In May the good folks at Char-Broil sent the Grillin Fools two grills from their new product line to review.  The new CB940X and the Big Easy Smoker, Roaster and Grill which I will call the BESRG from here on out.  Dad will be doing the review on the CB940X soon.  Below you will find my review of the BESRG after running it through quite a few cookouts in order to give it a thorough testing…

For the sake of full disclosure we did not have to pay for these grills other than the taxes we will have to pay for them at the end of the year.  That being said we were also told we could say anything we want to about them as long as we are honest.  As you will see below, I will do exactly that.

Truth be told, when I used this grill the first two times I was not at all happy with it.  I had planned on not writing a review as I just didn’t have anything positive to say.  What’s the old adage?  If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say it.  So I sent an email to my contact at Char-Broil explaining my reservations in very specific detail wondering if I had ruined the relationship with them.  He listened to my concerns and offered a few suggestions.  Of course I didn’t quit playing with the new toy after two cookouts so I took his tips and gave it a couple more tries.  Since the first two cookouts I have been nothing but impressed and have come to find out that my first two horrible grill sessions were from user error and not the grill.  I’ve never owned a gas grill or an infrared grill (this being both) and there is some adjustments that needed to be made on my part.

Once I got a handle on what it can and can’t do as well as make it through the learning curve of what it means to use an infrared grill I have been able to make some seriously great food on it.

A little about infrared grilling.  Originally infrared grilling was achieved by having propane or natural gas heat up a stainless steel or ceramic surface with millions of microscopic holes to create infrared heat.  What happens with this grill is that the flame is isolated from the food by stainless steel  to stop air flow (convection) and thus produces only radiant heat which cooks the meat directly rather than heating the air to cook the meat.  The resulting heat can reach incredible levels.  Infrared temperatures can get as high as 900 degrees although this grill has a max of only 575.  Only?  Seems crazy to say just under 600 degrees is low, but in terms of infrared it is a bit more than us Grillin Fools will ever need.

So why is this so important?

1) Conventional cooking on grills, both gas and charcoal, use convection, or hot air, to do the cooking which wicks the moisture away from the meat that will eventually dry the meat out.  Infrared cooks the meat directly without the drying hot air.

2) No need to preheat, unless you are smoking in which case you need to preheat to get the wood to start to smolder, thus you save time.

3) The temperatures range of the BESRG, and the way infrared heats the meat and not the air, allows for a similar effects to deep frying.  In other words, you can deep fry a turkey or chicken without oil and thus not risk burning down the deck of having an oil explosion.  And with no preheating you save the time it takes getting the oil up to temp.

That is how this grill came about.  It was originally an oil-less turkey fryer that Char-Broil decided to make more versatile.

4) With any gas grill, temperature control is much easier than with charcoal.  You set it and forget it.

Now, on to the review.  Before I get into the things I have cooked on it which include two steaks (at two different times which is significant and I will explain later), two chickens, maple plank salmon, two different pizzas, crostinis, ribs twice, and a 9 pound turkey, let me get to the assembly.

You could say this thing has the same birthday as my second son.  My son was born on the morning of May 28th, 2010.  That night, while momma and baby were resting comfortably in the hospital, my 2 year old and I put the grill together.  I was able to put the BESRG together in a little over an hour.  I probably could’ve done it in 45 minutes had my first son not been so “helpful:”

I was a little leery putting together a gas grill as I’d never done that before but the instructions were very easy to follow and I had no issues whatsoever with the assembly process.  Same can be said for the CB940X but that’s for another review.

After I assembled it I followed the instructions and coated the entire inside of the unit with spray oil as well as the basket and the stainless steel grill grate and cranked it up to high to season it.  I recommend this with any new grill you buy, whether charcoal or gas.  You want to burn off all the oils and lubricants used in the manufacturing process as well as seal the surfaces on the inside of the grill to prevent the inside from rusting.

I actually coated it twice with oil before I put on a bone in rib eye.  I thought my favorite steak cut was perfect for the inaugural cook, but it wasn’t the thickest steak I’d ever cooked.  I cranked it up to high and got 575 degrees on my little oven thermometer.  I couldn’t wait.  I figured I would get a nice sear in less than 30 seconds.  The sear that you see on a perfectly done steak is very important to create a flavor crust.  Some say that it’s to seal the juices in, but Alton Brown proved that to be a myth.  Still, the sear is very important for flavor.

