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Char-Broil Tru Infrared

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Post Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:19 pm
naterea medium
medium

Posts: 183
Location: St. Louis
Has anyone had any experiences good or bad with these grills? Specifically the ones from Lowe's. There appears to be a slight different between the Lowe's brand and the Home Depot brand.

Any thoughts??
55 gallon UDS
Weber 22.5 Kettle
Charbroil Silver Smoker

Post Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:20 pm
lostarrow well done
well done

Posts: 597
Location: mississippi
These actually cook very well for an inexpensive gasser,BUT are not made from the most durable materials.
If you use infrequently & is under cover I'd say ok, if its going to be your main cooker or store in elements might want to invest in a higher end grill.
New Braunfels
vermont castings gas grill
WSM
Char-Griller Kamodo

Post Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:01 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5865
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Char-Broils are pretty decent gassers. I've helped assemble a few of these in the past few years for friends an neighbors and they're actually built fairly well. All I'd caution about is that you take you time and follow the directions exactly if you are assembling it yourself.

Every Char-Broil I've helped build has held up very well even in the harsh weather we get up here in Canada. A solid cover is a necessity but that's true of all grills.

I don't like all-infrared grills, though, as I've found that they're not as versatile as other gassers with combinations of infrared and other burners. Straight infrared is good for searing steaks but not not always controllable enough for lower-heat cooking. I've also found that the infrared burners don't always work well in cold weather either.

I looked at the Char-Broil grills when I bought my gasser last spring, and I picked another manufacturer instead. For $300 I picked up a Master Chef E-550 with 4 burners, rotisserie burner and an infrared sear/side burner instead.

Still, Char-Broils are good grills for the price, but I just wouldn't go all-infrared. If there is a combo out there with multiple burner types it might serve you better. If you keep it under a good cover, it should last you several years.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:44 am
naterea medium
medium

Posts: 183
Location: St. Louis
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Right now it's just me, my wife and two kids under 7 so I didn't need a big 4 burner grill with the side burner. I picked up the infrared 2 burner Char-Broil gasser. I'll see how it works. If I don't like it I can always swap out the infrared grates for standard ones or grill grates and just have a normal gas grill.

I'll report back in a few months and let you know how it works.
55 gallon UDS
Weber 22.5 Kettle
Charbroil Silver Smoker

Post Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:34 pm
fballfan2 raw
raw

Posts: 6
Do not buy. I had one for 1 1/2 years. I kept it under a covered patio with a grill cover on it always. It is not built well or very durable. It completely rusted out. The burners were covered under a full warranty, but the problem was I could not attach them to anything because of the rust of the screws and firebox, so I had to buy a new firebox. Then I realized the valves completely rusted out and could not attach the new burners. It is definitely not worth the price. $550. I would either buy a cheaper grill that you can get 2 or 3 years out of or buy a reliable brand that will last 10-15 years.

Post Thu May 16, 2013 2:29 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5865
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
I just had a great look under the hood of one of these units and I'd agree with fballfan2. I took some pics to show why:

Here's the grill, badge and sales fluff on the grill outside the store:

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I moved inside because it was getting windy and dusty and found the same grill in the showroom. I opened the hood on this thing and the first thing I did was look at the grates.


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On the surface they look like solid stainless steel grates.


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There's even a cute little grate-level thermometer on each grate. But flip the grate over and that's where things get disappointing.


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The actual cooking grates aren't solid anything. They're hollow tubular grates and seem a bit flimsy. They may have been stainless steel but they felt like aluminum. Plus, since they're hollow they don't have the thermal mass to conduct heat as well as solid grates. But let's dig even deeper.


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Here is the baffle beneath the grate. I was suspicious because I figured it might just be a flame spreader for a standard burner.


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That suspicion was confirmed when I saw a basic V-shaped flame tamer....


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... and a basic grill burner beneath it.

So call it what they like, this isn't a true infrared grill at all. It's a basic gas grill with a bunch of baffles on it. I also believe that those baffles will also catch grease like crazy and flare up. Also, since the holes are so small I can already tell that the baffles won't spread the heat evenly, especially since that v-shaped flame tamer is beneath it.

By contrast, here is a true infrared sear/side burner on my grill.

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This grill uses a ceramic element instead of just a baffle. You can actually see the glow from the burner - that's true infrared cooking. (And that's Steven's grill scraper in the pic - a really nice tool for heavy grill cleaning.) :D

Finally, I want to thank the staff of the Lowe's store I went to for not bothering me when I took apart his grill - at all. I spent 25 minutes on their sales floor and didn't get approached by a single salesperson even once, although the store was almost empty of customers. (Maybe they all went on an extended coffee break at once?). Though it was nice not to hear "Can I help you?" every 3 minutes, I dread to think what a customer would think if they really wanted to buy a grill - or anything, for that matter. :twisted:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Thu May 16, 2013 3:51 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7504
Location: Stoughton, WI
Nice job of going into Consumer Reports mode!

I wonder if this model is what's left of the original design after the accountants got done with it. :wink:

Post Thu May 16, 2013 5:33 pm
sroach well done
well done

Posts: 1166
Location: Warrington, PA
Nice report Canada. I am going to have to get you to go to the car dealer, next time I am in the market.. :-)
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_________________
XL BGE
18.5 Kettle Gold
18.5 WSM

Post Fri May 17, 2013 10:17 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5865
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
sroach wrote:
Nice report Canada. I am going to have to get you to go to the car dealer, next time I am in the market.. :-)


Oh you don't want to go there. I've been known to bring car salespeople to tears because they can't BS me.... :twisted:
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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