on July 9, 2009
I bought this grill elsewhere for 80 bucks and the only thing that I can say is that it is a great grill for 80 bucks. Assembly instructions were clear enough for me to follow and not make any mistakes. I do agree that it took a good chunk of time to put together, but for 80 dollars, what do you expect?
I understand the low star rating for the customer(s) that did not receive all of the parts for their grill (my grill came with all noted parts). What I can't understand is people complaining about a grill this cheap that does what it is supposed to do. If you don't want to assemble a grill (or if you can't read instructions), don't buy the grill online. Did you expect it to be assembled and delivered to your back porch? There are plenty of stores that you can go to and buy a pre-assembled grill. If your expecting the highest quality grill for 80 dollars, then you have another problem altogether.
This grill is perfect for my situation, as we live in a 2 bedroom condo on the second floor that only has a small patio/balcony. I was able to leave the left shelf off of the grill and it fits nice and flush against the corner wall. Although I have only grilled on it 3 times so far, it does a fairly good job and it is much better than using our old propane grill that sat on the floor. I would highly recommend this grill if you are looking for a smaller no frills grill that does its job well.
on July 18, 2010
Bought it at a general store for 80 bucks. Afte reading all the reviews here, we were very suspicious about the assembly. So we started very carefully and took stock of all the parts after opening the box. Surprisingly all the parts were there and none was missing. It took me and my wife about 2 hrs to assemble. But the instructions in the booklet were clear and they had very properly marked all the screws which was really helpful.
Did our first barbecue yesterday evening and turn out to be good.
Cooking area is good for 4-5 people.
on July 6, 2012
REASON FOR PURCHASE:
This purchase was a replacement for a much higher quality grill we've had for many years but it died recently. (Condolences not needed as it was age related and it lived a good life!) Anyway, we're moving within a year and decided we'd purchase a better one after the move so we chose this model because it was inexpensive and looked like it would work for us.
As most reviewers have stated the instructions are not the best and the time to put it together was more than what's expected; however, all the pieces were there and no problems with 'making things fit' were experienced as some others have mentioned.
The grill is not the best quality; however, it is sturdy and does not wobble as long as you ensure all pieces are screwed in tightly and it seems adequate for the price paid - less than a C note.
The grill fired up on the first push of the ignite button and no issues have been encountered thus far... but you do need to keep an eye on things as there is no thermostat to gauge the temperature but you do have 2 burners which enables you to cook slowly on the non-lit side.
This model does have places to hang your grilling utensils and the only real issue I have is that the grilling grate is too thin and expect it wouldn't last more than a year or two if highly used... but so far so good.
If you're looking for a grill to last for more than 2-3 years this is not the one - spend a few hundred more and get stainless steel. If you're looking for something to use at the beach, mountains or on the patio once or twice a week this one should do the trick. I don't believe it would stand up to the elements for too long but this is my opinion as I've not had the grill long and it's kept in the garage. My recommendation is to purchase this for weekend grilling of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and the like. If you're a Grill Master you won't be happy but then you shouldn't be looking at this grill anyway! However, if you like to grill and don't mind tending to what you're cooking this grill is for you. (Stay close by and have a couple of beers handy!)
PROS: Price, cooks evenly, 2 burners, requires beer.
CONS: No thermostat, thin grate, need to watch what you cook, requires beer.
on March 17, 2012
This review applies to MN 463620411 S/N 6208141105-019819 purchased 3/12/2012. My experience seemed so much better than many others, perhaps there have been running improvements since 2009. So if your numbers are widely different, or substantially earlier, you may not have the same as I got.
I was looking to replace my 7-year old similar $99 Char-Broil which rusted out(left outside uncovered continually). First, the materials, fit and finish are MUCH better than my old grill. Thicker materials. Better black finish. Everything fits. And surprisingly good hardware, too.
The hardware was packaged in a multi-bubble pack, simple cardboard backing with each part identified under an easy-to-open cardboard flap. Open the flaps as the parts are needed. You have a convenient tray of identified separated parts, easily accessible. Now the parts themselves - as one example, older/other grills I have assembled came with those very cheap, thin, square nuts - and cheap unplated serrated lockwashers. This grill comes with 'flanged nuts' - regular reasonably thick hex nuts with a built-in serrated flange. Hand tighten them, and no need to use a wrench on them as you tighten with a Phillips. Great! All the hardware was of similar quality and consistency. Yes, the metal is a bit soft - you can cam-out the Phillips heads - use a hand screwdriver. But in total, way above other hardware I have seen on cheao grills. All the parts were well packaged - many even wrapped in paper. Not a scratch or mark on any of them. And the burner seems to be made of stainless - though its not mentioned in the advertizing I saw.
