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Brinkman vs Char Broil (and sear burner vs Infrared)

#1 User is offline   TuteTibiImperes 

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 06:42 PM

Hello,

I am looking to purchase a grill, and have pretty much narrowed it down to two options, so I was hoping to pick everyone's brains a bit for advice. As a little background, it has to be from Home Depot (I can use credit card rewards points to get a gift card there to pay for it), it will be living outside with no protection from the South Florida elements save for the grill cover I buy for it, and I plan to use it a couple times per week at least, doing a little bit of everything, steaks, veggies, fish and seafood, naan and pizzas, etc. I already have a Cookshack electric smoker that gets amazing results, so I don't need to do the low and slow stuff on the grill.

My two main options are this Brinkman and Char Broil .

At the same price, I like that the Brinkman has a sear burner, which I imagine will let me get steakhouse quality full-steak crust (instead of just grill marks) on steaks, and be good for searing tuna steaks and other firm fish as well. I like that the Char Broil is infrared, which I also imagine would let me get a ton of heat and a great sear, and has those half-drums covering the burners, so I can toss in some wood chips to get some smoke while I grill for extra flavor, and also have super-easy cleanup. Both have been reviewed well by the Home Depot buyers on the site, and both feel solid when I went to see them in person.

If you were in my shoes, which one would you buy, and why? Or is there another grill HD carries that I should really look at?


Also... the Char-Broil also comes in a 4 burner variety for $599. For that price, I will have to come out of my own pocket in addition to the credit card points, but if it's worth it to step up to this model, I will. I really want a grill that can put out a ton of heat, something that can get close to the Salamanders that a lot of restaurants use. Since this is 4 burners and a higher BTU, will it get hotter, or is the extra output counteracted by the larger grilling area so that I won't actually get any more heat in one particular spot? Finally, do self-cleaning systems like the one this has work?

Thanks a bunch for any input you have, I've read around this site a good bit already, and learned a bunch, but I couldn't find an answer or a comparison of these particular models.
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#2 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:10 PM

 TuteTibiImperes, on Jun 12 2010, 04:42 PM, said:

Hello,

I am looking to purchase a grill, and have pretty much narrowed it down to two options, so I was hoping to pick everyone's brains a bit for advice. As a little background, it has to be from Home Depot (I can use credit card rewards points to get a gift card there to pay for it), it will be living outside with no protection from the South Florida elements save for the grill cover I buy for it, and I plan to use it a couple times per week at least, doing a little bit of everything, steaks, veggies, fish and seafood, naan and pizzas, etc. I already have a Cookshack electric smoker that gets amazing results, so I don't need to do the low and slow stuff on the grill.

My two main options are this Brinkman and Char Broil .

At the same price, I like that the Brinkman has a sear burner, which I imagine will let me get steakhouse quality full-steak crust (instead of just grill marks) on steaks, and be good for searing tuna steaks and other firm fish as well. I like that the Char Broil is infrared, which I also imagine would let me get a ton of heat and a great sear, and has those half-drums covering the burners, so I can toss in some wood chips to get some smoke while I grill for extra flavor, and also have super-easy cleanup. Both have been reviewed well by the Home Depot buyers on the site, and both feel solid when I went to see them in person.

If you were in my shoes, which one would you buy, and why? Or is there another grill HD carries that I should really look at?


Also... the Char-Broil also comes in a 4 burner variety for $599. For that price, I will have to come out of my own pocket in addition to the credit card points, but if it's worth it to step up to this model, I will. I really want a grill that can put out a ton of heat, something that can get close to the Salamanders that a lot of restaurants use. Since this is 4 burners and a higher BTU, will it get hotter, or is the extra output counteracted by the larger grilling area so that I won't actually get any more heat in one particular spot? Finally, do self-cleaning systems like the one this has work?

Thanks a bunch for any input you have, I've read around this site a good bit already, and learned a bunch, but I couldn't find an answer or a comparison of these particular models.


Welcome Tute
Is the Brinkman a Ceramic IR it just says "Sear Burner"
The Charbroil is not infrared it is indirect heat with burners under a sheet of metal Big Big Big difference
The brinkman kicking up 60,000 BTU's will most likely get hotter than the char broil
The char broil has 15,500 less BTU's than the brinkman
I don't know which grill you prefer but if you had the brinkman and took a thin cookie sheet and put it under your grate over your burners you would have char broils infrared technology

whos got the better warranty?
what grill are you leaning towards?

