I had heard through the grapevine that this was a great little unit. I sampled a turkey that was cooked in this unit a few months back and I could not believe how flavoursome & 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 and see if this little beauty could make such great food.
The Char Broil Big Easy Smoker is a smoker, roaster, and grill all in one. I really do love this unit, however I couldn’t include it in my top picks as it’s not really strictly just a smoker.
I love how they have managed to pack in so many great features and cooking styles in a such a small unit.
It is a really great little unit for people who don’t have much space at home but love having the versatility to cook many different ways without sacrificing great tasting results.
If you want the 3-in-1 experience of a smoker, roaster, and grill, then this model will not disappoint you!
I tested it out and put it through its paces to see what the big easy had to offer, and if I could actually re create the delicious turkey I had sampled.. and I’ll tell you what, I was not disappointed.
Lets start by checking out the main features of the Char Broil Big Easy 3 in 1.
Char-Broil The Big Easy Tru-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
Unfortunately, in today’s world, not everyone has big open spaces, large deck areas or a man cave.
Sometimes all we have is a little patio out the front or a small balcony out the back. 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.
The Big Easy is small, versatile and best of all delivers great tender and juicy results.
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.
Key Features of the Char Broil Big Easy
- 18,000 BTU Burner: The burners have plenty of heat to maintain a consistent temperature for even cooking. The unit seems to 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 Heating System: 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.
- 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.
- No Air Dampers or Water Pans Needed: 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 clean up 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.
- Manoeuvrability: Because of the units size, weight and the fact that it is propane makes it easy to manoeuvre. This is perfect for those who don’t have a very big cooking space or those who like to take their cooking with them. The unit easily fits away ninth e camper, truck or truck. Perfect for fishing, camping or just taking over to a friends house.
- Cooking Racks: The cooking racks comes with 4 different tiers, this allows you to cook several different kinds of meat. The racks are a little small so if you where looking to cook bigger cuts you would be best to make a custom rack.
- Good Grilling Space: We were able to grill over 25lbs of meat on the Big Easy, it was surprisingly large space and nothing felt cramped about it. It is a perfect size for turkey, pork butt, chicken and ribs.
- Versatility: Because this is a 3-in-1 cooker, you get amazing versatility. You can smoke, grill and cook in this unit. The unit can achieve and maintain such good temperatures that you can even bake a loaf of sourdough bread inside!
- Grease Tray: The grease tray is easy to remove and clean. Simply wait for the unit to cook down, remove and dispose. If you want easier clean up I would recommend lining the grease tray and the bottom of the cooking chamber.
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 Char Broil Big Easy Smoker manual and the directions are very easy to follow.
It shouldn’t take you longer than a half hour or so. 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 you have loaded up your wood chips and pre heated, place your selected meat inside the cage or on the grill and your off.
The unit The wood chip tray is fairly small and according to the manual you only get 45 mins of smoke out of them. Realistically this is more like 30 minutes. It is a little frustrating to change the wood chip mid smoke and it is usually best to just proceed without a second (3rd or 4th) load.
You don’t get the most incredibly smokey flavour for this reason, however, with the right seasoning and preparation you can still come away with a great moist result.
Fore more on how to use this unit see the Char Broil guide.
Pros and Cons of the Char Broil Big Easy 3 in 1
Big Easy Pros
- No water pan 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 Overall Thoughts and Rating of the Char Broil Big Easy Tru-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
The Char-Broil Big Easy Tru-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill is a good product in terms of producing quality food. This unit is especially for people who are short on space and don’t want to be restricted & have the options to smoke, grill or roast.
Overall it is a fast cooking unit that gives you a lot of flavour and a surprisingly delicious tender and juicy meats when smoking.
One of my favourite 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.
This is a great smoker and may have made top 3 if it had an overall larger grill area and was a dedicated smoker.
4.8 / 5 Stars
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