Customer Reviews

98
4.1 out of 5 stars
Char-broil American Gourmet 600 Series Charcoal Barrel (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Style Name: 600 SeriesChange
Price:$129.99 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2012
I bought this grill at Home Depot about a month ago for $99. I had been thinking about buying the very popular Weber Gold grill for $149, because that's a proven choice amongst BBQ'ers. The selling points for the Weber was the grill grate had the sides that flipped up if you were indirect cooking. The two charcoal holders for the grill were $15. I was also going to buy the little "tool holder" caddy that mounts to the side, $4.99. Total cost for the whole setup= $170. The other thing I liked about it was the ash catcher. I had the box loaded up in my cart until I saw this grill, the Char Broil 435.

The MAIN selling point for this grill,the cast iron grill grates. Anyone who has a cast iron grill pan will attest that cast iron delivers even heating and easy clean-up, and will essentially last indefinitely. I am able to do the same indirect cooking method as the Weber because there are 3 removeable grill grates on this model. EASY to add more charcoal! (This unit comes with a cast iron handle thing to easily remove the grates.)

Another great feature I like as opposed to the Weber is the hinged lid. Trying to find a spot for a 22.5 grill lid on the porch with a bunch of kids running around is an issue. But NOT with this grill. It also has the front table that you can hinge down out of your way, and the handy non moveable side table. It also has a handy storage area underneath.

The charcoal height is also adjustable, which is a GREAT feature for doing the various types of grilling or BBQ'ing or smoking you're doing. It also has wheels on the one side to help roll it around.

It was fairly easy to assemble, unlike some other brands of barrel smokers I've read about on Amazon, CharGriller in particular. Took about an hour and three beers.

The directions reccommend a first 2 hour BBQ to burn off any residue inside. I used some lump charcoal for this because it burns hotter and longer. After that I immediately used it. Oh, and it has a temperature guage!! Triple bonus!! I was really happy with the results. You can cook a TON of food on this grill. Plenty of grill space, yet not very much floor space is taken up overall by the grill. Plus, it being a barrel style grill as opposed to a traditional circle grill, it just "fits" better on the porch.

All in all, if you're doing a price comparison/cost analysis of grills and want similar features as I did, I would highly reccommend this great grill!! Worth every cent!

UPDATE!: May 10, 2012. Have used the grill about 15 times already, and I still love this grill! Even cooked/smoked a 14 frozen turkey on it!!! It fit perfectly on one grate. I took the other two out and put a Weber foil pan underneath and charcoal on each side, turkey in the middle. It was easy to add more coals each hour, and I was able to keep a consistent 325 degrees for 3.5 hours on a 50 degree day. GREAT GRILL!!

DOUBLE UPDATE!: May 30,2012. Still using this great grill on almost a daily basis, and I still think it's great! I've found that it works really great as a smoker. I smoked some ribs in it for three hours. It does a really good job of maintaining a fairly consistent temperature. I also have been adding a light coat of vegetable oil on the outside of the grill to keep it from rusting and to keep it looking brand new. Great grill!

TRIPLE UPDATE: June 12,2012: The wire metal secondary warming rack area is only held on by 4 bolts and nuts, two upper and two lower on either side, which turns out to be a really great "bonus feature" in that you can EASILY remove it for cooking bigger items like a turkey!!

NOTES:
Krylon sells a Rustoleum matte black high temp paint that I plan on using if this grill shows any signs of rust or wear.

Bought a Brinkmann 55" grill cover for ten bucks at Home Depot too and that fits it well.

UPDATE WINTER 2013:

This grill is still going great! I use it the most out of all my other grills. I usually average grilling about twice a week during the summer, and then only a couple times during the winter. I store my grill outside and have it covered. I still don't have any rust on it and haven't ever had ANY issues with it. I did end up attaching a wood plank to the metal side shelf to use as a cutting board and stable prep area. I consider this grill to be one of my all time greatest purchases! What I do to keep it tip top is I make sure to take a rag and some vegetable oil and oil it down on the outside and on the grates after grilling and its still relatively warm, that way the oil seems to penetrate the metal better. I believe that if you are dilligent about keeping your grill clean and taking care of it, it will provide you with many happy seasons of great grilling!

UPDATE: AUG28,2014: Still an awesome grill!!! One tiny rust spot on the left side bottom piece that's hard for me to get to. This grill is still my favorite grill!!!!!!!! As long as you clean it, oil it, and love it, it will last for you!
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2013
I purchased this product and was very happy with the straight-forward assembly instructions and finished product. I have owned Char-broil products in the past and have always been grateful for their customer service when it comes to replacing missing or malfunctioning parts. As for the use of the product, this grill has a significantly larger total cooking area that other similar models, so I was able to cook for many people quite easily. The many gauges are easily adjustable, to get the perfect temperature whether I am grilling chicken, beef or fish. The extra rack keeps extra food warm while I am still grilling, making for a great presentation and meal. Overall I would recommend this product for anyone looking for a larger charcoal grill at a great price. I've found that Char-broil customer service is helpful in replacing missing or broken parts, usually at no cost.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Gail,

Thank you for asking about the American Gourmet 800 Series Charcoal Grill. To answer your question, the primary cooking surface features 580 sq. in. cast iron grates, and the secondary cooking surface is a 270 sq. in. chrome plated swingaway. I hope this helps in your shopping process!

-Your Friends at Char-Broil
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2013
I have had this grill for about a year now. I absolutley love it. Where you put the charcoal is about the same size as the cast iron cooking grates so with that combination you can always achieve a nice even cook. The price was great compared to other grills as well.

Quality-
This is a great product. Usually a grill for this price will start rusting and falling apart. I have had this grill for over a year and it is going strong. I use it severl time a week.

