The Char-Broil kettleman charcoal grill is the classic kettle shape, powder coated in black. The cooking grate is porcelain coated. It measures approximately 26” x 26” x 39”, and provides 360 square inches of cooking surface. The hinged lid has a temperature gauge built in. Underneath, the Char-Broil charcoal BBQ grill has a wide removable ash catcher. It stands on three legs, the rear two having wheels attached for ease of movement.

Although this infrared charcoal grill needs some assembly out of the box, I found it very easy to put together. All the pieces are separate and individually labelled, which is a big help. If you’re going to do flat-pack, this is a good way of doing it. The wheels on the back legs are useful if you need to move it, but you have to do this when it’s cool, as there’s nothing to grip once it’s lit. The legs are held together by what Char-Broil call a rack, but the unless you’re storing basketballs or watermelons, the bars are too widely spaced to be useful.

If you’re not sure what the infrared part of this Kettleman charcoal grill is, basically the fire heats the grate, and the grate heats the food. Most BBQs have grates that simply hold the food above the flames, but not here. What that means in practice is you’re cooking just like you would when using a pan in the kitchen, and you also lose the flame-grill taste. On the positive side, as the grease can’t drip into the fire you won’t get flare ups.

All this means you have to change the way you cook, as the heat travels differently with this type of grill. This method of grilling means there are no hot spots or cooler areas, so all the food will cook at the same rate. This is fine if all the food is the same, but when you have mixed items on there it’s not so straight forward. You need to spend more time and pay more attention to what you’re doing.

Temperature control on this charcoal briquettes grill is done by moving the grate up and down, as with most grills of this type.

The manufacturers claim the grill uses less charcoal than other grills, I’m not sure if that’s a major selling point, as charcoal isn’t exactly rare or expensive.

I’m not convinced this Char Broil charcoal grill is a step forward in BBQing technology. It barely qualifies as barbecuing in my book, after all, BBQs are supposed to be fun. I can’t help thinking it would be just as easy and probably quicker and cheaper to just cook the food in the kitchen.

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