From the moment the temperature rises we like spending weekends at our friends’ place. They have a beautiful little yard and often organize BBQ parties. Grilling is, in our opinion, one of the best things we can do in the warm spring and summer months. It’s not just about the food, but the energy, hanging out with friends, and the sensation of freedom. And this sensation is something that became even stronger now when the governments began to lift COVID 19 related restrictions.
But of course, food plays an important part, too. We all love grilled food in general. However, it is necessary to say that not all grilled food is the same. Like, there were situations when we ate BBQ that wasn’t cooked well at all. So during one of these weekend parties, we asked our friends about their secret. “It’s mostly thanks to our charcoal grill ” – they said. And this surprised us. We expected some big theory about how to make fire, type of charcoal, how long to cook food, etc. But it’s just the grill?… “The funniest thing,” they said, “is that it’s a pretty cheap charcoal grill. Yet works quite well”.
We went back home with full stomachs, satisfied and determined to learn more about the best charcoal grills and get one. At first, we were still a bit surprised because we thought that they are kind of old-fashioned. But then, we learned that there are plenty of new and improved models. And there were so many options that it was a real challenge to figure out which one would be the best for us. So we talked with our friends, some chefs and did a lot of research to find out more about what makes a good portable grill and how to choose it. Now, we would love to share all this info with you!
Top 5 Best Charcoal Grills: Comparison Table
|Model||Total Cooking Surface||Temperature Gauge||Dimensions||Weight|
|Weber Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill||363 sq. in.||Yes||39.5 x 22.5 x 27 inches||32.3 pounds|
|Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill||360 sq. in.||Yes||29.9 x 27.4 x 14.8 inches||36 pounds|
|Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe||363 sq. in.||Yes||30 x 48 x 43.5 inches||91 pounds|
|Kingsford GR1031-014984 Barrel Charcoal Grill||693 sq. in.||Yes||43 x 23.5 x 50 inches||73.5 pounds|
|Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill||250 sq. in.||No||31 x 21 x 44 inches||50 pounds|
Best for the Money: Weber Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
To be the top charcoal grill on the market, the manufacturer had to make it stand out. This starts with the amount of space available when it comes to cooking. The model will provide you up to 363 square inches of cooking space. As a result, you should have an easy time preparing food for a large group.
Being a premium model, it also comes with nice construction. You can be in a position to have a good time using it right now. There is also the steel plate cooking grid that allows for better cooking. Compared to some other models, you will always find this one having a good cooking experience, but note that this is not a square charcoal grill.
Best Affordable Charcoal Grill: Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
This is another charcoal grill that you can get for yourself right now. This is because it comes with a number of top features. You will like the fact that it has up to 360 square inches of cooking space. This allows for preparing more food with ease. It also comes with porcelain-coated cooking grate. This will keep the good on top and further prevent any flare ups.
Another thing you will like about the model should be the hinged lid mounted temperature gauge. There is no doubt you would want to know the operating temperature. The best part is that you can be able to read the temperature with ease always. Having the removable ash bowl further makes it easy for cleaning of the grill. You can be sure never to miss it in most charcoal grill reviews.
Best for Newbies: Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe
Being also one of the best charcoal grills, it is going to be worth your money. This is because the model can deliver on ease of use. The first thing you will like should be the grill temperature gauge. It will be able to help you get the internal temperature of the grill so that you know just how much to adjust the heat. The model is also good in terms of being easy to clean. With the one-touch cleaning system, it does provide hassle-free cleaning experience, and this is must-have information in our Weber charcoal grill reviews.
Another thing you will like about this Weber charcoal grill should the easy charcoal ignition. This allows for ease of igniting the charcoal with a push of a button. It is that simple. With the mounted timer, it will help you with setting the timer just as you would want for preheating and grilling sessions.
Best for Portability: Kingsford GR1031-014984 Barrel Charcoal Grill
This is another charcoal grill smoker on the market right now. This is because it can deliver some good performance features. First of all, you get that the model comes with more cooking space of up to 793 square inches. This should be great for cooking more food. It comes with a limit of 35 burgers at once. It should definitely be worth your time and it’s one of the best large charcoal grills.
Another thing you will like about the model should the heavy duty grill construction. Thanks to having steel construction, you should get it lasting for a very long time. It is also able to withstand the weather elements and keep on working great for longer. It also comes with the high thickness plastic wheels that allow for ease of transportation. You can always get it from one place to another, and although it’s not a charcoal kettle grill, it’s an amazing choice.
Best for Saving Space: Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill
If you need the charcoal grill for saving on space, then this is the one you buy. Thanks to having a compact design, you can easily set it up in different places with ease. The model also comes with wheels for ease of movement, so it should best for you to get. As much as it is compact, the model still comes with an impressive cooking surface of 250 square inches. You should enjoy using it as from today.
The model is also easy to clean after you are done with the grill. You find that it is ease to access the dump ash pan for ease of emptying and ash disposal. The model is also built to be tough. This is thanks to having been made from heavy duty steel. It is further powder coated to increase the durability.
Why Choose Charcoal Grill over Pellet or Gas Models?
