Char-broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill

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Setup Process: Assembly Required But Not Difficult

Char-Broil Patio Bistro 240 Electric Grill

After unboxing and laying out the parts, the assembly took a bit over an hour and required just a few common tools. The instructions relied heavily on drawings, with text for a few trickier steps.

To make things even easier, the parts themselves sometimes had L or R indicating the left or right side of the grill, or A/B designations to ensure the parts connected correctly. The screws, washers, and other small parts came in a blister pack labeled with the parts letter and the quantity included, making them easy to identify. However, since the packaging didnt specify the actual names of the various screws and bolts, it would have made it harder to purchase replacement parts if they vanished during assembly.

The grill came with a sticker on the front bottom, which we left in place during assembly. When we decided to remove the sticker after assembly, the double-stick tape that held it onto the grill was difficult to remove. It would have been much easier had we decided to remove the sticker before assembly, since we could have soaked then washed the part in the sink to remove the residue. Scrubbing off that adhesive was perhaps the hardest part of the assembly.

Setup for cooking is effortless. We simply plugged it in, turned the dial to set the temperature, and let the grill preheat before adding the food.

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Features: Warming Rack And Illuminated Knob

This is a fairly straightforward grill with one heating element that curves around to heat the entire grilling surface. With just one heating element, theres no option for different grilling temperatures, but the warming rack above the grill does give another heat option.

We used the warming rack both for warming buns for sausages and for resting a steak while we finished cooking the vegetables. The warming rack is a bit small, which means it can be left in place during cooking and it wont get in the way, but it may not be sufficient for burger buns for the whole family without some strategic stacking.

The control knob has markings for off and temperature settings from 1-5. A light around the knob illuminates as soon as you turn the grill on. While its not super bright, it can be seen from a reasonable distance, so we were able to look back to make sure the grill was off as we were heading away with our dinner. That light also makes it easier to see the grill temperature when grilling after dark.

Check out our guide to the best grilling accessories.

Why Does The Circuit Breaker Trip

It can be incredibly frustrating if your circuit breaker trips, regardless of the situation. At the same time, this is a very important safety measure. You need to make sure you understand why your circuit breaker is tripping so you can keep yourself and your appliances safe from harm.

The goal of a circuit breaker is to cut power to a certain degree of the house if that area is being overloaded. If you have too much electricity flowing through a certain area, there is a chance that the electricity could overload the appliances, permanently damaging them. There are also situations where an electrical fire could start.

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If your grill is tripping circuit breaker, this is a sign that something is wrong with the electrical system. Your circuit breaker is tripping to prevent something from being overloaded. You simply have to figure out what the problem is and address it. Now, lets take a closer look at some of the reasons why your grill might be tripping the circuit breaker.

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Cleaning: Not Much Effort Required

The two major areas that need cleaning are the cooking grate and the grease tray. The suggested method for cleaning the grill is to turn the heat to high for 15 minutes to burn off any food stuck to the grates, then use a brush to take care of the residue, much like any other grill. However, since the grate isnt overly large or heavy, it can also be washed in the kitchen sink, and the porcelain coating made it easy to clean with just dish soap, hot water, and a scrubbie sponge. The grease tray can also be removed and cleaned in the sink, along with the warming rack, if it was used. The interior of the base and lid can be wiped clean when needed. More thorough cleaning would be wise at the end of the cooking season, before storing it for the winter.

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Fix A Grill That Keeps Tripping


These are just a few of the most common reasons why your grill might be tripping. There is a chance that you might be overloading the circuit if you have too many appliances plugged into the same location. There is also a chance that there could be a short circuit somewhere that must be addressed. You may also have a problem with your circuit breaker box that has to be handled, and there is a possibility that something could be wrong with the wiring in your grill.

If you troubleshoot all of these problems and you still have not figured out why your grill is not working properly, you might want to reach out to a professional who can help you. That way, you can figure out if one of the parts has to be replaced. You might also be better off replacing the entire grill if your grill is old.

Even though you may feel like you can address a lot of these issues on your own, remember that you need to reach out to a professional if you are concerned about your safety. Unless you have a lot of experience working with wires, this is probably something that is better left to a professional with proper training.

