Cooking over a charcoal grill arouses that sense of community and safety of gathering around a fire, which is an ancient human tradition. That smell of a functional barbecue, the kind that makes your mouth water and announces a good meal with friends and family. Charcoal gives a feel of the traditional typical flavor that comes from wood chips, a smoky taste.
The aroma and taste of charred meat speak to our primitive instincts. It is almost like it imparts some enchanted flavor to the food. Maintaining this lifestyle in today’s environment requires preparation, some level of commitment, and the best equipment. Finding the best charcoal grill enables you to do so much more.
How and where do you find it? This is a question many chefs and novice cooks ask themselves at least once in their lifetime.
The Best Charcoal Grill Reviews -2020
1. Weber’s Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill 22″
- The Weber Kettle comes with a plated steel hinged cooking grate with a cooking area of 363 square inches, translating to approximately 13 burgers together. This is ideal for a family or group of six for a single session of cooking.
- The plated steel enhances corrosion and wear resistance hence durability and elimination of food contamination. The hinge enables easy access to the charcoal grate while charcoal grilling is ongoing to redistribute the charcoal and add when necessary.
- A heat shield comes before the lid handle to protect you from the heat, but should not be considered an excuse for not using your mitts.
- They built in a thermometer on the lid, which keeps you aware of the prevailing heat conditions. This, combined with the easily adjustable dampers, results in a very precise heat control system that gets your desired cuisine.
- It has a heavy-gauge porcelain-enameled bowl and lid. This combination ensures the material is impervious to chemical and physical damage, can withstand the extreme heat, and retain the heat as you grill. It also means your grill has longevity.
- Features an aluminized steel one-touch cleaning system comprised of a three-blade ash sweeper and a removable high capacity ash catcher. You pop it out and dispose of the ashes conveniently. The aluminized steel can handle the extreme heat while resisting corrosion, so it is durable.
- They package it with the following optional accessories:
- Premium Grill Cover– The polyester material is durable yet lightweight enough to allow you to pull it on and off your grill. The water-resistant material also protects the grill against external extremities like rain, the scorching sun, and freezing snow. This enables you to maintain a clean, sleek surface, and the new grill shine.
- Char Baskets– A convenient tool for indirect heat grilling. They enable you to separate and arrange your lit charcoal with less effort since all you have to do is pour the coal inside them. You will have pre-arranged them on your fuel grate to your specification.
- Rapid-fire chimney starter– This tool allows you to preheat your charcoal before introducing it to the grill. It ensures the fuel is red and ashy in advance so that the grill will have even temperature. It is also faster and more efficient than lighting them up in the grill.
- Charcoal Rake– Enables you to arrange the charcoal on your fuel grate easily without getting too close to the heat. It is especially useful if you want to use indirect heat, or you are partitioning the grill into different heat sections.
- Rotisserie– The skewer gently rotates food above the cooking grate to allow them to baste themselves over consistent heat, allowing you to roast chicken and tender ribs.
- Easy to clean
- Tough and durable
- Relevant fitting accessories available
- Lacks the capacity to scale up the volume of the grill
2. Weber’s Go Anywhere Charcoal Grill 14.5″
- At 14.5” Height, 21” Width and 12.25” Length, this Weber charcoal grill only weighs 14.5 pounds, making it portable by hand, by one person and allowing it to fit in almost all our vehicles.
- It ensures you don’t miss out on your grilled delicacies just because you had to go out of the office or travel outside your territory.
- The legs pivot towards the lid to form a locking mechanism, which makes the grill more compact while allowing you to carry it intact like a suitcase. It is very easy to assemble and should not take more than 10 minutes.
- In lieu of its portability, we shall recommend It as the best charcoal grill for adventures, camping, and general movement.
- Despite its compact size, its primary cooking area of 160 square inches is the equivalent of six burgers, which translates to a comfortable capacity of three people per session.
- The legs, fuel, and cooking grates are made of triple nickel coated steel, which besides being resistant to corrosion and oxidation, are easy to clean and maintain. They can also handle extreme heat and maintain it, which makes the grill ideal for searing.
