BBQ Equipment: Charbroil Tec Grill
OK, I've teased you enough. It's about 1:00am in the morning and I've finally found some time to write about the Charbroil Tec grill. You will remember that back in October, the fine folks at Charbroil invited a bunch of people out to Bryant Park for the introduction of the new Tec grill. Part of the roll out was the promise of a new Tec grill delivered to me for review. I accepted only when Charbroil agreed to my fair, honest, unedited and uncensored appraisal of their product.
So here goes...
The grill was shipped to my house further out on Long Island. (YES, Brooklyn in geographically part of Long Island!) The driver arrived with out a dolly, so getting the grill into the backyard was an experience.
I don't know who Charbroil hired to design their shipping packages, but this was a marvel of efficiency with absolutely no space wasted. While the package was very heavy, it was very easy for one person to unpack. Even the space between the wheels underneath the grill was utilized to store the grill grates.
I was impressed by how much of the grill arrived assembled. I have never owned a gas grill before and I assumed that I'd have to spend the morning putting this together. The main body was arrived assembled, leaving only the shelves, side burner, flame tamers and the Tec grill surface to be installed. All in all, it took about 30 minutes to assemble with very little use of four letter words or tantrums.
I was EXTREMELY impressed with how Charbroil sent the hardware. Most times you're searching for the right screw or washer, but Charbroil packaged all the hardware in a great blister pack with all pieces clearly labeled.
The assembly instructions were very clear and easy to follow, but there was no operating instructions included in the box. As I said, I've never owned a gas grill before, and I fumbled around starting the grill up. Once all the burners were lit, and the shipping gunk burned off we were ready to cook.
I would have liked an operating manual to discuss some of the differences between the regular burners and the Tec burner, but there was nothing to be found. Charbroil does not include a cookbook with the grill either, so you're really on your own. They do provide a phone number and a link to a website, but when I'm in the backyard, I'd really prefer a paper manual.
This really is a good looking grill. I was given the 3 burner model, which has two conventional burners, one Tec burner and one side exterior burner. On the back of the grill, fully recessed so that it doesn't interfere with the grill space, is the rotisserie burner. It spans 2/3 of the width of the grill, but does not cover the area over the Tec burner. I wonder why Charbroil chose not to extend the burner the entire width of the grill.
On the opposite side of the grill from the exterior burner, there is a recessed basket below a cover. I haven't quite figured out what to use this for. It's not deep enough for storage. But it appears sturdy enough to hold a good amount of weight. I didn't test this, but I will.
In the back of the grill is a very sturdy and wide warming shelf. This shelf is stationary which is a nice change from the swinging shelves found in many a gas grill. That's a great feature as it won't interfere with anything on the grill when you close the cover.
There's a thermometer installed in the cover of the grill, which when tested by being dipped in boiling water, was precisely accurate.
Below the grill is a nice a cabinet with a slide out for the gas tank. I would have liked to see the gas tank stored to one side of the cabinet instead of right smack in the middle. But the slide out is a nice touch. (If it was stored to one side, as it is on the four burner model, we would have been left with a lot more storage space in the cabinet)
The grill is made entirely of heavy weight stainless steel. It's sturdy and feels like a very solid piece of equipment. You know you're working with a quality product. The knobs however are thin plastic, which seems a bit incongruous with the level of workmanship and quality of the rest of the grill.
So what's it like to cook on it? That's for another post. This one is too damn long already!