Welcome to T3's official Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas review. Over the past couple of weeks I've been testing out this BBQ and what follows here is my considered take.
Here at T3 we take reviewing and rating outdoor cooking equipment very seriously, which is why we have such strong entry standards for our best barbecue buying guide. When it comes round to running a grill for friends or family, the last thing you want is to be let down by poor quality or temperamental hardware, so every BBQ we recommend is sure to go the distance. And let me tell you, this is one of the best gas grills of its size that you're likely to find…
And, in the case of many people, versatility and reliability are the two most important aspects of any BBQ-ing experience, which is why I was so keen to test out Char-Broil's All-Star 120 B-Gas, which sells itself as a "universal grill" that "can be used in many versatile ways".
This review of the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas is broken down into three main sections, including its price and release date, package and setup, and performance and features. We start, though, with the official All-Star 120 B-Gas video trailer, which helps give a quick overview of its form and features.
Fancy something even smaller to cook outside on? Then why not check out T3's best small barbecue buying guide, while to see a lot more gas grills, be sure to also scope out T3's dedicated best gas barbecue buying guide, too.
Char-Broil All-Star 120 review: official video
Char-Broil All-Star 120 review: price and release date
Char-Broil's All-Star 120 B-Gas barbecue is available right now. The BBQ reviewed here can be bought for an RRP of £379.99, both online and in-store. In the UK, known stockists include the Mill Race Garden Centre, Robert Dyas and Keen Gardener.
For today's very best prices on the All-Star 120 B-Gas please consult the pricing tables directly below.
Char-Broil All-Star 120 review: package and setup
Open the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas box and you are met with a selection of very neatly packed components. These components are protected with Styrofoam and cellophane and, simply put, there is no way any can be damaged in transit or storage.
Carefully taking all the components out of the box takes about 10 minutes, and it makes sense to do this in an open area where things can be grouped together, as you want to be able to visually see each component and access it easily for the build. I laid out the component on my patio.
In terms of assembly instructions, the Char-Broil barbecues have their own app, which can be downloaded on both Apple and Android devices, which show digital step-by-step instructions in how to build. However, there is also a traditional paper assembly instruction guide included in the box, too, and this is what I used to build the All-Star 120 B-Gas.
Assembly was straight forward, with all components labelled. All bolts and screws come in a single container, too, with each individual selection labelled up. This makes it easy to keep important tiny components together and then easily access them when needed.
The Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas build begins with its detachable base and then proceeds upward towards the cooking drum and controls. All elements of the 120 B-Gas can be assembled by hand with a crosshead screwdriver, however I employed my electric drill to speed up the process.
Once the BBQ's detachable base is built you assemble the cooking drum, which comes with its gas ring pre-installed, and then attach its control panel and collapsible table sides.
Regarding the BBQ's wiring, everything is pre-wired and at only one point do you need to route cables and connect them. Again, I would say the chance of any error during construction is minimal.
In terms of total time spent, from unboxing to fully assembled, I'd say it took me about 90 minutes to build the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas. Anyone with a basic toolkit (literally a screwdriver or two) will be able to put this together, and damaging the components is very tricky as everything comes so well protected.
Naturally, I would recommend people build the barbecue on a soft surface such as their garden in order to avoid scratches and blemishes to exterior panels. And ensure that all components are laid out first to speed up the actual build.
Char-Broil All-Star 120 review: performance and features
The first thing I noticed when going to use the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas was that my medium-sized Calor gas bottle did not fit in the barbecue base's bottle recess. This was slightly disappointing as I wanted to maintain a clean look and keep the bottle out of sight.
Small bottles will have no problem fitting under there, but if you use anything similar in size to me, or even bigger, then you're going to have to have the bottle sitting next to the base under one of the 120 B-Gas's table wings.
Naturally, the barbecue comes with the necessary gas bottle piping and connectors for the territory in which it is sold, and connecting the barbecue to the gas bottle is as easy as clamping the piping with a few clasps and then pushing the connector head on the bottle. You are then, literally, cooking on gas.
