You’ll be excused a suspiciously raised eyebrow to see a 4-burner gas grill in a price range where the best you can otherwise hope for is a medium-sized one- or two-burner portable grill. It may sound like madness, but that’s exactly what you get with the Char-Broil 4-Burner Gas Grill (Char-Broil T480).
So, has Char-Broil delivered a good product, or have they sacrificed too much to deliver it so cheaply? Let’s have a look.
Char-Broil 4-Burner Gas Grill Features
This is a really feature-rich gas grill. You get pretty much everything you need. Here’s a short summary:
– 480 sq. inch primary cooking surface
– 205 sq. inch warming rack
– 685 sq. inch total cooking space
– 4 stainless steel burners puts out 48,000 BTU
– 10,000 BTU side burner
– porcelain-coated stamped steel grates
– electronic ignition
– metal side shelves
– two 8-inch wheels
That’s a lot of space, a lot of heat and a lot of features for the price.
Assembly of the Char-Broil 4-burner grill is not too difficult. You can get it done with just a screwdriver. Some of the instructions are confusing and it helps to be up to date with grill terminology such as “fascia” and “manifold”. Part names in the assembly instructions don’t always match the names in the parts list.
Still, while it can be a little frustrating it is not a nightmare assembly. With more attention to detail in the assembly instructions from Char-Broil, it would have been even easier. Some of the screws are difficult to get in due to their location, but in the end you should have this up and running in about 45 – 90 minutes.
Now, here’s where my expectations for a grill of this size at this price point were matched. The grill features a very lightweight construction of mostly powder coated steel. The burners are stainless steel (430 grade), so too the lid. These are the two parts that will last the longest.
The rest of it will take a lot of maintenance to push beyond a 2 to 3 year lifespan. Many buyers report rust in as little as a year. While you can allow somewhat for neglect and poor maintenance, this doesn’t come as a big surprise considering what the grill is made of.
Still, you can’t expect heavy duty construction at this price point. If you want cheap, be ready to compromise.
With 4 burners pushing through 48,000 BTU, you’d expect this grill to heat up fast and get really hot. You’d be right. You can push this grill right up to 650 degrees.
Fortunately, having 4 burners you can control separately gives you a lot of control over the heat distribution. I also wouldn’t run this grill that hot all the time as it will place the already lightweight construction under additional stress. You’ll seldom use the burners on high, unless you want to burn everything to a crisp.
You have a lot of space to cook on this grill. The four burners give you plenty of control over the heat, and you can spread it around fairly evenly: reduce it in areas where you want to cook something a little slower while cranking it up in the areas you want more heat. As mentioned, the grill gets hot and searing steaks is no problem.
The side burner doesn’t put out a lot of heat, but stick on a saucepan with some onions in it and you’ll get them done, so it’s helpful to have.
The cooking grates aren’t the best. Thick porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates would have produced better better results. The grill is flimsy. You can shake it a bit and it will clang and rattle accordingly. Rust and corrosion will be a problem.
Tool hooks would have been nice and surely not a huge expense to add. Although you have 4 burners to control, the control knobs aren’t very precise so expect a little frustration in getting just the right amount of flame on each.
Opinion is divided on this grill. Some label it a piece of junk, others are happy with it. Here are some user comments, both good and bad.
“Despite the issues I had with the assembly, I am very pleased with this grill and even more pleased with Char Broil’s customer service. If I ever need another grill, I will definitely consider Char Broil again, and I do recommend the Char Broil T480 to anyone needing a grill now.” Jennifer Ray, Amazon Verified Purchase
“Temperature control is good enough but could be better. Expect a 2 to 3 years usage as long as you cover when it’s wet and uncover when it’s not. [Covered grills will still retain moisture and rust]. Good for fast cooks from sausages to hamburger to chicken parts. Hard to cook with indirect heat.” Frank M. Daigle, Amazon Verified Purchase
“I would have given it one star because of the shoddy construction, but because I do get great meals from it, I gave it two stars. But this will be my last charbroil product. They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a poorly constructed and unstable barbeque out to the retail market.” Lake4Work, Amazon Video Review
Char-Broil T480 4-Burner Gas Grill Ratings
Amazon: 3.6 out of 5
About.com: 3 out of 5
Approval Ratio: 68%
There are no higher quality alternative 4-burner grills in this immediate price range. At about $100 – $150 extra the much sturdier Dyna-Glo Bronze 4-Burner is worth a look though.
The Char-Broil T480 4-Burner gas grill typically finds itself in the $200 – $280 price range. For this you get a lot of cooking space, a lot of heat and a lot of features. However, you also get flimsy, rust-prone construction.
As a gas grill, the T480 does what a 4-burner should. It grills a lot of food at once. Not as good as some, but not as bad either.
If you can live with the fact that it will likely only last you 2 years, maybe 3 in a dry climate, and that’s acceptable to you for the price you’re paying then go for it. Keep in mind that flimsy construction and lightweight parts can lead to all sorts of unforeseen problems and erratic performance, which is part of the reason why opinion is so divided on this grill.