Here’s where I ran into my first problem.  Normally when I do a steak over charcoal I get those sear marks after a couple minutes.  Then I rotate 45 degrees and get my cross hatch grill marks and flip and repeat.  Max time on each side is 3-4 minutes and my steak is really rare and only needs a couple minutes baking to be perfect for my taste.  At 575 degrees It took almost double that to get the first set of grill marks.  Good bye rare and hello medium before I’m even done searing the steak since it wasn’t so thick.  This is another pic on the missing chip.  The steak was tender, juicy, and delicious, but I prefer my steaks rare or medium rare at the most.

If you like a rare or medium rare steak you’re thinking that there is no way you would buy one of these.  That would be faulty logic because I made a mistake.  See, while I “seasoned” the grill and the grill grate I really only cooked off the bad chemicals and made the silver grill grate a little less silver.  The clean grill grate didn’t transfer the heat to the meat well.

The problem was that I didn’t do enough seasoning, not the grill.  After I cooked a few more things on the grill and really seasoned the grill grate was black rather than a little off-silver as it was when I did the first steak.  Here is the well seasoned grill grate ready for my second steak:

In the second go round I got grill marks a lot faster on this sirloin:

I didn’t want to risk overcooking another expensive cut so I went with the much cheaper, yet still delicious, sirloin.  This time it seared quickly and then I dropped the temp to low, baked for another couple of minutes and I was giddy with the results.  Tender, juicy, delicious and red all the way through, just like I like it.

On to cookout #2.  I decided to smoke a couple of chickens.  I took two good size birds and marinaded each of them – one in the Walkerwood Jerk Marinade and one in Peach and Pepper sauce.  After 12 hours in the marinade I put them in the big basket:

I filled the smoker box with wood chips and cranked the heat up to high to get the smoke going based on the documentation and then dropped the heat setting down to low once the smoke started rolling.  Then I put the basket with the birds in the chamber:

Much to my dismay the low temp was only 375 with the lid closed:

Hard to take your time and smoke some chickens at that temp.  It’s even harder when the tiny smoker box that I filled with chips, that was supposed to give off 45 minutes of smoke, according to the documentation, stopped making smoke after 15 minutes.  In order to add more chips you have to empty the ash from the box which requires taking the basket with the two birds out, empty, refill (all while not burning yourself on the 400 degree metal), crank the heat back up to 575 to get them to smoke and then drop down to low and put the birds back in.

Rather than risk burning myself or dropping the birds I opted for no smoke.  And it was good that I didn’t risk injury as two hours of smoke wouldn’t have saved these birds.  The skin split on them in less than 30 minutes:

In less than an hour I had some really rubbery chicken.

Again, not a ringing endorsement of this grill, right?  Didn’t I say that I really liked this grill?  I did.  And again I made a mistake, not the grill.  Evidently two things to avoid when cooking in the chamber are liquids on the outside of the meat and sugary rubs.  The liquid marinades that coated the outside of the chickens somehow messes up the cooking process resulting in rubbery, chewy chicken.  I don’t know the science behind it but this is a no-no.  And sugars blacken quickly because of the high temps.  Although the latter isn’t always bad.

On the 4th of July I brined a 9 pound turkey in a combination of apple juice, sprite, water, salt and sugar.  A lot of sugar.  And while I rinsed the bird off thoroughly, patted it dry and only applied a rub of granulated garlic, it blackened pretty good.  I put it in the chamber legs down and breast up:

I turned it on to high and closed the lid for the first 30 minutes as I read doing so really makes the skin brown and crispy.

Well, after 30 minutes I opened the lid and was wondering if White Castle was open on the 4th and how many I needed to feed eight because it was blackening quickly.  I put foil over the top of the turkey to try to slow down the blackening which didn’t help as it’s not going to shield the infrared energy the way it would hot air from a charcoal grill.

After 30 minutes of the foil I pulled the foil off and drizzled olive oil in it every 10 minutes for the next 30 minutes.  The rule of thumb is 10 minutes per pound.  I pulled it exactly at 90 minutes when the temp in the thickest part of the thigh reached 167.  I took it in to carve and had very low expectations.

