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New Charbroil Grill Questions

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Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:50 pm

I just bought a new Charbroil Commercial Stainless Steel grill from Lowes. I paid $400 for it and thought it looked very good compared to others in this price range. I brought it home to cook on it and now have some questions.

This is a 40,000 BTU grill, and I pre-heat it for 45 minutes, and it never gets hotter than 450. It should get hotter than that right? Is it safe to assume there is something wrong with this thing.

Also, it did not come with and they do not sell the "flame tamers" the metal protection between the burner and the cooking grid. I have not seen too many problems with flareups, even thought the flame is exposed, but I do notice a hotter area in the back, due to the flame being higher here. Does anyone know why this is the only model out there that does not come with these? Is this a problem?

I was thinking of taking this back and upgrading to Jenn-Air, but for $200 more, I thought I would try to solicit some other opinions first.

I am pretty new to grilling so any help is appreciated.

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:06 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
It should get MUCH hotter than 450. With the lid closed, you should easily reach 600 in 15 - 20 minutes. You need this high a temperature to sear meat effectively.

Are you saying there is nothing between the food and the flame? No ceramic briquetts, no lava rocks, no metal bars, nothing? If so, this is the only grill I've ever heard of that works like this. Trust me, you will have mucho flare-up problems.

My suggestion is if you can return it do so ASAP. Forget the other CharBroils and don't worry about stainless steel (ss is for pretty, not cooking.) For about the same money, get a Weber Genesis Silver B. No stainless steel for that money, but you'll have absolutely the most efficient, and reliable grill on the market. Both Consummer Reports and Cook's Illustrated picked it as the best buy in it's class. It has a 10 year guarantee on most parts, and I can tell you from experience that Weber customer service is a pleasure to work with. You would have tro buy 4 or 5 CharBroils to grill as long as you will on one Weber.
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:13 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I'm no fan of gas as everyone here knows, but that said, if I were to purchase one, no question I'd get a Weber. It sounds to me as though your grill is missing parts. Also, the whole BTU thing is not the most effective thing to look for. As Paul says, the Webers are effecient and thus do more with less which is what you want anyway unless unnecessarily buring gas is some kind of fascination. I liken the BTU ads to the department store telescopes that brag about magnification when magnification has little to do with what you see but rather aperture though admittedly BTUs do have to do with how hot you can get but depends on a lot of other variables.
Last edited by Airfoils on Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:15 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
tbergdo welcome to the board. Since you're new to grilling I hope you'll sign up and stick around for a while. There are a lot of good people here ready to help with a lot of good information.

I don't have this grill but looking at the owner's manual, it lists the flame tamers as item "I" in the exploded view illustration of the grill. So it looks like they should have come with your unit.

It's sort of comical and ironic that the owner's manual informs you not to store the propane tank near the grill or in enclosed areas and then the assembly instructions have you bolt it in the cabinet space under the grill!

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:40 pm
tbergdo raw

Posts: 3
Location: San Antonio, TX
Thanks for the welcome, I have seen much good info here so I did register and will definitley follow this board regularly now that I have found it.

In regards to the owners manual, Here is the one that I have... and I have all the parts here, but item I is not for the flame tamers, but for the heat shield for the burners. I asked 3 different people at the store and they said they don't come with them because they don't need them..

So what do you guys think about the Jenn-Air as compared to the Webers? The Jenn-Air got comsumer reports best buy last year, beating out the weber even. They are a little pricey but seem good from what I can tell.

I have spoken with Char-Broil customer servcie and they agree it should get hotter than that. They are sending me a new thermomoter. I guess I''ll see if that helps, if not I will be taking htis back for anew one.

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:48 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I've looked at this grill before it is a nice unit. I'd say that something is amis in your case. Like Paul said you need the heat. And unless you enjoy playing flareup hopscoth you want the bars or at least something! I even feel that the bars help regulate the heat just like a water pan does in a smoker. I'll never grill without them anymore.

I like stainless although it is in part an asthetic feature.

Deffinately take it back.

Wether you stick with the Charbroil, go with the Jen Air or jump to a Weber is up to you. I too am a weber fan. But if you truely want stainless (like I did) these are two great grills for the $. Webers in stainless add more than you may want to spend. If not then by all means nobody here will speak bad of Weber in any metal/finish. Or at least I've never seen them. Maybe Vinsect can chime in with some more specifics, he sells the things after all.

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:24 pm
tbergdo raw

Posts: 3
Location: San Antonio, TX
One other one that I forgot to mention that I liked was the Vermont Castings at Home Depot. Anyone know anything about these?

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:02 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Yep I had a different manual. Vinsect is our resident Home Depot rep. Maybe he can hook you up on that question.

