Customer Reviews

319
4.1 out of 5 stars
Char-Griller 2123 Wrangler 635 Square Inch Charcoal Grill / Smoker
Size Name: 50" H x 29" W x 35" LChange
Price:$119.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
Size Name: 50" H x 29" W x 35" L
OK people, here's the deal. No other product on the market cooks as well as a Char-Griller. Get the side box, and you have one of the best smokers on the market, too. These grills do have a few issues and, if you are the type that wants to put a grill together and never touch it again, stick to fancy overpriced stainless propane jobs. If you understand that proper charcoal/wood grilling takes work, this thing is great. I barbecue as a part time job, so I know what I'm talking about here, people. This thing is easy to regulate heat and doesn't take much practice to make the best damn BBQ you ever had. I use one at home, occasionally take it to small catering jobs, and use it to pre-smoke chicken for my popular roadside BBQ.

Here are some complaints I've noticed that I feel I need to address in my own special and eloquent way...

#1, you need to oil it and light yourself a big old fire for a while to protect it and get all the casting oil and what not out of the cast iron grates. It's cast iron, it needs done on any grill. before you use it. (noticed some complaints on other reviews).

#2, The grates have advantages and disadvantages. there's a couple of them that lift in and out with a handy dandy little tool. when you lose the tool, you have to use a fork. It's not hard, but I'd like them to be a little bigger. When they eventually crack and break (it takes years), you can order new ones from Char-Griller or find them at Lowe's. They are cheap.

#3, Rust. These grills rust, eventually. An annual $7.00 ban of heat paint, re-oiling, and baking before it starts cures this problem right quick.

#4, Fire. These things will catch on fire if you put them away greasy. Simple solution - don't put it away greasy. If you do, drag it out in the yard, pull the ash pan, scrape all the crap in the bottom, douse it with lighter fluid, leave the lid open, and light it up. let it burn. knock the burnt crap in the yard when the fire goes out, and it's clean. Hit it with degreaser and a hose if you want to, but you will have to re-oil and heat treat it again when you're done.

#5, Stuff comes loose. Pretty simple solution there, tighten up all the bolts every once in a while.

#6, Wheels. This is the only design flaw. Cheapo wheels that don't last long. if you don't move it, put it up on blocks. If you do move it, go get some decent wheels off of a lawnmower, and put them on. New, they're 10 bucks. If you have a broken lawnmower, they are free.

#7, Thermometer. This thing will not take long to break. Learn to build your fire and feel the grill for heat. watch the thermometer the first few times you use it. Become one with the grill like any good BBQ cook is, and you won't need it anymore, anyhow. If you use the smoker a lot, and want to watch it out the window, they are cheap to replace anyhow.

#8, Dumping. It's hot and a little bit dirty. You're cooking with fire, people. there's ash. fire is hot. Deal with it. It's got a lift out tray that catches most of it. If ash and dirt is a problem for you, get a gas grill.

#9, Grease. Yes, it will leave a grease stain on your deck or porch from grease that drips down the back of the lid when you open it. You definitely want to set this grill on something hoseable. Be extra careful with any grill on a composite deck. They stain really easy.

#10, Cheesy wooden shelving. When it eventually broke after a few years, I replaced it with some old cutting boards. Wish I would have done it right out of the box. You could use some 5/4 deck boards or whatever scrap wood you can find. Pretty easy.

