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270 of 276 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After first couple of uses, I am very impressed!
I have always been a wood fire BBQ kind of guy - I like meat cooked over a *real* flame, and even charcoal has always seemed to me like cheating (though I've been using charcoal Weber kettle grills for 20 years). I never even considered a gas grill for myself for these reasons.

For my senior Mom & Dad, however, the task of lighting charcoal, etc was too much...
Published on May 26, 2009 by B. Christensen

versus
87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning...Don't buy a Charbroil Infrared Grill!!!
I bought the 3 burner Charbroil Red infrared grill two years ago from Home Depot and have had problems with the durability of the most critical part in the grill, the infrared emitting troughs. After a year the coating on the troughs rusted and the coating lost its ability to effectively transmit an acceptable amount of heat to the grill.

While Charbroil...
Published on July 22, 2011 by Gunaby Wild


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270 of 276 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After first couple of uses, I am very impressed!, May 26, 2009
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I have always been a wood fire BBQ kind of guy - I like meat cooked over a *real* flame, and even charcoal has always seemed to me like cheating (though I've been using charcoal Weber kettle grills for 20 years). I never even considered a gas grill for myself for these reasons.

For my senior Mom & Dad, however, the task of lighting charcoal, etc was too much hassle, so this past weekend I went out shopping for a gas grill for them. After going back and forth between three different home centers and Costco, I settled on this unit as by far the best "bang for the buck" in terms of build quality, performance characteristics, and ease of use for under $500. I seriously considered going up to the Weber Genesis, but for 50% more, I just couldn't quite justify it. My requirement was good quality for under $500. At this price point, its all about QPR (quality price ratio)...

After about a one-hour erector set project putting it all together (not difficult, just tedious and time consuming), I fired it up and let heat for about 10-15 minutes to get the manufacturing residue completely burned off. I was immediately impressed with how hot the cooking surfaces became (and how quickly). The nifty temp sensors at the grate level registered 700+ degrees, though I don't know how accurate they really are.

After burn-off, I tried it out with what I have found to be one of the trickiest things to grill over open flame (gas or wood/charcoal): raw marinated bone-in chicken parts. To be done right, the chicken has to be crispy on the outside - not burned, and moist and completely cooked on the inside. With unevenly shaped and sized chicken parts, this can be devilishly tricky.

But with this grill, I found I was able to keep the left most burner at full throttle, and the two right burners at low settings and get creative. This allowed me to beautifully sear the skin using the left side of the grill, then finish cooking on the right side (with the BBQ closed). The results were impressive for a gas grill, which in my experience usually turn out either damp, gray, limp chicken with no BBQ taste, or something resembling the effects of a structure fire (charred and dried out) .

One of my favorite things about this grill turned out to be that it is really easy to add wood chips for smoke flavor. Because there is a perforated metal "screen" (the infrared reflector) under the food, it catches the wood chips and holds them at a perfect smoking temperature where they will smolder but not burn up.

Speaking of flare-ups, this grill did NOT exhibit flare-ups at all. Even with fatty pieces of chicken that had been marinated in an olive oil mixture, there was almost no burning or excessive smoking, even on the "searing" side of the hot grill.

When turned down low, I also found the evenness of the heating surface to be impressively consistent, and the large stainless "grill" surface not only made great marks on the food, but also did not stick as badly as most coated steel or iron grill surfaces do.

On the con side, I can imagine that the perforated screen is going to require some periodic maintenance to keep it clean. The good news is that it comes out in three easy-to-handle sections shaped like little trays, each holding a section of grill. You pull the "tray" up and out, then lift the grill surface out of the tray making both very easy to clean.

One final note - I also prepared a boneless leg of lamb on the grill using a "generic" rotisserie (Grill-Pro brand). it *barely* fit between the closed lid and the grill surface, but again, the infrared cooking system worked great. I warmed it up at full throttle for about 5-10 minutes before mounting the marinated lamb roast, then allowed it to sear beautifully for about 15 minutes. Then I turned the burners all down to their lowest settings, threw on a thumb-sized stick of oak from one of our trees, and dropped the lid.

