The Char-Broil 26,500 is the lowest priced of the companies range of portable grills, but that doesn’t mean a review should be overly kind. When you’re asking people to part with money, you’ve still got to give them something for it, so I wanted to see if the Char-Broil 26,500 BTU 2-Burner Gas Grill, 280 Square inches, represented value for money.
- Takes very little fuel to get it going, so inexpensive to own as well as to buy
- Easy to put together. Very simple construction straight out of the box
- Surprisingly well-designed for the price. Most cheaper line grills have incredibly sloppy workmanship
- Large Cooking surface
- 2 burners which cook food well
- Easy to clean
- Great Piezo ignition
- Heats slightly unevenly
- Ideal for having a few friends over but I wouldn’t attempt food for a whole birthday party on this. For family meals, it would be perfect.
Char-Broil 26,500 BTU 2-Burner Gas Grill Review (Official Site):
The design reminds me of classic older grills from the 1950s in its simplicity and efficiency. The two side shelves are made of plastic but are durable. The cooking area is made of porcelain wire grate, which you won’t see in many grills in this price range. Measurements are 49 inches length by 21 inches width and there’s a height of 41.5 inches, so it’s a pretty big unit, which stands up to the weather outside so there’ll be no need to worry about deterioration due to the elements. At a weight of 42.1 pounds, purchasers will also get a grill they can easily carry out into the back garden for hot dogs on a Sunday afternoon.
As I mentioned earlier, the 26,500 is not going to cater for a 20 person banquet; it’s just not set-up for that. But as I found out when I started to use it, you can cook up a feast for the family.
Starting with the ignition, it’s a very simple operation which doesn’t require matches and it’s about as good as the more advanced and higher priced grills on the market. How did they achieve this? Well, they just used a different mechanism to get the grill to spark, as one might buy a cheaper brand of liquor but get the same taste. It will be sure to light the first time every time it’s in use.
Next, I started cooking a few hot dogs and burgers to see at what speed it heats up food. The whole thing heated up very quickly, although slightly unevenly so you do have move food around the cooking surface. That said, you’re talking about paying half of what you might for other grills, so this isn’t a major issue and it does cook great food. When I asked, nobody noticed the difference between this and other grills I’ve reviewed for companies, in terms of food quality, and this has got to be the most important thing.
People may be reading this and saying things like “it’s made of plastic, how good can it be”. Firstly the cooking surface is made of quality grade porcelain and the rest of the unit although plastic, is very sturdy and on a windy day will remain in position and easy to cook on. It’s often not about the material used, but more how it’s put together and Char-Broil are expert designers of grills in all price ranges, with the 26,500 being no exception to this rule of design excellence.
The cooking surface was large enough for me to not have to worry about running out of space, even though I was cooking for 8 friends. The 2 burners, fire up a powerful heat and you could use one for meat and the other for a sauce. It’s lightweight meant I could wheel it around to different points in the garden when the sun moved, which is something I couldn’t do with more expensive heavier grills. It does face competition from another model though, check out my list of the best gas grills for 2016.
You’d be paying between $80 and $110 for the Char-Broil 26,500 BTU 2-Burner Gas Grill, 280 Square Inch. What you get for that is plastic shelves, but also amazing cooking results, an easy to clean porcelain cooking surface, an easy grill to put together and a durable item that will last years. You seriously won’t be able to tell the difference between this and more advanced models in terms of overall cooking splendor. The verdict: Great value for money.