Summer has come, and it is the season of grilling with you. When the weather gets warmer, it’s time to move your dinner outside, light the grill and enjoy the flavors of char-grilled meats, vegetables and even fruit. The key to getting the perfect grill dinner is buying the perfect grill. The gas is popular because it’s easy to control, but real grill lovers know that cooking over charcoal will give it a satisfying taste.
Of course, there are also many charcoal grills. It can be difficult to know which one is the right choice for your grilling needs. This is why we took the time to evaluate it for you. Before choosing the 9 best charcoal grills on the market, let’s take a look at some of the key features you should consider before buying.
1. Weber Smokey Joe portable grill
This is Weber 10020 Smokey Joe. I love it because it’s efficient and the perfect size for bringing camping or tailgates. The round cooking surface means wide enough to cook burgers or chicken for a family of four, and the round lid means it can also be used as a temporary smoker.
The downside is that you can’t move this grill when it’s hot. At least not without oven gloves. The cleaning process can be easier as there is no removable tray to remove the ash. You can also tighten your legs between uses as there is a risk of the grill overturning.
2. Weber original kettle charcoal
It has a 360 sq. inch of cooking space, which is spacious enough to cook for a crowd. Both the lid and bowl are reinforced with porcelain and the heat-resistant handle is reinforced with glass. The top and bottom vents allow easy temperature control, and the lid is tightly sealed, so even smokers can use.
There’s not much we don’t like about this grill, but it’s important to keep in mind that the assembly instructions are all visual. Some people may prefer written instructions. These grills can reach very high temperatures, so if you like steaks rare, you should invest in a quality thermometer to prevent overcooking.
3. Fire Sense notebook charcoal
I love this grill because it provides 228 square inches of cooking space, but it folds to a height of 1 inch for storage and transportation. This grill is suitable for camping and tailgate. The main drawback of this grill is that due to its simple structure, it cannot be ventilated to extend the life of the fire.
Not a good grill for slow cooking or grilling large meats. It’s very light and a plus, but overall this isn’t a particularly sturdy grill. Keep in mind when deciding what to cook.
4. Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
This is another small grill, but one that offers a few features that make it special. Built to last, with cast iron worktops and 250 square inches of cooking space. It can also be used as a smoker thanks to the offset fire box. There are a few things that are better about this grill. The first is that the paint is not durable.
If the grill is over 500 degrees, the paint turns to carbon. The second can be used as a grill or smoker, not both. If you switch to a smoker, you cannot switch back to the grill. When used as a smoker, it’s easy to fix with some HVAC tape, but you’ll notice the fire box leaks a bit.
5. Blackstone 3-in-1 Kabob Charcoal Grill, BBQ, Smoker
The 5th choice on our list is Blackstone’s 3-in-1 Charcoal Grill. This makes our list for versatility. It’s like having a kitchen in your backyard. There’s plenty of room for a traditional grill, but what sets this grill apart is something else you can do. First, it has a built-in rotisserie/kebab system so you can grill meat instead of simply grilling it.
It also has an adjustable mesquite layer and a tight lid, so it can also be used to smoke meat. This grill has several potential drawbacks. The first is that the rotisserie function is powered by electricity, so you need an extension cord to use it. The second is that the skewer itself is small and can be difficult to reattach after removal. The paint job may be better as well, as the paint tends to peel off the outside of the grill.
6. Cuisinart CCG-190RB portable charcoal grill
Anyone who lives in an apartment or simply wants a grill small enough to carry with them, should consider this grill. Despite its small size, I love it because it offers 150 square inches of cooking space for the whole family to eat burgers. We also love the double ventilation system for easy temperature control and the fact that the lid is locked for transportation.
The downside is that it’s too close to the floor, so opening the bottom vents can be a bit tricky. In fact, it would be nice if this grill came with an extension to raise your legs. The legs on the grill may wiggle slightly, but adding rubber’shoes’ can help.
7. Char-grilled over charcoal
We love this grill because it has a total of 480 square inches of primary cooking surface and 100 square inches of additional porcelain as a secondary surface. The front cast iron door makes it easy to check the fire without cooling the food. This grill is very affordable for those who want a big grill and don’t want to pay for it.
One thing we don’t like about this grill is that it’s not easy to assemble. The instructions are a bit confusing and take longer than expected. Also, the frame holding the charcoal tray is not built to be sturdy, so it is important to be careful when removing it.
8. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal
A simple yet durable design with a total cooking area of 250 square inches. Detailed instructions make the assembly very easy and are a great help in saving charcoal. The ashtray can be easily removed. One problem with this grill is that it is a bit difficult to move.
The handle is at the top, so wheeling is awkward. There’s room for just one layer of charcoal, which isn’t a problem since this grill doesn’t use as much charcoal as other grills on the market, but some people may like the versatility of using it more for long cooking times.
9. Weber original kettle charcoal grill
Our choice is probably from Weber, the single most respected name in the world to draw. There are many reasons to love this grill. First, there is 240 inches of cooking space on the griddle plate. The vents are rust-resistant and sturdy, and the lid and bowl are coated with porcelain baked at 1500 degrees for maximum durability. The handle is heat resistant, so the grill can be moved easily.
This grill is great, but there are a few things to keep in mind. This grill is the ideal size for groups of 4 or less, but if you are cooking for a crowd you may want a larger model (or a second grill). Not big enough to use to cook the whole turkey. We also want to be able to adjust the distance between the coal and the shelf, but overall this is a great grill.
Buying the right charcoal grill can mean the difference between summer and great summer. The 9 charcoal grills on this list have something for everyone, whether it’s feeding apartment dwellers, pooches, or even the largest families.