- The lid and base are made of porcelain-enameled steel, which are known to retain heat, therefore ensuring constant temperatures within the grill. They are also durable and resistant to peeling and corrosion.
- The lid is fitted with dampers to allow control of the heat within the grill without having to keep the lid open. When open, the lid uses its built-in hangers to rest on the side of the grill, shielding it from extra wind that may interfere with the cooking temperature.
- Very portable
- Easy to assemble
- The coal is sometimes too close to the meat for slow cooking due to its shallow body
3. Royal Gourmet’s BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker 30″ L
- This is our best charcoal grill pick in terms of versatility. First of all, it offers a dual style grilling opportunity as it has an option of an offset smoker beside your charcoal grill. You can prepare grilled and smoked meals at the same time. The smoker can also be used as a grill if you need more grilling space, and you have the option of doing a simple barbeque using only the offset area if it is not a big occasion.
- The total cooking area is impressive for its size; a whopping 800 square inches, 438 square inches in the main cooking area, a warming rack of 179 square inches, and an offset smoker of 183 square inches.
- It also features working surfaces in the form of front and side shelves where there is space for your seasoning and grilling tools. These have hooks for hanging your accessories. Lastly, there is a rack at the bottom you can use to store your essentials temporarily as you proceed.
- They somehow managed to fit all these in a compact design. The entire assembly is only 27.2” long by 48.4” wide, which means it can fit in most of your verandahs, decks, and balconies comfortably. Sitting on two durable wheels, you can move it conveniently from place to place.
- The charcoal grill is built to last with material that has been hardened to resist corrosion, wear and tear and can withstand the heat intensity. The cooking grates are porcelain-enameled, making them both durable and great at regulating and spreading heat evenly.
- The warming rack is chrome plated, which makes it hardy, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean. The body has been treated using a new black coating process and is capable of withstanding temperatures as high as 400˚F and does not peel off easily.
- The heat control system is also very advanced and is a combination of different mechanisms. The charcoal pan in the cooking chamber (which can hold up to 6 lbs. of coal) is adjustable to two levels. It has handles that are used to lift or lower it away from the cooking grate to control the heat intensity while grilling.
- The grill has two adjustable dampers that help you in regulating the heat. There is a pinwheel vent on the offset box and a flap vent on the chimney. The vent on the offset box, which is seamlessly attached to the grill, stocks fire instantly, ensuring the good circulation of heat and smoke. The one on the chimney ensures the combustion gases are released, creating space for more oxygen to keep the charcoal burning.
- You can always monitor heat levels in the fire box using a lid-mounted temperature gauge, which ensures you are never caught by surprise.
- The offset smoker has an access door on the side that allows you to tend to the charcoal without removing the grate so that grilling or smoking is not interfered with. The same access door is used to clear the ashes once you are done grilling and to remove any remnant coal. It is easily reachable and makes them easy to clean.
- The ash and charcoal pan is also removable, allowing tending to the charcoal while grilling, easy dumping of ashes, and cleaning.
- The lid has a scald proof handle design, a spring that never gets hot regardless of the amount of heat. This makes handling easy and safe.
- Multipurpose grill- Can smoke and grill at the same time
- Large cooking space
- Easy to clean
- Heat enduring
- Complicated assembly for the layman
4. Dyna-Glo X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill
- We are listing this as our best premium charcoal grill because of the extent to which they have gone to make your grilling easy breezy while maintaining a deluxe look deserving of your investment. This grill can multitask without adding extravagant accessories.
- What makes it stand out from the rest is the unique way they have managed to split the grill to give it the ability to cook at different temperatures at the same time. Their two-prong approach is a combination dividing the firebox and adjusting the charcoal tray levels to achieve the desired separation. They have done this without making it permanent, meaning you still retain the option not differentiating.
- They introduced a removable heavy steel divider that is inserted in the cooking zone, dividing it into two. This enables the segmentation of the heat levels within the two compartments.
