It doesn’t get much better than a juicy burger coming off a charcoal grill. The a great one can take your next backyard barbecue up a few notches. Food grilled over charcoal has an extra something that adds to the flavor of the food and the ambiance of the barbecue.
Choose a charcoal grill with the additional functions you want. Select the size that will accommodate enough food for who you’ll be cooking for. Find a grill made with the materials you like. Make sure you consider the exterior material, as well as the grill grate material. Other features are important, too. Prioritize a list of extra features. The right charcoal grill for you will have as many of those extra features as possible.
Look for a charcoal grill that’s best for your cooking needs. We don’t all cook the same foods or the same way. Let’s start with a more in-depth look at how to find the best charcoal grill for your specific needs. Keep reading further to see some options currently selling on Amazon.
Is Charcoal Grill Better?
The answer to this question is mostly a matter of opinion. Gas grills and charcoal grills both have pros and cons. Choose which is better by assessing the type of grill against how you’ll cook with it.
For our purposes, let’s look more closely at the charcoal grill. They’re usually less expensive than gas grills. Most can reach higher temperatures than gas grills. A charcoal grill gives food a smoky flavor you can’t get from a gas grill.
Those reasons make charcoal grills more appealing than gas options. However, it also has cons. It takes much longer to heat up. The fuel doesn’t last as long. You’ll go through a bag of charcoal in three barbecues, while the same amount of propane lasts for about 25 barbecues. Also, cleaning it is more difficult.
How Do I Choose A Charcoal Grill?
We’re going to show you what’s important to consider. You’re going to make decisions based on those considerations to fit your needs. That’s how you’ll find the charcoal grill to suit your needs.
Many charcoal grills double as smokers. If you already know you want a grill and smoker combined, you’ve already narrowed the field of options a bit. Grills that double as smokers are practical choices. You won’t need space for more than one unit. It’s also more cost effective.
You can also choose a grill capable of cooking with both gas and charcoal. They’re considered to be dual fuel grills. Many of the big brand names, such as Char-Griller offer these types of grills.
The size of a grill matters. A charcoal grill that’s too small will result in long cooking sessions where people must wait for their food. A charcoal grill that’s too large will take a long time to heat up, require more charcoal than is necessary, and ends up being wasteful.
Decide on the right size by considering how many people you’ll typically be feeding, what the largest amount of people is you’ll need to cook for, and how frequently you’ll be feeding the largest group.
Portability is the other piece in determining the right size. If you intend to take your grill to other locations, choose a grill small enough to easily transport.
Materials Of A Charcoal Grill
Grills aren’t all made of the same materials. Many have stainless steel bodies. Some have enameled steel. Still others are made of ceramic. It’s up to you to decide which material makes the most sense for you.
The grill grates inside are also made of various materials. Choose from stainless steel, cast iron, and more. Think about how easy different materials are to clean, as well as how much they weigh, when you’re making your choices.
Some materials cost more than others, as well. For instance, Char-Griller, a maker of professional-grade grills, manufactures grills made of heavy-duty steel with cast iron grates. Consequently, many of the grills have high price tags. Consider that when you’re shopping for your grill, too.
Our recommended charcoal grills have a variety of different features that make using them more fun and give you more ways to ensure delicious results. Here are a few you might want to consider:
- Built-in thermometers
- Side tables or countertops
- Storage cabinets
- Compatible accessories
- Temperature management system
In the next section, let’s look at some specific charcoal grills. Keep in mind the things we just discussed to help decide if any are right for your needs.
Best Charcoal Grill Options
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing for Best Charcoal Grill)
This Weber charcoal grill weighs just over 32 lbs. It comes in three color choices and is made of porcelain. It’s large enough to cook up to 13 burgers at the same time. There is a built-in thermometer in the lid. A handle and two wheels make it easy to move around your yard. It’s equipped with an ash catcher, so cleaning up is a breeze. The cooking grate is hinged. It’s easy to add more charcoal when needed. There’s also a convenient lid hook so you don’t have to place the lid on the ground.
