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WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Monday, December 18, 2006

BBQ Equipment: Char-Broil's TEC Grills

You might remember that back in October, which seems like yesterday, I attended Charbroil's 2007 product roll-out in Bryant Park, New York. It was a beautiful day, and I got to meet some new friends including Adam from Men In Aprons and the fine team from The BBQ General, Wiley and his lovely wife Janet, while we all poked, proded and kicked the tires of Charbroil's latest and greatest equipment.

I've already talked about their new quick light charcoal, grill cleaners, smart probe thermometers, and the double door smoker, bbq and grill (yeah, the name still sucks, and I owe you a review from my cooking experiences on it); but the real star of the show was the new line line of Charbroil's TEC gas grills.

Now when it comes to barbeque, I'm a purist at heart. I still like building a fire from wood and charcoal. But I am also a realist. I've accepted various levels of technology as cooking tools if they truly make my life easier. I've never bought a gas grill and always said that I never would, but the new TEC grills are making me question that stance.

Why? Well, one reason is that I've come to understand the differences between grilling and barbecue. If you read this blog you should know what I mean by now. If not, I'll save that for another day. Different cooking methods require different equipment.

For grilling, these new grills look like they could bring me over to the gasser's camp for an extended stay. Talking with the award winning chef Marvin Woods who prepared our meal, I could tell that he was impressed with the grill. His passion about the features and ease of use sold me on this very powerful grill.

Take a look at these specs for the four burner grill...

  • Model Number 4632684 07
  • Lowe's item number 242337
  • Duel Fuel equipped, LP or Natural Gas
  • BTU's – 48,000 main, 13,000 side burner, 8,000 rotisserie
  • Two TEC burners 2-brass tube burners
  • Total cooking surface is 900sq in
  • Total primary cooking surface is 660sq in
  • Secondary cooking surface is 240sq in
  • Constructed with 304-grade stainless steel
Charbroil also makes a three burner edition that's just as impressive.

The TEC infrared technology was completely foreign to me before I looked at these grills, but basically it will provide extremely high heat without allowing enough oxygen between the grill and the meat to cause flare-ups. In layman's terms, that means no more burnt food! Whoo Hoo!

Take some time and visit Charbroil's new website for the TEC grills. They get into all the details about the construction, design and use of the grills with much more detail than I can here.

Unfortunately, you can't go out and buy one of these marvels for Christmas. They'll be available at Lowe's in the early Spring 2007. I'm looking forward to it.

EDIT::: NOW WAIT A MINUTE! You can buy these grills for Christmas! I just got this in my email.....

These grills are actually available right now at select Lowe's stores in certain markets, most of which are year-round grilling hot spots. So it's not too late for a last minute Christmas present.

Select Lowe's stores in the following states now carry the Char-Broil TEC Series:
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • South Carolina
  • Utah

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At 1:50 PM, Blogger drbiggles said...

Yeah, I dunno. The way I see it, life is already too convenient. I need something to test my mettel, make sure I still got my wits about me. Pushing a button and turning a dial doesn't do it for me.

I kinda like my old (free), wobbly, rusty, ashes-holding-it-together grill. It just wreaks love and attention.

Dr. Doing it the Hardway Biggles

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got the Char Broil TEC. The infra red burner is great. What impresses me the most about the grill is the ability to precisely control cooking using the infrared. You can get the steaks perfect and then put on veggies and do it all with no flare ups.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just brought home the three burner(1 Tec burner, two normal burners) version of the Tec/Charbroil grill form Lowes. The manager of Lowes traded this grill out for my Charbroil Stainless Steel Commercial Series grill that burnt up(cracked all three solid brass burners, rusted all the internal stainless steel grates, melted the igniter). I was reluctant to take this grill as my only experience with the Charbroil company was a bad one but the manager gave me his word that if I did not like it or if I had any problems with it I could bring it back. This was a quite a nice free upgrade as my old grill cost $450 (Natural Gas) and this Tec grill was $700 plus $50 for the Natural Gas conversion kit. To be honest, I didn't even realize what the Tec part of the grill was until I got it home and fired it up.

I have to say that this is by far the best grill I have ever used. Anyone with any grill can cook a steak or burger the way you like it. The difference is with this grill, I take my steaks and put a light coating of olive oil on them. Then I put them on the Tec infrared for 1 minute on each side. Then I move them over to the normal grilling area. There is no flare ups even with the olive oil on the steaks. The Tec part of the grill sears the outside of the steak to lock the juices in. After eating a steak, you will have a 1/4 inch of juice sitting on your plate. I like my steaks medium rare but my wife prefers medium to medium well. That is usually the point where the steaks start to become dry from overcooking but with this grill even the overcooked steaks are juicy and tender.

