5 Stars By George Feist on 2013-07-01
This product is excellent
Get a piece of wire mesh for the bottom. Then get a bag of ceramic brickets and line the bowl with them. This will hold and retain the heat better when you open thee cover.
Second, get a bag of your favorite woodchips and wrap them in aluminum foil and punch it full of holes and put it on the grill 10-15 minutes before you start grilling and you will get a good smoke flavor on your food.
4 Stars By nopotato on 2014-07-08
Very easy to use, almost like charcoal in result, wonderfully even cooking
Very easy to use, simple plug into socket. It does take time to warm up to its maximum say 25 minutes on a warm day. Food is cooked very evenly delivering wonderful results. Grill marks are as good as with gas or charcoal. Franks are wonderfully juicy on inside & crisp with scorchmarks on outside. Burgers also get scorchmarks but not the overall crusty burn . The cost of even cooking is less heat accumulates on the outside of the meat - which is healthier so may be preferred. Though there are tricks such as using a thin layer of marinade.
The heat time is slightly perplexing. It reaches 550 degrees if left empty for 20 - 30 minutes, but once it is open it drops to 350 very quickly and after food is placed inside the gauge rarely goes above 300. It still takes less than 20 minutes to do chicken wings, 7 minutes for franks, 12 minutes for medium done large size burgers. i suppose one can only generate so much heat from a standard 1750 watt electric outlet, so little room to improve capacity.
Dont bother buying a proper cover. Try a large kitchen garbage bag of 30 gallon size. They fit snugly over my grill, & have weathered teh storms over the past few days well. One needs to push the accumulated water out of one sagging part, between the front handle & the frame, but that's it.
In short extremely easy, perhaps a bit longer cooking than id expected, but wonderful food.
4 Stars By OhhWell on 2016-10-20
Probably the best compromise electric grill option for now.
I previously owned the aussie/mecco/easystreet (Many different names, same unit) electric grill. I really loved it for the excellent heat directed at the cooking surface by the aluminum reflecting pan. Unfortunately, I also hated the process of cleaning the grill mostly due to that reflecting plate and a simplistic retention mechanism that was prone to bending. The element fried out on it recently and the company could not provide a replacement. That made me look for an alternative as a replacement.
This looked like a very good option and it was. I will say right off the bat that without that heat reflector, even with an extra 250 watts on the heating element, this does not sear as well or as fast as my prior electric grill. It does the job but it is not the same. This is not a deal breaker for me at all since there are soo many more positives with this grill but I had to say it. It does get up to temperature well BUT once you put the food on it and use it like a grill, you will never see the ambient temperature get anywhere near 550 again. Also, in almost any normal cooking scenario, you will just leave the variable temperature control on max. Lower settings seem only useful for slow cooking or smoking.
The "Tru Infrared" claim is based somewhat on the electric heating element but mostly the triangular slat shape of the cooking surface. It does a good job. Compared to my previous electric grill, this thing is an absolute pleasure to clean. The conical inner heat shield funnels ALL grease and debris to the grease pan. The heating element controller is removable so you can clean it with a hose or low pressure washer. The cooking surface is coated in enamel and cleans up well.
I want to talk about construction of this grill and the assembly process. There were no tools included in the one I received. For me, that was not a problem but I am sure there are people out there who will not have even an adjustable wrench available. Sometimes, the cheap little tools that are usually included in assembly required items like this are a good thought. The grill itself is very well thought out and made. It feels solid and is almost all metal. When I was assembling it however, the towel bar (handle thing just below the controls) fell right out of its bracket. The bracket was not loose, just whatever method they used to secure it failed. I had to disassemble the heating element and lower heat shield, loosen the brackets, wrap electrical tape around the bar and put it all back together.
Based on many complaints about the difficulty of assembly, I expected quite the struggle. People are crazy. This was VERY easy to put together with instructions that break down every step separately with diagrams. You will need a phillips head screw driver and at least an adjustable wrench. If you have a socket set laying around, it will indeed make things even easier. It took me about 30 minutes to put it together and I have assembled gas grills that are WAAAAAY tougher. I guess most people buy those pre-assembled. If you are not capable, I guess you may want to pay someone who is to assemble this thing.
After all that, the important thing I guess is really : how well does it grill? Very well is my answer. I have cooked chicken breast, hot dogs and steak on it so far. Like I mentioned, the intense heat is not there but it does a damn good job. With the chicken breasts, after getting a nice cross hatched sear mark pattern on one side, I picked a breast up with tongs to flip it and when I squezzed a bit too hard, the oils went squting out of one end like a water gun! Excelent retention of moisture and juices. The final result was a great tender and flavorful chicken breast. The steak was very good as well but for me, chicken breast is a serious test of a grill.
I like it and am happy with my purchase. The only thing I wish is that they could engineer some sort of reflection plate similar tot he aussie grill with a smart release mechanism for cleaning.
