Char-Broil is owned by The W.C. Bradley Company headquartered in Columbus, GA, but its roots go back before the Civil War to The Columbus Iron Works. The first Charbroil grill was made and sold in the USA in 1953. Now all Char-Broil grills are manufactured in China and distributed around the globe.
Char-Broil is an innovator with clever designs, low to midrange prices, and excellent customer service. Their new models are focused on infrared (IR) cooking (click the link to learn more about this cooking method). All the new 2012 models are 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. There are still many older non-IR models on the market as they clear out inventory, but we have focused on current models below.
These IR 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, and 1 year on everything else. Not even close to Weber’s. Of course Lowe’s and Home Depot 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.
The new Tru-Infrared grills are offered in three full-size lines: Commercial, Gourmet, and Professional. 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. Click here for more info about the complete Char-Broil line.