If you take care of your Char-Griller, and use it pretty often, you will have it for 10 years. If you let it sit out, and don't take care of it, it will rot out and fall apart pretty quickly. This is not the perfect grill for everyone, but for the true BBQ enthusiast, it's absolutely the best choice out there. Several sizes are out there to fit your needs, and there is even a duo model that's propane on one side and charcoal on the other. I will be putting my current model in the garage soon, using it only for catering, and giving that one a whirl. As die hard as I am, I must say that propane has a place when you work 2 jobs and just want to make a quick dinner (especially if you already smoked it on the other side and froze it). My old gas grill finally died, and I figured I'd write a review on old faithful as I order it's fancy new replacement. For the record, though, My current charcoal Char-Griller, though slightly modified and upgraded over the years as previously mentioned, is 10 years old, heavily used, abused, and still in great shape thanks to proper maintenance.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2007
Size Name: 49" L x 50" H x 29" W
Unless you want a several hundred pound heavy duty smoker/griller, or a fixed unit, this is the one. I have seen and used dozens of grills and smokers, and at this price, this unit, (with what I consider the mandatory side fire box) beats them all hands down. Where to start? Approaching the unit, the top half lifts up, revealing the entire cooking grid. There's also the slow cook, warming grid that folds back into the top lid when lifted up. It is also easily removable when cooking larger items, say beer can chicken? Then there's my favorite, the original non-stick surface, a cast iron cooking grid-no cheap steel grate. This rocks! I can even put fish on this thing and the fish comes right up, NO STICKING! (Hey! Don't move your food) Cleaning is wicked easy- consists of burning off anything left when you're done, then brushing with a brass brush and wiping down with a crisco covered paper towel-it's SO easy. Already fair offset cooking because it's so big, the side fire box turns this into an honest-to-goodness smoker that will have your neighbours drooling with envy when you throw those four racks of ribs on it for 3-4 hours and have smoke infusing them and the rest of the neighbourhood. The side and front racks give you a ready place to put plates and tools, the inlet and outlet airflows are adjustable, and the temperature probe in the lid shows actual temperature, not just low/med/high. I cannot say enough good things about this grill.

Cons are the usual charcoal caveats, the side next to the side-fire box is hotter and when cooking larger feasts items need to be moved around so all items are equally cooked - gives you a chance to show off for your guests! The side fire box is a little small for regular logs, so I end up trimming logs when using them. The construction is admittedly light but more than acceptable given the price.

Overall, this is an excellent grill that cooks big or small, long or short, cleans easily, and of course has that awesome charcoal flavor. I've had this grill for 3 years and you'll never get anything better for the price. It's a no-brainer. HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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126 of 137 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2006
Size Name: 50" H x 29" W x 35" L
As an avid charcoal BBQer, I was looking to replace my 20 year old Ball-B-Q which I had painstakingly preserved until the bottom had rusted out, so it was time to check out what the market had to offer. I was used to an adjustable height cooking grill and found that most charcoal grills today do not offer this feature. In my mind it's a necessity for those who grill for two or less, otherwise you waste a lot of charcoal and pollute that much more.

So Char-Griller seemed to have all the feature I wanted, especially the airtight hood which has the advantage of snuffing out the coals when you're done. That makes it possible to reuse the coals a second time. Plus the reviews here for other Char-Griller models were positively glowing, so I ordered one blind without seeing it in person.

The grill was straightforward enough to build, but there was some confusion about whether or not the cast iron grates were treated at the factory in China. It turns out they were, but you still have to prime the entire inside of the grill with cooking oil. It then needs to burned off for something ridiculous like two hours before you use it the first time.

The warming rack warped pretty noticeably after this first burn off, and it is clear from the smoke leaking out of the sides and back that the airtight flanged hood is not quite as advertised.

Instead of raising or lowering the cast iron cooking grates, this model has you lift the coal grate up closer to the food. The handles have notches on them that rest on tabs inside the grill body. Fine in theory, clunky in practice...also the handles are metal and get quite hot...mitts are essential.

Dumping the ashes is another pain...you have to remove the 3-piece cast iron grates and then lift the ash pan out using the same handles that adjust the height. Unfortunately, those handles do not lock onto the ash pan, so it's difficult to maneuver it.

I'm not sure if it's because the manufacturer skimped on the gauge of the metal but the grill body bows inward and the hood outward on the sides which creates a 1/4" gap on each side. That lets in a lot of air which makes controlling the cooking temperature difficult. This unit also has a chimney which for some reason is installed from the inside of the hood. That makes it possible for water to leak into the hood and onto the cast iron grills. You will need a cover if you plan to leave this one outside.

Very disappointed with this one, especially since most reviews for similar models were so positive. I'm not sure how long Char-Griller has been manufacturing offshore, but maybe that has something to do with it. Contacted customer service about these issues but their response was indifferent. And of course, once you've used it...you can't return it.

