Everybody’s trying to hit the sub-200 Dollar market right now. It’s hot. It used to be hard to find a good Grill for under 200 Dollars, but now there are hundreds of options. Manufacturers have recognized that people want to spend less, so they’re chopping prices, cutting costs and trying their best to hopefully still create good grills. We’ve seen a massive increase over the last five years in the number of Grills available for under 200, and the competition is going to get even tougher. Enter the Char-Broil Performance 475 4-Burner Cart Gas Grill. It’s priced at around 190 Dollars (approx.) and looks pretty professionally built at first glance. But we’ll be going deeper than that. I’m going to be explaining what it does and how it does it by taking you through all the features individually. So, you’ll then have a good idea about whether or not this is the best option for you in this tough sub-200 Dollar market.
- Great Grates
- Easy Assembly
- Fast Ignition
- Easy to Clean
- Quality Food
- Excellent Side Burner
Now, my more Grill-savvy readers will have noticed that it looks almost exactly like Char-Broil TRU Infrared 4-Burner. You are correct. They’ve taken the exact design of the TRU Infrared and plonked it on this model. So you get the classic Char-Broil lid, plus Side Shelves and Cart with wheels. The Wheels could have been better but the whole thing weighs only 104 pounds, which for a 4-Burner Gas Grill is pretty light, so no major problem. Is it durable? Yes, I’d say so. The Steel on the actual Grill unit is the same thick strong 430 grade they used on the 500 Dollar Infrared, so that certainly represents value for money. They have cut costs on the Cart though, which is made out of thinner Steel so bear that in mind.
Very smart. Very smart indeed Char-Broil. They’ve fully constructed the Grill unit in the factory so it comes ready to use. So it’s just a case of attaching the side shelves and the Cart before you get going. This is a two man job though because someone will need to lift the Grill onto the Cart once it’s set-up. It is a much-improved set-up compared to other Gas Grills. Gas Grills are usually a nightmare to assemble.
You get 475 square inches of primary cooking space here. And, there are another 175 Square inches of secondary space on the Swing-Away Rack that sits above the main cooking area. As the name suggests, you can choose to use this extra space as a Warming Rack, or you can just fold it away into the lid. You can even detach it if you want to. For the price, it’s a good size. There aren’t many Grills with more cooking space than this for under 200. It’s a scaled-back less than half the price version of the TRU Infrared which had 780 total square inches of cooking space. And, it represents value for money where size is concerned.
The Grates verses Power Ratio
On a Gas Grill, you need to have enough power for heat to be able to spread evenly across the cooking surface. If heat does not spread evenly you get badly cooked food with well-done Steaks closer to the Burners and practicably raw Steaks on the edges of the primary cooking space. If you put five Steaks on and you want them all medium-rare instead of charred and black then you need the right power-ratio.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it’s a measure of energy. It’s the amount of heat your Grill will put out each hour. You need around 100 BTU’s per Square Inch of cooking space. So with 475 Square Inches of cooking space, the Performance 475 would need 47,000 BTU’s. It only has 36,000 across 4 9000 BTU Burners. So Cha-rBroil somewhat screwed up on the math. There’s simply not enough power here to evenly disperse heat across 475 Square Inches. Char-Broil needed Superman to come and save the day.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
No, it’s Superman. Yep, if it hadn’t have been for these terrific Grates then this Grill would have been a disaster. Instead, it turned out to be really good. The Grates are made of wonderful Cast Iron of just the right thickness and quality to do that extra bit of legwork needed to disperse that heat. Cast Iron retains heat much better than Steel. It holds heat inside of it and spreads it out across the entire surface faster and with more efficiency than Steel ever could. These were an excellent inclusion. I loved the Cast-Iron Grates and they make this Grill one of the really exciting Grills on the market under 200 dollars. Food tastes incredible. After the power ratio issues, CharBroil snapped victory out of the jaws of defeat.
It’s all uphill from here…
Much better performance on the Side Burner because there’s a smaller area for heat to travel across and 10,000 BTU’s to do it with. So there’s a better power-ratio along with the same beautiful Cast-Iron Grates. This means it’s more than just a Side Burner. It’s a place where you can also cook great steaks if your primary cooking area is full. You can use it for Sauces, but you can also cook on the side too. Plus there’s a lid so you can cover the Side Burner up when you’re not using it. Very good powerful inclusion
The ignition is incredibly quick so this will always light up the first time. I was very impressed by the speed of the current because I’ve been critical of some low priced Grills with sub-standard ignitions. It’s an area where many manufacturers attempt to cut costs but not here.
Easy to Clean
This is another area of success. Everything is Porcelain-Enameled and it’s been done well so dirt just slides off. And, they’ve added a detachable Grease Pan that catches most of the Grease you’ll create from cooking. So, there’s not as much debris down there to start out.
I prefer to see heat gauges on the front so that you can see how hot your Grill is when the Lid is open. This one on the top of the Lid. But, it’s very good and it allows you to accurately monitor temperatures.
It’s a pretty durable unit for the price. It also looks good and it cooks food with excellent taste. There was a real problem with the power ratio here so the Cast Iron Grates saved this Grill from complete obscurity. They create food that doesn’t stick, and most importantly they allow heat to be dispersed in such a way that food cooks evenly. So no burn marks and no instances of rare steaks you wanted to be well done or vice versa. After the Grates, it was all uphill. Excellent Ignition, very easy to clean, and a nice Thermometer although I’d have liked to have seen it somewhere other than the Lid. The Side Burner and the cooking surface are the real stars though. 475 Square Inches of space provides good value for money and the Swing-Away Rack is the icing on the Cake. The Side Burner is more than just a Side Burner. You can actually cook on this with it being 10,000 BTU’s. And there’s Cast Iron Grates on that too, so a real surprise there and a pleasant one. All in all, well worth a purchase. Thank you for reading.