If you’re a grilling enthusiast, there’s bound to come a day when your current grill just isn’t keeping pace with your needs. For me, that day arrived long ago, which is why I started searching for a four-burner unit to give me more cooking space, as well as greater versatility. That’s when I decided to share this Char Broil Performance 4 Burner review.
Things To Consider Before Buying a 4-Burner Grill
Four-burner grills offer a great deal of cooking space and, therefore, introduce a higher degree versatility to the grilling experience. While they’re obviously a good fit for larger families or people who entertain frequently, you might also consider investing in one of these units if your meals often consist of more than one grilled component.
For example, while burgers and steaks are a no-brainer for the grill, I’ll often make grilled vegetables and/or flatbread as accompaniments. It’s satisfying, therefore, to have enough room on the grill to cook several menu items at once. If you’re a couple or a small family and you don’t use your grill often, or use it only for basics like hot dogs and burgers in the summer, then you probably won’t benefit as much from the extra space.
You should also pay close attention to whether the unit is powered by propane or natural gas. While both are acceptable, propane is generally considered to be more efficient. Make sure you have the proper resources on hand before firing up the burners for the first time.
Key Points to Consider:
- Affordability and value—How much are you willing and able to spend?
- Durability—Are the grill’s components sturdy enough to hold up to frequent use?
- Fuel—Would you be more comfortable with a unit that’s fueled by propane or natural gas?
- Heating capabilities—Do you need a powerful grill that can provide you with enough heat to serve large groups on a regular basis?
- Size—Is there enough available cooking space to suit your needs?
- Additional features and benefits—Which elements are most important, and which extras would you be willing to forego?
Char Broil Performance 4 Burner Review: The Basics
The Char-Broil Performance four-burner unit offers 475 square inches of primary cooking space, and is capable of cranking out 36,000 total BTUs (British thermal units) of heat. It also features a lidded side burner with an output of 10,000 BTUs, as well as an electric ignition switch. Construct is mainly stainless steel, with a porcelain swing-away rack for an additional 175 inches of cooking space.
This grill is constructed of durable stainless steel, and is also available in a black porcelain-coated finish. You can choose from cabinet- or cart-style, depending on preference. The Char-Broil Signature is a slightly upgraded version, with 525 square inches of cooking space, TRU-Infrared technology, and a propane/natural gas conversion kit.
- Affordable price point
- Easy to assemble
- Durable construction on the primary components
- Removable grease tray helps with cleanup
- Unit takes a while to get hot enough for cooking
- Temperature gauge can be quirky
- Some secondary parts (like wheels and handles) are prone to breakage
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Char-Broil Performance (4-Burner): Features & Benefits
In this section, we’ll give you a breakdown of the features that most people look for when they’re shopping for a four-burner grill, with specific information about how well the Char-Broil Performance stands up to the test.
Considering its size, this grill is set at a reasonable price, though you can expect to spend a bit more if you choose to upgrade with the TRU-Infrared option. If you do a side-by-side price comparison with similar models, you’ll find that this is actually one of the lowest-priced alternatives on the market. There’s very little difference in price between the cart-style and cabinet-style offerings, so which one you go with is purely a matter of personal preference.
The lid, handle, and control panel of the Char-Broil Performance are all made of sturdy stainless steel (with a black porcelain finish, if you choose to go that route). The same is true of the doors on the cabinet-style model; the cart-style offers a choice between a stainless steel or black metal base. The cast-iron cooking grates are porcelain-coated, as is the removable grease pan. The unit features two side shelves for storage and prep (one of which converts to a side burner), as well as a swing-away rack that offers additional cooking space.
The electric ignition on this grill is both powerful and reliable, even in less-than-optimal conditions. Note that the starter also requires AA batteries.
The Char-Broil Performance cranks 36,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of heat at full power. While this might be sufficient for most people, it’s considerably lower than what some of the competitors offer in terms of firepower. (To be fair, the side burner offers an additional 10,000 BTUs all on its own.) This means that it burns a disproportionately high amount of fuel for the amount of food you’re able to cook at one time.
When I did a field test to determine whether this grill could handle a quick turnaround for larger gatherings, I was slightly disappointed. The burners don’t heat very quickly, and it’s difficult to get the overall temperature to rise above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re cooking for more than six people, it might be a good idea to stick with pre-cooked foods like bratwurst and hot dogs.
