The Bottom Line
This model has been discontinued. It is replaced by the Char-Broil RED 3-Zone Infrared Grill (Model #463250509).
Perhaps the most innovative mass market grill on the market this year (2008), the Char-Broil RED is a low cost, all infrared gas grill. On one hand, you might say that this grill is little more than a gas fired box that roasts instead of grills. On the other hand, this grill can hit temperatures of nearly 700 degrees and almost never flares-up.
The design of this grill lets it cook between low and slow barbecue and steak searing temperatures. On the downside, this grill uses low-quality stainless steel and plastic parts that might limit its durability. The biggest question is how long the internal "trough" will last.
- High, efficient heating
- Low price all infrared design
- Doesn't flare-up
- Low quality 430 stainless steel construction
- Questionable durability of the trough section of the cooking chamber
- Three 11,500 BTU stainless steel tubular burners
- 550 square inches primary cooking area with a total grilling area of 750 square inches
- 34,500 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
- Electronic Ignition
- Painted steel and stainless steel (400 series) construction
- Propane tank, rotisserie kit, and cover sold separately
- Sold Exclusively through Home Depot Stores
Guide Review - Char-Broil RED 3-Zone Infrared Model# 463250108
Hold your hand over a burning flame and feel the hot air rising from the fire. This is the kind of heat most grills use to cook food. This is the ancient power of cooking.
Now place your hand to the side of the fire and feel the radiant heat. This is infrared energy. The heat you feel from the sun is infrared. For many years, grill makers have used a variety of techniques to produce infrared gas grills. The Char-Broil RED isolates a set of gas burners under a metal shell that keeps hot air out of the cooking area of a grill and radiates infrared energy at the food you want to cook. This low-cost solution isn't new, but the marketing certainly is. The result of all this is that this grill can produce temperatures low enough for barbecue and hot enough to sear a steak.
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 $600USD.
Inside this grill, under the heavy porcelain coated cast iron cooking grates, are the two "troughs." These U-shaped buckets separate the burners from the cooking chamber, eliminating the flow of hot air and radiating infrared energy at the cooking surface. The troughs are porcelain coated sheet metal that are labeled, easy to clean.
One problem is how long they will last. Metal expands under high temperatures while porcelain doesn't. Once the porcelain cracks the metal underneath, usually from exposure to drippings and moisture, it will rust. As soon as there is a hole through this part, the grill will fail. Combine this with the low-grade stainless steel parts and plastic knobs and you have a grill with a limited lifespan. Fortunately, this grill uses only small amounts of the inferior materials.