Schwank Infrared Steak Grill Review
If you’re searching for a dedicated infrared “steak” grill to cook your proteins, then you’ve come to the right place. The Schwank Infrared Grill is a high-quality gas grill featuring a 1,500 degree overhead burner that is great for searing everything from ribeyes to swordfish. In this article, we will take a closer look at what this grill offers and how it may benefit your outdoor grilling experience.
Blazing Bull vs. Schwank Infrared Steak Grill
If you are confused like I was when searching for a steak grill, here is the quick answer. The Schwank Infrared Grill is the Blazing Bull Infrared Grill. The company that manufactured the Blazing Bull grill changed the name to Schwank Infrared Grill. I can only assume this was to bring the Schwank name back to the forefront so that branding was cohesive.
Schwank infrared burner technology was used in the Blazing Bull grill, and it is the same burner featured in the current Schwank Infrared Grill. The Schwank grill does still have the “Blazing Bull” logo on the front, but it no longer goes by that moniker. Gunther Schwank’s infrared burner technology is used all over the world for searing food and in outdoor heating applications for patios. His grandson Oliver Schwank now runs the Schwank Company.
What’s in the Schwank Infrared Grill Box?
- Schwank Infrared Grill
- Stainless inner liner
- Stainless-steel drip tray
- Stainless-steel grill grate
- Stainless-steel grill handle
- Gas hose to connect to propane tank (tank not included)
- Battery for igniter
- User manual
The Schwank Infrared Grill comes with everything you need right out of the box to get started grilling steaks and other various proteins. Most of the parts are constructed from high quality stainless-steel, and the built-in igniter makes quick startups a breeze. All parts can be removed and thrown into the dishwasher for easy clean up.
Schwank Infrared Grill Build Quality
The build quality of the Schwank Infrared Grill is impressive. The unit is made of all stainless steel and weighs in around 62 lbs, which is quite heavy for such a small unit. All the components are made from thick stainless-steel, which contributes to the weight. Most of the grill is pre-assembled, and the loose parts can be attached in seconds. You will need to connect the gas line and test the connection for leaks before getting started.
Schwank Infrared Grill Portability
The Schwank Infrared Grill is a self-contained all-in-one stainless-steel broiler with heavy-duty handles on the sides. The unit can be easily transported in the back of a pickup truck to your favorite tailgating spot. The unit features a built-in igniter, so once you have your propane tank connected, you should be up to temp in about five minutes. One thing to keep in mind is you will need a metal surface to set the grill on top of when in use, as it gets hot during operation.
Grill Grate Stops When Pulled Out
The Schwank Infrared Grill includes a heavy-duty grill grate that can withstand the extreme heat from the overhead burners. The back side of the grill grate has a rolled up lip that acts as a stopper when pulling the grate out. This prevents you from sliding the grate out too far and dropping your food on the ground. If you do need to remove the grate for cleaning, you can lift the front up high enough to slide the back lip past the stoppers for full removal.
Height Adjustment Lever for Grill Grate
The Schwank Infrared Grill includes a manual lever on the side that allows you to raise and lower the grill grate to seven different heights. Because the 1500 degree overhead burner is not variable in output, the heat intensity is adjusted by bringing your food closer to the burners. If you want extreme heat, raise to level 7. If you want the least amount of heat, lower to level 1. The owner’s manual shows level 1 to be approximately 500F and level 7 to be approximately 1500F.
Built-in Stainless Removable Drip Tray
The lower portion of the Schwank Grill has a removable stainless-steel drip tray that is used to capture juices. This lower area is also great for melting down butter or sautéing shrimp in butter and fat drippings while your proteins cook above. The heat from the infrared burners is intense, so the drip tray will get hot enough to cook some delicate proteins, and it is a great place to rest your steak after cooking.
Top Red Gas Knob on the Schwank Grill
The top red knob on the Schwank Grill is the on and off for the gas. The knob is not adjustable like a standard gas grill. There are two settings for “on” and “off”. Like we mention earlier in this article, your temperature is controlled by the height adjustment lever for the grill grate. Higher up is more intense heat around 1500F and at the lowest level the heat is around 500F which is still pretty intense.
Igniter Button on the Schwank Grill
The Schwank Infrared Grill has a battery operated ignition button located on the front of the unit. When pressed, this sends a spark up to an igniter located by the overhead burners, creating ignition which makes for easy starts. The black button has a cover that unscrews, which makes for simple battery replacement.
How Do You Cook a Steak on an Infrared Grill?
The user’s guide included with the Schwank Infrared Grill recommends searing your steak one minute per side at the beginning of the cook, with the steak about 1 – 1 1/2” away from the top infrared burner. For steaks under 1” thick you will most likely use level 7 while thicker steaks may require you to drop the grill grate down to level 6 to prevent the meat from touching the burner.
