Best charcoal grill

Are you looking for the best charcoal grill? Read our review to find out which one is better.

If you’re not familiar with charcoal grill itself then I strongly recommend to start with our buyer’s guide.

Top-4 the best portable charcoal grills

  Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black Char-Griller Side Fire Box Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
  Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black Char-Griller Side Fire Box Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
Rankings
 
more than 880 customer reviews
 
more than 690 customer reviews
 
more than 720 customer reviews
 
more than 460 customer reviews
Material Type Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron Steel Cast Iron Steel
Diameter 14.5 inches 18 inches 18 inches 18 inches
Weight 14.1 pounds 18 pounds 38 pounds 28 pounds
Total cooking area 160 square inches 240 square inches 250 square inches 240 square inches
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Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
Dimensions 14.5"H X 21"W X 12.2"D inches
Diameter 14.5 inches
Material Type Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron
Item Weight 14.1 pounds
Total cooking area 160 square inches
Glass-reinforced nylon handles yes
Rust-resistant aluminum dampers yes
Fuel type charcoal
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Holds up to 6 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • The lid locks for easy portability and dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
  • Plated steel cooking grate
  • Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
  • Tuck-N-Carry lid lock
  • Plated steel legs pivot to lock lid in place for carrying
  • Porcelain-enameled base and lid

Pros

  • Folds compactly for storage and travel
  • Easy to set up
  • Holds and diffuses heat well
  • Quick cool down
  • The porcelain-enameled coating prevents rust and fading

Cons

  • Not completely foldable - only the legs
  • Cannot fit in the backpack

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black

Amazon's Choice
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black
Dimensions 19.7"H X 19.7"W X 20.5"D
Diameter 18 inches
Material Type Steel
Item Weight 18 pounds
Total cooking area 240 square inches
Glass-reinforced nylon handles yes
Rust-resistant aluminum dampers yes
Fuel type charcoal
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Holds up to 8 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
  • Plated steel cooking grate
  • Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
  • Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
  • Lid handle with heat shield
  • Aluminum ash catcher
  • Tuck-n-carry lid lock

Pros

  • It's a large portable Weber
  • Excellent temperature control

Cons

  • Leg design could be improved to add stability

Char-Griller Side Fire Box

Char-Griller Side Fire Box
Dimensions 17"H X 16"W X 18"D
Diameter 18 inches
Material Type Cast Iron
Item Weight 38 pounds
Total cooking area 250 square inches
Fuel type charcoal
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Cast Iron Cooking Grates
  • Heavy Duty Steel Construction
  • Dual Damper Control
  • Easy Dump Ash Pan
  • Powder Coating Finish
  • Sliding drawer for easy access to coals and ashes, Easy dump ash pan and Stay Cool hood handle

Pros

  • Cooks Efficiently
  • Large Grilling Surface
  • Adds Flavor To Meal
  • Portable
  • Cast Iron Grates

Cons

  • Difficult Setup
  • Heavy steel construction

Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
Dimensions 27.00L x 16.00W x 15.50H inches
Diameter 18 inches
Material Type Steel
Item Weight 28 pounds
Total cooking area 240 square inches
Fuel type charcoal
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Unique grill lift system allows access to the charcoal bed without touching the cooking grate
  • Spacious cooking grate (240 sq. in.) with enough room to cook for your whole family
  • Large ash collection bin for easy cleaning
  • Precision air flow system allows accurate temperature management
  • Built in temperature gauge in lid

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Large cooking surface
  • Easy access to charcoal
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Pins used for the grate lift may need tightening
  • The legs are not stable

Top-5 the best charcoal grills

We have put together a list of the 5 best charcoal grill.

  Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill KamadoJoe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker Kamado Joe Jr. Grill
  Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker Kamado Joe Jr. Grill
Rankings
 
more than 1140 customer reviews
 
more than 320 customer reviews
 
more than 70 customer reviews
 
more than 720 customer reviews
 
more than 15 customer reviews
Material Type Steel Ceramic Ceramic and Steel Steel Ceramic
Diameter 22 inches 14 inches 18 inches 20 inches 13.5 inches
Weight 33.1 pounds 37 pounds 250 pounds 100 pounds 75.6 pounds
Total cooking area 363 square inches 153 square inches 256 square inches 314 square inches 148 square inches
  BUY ON AMAZON BUY ON AMAZON BUY ON AMAZON BUY ON AMAZON BUY ON AMAZON

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch

Amazon's Choice Editor's Choice
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch
Dimensions 39.5"H X 25"W X 22.5"D inches
Diameter 22 inches
Material Type Steel
Item Weight 33.1 pounds
Total cooking area 363 square inches
Fuel type charcoal
Glass-reinforced nylon handles yes
Durable all-weather wheels yes
Rust-resistant aluminum dampers yes
BUY ON AMAZON
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Weber Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill Black

