Though the Weber costs slightly more than the Broil King, it's money well spent. First off, the Weber has a better overall build quality and was much easier to assemble. Once put together, the Weber continued its dominance with more even heating across the grate and more consistent temperatures over time. The Broil King did include a rotisserie in the box, though.
This less-than-royal grill includes a rotisserie and a motor to drive it, but also demonstrated disappointing performance.
The warmed up rather slowly for our low fire test: we measured the time to reach our low fire target temperature of 325°F. as 15 minutes and 43 seconds. It was quicker with the high fire test, though: cranking the controls up to full meant that it reached 625°F. in 12 minutes and 21 seconds.
The 490 PRO 976584 LP offers a good range of features—including a rotisserie burner, arm and the motor to automatically drive it—but overall performance was disappointing.
The Char-Broil is less expensive than the Broil King, and offers better overall performance too. Though the Char-Broil had some inconsistent overall temperature readings over time, it still maintained an even grate temperature without hot spots or dead zones. The same can't be said for the Broil King.
The Kenmore and Broil King are evenly matched on price, but not on performance. The Kenmore has a few hot spots, but nothing in comparison to the Broil King's uneven heating surface. Similarly, the Kenmore's temperature stays consistent over time, and the grill itself feels more substantial.
The low temperature cooking performance was somewhat disappointing, with our test burgers taking between 10 minutes 30 seconds and just under 14 minutes. That's a wider spread of times than we like to see, and means that the food will cook at different speeds on the grill.
The propane gas bottle is stored under the grill, with the gas tube leading up into the body of the grill. This grill can only run on propane, but a similar model is available that can use natural gas.
Temperatures weren't uniform across the grilling surface, and also varied widely over time.
The looks great, but it was difficult to build. Poor build quality, misleading instructions and misaligned doors were a dent in this king's crown.
The main cooking area measures 25 by 19 inches, for a total area of 475 square inches. Below the grate are the "Flav-R-Wave" bars, which stop grease from falling into the flames.
Part of the reason for the lackluster cooking performance is the wide range of temperatures across the cooking grate, ranging from under 300 degrees to over 400 in the top right corner.
We also found that the temperature varied significantly over time. We test this by measuring the temperature in 9 locations over a period of 15 minutes, and we found a lot of variation over this time. Again, this would cause issues with the food cooking at different rates.
The warming area is located above the main grilling area, and measures 24.5 by 8 inches, for a total area of 196 square inches.
For our high fire test, we crank the grill up to reach a temperature of around 625°F. On the , we found slightly better, but still disappointing performance. Our test patties cooked quicker than on the low flame setting, but there was still more variation in cooking time among burgers than we like to see.
A food preparation area is on the right side of the grill, and a side burner is on the left. A flat lid fits over this burner, so it can also be used as a food preparation area if the burner is not being used.
The had similar issues with the uniformity of the heat at the high fire setting as it did at the low, with the top right corner of the grill being much hotter than the rest
The cooking grate is in four sections, which makes it easy to take off and clean if required. This is made of cast iron coated with porcelain. A drip tray is also located under the grill, which catches the grease that falls from food. This tray is rather small and awkwardly placed, and the tray in our unit was warped and didn't fit properly.
Rotisserie - This grill comes with a rotisserie burner and a rotisserie kit that can rotate a chicken or turkey. This requires a power connection.
The temperature also varied significantly over time, shifting by nearly a hundred degrees over the 15 minutes of our test.
Fortunately, this high temperature did not extend to the handle used to open the lid: this stayed below 100°F even after an hour of high fire grilling. The lid of the grill did get rather hot, though: we measured the temperature of this at a maximum of 349°F, which is hot enough to cause serious burns.
The image below was taken with an infrared camera to show the heat levels of the lid. The numbers at the bottom indicate the temperature scale.
The output of grills is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour, and Broil King claims the can output up to 50000 BTU/Hr, but we measured the maximum output at 44,578 BTU/Hr, somewhat below the stated amount. We also measured the output at our low fire setting at 15,982 BTU/Hr. At these levels, a typical bottle of propane would last about 27 hours on the low fire setting, and just under 8.5 hours on the high setting.
Meet the tester
Richard Baguley is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
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