Three Stars — Grill Is Incredibly Difficult To Assemble, Even Sober

By: Daniel Kibblesmith

User Review by LetsGoBruins77

Let’s get the record straight — I’m a charcoal man. But when we invested in a new deck (linseed oil-sealed Western Red cedar), my wife didn’t want me scarring it with ashes, so it was time to take the propane plunge. The CharKing T-860 won me over with its porcelain enameled heat deflectors and 12,000 BTU side-burner (no more congealed sauce!). Unfortunately, none of these other reviews prepared me for one major issue: grill is practically impossible to assemble, even sober.

The instructions looked easy enough at first, and after loosening up with a couple of beers, I dug in, hoping to be up and grilling in time for dinner that evening. Boy, was that optimistic! I barely had everything out of the box, when, wouldn’t you know it, I got a little distracted by my wife’s constant hovering, and ended up slicing open my hand on the underside of the grease catch. Luckily, the blood washed cleanly off its stainless brushed-chrome finish.

I managed to sterilize the two-inch gash in my palm with a couple splashes of my retirement whiskey (and took a little something for the pain, if you know what I mean), and after some brief, very specific words with my wife, I told her I knew exactly what time it was, and dove back into the fray. Or should I say tray? (Because of the optional woodchips smoking tray, part #AA-18.)

Things went only downhill from there. The firebox lid on the T-860 curves slightly inward for a tighter seal, and getting it flush with the base is a two-man job. Luckily my brother Roy finally got a cell phone (he doesn’t have a lot going on these days, since the prison library cut its civilian volunteer program). Between the two of us, it took over 45 minutes just to get the hinges aligned. We should know, too, because that’s exactly how long the lime wedges have to soak to make Roy’s famous White Wine Sangria. Then came the biggest pain of all.

Anyone considering this grill, be forewarned: the tiny pieces of assembly hardware are extremely difficult to sort and identify. This is especially true after you’ve just tossed a handful of them into the face of your wife of 26 years, just to prove that she’d probably end up catching a few in her perpetually flapping mouth. The only thing more perplexing than differentiating a 15mm machine screw from a 12mm shoulder bolt is figuring out how a married woman could care so much about Civil Unions. She’s the real low carbon flange nut, if you ask me.

Surface heats evenly, and grates are easy to clean, especially after soaking overnight in the pool. Lined vinyl grill cover also makes adequate blanket for impromptu outdoor sleeping. Three stars.


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