If you were to design a grill, it just might have much of the same specifications as this Char-Broil Classic 480 gas grill model. Looking at the specifications sheet in the hardware store, this Char-Broil gas grill seems like the perfect buy. The heat output is perfect for the size and the shiny lid gives it the appearance of durability. The truth is, however, that this gas grill is more show than quality.
The porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates will give good sear marks, but the cooking box is flimsy and will rust quickly, heat unevenly, and fail to last long enough to justify even a discount price.
Description and Specs
The Char-Broil Classic 480 gas grill has four stainless steel burners (each with 12,000 BTU) and plenty of cooking space for the whole family or large gathering, fitting roughly 24 hamburgers in the 480 square inches of cooking area. The cooking grates are coated in porcelain and the lid, handle, and control panel are made of stainless steel. There is a warming rack above the cooking grates, a side burner offering 10,000 BTU, and powder-coated metal side shelves offering additional workspace. The Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner's ignition button is electric, requiring a AA battery.
Here are the specs at a glance:
- Four 12,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
- 480 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 660 square inches of grilling space
- 48,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
- 10,000 BTU side burner under a flush mounted cover
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
- Constructed 430 stainless steel, powder-coated steel, and cast aluminum parts
- Push button electric (AA battery) ignition
- Propane tank, rotisserie kit, and cover sold separately
- Made in China by Char-Broil for Lowes Home Improvement Stores
Pros and Cons
The simple truth is that the Char-Broil Classic 4-Burner gas grill with side burner is the perfect grill for the person who doesn't know what to look for in a gas grill. It is large and inexpensive with decent heat output for its size. But it is constructed of flimsy and lightweight components and poor quality stainless steel. (Unless you spend a lot on stainless there isn't a point in using it on anything that is going to spend its life outside.)
Char-Broil claims that the porcelain-coated cooking grates are rust-resistant and easy to clean, but many users have reported that the grates rust easily and are prone to flaking. In addition, at this price, you may expect much better burners and barrier pieces than this grill provides. And all of these negatives result in uneven heating.
Whether or not you tend to use the side burner on a regular basis, you want it to perform well. Unfortunately, the Char-Broil Classic 480's side burner doesn't have much power—it won't heat a small pot on a windy day.
At this price, look for something smaller, much more basic, and without the stainless steel body parts. There are a variety of gas grills under $500 offering something better.