I had heard through the grapevine that this was a great little unit. My mate had one and I sampled some turkey that was cooked in this unit at his cookout.
I could not believe how flavorsome & juicy it was with still having such a deliciously crispy skin.
I wondered to myself ‘how could this be?’ From that point on I had to do a Char Broil Tru Infrared review for myself.
The Char Broil Big Easy Smoker is a smoker, roaster, and grill. I couldn’t include it in my top picks as it’s not strictly just a smoker.
It is a great little unit for people who don’t have much space at home. My sister has one on her apartment balcony and loves it.
I tested it out and put it through its paces to see what the big easy had to offer and if I could recreate the delicious turkey I had sampled.. and I’ll tell you what, I was not disappointed.
Let’s start by checking out the main features
Char-Broil The Big Easy Tru-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
Unfortunately not everyone has big backyard!
Sometimes all we have is a little patio out the front or a small balcony out the back. I think the Char Broil Big Easy is perfect for those of you who love the great flavors of BBQ but don’t quite have space for a 4 burner, smoker, or fire pit.
Specifications of the Char Broil Big Easy
- Dimensions (lid closed): 23 x 23 x 36 inches.
- Total Cooking Area: 225 square inches.
- Weight: 50 lbs.
- Main Burner BTU Output: 18,000 BTU rating.
- Temperature Range: 275 – 500 degrees.
- Wheels: No.
- Ignition: Automatic.
What We Liked
- Strong burners. With its 18,000 BTU burners, I keep a consistent temperature throughout the internal cooking drum. I cooked two beer can chickens at a time and they both came to temperature around the same time.
- Infrared cooking system kept our food juicy: The main feature of this all-in-one grill is its infrared heating system. Your food is heated via the inner wall which radiates natural infrared heat. We found that the infrared system keeps the meat juicy and succulent.
- Decent sized wood chip tray: When you smoke with the Big Easy have the option to add wood chips. The wood trip tray holds up to a whopping half a pound of chips. We found that this gave our brisket a similar flavor to when we use our charcoal smoker.
- Great that I didn’t need a water pan: Due to the infrared heating technology, there is no need for a water pan. This means less clean-up and maintenance required. For an easier cleanup line the bottom of the cooking chamber with foil. Less clean-up and maintenance meant I had more time to enjoy meals with my family at end of a cook.
- Easy to move around my yard: Because of its size, weight and the fact that it is propane makes it easy to maneuver. The unit easily fitted in the back of my truck. Perfect for when we went fishing, camping, or just taking over to a friend’s house.
- Good grilling space: We were able to grill over 25lbs of meat on the Big Easy, it was surprisingly had a lot of space and nothing felt cramped about it.
- Able to cook lots of different things: We were able to cook everything from a turkey to a loaf of sourdough bread!
You may have already noticed but I really enjoy cooking beef and pork so I have included two of my favorites recipes, brisket & bacon jerky!
1. How to Make Brisket.
2. How to Make Jerky in the Smoker.
Ease of Setup
This unit only took an hour to assemble and get it going for the first time. It came with a very detailed manual and the directions are very easy to follow.
As per the instructions I would also advise you to season before use. This is essential to this unit and nearly every other grill unit out there.
Ease of Use
Overall this is a really easy unit to use. Once we had ours loaded up with wood chips and preheated, we just placed our meat inside the cage or on the grill.
Note: We did find the wood chip tray is fairly small and according to the manual, you only get 45 mins of smoke out of them.
Fore more on how to use this unit see the Char Broil guide.
Pros and Cons
Big Easy Pros
- No water pan is required.
- Easy to clean.
- Infrared heating system.
- Large wood chip tray.
- Multiple rack space and cooking options.
Big Easy Cons
- Though there is no digital temperature display, the knob does accurately indicate the temperature.
- Some of the screws and other parts don’t fit perfectly, which can slow down the initial set up of the unit.
My Rating of the Char Broil Big Easy Tru-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
This unit is great, especially for people who are short on space but want the options to smoke, grill or roast.
One of my favorite things to cook in this unit is pizza. Once you have used it a few times and seasoned it well you can get a really incredible tasting pizza. As it is a smaller unit that runs fairly hot you can get a crispy pizza in no tie at all. Just remember to get a pizza stone.
Overall Rating: 4.8 / 5
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When do I use the mesh lid?
A: The mesh lid is best used towards the end of the cook to help crisp up your meats skin.
Q: Can I use this smoker in my garage?
A: It is safe to use inside your garage, however, do be sure you have plenty of ventilation.
Q: Do you recommend any similar sized electric smoker?
A: I would recommend checking out the Old Smokey Electric Smoker. It is similar in size and easy to move around.
Q: Can I cook French fries and other deep fried style foods?
A: Yes, you can use this cooker as a healthy alternative to deep frying a whole range of foods.
Q: Can I use sawdust instead of wood chips?
A: No, sawdust is to fine and burns to fast and will not produce much smoke. Wood chips or chunks are definitely the way to go.
Q: Can I convert the Char Broil Big Easy into natural gas?
A: No, I recommend only using 20lb propane tanks with this unit
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