But when you do find one you can’t live without, and have regularly used it for 30 days or so, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that grill was the Char-Broil Performance Infrared 480 3-burner.
Char-Broil Performance Series vs Commercial Series
There are a number of standalone Char-Broil grills to choose from in their product lines, priced according to build quality and features. The Commercial Char-Broil Series might look real good, but the Performance Series has more of the right balance between power, size, and build within a reasonable price range. It has the TRU-Infrared (was upgraded recently), which is Char-Broil’s radiant heat patented cooking design.
TRU-Infrared isn’t in every Char-Broil grill, but the one that does (the 3-burner Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared gas grill) was at one point $230.
What you learn from their website’s little manufacturer blurb: Corrugated metal-built grills have more than one layer for heat to disperse and for the prevention of flare-ups and hot-spots.
Also, Char-Broil claims the grill can potentially consume 30% less in propane with the help of its design.
You’ll notice a barrier on the grill between the upper corrugated steel and the gas flame. The upper grill is heated by the radiation of the flame barrier. The corrugated grill is far from unimpressive. It’s pretty slick, and other grills aren’t like it as far as something falling through.
The steel on it is corrugated with one side showing slits (no gaped wire here). Heat is evenly dispersed due to the corrugated steel and grill drippings won’t seep through (flaring up and junking the burners or starting fire).
A Grill that shouldn’t take very long to build
That’s what you’re left with, after getting the box opened. And, the parts in the grill that are most sensitive- the gas connections and firebox- are connected already at the assembly shop (no worries there).
For assembly, it’s mostly putting together the wheels and lower stand. Char-Broil made it easy to build the thing in one piece. It has diagram formatted instructions and the designers of the grill included all the hardware needed in a sealed, separate package with a backing that pushes out. Just match the instructional drawing to the letter of the piece, then find the correct screw or bolt to connect with. Easy peasy.
The stand’s most admirable aspect has to be its sturdiness. The frame is secured by the (many) screws of the front panels, and there’s a handful of pieces specifically for bracing the grill (you won’t get that dreaded wobble and lean).
The stand’s base is attached to a weight to keep the grill anchored. After it was assembled, I was pleased to find the stand leveled.
One feature of the Char Broil Performance 3-burner that’s nice is how its four wheels individually spin (locking casters come with two of them), rather than styled as a type of “lift-and-wheel” for portability. This is for flexibility to maneuver and roll the grill, on top of locking it down (won’t be out of place). They contain metal casters with a plastic, hard wheel. You can screw the wheels easily into the legs of the stand with a caster pin provided.
It’s recommended in the assembly section of the instructions to have two sets of hands for lifting the firebox up on the stand. From what I’ve learned, you probably will be able to do it all on your own without the extra help.
Once you secure the firebox onto the stand, the two side shelves need to be then attached. A gas burner (in the style of a stove-top) is built into the left shelf (have this side attached loosely until the gas connection of the burner is secured). The outer edge of the shelves features holes for (separately purchased) accessories.
The Propane- Getting it Connected
This isn’t complicated at all. The floor of the stand’s base has this hole to snugly fit the bottom of a standard tank of liquid propane into. Secure it with a butterfly nut to the unit’s stand so it’s more stable. The gasworks of the firebox has been assembled beforehand except for the connections of the tank regulator and side burner.
As earlier mentioned, you’ll need the shelf screwed loosely with slack to get the gas-work hardware on the side burner connected. But by the time you do, just have everything tightened up, take the security clip provided and attach it (so things are kept tight) and there’s nothing more to the main part of construction.
It’s a unit that’s great as a standalone that can easily be tucked away beneath the stairs of your deck. It doesn’t hog up space, not overly expensive, nor a headache.
I think the Char-Broil for many will be just the ticket. It fits many criteria: sized good, build is not just normal, but tougher, it’s easy to use, portable, and not even $300. Spoiler alert: Find it for this much.
Last on the list, the grill’s starter needs the electrical work routed. Most of it is pre-run wiring and you need to only run one that’s specific to the side burner. The stand is easily attached to the starter and the wires all lead to it. Once they’re snapped in, the connection business is done along with assembling the grill.
Now lay the grill grates and burner plates in the firebox, and you’re all set! Three cooking/grilling sections in the grill are controlled individually. A burner with 10,000 BTU is equipped in each section. The BTU of the side burner is also 10,000, totaling an output of 40k BTU.
The grill easily ignites. Connect the hand tightening standard valve with the gas regulator, then get the gas flowing by opening the tank of propane.
Then, get the starter pressed on so you hear clicking from the electric spark as the first burner is turned to High. It gets lit… whoosh!, right up. What’s left to turn on are the remaining two burners and they automatically light up from their burner neighbor. The box quickly gets hot. A thermometer comes with the unit for every cooking area and even though the tuning won’t be super fine, it gets the job done A-OK.
There wasn’t much to it when it came to cleanup. The cover- close it. Grillings in excess- burn ’em up. The grill itself- turn it off. When that’s taken care of, just lift the three grills out and run the grill’s provided cleaning tool above the garbage bin. No more to it.