Features

  • Plated steel, hinged cooking grate
  • Heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate
  • Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid
  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • Bottom wire rack
  • Lid handle with heat shield
  • Angled lid hook inside grill lid
  • Removable, high-capacity, aluminum ash catcher
  • Aluminized steel one-touch cleaning system
  • Spring clip/push pin leg assembly

Warranty

  • Bowl and lid - 10 years, no rust through/burn through
  • One-touch cleaning system - 5 years, no rust through/burn through
  • Plastic components - 5 years, excluding fading or discoloration
  • All remaining parts - 2 years

Pros

  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Cooking grate is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling

Cons

  • Three leg design is a little unstable

Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill

Amazon's Choice Editor's Choice
Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill
Dimensions 25.3"H X 21.5"W X 20.5"D inches
Diameter 14 inches
Material Type Ceramic
Item Weight 37 pounds
Total cooking area 153 square inches
Fuel type charcoal
Divide & Conquer® Flexible Cooking System yes
Air Lift Hinge yes
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels
  • Divide & Conquer® Flexible Cooking System
  • Air Lift Hinge
  • Kontrol Tower Top Vent
  • AMP FireBox
  • Stainless Steel Latch
  • Wire Mesh Fiberglass Gasket
  • Patented Slide-Out Ash Drawer
  • Built-in Thermometer
  • Finished Folding HDPE Side Shelves/Handle
  • Grill Gripper
  • Ash Tool

Pros

  • Easy Assembly
  • Portable
  • Easy To Clean
  • Craftsmanship
  • Durable

Cons

  • Small grilling space
  • Uneven Cooking

Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

Editor's Choice
KamadoJoe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
Dimensions 48"H X 46.5"W X 28"D inches
Diameter 18 inches
Material Type Ceramic and Steel
Item Weight 250 pounds
Total cooking area 256 square inches
Fuel type charcoal and wood
Holds Heat Like Ceramic yes
Heat Gauge yes
Dual Dampers yes
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels
  • Divide & Conquer® Flexible Cooking System
  • Air Lift Hinge
  • Kontrol Tower Top Vent
  • AMP FireBox
  • Stainless Steel Latch
  • Wire Mesh Fiberglass Gasket
  • Patented Slide-Out Ash Drawer
  • Built-in Thermometer
  • Finished Folding HDPE Side Shelves/Handle
  • Grill Gripper
  • Ash Tool
Divide & Conquer
Divide & Conquer

Patented Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System is a revolutionary multi-level, half rack design that frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures all at the same time. You’ll end up with a perfect, well-rounded meal without ever leaving the grill.

Kontrol tower top vent
Kontrol Tower Top Vent

Rust-proof, all-aluminum top vent maintains your exact air setting throughout dome opening and closing, and is fully weather-resistant and rain-proof.

Patented slide-out ash drawer
Patented Slide-Out Ash Drawer

While other kamado grills expect you to awkwardly sweep out ash that collects beneath the fire box, our Classic II, Big Joe and Stand-Alone models integrate a first-of-its-kind drawer that takes the hassles and mess out of emptying your ash.

Air lift hinge
Air Lift Hinge

Other kamado grills allow the dome to fall or slam during lifting or closing, but our breakthrough hinge reduces dome weight by 96%—so you can lift it with a finger and stop it wherever you want.

AMP Firebox
AMP Firebox

Breakage is eliminated with our new Advanced Multi-Panel FireBox, a six-piece, durable design that radiates and retains heat for hours and hours.

AMP Firebox
Stainless Steel Latch

The category-leading, ultra air-tight seal of our self-activating latch locks in heat and smoke for the perfect cook.

Wire mesh fiberglass gasket
Wire Mesh Fiberglass Gasket

Our all-new, double-thick gasket is engineered to handle extreme temperatures and maintain a superior air-tight seal, with industry-leading heat technology that gives it 10X the life of any other industry gasket.

Pros

  • Divide & Conquer® Flexible Cooking System
  • Ash Tool
  • Durable
  • The grill can produce higher top-end temperatures.

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

Amazon's Choice Editor's Choice
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker
Dimensions 47"H X 31"W X 20"D inches
Diameter 20 inches
Material Type Steel
Item Weight 100 pounds
Total cooking area 314 square inches
Fuel type charcoal
Folding Side Shelves yes
Easy Dump Ash Pan yes
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Easy Dump Ash Pan
  • Adjustable Dampers
  • Cast Iron Cooking Grates
  • 20" Cooking Diameter
  • Removable Warming Rack
  • Triple Wall Steel
  • Folding Side Shelves
  • Large 8" Locking Caster Wheels
  • Maintains temperatures from 200°-700°F.
  • 447 sq. in. total cooking area.

