Easy to move around
Even flame and independent temperature control
Not very sturdy
No drip pan on the right side
Food can stick to grill grates
We purchased the Char-Broil Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
There’s just something about grilled food that makes people happy. But if you have limited space, or a tight budget, it can be difficult to find a grill that performs well without breaking the bank. That’s where the Char-Broil Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill comes in. This grill promises to deliver all of the cooking power of a larger grill, but with a budget-friendly price and a compact size that makes it a better fit for smaller spaces. But can it live up to its promises? I put it to the test—cooking steaks, burgers, and veggies—to find out. Read on to see if this is a must-have grill or if you should leave it behind.
Setup Process: Basic assembly required
The grill comes in about 10 separate pieces, so there’s some initial assembly required. The setup process isn’t difficult, but it did take about 90 minutes for one person to get the job done. If you have four hands, instead of two, you could probably tackle it in half that time. The assembly instructions have you start by building the grill from the ground up. First, I put the wheels and the legs together and then worked my way up to the grill body and grill cover.
It was a simple process, but it just took some time to get through all of the steps. Everything was appropriately labeled and the screws and washers were packaged separately and arranged by the corresponding step with clear letter indicators. The instructions themselves were illustrations, rather than descriptions, so you have to pay a little more attention to what goes where.
Features: Just the necessities
The Char-Broil Classic 360 has 30,000 BTUs of power and 360 square inches of cooking space. There are three stainless steel burners that are evenly spread out among the cooking space, so you can independently control the temperatures if you’re cooking different types of foods. I cooked turkey burgers and vegetables at the same time and it was easy to get the ideal temperature for both so that they would finish cooking at the same time.
The food sits on top of a porcelain-coated grate that’s designed to prevent sticking and, above that, sits a warming rack that you can use to heat burger buns or keep your cooked food from getting cold.
All I had to do was turn on the burner and press the ignition switch and it lit up on the first try, every time.
Design: Basic, but functional
The design of the grill doesn’t have any particular “wow” factors, but it’s functional and useful, and as someone who likes to grill, but doesn’t need a lot of fuss, it was perfect for me. There are three knobs on the front of the grill that control three independent burners and two metal shelves on each side of the grill, which add some prep space and feel pretty sturdy, even though the grill shook a little when I was trying to cut excess fat off some of the meat while it sat on the prep shelf.
There are three stainless steel burners that are evenly spread out among the cooking space, so you can independently control the temperatures if you’re cooking different types of foods.
The whole setup is on wheels, and there’s a security rod and an elevated bar that you can use to prop the propane tank off the ground and keep everything in place. This is really convenient if you have to move the grill for any reason—you can wheel it around without having to pick up the propane tank separately. Because of its light weight and portability, if you’re looking for an excellent tailgating grill, you’ve found it here.
Performance: Even flame and even cooking
The Char-Broil Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill has a Piezo ignition that’s designed for an immediate and easy startup—and it worked well. All I had to do was turn on the burner and press the ignition switch and it lit up on the first try, every time.
The flame was even and responded well to temperature adjustments, which translated to even cooking and food that came out exactly as expected. I grilled steaks, regular burgers, turkey burgers, and vegetable kebabs, and all came out great.
The flame was even and responded well to temperature adjustments, which translated to even cooking and food that came out exactly as expected.
While cooking, food did stick a little, especially lower-fat food, like turkey burgers. The porcelain-coated grates are supposed to be nonstick, but a little greasing would definitely go a long way here.
Because of its size, it could only handle a small volume of food at once, so while it’s not ideal for large backyard barbecues (or it would take a little longer to feed everyone, at least), it’s great for smaller groups or family grilling night.
Cleaning: A few quick brushes and you’re done
When it was time to clean up, food came right off the grates with a wire grill brush. As the grill cooled down, it became a little more difficult to clean, but that’s standard with any grill, so it wasn’t anything that made us deduct any points.
There’s a drip pan that hangs underneath the grill and collects the grease that’s ushered into it from the drip tray. While the drip tray is screwed on (but can be removed in a couple of minutes when it’s time to clean it), the drip pan comes right out, so you can discard the grease and easily wash it before your next grilled meal. There's no drip pan on the right side, however, so grease from that side doesn't go into the drip pot, which I thought was a bit strange.
Price: A budget-friendly pick
Retailing at around $150, this is one of the most budget-friendly gas grills out there. And with the Char-Broil name behind it, it’s also one of the highest-quality grills you’ll likely find at this price point.
Competition: Other compact options
If the size is your biggest factor in choosing a grill, these are some other compact grill options that rival the Char-Broil in power and features. The Char-Broil is the most budget-friendly option, though, so if you’re not willing to shell out more cash, these options might not be a good fit.
Broil King Signet 320 Gas Grill: With a 400-square-inch cooking area and 40,000 BTUs of power, this compact gas grill is a little larger and more powerful than the Char-Broil Classic 360, but still small enough to fit in a limited backyard space. One thing that stands out about this grill compared to the Char-Broil is that it has an enclosed cabinet so you can hide the propane tank behind closed doors. It also has a side burner that complements the grilling surface so you can make a complete meal in one place.
Weber Spirit II E-210: Another limited space-friendly option, the Weber Spirit II E-210 has two burners and 450 square inches of total cooking space, so it’s a little bigger than the Char-Broil Classic. Like the Char-Broil, it’s conveniently placed on two large wheels that make it easy to reposition or move around your yard, but it has some additional features, like tool hooks and an open cart shelf that allows you to store extra supplies.
Buy if you’re on a budget.
The Char-Broil Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill isn't going to wow seasoned grillmasters, but for less than $200, it’s really everything you would expect: It cooks quickly and evenly, is easy to move around, and fits nicely into small spaces.
- Product Name Classic Series 3-Burner Gas Grill
- Product Brand Char-Broil
- MPN 463773717
- Price $169.99
- Weight 48.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 43.5 x 51.2 x 24.1 in.
- Color Black
- Total BTUs 30,000
- Primary Cooking Surface Area 360 sq. in.
- Warranty Up to 5 years, depending on parts