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Char-Broil, LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1948; 76 years ago (1948)
Key people
Tom Penner, CEO
ProductsOutdoor grills and smokers
  • Char-Broil
  • Dancook
  • Oklahoma Joe's
ParentW. C. Bradley Co.

Char-Broil is an American privately held manufacturer of charcoal, gas & electric outdoor grills, smokers and related products. Char-Broil is a subsidiary of W. C. Bradley Co.[1]


Early 1900s[edit]

In 1925, W.C. Bradley Co. acquired a controlling interest in the Columbus Iron Works, which previously made parts for steamboats and stove products.[2] By the 1940s, agriculture started moving west. The Bradley Company adapted quickly, redirecting focus to the "backyard" leisure market and manufactured a portable outdoor cooker called "Char-Broil."[3] The Char-Broil 19 (also known as the CB 19) is thought to be the first cast iron charcoal grill on the market.[3] Hardware stores that carried the Bradley's agricultural and stove supplies begin selling the cast-iron charcoal grill for $19, which were purchased and delivered across the United States.[2]

First Char-Broil charcoal grill.

The early grills were made from a steel drum, and two years later, electric grills were manufactured. Between the Char-Broil brand and Certified Grill Parts, W.C. Bradley Company became a worldwide leader in the manufacture of aluminum gas grills, grill parts and accessories.[2]

1960s - 1970s[edit]

Due to increased demand for home grills, Char-Broil began to mass-produce gas grills in the 1960s.[3]
In 1961, Char-Broil patented the first grease-handling system for an outdoor grill to make grilling safer and easier.[3] In the 1970s, they were the first to package the LP tank and grill in one box, which revolutionized the backyard grill industry.[2] Char-Broil introduced the first electric grills, portable gas grills and table-top grills in the 1970s. In 1973, the Manufacturing Division moved from the Iron Works to a more modern plant in the Bradley Industrial Park and becomes known as W.C. Bradley Enterprises. Then in 1977, W.C. Bradley Enterprises became known as Char-Broil. In 1989, Char-Broil became a separate business division of the W.C. Bradley Company.[3]

1980s - 1990s[edit]

In the 1980s, Char-Broil introduced "Certified Parts and Accessories" and began selling grill parts to consumers,[2] and in the 1990s, Char-Broil introduced new paints, easy-to-clean materials and features along with the now-ubiquitous electronic ignition system.[2] In 1997, Char-Broil acquired the New Braunfels Smoker Company and adds heavy-duty charcoal grills, smokers and accessories to its lineup,[4] as well as the barbecue grill division of the Thermos Company of Schaumburg, Illinois.[5] In 1998, Char-Broil purchased the Oklahoma Joe's brand of high-end smokers, grills and accessories, to complement its outdoor cooking selection.[6]

2000s - 2010s[edit]

Char-Broil launched the Commercial Series brand in 2003. This series was, and still is exclusive to Lowe's[3] Char-Broil partnered with Thermal Engineering Corporation (TEC) to offer backyard chefs infrared technology and patented a new version of the TEC's infrared 100% cooking system, which led the company to a new series of grills and cookers in 2007[7] They launched the Big Easy oil-less infrared turkey fryer in 2007 with the infrared technology. In 2008, Char-Broil launched the RED Series infrared gas grills that is exclusive to Home Depot.[3] In 2011, Char-Broil introduced SABER grills, which is a dedicated business unit for premium grills,[8] and they expanded into the European market with the acquisition of the Dancook brand.[9] Early 2015, Char-Broil introduced the Kettleman, an improved charcoal kettle grill that uses the patented infrared technology, no-fall through grates, no flare-ups, a hinged lid. Then in the summer of 2015, Char-Broil launched its new line of digital electric smokers,[10] and later in the year, they launched the SmartChef series of WiFi-connected electric smokers, which stemmed from the partnership with DADO.[11]

Awards and mentions[edit]

  • 1984: Char-Broil CB940 grill is cited as the "World's Best BBQ Grill" in the Book of Bests.[12]
  • 1999: The Patio Bistro won the Honorable Mention Award in new Products for Mature Markets Design Competition from the American Society of Aging.
  • 2000: Golden Hammer Award Winner in Outdoor Living.
  • 2001-2002: Popular Mechanics Editors Choice Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in new product design and innovation.
  • 2003-2008: Silver Award Winner in Barbecue by Home Channel News.
  • 2008: Char-Broil's Big Easy oil-less infrared turkey fryer wins a VESTA Award at the HPBA Expo.[3]
  • 2011: Char-Broil won the first and sixth place Award of Excellence by National Barbecue Association for the Pinch of Sizzle Mystic Marinade and Pinch of Sizzle Mad Mustard seasonings.
  • 2013: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Thin grill won the Gold Medal Honor at the International BBQ Awards in Friedrichshafen, Germany.


As of 2015, brands managed and/or manufactured by Char-Broil include:[13][14]

  • Char-Broil
  • Dancook
  • Oklahoma Joe's
  • Quantum
  • Thermos
  • PBC


  1. ^ "An Overview On Our Companies". W.C. Bradley Co. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Char-Broil History Brochure". W.C. Bradley. 1989.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "A History of Innovation". W.C. Bradley and Company. 2015. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Company Overview of New Braunfels Smoker Co". Bloomberg. 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  5. ^ "History of the Thermos Company". Kitchen Kapers. 2015. Archived from the original on 12 May 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  6. ^ "The Story of Joe Davidson". Joe Davidson. 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Char-Broil names CEO, partners with TEC". Casual Living. 15 August 2005. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  8. ^ "SABER's Heritage: Quality, Value and Innovation". Saber Grills. 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Get to Know Dancook". Dancook. 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Where There's Smoke... There's Great Barbecue!". Broadway World. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  11. ^ "DADO Partners With Char-Broil For Better Outdoor Cooking in 2015". DADO Labs. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Heritages of Innovation". Char-Broil. 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Our Companies: Char-Broil". W. C. Bradley Co. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Best Brands for smokers: Char-Broil". Smokers Hub. 28 February 2020.