Char Griller 3001 Review: Unusually Powerful Budget Gasser

Black Char-griller E3001 Grilling Pro on a pink backdrop

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Welcome to my Char-Griller 3001 review.

Though low-cost, the 3001 is quite powerful. It also has all the necessary features that provide you a complete outdoor cooking experience. You’ll be surprised by its performance.

And with that, let’s get into the details.

Unboxing

Char-griller is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The company is well-known for making BBQs at an affordable price range. They manufactured charcoal grills and smokers for years before making and selling gas grills.

The Grillin’ Pro E3001 is one of Char-griller’s popular economical gassers. 

It takes the barrel shape of a typical charcoal grill with two chimneys on the hood. Then add three powerful burners, a grease removal system, and a few vent holes in the bottom. What you end up with is a unique looking gas grill.

Keep in mind that there is another identical model to the E3001 — the E3072. They both function similarly, with the same body and internal parts. The only differences between them are the turning knobs and the lid handle. Additionally, the E3001 has square edges whereas the E3072 features more rounded ones.

Specs

Dimensions49″ L x 28″ W x 49″ H
Weight92 lbs
Fuelliquid propane (natural gas conversion not recommended)
Main Cooking Area428 square inches
Warming Rack192 square inches
Total Cooking Area630 square inches
# Of Burners4 (3 main & 1 side)
Main Burners’ BTU Rating40800 (13600 each)
Side Burner’s BTU Rating12000 (lidded)
Total BTU Rating52800
Ignition Systemsingle electronic (use 1 AA battery)
Side Shelvesyes
Built-in Thermometeryes
Materialpowder-coated steel
Grease Removal Systemyes
Wheels2 large plastic wheels

Who Is It For?

The Char Griller 3001 is a great choice for an empty nester couple or a family of three. It even has enough cooking space to handle a small gathering on the weekend.

The grill is no Weber. But it’s functional and will get the job done. It also comes at an affordable price for those who are buying on a budget. You usually get what you pay for, but that’s not the case with the 3001. You will get a lot of bang for every buck you spend.

Seriously, the 3001 is a damn good gasser for the money. Thinking of checking it out? Here’s a convenient link for you.

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Char-griller 3001 Grillin’ Pro Review

Design & Construction

Design

As I mentioned earlier, the design of the E3001 is a little unique or uncommon. The grill is built on a framework of a charcoal grill. Chargriller keeps everything the same, but replaces the charcoal grate with three gas burners and adds a grease cleaning system. Because of the hybrid design, the grill feels somewhat heavier and sturdier than its competition.

Below the main cookbox, you’ll find a storage rack where you can put the 20lbs liquid propane (LP) tank. You can lock it in place, which is important when moving the grill. There is also a front panel that protects the tank.

But here’s where things get a little tricky. You can only get access to the tank valve from the back of the grill. It’s impossible to do that from the front. You can try from the sides, but there is a metal piece that makes it a tight fit for your hand. Besides, you’ll be placing your face uncomfortably close to the hot barrel in the process.

Now, this is only an issue if you position the grill against a wall. Therefore, I’d recommend leaving about 10 inches behind the grill to accommodate for that. Not to mention the double smokestacks on the lid. If you place the grill too close to the wall, the smokestacks will hit it when you’re trying to open the lid all the way.

Speaking of the smokestacks, they serve no real purpose. There isn’t any adjustable vent attached to them. But they look cool with the smoke coming out when you get a good low n slow going. They also prevent you from getting a face full of smoke when you open the lid.

Overall, the hybrid design makes the E3001 better than its competition, but there are still some design flaws that could be improved. Hey, we can’t really complain much since these are expected at this price point.

Construction

Everything on the E3001 is made from stamped sheet metal, except for the wheels and the turning knobs. The metal has a heavier gauge (think thicker) than other grills in the similar price range. It’s also powder-coated to prevent any potential rust and deterioration.

That said, you still need to care for the grill if you want it to last for a while. A cover is definitely a must if you live somewhere humid. Remember that this grill is no Weber. The powder coating will wear off fast if it’s exposed to the elements on a regular basis.

Heat Output

This is the area where the E3001 really shines.

The grill has three main stainless steel burners with a total of 40800 BTUs (13600 BTUs each). Even at low settings, these three can get really hot, up to 600F, which isn’t something that even the more expensive gassers can achieve with all the burners set to high. Seriously, you can sear some mean steaks with this much heat output.

The E3001 also heats up fast thanks to the relatively thicker steel body. Not to mention the metal heat tents on top of the burners help distribute the heat quickly and evenly. They also protect the burners and prevent any potential flare-ups from greasy food drippings.

Nevertheless, you might find it difficult getting the burners to dial down to low and medium temperatures because they are just too powerful. Many previous customers reported that all the heat concentrated at the center, while the sides seemed to be cooler.

Armed with this knowledge, you can try to achieve a smoking temperature range by turning off the center and leaving either of the side burners on. The set up I’ve just outlined is the two zone fire or indirect heat cooking. Extremely useful technique to know and master.

User Experience

Ease Of Assembly

The assembly instructions are adequate enough to follow. However, the images can be a little confusing. Therefore, you might need a full day to put everything together (just to be on the safe side).

Keep in mind that when you connect the legs to the frame, you need another person to help. Otherwise, it’d be a struggle. After that initial assembly, the rest of the grill can be done by yourself.

Also, don’t forget to place everything on the floor to keep track. There are these tiny washers that will get lost in a heartbeat.

Ignition System

There is one single electric igniter that lights all three burners. That means you have to press it while turning the respective knob to ignite each burner separately. In other words, there is no crossover.

