Char Broil Tru Infrared Grill

Char Broil TRU Infrared Grill Reviews + TRU Infrared Technology Explained

Infrared grilling is the most exciting trend in outdoor cooking, harnessing the power of light for the ultimate barbecue experience. Create the juiciest burgers in record time using less fuel and with fewer flare-ups.

Let’s take a closer look at what powers Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grills and the features that make them must-haves. We will also review some of our favorite models that utilize this technology.

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Technology Explained

Conventional gas and charcoal grills cook with convection. As air is warmed, it circulates around open grates until the food is heated — like a cake in an oven.

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grills have gas burners (or electric heating elements) that are placed under a stainless steel plate with small holes. The burners heat the bottom of the heat shield up to 800 degrees so that it starts emitting infrared radiation. The hot metal surface radiates infrared light and transfers the heat directly to your food.

On top of the emitter plate is a porcelain-coated cast iron grilling grate. The foods sits on top of the non-stick grates which allows the extra grease to drip off between them.

Below is a short video that explains in more detail how the TRU-Infrared grills work:

TRU-Infrared Technology Explained by Char-Broil Engineer

The technology used in infrared grills is not new, though. Developed in 1961 for industrial heating applications, infrared grills are mainstays in restaurants, and as their price fell, in backyards across the country.

Next, let’s consider the pros and cons of Char-Broil TRU-Infrared grills.

Advantages

  • Gets Blazing Hot: Infrared grills reach temperatures hundreds of degrees higher than conventional models, cooking food faster, so you can get weeknight meals on the table in a hurry.
  • Preheats Almost Instantly: The average gas grill takes 10 minutes to preheat — charcoal can require a half-hour or more. Char-Broil infrared grills can reach cooking temperature in as little as 5 minutes.
  • Heats Evenly: The infrared produces even heat, eliminating hot and cold spots. You can use the entire surface area of the grill and get the same reliable results.
  • Preserves Delicious Juices: The flow of air around food can dry it out. TRU-Infrared grills sear in precious juices for mouthwatering meats every time.
  • Tames Flare-Ups: Grilled food wouldn’t taste the same without the gentle kiss of fire, but sky-high flare-ups are risky. The stainless steel grates on Char-Broil infrared grills create a barrier between drippings and burners, reducing sudden explosions of flame. Infrared grills may be allowed in places conventional grills aren’t because they’re safer near combustible materials.
  • Saves Time, Hassle, and Fuel: Infrared grills use up to 40-percent less gas to reach cooking temperature compared to traditional models. You’ll save money and make fewer trips to the hardware store to refill propane tanks.
  • Cleans Up Effortlessly: Infrared grills preserve juices, so less grease collects in the catch tray. On high heat, they reduce sticky food residue to ashes in minutes without scrubbing, so you can be sure tomorrow’s grilled salmon won’t taste like today’s pulled pork.

Any Disadvantages?

Char-Broil infrared grills have a few things to take into consideration:

  • Costs More: The price of infrared grills has decreased 50-percent in the last five years. But you’ll still pay a premium of 20–percent more, on average, over conventional models. The great thing is that Char-Broil Performance Series models are some of the most affordable infrared grills in the market allowing you to enter the world of steakhouse level searing without spending your whole salary.
  • Has a Learning Curve: It’s not unusual for first-time infrared users to burn a burger or two. But as you get to know your grill, you’ll learn how to adjust cooking times and temperatures.

Char-Broil TRU Infrared Grill Reviews

We chose 5 of our favorite Char-Broil infrared grills to be reviewed in this guide. In addition to reviewing models with 4, 3, and 2 burners, we included an electric grill and model that is capable of smoking and roasting.

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 4-Burner Stainless Grill Review

The Char-Broil 4-Burner Performance TRU-Infrared grill is a propane-powered beast that feeds even a bigger family. It is the largest unit included in this guide and has a generous 500 square-inch cooking area for big cookouts. Equipped with porcelain-coated grates, a fast electric ignition system, and a sharp stainless steel finish we can say that this is a pretty impressive grill.