UPDATE 09/2006: Was able to seal leaks and hood with high heat silicone seal caulking. This is the same stuff they use to make those new silicone ustensils and bakewares. However, surface rust has appeared on the hood after 3 months outside. Paint quality seems to be poor as well. Seriously consider getting the cover.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
Size Name: 49" L x 50" H x 29" W
THE GOOD:
This is a great griller!! My wife and I bought it before we moved to the Philippines and brought it with us. No one here had ever seen anything like it. We've used the unit almost every weekend since we got here and I like it more and more each time we use it. We bought the grill with the side fire box which makes it great for large parties as well as small. For smaller barbecues the side fire box also doubles as a grill.

This barbecue is extremely well made. The instructions are short, concise, and clearly written. Follow them to the letter -- especially the part about NOT tightening up all the nuts and bolts until after the unit has been completely put together.

I've used Weber charcoal grills most of my life. Weber is a great grill but in my opinion the "Outlaw" beats the Weber hands down.

THE BAD

There are two support spacers that go from the side fire box to a horizontal support bar on the legs. The two spacers provided were 1" long. They needed to be 1/2" long. Not a big deal -- a hacksaw and a vise fixed the problem -- but if you don't have those available you're kind of stuck. Due to the weight of the side fire box those two supports are absolutely required.

Char~griller claims to have a rotisserie for the "Outlaw". I've sent the company two emails (4-17 & 4-22) requesting ordering information. To date (4-29) they haven't answered either one. I've contacted two other seller's of this grill and both said there is no rotisserie available from Char~griller for the "Outlaw". This doesn't make sense as the unit is drilled and punched to accept a rotisserie. Since Char~griller hasn't bothered to answer my inquiries, however, I have to conclude a rotisserie isn't available as they claimed.

THE UGLY
I bought the optional storage cover for the "Outlaw". Save your money... it's a piece of junk. The fit is terrible at best. After two weeks and one rain storm one of the seams started to come apart.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2005
Size Name: 49" L x 50" H x 29" W
The unit arrived undamaged...It was well packaged. The price was right and Amazon shipped for FREE!

Assembly was easy and the instruction booklet clearly described the procedure.

The grill is well made and well designed. I am seasoning the grill right now with the first fire...2 chimneys of briquets for a steady 300 degree F burn with vent wide open...That's just right.

We are looking forward to grilling a big load of ribs tomorrow...Yeah!

Buy This grill if you want a bit more room...Hot side/cold side.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2006
Size Name: 50" H x 29" W x 35" LVerified Purchase
I bought Char-Griller 2123 from Amazon about 3 months ago. I recently moved to new apartment and intstalled that grill on one of my balconies. I disagree with other reviewrs opinions maybe becase it is my first charcoal grill and I think the grill is absulutly great for 5-6 people family or even small parties. I cook at least 2-3 times a week and love it love it love it !
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2007
Size Name: 49" L x 50" H x 29" W
This great grill is well thought-out in all its details, and comes at a very reasonable price. I don't understand why anyone buys a Weber. This model is the extra-large; the "Super Pro" model will be plenty for most people.

The Char-Griller is built of heavy steel (not flimsy sheet), and the cooking grates are true cast iron grates (not light wire). The cooking surface is large and easily accessible, and the charcoal grate is adjustable up-and-down, solid, and easily removable. The grates come in several sections, which are easily removed, hot or cold, with the handy cast-iron handle. The warming shelf can be useful, and when it's in the way, it's easy to remove. Air flow is easy to control. Char-Griller's rotisserie attachment lets you roast very large beef roasts, pork loins, or chickens (I did a whole baby lamb!). The shelves, front and side, are handy, as is the built-in thermometer. The storage grate below is large and useful.

There are a few minor things that could be improved. The hooks that hold the charcoal grate are a bit small and fiddly. The side air damper is made of too-light metal, and its control tab broke off. The legs seem a little lightweight compared to the body of the grill. The rotisserie spit runs at the level of the cooking grate, so you can't use them together (a couple of grates will fit, but the charcoal will be too close for the rotisserie if it is the right distance for grilling).