Now assembly. Yes, 35-40 minutes is a joke. Maybe for your second or third one - but allow 2 hours for the first. Read the instructions - all of them. Perhaps download the manual while you are waiting for the grill to arrive. Get very familiar with the parts BEFORE starting any assembly, Particulary study pg 15 Parts List and 16 Parts Diagram. Some parts may seem symmetric - but they are not. The only truly symmetric parts are identified on pg 15 with a single Letter and Quantity 2. All others with a Qty 1 are a Left and a Right. One to watch for - the 'Cart Leg, Uppers') (O, K). They may look identical. They are not. The Firebox mounting studs are offset - and need to be assempled with the studs offset toward the inside on both of them or the firebox will not fit. This was the one place I found the manual not too clear. The offsets only really show onpg 20. But I caught it and assembled correctly first time. Everything fit perfectly. I was amazed. So far - four **** stars - only because the parts were not actually labelled or stampted A, B, C etc. - and the 'cart leg' isssue - which I later saw had trapped others...
After installing the propane tank, connecting the regulator, doing the 'leak test' per instructions, we ran the grill for 20 minutes on high - again per instructions to 'burn off' any volatiles in the finish etc. Good idea before cooking anything - as it stank for the first 10 minutes. Then the stench stopped. Cooked some burgers perfectly. Four **** stars for function - only because the grates are wire not cast iron. If they had been cast iron, 5 ***** stars.
So my overall price-independent rating: four **** stars, no question. So far, the best $100 grill I have ever had. But we shall see on durability...
Full Disclosure: This is not a paid shill report. I do not work for Amazon or Char-Broil, and am in fact a 70-year old retiree. With time to waste to write this report..:>)
on September 30, 2009
I had a CharBroil unit before this one that lasted me fifteen years, so I thought I'd try another. This is a great little unit. It is a little wider than my previous unit, but significantly deeper. The internal design, with its rounded heating container, foil over the burners and larger grill surface make for more even heat distribution and smoother cooking. The plastic side shelves are much less likely to warp the way the cedar ones on my previous unit did and the utensil hangers on them are very convenient. Its push button lighter works like a charm and the match holder on a chain that comes with the unit is a nice accessory. All the listed parts came with it, but you have to read the assembly manual VERY carefully to avoid having to go back and do things over as it is not intuitive at all. The only real neagtive about this unit is the assembly time. The 45 minutes listed in the manual is ridiculous. Only someone who is very mechanically inclined AND has done it before could assemble this grill in that time. It took me over three hours.
on May 24, 2015
This was the first grill I had ever purchased and built myself. I assembled this in one night and it wasn't that hard. Right as I was done I found out I was missing a nut. The instructions were pretty straight forward. 2 things tripped me up. There are two U shaped bars that sit at the top of the grill that hold the bottom base of where you cook the food. One of these goes on the left and one of these goes on the right. You want the holes on the top of these to be closer to the inside. I had to disassemble part of it because I didn't see this at first.
The other thing that tripped me up was that there is no where in the directions that tells you how to mount the propane tank. You pretty much have to figure it out for yourself. I figured it out, but it would have been helpful to include this in the directions with photos.I have included photos to show you what it should look like.
Overall I think this is a great grill for the price I paid for it. I'm not a grilling pro just yet but for what I have made so far (hotdog and bratwurst) it has worked out great. The only reason to spend more is if you want a side burner. I didn't think a side burner was necessary for me so I just got this as my first foray into the grilling scene. I might upgrade down the line, but for now this suits my needs. I like to have one burner going and put the bun on the other side where the burner is off. This will toast the bun and keep it hot.
The top cover and bottom base of where you actually do the grilling is a thick black metal. It has a texture and looks high quality. I didn't want stainless steel because of all the fingerprints it would show. The Char-Broil logo stands out on the top part and looks great. With this grill you get a name brand plus the added satisfaction of building it yourself.
on April 13, 2016
First of all disregard the negative reviews due to poor directions. The directions are exactly correct and easy to follow if you take a few minutes to look at the orientation of things. The first step is where most people got in trouble (having to drill holes etc.) because they didn't look at how the upper brackets are oriented relative the lower part of the firebox (item #1). If you look closely at the diagrams you'll notice the lower firebox mounting holes are offset towards the inside. Once you get that correct, the rest is pretty easy, just a little time consuming (took me about 2 hrs. taking my time. Be very careful to not lose any of the mounting hardware since the is exactly the amount needed to assemble the grill.
I made chicken drumsticks after I got it assembled and they came out great. The grill fired up on the first push of the igniter.
The key is to just pay close attention to the detailed directions and how things align with one another.
Update 4-24-16 After a number of uses I noticed the screws and nuts that are in direct contact with the heat in the firebox tend to loosen up a bit because the insulating washers shrink a bit causing the screws to become lose. After a few re-tightenings they seem to stay tight now. Just check screws after a few uses and re-tighten, should be ok after that. I still rate this 5 stars because of the price, size and ease of use.
on May 10, 2012
I've owned one of these in the past (bought it about 6 or 7 years ago) and it was fantastic. Inexpensive - NOT cheap - sturdy, well built... I mean this thing was like a TANK. Practically indestructible. I live in michigan and I used it all year long - sometimes twice a day. I LOVED that grill!