I dont have an opinion other than the char broil is not infrared, so dont let the buzz word make your grill decision if you like char broil look at the quantum



This pic is an infrared burner
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#3 User is offline   TuteTibiImperes 

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for the input Tubby.

I'm a bit fuzzy on the whole science behind the infrared heat thing, but from a bit of googling around it seems like infrared heat is the same thing as radiant heat, which, at least to me, seems like what would be produced by the Red grill heating the curved U things what sit over the burners. From what I understand they don't glow like the ceramic infrared emitters do, but since you can't actually see the infrared spectrum I'm not sure what it is you see on those ceramic ones anyway. I don't know, I could be completely wrong here, but I would think someone would have sued Char Broil for false advertising if this wasn't infrared as they say it is.

I was initially leaning towards the Brinkman. I find the idea of a sear burner very cool, and the sear burner on that model looks like one of those TEC infrared burners - it's a white rectangle with a ton of little holes. However, after reading the reviews of the Char Broil red, and the long thread about it on this forum, I seem to be leaning that way a bit, at least if it will get me as good of a sear. At the end of the day that's what's most important to me - which grill will give me the best crust on my steaks and burgers, the crispiest chicken and fish skin, and cook breads quick enough that I will get those nice air pockets combined with a nice crust, a light and chewy texture, and just a little bit of char.

Now, I understand the current Red isn't the same as the 2008 model that most people were raving about in that thread, but does anyone know if the heat output and results have changed, or is it just the build quality? If I can get 3 - 4 years out of the grill, I will be happy. If the change in build quality just means I need to keep an eye out for rust to scrape away as soon as it appears, or that the grill won't least 6 - 10 years, I'm OK with that. If the change means it doesn't get as hot, cook as evenly, or produce the same results, that is something I have a problem with.
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#4 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:08 PM

 TuteTibiImperes, on Jun 12 2010, 08:00 PM, said:

Thanks for the input Tubby.

I'm a bit fuzzy on the whole science behind the infrared heat thing, but from a bit of googling around it seems like infrared heat is the same thing as radiant heat, which, at least to me, seems like what would be produced by the Red grill heating the curved U things what sit over the burners. From what I understand they don't glow like the ceramic infrared emitters do, but since you can't actually see the infrared spectrum I'm not sure what it is you see on those ceramic ones anyway. I don't know, I could be completely wrong here, but I would think someone would have sued Char Broil for false advertising if this wasn't infrared as they say it is.

If char broil has not gotten sued, we dont know.............. if that grill is infrared so is my oven, if it apeals to you take any grill and cover the burners with a sheet of metal ...........is that not what char broil has done? infrared is a glowing burner under your food
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:40 AM

I can't guide you on either grills. Infrared is a wavelength of light and it's the wavelength of light from the sun that heats the earth's atmosphere.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:03 AM

Some Infrared facts (from About.com):

There are three ways to cook, conduction, convection, and radiation. Outside of the cooking science classroom radiation is known by a number of other names because of the negative connotations, but whether you are cooking by radiant heat, infrared, or microwave, radiation is the new kid on the block. Increasingly, infrared is becoming the method of choice for a lot of cooks, particularly for the backyard chef and the new line of infrared gas grills and burners on the market. Cooking Types: Conduction is the direct transfer of heat from one thing to another. This is like cooking in a frying pan. The hot pan, in contact with food transfers heat by touching it. This is the slowest and least efficient form of cooking. On your grill this is the cooking done by foods contacting with the cooking grate. Convection is cooking by fluid (in science gases are a fluid) like boiling a potato in water or roasting a chicken in the oven. In your grill, convection is the flow of hot air around your food, most notably when indirect grilling. Radiation is completely different from these other forms of cooking. Radiation is cooking by use of a form of electromagnetic energy that is directed at the food you cook. This can be like cooking in your microwave or by using radiant heat from an electric heating element like in your oven (specifically for broiling) or toaster. Anything that is heated to a high temperature radiates heat so hot coals in a charcoal grill give off some radiant energy (charcoal cooking is about 25% radiant or infrared cooking).