After letting it rest for 15 minutes, and suffering from the disappointed looks from my friends and family, I carved it.  While carving I sampled a little chef’s prerogative.  It wasn’t dry.  It wasn’t rubbery.  It wasn’t horrible.  In fact it was one of the best turkeys I have ever eaten.  The skin was blackened but by no means burnt.  It wasn’t visually appealing but it was incredibly moist and flavorful.  Even the blackest of the black skin was delicious.  I almost don’t want to post this picture because I’m going to have too many people thinking I’m fibbing on this one.  Some of you won’t believe me that this turkey was delicious but I can produce seven other people that will testify that it was.  But here’s the pic anyway:

I know.  Looks horrendous but it was great.  And here it is resting:

And carved:

I tell you, I got nothing but raves about a bird that looked like that.  I can’t wait to do another one without the sugars in the brine.

The lesson, if you brine, avoid any sugars.  Go with water, salt, and flavorizers that are not sugary like garlic and onions.

So why do I tell you all of this?  Why show the bad pictures and discuss the mistakes?  I do this so you don’t repeat those mistakes.  So you don’t overcook a big steak or make rubbery chicken.  So your learning curve on an infrared grill is faster than mine.  That’s what we have been doing on this site for more than two years.  Our entire goal is to take the 90+ combined years of grilling experience the three Grillin Fools have and help those who come to this site avoid the  thousands upon thousands of mistakes we have made over the years.

So let’s get to some fun stuff I did on the grill and much better pictures.  Let’s talk about all the successes I had since my first two failures.

Maple plank salmon.  I took a salmon steak, slathered it with dijon mustard, sprinkled with brown sugar and placed it on a maple plank I soaked in water for about 60 minutes.  This is a very simple recipe and my go to salmon dish.  I set the temp to low and placed the plank with the salmon on the grill.  The other filet of fish on there is some bassa for my wife who likes lighter, white fishes:

The temp was perfect to smolder the wood without scorching or charring it which invariably happens when I plank cook over charcoal.  It was almost as if the BESRG was designed plank grilling in mind.  The salmon was perfectly cooked and really picked up the sweetness of the maple which perfectly complements the brown sugar in the recipe:

The grill does amazing things with bread.  I did crostinis along with the maple plank salmon and they came out wonderfully, although you have to be careful in that crostinis are usually done with two zone cooking – toast the bread on each side on the side with the heat and then pull to the side with no heat, cover with cheese, and close the lid to melt the cheese.  There is no cool zone here.  So very lightly toast on the bottom:

Flip to toast the top, flip back over, cover with cheese (in this case Havarti):

Close the lid to melt the and finish toasting the bottom:

I have grilled two pizzas on the BESRG, both using a store bought Boboli crust.  Some will scoff at that, but I’ve got a toddler and a new born, I need to save time.  First I set the grill to high grilled the red onions and yellow peppers to get a little char:

I assembled my pizza with slices of fresh mozzarella and grated asiago:

I set it to low, place the prepped pizza on the grill grate and it cooked like it was on a baking or pizza stone without the stone in about 12 minutes:

Really incredible.  The crust had a crunchiness that I can only get with a pizza stone, but there was no stone.  And the second time I did it I got cross hatch grill marks on the bottom of the crust:

Only my fellow grillin nerds will appreciate that!!

For this second one, I added some smoke wood to the bottom in foil and  gave it some great hickory smoke flavor.

And probably the coolest thing I did on the BESRG was Rendezvous Ribs which need to be cooked between 300-350 for 30 minutes on each side with frequent mop bastings.  I know cooking ribs in an hour sounds nuts to a lot of you, but I highly recommend you try it.  They were incredible:

As you know I’m not going to blow smoke up your butt (pun intended) and say this thing is the worlds greatest grill.  I’ve done some things well on it, but it also has some issues I don’t like:

1) No thermometer.  I have to use a portable oven thermometer.  While one of the benefits of a gas grill is it’s easy to regulate temps, it would be nice to know what those temps are.

2) The smoker box is poorly designed.  15 minutes of smoke is not enough.  But I have a solution that is very easy and cheap.  Aluminum foil pans full of wood chips on the bottom produce well over an hour of smoke:

Hell, the pans are easier than dealing with the box.  When I’m done with them I pitch the pans for easy clean up rather than shake out the ash of a little box into the trashcan:

3) I don’t like the low temp is not all that low at 375 with the lid closed to help keep the smoke in and around the meat.  I would love it if this thing could go down to 225.  Sure, I do most of my formerly low and slow recipes at 275-325 these days and make great stuff in less time but it doesn’t mean I don’t want the option to do low and slow, particularly with a grill that I can set and forget because it’s gas.  It gets down to about 250 with the lid open but when I’m smoking I want to have it closed to allow the smoke to really penetrate.

