This 2-Burner is the smallest Char-Broil Gourmet grill. A good choice for environments with limited space like an apartment patio. The side tables fold down and the grill can be rolled out of the way when not in use.
Char-Broil's Gourmet line, formerly called Red, has a significantly different design than their Commercial or Professional models. Below the porcelain coated cast iron grates and above the burners sits a dark non-stick trough that radiates heat to the cooking surface. This makes the entire grill an indirect cooker. There is no ability to cook directly over live fire and no radiant panels directly under the grates that provide searing heat like other Char-Broil TRU-Infrared lines. It has stainless steel burners and battery powered ignition.
The cooking grates have an ornamental design with openings that allow you to drop wood chips into the trough for BBQ smoking. The trough effectively vaporizes drippings and is easy to clean. But, as with all Char-Broil grills, owners are divided into two camps, they either love them or hate them. Some complain it takes too long to heat up and the non-stick surface on the trough flakes off causing it to rust and need replacement. Yet Red models were recommended in the 2012 by a leading consumer rating publication.
Gourmet grills have hood mounted heat indicators. As always we urge you to get an accurate digital thermometer. The double layer hood provides good insulation and heat retention. Lid, control panel and handles are stainless steel. The cart is black painted steel with a single stainless steel door and four casters.
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
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 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 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.
Formerly called Red, Char-Broil's Gourmet line has a significantly different design than the Commercial or Performance models. Below the porcelain coated cast iron grates and above the burners sits a dark non-stick trough that radiates heat to the cooking surface. This makes the entire grill an indirect cooker so there is no ability to cook directly over live fire.