- Weber is an industry leader
- Enamel on porcelain helps grill retain heat
- No rusting or peeling
- Easy to clean
- Great for everyday use
- Assembly is frustrating for some
- Removing ash catcher an opening airflow vent is tough
Royal Gourmet 30-inch BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing for Best Charcoal Grill)
This is a charcoal grill and smoker. It comes with 800 square inches of cooking space. It’s made of stainless steel and weighs about 54 lbs. The smoker is offset and attached to the grill on the left side. It has a door that gives you easy access to add charcoal and remove ashes. There’s an air vent that helps keep the fire stoked, as well. The lid has a built-in thermometer so you can monitor the temperature without opening the grill. There’s even a storage rack underneath to hold accessories.
- Tons of cooking surface
- Porcelain-enameled cooking grates
- Side-access charcoal door
- Side table with hooks for storage
- Moveable charcoal pan to adjust heat
- Ash pan could use a support beam
- Comes completely unassembled
- Not as sturdy as higher-end grills
This is a Kamado style charcoal grill. That means it should heat food more evenly, so every bite has that smoky charcoal flavor. The grill has handles on both sides. It has an egg shape with a built-in thermometer in the lid. There’s a large ash tray that’s easy to remove and dump, as well. It’s light enough to be portable but durable enough to last. There are dual air-flow dampers, along with a hinged lid. The exterior is made of steel and ceramic and the grill grates are cast iron.
- Budget-friendly price
- Portable grill for camping, tailgating, and more
- Plenty of grilling space
- Temperature is easy to adjust
- The top doesn’t always line up with bottom causing seal issues
- Paint on the exterior doesn’t stand up to heat of grill
Oklahoma Joe's 19402088 Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing for Best Charcoal Grill)
The Rambler is made of heavy-duty steel. It has cast iron grill grates. The charcoal tray inside is adjustable for height so you can easily change the cooking temperature. Clean-up is easy with the removable ash tray. The lid includes a temperature gauge that allows you to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking session. The handles on the sides are sturdy so you can lift the grill with ease. You can grill or smoke on this model. The price is super affordable, too.
- Highly affordable
- Assembly is easy
- Tabletop grill
- Quality results
- Durable build
- Quite heavy
- Small grill space
- Not the easiest to clean
Is Cooking With Charcoal Unhealthy?
This question comes up a lot. Grilling food properly on a charcoal grill is perfectly healthy. Make sure you follow the directions with the grill. Recommendations are made for amounts of charcoal and lighter fluid to use. Adhere to those guidelines to stay safe and healthy.
Too much lighter fluid could result in serious burns. Also, don’t use gasoline and other accelerants to light your charcoal.
Always grill in an open space. If you grill in an enclosed area, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Charcoal grills are thought to be old school. They’re not, though. These grills make the neighborhood smell good and make food taste amazing. Choose yours in the appropriate size for your household. Pick materials that work best with your type of cooking. Look for the extra features you’ll use, too. They are worth the money when you choose them to meet your specific needs.
What is the best charcoal grill on the market?
Weber wins this title with its Weber Original Kettle 22”.
Why is the Weber grill so expensive?
Weber builds grills to last. They use better materials that are durable. Weber also puts a lot into the design of their grills. All Weber owners have access to a customer support team of experts, also.
Is Weber’s charcoal grill worth it?
Yes, they are. Your Weber grill will last you much longer than any cheap grill will. Weber makes high-quality grills that are durable and well-designed.
What are the best charcoal grills for the money?
The best grill for the money comes from Weber. They’re not as expensive as premium grills and smokers like Traeger, or as pricey as professional grills like Char-Griller.
Does Weber grill ever go on sale?
Older models of Weber grills go on sale every other year. Weber releases new grills every two years. Stores put the older models on sale in the Spring before releasing the new models.
Which BBQ brand is the best?
Weber is one of the most popular and most durable for home use. Professionals like Char-Griller and Traeger.
Is Weber grill really that much better?
Weber grills last longer than many other brands. They also do better at retaining heat and have more convenient features built into their designs.
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