TEC Sterling III FR Review

SterlingIII FR

TEC has led the way for infrared outdoor cooking in the USA. They license technology to many manufacturers including Char-Broil. As TEC's patents on earlier ceramic IR burners expire, other companies have rushed to produce low cost versions to offer as sear burners on their inexpensive gas grills. Early IR burners easily generated high searing temps, but had trouble in lower ranges. TEC's newer designs employ gas burners directly under a special radiant glass sheet with a cooking grate resting on top. These cookers are said to have a temperature range of 200⁰ to 800⁰. Because foods are not exposed to any open flame and all heat is radiant, there are no flare ups or moisture loss from convection heat.

The Sterling III is a good sized three burner BBQ grill with luxurious qualities like high grade 304 stainless steel construction and beautiful fit and finish. An added benefit of this system is low fuel consumption as heat is concentrated in the radiant glass and not dispersed through the air. For a lower cost alternative, see Char-Broil's beautiful line of Saber Infrared Grills.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
Primary Function: 
Propane Gas
Natural Gas Capable
Primary Capacity: 
522 square inches
Secondary Capacity: 
174 square inches
Main Burners: 
Made in the USA: 
Heat Flux: 
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
Review Method:

Researched it from Afar

We have researched this product from afar by gathering info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources, with our BS meters on high.


Thermal Engineering Corporation (TEC) pioneered the concept of "infrared" grilling in the United States. They make commercial grills, pedestal grills, and cart mounted units. Practically everything is high quality 304 stainless, and built in their Columbia, SC, plant. Their unique cooking system begins with stainless steel burners. Just above the burners is a solid layer of special glass that absorbs and distributes the heat evenly. The stainless steel grates are just above the glass.

As TEC continues to create innovative designs for grilling, their older patents are being licensed to other grill manufacturers. They are available at many high end hearth and patio independent outlets and at BBQ web sites.

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Max Good

As AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, Max Good is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells them around the country.

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