Charbroil 600-Series American Gourmet Charcoal Grill Review

12 Jul

Charbroil American Gourmet Charcoal Grill

Product Description:

As we noted in our earlier review of the Charbroil Table-Top Grill, Charbroil is one the largest and most well-known grill manufacturers in the US. They sell dozens of lines of grills, smokers, fryers, and grill accessories. But when the company started as a Columbus Iron Works in 1849 in Columbus, Georgia, they made heavy weapons (such as cannons), even supplying the Confederacy during the Civil War. After the war, they launched the world’s first commercial ice machines in 1872.

In 1925, budding cotton and textile conglomerate W.C. Bradley Co. purchased Columbus Iron Works and re-tasked their new subsidiary with making farm-implements, wood-burning heaters, and wood-burning stoves. In 1948, Columbus Iron Works sold its first cast iron charcoal barbecue grill and re-launched itself as Charbroil.

Today, Charbroil is best known for their gas grills and proprietary TRU-Infrared grills. But they also produce a number of charcoal BBQ options including the American Gourmet Charcoal Grill. It has a large 435 sq in cast-iron primary cooking surface, 188 sq in steel secondary cooking surface, a built-in thermometer, shelves, an adjustable damper, and a removable ash pan. All in all, the American Gourmet is Charbroil’s basic full-sized charcoal grill, and it’s size/features compete directly with the previously reviewed Weber One-Touch Platinum and the Char-Griller Wrangler.

American Alternative Review:

Charbroil has longstanding American roots, starting as Columbus Iron Works in Georgia over 150 years ago. To this day, company headquarters are still in Columbus. Charbroil’s parent company W.C. Bradley Co. is also headquartered there.

Unfortunately, Charbroil moved all material sourcing and manufacturing to China in 2006. That includes every single part of the American Gourmet Charcoal Grill.  After the grills are assembled, they are shipped to Charbroil’s facility in Columbus, GA, where they are packaged and warehoused for distribution. Charbroil’s design and engineering are still in Columbus, too.

Because of this recent manufacturing and assembly outsourcing, it’s hard to recommend any Charbroil products when other alternatives are available that are more American-made.

1.5/5 stars

The Weber One-Touch Platinum is one of those good American-made alternatives.  It has similar features, including a similarly sized cooking surface (the cooking grate is steel instead of cast iron though), a built-in thermometer, shelves, an adjustable damper, and a removable ash pan (+ patented One-Touch cleaning system).

Unfortunately, the Weber grill costs nearly twice as much, so if you’re budget constrained you might also want to check out one of the less-featured Weber One-Touch Kettles such as the Silver or Gold models (all of them are designed, engineered and principally manufactured in Illinois).  And you can also check out how the American Gourmet Charcoal Grill stacked up against all of the other grills that we reviewed in our Charcoal Grill Category Recap.

Or you can stick with the Charbroil American Gourmet Charcoal Grill, which you can check out here on Amazon.  It is also available on the Charbroil website.  Both places have it currently listed at the same price (129.99 as of July 2012), but Amazon offers free shipping.

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