Grilling has become a favorite way of cooking. From meats to fruits to vegetables, just about anything can be grilled. Even pizza! Charcoal grills are convenient, usually portable meaning they are great for home and traveling.
Because we want your family to enjoy the best grills, our team has put together this top 10 list of charcoal grills. We’ve provided descriptions, pros and cons so you’ll be able to make an informed and smart decision about which grill to purchase.
Charcoal Grills – What’s Good and What’s Bad
10. Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller features a convenient side drawer, 20 inches of cooking space and cast iron cooking grates. The wooden handle stays cool. It has wheels for easy mobility and would be perfect for a small deck or patio.
It has an air vent system that allows for even heat distribution. There are hooks that attach to the cooking tray giving you a place to hang grilling utensils.
Assembly is a bit difficult and the instruction manual is a bit hard to follow.
9. Dyna-Glo DGN576DNC-D Premium Charcoal Grill
This one features a charcoal basket adjustment feature to allow for better heat control. It has sturdy resin wheels with locking ability. It’s has a large grilling surface and can grill up to 30 burgers at once. It also has a stainless steel smoke stack, flue cap and cast iron charcoal access door.
The cooking grates are porcelain coated. It’s easy to adjust the charcoal tray. The grill itself is sturdy.
If left out in the rain, it will not drain properly causing the ashes to get gummy and there may be a problem with rust. It is difficult to regulate heat.
8. Kingsford OGD2001901-KF Outdoor Charcoal Kettle Grill
This grill features wheels for easy mobility, a bottom rack for storage, 354 square inches of cooking space and a warming rack. The grate is coated in porcelain. You’ll also have temperature control because of an air vent.
It’s easy to assemble. Doesn’t require as much charcoal as other brands. Seems to be rust proof even if left out in the elements for a long period of time.
The cooking rack is not adjustable. The charcoal area is a bit too close to the cooking rack.
7. Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
Great portable grill that would be perfect for camping. It features 240 in cooking area, lid-mounted temp gauge, the ability to access charcoal bed without touching the cooking grate and a durable enamel cover.
Very easy assembly. GrateLift feature is quite helpful when needing to rearrange the coals. It’s simple to clean and maintain.
Charcoal may not go out as quickly as with other grills – can waste charcoal.
6. Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill
This Char-Griller features wood side shelf with hooks for utensils, a temp gauge, basket and shelf for storage, adjustable charcoal grates, 580 square inches of cooking space, a warming rack and cast iron cooking grates.
It’s easy to clean and maintain. It has a rust-resistant coating. It’s very easy to regulate heat.
It’s a bit difficult to move around. The assembly instructions could be better.
5. Quick Grill Medium: Original Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill
This is a unique folding grill that is great for camping, backpacking or storing in an RV. The cooking surface measures 12”x12” and it’s made of durable stainless steel. It can be used with wood or charcoal and it comes with a carry bag.
The base is solid and steady. It’s easy to assemble, clean and maintain. Charcoal basket holds a decent amount of coal for longer cooking.
Cooking surface tends to slide around a bit.
4. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
This grill has a nickel-plated cooking grate that measures 14.5 inches. It’s a portable grill that is great for camping or for use when traveling. It is rust-resistant and the handle is glass reinforced nylon which allows you to remove the lid easily.
It’s small which makes it perfect for small spaces. The rounded top allows for better smoking.
Be aware of the ash build up and keep that part of the grill cleaned regularly. It is close to the ground so be careful around children and pets.
3. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
This grill features a 22 ½ inch cooking grate that is porcelain coated. It has a hinged lid, mounted temperature gauge and a removable ash bowl that makes clean up simple. It is also made to use less charcoal than some other brands.
Easy to assemble with clear instructions provided. It has a latch feature which keeps the grill lid securely closed. The grilling grates are very sturdy and durable.
There may be problems with peeling paint after firing up the grill.
2. Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe 18-Inch Portable Grill
The cooking grate on this one is 18 ½ inches plated steel. The bowl and lid are coated in porcelain enamel and it features rust resistant aluminum dampers and ash tray. It also comes with a glass reinforced nylon handle.
Easy to assemble and maintain. Works great for traveling and/or camping. Has exceptional ventilation.
Lid is a bit tight and the dome could be higher. Grates are a bit too far for charcoal which causes the smaller bits of coal to fall out.
1. Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
This grill features an aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system and also an aluminum steel ash catcher. The cooking grate is steel plated and measures 22 inches in diameter. It also has rust-resistant vents and a bowl and lid that are porcelain enameled with a glass reinforced nylon handle.
Easy to assemble. It’s easy to clean and maintain. Has great air control/ventilation.
There isn’t any way to adjust the height of the cooking surface.
You’ll notice that Weber made our list more than once. There is a good reason for that. They’ve been around since 1952 and with that many years of experience, you can be sure you’re getting a high quality product. Their website is full of inspiration from recipes to grilling tips, too.
It’s true that charcoal grills don’t offer the convenience gas grills do, however; charcoal grills do provide something special you really can’t get from a gas grill – FLAVOR! Charcoal grills provide an amazing smoky flavor to meats and an extremely pleasing caramelized texture. Another bonus of charcoal grills is they are much less expensive than gas grills and who doesn’t want to save money?
Finding the perfect grill to suit your needs and the needs of your family will be simple with our top 10 list of charcoal grills. Remember to stay safe while grilling and follow the manufacturer instructions. Happy grilling!