An hour and a half later, we enjoyed one of the best lamb roasts I have ever had.

Recommended, especially if you can get it for the price I paid (which was about less than Amazon's currently listed price)

Pros:
*Great heat output for searing. I've not used a gas grill that gets a hotter cooking surface (other than commercial equipment)
*Even distribution of heat for predictable results, very little flare-up.
*Good low-temp performance
*Easy to use wood chips for flavor, unlike many gas grills
*Good (for its price-point) build quality in the hood and firebox. Cabinets are thin stainless steel.

Cons:
*Bottom 1/2 of construction is a bit flimsy, but better than many at this price point
*Requires pre-heating for about 10 minutes for best results
*Periodic clean-up will be required for optimum performance, and cleanup will be messy

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September 2014 update

I can't believe it has been over 5 years since I originally wrote this review. Interestingly, it has gotten more attention that a lot of my other reviews, so I'll felt I should write a quick update. I'm visiting my folks and used it three times in the last 4 days. It has been outside, but covered by a good quality "Brinkmann" cover. It still performs great and works as well as it did on Day 1. One thing I've noticed is that it is very sensitive to getting low on fuel. When the propane tank gets down to about 1/4 full, I swap out to a fresh tank - otherwise it just doesn't get as hot (and I like grilling steaks on a HOT grill).

Great for grilling steaks, chicken, and fish. Not so great for rotisserie. if you want to be able to put stuff on a rotisserie, I'd recommend looking elsewhere (the lid fits too close and rubs against the meat). But for grilling cuts of meat, chicken, or fish, this is a really great piece of gear for the money. Even fillets of relatively soft fish like trout and salmon don't stick to the grill, and fatty pieces of steak or chicken don't flare up and burn. I continue to be impressed.
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good grill for the money, June 21, 2009
By 
David Bigl (Springfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
My girlfriend purchased this grill for me about 3 months ago and I have used it about 30 times mostly for steaks, chicken breasts, and hamburgers. It has decent size cooking area. I can cook 9 huge steaks at the same time. Unless you plan on having a lot of cookouts with more than 20 people there then it is plenty big enough (and even then it is adequate). It is very easy to regulate the temperature of the grill because of the thermometer at the grilling surface so once you find a temperature that cooks the food the way you like it, it is easy to duplicate the desired results with amazing consistency (when i grill steaks i heat up the grill to 650 degrees and throw the steaks on for 7 minutes on each side to get a good sear, then I turn the burners off completely until the temperature drops to 400, then I fire it up and put it on low and close the grill...it gives me a great sear on the outside and is extremely tender on the inside). I haven't had a single flare-up...even on the fattiest piece of meat drenched in olive oil. I only have two small complaints. Cleaning the grill is more difficult than with a conventional grill (but besides scraping off the grates i only clean it once a month so it's not a big deal. That causes it to be less efficient but I'm lazy after eating a big meal so as long as the food comes out ok then I'm happy). The only other complaint I have is that the stainless steel grates do get stained and they aren't very attractive looking after a few uses but I don't really mind that. As long as they're functional I'm happy. Overall I would highly recommend it and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it's difficult to clean.
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92 of 104 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Better Way to Cook, April 25, 2009
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
The big advantages of this grill are even heating and flavor. Even low fat content hamburgers came out juicy and did not shrink. The manufacturer claims that it uses 30% less fuel and it does cook faster than open flame barbeques, but there is a full power 10-15 minute warm up and then another high heat period after you finish to burn off cooking residue so total gas use may actually be more than claimed.