- Each side has its own charcoal tray with an adjustment crank that is used to raise it towards the food grate when you are looking to impart more heat and lower it. Once the two chambers have been created, you have the option of raising one side closer than the other or just reducing the heat on the chamber you want to slow cook.
- This flexibility allows you to customize your cooking space to cook different meals requiring diverse heat levels at the same time. All you need to do to revert to your single cooking zone is to remove the divider.
- The grill has an impressive 816 square inches cooking area, a primary area of 576 square inches, and a secondary of 240 square inches. This means it can serve more than a dozen people, which is a good number for its size.
- It has cast iron and steel access doors that allow you to stoke the heat easily, helping you maintain the fuel source as you proceed. The cooking grates are made of cast iron coated with a hi-gloss porcelain finish.
- The body is made of stainless steel, which offers a double liner to keep the heat inside. It has a stainless steel chimney with an adjustable flue that controls smoke and combustion gases. By letting the gases out, it allows more oxygen in. It increases the temperature of the coal. The gases and smoke passing through the meat give it that charcoal flavor we so desire.
- This grill has sliding dampers on both sides to help regulate heat in both chambers. It has four wheels, two of which are multidirectional castors to facilitate smooth corners when moving it around. You have a stylish temperature gauge mounted on the lid to allow you to track the heat consistently.
- It has one of the best finishes for a charcoal grill. A stainless steel finish, they even threw in a stainless steel bottle opener to illustrate how they are supportive.
- It comes with an easy to lift wide grip handle. The warming rack has been ergonomically designed to pivot on the lid when opening and closing. It lifts above the main cooking grate, allowing easy access and lies back on the fuel source when you close it without touching the cooking grill. You don’t need to do any adjustments.
- The large capacity ashtray is removable for ease of dumping and clean up. It has two side shelves that provide a worktop for any seasoning or utensils you may be handling. It also comes with a storage rack at the bottom for any other tools.
- Cast iron and steel are durable, retain more heat, are protected against corrosion, non-stick, and easy to clean. The enamel surface aids in transferring this heat to the food for perfect searing that locks in the natural juices and flavors.
- Aesthetic appeal
- Multipurpose cooking
- Easy to use
- A bit on the pricey side
5. Casus Grill- Biodegradable Disposable
- We would not be doing the environment justice if we did not introduce you to this magnificent piece of technology. It is as friendly to the environment as it is to your pocket.
- At less than $20, you will not be devastated when we disclose that you can only use it once before you have to dispose of it. Not everybody who wants to grill wants to own a grill or is in a position to keep one.
- It is light and portable (it only weighs 2.2 lbs. with 12.2 by 9.2 by 2 inches’ dimensions), and its composition is all biodegradable. Since it is the only grill we came across that is biodegradable, we shall go ahead and crown it our best biodegradable charcoal grill.
- It is made of cardboard and lava stone and uses repurposed bamboo chopsticks for grill grates. It comes packaged in a biodegradable paper wrap that can be disposed of at the same time. It uses oxylite bamboo charcoal for fuel. This combination of ingredients is surprisingly fuel-efficient and ecofriendly.
- It is quite easy to assemble, although it comes with a manual that we found to be very straight forward. Once assembled, it is also as easy to light up and takes only 5 minutes to get to a temperature of 400˚F. It can go to as high as 600˚F.
- You light it by lighting the four corners of the bamboo grid. In no time, the heat is spread evenly throughout the grill. No lighter fluid is required. The lava stones provide thermal insulation and keep the heat within the grill; the cardboard is hardly affected, and you can even carry the grill while it is hot without scalding.
- It burns at a consistent even grilling heat but produces no flames and minimal smoke. This means your food will be evenly grilled, and the flavors will be mostly from the food and seasoning and hardly from the grill. It produces up to 50% less carbon dioxide emissions than other charcoal grills.
- The bamboo sticks are excellent conductors of heat and maintain a high temperature, which sears your food remarkably well. They are also non-stick (pun intended), meaning they grill amazing food. The grill has a cooking space for six normal burger patties, which means the grill can serve up to 3 people in one setting. Its recommended period is 60 minutes, after which you should be done grilling. This does not mean it dies immediately, though. It has been tested to push another 20 on low heat as a warming rack.
