Pros / Spacious cooking area, consistent heat and an affordable price are a hard combination to beat.
Cons / The grill feels a bit cheap, but that’s to be expected at this price point.
Verdict / Full-size infrared grills can cost thousands of dollars, but the Char-Broil Performance can deliver similar results for a fraction of the price.
The Char-Broil Performance costs less than $300 and is perfectly suited for those who regularly grill for a larger group. It’s also the only full-size infrared grill we reviewed. If you want a large grill with infrared capabilities at an affordable price, this is the model to go with.
Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared technology uses metal sear plates below the cooking grates. The Char-Broil Performance's sear plates do a good job of distributing heat around the cooking area. The area itself measures 500 square inches – the largest among the grills in this category – which can comfortably fit 15 burger patties on the stainless steel plates and five on the warming rack.
The Performance has a couple of features not found in most of the other infrared grills we evaluated. For example, it is the only model to include a side burner. This is great for cooking vegetables or simmering other side dishes while your meat cooks, allowing you to serve all your food at the same time. It’s one of only two grills we reviewed to include a warming rack – the other being our best value pick, the Char-Broil Patio Bistro. However, the other models we tested are smaller, or tabletop models, so we don't expect them to have those features.
In our heat consistency tests, the Char-Broil Performance maintained heat well over time. To test heat consistency, we measured the heat of the cooking area at seven, 14 and 21 minutes after ignition. We also timed how long it takes the grill to return to its preheated temperature after the lid has been open for one minute. When we compared this data to the other infrared grills we reviewed, it simply outperformed them all.
We had a great time cooking with this unit and had no complaints in our food tests. It’s a discreet, functional, effective grill that doesn’t get in the way of your cooking and allows you to concentrate on your food rather than the grill itself.
The durability of the Char-Broil Performance leaves a bit to be desired when compared to the other infrared gas grills we reviewed. This surprised us since we were so impressed by the durability and stability of the other Char-Broil models we tested. The construction feels a bit flimsy for a full-size grill.
This infrared grill has a large cabinet underneath the main cooking area. This not only hides the propane tank well, but also offers more space for storing grilling accessories such as utensils, cleaning tools, condiments and more. While this is common among full-size grills, the Performance is the only infrared model we evaluated that has it.
Char-Broil offers a five-year warranty on the burners and a two-year warranty for the lid and firebox, which is standard fare for the company. However, the warranty for all other parts is only one year.
Of all the infrared grills under $500 that we tested, the Char-Broil Performance is the best you can buy. It delivers a top-notch grilling experience, consistent and even heat, powerful burners and a spacious cooking area. It falls down a bit in the quality of construction, but for the price, it’s easier to let that slide. Just make sure you maintain, clean and cover it properly to get as many years out of it as possible.