WASHINGTON, May 14, 2016 – Char-Broil has been a respected name in backyard grilling for the past half of a century bringing the U.S. some great grills to feed a national obsession for cooking outdoors. And they have done it again with the Char-Broil Gas2Coal grill, a grill that is as cute as can be, small enough to fire up for two but large enough for entertaining.
This hybrid grill puts gas jets below the charcoal tray making it super easy to get the coals hot without having to spend time in a cloud of smoke. As the family grill master this may be the largest selling point of the hybrid grill – the lack of the dense smoke cloud permeating my hair, skin and clothes as I try to get the coals to ignite without adding the flavor of lighter fluids to our grilling.
All this means that grilling during the week is now an option to heating up the kitchen, particularly with the warmer summer days in the near future.
When first working with the grill, using lump charcoal, the heat was much to hot for the grill’s design that places the charcoal just below the grates. At first, I found this to be a flaw however the learning curve ensued and following instructions given by Char-Broil’s great customer assistance, a single layer of charcoal briquettes (non-lighter fluid infused) is easily started with the gas.
With this grill’s design, arrange your charcoal, ignite with the gas and when you start to see the coals burn, close the grill hood.
It won’t take more than ten to fifteen minutes, or so, for the coal to catch and your grill to be ready. Once the coals are burning, turn off the gas. Charcoal produces a high heat and though you are using a hybrid, you do not have sides dampers that you can adjust air flow, and temperature, with. You may need to consider this when grilling, particularly items that are delicate, like fish, vegetables or lamb.
I strongly suggest that the first few times you use the grill, you do not put the grates on the grill until you get the charcoal lit, making it easier to add more charcoal if necessary.
Let’s consider this single layer of briquettes. If you consider a traditional grill, a “pile” of charcoal is started on the grate, or in the chimney, creating a super hot heat that burns through the charcoal. With the Gas2Coal grill, cooks will find themselves using far less charcoal than a traditional grill.
The grill design also allows briquettes to be placed in the side rails, but not in the center for cooking vegetables or fish that you do not want a direct heat on. However, you can have the side coals for flavor, and use the gas to maintain steady heat.
Resting just below the grate, and meat, that single layer of charcoal does do the job, creating a heat hot enough to sear steaks or finish ribs. It is, however, a hot and quick heat and may not work for items you want to slow cook.
However, remember the gas is there, just in case you need a little extra heat to finish your grilling.
The Gas2Coal grill is perfect for fast searing and finishing of meats versus slow cooking or smoking, however with practice we found that fast searing our proteins over the charcoal and them moving to the other side, where using gas we finished our steaks and bar-b-qued chicken to our preferred temperature.
Grill features include a gas burner on the left for keeping sauces warm or cooking side dishes as well as a table on the right resting plates or utensils. The only complaints with the grill, once I mastered the behavior and heat control of the charcoal is the lack of utensil hooks and a usable shelf in the front of the grill.
There is a shelf, but the opening is narrow and if the grill is hot, it should not be used for storing plates during cooking.
For a complete grilling experience, pair the Char-Broil Gas2Coal grill with GrillGrates.
GrillGrates are interlocking rectangles that sit on the grill’s grates, turning the heat of the grill into an “infrared”, or radiant, heat increasing the temperature of the grill. The grates feature holes allowing smoke flavor to permeate your meat but preventing flare ups, which can dry out, if not burn your dinner.
Each interlocking grate is a little more than five inches wide with five raised rails that trap juices, and flavor that heats up and returns to your meat.
Made of an aluminum alloy, the grates distribute the heat evenly. Turn grill grates over to create a flat surface for smaller foods that would fall between the grates, fish, or for those who like pizza on the grill.
Combined with the Gas2Coal grill, it may be the perfect grilling set up the weekend, or weekday, grill master.