I think I might have to rethink the above criticism.  I did some pretty incredible pulled pork at 300 after writing this review.  Here’s the write up of the full process on how I made pulled pork in this bad boy.

4) Size of the grill. I wish it were bigger.  It only has a 15 inch grill surface, which I was wish was larger, but where it makes up for that is that it also has a 16 inch deep chamber.  The size of this thing will be perfect for a lot of folks.  It will fit on the smallest apartment balcony.  I would prefer it be larger, but I know the size will actually appeal to a lot of people, particularly with the deep chamber that can accommodate up to three chickens or a 24 pound turkey.    Think about that!  Most turkeys done on Thanksgiving are less than 24 pounds.  At 10 minutes a pound, you can have a deep fried turkey without the oil in four hours.  Free up the oven for the yams and rolls and do the turkey outside.  Do it one time and you will never go back.  It’s also pretty portable.  I fit the grill in the back of my Ford Escape with no problem.  I had to lean it to the side, but it fit fine and is fairly light, which would make it a really nice traveling grill too.

So all in all, if you avoid the mistakes I made, this is a really nice grill.  It makes a mean steak, awesome deep fried turkey without the oil, and is perfect for plank grilling.  If you can avoid putting sugars or liquids on birds before putting them inside the chamber, like I did, you will be fine.  Oh, and make sure that grill grate is good and seasoned before you hit it with a nice steak.

My concerns for this are pretty minor.  Considering the low cost (reduced to $129 at Lowe’s), and its versatility, I’m finding myself using this thing more and more.  I made some excellent pulled pork on it.  Since I started writing this review, I did Rendezvous ribs on it again for Dad over the weekend as well as tried to do the Rendezvous method on my charcoal grill.  The ribs from the BESRG were amazing.  The ones from the charcoal grill weren’t so good.  It’s VERY difficult to maintain a constant temp of 300-350 on a charcoal grill.  I had temps from 200-400 throughout the process and tons of flareups causing the ribs to be tough.

As always, if you have any questions about the Big Easy, Smoker Roaster Grill, simply leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

If you want to see other product reviews click here.

 

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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31 comments

You fellas did an extensive job of field testing this and I appreciate your candid remarks. I think we need to do a better job of explaining the power of infrared and why it’s so effective at cooking — kinda like a perfect charcoal fire with no hot air — but why it also can be overpowering to us who have learned to work around the short-comings of our own charcoal and gas grills.

This isn’t the perfect cooker – yet, but comments from users and experienced cooks like y’all is what helps make it better!

Thanks!

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Thanks for the review! Your post of your initial troubles and then solutions were really helpful and I think I may go out and purchase this grill/smoker! Thanks again!!!!

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I just purchased one of these and only have used it once. I did go to Home Depot and purchased an $8 thermometer that took 5 minutes to install. I just drilled hole in the top behind the name plate and dropped it in. That was a big improvement. I smoked a chicken tonight but didn’t realize I needed to turn it on high to get the smoke going. I filled the smoke box up and after an hour and a half, I had a smoke box full of hot wood. Next time, I will either light the smoke box or turn the unit on high to get it lit. I was able to maintain 325 degrees for 1.5 hours on low. Not sure you could cook on this below 325. chicken was not quite done….another 10 minutes an it would’ve been perfect.

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Just wanted to drop a line and let you guys know how helpful your website was about this new product. I purchased this before ever seeing your website, but after putting it together was rather disappointed with how few recipes came with it, and/or instructions on how to use it. I know how to.grill, but I bought this more for the smoking element it offered. It is true that the temperature on these does run a little to hot to he considered a dedicated smoker. However, after seeing your website and reviews you guys were spot on in suggesting the addition of more wood chips by making your own little holders out of aluminum foil. I have since done two slabs of baby backs without brining them beforehand. I simply put a commercial dry rub all over them after removing the membrane off the back. Put them on the grill rack after preheating on high for about 15 minutes to get the wood chips smoking. I left the grill rack off until right when I put the ribs on. I thought that the metal would be way too hot and cause the ribs to stick otherwise. I really didn’t time them just watched them close, turned them when needed, and basted them when almost done. I have gotten nothing but great reviews from family & friend so far. I think I’m gonna tackle a chicken next. Anyway thanks for all the helpful info & happy grillin!!

