Charbroil is one the largest and most well known grill manufacturers in the US. They sell dozens of lines of grills, smokers, fryers, and grill accessories. But when the company started as a Columbus Iron Works in 1849 in Columbus, Georgia, they made heavy weapons (such as cannons), even supplying the Confederacy during the Civil War. After the war, they launched the world’s first commercial ice machines in 1872.
In 1925, budding cotton and textile conglomerate W.C. Bradley Co. purchased Columbus Iron Works and re-tasked their new subsidiary with making farm-implements, wood-burning heaters, and wood-burning stoves. In 1948, Columbus Iron Works sold its first cast iron charcoal barbecue grill and re-launched itself as Charbroil.
Today, Charbroil is best known for their gas grills and proprietary TRU-Infrared grills. But they also produce a number of charcoal BBQ options, including the Charbroil Charcoal Table-Top Grill. This small, portable grill looks like and directly competes with the Weber Charcoal Go-Anywhere grill. But when compared with the Weber, the Charbroil Table-Top Grill comes out as cheaper (at nearly half the Weber’s price) but less well made (it’s made with thinner gauge steel and less durable outer coating). The Charbroil also features a larger 187sq in cooking surface compared to the Weber’s 160.
American Alternative Review:
Charbroil has longstanding American roots, starting as Columbus Iron Works in Georgia over 150 years ago. To this day, company headquarters are still located in Columbus. Charbroil’s parent company W.C. Bradley Co. is also headquartered there.
Unfortunately, Charbroil moved all material sourcing and manufacturing to China in 2006. That includes every single part of the Charcoal Table-Top Grill. Then after the grills are assembled, they are shipped to Charbroil’s facility in Columbus, GA, where they are packaged and warehoused for distribution. Charbroil’s design and engineering are still in Columbus, too.
Because of this recent outsourcing, it’s hard to recommend any of their products when other alternatives are available that are more American-made.
The similar Weber Charcoal Go-Anywhere mentioned above is also made in China. Instead, we recommend the portable and cost-effective Weber Smokey Joe, which was designed, engineered, and manufactured in Illinois. You can also check out how the Charbroil Table-Top Grill stacked up against all of the other grills that we reviewed in our Charcoal Grill Category Recap.
If you want to check out the Charbroil Table-Top Grill, the Charbroil website has it for $29.99 (June 2012). You can also check it out at Amazon, where it’s a little more expensive but eligible for free shipping.