Thanks to its infrared technology, the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet is considered extremely versatile, with users noting that its wide temperature range produces excellent results no matter if you're searing at high heat or slow cooking with less heat. Keep in mind that at this price, you may sacrifice a bit in terms of durability, as reviewers report the model may be prone to rusting or other problems.
Versatile with excellent results. In one comparative test, the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet earns top scores for grilling at multiple temperatures and indirect cooking (where food is not directly on the flame). Home grillers agree with the experts. For example, one user reports grilling hamburgers, steak, chops, baked potatoes and corn, and notes, "All have been done perfectly, juicy and not dried out or burned." Others report food that is tender, and many say it leaves great grill marks. We found virtually no complaints about cooking performance, although some users say the high-heat capability is challenging at first. It's a larger grill, capacity-wise, than many others in this price class, so is a good choice if you're cooking for a crowd.
Beware the learning curve. Reviewers note it can take time to become accustomed to using the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet. For example, many users report initial difficulty in getting it to heat up above 300 degrees Fahrenheit -- although reaching out to Char-Broil's customer service and some adjustments tend to resolve these problems.
Some people also note that the grill's thermometer reads the air temperature, which can be misleading to those expecting a grate-temperature reading. In addition, when the grill becomes extremely hot, some owners report warping of components. Nevertheless, most say they get accustomed to the grill's operation and that cleanup is very easy.
Apply common sense. In his review, About.com's Derrick Riches notes that early models of the Char-Broil infrared line were subject to smoke and flare-ups; the line was updated in 2012, but at the time of his writing, it was too early to confirm whether the problems were fixed. Nevertheless, we found virtually no reports of flare-ups or excessive smoke in recent user reviews of the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet. Some owners say the grill gets hotter than others they've owned, but they advise using common sense and patience to keep the temperature from getting overly high.
Inexpensive, but at what cost? Many reviewers applaud the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet's low price, but some say you get what you pay for. In his review, Riches regards the grill's stainless steel as low-quality and says the cooking area is prone to rusting or failure. More than a few users agree that the model feels flimsy or easily dents. According to the Char-Broil website, using a nylon cleaning brush can reduce the likelihood of rust or discoloration. The company also suggests periodically cleaning out the infrared emitter. The manufacturer provides a one-year grate warranty and lifetime burner coverage.
ConsumerReports.org puts 167 gas grills through rigorous testing, rating them on factors including convenience and cooking performance at various temperatures. This particular model of the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet is not specifically tested, but editors say it is similar enough to a tested model that results apply to both.
Review: Gas Grills, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
More than 450 users post reviews of the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet to Home Depot's site, awarding it an average rating of 3.9 stars out of 5. Users say it's convenient and provides excellent results with a variety of foods, although many report problems getting it to heat up adequately, and some note damage upon arrival.
Review: Char-Broil Gourmet 3-Burner TRU-Infrared Propane Gas Grill with Side Burner, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of April 2014
The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet earns an average overall rating of 3.2 stars out of 5 in more than 100 customer reviews. It gets good reviews for cooking, but a lot of quality complaints, including rust, components not working properly or breaking quickly, and units arriving damaged.
Review: Char-Broil TRU Infrared 3-Burner Gas Grill With Side Burner, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014
In his review of the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Gourmet, Derrick Riches applauds its high, efficient heating and low price for an infrared-style grill. On the "con" side, he comments that the unit's stainless steel is of low quality and the cooking chamber is prone to rusting and failure.
Review: Char-Broil Gourmet 3-Burner TRU-Infrared Model# 463251713, Derrick Riches, Not Dated