If you love to grill meats, veggies and other treats, a charcoal grill is a great option. These grills feature simple designs and easy operation, and they’re usually more affordable than their gas counterparts.
Whether you’re new to grilling or you simply love the flexibility of charcoal, a new grill can broaden your cooking horizons. These grills can bring the thermometer to blazing-hot temperatures, making it easy to serve up steaks with a char-grilled exterior and a super-moist center.
Charcoal grills come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. If you have limited space for grilling, you can buy a compact kettle model; if you want to get serious about smoking meats, a barrel-style smoker grill has you covered. Once you start to research different options, however, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the many different brands, styles, and sizes on the market.
That’s where we can help — we’ve examined a huge range of different charcoal grill models to find the best options. These are our top five picks; each one is sure to get grilling season off on the right foot.
Top 5: Charcoal Grills Review
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When you’re cooking for a group, you might find yourself rotating foods on and off the grill. Not with the Weber 741001 — with its large grate, this grill can hold up to 13 hamburgers at one time, making it the perfect option for parties and family dinners. This grill features a classic kettle design, so there’s plenty of room to add as little or as much charcoal as you need. With the integrated fuel grate, you can position charcoal precisely to create direct or indirect heating; this flexibility allows you to cook food perfectly.
This Weber model has heat management down to a science. Its metal surface is porcelain-enameled, which allows the grill to keep heat inside. That means that the interior temperature stays consistent, and your foods cook evenly. Need to adjust the heat? It’s easy thanks to a user-friendly temperature control on the lid.
Just move the dampers open to let in more oxygen and increase the heat or close it to cut off air and reduce the heat. No matter how hot things get, the handle stays cool for safety. When you need to take the lid off, simply hang it on the side of the grill using the angled hook.
If you want to grill year-round, this Weber grill is tough enough to handle the stress. The exterior finish prevents rusting and peeling, even after frequent outdoor use. Of course, we don’t recommend storing your grill outside all winter, but it can certainly handle regular snowy cooking sessions. The grill even has wheels for easy movement. When you’re done, the simple cleaning system makes it easy to empty the ashes.
Perhaps the most versatile grill on our list is the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe. Though it’s small, this grill is packed with useful features. The most convenient aspect of this grill is its size. It measures a little over 14 inches across, so it takes up a minimal amount of space on your deck or outdoor area. Inside, there’s enough room to hold up to five burgers.
Thanks to its compact design, the grill is a breeze to take anywhere; it fits in the car, and can even sit on the deck of a boat. The three-legged base features rounded legs that stand easily on a variety of surfaces, from sand to decking. You can even rest it on top of a picnic table. Between meals, the grill fits into a small space in your shed or garage.
With its porcelain-enameled construction, this little grill can take the heat. The enamel holds the heat inside, and integrated dampers allow you to change the interior temperature with a quick movement. Inside, the steel-plated grate is designed to handle high heat with ease.
When you’re looking for a standing grill that won’t break the bank, this Beau Jardin Portable Model is a good fit. It features a classic kettle-style design, giving you plenty of room to load it up with charcoal for high-heat cooking. The plated steel grate is 18 inches wide, so it provides plenty of room for veggies, meats and more.
This charcoal grill is built to last. Its legs are made from aluminum so they’re strong, lightweight and rust-resistant — which means that you can leave the grill outside without compromising performance or structural integrity. The metal lid and grill bowl are enameled with porcelain for extra durability and heat retention. With its sleek black finish, this grill looks great on the patio or in the yard.
If you like to entertain, this grill makes it easy to shift your cooking station. Two large wheels on the base allow you to roll the grill smoothly; a handle on the side helps you stay in control. Below the ash pan there’s a large metal shelf to hold dishes, cooking supplies and ingredients. Don’t worry about ashes; the integrated catcher keeps them safely out of the way until you’re ready to clean.
If you are serious about grilling, this Expert Grill has you covered. The most exciting feature is the space — the 24-inch grate can fit up to 20 burgers at the same time. Or, use it to prepare family dinners or big cuts of meat. There’s even an upper rack that sits above the main grate, giving you space to cook items that need less heat or longer cook times.
When it comes to adjusting the heat, this grill gives you plenty of options. Move the adjustable charcoal pan to set the coals closer or farther from your food. If you need to let in more air or add more charcoal, there’s no need to lift the cooking grate; simply open the door on the front of the grill. A high-visibility temperature gauge on the side of the grill tells you exactly what’s happening inside, so you can leave the lid closed and ensure that foods are cooked evenly. The powder-coated exterior keeps the heat in.
On the side of the grill, you’ll find a convenient shelf with plenty of space for grilling accessories or condiments. A second shelf on the bottom holds everything from pans to serving plates. Want to move the grill? Just lift the sturdy handle on the side and roll the grill on the two integrated wheels. When it’s not moving, the sturdy fixed feet keep your grill safely in place.
Compact and sturdy, this Char-Broil American Gourmet Grill is an ideal choice for families. It features 225 square inches of cooking space, giving you enough room to hold up to eight burgers. The barrel-style design is neat and compact and fits easily onto a small deck or patio.
If you grill frequently, you know that ash removal can be a pain. That’s why this grill comes with a slide-out drawer. Simply pull out the drawer when the coals cool and empty the debris in seconds. The sturdy handle makes it easy to lift and control the drawer.
Inside this grill, the cast iron grate holds your food safely above the charcoal. A large shelf on the side holds your cooking supplies, and integrated hooks keep your tongs and other tools within easy reach. As you cook, you can adjust the temperature with the side vent. When it’s time to lift the lid, there’s no need to use a glove — the tubular metal handle stays cool.
Load up this grill with food and charcoal; the sturdy base keeps everything stable. Gross-braces add extra structural integrity, whether the grill is standing or rolling on the two integrated wheels.
best charcoal grill
Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, these grills each give you the power to cook up delicious, perfectly cooked food. While we like all of the models, our favorite is the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe. This compact little grill is affordable, sturdy and a breeze to transport — which means that you can grill at home, on the beach, or even on a boat.
Order the Smokey Joe today to start enjoying tasty grilled foods.
charcoal grill Buying Guide
When you’re ready to buy a charcoal grill, it can be tough to pick from the wide variety of models. Most models will allow you to cook easily. The real difference will lie in the size and heat retention. These factors can help you select a grill that’s right for your cooking needs.
Size is the first thing to consider when you’re choosing a charcoal grill. Consider your cooking plans. Will you be making smaller dinners for two to four people, or do you want to host big backyard parties? Then, look at the amount of space you have, both for cooking and storage. Smaller grills are easy to tuck away if you only have a tiny outdoor area, or if you have limited storage. They’re also great for portability. Larger grills, which usually come on semi-portable or stationary bases, can be left in one spot for convenience, but you probably won’t be taking them to the beach.
Heat Control and Retention
If you’re a serious grill chef, you know that heat is important. That’s why it’s a good idea to get a grill that helps you control the high heat from the charcoal. At a minimum, the grill should have a vent on the cover. If possible, look for a model with a movable charcoal pan. It’s also helpful to look at the grill’s coating; a quality porcelain coating helps keep heat inside.
A great charcoal grill gives you a range of exciting outdoor cooking opportunities. By choosing a model that has the right size and features, you can enjoy delicious dinners all summer long.