Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 500 3-Burner Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Last updated date: June 23, 2020
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Editor's Note July 13, 2020:
Checkout The Best Gas Grill for a detailed review of all the top gas grills.
In our analysis of 70 expert reviews, the Char-Broil Char-Broil Performance Gas Grill placed 16th when we looked at the top 16 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
The Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 500 is a 3-burner gas grill featuring Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared cooking system. The TRU-Infrared technology provides better performance with greater temperature range and control. Features a 500-square inch cooking surface, one 10,000 BTU side burner, a fixed stainless steel side shelf, and a cabinet with stainless steel doors which hide the propane tank and allow for additional storage. Sits on four casters for increased mobility- two of which lock- to keep the grill in place while in use. Measures 56.7-inches wide x 45.5-inches high x 23.4-inches deep.
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
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An Overview On Gas Grills
There’s no better way to enjoy warm weather than with a great backyard barbecue. Whether you’re cooking for your immediate family or a large group of friends, meat and vegetables taste a little better when cooked over a grill. Gas grills are the quickest and easiest way to cook outdoors since they fire right up in a couple of steps. However, great-tasting meals start with the grill you choose.
When shopping for grills, it can be easy to get caught up in the quality of the construction: make sure the grill’s cook box has thick and solid walls to keep the heat inside, especially if you prefer to grill year-round. Generally, heavy stainless steel is a good option because it doesn’t rust.
But while it is important to choose a sturdy, durable grill — since it will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day,— you should put far more effort into weighing the grill’s cooking ability. Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner model has burners that put the perfect sear marks on your meat, if that’s important.
Primarily, you’ll need to look for a grill that offers even heat from front to back, which provides consistency. This will let you use every square inch of burner space while cooking rather than confining all your items to the area of the grill that gets hottest.
Also, look for heavy cooking grids and full coverage from cooking elements. You don’t want hot or cold spots on your grilling surface!
The need for rapid, even heating means that you should consider size.
“With gas grills, size does matter,” says our resident kitchen expert Julie Chernoff, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, dining editor of Better magazine and food journalist. “You shouldn’t buy more grill than you need, although it’s always tempting to buy the sexy unit with all the bells and whistles.”
She advises taking into account how much room you have for your grill and how many people you’re feeding.
“If you regularly host barbecues or friends and family, a larger-capacity grill is in order,” she says.
Ease of use may also be something you want to take note of before you buy.
“Make sure that the ignition works well — and if it is a propane system versus a dedicated natural gas line, make sure there is some sort of gauge to tell when the gas is running low,” Chernoff says. “No one wants to run out of propane halfway through a barbecue!”
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is in knowing when your meat is cooked to the perfect temperature. Although many grills come with thermometers, these are built into the hood, which makes them inadequate for accurately measuring the internal temperature of your steaks and burgers. For that reason, you’ll probably need to stand close by with a meat thermometer in hand.
However, you don’t have to completely make cooking a guessing game. Newer models from Weber connect to an app that monitors the grill’s temperature and alerts you when your meat is done. You’ll still need to keep an eye on your grill, but this can at least let you wander away for a few minutes here and there without worrying about forgetting about your food.
As you’re shopping for a grill, also keep portability in mind. The Cuisinart Grillster Portable Propane Gas Grill is designed for a tabletop, making it perfect for taking on camping trips. Even having a grill with wheels for moving it around can make a difference if you’re concerned about an approaching hail storm or a winter filled with ice and snow.
You’ll likely be able to choose from some exciting extras, including side burners, tool hooks, a rotisserie or a smoker box. When deciding on these, consider how likely you are to use them and for what purpose.
“I find the side burner useful for reducing marinades and melting butter to brush on corn, and tool hooks keep utensils handy,” Chernoff says.
Fortunately, there are a few grills on the market that will provide all of the extras you want while also helping you cook delicious meals. Simply outline the feature set you want and your budget, and you’ll quickly find the right grill for you.
The Gas Grill Buying Guide
- There’s nothing more frustrating than marinating your steaks or patting out your burgers, only to get to the grill and learn you’re out of propane. The Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner helps you out with a gauge that tells you approximately how much gas is left.
