The first thing to understand about The Big Easy from Char-Broil is it’s far more than just an infrared grill. It’s a smoker roaster that allows you to grill, smoke and roast simultaneously. It’s great for grillers who want to make more than just burgers, chicken and steaks. You can use the roasting basket to cook an entire turkey, a large rack of ribs and even roasts. It’s a comprehensive solution for the serious griller.
It took two members of our lab team more than a couple hours to build this grill. However, once finished, it was a sturdy, solid unit that should last a long time. One gripe we had about the finished product is that it’s difficult to move. It has handles on each side, but unless you have two people, it’s awkward and heavy to move into place.
The grilling portion of this model includes a 180-square-inch cooking grate for regular barbeque staples like burgers, chicken and steak. You can comfortably fit about five burger patties on the cooking area.
The real value of this infrared grill comes in its bottom portion that houses the roasting basket. This can be used for pretty much anything that you can’t fit onto a grill, like a whole turkey, ribs, roasts and more. This is a model for people who are serious about not only barbeque, but every other type of cooking you can do outdoors.
The heat distribution across the main cooking area of this grill isn’t the best, so your meats might come out at different levels of doneness. It puts out about 18,000 Btu to the main cooking area, which makes it the second most powerful infrared grill we reviewed after our top pick, the Char-Broil Performance. To test heat consistency, we measured the temperature periodically during our testing period. Based on that data it scored the lowest among the infrared grills we reviewed, meaning it has a hard time maintaining the same temperature over long periods of time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on it to deliver a great cooking experience. You’ll just have to pay a bit more attention to it than other models in our evaluation.
Char-Broil has a standard warranty for all the grills it sells – five years for the burner and one year for all other parts. This is generally acceptable and more or less the industry standard.
Although it cooks burgers, chicken and steaks well, that’s only half the story with The Big Easy. The other half is the smoker roaster in the bottom of the unit. Anything you want to cook, you can with this unit. It does take some time to put together, and it’s hard to move around, but if you can get past that, it’s a great model with multiple uses that you’ll enjoy cooking with for years to come.