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Travis,

It takes a little getting used to, but the Big Easy does a great job once you master it. If you want to talk to the real experts on the Big Easy:

http://www.sizzleonthegrill.com/user-forums/

Those guys talk Big Easy all the time…

…….Scott

Just a tid bit that I can’t take credit for but if you put the snap-ring from a cheesecake pan in the bottom of the BESRG and put your wood chips (as many or as few as you like) around it and set the basket on top you will get good smoke. It seemed like a good idea when I read it and has worked for me since…After, I let the ashes cool and just vacuum them out with the ol’ Shop-Vac… Hope it helps someone out…

Joey

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Joey,

Thanks for that tip. I’ll use it next time I use the Big Easy….

…….Scott

My son-in-law & daughter bought the large model for my wifes birthday. Expecting it to be delivered tommorrow. Grew up in modern dairy country & enjoy smoked meat. Have tried and with success have enjoyed many recipies with hams, turkeys etc. There’s an ols saying ” Nothing is forever”. I’m ready to do away with the grease etc., and try this new technology. It’s my understanding that propane generates more heat than natural gas. (please comment) Will try & advise of our experience. Many thanks for this in-put. There’s another old saying. (there’s nothing like experience) Good luck all.

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Stroker,

It’s not that the propane creates more heat, it’s just a different kind. Not the same drying heat of a regular grill. This is infrared heat that heats from the inside, not with dry, hot air from the outside.

Two things to think about. Avoid using any liquids on the meats you cook in this thing. Don’t sauce or leave a marinade on the meat when you put it in or on the Big Easy. Messes up the infrared heat somehow. Second, never use any sugars on the meat in a rub or even in a brine as it will blacken really bad. Follow those two little tips and you should do great. Let us know how it comes out…

…….Scott

Everyone is saying do not use sugars in these grills… We used the BESRG to cook a 7-8 lb Boston Butt. I rubbed on a mesquite rub with sugar in it and then rubbed a canadian steak seasoning on top of that. Tried to keep Apple Chips smoking and in about 4 to 5 hours on low with the top closed, I had what I think was the best boston butt I have ever eaten. I also have a Big Green Egg and I still think that butt was better than I have done in the BGE before. The smoke output is a big hassle, but after reading y’alls suggestion, I am going to try that this weekend with the foil. I was also thinking of smaller coffee cans or a metal box of some sort inside to keep the smoke going. The little side box that comes with the grill is just about worthless. Really, if you want to smoke meats, you need a smoker. Even with the smoke issue, I still believe this grill is one of the best on the market. We also got the drumstick grate and the kabob grate. It is the best all around AND PORTABLE.

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REVIEW: I bought and used the 3-in-1 Big Easy for the first time last week 11-18-11. I will do a review for two meals I tried to cook. First was a 5-rib Prime Rib Roast. The thermostat provided with unit was way off and by time 130 came only a small part of this 7lb roast was medium rare…rest was well done, with an end darn near crispy. Then I tried a 22 lb turkey which is upper limit for my unit. I tried to get cooking time from various internet sources as company provided none with unit. One was the char-broil community forums.

While it says the cooking time is nearly the same as deep fat frying, I can assure you this is way off. I have fried multiple turkeys in my day and I can assure everyone the deep fat drying is quicker by hours. I attribute this to fact hot grease gets inside the bird, whereas when using the Big Easy oven there is no air circulation inside the bird so the most dense meat (thigh) is last to heat, and from mostly the outside only. I used 10 minutes per lb, dried the bird & raised to room temperature before starting. I do not know how the base unit is, but my unit has a temperature dial running from high-to-low. Who knows where it should be set because there is no easy way to measure the temp inside the oven chamber. You have to buy another higher temp thermometer to stick through the top grate to judge chamber temperature, but you must remove it each time you want to look at the meat thermometer in the bird. Tried to use my Maverick which broadcasts chamber and internal temp, but there is no way to get the line inside without crimping it with the lid or grill grate, or threading it through the grate which is not wise if you want to keep the unit in working order. Otherwise one would have to drill a hole in the lid to pass the probes, and be careful those probe lines don’t get placed over the vent holes in the chamber or they will burn the probe line cover off. I think the engineers need to rethink this temp problem or otherwise, why have a temperature knob? I tried to maintain 350 degrees in the chamber at all times for lack of guidance from the manufacturer. When I pulled the bird out it was still raw in the leg joints which I had to cut off and put in house oven, and then return the rest back to the unit to get the leg sockets cooked. Needless to say the meal was delayed quite a long time. Parts of the top of the breast was as dry as a rope when I cut the legs off, and dryer after reinserting to get it fully cooked. But the core of the breast was moist like a deep fried bird.