Infrared (or Infra-Red) has become the big buzz word in outdoor cooking. This all started in 2000 when the patent for the Infrared Burner expired, releasing this technology to anyone who wanted to built it into a gas grill. Over the last several years this technology has trickled down to gas grills under $500 and across the spectrum of side burners, sear burners and anything else you might care to use it for. Now, the infrared burner is being called the microwave of the outdoor kitchen and credited with salvaging the gas grill industry. The question many people seem to have is, do I really need infrared and will it make me a better cook.

Infrared Burners: There are a number of infrared burners and grills on the market these days using a wide range of technology. TEC, the original inventor of the technology has developed a new type of infrared burner that emits 100% infrared energy. This completely encased burner puts a gas burner under several layers of stainless steel emitters to stop all airflow (convection) and produce only radiant heat. Other, older style burners use ceramic tiles to emit the radiant energy but still produce hot air so they cook at about 50% infrared. Most recently, Char-Broil had determined that they can put a gas burner under a metal barrier and isolate the flame from the cooking area to produce an infrared grill. This style of grill has actually existed for decades in the form of grills like The Holland Grill. The truth is that there are dozens of grills on the market like this. Suffice to say these grills work by heating up a large metal box that you cook in, similarly to your oven but with a cooking grate and lid.

Why Infrared: The one basic and most important fact about infrared grills and burners is that they generate much higher temperatures than normal grills and can heat up much faster. It isn't uncommon to hear that these grills can reach surface cooking temperatures well over 700 degrees F in as little as 7 minutes. Pretty impressive, but what does this do for you. Infrared grill makers promise that these units sear meats quickly, lock in juices, and cook faster than any other grill. The problem with these claims is that searing doesn't work that way. Searing does not lock in juices, it causes browning and caramelization on the surface of meats (read "searing" for more information on this). This process of browning, called the Maillard reaction, happens at temperatures between 300 and 500 degrees F. So what this leaves us with is that infrared cooks faster. That is something you can not argue with. It is this fast and hot cooking that is infrared grills greatest advantage.

Problems with Infrared Infrared cooking can be brutally powerful. While solid and dense meats can hold up to the heat of an infrared grill, fish, and vegetables can be harder to cook on this type of burner because of the intensity of the heat. While there are grills out there than offer all infrared, many grill makers have turned to putting in a special, dedicated infrared burner so you can have the best of both worlds. Regardless of the equipment you buy remember that infrared cooking takes some learning and practice. Don't expect to get a perfect steak the first time you try out an infrared grill. I've seen professionals make serious mistakes on an infrared grill. For most food you cook on infrared you need the maximum temperature for a very short time, around a minute per side, before reducing the temperature or moving to a non-infrared part of the grill to finish cooking

Health Concerns: I said before that browning and caramelization occurs at temperatures below 500 degrees F. Burning and charring, which can create cancer causing substances, occurs quickly at temperatures above this point. When cooking on infrared is it very important that you keep a close eye on foods. Since your cooking time is reduced you can burn meats very quickly. Burnt food always presents a cancer risk and needs to be avoided at all costs.

Infrared promises a whole new kind of outdoor cooking that gives you a lot of power. With practice you can use this power to grill some great meals. It isn't hard to master infrared, after all every grill produces some infrared heat. Infrared burners and grills simply produce a lot more of it so that they can produce higher temperatures. So if you choose to go infrared, make sure you get the configuration you want and don't be intimidated by the technology, after all most of us already have infrared cooking devices in our houses, they are called toasters.

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#7 User is offline   underthehood 

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:10 AM

 TuteTibiImperes, on Jun 12 2010, 06:42 PM, said:

Hello,

I am looking to purchase a grill, and have pretty much narrowed it down to two options, so I was hoping to pick everyone's brains a bit for advice. As a little background, it has to be from Home Depot (I can use credit card rewards points to get a gift card there to pay for it), it will be living outside with no protection from the South Florida elements save for the grill cover I buy for it, and I plan to use it a couple times per week at least, doing a little bit of everything, steaks, veggies, fish and seafood, naan and pizzas, etc. I already have a Cookshack electric smoker that gets amazing results, so I don't need to do the low and slow stuff on the grill.

My two main options are this Brinkman and Char Broil .