The igniter needs an AA battery to run. It lights the burners quickly without any difficulty. Then, the temperature can be adjusted by large turning knobs.

Cooking Space

The E3001 has about 438 square inches of cooking space. With this amount, you can fit around 12 burger patties or 4 ribeyes and a bunch of hot dogs.

If you need more space to cook for a family dinner or a small gathering, there is an extra tuckaway warming rack of 192 square inches. It’s great to warm up your buns or cook vegetables.

In case you want to cook a turkey or beer-can chicken (head room is needed), you have to remove the warming rack since it hovers above the main grate with the grill lid shut. Now, the warming rack is removable, but you have to unscrew the four bolts that hold it in place. It’s really a hassle to do that and reattach it every time you cook. Something to keep in mind here.

Besides the three burners, the Char Griller E3001 also features a side burner on the left. It has about 12000 BTUs and is run by a separate piezo igniter. This much BTUs is hot enough to cook rice, heat up BBQ sauce, or any light cooking you might need.

The side burner also has a hinged cover. Close it and you’ll turn it into an extra side shelf to place your pots and pans. Don’t forget to turn off the burner before doing so.

Extra Working Space

Speaking of side shelves, there is another one on the right side of the grill. It features three hooks in case you want to hang your BBQ tools.

One thing worth mentioning is that the shelf isn’t foldable. So you won’t be able to fit the grill into a tight corner of your backyard.

Portability

The E3001 has two large plastic wheels that allow you to move the grill around. Compared to other similar models that have four casters, these are much better.

However, the weight of the grill (92 lbs) can crack the wheels if you move it too often, especially over rocky surfaces. They’re fine if the grill stays stationary. 

Besides, there is no moving handle attached to the E3001. You have to lift up the right side shelf and use it as a handle. Not the best design but then again, we can’t expect much at this price range.

Cleaning & Maintenance

The cooking space of the E3001 consists of three separate porcelain-coated cast iron grates. They’re quite lightweight compared to more expensive gas grills. But it’s a good thing to have the porcelain coating. It’ll help protect the internal cast iron from rusting away quickly.

These grates are also small enough that you can fit them into a sink. Just makes it easier to deep-clean them.

The E3001’s grease removal system features two components. There is a larger grease tray that runs full length across the cookbox. Underneath it, there is another smaller grease pan. Keep in mind that they’re both removable and relatively easy to clean and maintain.

Now, the upper grease tray slants down at an angle, allowing grease to drip down to the pan below. However, the angle isn’t steep enough. Therefore, you might have to scrape the hardened gooey stuff once a month. Otherwise, something will catch on fire eventually.

Available Accessories & Replacement Parts

Char-Griller does have all the spare parts listed on their website in case you need to replace something. For a grill this popular, they rarely run out of stock.

The company also has a few accessories available to the Grillin’ Pro E3001 — a rotisserie kit and a cover. As I’ve said before, you must get a cover if you want to prolong the lifespan of this grill. The model # is 3055.

Another cool accessory you might want to get is a smoker box (#E22424). This smoker box is actually a mini charcoal grill. But when you attach it to the E3001, it turns the grill into a smoker. Instead of lighting smoking wood in a foil pouch, you can do so in this side fire box.

Here is a video of the smoker box in action.

Warranty

Char-griller offers a 5-year warranty for the cooking chamber of the grill in addition to the three burners. All the remaining parts have a 1-year warranty.

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Summary

What We Like

  • Powerful burners
  • Fully featured, even for the price
  • Affordable
  • Better construction and build quality compared to the competition
  • Decent warranty
  • Extra side fire box turns the grill into a smoker

What Could Be Improved

  • Sturdier wheels plus a moving handle
  • Make it easier to access to the tank valve from the sides and the front
  • Folding side shelf instead of fixed one
  • Easy-to-remove warming rack

The Alternatives

Char Broil Classic 360

The Char Broil 360 is a great alternative to the Char-griller E3001. It’s a little thinner, smaller, and less powerful. However, the grill has all the features that the E3001 has, from side burner to side shelf to warming rack. It’s also versatile and turns out some amazing food. Best of all, it’s actually less expensive than the E3001.

If you need more information about the Char Broil 360, please click here.

Weber Spirit II E-310

The Weber Spirit II E-310 is a big upgrade from the E3001. Though less powerful, the E-310 is built better, with quality parts and smarter design (thicker porcelain-coated cast iron grates, folding side shelves, etc.) The only downside is that it’s significantly more expensive.

For more pictures and information about the Weber Spirit II E-310, please follow this link.

Should You Buy The Char Griller E3001?

Char Griller 3 burner propane grill 3001 with side shelf, side burner, and warming rack

It’s surprising to see a low-cost gasser like the E3001 generating some serious heat. In fact, it performs better than some of the more expensive models. You might struggle a little to achieve low to medium heat, however it’s doable.

There are also some design flaws here and there. But this grill is fully-featured and has enough capacity to handle anything from a family dinner to a small get-together.

If you’re on a budget, this gas grill should definitely be on your radar. And for its price, we know that this grill isn’t built to last. Yet, given its performance, it’s still worth every penny.

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So, this is the end of my Char-Griller E3001 review. I tried to write it as thoroughly yet succinctly as possible. If you find it valuable and helpful, please share it around on your favorite social media platforms.

Thank you and happy grilling.

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Author

Thinh Phan

Thinh Phan

Thinh Phan is a barbecue enthusiast who fires up his grill regularly, at least 3 times a week. Combining the experience and his passion for outdoor cooking, he put together BBQInProgress.com where he shares recipe ideas along with his knowledge of grilling and barbecuing techniques.

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