Commonly found in restaurants and made by Vollrath, Garland, Star, Imperial Range, and others but available in consumer models as well, a char broiler results in meats and other foods that are slightly burnt or charred. Rather than detract from the flavor of the food, char broiling actually gives it a unique, smoky quality. Restaurants that specialize in burgers often use char broilers. Home models closely resemble a backyard grill and make a good alternative to a standard barbecue.
Char broilers found on the consumer market are commonly constructed out of a combination of stainless and painted steel. The grill itself is built out of rugged cast iron, sometimes coated with nonstick porcelain. Large, durable fold-down shelves provide ample space for setting meat to be prepared or utensils. For fuel, select units are designed to burn wood chips, while others are propane or natural gas-powered. Dual fuel/convertible models are available.
Char broilers utilize an efficient infrared heating method that penetrates food quickly and thoroughly. Full thermostatic control gives users the option of slow rotisserie cooking or faster grilling. Great for steaks, the high heat output sears the outside while leaving the inside tender and juicy. Cooking surface size varies, but anywhere from 450 to 700 square inches is common. Home units cost around $300 to $400.