We thought the Char-Broil Performance 500 was one of the best infrared grills at the time we tested it.
If you're looking for a full-size grill that's suited to regular cooking for a large group and that's available at an affordable price, this is a great option to consider. With a cooking area of 500 square inches, this grill has plenty of space to cater for a party and cook a variety of foods. It also features a side burner and warming rack to improve your cooking experience.
Is the Char-Broil Performance 500 the right infrared grill for you? Read on to find out how it fared in our testing.
J D. Chadwick worked at Top Ten Reviews between 2008 and 2018. He was an expert in software and covered everything from antivirus programs, video editing apps, interior design software, power tools and grills in that time. He reviewed the Char-Broil Performance 500 in terms of its performance, features, heat consistency and durability to see whether it stood up alongside the top units on the market.
Char-Broil Performance 500: Features
The Char-Broil Perfomance 500 infrared grill's cooking area 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.
The unit also boasts 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 Performance 500: Cooking experience
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. On the whole, 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 getting your food right without worrying about the grill itself.
Char-Broil Performance 500: Heat consistency
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 7, 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.
Char-Broil Performance 500: Durability
Durability is arguably the one area that the Char-Broil Performance 500 under performed in.
We felt that the grill left a little to be desired in comparison to some of the units. when compared to the other infrared gas grills we reviewed, as it felt a little flimsy, especially for a full-size unit. This surprised us since we were so impressed by the durability and stability of the other Char-Broil models we tested.
Char-Broil Performance 500: Price and warranty
The Char-Broil Performance 500 cost less than $300 at the time we reviewed it. Of all the infrared grills under $500 that we tested, the Char-Broil Performance came out on top.
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.
Overall, the Char-Broil Performance 500 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 what you're paying 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.