Post Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:32 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Tbergdo, Welcome to the board. It's unfortunate that the grill won't come up to hotter temps. You paid for something to work right the first time. If it were me, and I could take it back, I would. You should not have to mess with it. Hope that things turn out okay for you.


Post Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:09 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
Welcome to the group and to the next frontier in grilling. I've been reading the previous posts and I followed the link to look at your manual. We don't sell that particular model at Home Depot but from looking at the manual it looks more like a Vermont Castings than the Char-Broils we carry.
There should be vapor bars or flavorizer bars over your burners. Your manual is showing them too. If there are doubts about your thermometer, try putting the sensor probe in boiling water. The needle should read close to 212 degrees.
If you do decide to bring it back, the Weber Genesis Silver would be an excellent choice. (Genesis Gold B if you want stainless steel, C if you want a sideburner)
...or get a cheapo gas grill and get a Weber kettle charcoal grill too. If you stick with grilling and particularily if you hang around us and try enough of Steven's recipes, you'll really appreciate having both. The Weber charcoal kettle is one of the most versatile designs you'll find.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

Post Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:54 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Vinsect that's a great idea and it completely slipped my mind. I did the very same thing with my themometers this week and found one of the three was 2 degrees low. Thanks for that suggestion!

Post Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:28 am
tbergdo raw

Posts: 3
Location: San Antonio, TX
So what do you guys think of the Vermont Castings grills at Home Depot? They seem pretty solid, but I have not heard too much about. I was going to go check those out today once I tak the Char-Broil back.

Post Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:06 pm
Bubba rare

Posts: 15
Location: San Angelo, Texas
I also recently bought a Charbroil Commercial Series from Lowes - I am thinking it is the same grill as you purchased. I have NOT had the same problems - mine has been fantastic. It generally heats up to over 500 degrees in less than 15 minutes and it DOES have the flame-tamers....sounds like yours may be missing parts. Also, are you using a new propane bottle? If so, I have had issues in the past with the valves on new propane bottles not opening all the way. Check to make sure there is no kink in the line that feeds the propane to the burners . Just some suggestions. Good luck!

Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 3:42 pm
MReynolds well done
well done

Posts: 394
Location: Missouri, St. Peters
As an owner of three Charbroil grills (currently), I've become a bit familiar with them. I've had to contact CS in the past when I purchased three grills on clearance because they were missing parts. That particular instance, I ordered a total of 27 pieces free of charge w/o problem. Then gave away two of the grills as Christmas gifts.

Having said that, the link you posted for the manual shows that the unit you purchased is a new '04 model. I can tell you that the mfg is notorious about changing models from year-to-year and even mid-year. From the manual, it appears as if they changed the burner design to incorporate the flame tamer into the main burner unit. ( I could be wrong, as I'm viewing a pdf file on the computer.)

The part number for last year's model (463231503) is Flame Tamer P01705005E. Should come in a qty of 3.

To me it seems as if the mfg's are trying to guess what the consumer wants in the way of a grill and trying desperatly to fill that niche. Unfortunately they don't realize we want nothing more than a good quality, durable product. Quit changing things! That's the great thing about Weber. They're timeless and hardly ever change.
PETA - People Eat Tasty Animals

Post Mon Mar 15, 2004 7:54 pm
elmtx rare

Posts: 14
Location: Grapevine, Texas
I agree with MReynolds that Charbroil changes their grills constantly and they could have removed the flame tamers on your model. I saw your grill setup at my local Lowes and noticed the absence of anything between the burners and the flames as well. Now from the manual it looks like that wasn't a mistake! They probably did it just so people could better see thoise pretty cast-brass burners. :lol:
I have owned several Charbroils as well and tell everyone to simply avoid them altogether when getting a grill. They change entire burner systems almost every year and most of the time they are getting worse and not improving their design. I'm really not sure if they have one BBQ designer that has ever actually used one of their gas grills. :roll:
Your a little late in asking, but I would take the grill back. No grill costing that much should have issues like this. I would look at the Weber Genesis Silver , the Jenn-Airs, and the Members Mark grill from Sams if you can up your budget. I like the new Jenn-Airs better than the Vermont Castings. The real truth is that designing a great gas grill is hard to get right and the Weber has worked for a long time. Look for grill designs that change very little from year to year. The less they change, the more you know they have perfected it over time. The three I mentioned fall into that category with the Weber being the most affordable. You can get lucky on any other gas grill and end up with a few extra features than the Weber, but you will likely spend more and could strike out on what matters (Good grilling). If you do get the Weber I would buy it from Home Depot because that one comes with upgraded cast-iron grill grates for the same money. I also have a SS grill, but would actually prefer a non-SS exterior. It gets ugly quick compared to black coated steel. SS on the inside and burners of SS or cast brass is altogether differant and what you want so they don't burn up.
Good Luck! - Erik

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