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 4-Burner Stainless Grill

Specifications:

  • Fuel Type: Propane gas
  • Number of Main Burners: 4
  • Additional Burners: 1 lidded 10,000 BTU side burner
  • Total BTU: 37,000
  • Primary Grilling Area (sq.in): 500
  • Warming Rack Area (sq.in): 150
  • Weight: 128 lbs
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel, porcelain-coated cast iron
  • Dimensions: 56.7″ x 23.4″ x 45.5″ (L x W x H)
  • Warranty: 5, 2, or 1 year depending on the part

The grill has 4 high-quality stainless steel burners that are warrantied for 5 full years and the lid and firebox for 2 years. It’s great for searing a big bunch of burgers and steaks without worrying about flare-ups. Cleaning the stainless steel heat shield is a bit challenging but it can be removed for thorough cleaning.

The grill is packed with nice features like the 10,000 BTU side burner, fold-away warming rack, and a side shelf and cabinet that provide extra prep and storage space.

If you want a large infrared grill that doesn’t break the bank, the 4-burner version of Char-Broil Performance Series infrared grills is a perfect option.

What We Love

  • Great value for money
  • Heats up fast and even
  • 4 high-quality stainless steel burners
  • No flare-ups
  • Large cooking area
  • The cabinet provides extra storage space

What We Don’t

  • Cleaning the heat shield can be a bit tedious

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill Review

This Char-Broil grill is part of the recipe for your weekend fun. Redesigned in 2020, the Performance 3-burner grill now includes premium features for a discount price. It’s everything you need without the cost of bells and whistles that don’t improve your grilling experience.

Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill

Specifications:

  • Fuel Type: Propane gas
  • Number Main Burners: 3
  • Additional Burners: 10,000 BTU side burner
  • Total BTU: 34,000
  • Primary Grilling Area (sq.in): 450
  • Warming Rack Area (sq.in): 150
  • Weight: 105.6 lbs
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel and porcelain-coated cast iron
  • Dimensions: 54.1″ x 23.4″ x 45.5″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 5, 2, or 1 year depending on the part

This Amazon-exclusive model features a simple cart-style design without the storage capacity and creature comforts of other grills, but the quality is there where it counts — in the stainless steel lid and firebox and deluxe burners.

You’ll enjoy 450-square inches of primary grilling space plus a 150 square-inch swing-away warming rack for indirect cooking — 24,000 BTUs make quick work of the thickest steaks while you stir fry a vegetable medley on the 10,000 BTU side burner. Porcelain-coated cast-iron grates are durable, non-stick, and conduct heat evenly, creating the luscious sear marks that give grilled foods their characteristic barbecue flavor.

This grill is as well-appointed as your kitchen, with features including an easy-to-read fuel gauge and electronic ignition for fast, reliable start-ups — creating a feast is effortless. You’ll notice a minor difference in build quality between Performance and Signature Series grills. Still, its performance rival brands costing four times more. It’s a sound investment and more than your money’s worth.

What We Love

  • Heats up fast
  • Large grilling area
  • Consistent and even heating
  • Affordable
  • Stainless steel burners, lid, and firebox

What We Don’t

  • The grill heat shield can get clogged and requires some effort to clean
  • No cabinet for storage space

Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 2-Burner Gas Grill Review

Char-Broil’s 2-burner Signature Series grill is a budget-friendly powerhouse, boasting 20,000 BTUs of infrared cooking power over 325-square inches of primary grilling space. In addition, you can toast rolls or slow-roast vegetables on the 120-square-inch elevated warming rack.

The grill has emitter plates that distribute heat evenly, eliminating hot and cold spots. This means that you can utilize the entire cooking surface with the same results. Why buy a larger grill than you need?

Char-Broil Signature TRU-Infrared 2-Burner Gas Grill

Specifications:

  • Fuel Type: Propane gas
  • Number Burners: 2
  • Total BTU: 20,000
  • Primary Grilling Area (sq.in): 325
  • Warming Rack Area (sq.in): 120
  • Weight: 107.8 lbs
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel, painted steel, and porcelain-coated cast iron
  • Dimensions: 46.8″ x 22.5″ x 47.2″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 10, 2, or 1 year depending on the part

Measuring just 47 inches wide by 23 inches deep, the Signature has a family-sized capacity but fits perfectly in small spaces from balconies to patios. Dual drop-down side tables create a generous workspace.

