By: Max Good
The Char-Broil Commercial 3-Burner is a decent, basic grill. 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.
Coated cast iron cooking grates lay directly on top of a radiant surface which consists of thin stainless steel plates. 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. Older version grates made of stainless grates corroded easily and the emiter plate holes needed regular cleaning or they clogged. Char-Broil claims to have improved their grates. We have not yet had a chance to test these new cast iron models.
Char-Broil packs a special cleaner/scraper into every box that works specifically with the Commercial grills. 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.
Meathead feels the optional rotisserie was an afterthought on his 4-burner model. The left bracket of his rotisserie kit scraped against the lid of the side burner. He had to mount it to the inside of the cooking chamber. That was easy because the mounting holes go through, but he also had to mount the motor upside down or when the lid went down it wouldn’t close. The rod came in two parts and needed to be screwed together. They kept coming loose so he had a local auto body shop weld the two parts together. Char-Broil says this is an unusual occurrence, but we have seen many complaints about the mounting brackets on the internet.
The cookbox and single door cart are a combo of stainless and painted steel. 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.
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.
Published On: 11/13/2012 Last Modified: 2/24/2021
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