Char-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Gas Grill with Folding Side Shelves - 463270611
(1 Epinions review)
Char-Broil Infrared grill review. A great way to reduce cancer risks.
Apr 4, 2012
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Infrared cooking is not a fad, it is a great way to cook food with less cancer causing grill marks. It is a safer way to grill. Infrared grills also cook more evenly. This is a great way to cook outdoors.
Recommend this product?
You can expect to host 4-8 people with this grill. Any more than 8 will mean that food may have to be made in batches (unless all you do is hotdogs or something small like that).
It took about 2 hours to assemble it. It wasn’t hard, just took some time when doing it alone. Lots and lots of screws. At some stores you can buy one assembled.
First thing you should know that this is gas driven, not electric. I always thought IR had to be electric until Iron Chef America informed me otherwise. The difference between direct gas burners and this is it means you are having more radiant heat instead of a direct flame. It is kind of like a combination of an oven and grill all at the same time. I frequently use a direct cooking product (grill or stove top pan) and the oven to properly prepare food.
You have three components inside. Two grill plates. This where the food rests on and looks like a conventional bar shaped grill top that leaves the grill marks. They are spaced pretty small, just under half an inch. A thin asparagus would fall through if place vertically.
The second piece is under neither the grill plate and above the burners. This piece has a bunch of pin like holes letting the heat rise.
The heat is even. The hamburgers cooking when I reviewed all had even grill marks and cooked at the same time. It is not like charcoal or exposed gas where food on the sides and corners cook slower than the middle. I was very impressed. In short, all the food cooked evenly. It also did not char like a direct flame will do. It is believed that this charing can result in increased cancer risk. So in theory, this grill will reduce the risk of cancer.
To light you just turn on the burner and hold down the electric starter. If the electric starter breaks, you have a match holding wand you can stick in on the side. The match holder is connected by a chain which is connected to the left side of the grill. Really nice feature for those of us that are forgetful.
Before you start cooking you should spray olive oil, peanut, or canola oil on the grill surface. You then just wipe it down with a towel (just put one in a Ziploc and leave it under the grill).
To cook, you put spices on (like salt and pepper) before hand. If it is burgers then the instruction booklet recommended that you make a thumb print in the middle of the ground meat burger to keep it from puffing up. You do not want to press down on a burger that is cooking. EVER. For burgers, you want to spray some canola oil or peanut oil on the burgers to help with the searing process.
There are two temperature gages that tell the temperature just above the cooking grate. This means you can control the temperature separately on both sides of the grill.
It can hold 25 quarter pounders. 4 to 5 minutes per side. You know it is at the right temperature when the oil stops spewing from the inside of the burger. Takes 5-10 minutes.
For most food you will want to start the heat on high, then pull down to medium. I do this in my kitchen with chicken and other meats. I sear it in a pan to brown the outside (the myard effect) then let it cook more evenly in an oven for 15-20 minutes. This infrared grill allows you greater control so you don’t have to move food from a hot area to a cooler one. The cooler area lets the inside cook.
The top and front are stainless steel. Black painted metal are on the sides and part of the front.
It is too early to analyze the durability and I do recommend a covering. But the unit looks and feels solid. None of those flimsy bars you find on other grills. The knobs seem well designed, the handles are big and very secure. It is good materials all around.
The handles are fairly fat so you have a good grasp of them
Nice things is you have deflectors on top of the burners, then you have the pinhole under grate. This really reduces flame flair ups.
On the bottom base you have room for the propane gas tank and on the door you have 4 hooks for cooking utensils. So you have a very clean look to the grill since the bottom of the grill is completely enclosed.
There are 4 wheels and moderately easy to roll it around. Just don’t do it while cooking.
To clean you scrape the grates with a plastic fork. The pin holed grates have some residual carbon gunk. Just wipe it down inside a trash can bag. There really isn’t much to clean off. There is also an oil drop tray on the back that holds the oils that are released from fat containing foods. I was amazed at how little fat dripped into the pan though.
Does the look impress me? Not really. It is just a normal looking small grill with black and silver pieces. Utilitarian in design and looks. But it does not look ugly.
They recommend that you use oil to season the grill before you use it the first time. It’s not cast iron so I’m not sure how it is seasoning the metal but the silver metal turns black over time as you season it every time you cook. The book recommends you continue to season it and black grills are a good thing. So over time it becomes a better cooking surface. You can cook with wood chips if you wish. You just put them on the pin holed grate. No soaking the wood chips or any special preparation. The only concern is to make sure fatty foods do not sit over the wood chips because it can flare up.
One thing I don’t like is you cannot do true BBQ cooking. If you turn one burner on low, the other side will get between 225-300 degrees. I like to BBQ at 180-210, so this won’t replace my briquette grill anytime soon.
The sides of the lid have big round openings that can be used with a rotisserie kit You have to remove the vegetable/warming attachment on the top back inside part of the grill. It looks like it could only hold 2 properly tied up chickens, or one medium properly tied turkey. Definitely something I would recommend if you don't already have a dedicated rotisseriet.
There is an auto clean version on other models in this line but not on this model. It is pretty small so you don't really need it.
$231 with coupon at Lowes.
Weight and dimensions
With the left side arm extended it is
Wide 46 inches
Deep 22 inches closed
Tall 46 inches
7 inches deeper when the lid is raised. And 57 inches tall
The side tables are 29 deep and 14.75 wide. When the left side folds down you lose 7.75 inches.
©Alan Lake's Kitchen 2012
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Amount Paid (US$): 231
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