It is not like I am stupid or don’t know what I am doing. I have butchered for a living and know my meats. I have a Weber charcoal grill, a larger Brinkman gas grill, a smaller Kenmore gas grill, a Mr Smoker, a turkey fry/wok unit, and a rolling open fire pit and know how to use them all. I prefer the open wood pit for grilling but can’t use it during burn bans here in Texas. My next choice is the Mr. Smoker to grill in, using smaller wood and charcoal mix and setting the fire low in the bottom. My next choice is obviously one of the gas grills, and the choice when guests are over as they produce no smoke. I use the wok for stir fry and light deep frying, or turn to the deep fry bucket when doing large items. Deep frying is my least favorite primarily due to the grease mess and cleanup. If anyone compares the Big Easy as “greaseless frying”, they are correct in that the meat can be as crispy and tasty as deep frying. But there should be no comparison by the company or users that the time is nearly as deep fat frying. It isn’t! It is comparable to an oven. The Big Easy 3 in 1 is just an outdoor oven that lacks ability to know internal temperature and that is a poor design flaw for the unit. Another flaw is the wood chip holder. I had to pry mine out of the slot twice during the cooking process. END REVIEW.

I did like the suggestion of the cheesecake pan for wood chips. Really would like some help on the inner chamber temp settings.

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Gary,

Cooking with the Big Easy takes some getting used to. I got a ton of info from the people in this forum on how to use mine:

http://sizzleonthegrill.com/user-forums/index.php

Good luck and keep on grillin!

…….Scott

Great review. I bough the electric version. The first piece of meat was a beef roast. Used mesquite,also asalt ,brownsugar water,Overnight soak.I couldn’t believe the taste, awsome, even though I left it in a little too long. Than I did a 3 1/2 pound chicken. I used the temp guage at this point. Read 175 but was not quite done,clear liquid at joints. So put it on the grill for 45 minutes. Just outstanding. Today I am doing ribs. I am really impressed with this unit. Plug and play, easy clean up. I could get really addicted to using the smoker. The nice thing is, I can put food on at 1:00 or so at work,(I run the place) my dinner is ready at 5:00. I am even thinking of taking it with me in my motor home for weekend camping. Nice unit would recomend to anyone.
JB

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Great review. I bough the electric version. The first piece of meat was a beef roast. Used mesquite,also asalt ,brownsugar water,Overnight soak.I couldn’t believe the taste, awsome, even though I left it in a little too long. Than I did a 3 1/2 pound chicken. I used the temp guage at this point. Read 175 but was not quite done,clear liquid at joints. So put it on the grill for 45 minutes. Just outstanding. Today I am doing ribs. I am really impressed with this unit. Plug and play, easy clean up. I could get really addicted to using the smoker. The nice thing is, I can put food on at 1:00 or so at work,(I run the place) my dinner is ready at 5:00. I am even thinking of taking it with me in my motor home for weekend camping. Nice unit would recomend to anyone.
JB

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Nice review…I just got this grill yesterday and cooked porterhouse steaks on it after seasoning it. I ran into the same issue: The steaks took too long to sear and I ended up with medium well instead of rare.

Can you expand on this statement: “The problem was that I didn’t do enough seasoning, not the grill.”

Do you mean it takes multiple season treatments or leave the grill on longer while seasoning? I ran my grill for about 15 minutes after apply vegetable oil to all surfaces including the grill grate.

Thanks,

Mike

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Mike,

It means that naked stainless doesn’t put the best grill marks. So do a few seasoning sessions, whether cooking on it or not. You can coat it with oil. crank it up to high for an hour to season the grates. Or you could grill say some skin on chicken or something that will impart a nice amount of grease to the grates. Do that a half dozen times and the grates will be nicely seasoned.

Also, I found if I turned it on to high, closed the lid and left it there for about 20 minutes and really work into a hot rager, I got better grill marks faster. Good luck with it. It’s a great little unit!