Open the gas release valve on the bottle, turn the central gas power dial on the All-Star 120's control panel, hit the electrical ignition switch and, whoosh, the gas ring springs to life.
On top of the gas ring is Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared sheet (this is a metal sheet that helps evenly distribute heat from the gas ring), and then on top of that is the 120 B-Gas's cast iron cooking grill.
With the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas on and its cast aluminium lid down, it heats up very quickly. Within five minutes you're looking at about 200 degrees Celsius, and the if you leave the gas on medium to high then the barbecue will keep rising up to a very toasty 350 degrees.
A simple but stylish and very useful temperature gauge on the lid shows you the internal temperature at all times, and makes it easy to precisely know what conditions are like.
Some of my local farm shop's best pork sausages were easily handled by the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas, which I feel could easily handle twice the amount I cooked at once. That would be about 12 sausages cooking all at once, so we're talking some pretty serious feeding capability in each wave.
Cooked meat can be kept warm on the 120 B-Gas's raised storage shelf, too, which could easily fit I'd say about 6 sausages on it at once. This means you could be in situation at the start of barbecue where you had 18 sausages ready to go — as I said before, I feel this is some serious feeding capability.
The Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas cooked these sausages quickly, too, and with a really even char-grilled finish. I'd say you could cycle through waves of meat every 10 minutes with this thing cooking on high, which makes getting food out quickly incredibly easy.
Cooking on gas really does give you the speed and convenience you would expect from an indoor cooker, but thanks to Char-Broil's iron grill and cast aluminium lid, you get a lovely BBQ finish on your meat that you typically associate with coal-fired barbecues.
I also cooked burgers and some prawn, tomato and aubergine kebabs on the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas, and I have to say the results were very impressive each time. I specifically enjoyed cooking up the burgers so they sizzled with a smokey char-grilled finish, only to then drape American-style cheese slices over them. I then dropped the lid on the 120 B-Gas for 30 seconds, before extracting the burgers covered with melted cheese. It was cheeseburger heaven!
Lastly, in terms of features, as I mentioned above, the All-Star 120 B-Gas has collapsible side tables, which are very useful for storage, and the cooking drum can be detached from the base station. This is achieved by lifting two clasps, which otherwise keep it locked very firmly in place, and then simply lifting the top part of the BBQ off.
I feel this is a really nice design choice, as it means that 120 B-Gas can easily be transported in a boot to a park or neighbours, or taken on holiday for use when camping. The top part of the barbecue has rubberised feet, too, which means moving it is very tough laterally (a great safety feature). When attached to its base, the base's wheels can also be locked with little switches, again meaning the BBQ is not going to go anywhere when it is use.
Of course, those wheels when unlocked then allow the easy rolling of the BBQ into position or back into storage.
This barbecue also features utensil hooks on both side tables, which means it is easy to hang and then access a variety of cooking gear or cleaning tools.
Char-Broil All-Star 120 review: verdict
Overall, then, I had a very good time with the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas. The packaging was strong, the setup fast and straight-forward and, with a gas bottle on the premises and ready to go, I was up and running within just a few hours.
The only disappointment I had when using the 120 B-Gas was the aforementioned fact that I couldn't get my gas bottle to fit in the gas bottle recess. As you can see from the pictures in this review, though, that was hardly the end of the world.
The price of the BBQ undoubtedly leans more toward the high-end of the spectrum for a unit of this size, but the build quality, performance and versatility of the unit renders this slightly moot in my mind. If you have a small, medium or large-sized home, this BBQ is going to fit in it, and unless you have to cook seriously large amounts of meat, then it is has the capacity that you need.
It also looks really stylish in my opinion and comes with a pretty darn impressive 10 year warranty on the burners and 2 years on all other parts. As such, I feel it is easy to recommend the Char-Broil All-Star 120 B-Gas, and any money spent on it a smart investment when it comes round to outdoor eating.