The Bottom Line
This model has been discontinued. It is replaced by the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared 3-Burner Gourmet T-36D Model# 463250512.
For 2011, Char-Broil has made some design changes to its RED line of infrared grills, largely to address the long preheat times that this grill suffered from. The boosted output of the main burners will heat the grill faster. However, this still leaves the problem of the central component, the infrared U-emitter, not being able to take the heat. While this grill can produce some impressive heat and grill up some great steaks, issues with design and the quality of components limit its lifespan. I just want you to be prepared for that.
High, efficient heating
Low price all infrared design
Low quality 430 stainless steel construction
Cooking chamber trough section prone to rusting and potential failure
- Three 10,000 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
- 500 square inches primary cooking area with a total grilling area of 680 square inches
- 30,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
- 13,000 BTU standard side burner under a flush mounted cover
- Unique "infrared" design produces high temperatures from a low BTU output
- Heavy porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates
- Push button electric (AA-Battery) igniter
- Painted steel and stainless steel (400 series) construction
- Propane tank, rotisserie kit, and cover sold separately
- Made in China by Char-Broil exclusively for Home Depot
Guide Review - Char-Broil RED 3-Burner Infrared Model# 463250511
In the past Char-Broil's RED technology has had a few problems. The focused heat of the burners on a porcelain painted metal tub caused the protective layer to peel off. This exposed the raw metal to corrosion, greatly limiting the lifespan of these grills. This year, Char-Broil has done some redesigning of the RED grills to address the problems. The firebox has been changed to a single piece unit and the burners pulled away from the infrared emitter and turned around to heat the space under it. The BTU output from the main burners has been boosted to reduce the long preheat times that the RED technology requires.
To recap (because if you are reading this you probably don't know much about these grills, the Char-Broil RED 3-Burner focus the heat of its burners onto a rounded piece of porcelain coated sheet metal called a U-Emitter (or trough on the technical specs). The U-Emitter gets very hot (around 950 degrees F.) and radiates heat at the heavy porcelain coated cooking grates. This gives you 100% infrared cooking power. What that means is high, intense heat for grilling without flare-ups (says the literature).
Two problems with these grills are, first that any drippings into the U-Emitter must be completely vaporized. This produces a lot of smoke (and not the good kind) and sometimes rather intense flare-ups. The other problem is that the heat focused on the U-emitter causes the porcelain coating to flake off and expose the metal to the elements. This will lead to rusting. Once this rusts through the grill will be unusable. Warranty on this part is two years but doesn't cover rusting.
So the big question is, does the changes Char-Broil has made fix these problems. I would love to be able to tell you that right now, but it is simply going to take time to figure that out. What I see is that the grill can now heat up faster. The 20 to 25 minute preheat times have been reduced by boosting the burner output. Unfortunately, this doesn't solve the problem of the superheated U-emitter losing its protective coating. As for the smoke and the rare but spectacular flare-ups? Those will still happen.
This grill comes equipped with a standard function 13,000 BTU side burner. Since the burners are isolated there is virtually no chance of flare-ups and so you won't need a rotisserie burner. Basically, this is a full function gas grill (rotisserie kit optional) for around $450USD.
The rest of the grill uses a combination of painted steel and lower grade stainless steel with plastic knobs. The stainless steel body parts are prone to discoloring and rusting over time so this grill needs to be kept clean and protected from the elements. If you buy this grill make sure you get a good cover for it.