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 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

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V#Grill­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
HOLY SHHHHH.… MOTHER FUUUUU… Real­ly hard hold­ing back the extra spicy superla­tives on this one. That is what d…… https://t.co/rbJEnKoRXD — 18 hours ago
Scott Thomas

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32 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!

Reply

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!!!!

Reply

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.

Reply

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!!

Reply

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

Reply

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.

Reply

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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Hey Folks,

There is a cook­ing guide for this smoker/roaster/grill and its locat­ed in the char broil web­site. Here is the url for that Cook­ing Guide..

http://​www​.char​broil​.com/​m​e​d​i​a​/​p​d​f​/​c​o​o​k​i​n​g​g​u​i​d​e​_​t​b​e​s​m​o​k​e​r​r​o​a​s​t​e​r​g​r​i​l​l​_​2​0​0​9​.​0​8​.​pdf

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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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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://​siz​zleon​the​grill​.com/ is gone I wll have to give the way­back machine a try on this

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Try­ing to get my grill to ignite has also been a prob­lem for me & since I was the one who assem­bled it I wasn’t going to give up. I was scared to death to stick a light­ed match in the match hole, & on many occa­sions I almost blew up the grill but what did it for me is when I almost blew myself up and end­ed up thrown in the brush­es. Then I decid­ed to go over all the instruc­tions & study the grill.. I found the prob­lem… the ignite knob & the high/low temp. knob had to be switch.. I was so excit­ed had to try it right away„ it worked.

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