Char-Broil Commercial Stainless/Black 3 Burner Gas Grill Review

Placeholder
Gas grill with lid up mounted on a cart with black sides and shiny metal double doors.
Commercial Stianless/Black 3 Burner

 

Lowe's calls this 2015 exclusive model The Char-Broil Commercial Stainless/Black 3-Burner Gas Grill. It is a new version of the previous TRU-Infrared Commercial line.  The lid has an inner double layer to help keep in heat. It is capable of high enough heat for searing, and low enough for smoking. Furthermore you can create smoke easily by tossing food grade wood chips, sawdust, or pellets between the grates, right below the food or off to the side: all assets of Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared designs. Commercial grills have stainless steel burners and battery powered ignition. The 3-Burner also features a 13,000 BTU flush mounted side burner with a hinged lid.

Placeholder

Char-Broil keeps trying new ideas for IR grates. Older versions corroded easily and the exposed emitter plate holes needed regular cleaning or they clogged. The 2015 Lowe's models, (shown above), have coated cast iron cooking grates that lay directly on top of a 443 stainless steel plate with a row of holes that are covered by the grates and protected from getting gunked up. 443 stainless has better resistance to corrosion and stress than the previous 430 stainless grates. They get very hot and radiate evenly across the surface. The plates have several small holes per square inch allowing combustion gases up and some drippings down, both good for flavor. Most drippings hit the plates and incinerate, adding more flavor to the meat.

PlaceholderAnother useful new feature is the fuel gauge integrated in the regulator that connects to your LP tank. Unlike Weber's fuel gauge scale that weighs the LP tank, CB's gauge measures tank pressure. Since tank pressure changes with low to high ambient temperatures, the gauge has three readings for 50°, 70° and 100° weather.

Char-Broil includes a special cleaner/scraper with every grill that tucks into a slot inside the cart door. Meathead, our founder, bought a 4-burner version of this line back in 2008 when they were called Quantum Grills. After one year the factory grates corroded and clogged so he replaced them with another company's product, GrillGrates, which operate on the same principle, only better.

Char-Broil Commercial Grills feature a bi-metallic temperature gauge located above each control knob purportedly measuring the temp of the cooking surface above each burner. Alas, we don't have much faith in the accuracy of bi-metal gauges so we still recommend you consider purchasing a high quality digital thermometer to check them.

The cookbox and single door cart are a combo of stainless and painted steel. For 2015 the Commercial models feature heavy duty casters. Construction is lightweight and rather flimsy, but Meathead's 2008 model held up fine in the harsh weather of Chicago. He never covered it so the stainless looked more like aluminum, but other than the grates, it was a decent BBQ grill for the money and worked reliably for several years.

Limited Lifetime Warranty on the burners and 1 year on everything else.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
$469
Primary Function: 
Grill
Fuel: 
Propane Gas
Natural Gas Capable
Primary Capacity: 
420 square inches
Secondary Capacity: 
155 square inches
Main Burners: 
3
Additional Burners: 
Side
Made in the USA: 
No
BTU: 
25,500
Heat Flux: 
60.71
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
Review Method:

Looked Closely At It

We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer,  owners, and other reliable sources.

Char-Broil

Placeholder

Char-Broil is an innovator in the popular gas grill arena with clever designs, low to midrange prices, and excellent customer service. For several years they have focused on infrared cooking. Starting in 2012 all new IR models were dubbed "Tru-Infrared". These grills are made with stainless steel tube burners that work in conjunction with a radiant surface to bring heat close to the food. The radiant surface shields food from direct flame and reduces hot dry convection heat rising from the burners.

As one of the biggest BBQ manufacturers in the world, Char-Broil offers a clear, low cost alternative to Weber and surpasses many other price driven manufacturers with their infrared gas grill design innovation and focused marketing. Also in 2012, Char-Broil introduced Saber, a new, very high quality line of gas grills that goes head to head with Weber's Summit series in the premium grill space. They offer charcoal grills, smokers, fryers and a variety of accessories and tools.

Char-Broil is owned by The W.C. Bradley Company headquartered in Columbus, GA.  Roots of W.C. Bradley go back before the Civil War to The Columbus Iron Works. The first Char-Broil grill was made and sold in the USA in 1948. Now all Char-Broil grills are manufactured in China and distributed around the globe.

