The Bottom Line
The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared represents an innovative approach to an inexpensive all infrared gas grill. This unit uses a simple sheet of perforated stainless steel to convert the output of a standard gas burner into infrared energy. This small, patio sized unit has two burners that put out only 18,000 BTUs under 325 square inches of cooking space but can still reach high temperatures, though not the kind of impressive numbers that infrared promises.
Unfortunately, this gas grill is constructed from low quality and thin stainless steel parts, limiting its durability.
- Built small for small spaces
- High, even heating
- Individual burner temperature gauges
- Low quality 430 stainless steel and painted steel construction
- Low quality stainless steel burners
- "Infrared" cooking system can be problematic and require high maintenance
- Low heat output
- Two 9,000 BTU 400 series stainless steel tubular burners under "infrared" diffusers
- 325 square inches of primary cooking area for a total of 445 square inches of grilling space
- 18,000 BTU maximum output from the main burners
- Unique complete "infrared" design for high temperature cooking
- Designed with a small footprint for small spaces and has fold down side tables for storage
- 430 stainless steel and painted steel construction
- Electric (AA-battery) igniter
- Hood mounted thermometer
- Convertible to natural gas with additional equipment
- Manufactured in China by Char-Broil exclusively for Lowes Home Improvement Stores
Guide Review - Char-Broil Commercial TRU-Infrared Commercial Model# 463642316
This version of the TRU-Infrared Gas Grill from Char-Broil is specifically designed for small spaces. If you have a small patio or balcony where gas grills are permitted then this is one small grill to take a look at.
The small side tables fold down, reducing its footprint, and the very small space is perfect for a couple of people. Of course, this $300USD grill is a simple unit with two main burners and nothing else, but it does give you high-temperature cooking for a small grill.
This two burner gas grill puts out a maximum of 18,000 BTUs under 325 square inches of primary grilling space. This is low, even for an infrared grill. While able to produce some decent cooking temperatures, don't expect this to be a powerhouse of a gas grill. It will get hot, but not the kind of hot that does extreme searing or grilling. The truth is that the infrared design of this grill (which is actually pretty simple) gives it relatively good cooking temperatures with less fuel consumption. In fact, this gas grill will use about half of the propane (or natural gas if converted) of a conventional grill.
There are two primary problems with this grill. First, this model, like all Commercial Series Char-Broil grills is made from low grade (400 series) stainless steel. This limits the durability of the grill and will cause it to discolor and rust early. You can't count on this grill lasting.
The other problem with this grill is the "infrared" system.
Basically, what makes this grill an infrared grill is a thin sheet or perforated stainless steel (also 400 series). This sheet needs regular "gentle" cleaning according to Char-Broil to keep the holes in it clear. If this sheet gets too dirty the grill will not work properly. You need to be very careful in maintaining this grill to keep it working.