It does not flare up but the screens underneath the grills need to be cleaned or the heat output will drop off. This grill requires more maintenance each time than an open flame unit but it is worth it. Our previous Brinkman BBQ completely rusted out (burners, supports, firebox) after five years but we didn't take very good care of it

A couple of neat features are that you can rotisserie without a special burner, you can add wood chips without a smoker box and there are separate thermometers at grill height for each burner. This latter feature makes temperature control especially easy and accurate at the cooking surface.

All in all very pleased with this grill. Time will tell just how durable it will be, but the screens should protect the firebox and burners better than an open flame BBQ. Burners are lifetime warranty.
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87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Warning...Don't buy a Charbroil Infrared Grill!!!, July 22, 2011
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I bought the 3 burner Charbroil Red infrared grill two years ago from Home Depot and have had problems with the durability of the most critical part in the grill, the infrared emitting troughs. After a year the coating on the troughs rusted and the coating lost its ability to effectively transmit an acceptable amount of heat to the grill.

While Charbroil replaced the parts under warranty last year, they are beginning to rust again. Obviously they still have a design flaw. Of course now it's past their two year warranty period and they are refusing to replace them. The cost of replacing the troughs is about $100 plus shipping.
I also experienced problems with the chrome finish peeling off some of the handles. I've always kept the grill covered with a Charbroil cover when not in use and even went so far as to buy a desiccant canister to keep in the grill.

I will add that I have been rather pleased with the cooking performance of the grill and ease of cleanup, but it's totally unacceptable to produce a product with such a serious problem and not deliver more than a year's worth of service.

So unless you want to add over $100 in annual maintenance costs to your new grill after two years, I suggest that you pass on this grill and look for a more dependable brand...I soon will.
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I too am impressed with quantum cooking, September 10, 2009
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I'm not sure I buy all the physics they claim is behind this but I do speak highly of the results. I cooked hot dogs, turkey burgers, and bone-in chicken breasts. I was very impressed by the results for all three, especially the chicken. Hot dogs are a no brainer. The turkey burgers were a bit tricky because the soft meat could fall into the grills. The saving factor here is that the grill cooks things very quickly once it's warmed up. The surface of the burger on the bottom cooked before the burgers could really sag much into the grates. What really amazed me was the quality of the chicken breasts. I cooked 5 very different sized breasts at the same time. The outsides on all of them were brown and crispy, the insides were moist and cooked all the way through. I added bbq sauce in the last minutes of cooking. These were the best grilled chicken breasts I've ever cooked. I have no doubt I'll be able to repeat these results for all kinds of meat with a little practice.

One noteworthy item - the booklet in the box doesn't mention this but the website does - season the grates with vegetable oil before cooking for the first time. This will inhibit rusting and should make the meats stick less to the grates. It took me a while to find this tip on the website but make sure you find it and follow the directions, it's a must for these grills.

I give it four stars because the grates/emitters will definitely be harder to clean than a normal open grate. I will likely (I haven't done it yet) just remove the grates and scrape the emitter plates clean with a plastic (when the grill is cold obviously) or metal putty knife. The grates can clean themselves or I can just knock the big chunks off.

I've only had the grill for a couple of days so I can't say how well the materials will hold up over time. Regarding customer service, one of the small bumpers for the lid was broken when I got the grill. I used the website to report the problem and had a response and order for replacement bumpers within 3 hours of my request. Note I had already followed their registration process (easy too).
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Former Weber user, sold on this unit!, April 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
As my Weber had seen better days, I set of to investigate current grills at several home improvement and hardware stores. As an avid grill user, I am a big fan of using different favored wood chips. With most grills, this can be very tricky, messy, and dangerous to do.

I was intrigued when I saw the Char-Broil Quantum Infrared system and the easy design for using wood chips. I also felt that the quality of the products I reviewed appeared to be sturdy in design. As I was surprised that these units cost a third of the price of my prior Weber grills, I decided to go online and do further research.

After reading many reviews, I ordered my unit. Although it took about two hours to assemble, after doing the initial burn off and oil seasoning, I have had the opportunity to cook many meals on this unit.

