Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Portable Grill2Go
I love to grill! Whether it is BBQing at home, tailgating at a sports event, or cooking a meal while camping, a good grill is a must for me. Watch this video on my new favorite grill, the Char-Broil Tru Infrared Portable Grill2Go or read on.
For the last few years, I have been using a Char-Broil Tru-Infrared grill at home and I love it. It’s a full size grill, so there is no way it could join us on our year-long cross-country road trip.
As I started looking for portable grills for our RV trip, I figured I would end up picking up a small propane grill, but didn’t really know what options I would have. By chance, I happened to be walking through a store and saw a portable version of my beloved Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Portable Grill2Go. I have had such good experiences with the full size grill, I decided I had to try the compact version.
Out of the box, the grill is nearly ready to use. There is a plate that sits over the single burner to position, and then you install the grill surface. On the right-hand side, you attach the valve for the propane. It screws in easily. The only thing left is to attach a propane canister to get cooking.
PORTABILITY. It is compact, yet I can still fit 6 to 8 full size chicken breasts on the cook surface at one time. The construction is rugged, with sturdy legs and two solid latches that keep the lid closed when it is not in use.
GREAT IN ALL TEMPERATURES. There is an igniter on the right-hand side of the grill works consistently on the first or second try and it heats up fast, even when it is in 15 degree Fahrenheit temperatures (which I have tested it in!).
INFRARED IS LEGIT. The whole surface of the grill is covered in V shaped ridges run from front to back across the grill. There are small perforations in the low point where each ridge meets the next. The idea is that the surface is heated by the burner below, and then radiates the heat into whatever you are cooking, as opposed to a regular grill, where the burner heats the air and the warm air rises up and heats the cooking food.
This different way of heating the food on the grill sounds like a clever marketing gimmick. But I've found using the full-size grill that it is far easier to cook juicy, delicious meats with the Tru-Infrared system than it is with a traditional grill. And I have found the same is true with the compact unit.
GOOD PROPANE CONSUMPTION. As far as the consumption of propane goes, this grill does pretty well. Typically, I grill once to twice a week, usually preparing batches of chicken for us to eat over several days. Each grill session usually takes me approximately 30 minutes. When we bought the grill 4 months ago, we bought 6 propane canisters. We just finally ran out of propane in the last of those original six canisters. For me, that seems like pretty efficient consumption of propane. It makes it very affordable to run this grill.
PROPANE VALVE CONNECTION. The only component that does not feel durable is the valve that connects the propane bottle to the grill. It is a small metal piece that comes off the side of the grill. It feels like if it were to get slammed or jarred, it could damage easily. It can be removed rather simply and then stored to avoid damage in transit. But I would have preferred if the valve were on a flexible hose. It would allow more freedom to position the propane bottle, and would move in an impact instead of possibly taking damage. That being said, after 4 months of use and never removing the connector, I have not seen any damage, nor have I been inspired to modify the connector. It works just fine, but I could see ways to improve it.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL KNOB. There is a knob on the valve that connects to the propane canister which allows you some control over the grill temperature. I have to say that this knob has been a bit problematic for me. It has a graphic on the knob showing the range it should travel, from high to low. The knob on our unit has never turned past the 50% mark. I do not typically use very high heat when I grill, but if I wanted to sear a steak or something, this defect in the knob would be an issue. Also, when I turn the knob to a low setting, I have to watch the flame carefully as it seems to cut out if turned too low, even though the printed graphic shows there is still room in the range where I should be able to cook. It is possible my valve is defective, and I have not contacted Char-Broil about this yet because for the cooking I usually do, the grill works perfectly as it is. But if someone wanted full control of what they are cooking, this would be something to check.
HARD TO CLEAN. The one negative aspect with the cook surface of this particular grill is cleaning. Char-Broil provides you with a special grill scraper in box that can follow the contours of the cook surface. I have found this tool works better than anything else to get in there and scrape off anything left behind on the grill. It definitely takes some work to get rid of the leftover residue on the grill, but because the grill cooks so well, I find it to be worth it. Any grill needs to be properly cleaned, this one just has to be done a specific way. Just don’t lose the included grill scraper…
Overall, I love this grill. There are a few minor items I would change, but even without those changes, I recommend this grill. Throughout our trip, I have seen several other people using this exact grill and I always ask what they think of it. The answers have been unanimously positive. I have been using the compact unit now for four months, and cooking chicken breasts that are consistently juicy is very easy. I am a big fan and an advocate for the Tru-Infrared system. If you are going to get a propane grill, get one with this system.
If you need a great portable propane grill that will make it look you have some serious grilling skills, go with the Char-Broil Tru-Infrared Portable Grill2Go!
Have you tried this grill? If so, let me know your thoughts!