After the initial one-minute-high intensity sear per side, the manual recommends dropping the grate level down to level 3. Here you can finish cooking your steak to your desired doneness, flipping it once through the final cook. I have found level 4 works better if you prefer a better crust on top of the steak. Of course, this is dependent on the thickness of the steaks you are cooking.
How Long Does a Steak Cook on the Schwank Grill?
Most steaks you cook on the Schwank Infrared Grill will be ready in under ten minutes. The cook time of your steak will be similar to when cooking on other grills. The main difference is you won’t have flare-ups like when cooking a fatty ribeye over an open flame. Because the heat is coming from above, and the fact you can quickly control the intensity, getting that perfect crust on your steak can be dialed in over time.
For average steaks, I would say the total cook time is around 8 minutes for a steak cooked to medium, but of course, this can vary depending on the thickness of the meat and your desired doneness. No other grill I know of allows you to move the protein closer or further away from the heat source as quickly as the Schwank Infrared Grill.
Steaks on the Schwank Infrared Grill
This article would be absolutely worthless if we didn’t show steaks seared on the Schwank Infrared Grill. While this grill can cook all types of proteins and vegetables, steaks seem to always dominate the conversation, which is why they are called “steak grills”. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best steaks we have produced on our infrared grill.
Bone-in Ribeye on the Schwank Grill
I am a big fan of bone-in meat, and these ribeyes cooked on the Schwank Infrared Grill did not disappoint. As you can see, the bone starting heating up, generating some good char marks which transfer that flavor to the meat. Eating a good steak off the bone provides an experience that can’t be matched with the boneless alternatives.
Boneless Ribeyes on the Schwank Grill
Here are some larger boneless ribeyes I cooked on the Schwank Infrared Grill. I cooked these ribeyes on level 3 throughout the whole cook to keep it simple. If I had raised the grate up to level 6 or 7, there would be a little darker crust on the outside of the steaks. Either way, they came out great and cooked to our desired doneness without getting burned up in flareups or an out of control charcoal fire.
Dry Aged Ribeye on Schwank Grill
- 12oz dry-aged Prime 1 HEB ribeye
- Seared on level 5 on Schwank Grill
- 5 min each side
- No seasoning
- Salt after
- Perfect crust, tenderness, and flavor
- No butter
I would be lying if I didn’t say one of the best steaks I have ever grilled at home came off my Schwank Infrared Grill. Our local HEB grocery store offers thirty day dry-aged steaks throughout the year that are some of the tastiest steaks we have purchased. The steaks are Prime 1 beef, and they don’t need anything on them when cooking.
We usually let them sit out for a bit and then cook them without any seasoning. Once they are done, we will either sprinkle some kosher salt on the steaks or on our plates, so we can dab each piece of steak in a little salt. That’s all that is needed to enjoy the awesome flavor of prime dry-aged beef.
Do Steakhouses Use Schwank Infrared Grills?
Yes, not only do many steakhouses use infrared grills, many of the top steakhouses in the world are using commercial overhead infrared broilers with Schwank technology. Schwank is the proud supplier of the infrared burners used in Southbend Professional Broilers, which can be found in steakhouses all over the world.
Seafood on the Schwank Infrared Grill
While steak may dominate the conversion with infrared grills, seafood is a close second. The interesting thing about delicate seafood like fish is many times it’s hard to blacken the top or get a good sear on it because it can fall apart when flipping. I have found the Schwank Infrared Grill might be one of the best ways to cooked fish, as it leaves the highly desirable sear on top of your fish without ever having to flip the protein.
Salmon on the Schwank Grill
Here is some beautiful salmon cooked on the Schwank Grill. We cooked on level 3 which formed a nice black sear on top of the filet. The final bite was juicy salmon with a nice blackened top that paired perfectly with the garlic butter we finished it with.
Swordfish on the Schwank Grill
Swordfish is one of our favorite cuts of fish because it cooks out like a thick steak. This particular filet we cooked was very thick, so we seared it on level 2 and 3 to give the inside time to catch up with the outside. The intensity of the heat coming from the Schwank overhead burners can burn your meats if they are thicker, so lowering them works out better. As you can see, the outside will still generate a beautiful crust, while the inside finishes light and flaky.
Rainbow Trout on Schwank Grill
These thin rainbow trout filets cooked in no time with the 1500F overhead burners. If you cook lots of fish filets, firing up the Schwank Grill to cook some fish takes no time at all, and it keeps all the smells and smoke outside. One less thing to clean up and worry about after dinner.
