The Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3 Burner Gas Grill offers a nice variety of features at a good price. It is the mid-sized model in the Performance line and comes in several configurations.
Key Features of the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3 Burner
Offered in several variations; those with the open air cart are significantly less pricey than the models with the cabinet
The 450 model’s main burners produce 24,000 BTUs (27,000 BTUs on the 500 model) and all models’ side burner produces 10,000 BTUs.
The 450 model has 450 square inches of primary cooking space and a 150 square inch swing-a-way rack for warming. The 500 model is slightly larger with 500 square inches of primary cooking space and an 180 square inch swing-a-way rack
TRU-Infrared system protects food from direct flames, produces even heat, reduces flare-ups and allows the grill to cook at a wide range of temperatures
Warranty is part specific and ranges from 1 to 5 years
- TRU-Infrared system provides many benefits over direct flame grills
- Lots of features for the price
- Grill Grates Clog Easily & Require Regular Cleaning
- With exception of the burners, warranty on other parts is 2 years or less
Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3 Burner Detailed Review
Design and Build Quality
The primary feature is the TRU-Infrared system. Rather than an open flame, the cooking grate of the TRU-Infrared system radiates the heat evenly across the grill top.
This helps prevent flare-ups and reduces the amount of dry convection heat that circulates, producing juicier and more flavorful food. The other benefits of the system are greater temperature control across the temperature range and less fuel use.
Char-Broil’s warranty covers the burners for 5 years but only covers the firebox and lid for 2 years. All other parts are only covered for 1 year. Therefore, buyers should align their durability expectations accordingly.
The 10,000 BTU side shelf burner is made from stainless steel and has a fold-down cover allowing the shelf to be used as a work surface when the burner is not in use. The side burner is great for cooking sides and sauces. Additionally, because the burner heats a much smaller space, the side shelf surface can achieve very high temperatures, so searing steaks is also an option.
The Surefire electronic ignition system syncs every burner and provides a spark at each one, allowing all 3 to be lit with 1 press of the button. Some users have reported reliability problems with the starter and have had to have it replaced.
All models come with a built-in thermometer in the lid although we recommend always have a good digital thermometer. The cabinet versions have additional room to store accessories and utensils in addition to the propane tank.
Ease of Assembly
Assembly usually takes no more than 1.5 hours and can be handled by 1 person. If you buy the cart version of the girl, make sure you pay attention to the directions as you can assemble the cart backward.
Ease of Use
The Performance TRU-Infrared 3 Burner offers many of the features which make gas grills convenient.
The Surefire ignition system lights all 3 burners with 1 button and the TRU-Infrared system allows a wide variety of temperatures and the grill comes up to temperature relatively quickly.
Char-Broil’s Gear Trax system consists of pre-drilled holes in the side shelves. These allow for a condiment basket or tool hooks to be mounted for keeping accessories handy.
The cabinet version of the grill comes on 4 casters, 2 of which are lockable to keep the grill in place while the cart version comes on 2 wheels making it easy to move around. Grill weight varies from 101 pounds on the 450 cart model to 132 pounds on the 500 cabinet model.
Quality of the Cook
The TRU-Infrared system distributes heat evenly across the grill rather than having food over a direct flame. This system allows the grill to warm up very quickly, reduces flare-ups and allows the grill to cook at a wide range of temperatures.
Ease of Cleanup
A common complaint of the TRU-Infrared system is that because it doesn’t allow food and juices to drip through the grates, they can easily become clogged up. The porcelain coating on the grates help with this but be prepared to have to clean the grill frequently after use.
With all the features noted above, the Char-Broil Performance TRU-Infrared 3 burner offers a lot of bang for the buck and one would be hard pressed to find a grill with more options in its price range.
How Does It Compare?
Weber Spirit E-310
For those with a bigger budget, the Weber Spirit E-310 offers a step up in quality of materials and build as well as a longer warranty. Cooking results are also excellent.
Check out our review here
Weber Spirit E-330
Similar to the Weber Spirit E-310 but with the addition of a 12,000 BTU side burner and a 7,500 BTU sear burner, the Weber Spirit E-330 sits at the top of Weber’s Spirit line.
Check out our review here