The rock-solid steel frame is mounted on four heavy-duty casters for effortless repositioning — two wheels lock for stability. The firebox, lid, and burners are constructed of top-quality stainless steel for ultimate performance and exceptional weather-resistance. Sear steaks on the porcelain-coated cast-iron grates — nothing sticks, and clean-up is a breeze.

Additional perks include a slide-out grease tray, integrated fuel gauge, and Char-Broil’s SureFire electronic ignition system — features rarely found in grills less than $500 — plus a comprehensive warranty. The only thing we miss is the side burner, but the trade-off is two full-time side tables and the bargain price. It’s proof that good things come in small, affordable packages.

What We Love

  • Great for searing steaks and burgers
  • Easy to clean
  • Great value for money
  • Compact design with enough grilling space
  • Made with durable high-quality materials
  • The burners have a 10-year warranty

What We Don’t

  • Doesn’t have a side burner

Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill Review

Grill, roast, smoke, and more with Char-Broil’s all-in-one Big Easy. At just 50 lbs. fully assembled, it’s perfect for backyard picnics yet portable enough for the road. Tailgate party, anyone?

The design is unique, featuring a 1200 square-inch roasting and smoking chamber for large cuts of meat — up to a 21-pound turkey or a jumbo rib roast. Pack the side-mounted smoker box with your favorite wood chips for a burst of smoky flavor.

Char-Broil The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker, Roaster, and Grill

Specifications:

  • Fuel Type: Propane gas
  • Number Burners: 2
  • Total BTU: 18,000
  • Cooking Area: 225 sq.in
  • Weight: 50 lbs
  • Build Materials: Stainless steel, and porcelain-coated cast iron
  • Dimensions: 23.2″ x 23.5″ x 36.3″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 5 years (burners) and 1 year for all other parts

Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared technology keeps food crispy on the outside but moist and tender inside without added oil. Place the removable grate over the top, and the roasting chamber transforms into a 180 square-inch infrared grill for burgers and chops.

The Big Easy is adventure-ready and engineered for outdoor use with carrying handles and hooks to keep accessories at your fingertips. The unit comes complete with a removable roasting basket, lift hook, thermometer and regulator. Add a propane tank, and you’re ready to grill.

The best part about The Big Easy is that it’s gentle on your wallet. It’s competitively priced among portable grills, yet it offers so much more. Why compromise when you can have it all? The stainless steel burners have a 5-year warranty but for other parts, it’s limited to one year. This is not something to worry about too much though, as the grill has a strong record for durability. Don’t let summer pass you by without it.

What We Love

  • Versatile: you can smoke, grill, and roast
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for tailgating and camping

What We Don’t

  • Limited grilling space

Char-Broil Patio Bistro TRU-Infrared Electric Grill Review

Forget the hassle of propane or charcoal with Char-Broil’s Patio Bistro TRU-Infrared Electric Grill. Plug it in, and lunch is ready in minutes.

Despite its compact footprint, this model has features similar to its gas-powered cousins. You’ll enjoy 320 square-inches of cooking space, including the 80 square-inch removable warming rack. Double porcelain-coated grates are rust-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. A single knob fine-tunes the temperature, which you can monitor from the lid-mounted thermometer.

Char-Broil Patio Bistro TRU-Infrared Electric Grill

Specifications:

  • Type: Electric grill
  • Wattage: 1750
  • Primary Grilling Area (sq.in): 240
  • Warming Rack Area (sq.in): 120
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Build Materials: Porcelain-coated steel
  • Dimensions: 24.2″ x 26″ x 38.5″ (W x D x H)
  • Warranty: 2 years (lid and firebox) and 1 year for all other parts

The Patio Bistro’s lightweight frame is sturdy and comes equipped with a shelf for tools plus a handy towel bar. Move it from your patio to poolside on two heavy-duty wheels. The lid handle is front-mounted instead of top-mounted, a safety feature we like because you don’t have to reach over a hot lid to remove it.