At the same price, I like that the Brinkman has a sear burner, which I imagine will let me get steakhouse quality full-steak crust (instead of just grill marks) on steaks, and be good for searing tuna steaks and other firm fish as well. I like that the Char Broil is infrared, which I also imagine would let me get a ton of heat and a great sear, and has those half-drums covering the burners, so I can toss in some wood chips to get some smoke while I grill for extra flavor, and also have super-easy cleanup. Both have been reviewed well by the Home Depot buyers on the site, and both feel solid when I went to see them in person.

If you were in my shoes, which one would you buy, and why? Or is there another grill HD carries that I should really look at?


Also... the Char-Broil also comes in a 4 burner variety for $599. For that price, I will have to come out of my own pocket in addition to the credit card points, but if it's worth it to step up to this model, I will. I really want a grill that can put out a ton of heat, something that can get close to the Salamanders that a lot of restaurants use. Since this is 4 burners and a higher BTU, will it get hotter, or is the extra output counteracted by the larger grilling area so that I won't actually get any more heat in one particular spot? Finally, do self-cleaning systems like the one this has work?

Thanks a bunch for any input you have, I've read around this site a good bit already, and learned a bunch, but I couldn't find an answer or a comparison of these particular models.


Frankly either one is a waste of $$$. but hey it's your money not mine. All those BTUs do NOT transfer in to real work produced. They're needed to maintain normal temps because the grills are so poorly designed.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 01:51 PM

 underthehood, on Jun 13 2010, 08:10 AM, said:

Frankly either one is a waste of $$$. but hey it's your money not mine. All those BTUs do NOT transfer in to real work produced. They're needed to maintain normal temps because the grills are so poorly designed.


I can only answer with my own experience. My last grill was a Brinkmann Pro 2600 (no longer made -- that should be a red flag as it used to be near the top of their line). Looked good, I thought is WAS good until I got my Weber Genesis. Now I think the Brinkmann was a POS. Hood has it completely right in his comment -- lots of BTUs but I couldn't sear because the grill just didn't get hot. And with all four burners running, I could roughly divide the grill into six zones -- one hot one in the middle, a not-hot one along the front and mediocre hot ones one the sides and back. The hot zone wasn't equally hot left and right of the middle.

Anyone can hype a grill. You can only hope you have the wisdom to research and heed what you read.

Oh, I almost forgot to say what a nightmare the Brinkmann was to maintain and service. Rich
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 05:47 PM

5 burners as compared 3 burners allows a little more temp. control when maintaining steady temperatures if your running a rotisserie for instance, especially if you don't have an IR burner.

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#10 User is offline   TuteTibiImperes 

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:36 PM

Richlife & underhood -

It seems a lot of people on this forum swear by Weber, and the reviews of those grills are positive on Homedepot.com. My issue with the Webers is though that if I were to go that route, the only ones sort of in my price range would be the Spirit S-320 or E-310 (and one is listed as LP Gas, the other as Natural Gas, I am guessing this is a typo, or that either could be used with propane, but I could be wrong).

For the money they seem like very basic grills, three burners, no sear burner, no infrared, not even a side burner. I am wanting something that will give me Ruth's Chris or Morton's quality sear and crust on a steak, not just grill marks, but nice dark mahogany exterior crust on the whole slab of meat (in addition to the grill marks I suppose) and be able to do that while still keeping the inside nice and rare. Can these basic Weber's do that? I suppose I could live without a side burner, but it seems like it would be very convenient to have one.

In the end, I'd rather have something that gives me great results but only lasts three years, than something that gives me good results and lasts ten years.
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:45 PM

 TuteTibiImperes, on Jun 13 2010, 07:36 PM, said:

Richlife & underhood -
In the end, I'd rather have something that gives me great results but only lasts three years, than something that gives me good results and lasts ten years.

I would go for features then and not worry about the quality. Get the one with the most features and burners for the $$$.

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:45 PM

 cuskit, on Jun 13 2010, 03:03 AM, said:

Some Infrared facts (from About.com): ...