The other great thing is you can throw wood chips, I use mesquite, directly on the infrared burner and the chips will instantly start smoking. Then you put the steaks directly over the chips to lock in the flavor.

I have not used the rotisserie burner yet as my rotisserie motor is still on order but I am sure that will work great as well.

I hope this helps for those looking at this grill.


At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought the 3 burner (1 Tec, 2Open flame - 03-26-2007) I grilled some $20.00 lb Olive Oil coated fillets using the Tec burner. Done to perfection (130 degrees) in 4 minutes. NO flareups!

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I have had the 3 burner CB-Tec grill for several weeks now and I have been very pleased. I have been anxiously awaiting the CB-Tec rotisserie to arrive at my local Lowe's and it finally came in this weekend. While the grill is absoletely awesome, I have to say that it appears as though the rotisserie that is specifically built for this series of grill leaves a lot to be desired. It requires putting together and taking apart for each use, as when the mounts are installed, there is no way to open the side burner and/or storage bin on either side of the grill. I will have to purchase some wing nuts to prevent having to open my toolbox every time I want to rotisserie some grub. I had to place a pan under the grill lid to hold it up a couple of inches since the lid, when fully closed, rested right on top of the square spit-rod, preventing it from rotating and taxing the motor. This also served to vent out my precious wood chip smoke instead of leaving it to infuse into my roast. I will have to experiment with adjusting the mounts up and down to see if this can be remedied and I will report back if that issue resolves itself but it wasn't looking good for that possibility last night.
Furthermore, there is not adequate room to store the spit-rod on board the grill. I will ahve to drill holes in either side of the base unit to slide the rod through for on-board storage. After being so pleased with my grill, I am pretty upset with the lack of integration on the part of the rotisserie kit. On a side note, however, the pork loin roast with which I broke in the rotisserie was especially juicy and tasted great.

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did some say there was an infrered adapter that could be added to a Weber?

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't waste your time even taking this grill home. The grill is designed around the tec burner and has a very large opening in the back of the hood. Consequently, the grill will not hold heat. The hood is also highly sloped to the back adding to the heat loss. Even with all burners on high you can hold your hand over the grates at the front of the girll. The heat loss causes two very intense hot spot about two thirds of the way toward the back. The rotisserie was a Charbroil after thought add-on. That's why the rod is so long and the brackets block your ability to use the shelf or outside burner. Because of the high heat loss the max sustained temp inside is about 400 degrees with all burners on high including the infrered. The rotisserie is just terrible. I tried to do a chicken and after an hour and a half finally added additional heat from the two burners under my drip pan to get it to cook. It's good for steak and thats about it. I took mine back to Lowes in less than one week and three used. It's not worth bringing home as an all around grill.

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tec makes their own grills which are all infrared, and cost about 5x what the Char-Broil model does. Anyone have experience with both? Is Tec worth it, or does the Char-Broil provide a "good enough" approximation?

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question?? what is the clean up on this grill with all those tiny holes collecting greese? The sales rep tells us they just wipe off. Would like someone's oppinion who is dealing with it.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Negative on this grill. Was great for a few months then the internals melted....Charbroil is no help, nor Lowes. I have a Hibachi on top of it now....tried drilling out melted screws but they will not replace it. Convection + IR is high molecular vibration and they went cheap on the components to support that type of energy distrobution. They flirted with real physics and did not know what they are doing - unfortunately consumers like me get burned.

Customer has TEC burner issue with screws. Christopher W., ZH 03/21/08 Customer called and stated that the screws that hold the TEC burner in the grill the heads have popped off and he can not replace the TEC burner. Original TEC burner is stuck in the grill Customer may need new Fire box routing it up to see if we can do anything. 03/28/08 NA Mallory Do not replace firebox. If all the heads are popped off they should be able to lift the burner up with a screw driver after removing the venturi clip. The can pull out the screws with vise grips. If all the heads are not popped off they can use screw driver to pop them off. 03/31/08 NA Mallory.The consumer has tried liquid wrench and a screw drive to get the screws out.I recommended because he has tried all other option to take a small drill and drill the bolts out.ds

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was doing some research into replacing the rusted burners on my CharBroil TEC grill (bought in 2007 at Lowes) and found quite a few disturbing reports of dangerous conditions resulting from the malfunctions of the TEC burner. I had been experiencing a loud bang followed by a high pitched whistle and decided to turn that burner of to be safe. The comments I have been reading are saying that this is a dangerous condition and in some cases the gas line was dangerously close to igniting. A few comments said that even after all of this time, Lowes will take the grill back for a refund. CharBroil apparently will replace defective burners for free but if the replacements don't last long either, there is no point. I have stopped using the grill for safety reason and will try returning it.


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