Unlike gas and charcoal models, electric grills create little smoke and virtually no char, so food has less traditional barbecue taste. Also, the grill takes a while to heat up, especially if it’s windy.

The trade-off is convenience and fuel-efficiency — plus, electric grills are welcomed in places gas and charcoal aren’t because they’re environmentally friendly and less of a fire risk. Available in four designer colors that brighten any space, the Patio Bistro is ready for any time, anywhere outdoor meals.

What We Love

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great for balconies and patios

What We Don’t

  • Takes some time to heat up
  • The taste is not the same as with traditional barbecue

Char-Broil Performance vs. Commercial and Signature Series

Char-Broil makes grills for every budget. Available in 2-, 3- and 4-burner styles, let’s compare the Performance, Signature, and Commercial Series’:

Price

Char-Broil’s Performance series is their entry-level grill and the burner models are very affordable. The better-equipped Signature Series is a bit more expensive but offers excellent value for money. The Commercial Series, exclusive to Lowe’s, is virtually identical to the Signature Series but with unique packaging and a big-box store price advantage. Price gaps are larger among the 3- and 4-burner styles despite their similarities.

Materials

All Char-Broil grills feature the same porcelain-coated cast-iron grates — burners, emitter plates, and cook boxes are made of top-quality stainless steel. Performance Series carts have regular steel side tables and other parts painted for rust-resistance. The finish gets good reviews for durability, but chips and scratches are inevitable. Signature and Commercial Series grills boast all stainless steel construction with select parts painted for contrast.

Design

TRU-Infrared grills are engineered to be as functional as they are attractive with sleek, modern finishes. Choose from cart or cabinet styles with additional storage based on your budget needs. Each series can be converted to burn natural gas with an optional adapter. Char-Broil also makes separate lines of electric infrared grills and smokers.

Usability

Char-Broil grills help you work smarter, not harder. Controls feel familiar, and parts disassemble with ease for cleaning. Cabinets are the same size on Performance, Signature and Commercial versions — they don’t feel crowded.

All models include integrated fuel gauges, LED lights, electronic ignition systems and side tables for holding your gear. The doors on Signature and Commercial Series grills also feature tool hooks and storage compartments.

Burners

All TRU-Infrared grills are available in 2-, 3-, and 4-burner options. Two-burner styles in each series have 20,000 BTU main burners and no side burners.

The 3-burner Performance grill features 24,000 BTU main burners and a 10,000 BTU side burner for 34,000 total BTUs of heating power. Three-burner Signature and Commercial Series models offer 25,500 BTU main burners plus a 13,000 BTU side burner.

The 4-burner Performance Series grill has an upgraded 27,000 BTU on the main burners and a 10,000 BTU side burner, while the Signature and Commercial models feature the most powerful heating system Char-Broil makes — 32,000 BTU main burners with a 13,000 side burner.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Infrared grills are naturally easy to clean. Wipe down the exterior with soap and water and use high heat to clean food-encrusted grates. It’s the same straightforward process for Performance, Signature, and Commercial Series models.

Warranty

One of the most noticeable differences between the Performance, Signature, and Commercial grills is the warranty, with coverage as follows:

Performance:

  • Burners — 5 years
  • Firebox — 2 years
  • Grates/Emitters — 1 year
  • All other parts — 1 year

Signature:

  • Burners — 10 years
  • Firebox — 2 years
  • Grates/Emitters — 2 years
  • All other parts — 1 year

Commercial:

  • Burners — 10 years
  • Firebox — 3 years
  • Grates/Emitters — 3 years
  • All other parts — 1 year

About the Author

Hi, I’m Joonas!

As soon as I learned to walk, I started to assist my dad and uncles with grilling and smoking. I always loved helping them and later took over the role of the grill master in my family.

My goal is to cook tasty barbecue food, enjoy it with family & friends, and help others do the same!

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