Ok, mikey. I deleted your post from above, but I wanted to thank you for including. About.com is one of the site I refer to, but I missed this (or didn't bother :rolleyes: ). The main thing I get from it is that I'm glad I didn't spend any money on that feature. I grill (and smoke) to enjoy the experience, not to get through it as fast as possible. I have trouble, from reading that article, finding any redeeming value in using that technology. To each his own, I guess. :rolleyes: Rich
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#13 User is offline   richlife 

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:02 PM

 TuteTibiImperes, on Jun 13 2010, 08:36 PM, said:

Richlife & underhood -

It seems a lot of people on this forum swear by Weber, and the reviews of those grills are positive on Homedepot.com. My issue with the Webers is though that if I were to go that route, the only ones sort of in my price range would be the Spirit S-320 or E-310 (and one is listed as LP Gas, the other as Natural Gas, I am guessing this is a typo, or that either could be used with propane, but I could be wrong).

For the money they seem like very basic grills, three burners, no sear burner, no infrared, not even a side burner. I am wanting something that will give me Ruth's Chris or Morton's quality sear and crust on a steak, not just grill marks, but nice dark mahogany exterior crust on the whole slab of meat (in addition to the grill marks I suppose) and be able to do that while still keeping the inside nice and rare. Can these basic Weber's do that? I suppose I could live without a side burner, but it seems like it would be very convenient to have one.

In the end, I'd rather have something that gives me great results but only lasts three years, than something that gives me good results and lasts ten years.


Well, Tut, honestly, I think you need to spend some more time reading through the Weber forum. Yes, I like my Weber -- it is something like my sixth grill (excluding all the cheap charcoal basins) and by far the most superior. But that's not the answer for you. Hood gave you a specious reply (and a very amusing one, Hood) and you can choose that path if you want.

First of all, yes, my Weber Genesis does what you are looking for in cooking a steak and will last me 10+ years. You may have trouble with finding both of those with another grill -- and very unlikely in a lower price point. EXCEPT: (and this I can only say due to my membership here), what a Genesis can do, a Weber Spiriit can do. And both models are available with a side burner. Some reading in the Weber section will show you that in the Genesis/Spirit line, three burners is an asset, not a limitation. I've seen several Summit owners (4 and 6 burners with extras) comment that they wish they had just gotten a Genesis. Yes, they are basic. Read my previous post in this thread to get my thought on that.

As Hood implied, do you want gadgets or do you want a really good grill? The Weber is NOT the only good grill -- but it IS one of only a few. One post I read today from a new Weber owner said that he had previously bought 10 grills for $300 before he finally decided to get a Weber. He said now has ONE grill that will last as long as all of those others did.

You have a choice and I wish you well with it. I do hope you'll continue to post here over the years with the results of whatever you buy.

btw, LP is propane and natural gas is a totally different thing. The conversion can be expensive and probably requires a professional. Rich
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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:13 PM

 TuteTibiImperes, on Jun 13 2010, 05:36 PM, said:

I am wanting something that will give me Ruth's Chris or Morton's quality sear and crust on a steak, not just grill marks, but nice dark mahogany exterior crust on the whole slab of meat (in addition to the grill marks I suppose) and be able to do that while still keeping the inside nice and rare.

You need something like a Tec or a grill with an inferred burner glowing below the meat, my ducane will get my 9mm SS grates glowing red. and 1000 degrees but its not a 500 dollar grill, champagne tastes on a beer budget are hard to beat, you can get charcoal to 1200 degrees all day long

Ruth Criss is 1800 degrees, that charbroil or brinkman will melt at that temp, what ever grill you get buy a separate IR sear station at least you can sear a steak at 1400F that way


jim
Ducane Meridian 5 Burner, IR Rotto, Dual Side Burners, Dual Electric Warming Drawers.
CookShack Amerique Electric Smoker.
Chargriller Pro Offset Smoker.
Charmglow IR Drop in Sear Burner
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#15 User is offline   richlife 

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:45 PM

 Tubby's Smokehouse, on Jun 13 2010, 09:13 PM, said:

You need something like a Tec or a grill with an inferred burner glowing below the meat, my ducane will get my 9mm SS grates glowing red. and 1000 degrees but its not a 500 dollar grill, champagne tastes on a beer budget are hard to beat, you can get charcoal to 1200 degrees all day long

Ruth Criss is 1800 degrees, that charbroil or brinkman will melt at that temp, what ever grill you get buy a separate IR sear station at least you can sear a steak at 1400F that way

jim


Ok, Ruth Chris is now over my budget and I've never been there. How about a deep bed of hot charcoal, will that get there? Rich
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