for the replies and info. Embee, perhaps the ones you bought from Radio Shack initially didn't have enough milliAmps (1500) for the fan to draw from so the fan was weak. They may have been 600-800mA? Thanks for the link Alanbarnes, that looks like it should work. My only concern is the output plug end. There seems to not be a standard size, so I may have to try several different sizes before I find one that fits. If I'm lucky Radio Shack will sell an adapter that comes with multiple size end plugs that can be switiched out. Embee if you can measure in mm the diameter and length of the end plug, I would appreciate it. I think you provided the dimensions for the cylinder, but if you can measure the end plug that would be great. It's in mm, so that might be tough.
                    I don't think the company has folded (yet). That would be a shame. I called about a month ago and spoke with an older gentleman that runs the company. I inquired about buying a woodflame grill, but he told me to just email his son and his son would complete the order. I've emailed them twice with no response. Maybe I can get the dad to sell me an adapter. I'd be much happier if I can just find an adapter that fits from Radio Shack. I just don't like waiting for stuff, I need instant gratification! :)
                    I have found wood off of ebay. 11#s of cherry wood for about $18 shipped. The nice thing is that the seller will cut them into 1x1 inch cubes for me. I can provide the sellers ebay ID if anyone needs wood.

                    1. re: Chaugar

                      Radio Shack sells 15 or 20 different tips that plug into the generic adapter. It'll come with a few of the most common. I'd be hesitant to rely on measurements; just take the device into the store, see if one of the included tips works, and if not buy the one that does.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Well I took the grill over to radio shack and after a couple of tries, the sales rep found the right tip. They had a 6V adapter but only in 800mA and 2500mA ( 2.5 Amps). 800mA is too low and 2.5 Amps is too high, since the delecto grill draws about 1500mA. Well I learned that the 2.5Amps worked just fine. Too high is OK and too low amps will only give a weak output. It was $42, but I didn't have to wait for it to come from Canada.
                        Well I didn't get too cook on it tonight, but I did fire her up! This is the coolest grill on the market! If you are a pyromaniac, this grill is for you. It just makes turning on a regular LP grill seem so boring. I discovered that using cardboard, dry sticks and leaves from my backyard make the best kindling. I even burned small pinecones as fuel, it was really cool.
                        The grill's base, sides, and top are also warm to the touch while on the highest setting. I don't think my 2 year old could burn herself if she accidentally touched the outside of the grill.
                        Anyways, I can't wait to taste the food off of this thing! Thanks for the input all.