When you see the Brinkmann Dual Function Gas and Charcoal Grill at Home Depot (we think it is available only there), you’ll be tempted. It looks pretty and promises a lot. There’s a three-burner propane gas grill on the left and a charcoal grill on the right, with 403 square inches primary cooking surface and 185 square inches on the warming rack of each barrel. That gives it the sort of cooking space you’ll need for a big backyard party.

The three burners within are 12,000 BTU each, and it has a side shelf with an embedded 12,000 BTU burner. The grates are porcelain-coated cast iron and each lid has a so-called “thermometer”. You’re already dreaming of getting the steaks done on gas with a quick trip over to the charcoal side to sear them, arfen’t you? It’s only $299, and that means it’s a good buy. Right?

Not really. It has problems. The metal is thin and not well-fitted. The thermometers are useless, and only have 100 degree grades. As always, bring your own, more accurate digital grill thermometer. The vents on the charcoal side are spring-loaded to hold them closed and the vents on the floor is huge, so you’re going to be fighting to maintain an even temp all through the cook. The charcoal grates are adjustable with clumsy pull-up handles. The warming racks are plated wire and protrude out over the left shelf, a shelf which is too small and flimsy for anything other than warming your (small) pot of homemade BBQ sauce. The gas ignition is piezoelectric. The handles are plastic. According to one owner, “sometimes grease gathers on the bottom sides and leaks through the grill. The grease trap in the middle fills up quick too… There is no shelf on the bottom to put an extra drip pan or your cooking tools.”

At $299, this is overpriced. Using the Weber Equivalency, you could get three One-Touch Silvers and not only have almost 1200 total square inches cooking, you’ll have three sturdier grills with better air control that will last a lot longer with less care. The Brinkmann Dual Gas and Charcoal Grill will impress you in the store when you see it, but don’t be tempted.

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