Pros: Cooks meats hot keeping in juicy flavour.
Cons: Haven't seen the long term ability of the char-broiler.
We had a cook-out on our job and the company used one of these new infra-red Char-Broil(463250308) Gas Grills. Everyone was talking about it. I wasn't sure what infra-red cooking was about. I was hoping it wasn't a micro-wave on wheels. Far from it I found out. From what I experienced, witnessed and read this is the perfect unit for searing steaks, cooking tuna, ribs, chicken veggies and much more, perfectly.
Assembly and More
The thing has to be assembled but most of it is together out of the box. The side panel and boxes must be added on. This is sold at the Home Depot near my home and I know they sell them completely assembled at no extra charge. I think that's a great deal. The grill does not come with the gas cylinder. That must be purchased separately and filled. Some Depots fill cylinders. I get mine filled at a local beer distributor. No, not filled with beer. Think of it though, this guy is smart. A guy comes down to fill his gas cylinder and then naturally picks up a number of cases of beer at the same time! I digress.
The stainless steel unit measures 50"h x 67"w x 24"d. That gives a lot of cooking surface and one area for set up. A side burner is hidden under a cover that can be used as a shelf when the side burner is not in use. The whole cart is made to stay in one place. There are no big wheels to move this from place to place.
A cover is available for it but must be purchased separately. I think it's a must to keep this investment lasting.
This is a Char-Broiled Red grill. That's the manufacturer. This is one of their top-of-the-line grills that has a large cooking surface and additional side burners for heating up items. The surfaces are separated.
The thing that's sets this different from other charcoal gas grills is that it relies on infra-red heat to cook. That's a radiant heat. Like regular cooking and not micro-wave, it cooks from the outside in. The difference though is that there are no flames directly under the meats to be cooked. It's actually odd looking to me. There are the usual type porcelain-coated, cast-iron grates that the meats go on. Under it is a curved surface relatively close to the cooking surface of the grates. It's under that curved surface that the heat builds up. Above that is the radiant heat that is regulated to very low slow cooking or extremely high searing temperatures that seal in meat flavors and keep the meats moist. The temperatures are said to be near 700 degrees and they claim there's no flare ups. There weren't. It was almost a bit weird not cooking on an open flame. That said, this technology keeps dry hot air from pulling moister out of the meat. The drippings from the meat drop onto the curved surface below and immediately vaporizes with the smokey residue coming back up to the meat. It doesn't go down into a drip cup or like.
It has an easy to use electronic ignition to turn it on.
I tried doing some cooking on this surface myself. Burgers were on the menu. I set the grill on Grill. I didn't get to sear a steak. That has a separate setting that states Sear. Too bad though, I did want to try the very high temperature sear settings. I did have the thing cooking at a high heat. There is a barely visible in the bright of day LCD reading. Almost useless I thought. It also gives an indication of how much gas is left in the cylinder.
Anyways the full surface had even heat. I know on my Weber gas grill I have has "hot spots". This didn't. All cooked evenly and I was cooking many burgers at one time. It was easy to control the cooking and not having flames shooting up at me made this an easy gentlemanly job. The flavour was excellent!! I saw the juices drip down and a nice even amount of smoke would rise back up and onto the meats. The final result was truly outstanding. I happen to like rare meats but I went and cooked one burger to a solid brown inside. I bit into it and it was still very moist. Usually well done burgers are dry through and through. Not in this case.
These grills are relatively new. I'm not so sure how long the cooking surface under the grills will last. It looks like a weak point. I will update this review as time goes on and I see how it lasts and works in other functions like the rotisserie it comes with. I particularly like the dark grill marks it makes on the meats. I dunno, but there is something special with that look.
From everything I have read this is a liquid propane burner only and cannot be adapted to a home gas line. Though it seems hard for me to measure over a short amount of time, the manufacturer states that this grill uses less energy to create the high heat and also reduces cooking time adding to the life of the gas cylinder. I suppose that's good news but now I'll have to go to my beer distributor/gas refill place more often for beer only. That leaves me an extra $25 for beer instead of filling the tank.
This four burner unit is quite handsome looking though some may have to get used to the red colour. The two door cabinet underneath is useful for a little storage.
Uses less gas and cooks faster. Cleaning the unit is amazingly easy because of the high heat. There's a setting Clean. Set it and then just brush. It's easier to do than on my old Weber Gas Grill.
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My Old Faithful Weber Genesis Silver B (LP) Grill