Ease of Assembly
While I haven’t noticed any major problems with wind affecting the flames themselves, I can’t help but wonder whether the poor heat retention could be at least partially weather-related. In any case, I recommend keeping the lid closed while you’re waiting for the grill to reach the desired temperature.
The porcelain coating on the cast iron grill racks makes them relatively easy to clean, but it’s best to remove any debris as soon as possible after cooking. A stiff wire brush (not included with purchase) is a good way to go about the task. The removable grease tray is another plus, as it helps keep the interior free of grime and thereby less prone to flare-ups. To help keep the exterior looking its best, you might want to invest in a grill cover; customized versions are available but not included.
There’s not a great deal about the Char-Broil Performance that makes it stand out from the competition. The fact that one of the side shelves can do double duty as a 10,000 BTU burner is nice, but hardly unique. Other extras like the propane/natural gas converter kit and rotisserie option have to be purchased separately. There aren’t even any hooks for hanging tools.
While the cabinet-style models look more stylish, they don’t offer much additional space, as this area will be largely taken up by the propane tank. Fortunately, the added eye appeal comes at a relatively low cost.
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At Home with the Char-Broil Performance 4-Burner
Despite its shortcomings, the Char-Broil Performance does tend to get more positive than negative feedback. A brief scan of the Web brought up some reviews that gave high marks to the unit as a whole.
Specifically, satisfied consumers mentioned that the construct was high-end and that the unit was easy to put together. Most reviewers—even those who also offer a list of complaints—claim that it offers a good value considering the low price point. Those who upgraded to the Signature, with its TRU-Infrared technology, reported especially good results.
If you’ve read over the list of benefits and features and feel that the Char-Broil Performance might not be the best fit for your grilling needs, fear not. There are many similar models on the current market, and one of them is bound to check off all the boxes on your wish list. Here are a few examples.
#1 Weber Spirit II E-310
Though this Spirit model has three burners instead of four, it offers more cooking space than the Performance—a total of 525 inches. Bonus features include an “infinity” ignition system, six tool hooks, and Glamorizer bars to boost the flavor of your favorite grilled foods. The heat output is slightly lower at 30,000 BTUs total, but this difference is offset somewhat by the fact that the unit is working with just three burners. If you like to use your grill for smoking foods and would appreciate the extra space, this one could be right up your alley. The downside to the Weber Spirit is the price tag.
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#2 Cuisinart CGG-7400
This offering from Cuisinart rocks a grand total of 44,000 BTUs when working at full power, with four powerful burners each capable of cranking 11,000 BTUs each. The unit features 443 square inches of cooking space, along with a warming rack that gives you an additional 167 square inches. Like the Performance, it offers few frills aside from the side tables. It’s the best choice for bargain hunters who don’t mind sacrificing a bit of space for added firepower.
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#3 Monument Grills Clearview
As far as pricing goes, Monument Grills falls somewhere in between the other two alternatives listed here. It’s an attractive four-burner unit with stainless steel construction, porcelain-coated cast iron grids, and 513 square inches of available grilling space, plus a searing burner on one side and an additional burner on the other. One thing I’ve noticed is that the interior of the unit is prone to rusting, so I would recommend investing in a cover if you decide to buy this grill. Another minor criticism involves the setup, which is tricky if you’ve never assembled a grill of this size before.
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How They Compare
- Weber Spirit II E-310—deluxe offering with a lot of cool features and a high price tag
- Cuisinart CGG-7400—high heat with a smaller surface area; a good value option
- Monument Grills Clearview—lots of eye appeal, but more effort required for setup and overall maintenance
Be sure to take a closer look at any and all of these alternatives if they sound like they’d be a good fit for your lifestyle.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a grill, but you need an upgrade from your two-burner model, the Char-Broil Performance should get the job done. Setup is easy, the construction is durable, and it offers a hassle-free ignition system along with a plethora of cooking space. While the heat output isn’t as reliable as it could be, you can easily work around this problem with a bit of advance planning. Click here to learn more about this grill and take the first steps on your next grilling adventure.
Hi there! I’m Darren Wayland, your BBQHost. My love of great barbecue inspired me to curate this site as a resource for all my like-minded fellow pitmasters out there. When I’m not researching and learning all I can about the latest tips and techniques, you can find me at the grill—that is, if you can spot me at all through the clouds of sweet-smelling smoke. And since you asked, yes, that probably is barbecue sauce on my face. Welcome to the party!