- One ongoing issue with grills is cooking consistency. You’ll likely find no matter what grill you choose, some areas burn warmer than others. The Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner runs hotter on the back than on the front, while other models impress with the evenness of their heat. For example, those with high-quality stainless-steel burners are able to provide an even temperature throughout.
- Pay close attention to the location of the thermometer. The vast majority of grills place it on the hood, where it can’t accurately gauge the temperature of the meat cooking inside. You’ll likely still need to use a meat thermometer even with this to make sure the internal temperature of your meat is within a safe range.
- If you plan to cook for large groups, capacity is a must. The Megamaster 753-Square Inch Propane Gas Grill, 6-Burner has six burners, making it ideal for cooking for a large group of people. The tabletop Cuisinart Grillster Portable Propane Gas Grill can fit just a few hot dogs and burgers at a time. Grills with less burners can seem cramped at times, especially if you have people over for a summertime party.
- A side burner can make a big difference if you’re trying to cook multiple items. Look for a model with four main burners, one infrared rear burner and one infrared side burner, giving you extra space if you’re cooking for groups or simply want to separate out what you’re cooking.
- The Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner features an externally-mounted propane tank, which is easier to maneuver than the traditional under grill storage setup you’ll usually get with a propane tank. Best of all, the area under your grill stays free for storing tools, platters and whatever else you need to set aside while you’re cooking.
- When you’re grilling, it can be tough to keep up with all the tools you’ll need. The Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner comes with six hooks to make it easy to store your tools where they’re always handy.
- Keep an eye out for a grill with an Infinity ignition system that helps fire up the grill quickly every time.
- If you cook small items like shrimp, you’ll spend most of your time trying to keep them from falling into the fire. To prevent that, choose a grill like the Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner that has tightly-spaced grates.
- One major benefit to the Weber grills is that they’re grill ready. They feature a thermometer that connects to an app, notifying you on your device when your items are ready. This functionality currently works on many of their models.
- Some gas grills have burners that are quite different. Instead of the tube burners traditionally seen with grills, they have tapered quadrangle-shaped burners.
- Occasionally, you may need to move the grill around, especially if your area gets rough weather and you need to roll your grill to a sheltered area. One disadvantage to the Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner is that it only has two wheels, making it a little tougher to maneuver around. Other models have four wheels that make them more user-friendly.
- If you’re interested in a fully portable model, consider the Cuisinart Grillster Portable Propane Gas Grill, which is designed to be set up on a table. This means you can take it along on camping trips.
- Unlike most grills, which operate on a propane tank, small portable models tend to use disposable propane cylinders. Although this is convenient for transport and storage, it’s important to note that you may have a slightly harder time finding them. They’re sold as a camping accessory. It’s also important to note that they don’t ship with the grill, so you may want to purchase them so you’ll have them on hand when your grill arrives.
- Although it’s probably going to be easier to find than the canisters, any grill you buy will need a propane tank. You can find them at home improvement retailers and gas stations. Best of all, once you’ve purchased a tank or canister, you should be able to get them refilled at a variety of locations for a fraction of the price you spent originally.
- If you’re looking for a grill that’s built to withstand years of outdoor rigors, consider the Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner. It has a frame made from welded beams, rather than sheet metal. The Cuisinart Grillster Portable Propane Gas Grill is also durable, with a sturdy enameled steel construction.
- Although appearance isn’t always the top priority in finding a grill, it will become a part of your backyard aesthetics. There are gas grills with color options, giving you a choice of black, ivory, red or sapphire.
- Once the grilling is done, you’ll have to clean things up. The Weber Spirit E-210 LP Gas Grill, 2-Burner is easy to clean. In addition to its unique tapered grill bars, it also has a grease management system under the firebox. To make cleanup even easier, you can insert a disposable aluminum pan in the slide-out tray and simply toss the tray when you’re finished.
- If you don’t already have a grill, don’t forget the tools you’ll need to get started. You can buy stainless-steel grilling sets that usually include a storage case. At the very least, you’ll need a spatula and tongs. But you may also want to invest in a grill-specific cleaning brush, basting brush and corn holders.
- If your grill is going to be exposed to the elements, you may also want to invest in a heavy-duty, weatherproof cover to help it last longer.
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