Char-Broil Kettleman TRU-Infrared 22.5" Charcoal Grill Reivew

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Experts and consumers alike praise the Char-Broil Kettleman 22.5" Charcoal Grill (starting at $129, Amazon). The infrared technology is rare in charcoal grills, and those who have tried it find it impressive. One Amazon shopper writing a review of this cheap grill says it should be named the "Weber Killer" and prophesies that it will soon beat out that top-rated brand because the infrared technology cooks to perfection, the quality is right up there, and the ease of use is amazing. Consumers reviewing the grill at Lowe's make similar comments.

The experts at AmazingRibs.com are likewise impressed with this cheap charcoal grill. The only complaints they muster: The dampers don't work as well as the ones on the Weber model, and it's a little bit more complicated to save charcoal for next time -- something easily done with a Weber. Reviewers also say the ash tray is a little harder to empty. Other than that, and a few adjustments required when cooking, meats can be seared in a jiffy and users can expect even cooking without hot spots or flare-ups.

Infrared technology in a charcoal grill is all but unheard of, and that's what makes the Char-Broil Kettleman uniquely appealing. Instead of exposing meat to the heat from the charcoal, it has a porcelain-plated steel disc with small slats that allows the meat to sit very close to the heat without burning, releasing drippings, or charring on the outside while leaving the inside rare. The disc retains heat energy and radiates it outward to evenly cook food. It also reduces circulation of drying air, allowing meats to retain their juices. This technology also claims to require less charcoal to heat up because of the fuel's proximity to the grilling surface -- something reviewers note to be true.

Other standout features include the ability to smoke on the grill without buying any adapters, a convenient hinged lid, and a grilling surface that doesn't let food fall through. The slits in the steel disc are so thin that even the smallest pieces of seafood, meat, or vegetables stay put. A manufacturer's warranty covers the firebox and lid for 10 years, the ash pan for five years, and all other parts for two years.

We're impressed with many features in the Char-Broil Kettleman 22.5" Charcoal Kettle Grill, especially the infrared technology. Although critics say this model is not quite ready to unseat the go-to brands in charcoal grilling, we saw very few complaints from users. Give this cheap charcoal grill a try if you're ready for something new and willing to make a few adjustments to your cooking style.

Raechel Conover

Raechel Conover is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Yahoo, blogs, and other websites. She's a self-confessed shopaholic and frugal mom, always scouring the sale and clearance racks for deals and taking full advantage of free community activities and events with her husband and young sons.

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