It’s amazing how BBQ has developed over the years. At first, people were just using a frame of sticks to grill their food, which probably was far from comfortable. But now we have a fast and easy way to cook some BBQ – grills. And there are many options for them too: gas, electric, and pellet grill in addition to the charcoal. All of them are rather popular and effective, but more and more people in the US choose a charcoal grill in recent years. 49%, in fact. But why? What’s so special about charcoal grills? Well, that is because it gives your food a much better flavor. Moreover, the charcoal grill with smoker is very convenient, as it comes in different shapes and sizes. Some of the most common are kettle, barrel, cart, and kamado grills.
But what are the upsides of the top charcoal grills? Why do people mostly choose it over gas models or other options? To find answers to these questions, we will look at the pros and cons of a professional charcoal grill.
Charcoal Grills Pros & Cons
Like everything else, charcoal grill brands have some advantages and disadvantages. And it’s necessary to know what they are to understand whether these grills are a suitable option for you or not.
Charcoal Grills Types
We have already mentioned some of the charcoal grill types. Now, let’s look at the differences between them.
- Kettle grills are the standard round grills that we all know. They come with a steel chamber with charcoal and a cooking grate. Usually, the best kettle grill will come with a lid and air vents.
- Barrel grills look like someone cut the steel barrel in half. The grate is at the bottom of the chamber. This stainless steel charcoal grill also comes with a lid.
- Kamado grills, aka egg-shaped cookers, are ceramic. So it takes a longer time for them to heat up, but they also hold the heat longer than traditional charcoal grills.
- Portable charcoal grill is small and lightweight. This type has foldable legs and a handle, so it is simple to take them with you, let’s say on a camping trip.
- Built-in grills are fixed and made to stay outdoors throughout the year. Usually, they are made of different materials such as concrete, bricks, etc. And while making our charcoal grill reviews, we’ve also noticed that this type of grill is also the most expensive. However, they are worth it, as these models are a lot more convenient and have many useful features.
Charcoal Grill Buying Guide: What to Look at?
Size, Portability and Cooking Surface
The biggest question you need to answer here is how many people you are cooking for! If it is just for you and your family, then a small charcoal grill under 200 is a good choice for you. But if you plan to cook for a larger group of people, then you need a bigger unit. And if you often camp and want to bring your grill with you, then a charcoal grill with foldable legs is the perfect option.
This is a very useful and important function. With temperature control, you can easily maintain the heat. Moreover, this feature also allows you to watch over temperature, which is very convenient in order to make sure that you’re within a safe grilling temperature.
Ease of Use
Always make sure that the best charcoal grills are pretty easy to use. The vents must open easily, the grill racks sit well, and you shouldn’t have a hard time starting the grill or operate it.
- Some models of the best charcoal grill for the money come with digital temperature controls.
- An ignition switch is a splendid feature because it allows you to heat the grill without the lighter or matches.
Accessories to Get for Charcoal Grill
- Heat-resistant gloves are very important since they protect you from burns. After all, you have to handle the chimney, which is full of hot coal. Or sometimes you might have to move the grates with your hands. Besides that, you can easily get burned when you are turning the food or adding more things to the grill if you don’t use protection. Thus, it’s always important to wear protection, and follow charcoal grill safety rules!
- Thermometer is an excellent tool that can tell the exact temperature of your food. And it’s always important, not only to cook the meal properly but also for your own safety. That is because different food has different food safety temperatures, and you need something that will help you monitor it.
- Grilling tools are pretty convenient. That’s because they allow you to turn and change the place of the food effortlessly. Plus, according to many charcoal grill reviews, these tools minimize the risk of you getting burned.
- A grill brush is necessary to keep your grill grate clean. The best is to choose a brush without bristle as it can damage the grill.
How to Use a Charcoal Grill: Essential Basics
As we mentioned earlier, cooking on a charcoal grill is a bit more challenging than on a gas grill. However, this type of fuel is worth it, as it will give your food a much better taste.
First, you need to know the right amount of charcoal. That will depend on the size of the grill. Then you have to light it up with a lighter on another tool. You also need to clean and season the grill.
So, let’s take a faster approach, and see what you need to do, step-by-step:
How Do You Start a Charcoal Grill?
- Arrange the coals
- Pour lighter fluid over the coals.
- Wait for 30 seconds
- Light the coals with a lighter or another tool.
- When they become white, cover them with grate.
How Do You Clean a Charcoal Grill?
- Prepare all the cleaning supplies such as the brush, foil, paper, or plastic bags. Maybe you will need a fork.
- Clean both charcoal and grill grate with a grill brush.
- Scrub with aluminum foil.
- Use the brush to clean the bottom and the lid of the grill. Wash it with soap and water and then rinse.
- Assemble the grill.
That is all about the best charcoal grills for today, folks! Although there are other options, these traditional grills are still among the best on the market. We like them because of the smoky flavor the food has when cooked on one of those units. Indeed you can be overwhelmed by the number of models. But, now, when you have all the information, hopefully, it will be easier for you to find only the best charcoal grills 2021!
So, have you tried food cooked on this type of grill?