Redesigned in 2015, this Char-Broil infrared three-burner grill is part of the Commercial series offered by Char-Broil—a series that includes four stainless steel grills in 2-burner, 3-burner, 4-burner, and double-header models, with prices ranging from $300 to $700. At first glance, it can be hard to distinguish between different Char-Broil product series lines, such as the Signature series, which also has infrared technology and stainless steel finishes. Char-Broil, like many manufacturers, offers very similar products in different series lines in order to provide "exclusives" to large retailers. This particular grill is currently an exclusive at Lowes Home Improvement centers.
One difference with the Commercial series is that it is duel-fuel enabled, which means it can be run from standard LP gas or by household natural gas. Other than this, many of the advantages of this Charbroil Commercial Series grill will also apply to grills with comparable specifications in other series within the Charbroil lineup.
If you want a larger version of this grill, try the Char-Broil Commercial Infrared 4-Burner Model# 463242715.
The redesign of this grill was more than just a cosmetic redress. While still using the infrared technology that Char-Broil licensed a decade ago, this grill represents a serious rethink of the gas grill. Gone are the awkward stainless steel cooking grates that struggled to generate sear marks. This grill uses a heavier porcelain-coated cast iron grate that holds and transfers heat much more efficiently. The pointless burner temperature gauges are gone and the infrared emitter is stronger and made of a better class of stainless steel.
- Three 8,500 BTU stainless steel tubular burners under "infrared" diffusers
- 420 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 575 square inches of grilling space
- 25,500 BTU maximum output from the main burners
- 13,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
- Unique complete "infrared" design for high-temperature cooking
- Mixed stainless steel and painted steel construction
- Electric (AA-battery) igniter
- Built-in fuel gauge
- Individual temperature gauges for each burner mounted above burner knobs
- Sold as propane—convertible to natural gas with additional parts
- Manufactured in China by Char-Broil exclusively for Lowes Home Improvement Stores
Pros and Cons
Among the advantages of this three-burner infrared grill:
- High, even heating
- Efficient design reduces fuel consumption
- Thin construction materials
- The infrared cooking system requires extra maintenance and cleaning
How This Infrared Grill Works
Inside the bottom of the cooking chamber are three 8,500 BTU burners. By themselves, 8,500 BTU burners are not that impressive. In a professional kitchen, for example, a 7,000 BTU stove burner is commonly called a simmer burner and is barely enough to boil a pot of water. But in an infrared grill design, the heat from these three burners is focused at a component Char-Broil calls an emitter. This perforated sheet of 443R stainless steel converts the convection heat of the burners into infrared heat. Put simply, convection heat is like the heated air from your car heater, while infrared heat is what you feel on your face when you point it at the sun.
Sitting on the emitter are porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grates. The changes to this system are very real improvements, not just marketing ploys. The old system used an awkward cooking grate that was heavy and hard to keep clean. The cast-iron grates on this grill can actually hold and transfer heat much better than the old system.
While this was always a decent grill, the enhancements now make this model stand up quite well to the competition. The materials have been improved, including the use of a better-quality of stainless steel in the emitters and burners. It is also better-looking than the old model and is quite attractive sitting on a deck or patio.
All this being said, this three-burner infrared grill still requires more maintenance and cleaning that a typical gas grill. Preheat times can be longer, and while it is infrared, it is a different kind of infrared than you see professional chefs using. This grill may be more efficient than a non-infrared 3-burner grill with comparable BTU rating, but it is not really much hotter