But these are minor. Overall, this is a great charcoal grill, very reasonably priced.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2013
Size Name: 50" H x 29" W x 42" LVerified Purchase
I received it very quick and noticed the package was very heavy and because of that, the box was open in several places and had been taped up. The grill had small dent in top but not enough to return. Excellent built out of heavy gauge steel. Very easy to
assemble, probably an hour or less. Takes two people to handle heavy top. Read directions about seasoning grill before use.
Excellent product and I would recommend to anyone who wants a good old fashioned charcoal grill. The mfg packing could be
improved to prevent shipping damage. Otherwise great item.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2013
Size Name: 49" L x 50" H x 29" WVerified Purchase
Grill arrived in a box that was falling apart with part of the grill housing exposed. Because it would be such a pain to return it, I overlooked the poor packaging situation. I ordered this during the winter so it sat around for a couple of months in the garage. When it got warmer, I went to assemble it. The grill sent was not the one pictured -- mine had a black metal tray on the bottom, not the wire mesh pictured. The black metal tray was severely dented and I needed to get a hammer to straighten it out enough for installation. Another headache but still easier than trying to box it back up and send it back.

Despite the installation manual describing screws and bolts for a totally different model (apparently they changed the design without changing the manual), I managed to figure it out and get it assembled. I followed the directions and coated the interior of the grill with oil and lit a fire to season the grill and grates. The next day, I cooked my first meal on it.

During clean up, I noticed the paint had blistered on the underside of the grill so I contacted customer service. They said they would be happy to help me if I sent pictures. I used the grill a couple of times before I sent the photos and the paint rupturing got significantly worse quickly so I took a series of photos which I sent to customer service. After 3 weeks, I decided to resend the email since they hadn't responded. I received this reply:

"I have received the pictures of your grill. To fix the grill, you can apply a high heat paint so that way you would have no problems with grilling in the future. Usually your local Lowe's or Home Depot will have the paint you are looking for. Please let us know if there is anything else we can assist you with.

Thank you and have a great day!"

I wrote back to them that it seemed wrong that I should have to do the repair myself as the grill did this out of the box on its first use. Her response:

"The paint rupturing on the first use is normally due to the body of the grill receiving too much heat. This is something that is not covered under warranty due to the fact that it was not a manufactures defect. Since the paint is flaking off we recommend that a high heat paint should be used, that way it prevents the grill body from rusting. The factory chooses to manufacture the grills with a powder coated paint solution.

Thank you and have a great day!"

So the grill is not supposed to receive too much heat? ITS A GRILL. It's not like I was burning napalm in it, I used standard charcoal. This absolutely, positively is covered under warranty and I defy the company to explain how a grill is not warrantied against HEAT.

I should mention that this is the second time I have bought this model and I experienced none of these issues with my first Outlaw. The new version is clearly inferior to the old. I do love the barrel grill and I do love the large grilling area... but I don't think Char-Griller's customer service handled themselves in a respectable manner and there are other manufacturers of wide area grills that I would choose instead as a result of several missteps encountered with this product and their handling of the service afterward.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2012
Size Name: 49" L x 50" H x 29" WVerified Purchase
The way that this bbq is packed for shipping makes shipping damage inevitable. Honestly, I usually ignore reviews that are primarily about shipping damage; after all it's a low risk that that will happen to the one shipped to me. This is different, though.

For this bbq to work you need to have the top and bottom fit well together, otherwise you can't control the cooking temperature and it's just hopeless. Unfortunately there is no protection around the bottom and top in the box, no polystyrene, nothing. It's literally just chucked in there. So any weight placed on the top of the box will bow the bottom or top of the bbq, and any contact, quite normal in shipping, is likely to bend and dent the most important parts.

Finally, the super heavy cast iron grilling plates sit in the box in a way that they will move around and damage the parts that impact and weight won't :)

Honestly the price is so good that I as I saw the obvious damage I kept telling myself that I was getting a floor model for a good price, and hoping that the damage was just cosmetic. No such luck, the bbq just wouldn't go together properly. We tried to cook in it but couldn't control the temp or stop the charcoal from all burning out.

Next night I cooked in my old, tiny weber and noted how well that sucker still seals. I took a bunch of pics that I uploaded as owner pics, not sure why they can't go with this review.
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