First, if you like to use wood chips, you're going to think you died and went to heaven. The best and easiest system I have ever used. The two piece grate system works great at also eliminating flare-ups and providing even heat distribution as mentioned in many other reviews.

The drawback to this system is it does require additional maintenance. However, the two piece system is easy the lift out (in three separate sections), and is easy to clean. Well worth the time for anyone looking for a consistent cooking system that works.

One thing I felt this unit lacked, was hooks to hang cooking utensils on, however there was room to drill a few holes on the left side of stand and add a few S hooks.

Overall I give this a five star rating based features and pricing, and feel that anybody can learn to be the perfect chef with this grill.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent So Far, March 29, 2010
By 
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I've had this grill for a few weeks now and have cooked steaks, boneless chicken breasts, burgers, and porkchops. Assembly is straightforward but a little time-consuming. It takes 1-1.5 hrs. I followed the directions for burning off oil residue from the factory, then "seasoning" the grille with canola oil. The first time I used it I cooked 1" thick steaks. I let the temp get up 700 and followed the directions in the included cooking booklet since I have no experience with this type of grille. The instructions say for a 1" thick steak that you need 4-5 minutes per side... 1 flip? With my old traditional grille I am so used to constantly flipping steaks so they don't get burned on the outside. So I did 4 minutes per side, then 2 more minutes back on the first side for good measure. I removed them from the grille & covered them with foil on a plate for about 5 minutes.

First impression was WOW! Just like the steak house where the inside of the meat is moist and hot... i've never been able to re-create that at home. We like our steaks Medium and that's exactly how they came out. Chicken, burgers & pork were the same... very moist & hot on the inside without being dried out. I also used the side burner to saute mushrooms & onions and it worked really well, even on a windy day.

Even with the grille on high for 25 minutes the front panel is barely warm to the touch. The nobs have a very smooth action and the ignitor has performed flawlessly.

So far I'm satisfied... witholding one star since I've only had it for a few weeks.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start with new grill!!, July 5, 2010
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I bought this grill because we were having friends over for the 4th of July. My wife pre-marinated the steaks the day before so all I had to do was cook them. I pre heated the grill for about 10 min then turned the heat to the medium setting, then threw the steaks on searing each side for two and a half minutes then putting the steaks on the upper grill NOT turning down the heat. I put the asparagus down for about 3 minutes, took them off and kept the steaks in for another 5. The meat fell apart in our mouths!! The cleaning part as everyone seems to bring up is a bit tough but nothing to get my panties in a twist over. Love the grill!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Infared BBQ, March 14, 2013
By 
Earl M. Blansfield (Oro Valley, Arizona) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Never had a BBQ like this one, where you can't see the flame and there is never a flare-up. Didn't know what I was missing. Not easy to put together, but well worth the end results. Will never buy the other type again.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best grill EVER!!, November 16, 2010
This review is from: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill with Side burner (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Oh My God this grill is awsome! I LOVE to cook! My boyfriend and I grill about 3 nights a week even in the winter! This grill is the best gril I have ever used. It takes a little getting used to because your grilling times are a lot less and you almost don't trust it to cook meat that fast but let me assure you it does! The meat turns out so juicy and evely cooked. We season ours about every 5-10 uses with peanut oil. We brush it on cold and then let it burn on high until it stops smoking. This turns out some amazing results. I cooked fish on it for the first time the other night and when it came time to flip I was super nervous as I always am at this point with fish. I fliped it like a champ! It came off so easy and left perfect grill marks when it was done. I will never go back to ordinary gas or charcoal grills. My favorite feature is the way the cooking surface allows you to add wood chips so they sit in the grooves under the meat. Deffinately try this it comes out yummy. I scatter about 2 handfulls around the cooking area I'm going to use and then push the small pieces in the grooves and push the rest to the side. This adds just the right amount of smoky flavor to your meat.
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