My husband and I recently tried the Char-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Gas Grill with Folding Side Shelves for one month. We did this so I could write an in-depth review to help people considering purchasing this gas grill. We put away our normal gas grill for the duration of the review period and used this Char-Broil unit as much as possible so that we could get a good idea of how it performs with regular use. Here is my review of the Char-Broil Quantum Infrared Urban Gas Grill with Folding Side Shelves.
First, this Char-Broil Gas Grill is priced mid-range for a full-sized model. It will cost you about $400 including the shipping costs. Expectations should be formed accordingly. This model is referred to as an Urban grill because it has a very small footprint for the cooking area it offers, making it a size-friendly choice for a patio, balcony or other small outdoor area. The folding side shelves make it even easier to store this unit in a small area.
Despite its diminutive size, this Char-Broil gas grill still weighs about 100 pounds. That tells me that the materials used to construct it are at least somewhat heavy-duty. The assembly instructions actually include an estimate of how long it ought to take to set up your new gas grill: 30 minutes. I think Char-Broil is a bit optimistic with this time estimate; it took my husband and I 40 minutes to set this unit up with both of us working on it.
This Char-Broil gas grill is made of decent, but not top-of-the-line materials. That is to be expected in this price range. I think the overall look and construction of this gas grill are very good for the price. The most heavy-duty materials are where they need to be; the cook box, the cooking grates and the burners are all solid and well-constructed. The main body of this unit is made out of thinner metal.
There is one unique feature on this Char-Broil gas grill that I really do love: the temperature gauges are at grill level rather than in the lid. That is a great place for a temperature gauge and I normally use a separate grill thermometer to measure in that area. I love that Char-Broil recognized the need for temperature control in the spot where the food is actually placed instead of at the top of the cook box.
A great feature on this Char-Broil Urban gas grill is the “clean” setting. You use it after you are done cooking to super-heat the grill and turn any debris left on the cooking grate into ash. Then you simply wipe away what is left and re-season the cooking grates. This makes clean up quick and easy. I have never thought of doing this, although I assume you could achieve the same results with any gas grill on the highest heat setting. Even so, I am impressed by Char-Broil’s inclusion of a “clean” setting on this unit.
My husband and I noticed some differences with this gas grill compared to ones we have used in the past. First, it heats up much more quickly than other models in this price range; it can actually reach 700 degrees F in less than 10 minutes. The infrared cooking system really does make a huge difference. Most notably, this Char-Broil gas grill cooks faster than other models without burning anything. My husband and I are experienced grillers, yet we had to re-learn cooking times for common items. And meat cooked on this unit really does seem to sear well yet remain moister inside. The heavy-duty cooking grates leave beautiful grill marks on steaks and chops. I know that is what Char-Broil promises it will do, but I was very skeptical. I thought good cooking skills would trump a fancy infrared system any day. But the Char-Broil infrared system, combined with good cooking skills, really does deliver what it says it will.
Another huge difference with this unit is the amount of propane it consumes. We are accustomed to large grills, which we like because we entertain often during the warmer months. It never occurred to us how wasteful it is to heat up a huge grill every time we cook a couple of burgers or steaks just for us. We noticed a marked decrease in our propane consumption during this review period. It was notable enough that we have decided it would be wise for us to keep a smaller grill on our patio and a larger one for parties stored away in the garage when not in use. It took this review period to show us that bigger is not always better. I feel that this Char-Broil is well-priced and a great value. It is a great choice, if the smaller size suits your grilling needs.