Char-Broil Gas Grills

Char-Broil produces a wide variety of gas grills, but their low cost infrared models are unique in the mass market. Starting in 2012 many models were dubbed "Tru-Infrared". These grills are made with stainless steel tube burners that work in conjunction with a radiant surface to bring heat close to the food. The radiant surface shields food from direct flame and reduces hot dry convection heat rising from the burners.

These radiant cookers present a clear alternative to standard gas grills. Most gas grills produce a significant amount of convection heat and usually need a sear burner to reach steak house temps. Some other brands of infrared grills can sear, but lack a low temperature range. Char-Broil feels their Tru-Infrared grills are versatile and easy to use because they are designed to produce juicy meats, prevent flare-ups, reduce fuel consumption, and offer wide temperature ranges (they claim between 250F to 700F). They are also designed and manufactured to sell for a price that's hard to pass up. For example, the new Tru-Infrared models are about $100 less than Weber's entry level Spirit line. But take note of Char-Broil's warranty which should help gauge a buyer's expectation: limited lifetime on the burners, 2 years on the lid and fire box (some newer models are only 1 year), and 1 year on everything else. Not even close to Weber's. Of course the big box retailers would love to sell you an extended warranty. Based on comments we have read, Char-Broil owners seem to be divided in two distinct camps: They either love them or hate them. Be that as it may, we appreciate Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared full size gas grills for economy, unique design, ease of use and solid customer service.

The new Tru-Infrared grills are offered in three full-size lines: Commercial, Gourmet, and Performance. All have battery powered ignition, heat indicators, and can convert to natural gas with an optional dual fuel kit. Burners line up from side to side which we prefer for indirect cooking. 430 grade stainless steel construction with side tables and casters. That's a good, but not great grade of SS. Tools, smoke boxes and a variety of rotisserie kits are available. Char-Broil also sells some compact gas and electric grills in the Patio Bistro line as well as a small a line of portable propane grills called GRILL2GO.

Char-Broil Commercial Grills (formerly Quantum)

Formerly sold as Quantum Grills. Coated cast iron grates lay directly on top of the radiant surface which consists of thin stainless steel plates. The grate configuration has changed over the years and many older models, including Quantum models, are still being sold. Whatever version grates you encounter, they get very hot and radiate evenly across the surface. The plates have several small holes per square inch allowing combustion gases up and some drippings down, both good for flavor. Most drippings hit the plates and incinerate, adding more flavor to the meat. On past models, the stainless grates corroded easily and the holes needed regular cleaning or they clogged. We have not yet had a chance to test these new models.

Char-Broil packs a special cleaner/scraper into every box that works specifically with the Commercial grills. Meathead, our founder, bought a Quantum Commercial 4-burner in 2008. After one year the factory grates corroded and clogged so he replaced them with another company's product, GrillGrates, which operate on the same principle, only better. Every year Char-Broil tries to tweak these grates so you may run into older models with slightly different specs.

Search Our Reviews and Ratings

Click Search to see all our Reviews and Ratings. Use the filters below to refine your search.

*Based on 4" raw burger with 1/2" space on all sides

“The most respected and comprehensive reviewers of grills and smokers in the world”

- Larry Olmsted,
Senior Contributor (Forbes)


Placeholder

Placeholder

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazonhttps://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

...some HTML for the first variant...

Placeholder

Placeholder

Get Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed

Enter your email:

If you love barbecue and grilling you do our FREE 30-day membership in our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

  • FREE 30 day trial membership.
  • Sneak previews of Meathead’s new book.
  • We block ads from members.
  • Real community. No politics. No flame wars.
  • Monthly newsletter.
  • Video seminars with famous pitmasters.
  • Weekly podcasts with Greg Rempe.
  • Weekly BBQ cartoons by Jerry King.
  • Comprehensive Temperature Guide Magnet ($10 retail).
  • Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers worth up to $2000.
  • Discounts on products we love.
  • Support for AmazingRibs.com!

Lookit what our members are cooking:


Post comments and questions below

Placeholder

1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

 

Click to ask questions and make comments