My Commercial Series Char-Broil Grill

I’m a HUGE fan of grilling.  I opened my grill the other day and unfortunately I found that much of the inside of my grill was rusted out.  This seemed strange to me, but after talking with the folks at Char-Broil it turns out that even though it’s “stainless steel” these grills WILL rust.  And it’s not just Char-Broil.  After doing some research it’s basically all stainless steel with the exception of surgical grade steel that will rust.  Of course, if you built a grill out of surgical grade stainless steel it’d cost you about $3,000 for your grill.  In addition to the rust when I turned on the 4th burner I’m hearing the gas flow very loudly which I don’t hear with the other burners.  The fine folks at Char-Broil asked for some photos of the rust so they could determine which parts to replace.

Below are a couple of videos that I shot of my grill as well.  The first talks about the noise that I hear when turning on the 4th burner.

The next video actually captures the flames coming out the front of the grill after the burner had been turned on for a while.

The final video below is after I’d removed the knob… it shows the flames coming through the opening where the knob was.

So far, the folks at Char-Broil have been awesome.  Looking forward to getting replacement parts for my grill and getting it back in perfect working order!

UPDATE 7/8/2013:

So I received my parts from Char-Broil.  All told I needed about $80 worth of parts to get my grill in working order (or so I thought).  They shipped all those parts to me (plus a few that were under a lifetime warranty).  However, once I started taking it apart to replace the parts I realized my grill was in much worse shape that I originally thought.  I ended up shipping the parts back (paying for shipping which sucked) and I’m in the process of getting a new grill.  Bummer for sure, but I’m really looking forward to my new grill!

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  1. I hope that you unpack the parts BOX this summer and don’t wait till fall.

  2. All stainless can rust. Even the highest grades. What really sets them apart though is the amount of iron, chromium, and nickle in the mixture. Most stainless grills are made from “magnetic” stainless. Meaning a magnet will stick to them. This indicates a high level of iron in the metal and a much greater chance of rusting.

    These grills are made out of the cheapest “stainless steel” you will find. Not only that, the reason stainless is “stainless” at all is because the chromium forms an oxidation layer (passivates) that protects the metal. High temperatures and scratches penetrate this layer and allow for the elements to reach the iron and begin the process.

    Some of the Weber grills and maybe a couple other high end manufacturers use better stainless and often you will notice they have stainless exteriors but the burners may be a thicker cast iron.
    Never (my opinion) buy a “stainless” grill from the more budget minded companies as you actually have a greater chance of rusting versus that companies coated/painted versions. Sure, the burners and internals will still rust out but that will happen stainless or not.

    I’ve been down this same road and just threw out an entire “stainless” grill that was rusted out.

    • Thanks for the input Tyler. I was able to get the replacement parts for my grill for around $80 or so. The expensive pieces (including the fire box) have a lifetime warranty. So essentially, I’m getting a new grill for $80 (after I take the time to reassemble it). That said, I don’t know that I’ll ever again buy stainless. They look pretty but if they’re going to rust anyhow it’s just not worth it.

    • Tyler you’re absolutely right about what you said, there’s about two dozen grades of ‘stainless steel’. I have a Charbroil Commercial Infrared and it’s very ‘magnetic’, and turned into a $450 piece of junk in four years. Contrastingly, I have stainless steel ladders in my pool that are thirty years old that are not magnetic and nor do they have any rust on them. As a kid from the ’60’s I grew up with a Charbroil grill on our back porch, it lasted at least twenty years and my pop never covered it either. Charbroil knows people will keep buying these rust buckets if they keep making them (er, if China keeps making them); it’s called ‘planned obsolescence’. Another alternative is to take the grates, the grate trays, and the diffusers to a metal fabricator and have them replicated in a high grade stainless steel.

  3. There are a number of types of stainless steel. Some are better than others as posted by Tyler above. Higher end grills will use better components. Weber is a great grill but since they have been sold to a holding company they have cheapened their materials as well as producing a number of their products in China. A good grill should cook well and last a good number of years. Best bang for your buck in my opinion is the Broil King line. Others are Weber, Napoleon and if you have lots of bucks, Fire Magic. I know other folks that have bought Charbroil and are really really unhappy. They are another company that used to be great and then shipped everything offshore. I would rather pay more for something that works well and I know will last.


    IMO when Charbroil moved its operations offshore ten years ago or so to China, they did so to improve their profit margins but totally sacrificed the quality of the brand. Do yourself a favor and spend half as much on an off brand because you’ll end up throwing the Charbroil out in 3-4 years! I bought an Infared grill and in three years it turned into one big rusty bucket of junk; the grates rusted out, the grate trays rusted out, the side burner rusted out, and the flame diffusers rusted out. Don’t wasted your money!!!!!

  5. Here is what I did to avoid all the above: I took my family’s 25 yer old, cast Iron Charbroil master flame. Spent 200 USD in spare parts and replacements and refinished it like new. I am totally happy with it and look forward to the next 25 years…then I will be 55!
    It is all true what is stated here. Reputable companies ruin their image by downgrading their products to a mere piece of junk. A friend of mine has a commercial series char broil 2 years old, completely rusted away from the inside. A pitty.

    If you don’t want to spend the efforts I did, use your money and buy a napoleon or weber summit. Those are built to last and still support north american jobs

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