Shrimp on Schwank Grill
Because shrimp are so delicate, you can cook them at a lower setting or in the drip tray below the grill grate with some butter and garlic. Either way, you will have one of the best sides when eating steak or fish. The bottom drip tray allows them to sauté while cooking, allowing them to soak up butter and garlic for maximum flavor.
Chicken Wings on Schwank Grill
If you are not a fan of frying in vegetable oil, cooking chicken wings on the Schwank Infrared Grill might be for you. These garlic Parmesan wings turned out great after receiving a good sear from the high intensity overhead burners. Grilled wings will never be as juicy as fried wings, but I find them to be tasty when seared properly. If you’re cooking wings for a large party, the Schwank Grill is not the best option, as the cooking capacity is much smaller than your typical oven or fryer.
Hot Dogs and Corn on Schwank Grill
Who doesn’t love a good beef hotdog and blackened corn on the cob? We started by getting some color on the corn and then moved it down below with some butter. As the butter melted, we spun the cobs throughout the cook to absorb some butter. The dogs on top were generating a good black sear, which is always a top request for any hot dog.
Cover for Schwank Infrared Grill
The cover for the Schwank Grill is sold separately, and the manufacturer recommends it if the unit will be sitting out in the weather. I purchased the cover because the grill is expensive and thought keeping the weather off the internals was important. The front drawstring can be tightened to help prevent the cover from flying off.
The side of the cover has slots that open that allow you to grab the side handles if transporting the unit. This is handy, so the cover does not have to be removed during transport, in case it’s in the weather in the back of a truck.
Even the connection port for the propane tank has an open slot for it to peek through. There is a Velcro strap that attaches below to secure the cover.
Disadvantages of the Schwank Infrared Grill
While the Schwank Grill has many advantages, there are some disadvantages we need to discuss. Because the unit is open on the front with no doors, the overhead infrared broilers can blow out if you are grilling on a windy day. If this happens to you, you will need to shut off the gas and go back through the ignition sequence.
Cooking Capacity on Schwank Grill
The Schwank Infrared Grill is not made to cook for large crowds. I would say it can accommodate a family of four that is grilling weekly. If you throw large parties or gatherings, you will need something with more space so all your food is rendered out at the same time.
If you are a couple looking to cook exactly what we have shown in this article, it might just be the perfect grill for you. As you can see above, we can fit three decent size NY Strip steaks or two large ribeyes at one time. The two larger ribeyes could be cut in half to serve four people along with any sides you may be having.
Grease Fire on Schwank Grill
When cooking fatty meats like ribeye, you will generate a lot of grease buildups on the grate and adjustable shelf. If the grate is too close to the overhead burner, it could ignite and cause a grease fire. This has happened a few times while using the grill, which is similar to my experience with our Weber gas grill. Fatty cuts of meat tend to lead to small grease fires on any gas grill I have used over the years.
Warped Drip Tray
While cooking one day, I noticed the lower drip tray was rocking back and forth. The tray had gotten so hot it warped the metal, causing the corner to rise. Once it cooled down, it straightened out to its normal shape. The drip tray is the thinnest metal in the unit, which explains why it warped. The next variation should be made with a slightly thicker drip tray.
Schwank Infrared Grill Cleanup
If I had to choose one main disadvantage to owning the Schwank Grill, it would be the cleanup. But, in all fairness, this can be said for many grills. The grill grate will eventually turn completely black, and trying to get it clean is almost impossible. Even firing up the 1500 degree overhead burners will not burn off the cooked on grease, but at least the grate will be sterilized.
I have found placing a foil sheet on top of the lower drip tray helps with clean up. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but it will trap most of the grease, allowing you to throw it away once it cools down.
One of the nice things about the design of the Schwank Grill is all the stainless components can be removed for cleaning. This includes the bottom drip tray, drip tray holder, and the complete stainless-steel interior liner. All components can be hand washed or put in the dishwasher.
Best 1,500 Degree Infrared Steak Grill?
I could not tell you if the Schwank Infrared Grill is the best 1,500 degree steak grill on the market today because I have not tested every option out there. I can only provide feedback of my experience using the grill to sear and cook all types of proteins. There isn’t a trial period from the manufacturer with the grill, so you will need to decide if it’s a proper fit for your family based on the reviews and videos found online.
The Schwank Infrared Grill can grill steaks, seafood, chicken, and veggies with intense heat to create a sear that is second to none. It is a unique grill with a top-down grilling design that prevents flareups with fatty ribeyes and perfectly blackens fish without every having to flip the filet. While it is not a perfect grilling machine, and to be honest, there is no such thing, it does a fantastic job at what is advertises to be. An overhead broiler with a patented Schwank infrared burner system that can output intense heat up to, 1500F, to give you that steakhouse experience right in the comfort of your own home.