The Char-Broil infrared smoker and roaster is an electric smoker and cooker that uses TRU-Infrared as a cooking method. This delivers an even all round cooking temperature to the food’s surface and not to the surrounding air – which can be a major cause of food drying whilst being cooked. We will look at the technology later but for now all we need to know is that it cooks food quickly and evenly and leaves it juicy and tender. Being electrically powered it is clean and efficient and the Char-Broil is ready to go by just plugging it in. The cooker has 15 pre-set temperature settings ranging from 125 to 525 degree Fahrenheit making it suitable for cooking whole chickens and large turkeys as well as the standard briskets and shoulders of Ham. The appliance has digital readouts for food thermometers so you don’t have to disrupt the cooking process by opening the lid to check. The top loading food basket has a capacity of 16 pounds and has a diameter of ten inches and a depth of twelve. For smoking there is a front access smoker drawer where you add flavored wood chips or pellets.
Roasting, grilling and smoking
The Char-Broil is more than a slow and low BBQ cooker it is also capable of roasting, grilling and smoking. Its wide range of preset temperatures means it has the capability to cook quickly as well as slowly. This is not a common feature with other electric smokers and cookers. An example of its capabilities is that it can cook a 16 lb turkey in less than three hours and it will come out crisp on the outside and juicy inside.
How it works
The Char-Broil uses TRU-Infrared technology to cook the food. This works by using natural radiant heat to cook food directly without drying. This is because TRU-infrared grill generate infrared heat which is spread evenly across the entire cooking surface so it cooks food evenly and without drying at pre-set temperatures. The manufacturer claims that the infrared radiant heat sears the meat sealing in the juices and cooks it quickly as it heats only the food not the surrounding air. It certainly cooks the food quickly as infrared radiant grills generate intense heat. This however can be problematic, as intense heat is fine for strong meats but for fish and other meats that require gentle cooking infrared’s intense heating can be too much.
Ease of use
Like all electric smokers and cookers it is quickly and easily working in minutes.
Fast versatile roaster & grill
The Infrared cooking technology enable all sorts of cooking from slow and low BBQ smoking up to quick and fast grilling all done by selecting one of the 15 preset temperature controls.
It has interior meat probe thermometers that provide accurate reading to the front gauges letting you know an accurate reading of the meats internal temperature.
Low amount of smoke
At lower temperatures it can be difficult to generate any smoke as the wood chips and pellets struggle to take hold.
Poor as a smoker
The smoke drawer for the pellets is too small and it is difficult to keep them burning at low slow cooking temperatures.
Not easy to move
Despite the cool touch handles it is not easy to carry this appliance as it is around 44lbs and stands at nearly 30 inches high which makes it awkward to move about as it hasn’t and wheels.
This model is now out of manufacture but there are still support and parts available.
The Char-Broil is a great roaster and grill that excels at both slow and fast cooking. However it does take a lot of practice to get the smoking to work and it is a deficiency. However it is probably unfair asking it to do everything well.