This budget friendly grill is a cookout centerpiece

This budget-friendly grill is a cookout centerpiece

Grilling season is upon us, and there are dozens of options out there if you’re in the market for a new grill. We tested four gas grills at the ClearTips Smart Home. I spent the better part of two weeks grilling on the Char-Broil Performance XL. This five-burner grill offers a lot for the money. It looks good, performs well, and at $299, it was the cheapest grill we tested. I recommend the Char-Broil Performance XL to beginners and grillmasters alike.

Read: What Kind of Grill Should You Buy?


The Char-Broil Performance XL is a well-priced five-burner option for beginners and season grillers alike.

Chris Monroe / ClearTips


The Char-Broil Performance XL sports a classic look with stainless steel design and black detailing. The grill grates atop five stainless steel burners are made of rust-resistant porcelain-coated cast iron. A temperature gauge on the lid displays the internal temperature of the grill. The double-door cabinet below the grille houses a liquid propane tank and grease collection tray. This grill uses a standard, 20-pound liquid propane tank, and cannot be converted to use natural gas.


The Char-Broil Performance XL is a five-burner gas grill with porcelain-coated cast iron grates.

Chris Monroe / ClearTips

The Char-Broil Performance XL includes a convenient side burner for heating side dishes or sauces. Char-Broil warns that using side burners with pots larger than 6 quarts may exceed the weight limit of the burner shelf. A full 6-quart pot is huge, so I expect most people won’t be inconvenienced by the weight restrictions.

I have a few issues with the design of this grill. Knob controls can feel more robust. The quality isn’t entirely lacking, but there’s no indicator for the medium heat setting, unlike other grills we’ve tested. It’s also a little easier to turn the burner back on to the previous high and turn it off completely. Other grills we tested such as the Broil King Baron S520 had a nice, strong catch point preventing the knob from moving beyond its highest setting. The Char-Broil Performance XL also doesn’t offer a tool rack of any kind like the ones we saw Weber Spirit II E-310 And the Broil King Baron S520 we tested.

Our Labs Manager, Steve, assembles the Char-Broil Performance XL.

Chris Monroe / ClearTips

Barring minor design complaints, I enjoyed cooking on the Performance XL. The temperature gauge makes it easy to monitor the low heat and long cooking times for dishes like ribs and chicken, and because the grill has five burners, you can choose two-on, three-off or three-on, two-off. configuration can be selected. indirect heat.

how we tested

We tested our grill by cooking chicken, ribs, and burgers. This allowed us to compare indirect medium, indirect low and direct high heat grilling conditions across all four grills. The temperature probes involved in the test are inserted into each piece of meat (two for the chicken, one in each breast) and connected to a datalogger and computer program to monitor the temperature in real time. For the chicken, we needed a food-safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. The target temperature for burgers and ribs was 145 degrees. Once each piece of meat on the grill reached its food-safe temperature, we removed the meat, logged the time, and let it rest before giving it an old-fashioned taste test. Here’s How It Fared With the Char-Broil Performance XL


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