Well, after about 5 years of constant use it finally wore out. No problem, I thought - I'll get another one. After all it was very affordable and I certainly felt like I got my money's worth out of it.
So I bought another one. Well, like they say, "Things ain't what they used to be." The "New and Improved" version is a toy. My original one was heavy and solid. The sidewalls were thick and sturdy. I think you could shoot the thing with a .38 and it would bounce right off.
Well, the new one was flimsy and thin. I think you could practically poke through it with a screwdriver or a pocket knife.
The cooking grate on the old one was thick, solid and heavy. It had a great finish on it and was easy to clean.
Needless to say the new one was light weight and super thin. Everything I cooked on it stuck to it as well.
Well, just three days ago I lit the thing and went into the house to wait for it to warm up. When I came back out, to my horror and surprise, flames were rolling out of the front of it right up and over the flame control knobs and front panel. My knobs were melting and oozing down the front of it. (I should have taken a picture of it, but next day was trash day and I put that thing right out for the garbage.) I thought for sure it was going to explode or something!!
I don't know who the corporate clown was that decided to "upgrade and improve" upon a perfectly good thing. I know - "let's make it a little cheaper and increase our profit margins." Short-sighted suits who can't see past their wallets and their bottom line.
I WILL NEVER buy another grill from these clowns and I will continue to try and educate others about their inferior, flimsy, cheap construction!
I think some of the positive reviews of this grill are probably for people who bought the older version. Or possibly from people who bought the newer one and didn't have the old one to compare it to.
I'm telling you this grill is a piece of garbage... and that's exactly where it will wind up.
If you use your grill 5 or 6 times during the summer, this might be an OK grill for you. If you are a grillmaster who thinks everything tastes better grilled... Please look elsewhere!!
If I could give this thing a ZERO star rating, I would.
on June 6, 2013
I have assembled this grill and used it since late March, and I can say that the most concerns raised on other reviews are valid. This grill is definitely a "value" line, and, while I did not feel the grill was cheaply made, materials and workmanship reflect the price point this grill was targeted. You are really not going to get heavy gauge steel parts or aluminium body for under $90 - that's just reality. The instructions, while not inaccurate, could use a little better illustrations.
Once assembled, the grill has been working perfectly. I already had to ask for a help from the customer service and received a great assistance (read #2 below). I have cooked marinated vegetables and various parts of beef, and they all came out perfect. For a small family I have, this is a perfect starter grill.
There are only 3 problems I experienced with the grill so far - 2 minor & resolved / 1 I choose to live with
1. Due to less than clear instruction, I made a mistake of "swapping" the top portion of the "U" frames on the body. This mistake was not detected until much later in the assembly when I had to attach the heat box to the body. If you make the mistake I made then the heat box will not align with 4 holes from the body's "U" frames. Initially I thought this was due to a poor workmanship since these holes seemed to be off by just 1/8 or 1/4 inches. After much anguish, I stepped back and realized that perhaps I swapped the 2 "U" bar. After even more anguish of having to take apart and reassemble about 50% of work I did up to that point, I confirmed the mistake I made. Chalk this one up for my mistake and I hope you can benefit from this. Make sure you check the alignment of the heat box on top of the frame before attaching gas valves and heat shield.
2. During the assembly, I found out that, for whatever reason, the thin wire and the small female connector that needs to be hook up to the end of the igniter was damaged. Thankfully, the Char-Broil customer service took care of this and sent me a replacement in 3 days. I had to take the heat box off the frame (again, more taking apart what I already assembled) to attach the new wire connector but it was not terribly difficult. Definitely a plus for having a great customer service.
3. I noticed that while I am cooking on this grill, I can hear "popping" sounds, and I think this is because gas flow is being interrupted for some reason. Initially I thought it was a problem with the gas tank, but after using the grill for past 2+ months, this problem continues to occur. I choose to live with this since I am not cooking anything so delicate that would be affected by this problem. Again, I bought a grill that's under $90, and (I think) I have a right set of expectations :)
Overall, if you can follow the assembly instruction carefully, it should not take you more than 45 minutes - 1 hour to put this together. The grill works great and it's a nice little grill to have as a starter if you have a small family. Factor in the price tag, it's an excellent choice.
on March 30, 2013
First let me say I know this is a very inexpensive grill. However that is no excuse for instructions that make no sense and parts that simply do not fit together. The biggest of my complaints is that the legs which loop under the lower portion of the BBQ box are too wide to allow you to put the screws through so you can attach the legs. I was forced to bend and drill the pieces to hobble it together.
Putting this thing together ended up being a two and a half hour ordeal (the instructions proudly proclaim it should take less than 45 min, which would be possible if the instructions were right, made sense, complete and the parts fit together).
It is completely obvious that Char-Broil contracted with a Chinese company to produce this for them, only problem is nobody bothered to make sure they did it right let alone proof read the instructions.
Take my advice and spend a little more for something better.