Smoking-
I love to use this as a smoker as well. I have used hickory, cherry, and misquite chips and it leaves the food with a great smoke taste better than just what the charcoal can do. You have to be sure not to put to many chips on though or you will end up drying your food out.

Grates-
the cast iron grates are awesome. They are easy to clean and cook the food very niceley. Just to show how big these grates are i will tell you i have cooked to full racks of ribs at the same time which is pretty nice. I also have cooked about 12 burgers at once while cooking shrimp and sausages on the top grates.

Tempature-
the tempature is pretty easy to keep stable. On the side it has an opening to let air in. It take a little work at first keeping the right temp but once you get a feel for this it is so easy.

Cleaning-
So easy to clean, grates come rigt out no problem and you can just wash them off. Make sure that you dry them off really nice though or they will rust.

putting it up-
it took about a half an hour to put it all up. the direction were very simple and it took no time.

Price-
Great price for what you get. I know home depot usually have deals that if you buy a charcoal grill you can get a free bag of charcoal, so just keep your eyes open for deals. I picked mine up for about 100 with a free bag of smoking chips and charcoal.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2014
Pros:
Affordable
Large cooking area
Adjustable rack heights

Cons:
Poor packaging means good chance it will arrive damaged
Assembly is just dumb
Leaks smoke

I was on the market for a new grill after a move. I'm an experienced Weber kettle griller but bought this because I noticed many of my new neighbors using the barrel style grills and thought I would give it a try. I should have stuck with the similarly priced Weber.

First, you should realize that you have pretty much no hope of returning this. In fact, they assembly instructions call for cutting up the box. Also, don't get this thinking you are going to be up and grilling in an hour.

Shipping: It is true what others have said. The box was ripped and taped together. Lid had a small dent in it. Thermometer was dented and there was no thermometer clip. And yes, THIS IS AN ISSUE WITH THE MANUFACTURER! Clearly their packaging is not appropriate for shipping.

Assembly: Just stupid. Plan and hour to an hour and half. If I had to assemble one AGAIN, I could do it in 30 or 40 minutes. But it will take you longer the first time. One of the problems is the crappy quality. This scenario was played out several times: Part doesn't easily fit, check directions to make sure you are doing it right, try again and part does not fit, check directions again, make the decision to use some "persuasion," force part to fit. repeat. You can assemble it by yourself, but another time suck was figuring out HOW to assemble it by yourself. (pro-tip: hold the lid by the front edge while standing IN FRONT of the grill and insert the hinge pins with the other hand).

I did like the packaging and labeling of all the nuts and bolts.

For some reason, I can't get the front shelf level, which means anything I place there slides towards the grill.

Once you have it assembled, you need to coat every inside surface with oil and burn for 1.5 hours to season the grill, something you don't really need to do on a Weber kettle.

Cooking: I've only cooked one meal on this, but was surprised and disappointed by the amount of smoke that leaked out around the edges.

When this bites the dust, I am going back to Weber.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2014
Good concept and easy to read directions to put it together. The down side was it arrived in a box that was split open and the two shells that make up the body of the grill were dented together. Since we needed the BBQ for a gathering the next day we didn't have the luxury of refusing the shipment. After frustration of pounding out the dents enough to get it to go together we still had to manufacture a piece to hold the back side of the warming rack since the back part had only long screws instead of a long rod to go the full length of the rack. Way too likely to come apart and wasn't very stable. Complained about the condition of the shipping but never heard anything back. Something this heavy needs additional shipping materials to protect the fairly light box it is packaged in. That type of packaging is fine for being on the shelf at your local store, but not for shipping by itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2015
After I got it put together, I noticed that some of the welds were broken, and some the bottom can was bent, it still goes together and still works, but I will be dammed if I tear it apart and send it back, what a cheap ass way of ding things by Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
Be wary when ordering this product. You'll need to do some more research and make sure Amazon will send you what you think you are ordering. I believe the grill shown in the Photo is actually a picture of the Char Broil AMERICAN GOURMET CHARCOAL GRILL - 300 SERIES - MODEL 11301678.

I model I received has an ash pan on the bottom of the grill - there is not a sliding drawer that opens from the right side of the grill, as advertised in this photo.

The ash pan on the bottom of the unit does not collect all of the ash. The unit being so small, clearing the ash is not a daunting task, but not as easy as advertised.

The unit did not come with a cast iron grate lifter as the product description states.

I did not send the unit back for a couple of reasons: The unit which arrived came with a thermometer that is convenient to use when slow cooking. The unit which arrived has two adjustable dampers which help control temperature. The cast iron grates are nice and leave good char marks. The last reason I kept the grill is because I spent about an hour assembling it, and already used the grill. When I began to think about cleaning is when I noticed that there was no cool touch handle on the right side of the grill which I could use to remove the ash.

Bottom line the unit sent is not the Char-Broil/New Braunfels 12301678 American Gourmet 300 Series Charcoal Grill, but it is working out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2014
So far everything I have cooked has been good. Good features on a grill in this price range. I wanted this kind of venting, easy ash removal, some shelves, and an adjustable coal tray. Got it all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2015
When recieving this package the box was completely opened also was missing screws and directions to put together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2014
When I saw that this non-gas grill weighed nearly 75 pounds, I thought it was a typo. I was wrong. This thing is extremely well built and sturdy. Pets, strong winds, or hyperactive children will not be knocking this over. Assembly ease was more difficult than the aforementioned lightweight grills, but nothing particularly hard. I was tempted to remove a star for packaging: its weight nearly had it falling out of the box as it was delivered, causing a dent (hammered out) and some chipped paint (don't really care) on one corner.
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