1 Stars By DPAB on 2016-07-05
I purchased this grill 2 months ago just before we moved into our new home. I have now tried to use it on 3 separate occasions. Each time I try to warm it up, the unit does not work. Only after unplugging it and plugging it in again does it, reluctantly, start to heat up. Jiggling the heat control knob seems to help. I have always loved Char-Broil products, but this is not good. I attempted to return it, but my return window has closed.
5 Stars By 2DayDeliver Customer on 2016-09-19
Enjoying the BBQ
I enjoy grilling on my balcony with this infrared electric grill pretty often now. I am no expert when it comes to grilling, just an average Joe who likes to make good simple food.
In my experience, I like that:
-The surface temperature gets hot (around 550F) once I let it sit on maximum heat for 15 minutes or so. I also add some soaked wood chips with the food.
-Small footprint avoid being intrusive to my balcony space. I simply assembled it and carried it out within 15 minutes of opening the box.
-The grilling area is plenty for enough food for about 3-4 people.
During my few months of usage, something that left room for desire was:
-Once the cover has been opened (briefly), whether to flip a burger or add more meat, the temperature drops quickly and takes some time to heat back up. However, I was not surprised by this and was not a big issue.
Overall, I am satisfied with this purchase and definitely think it was worth my money. Now I can invite friends over for BBQ on the weekends in my apartment!
1 Stars By Offshore on 2016-08-27
Warning, Char-Broil is dumping old inventory so the Patio Bistro you receive will not be the one pictured. Ours arrived with the old fixed electric controller, not with the removable one pictured or described. Also, there were parts missing. Char Broil says they will send them but, until they do, we don't even know if the thing works.
4 Stars By Erik on 2014-05-14
Great fun when it is hot outdoors
I am not a fan of electric barbecues. I used a gas grill for five years and nothing will substitute the convenience of gas for me. Since I now live in an apartment building which only allows electric grills, I came to 2DayDeliver looking for the best option having read the reviews, forming opinions, etc. I had concerns about char-broil due to several negative reviews most of which made good sense. I decided to take a chance (partly due to lack of other options) and now I am glad I did. The installation which most people seemed to find difficult was not as bad, took about 45 mins, I suggest you start by laying down all the pieces on the floor and then follow the instructions. I cooked twice so far, the first time, it did not get very hot (~450 degrees after 40-45 mins probably because it was windy and 50 degrees outside). It felt like it took longer than it should. I cooked steaks, chicken wings and some vegetables. The second time was much better, rising to 450 degrees in 15 mins, I cooked burgers in another 15 mins. The taste is relatively good and juicy so it was a good purchase for my circumstances.
The heat retention could be a problem if you are cooking too many things at a time. The back side has open areas so the unit is not sealed shut. Opening the top cover also shaves a good amount of heat. If cooking only small/medium pieces of meat that are placed right over the heating elements, I don't see a big issue with this. I agree with the other reviewers that it is a big nuisance however especially when feeding a house full of visitors.
5 Stars By MussSyke on 2016-06-27
As good as it gets given the conditions
Bought this for my Sister and her husband, who've turned into suburban Florida dwellers (who live in a condo). The reason this and all other electric grills have some people complaining about not getting hot enough is because it draws nearly 15amps, which is the standard sized circuit most people are stuck with. Therefore, there is no better option in the electric grill market. My sister has no trouble searing a steak with it since the ambient temperature in Florida is generally warm. I think you'd have trouble in a cold state. Looks decent, especially compared to competitor's models.
5 Stars By Robin McNair on 2017-08-28
Love this grill!!
This is one of the best investments since I moved into my condo! I live on the second floor and have a screened balcony. Once I seasoned it with Peanut Oil, it works great. I have been using it for over a year now! If you purchase one be sure to clean the grate with water only. I wipe the grate with some peanut oil every once in a while to keep food from sticking. My food has the same grilled flavor as anything cooked on a gas grill. ENJOY!!!
5 Stars By Nonnie S on 2015-07-12
I use the Teflon mat over the grill and food doesn't fall through but still gets the nice grill marks
Exceeded my expectations. I have had it set up a couple/three weeks (easy assembly) and cooked on it three times. I use the Teflon mat over the grill and food doesn't fall through but still gets the nice grill marks. It is so good having the thermometer dial to indicate how hot the interior is. So far I grilled corn on the cob, huge portobello mushroom burgers and hamburgers. The burgers had the best grilled/charred flavor. For that cooking I had placed a couple spoons of hickory chips into a little bowl I had fashioned using heavy duty aluminum foil. T
he timing of the grilling doesn't have to be exact! I love the easy way I can pull it across the patio and cook foods without having to ask my husband to light up the charcoals. We live in the humid south and using a grill that requires standing by it for long periods of time is an ordeal. With this baby I can be inside while the cooking is going on outside. Honestly, I don't know why I kept this grill in my 2DayDeliver cart for two years before making the plunge. It is a big winner for me.