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Q. What the hell is infrared?

A. Most of us aren't cooking on TV or in fancy restaurants, so infrared or IR cooking might not be familiar to everyone. But it's much more common than you think. Many of the high-end steakhouses use infrared burners to prepare their super-tasty and super-expensive steaks, and even basic charcoal cooking produces some infrared heat. But the infrared heat you get from our Tailgate Grill-Fryer is different than other outdoor grills that boast IR cooking.

The Grill-Fryer uses a ceramic element that gets superheated and emits infrared heat through thousands of tiny holes, producing a consistent, evenly distributed heat right below the grate. The element ignites immediately, and temperatures can reach 500°F after about a minute on this grill (and can go well beyond that…our digital thermometer only goes up to 700°F). This cooks the food directly, as opposed to typical flame grilling, which heats the air around the food in order to cook it, ultimately drying out the food. Infrared sears the outside of meats, locking in juices and flavor making our Grill-Fryer the best portable grill.

Q. So what's the lid for?

A. Since the infrared grill gets so hot, the lid is rarely needed. However, the lid can be used over the griddle or the warming plate to help cook and/or to keep foods warm. But if you happen to get stuck in some nasty weather, it's recommended that you use the lid to cover the grill in order to keep water from pooling in the ceramic element and casing.

Q. And what's the purpose of the slosh ring?

A. The primary purpose of the slosh ring is to hold the thermometer in place while frying. However, the slosh ring also helps keep your hot oil in the reservoir in case some knucklehead happens to bump the small Grill-Fryer when you're frying. Please don't test this.

Q. Can I use the fryer for something other than frying?

A. Oh yeah, don't limit yourself to just frying. You can use that cooking reservoir to prepare or serve all kinds of foods. There are tons of ways to use this portable BBQ grill. Stir-fry some meat and veggies. Whip up a small batch of your famous five-alarm chili. Scramble up some sausage, eggs and veggies for a breakfast scramble. Keep nacho cheese cheesy, or baked beans beany. Sauté shrimp scampi. You can also use this cooking reservoir to steam veggies or tortillas with the silicone steamer accessory (not included).

Q. How much food can I cook at once?

A. That's entirely up to you, my friend! The reason for the three cooking zones with three independent burner controls is precisely so you can cook as much food as you want. Total cooking freedom. When it comes to tailgating grills you want something where you can cook as much food as you want. It's not uncommon to see burgers grilling on the grill, fries frying in the fryer, and bacon and onions griddling on the griddle. Or using the fryer bowl to scramble up some eggs with sausage links on the grill and hash browns on the griddle. Use your imagination to open up all sorts of outdoor cooking ideas.

Q. What's the best way to clean this thing?

A. One of the cool features of the ceramic element on our tailgate grills is that it gets so hot it's essentially self-cleaning. After a cooking session, keep the grill on and let it burn off any bits or drippings that may have fallen on or around the element. There shouldn't be much left other than white ash. To clean the other surfaces, you can douse a little water onto the cooking surface with the burners still on and caked-on food will wipe away. Make sure you have some water in the cooking reservoir when cleaning. You can also remove the saucer from the stand and spray-wash it with a garden hose. All other surfaces can be wiped down with a damp cloth or paper towel.

Q. What about long-term cleaning/maintenance?

A. The small Grill’s inner housing shouldn't get too soiled, but you should periodically check it out and wipe down any crumbs or build-up. There is also a removable grease catch located underneath the housing. This doesn't fill up very fast, but keep an eye on it and empty accordingly.

Q. Why don't you put water on an oil fire?

A. The best way to answer this question is to direct you to the professionals. Search “water on oil fire” and watch some videos of firefighters demonstrating the explosive effects water has on an oil fire.

Q. You keep mentioning oil fires. Is this thing dangerous?

A. No, not if it's used correctly—but, the portable barbecue Grill-Fryer is a cooking appliance that uses propane and produces flames and high temperatures, so like just about anything else, it can be dangerous if not used properly. However, if used properly, this thing is as harmless as a kitten.

In terms of oil fires, oil doesn't just catch fire on it's own. Fire needs to come in contact with it for it to ignite. This is nowhere near a common occurrence, but we still want to cover our asses make sure you don't get hurt. If a fire occurs, first turn everything off, then use a damp towel or something similar to smother the fire. You can also pour baking soda, salt, or even sand onto the fire to put it out. Just no water, please.