- Eco friendly from production, usage to disposal
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to use
- Time limit on usage- You can’t extend the grilling period
We already enrolled in the experience school of best charcoal grills on your behalf, and the following are some of the notes we took down on your behalf.
Charcoal grills come in a bevy of different styles. These are general classifications based on overall characteristics like functions and shapes. You may bump into these terms later on.
- Brazier Grills– These are the open grills, like those you see in the park.
- Kettle Grills– The classic round grill on a tripod with a lid. They often have a simple vent for controlling the internal temperature.
- Barrel Grills– They come in the shape of a barrel, which is turned on its side and cut in half. Then a bottom grate is added for holding charcoal and an upper grate for cooking. They are then fitted with legs and raised, at least that’s how it used to be done. Nowadays, they come ready-made.
- Cart Grills– These look like carts and are becoming very popular nowadays.
- Kamado Grill– They have a similar shape to the kettle grill only in a deeper vessel made of ceramic instead of metal. The ceramic insulates heat, maintaining an even temperature throughout and facilitating a more efficient combustion of charcoal. They are usually pricier as a result, which should not discourage you from looking into them.
- Portable Charcoal Grill– These are typically smaller, shorter versions of kettle grills that can be easily crammed in your SUV and taken for a weekend in the woods or a picnic.
Qualities We Should Compare to Determine the Best Charcoal Grill
Priorities will vary from individual to individual, but these are the general questions you will ask yourself:
- Heating– How much time it takes to preheat and whether it can hold that temperature.
- Temperature Control– How much control you have over the temperature, should you decide to raise, lower, or maintain it.
- Clean Up– How easy it is to clean up, how often it needs to be cleaned and how resistant it is to food elements. Grease, salt, and some food acids accelerate corrosion, which is why the grill has to be cleaned.
- Accessories– Which ones it has that, and you may need. Like side burners, storage racks.
- Safety– How it manages risk. Getting your hands burned by pieces of hot charcoal, igniting when the wind blows, toppling over, causing an accident.
- Size of cooking surface– They usually put this in square meters, but we found calculating using the number of normal size burgers they held more informative.
You can grill almost everything, from different meats, vegetable kabobs, pizzas, mushroom burgers, pizzas. Don’t pull out of the race yet because you are not a fan of big roasts. The best grill for you is one that you are going to enjoy cooking on and using for as long as you plan to.
If you really want a great grill, we selected a few we thought had some of the best qualities to suit your needs, whether you are an apartment dweller without much space or restrictions or a barbeque master out in the suburbs looking to spruce up your outdoor cooking. We have tried to capture all justifications to guide your journey.
The charcoal grills listed in this article are a result of opinions from our uses and research. Different levels of cooking require different tools.
More experienced grillers do not require so many gadgets to get a perfect roast as they have developed the instinct over the years.
There are those whose preferences will be biased based on what they have become accustomed to over the years. Getting the best charcoal grill is not an exact science, and you should not fill the pressure to conform.
Let’s Talk Money Matters
You can get a very basic charcoal grill for as low as $30, while high-end charcoal grills go for up to $2,000. You need to consider the total cost of ownership, not just the buying price when you are making the decision.
While you can save money on cheap grills on the initial purchase, over time, the high-end grill will more than make up for the higher price tag by giving you a better grilling experience and saving you money. The high-end grill might also not be the best charcoal grill for you if you are not a regular user.
A lot of the fun will come from getting a feel of your grill and devouring your very own barbequed meat in the process. Whichever grill you choose, it will always present a perfect opportunity to grab your favorite six-pack, a giant slab of meat, and invite a dozen friends over to ‘try out things.’
We recommend reaching for a well-built grill. While that does not mean splurging dollars, it involves doing your research and finding the best grill for your budget.
So get out there and fire up those coals and when you get it right, get a universal restraining order because the smell of charcoal roast is universally irresistible.