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There Are Too Many Appliances On The Same Circuit

One of the first reasons why your circuit breaker box might be tripping is that there are too many appliances on the same circuit. You need to take a look at the breaker box and figure out what circuit your grill is plugged into. Ideally, your circuit breaker box should be clearly labeled, showing which circuit breaker corresponds to which area of the house.

Then, you need to take a look at the other appliances that have been plugged into that area of your home. Is the list of appliances long? Are there a lot of appliances that are in the same area? If so, there is a chance that there could be too many items plugged into the same circuit.

If you would like to use your grill without the circuit breaker box tripping, then you may need to unplug some of these other appliances. Or, you may need to plug your grill into a different area of the home. Try these solutions and see if they get your grill to work properly. If they do, you have found the problem.

Performance: Surprising Smoky Flavor

The Char-Broil 240 Patio Bistro Electric Grill packs plenty of functions, from high-heat searing to low-and-slow cookingand we found it very easy to use. The grill tackled every task we threw at it, from warming tortillas and grilling steak and sausages to cooking vegetables and charring red peppers to peel. While it isnt huge, we had enough space to toast a half-dozen tortillas, and we could have fit a few more if we let them overlap just a bit.

The brands infrared cooking system provides easily controllable heat while limiting hot air, which can dry out the food. When cooking fatty foods, we noticed just a few small flare-ups below the cooking grates as fat directly hit the heating element. Most of the time, though, we saw tasty smoke rather than flame.

While smoking isnt something youd think of when using an electric grill, the Char-Broil makes it possible, creating smoky flavor from juices hitting the heating element.

We enjoyed experimenting with smoking a few different foods, including salt, but we couldnt get the temperature low enough to attempt smoking cheese.

Still not enough smoke? You can also use it as a smoker by placing wood chips on the free spaces of the grill grates. While its not quite the same as a dedicated smoker, we thought this grill worked surprisingly well because the smoke is closer to the food, its a very efficient system.

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

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Competition: Go With Char

The George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grillcosts about half as much as the Char-Broil grill, and it has one distinct advantage besides the price: It can be used indoors, while the Char-Broil is outdoor-only. While thats something to consider, the Foreman grill is also rather large for a kitchen appliance, and the cooking experience is more akin to using a grill pan than an outdoor grill.

In terms of flavor, the Char-Broil comes closer to outdoor gas grills. At not quite twice the price, the Weber Spirit II E-210 Gas Grill offers about twice the cooking space, two temperature zones, and propane grilling, which wont tie you to an electric outlet. Weber has a great name when it comes to building grills, and this one is no exception. We would happily recommend this grill to anyone who prefers propane. However, if live fire is not possible, and if this grill is too large for the space available, the Char-Grill is a great performer in a compact size.

Great performance, great flavor

While charcoal grilling is a lot of fun and offers unique flavor, we have to give kudos to this electric grill for its ease of use, affordable price, and great performance. There might be a short learning curve when switching from charcoal or gas grilling to electric grilling, but we found that controlling this device was pretty intuitive. In fact, it was no more difficult than using a grill pan on the stove. The fact that it can be used for smoking is simply the cherry on top.

There Is A Problem With The Wiring In The Grill

NEW Char-Broil Patio Bistro Electric Grill

Finally, it is also possible that there is a problem with the wiring in your grill. If there is a problem with the wiring in the grill, then there may be too much power flowing through the grill itself. The circuit breaker box detects if there is a problem, causing it to trip.

There is an easy way for you to figure out if the problem is your grill or if there is a serious problem with your circuit. First, unplug your grill. Then, plug in another appliance. If the other appliance works well, this is a sign that something is wrong with your grill.

If you would like to take a closer look at your grill, you need to pull out the manual to figure out where the wiring is located. Then, take a look at the components of your grill and see if there is something wrong. If your grill is particularly old, then there is a good chance there is something wrong with the wiring. If you have a new grill, and you are convinced something is wrong with the wiring, you may be able to get the grill replaced if it is still under warranty.You should take a look at your manual to learn more.

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These are just a few of the many reasons why your drill might be causing the circuit breaker box to trip. At the same time, you might be wondering if you need to call an electrician to help you with this. When is it a smart move to call an electrician for help?