…….Scott

I purchased the BESRG a few days ago. I plan on using it for our Thanks Giving turkey. I seasoned with vegetable oil then dropped a 5 lb. chicken in it. I was surprised how fast it coked the chicken, approx. 40 minutes. The breast was very dry and the thighs were under cooked. I have reread the instructions and can not find any information about temperature settings. I noticed that one of the above replies mentioned installing a thermometer in the lid. My wife is threating to cook our turkey in the oven if I can’t figure this out. We plan to brine the turkey without sugar. What do I need to do to insure a perfect Thanks Giving turkey?

Thanks,

Ken

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Ken,

Did you put the breasts up or down? They have to be up. Putting the breasts up, I have never had an issue with it cooking unevenly. Also, did you put any sort of glaze on it before putting it in the BESRG?

…….Scott

Scott: Thanks for the reply. I put the chicken on a stand (Beer can) with the breast up. I cooked it on high. No glaze, just season salt. Should I have cooked it on medium of low?

Thanks,

Ken,

That’s interesting. I crank mine up to high usually, but I wonder if your unit is especially hot. I would test it at medium and see what happens just to make sure before the big day on Thursday…

…….Scott

I believe the most important thing for the turkey and chicken is to coat them with oil before you place them in the cooker. This allows them to “fry” a little and gets the skin crispy without burning it. Cooked two Ribeyes last night by hanging them on two skewers (I do not have the cooker with the grill top). They were very good. Skewered chicken wings are awesome.

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Hello,

Thanks for the review. Are you saying that you need to put the turkey on “high” the entire time? How long for a 15lb turkey?

I have been commissioned to do the christmas turkey. I’m a little nervous since this will be my first big event with this.

Thank you ahead of time.

Ryan

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Ryan,

Yes, high the entire time. I don’t remember the timing. I thought it was 15 minutes per pound, but go by a probe thermometer more than time…

…….Scott

Thank you for the quick response. Do I keep the lid open?

Also, since it has been a few years since this was posted, do you still like the grill or would you still recommend it or get something else. I am waiting for amazon to deliver mine and I just wanted to make sure I made the correct choice.

Last thing. Have you done brisket and do you get the smoke rings like you see in good BBQ restaurants?

Thank you again Scott. I really appreciate the insight.

Ryan

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Ryan,

Leaving the lid closed makes for a browner bird. I tend to let it get going for about 30 minutes, then put the lid on.

My wife made me cull the herd when I got my kamado grill and I had to get rid of it to make room for the ceramic grill. But then, Char-Broil requested I do a turkey post for them and they sent me another one. This one is the smaller one that does not have the grill grate on top. Glad I got another one.

As for the smoke ring, I guess it’s possible, but you are going to have to keep a close eye on the smoke and keep refilling the smoke chips. I doubt you get the heavy smoke ring though. Put the brisket in wet. That will help. Maybe mist it a few times along the way with apple juice to keep it wet. Don’t ask me why. The wet makes for a better smoke ring…

…….Scott

Hey Scott! Finally got around to doing a pork shoulder in the SRG. Turned out really well thanks in large part to your tips! Had some trouble with the smoke… I tried the pan of wood chips in the bottom but they wouldn’t stay lit. They would smolder for about 10 minutes then go out. Even tried lighting some with a lighter and letting them burn for a few minutes but they’d still go out after 10 minutes or so in the bottom of the chamber. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Josh,

Have you tried smoker box designed for the grill? That may help, but I have not tried them to know for sure. The smoke is the hardest part. I wish I had a better answer…

…….Scott

Does anyone have a problem with the auto ignition? I seem to always have to get out the long candle lighter and light it thru the hole in the side of the grill, manual ignition to get it to fire. Did I miss something when I put it together?

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Robert,

I remember having that problem too, now that you mention it. It didn’t happen when I wrote the review, but about a year later I was having problems… Maybe contact Char-Broil support and see what they say about it…

…….Scott

Great article and so helpful ! I have seen in some other forums that replacing the regulator with a better one allows for a much lower cooking temperature down in the low 200s or even just sub to 200. What they didn’t say is if they just changed it out, or added before the existing regulator and then just lowered the input a bit. Id be interested if anyone else has seen or done this. it appears that the website for the http://sizzleonthegrill.com/ is gone I wll have to give the wayback machine a try on this

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