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Portability And Storage: Compact But A Bit Awkward To Move

The side tables are a generous size. Theyre very sturdy when extended, and they fold down neatly and easily when theyre not needed, so the grill is actually pretty compact when not in use. A shelf under the grill gives a convenient space for storing supplies when you tuck the grill away at the end of the season.

One small quibble is that the back legs have large wheels, but theres no perfect hand-grip for lifting the front legs off the ground.

At the back of the grill, a cord wrap keeps the power cord out of the way when the grill is not in use. This means you wont be dragging it on the ground or tripping over it when you move the grill across the deck or into storage.

One small quibble is that the back legs have large wheels, but theres no perfect hand-grip for lifting the front legs off the ground. Without a handle for easy lifting, it was a bit awkward to move the grill, particularly when we weren’t moving in a completely straight line.

The grill should be stored in a dry location, which might be inconvenient depending on how far your storage area is from your favorite grilling spot.

Take a peek at our guide to the best small grills.

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

There Is A Problem With The Breaker Box

It is entirely possible that there may not be a problem with your grill or your other appliances. There could be a problem with the breaker box.You should start by unplugging your grill. Then, see if you can get the other appliances to work appropriately. You may also want to try moving appliances around to see if they still work. If there are multiple areas in your home that are tripping the circuit breaker box, there is probably a problem with the breaker itself.

Unless you are an electrician, you do not want to mess with the breaker box on your own. Instead, you should You might be tempted to hold the circuit breaker box open if you are convinced the problem is with the breaker however, this is a serious safety hazard and you should never do this. Instead, you need to call a professional who can come and take a look at the circuit breaker box for you.

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Design: Built For Function

This grill looks like an outdoor grill, with the typical stand, wheels, shelf, and side tables, so the first impression is that its a real grill and not a kitchen appliance moved outdoors.

Three notches on the front of the grill grate must be placed over the connection of the heating element for a proper fit. If this isnt done, the grates will wobble, so its pretty obvious when the grate is positioned properly.

The placement of the thermometer on top of the grill isnt optimum for viewing, but isnt a deal breaker. This grill doesnt have a top vent, so the smoke vents around the bottom of the lid during cooking. The lid gets quite hot, but the large handle is far enough from the surface of the lid, so it wasnt risky to grab it without an oven mitt.

Because of the smoke this grill creates during cooking, it shouldnt be used indoors, but we would feel comfortable using it below an outdoor overhang to protect the cook from too-sunny weather.

While its not quite the same as a dedicated smoker, we thought this grill worked surprisingly well because the smoke is closer to the food, its a very efficient system.

When we cooked asparagus, one slipped sideways into one of those valleys, but since it couldnt slip through, we were able to save it from fiery destruction. While smoking, all but the tiniest chips stayed on top of the grill where they belonged.

Read our guide to the best charcoal grills.

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

When Do I Call An Electrician


Everyone has a slightly different threshold for when it is time to call an electrician. If you have gone through the various tips above, and you are still having a difficult time figuring out why your grill is not working, then you need to call an electrician. Electricity is dangerous, and you need to put your safety first every time you work with one of your appliances.

If you have experience working with wires, then you may feel comfortable doing some of this on your own. If you are going to work with electricity, you need to make sure the power is disconnected before you go to work. Then, you need to make sure you wear goggles and gloves to protect yourself against sparks and electricity.

The most important thing you have to remember is that you should never work on something if you do not feel comfortable. If you have any questions or concerns when you are working with your circuit breaker, the wiring in your grill, or your individual circuits, you need to call an electrician who can help you. That way, you can minimize your chances of being injured, and you do not have to worry about damaging other appliances that might be plugged in.

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There Is A Short Circuit Somewhere

Another possible reason why your grill might be tripping the breaker box is that there is a short circuit somewhere. What this means is that power is moving too quickly through certain areas of your home. This means the circuit breaker box is detecting too much power, causing it to trip.

A short circuit can be dangerous, and you do not want to hold the circuit breaker box open. Instead, you need to figure out why the short circuit is taking place. Usually, there is an unintended contact of components somewhere. Or, there could be an accidental diversion of the circuit. If you hold the circuit breaker box open with a short circuit, you could start an electrical fire.

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If you are concerned there is a short circuit somewhere in your home, you need to call an electrician who can come and help you. That way, you can figure out what the problem is before you try to use devices on that circuit again.

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