Pros

  • Cooks Efficiently
  • Adds Flavor To Meal
  • Large Grilling Surface
  • Convenient
  • Great for smoking

Cons

  • Messy Cleanup
  • Small Grilling Surface
  • Takes Long To Light

Kamado Joe Jr. Grill

Kamado Joe Jr. Grill
Dimensions 22"H X 16"W X 20.75"D inches
Diameter 13.5 inches
Material Type Ceramic
Item Weight 75.6 pounds
Total cooking area 148 square inches
Fuel type charcoal
BUY ON AMAZON

Features

  • Premium 13.5” Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Stand
  • Built-in Thermometer
  • 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grate
  • Ceramic Heat Deflector
  • Grill Gripper
  • Ash Tool

Pros

  • Perfect for tailgates, picnics, pool parties, camping and more
  • The thick-walled ceramic body locks in heat, moisture and flavor.
  • Grill Gripper
  • Ash Tool

Cons

  • Expensive

Advantages and disadvantages of a charcoal grill

A charcoal grill heats up and functions similarly to a regular brazier, due to heated coal. But this is the only similarity. Unlike brazier, a charcoal grill has a cover, that drastically changes its characteristics.

Charcoal grill lets you:

  • cook in any weather;
  • smoke food;
  • keep high temperature during long hours and save on coil;
  • quickly and evenly fry favorite dishes, making the average cooking time 2-3 times shorter.

Talking about grills, we can’t forget that there are other kinds of them - electric and gas ones. Why did we pick a charcoal grill? Unlike the electric one, it does not require plugging into the wall, so it can be used anywhere. Comparing to the gas type, the charcoal grill is more compact, as long as it doesn’t need gas cartridges.

A gas grill is convenient when it comes to preparation: it takes only several minutes to set the device, and it’s fully ready to fry any dishes, - charcoal grill, on the other hand, requires lighting and heating it for about 20-25 minutes. But it doesn’t put off traditional grill-lovers from buying it, because the main advantage of a charcoal grill is unmatched smoke-smell of food, cooked on open fire.

Cleaning a charcoal grill is a bit more difficult than the other grill types, but this disadvantage will not be a problem, if you will buy a high-quality device, like a ceramic grill: food does not stick to its surface.

How to choose a charcoal grill?

There is no universal recipe for a perfect charcoal grill - it’s important to pick something that meets your specific needs. But what should you keep in mind and what specifications should you pay attention to, to buy a grill for cooking on coal?

Shape

A grill can be of all kinds of shape:

  • egg-shaped, like char-griller;
  • round, like classical American charcoal “Grill-barbeque” Webber;
  • innovative ceramic, Kamado Joe;
  • regular rectangular.
  Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill KamadoJoe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
  Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
Rankings
 
more than 1140 customer reviews
 
more than 320 customer reviews
 
more than 70 customer reviews
Material Type Steel Ceramic Ceramic and Steel
Diameter 22 inches 14 inches 18 inches
Weight 33.1 pounds 37 pounds 250 pounds
Total cooking area 363 square inches 153 square inches 256 square inches
  BUY ON AMAZON BUY ON AMAZON BUY ON AMAZON

First two variants are more popular because they are more efficient and compact. These types of grill are used as a smoking oven: they preserve heat much longer. You can cook both on direct and indirect fire and not only stakes but poultry, vegetables, pizza and all kinds of pastry.

Size

You would like to open your restaurant and offer dishes cooked on coal? Or you have a regular meeting with your friends by the house? Large charcoal grills will help you cook considerable amounts of food, that would be enough for 15-30 guests. for a family of 2-4 people, a middle-sized grill will be enough, especially if you are limited with space and won’t be able to fit a large one. The smallest models are made for cooking 1 or 2 portions of food and can be easily stored inside the house. They are often bought for trips because they are compact and easily can fit inside a bag or a trunk of a car.

Heating mode

The temperature changes as it does in the oven, by modifying the air flow. In some grills, you can also adjust the height of the grid above the coal, which lets you cook different products in different temperature modes at the same time (e.g. vegetables and steak).

Convenience of lighting up

It’s important that your device would have an easily accessible coal tank and adjustable air flow for simplicity of lighting up a process, so choose a grill with adjustable ventilation.

Materials of boiler and grid

Traditionally there are two types of charcoal grills:

Ceramic devices conserve heat better than the steel ones. Grids in grills can be made of steel (it’s better to be stainless steel) or cast iron. The choice here depends on the needs of the griller.

Types of fuel and consumption rate

First of all, the amount of necessary fuel is defined by the type of grill, it’s size and shape. Experienced grillers say that round shaped ceramic grills are more efficient than rectangular steel ones.

Cooking modes

You can not only cook burgers or sausages with a grill but many other dishes as well. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to devices with multiple cooking modes. The more modes the device has, the wider it’s cooking variety is.

Simplicity of maintenance

Like any other cooking product, a grill must be clean, or the food will burn on the uncleaned grid, and a load of coal would not make your food’s smell more appealing. This is why it’s important to pick models that are easy to wash and clean (ceramic grill here is a head-down winner because you will only need to clean the grid and the dishes). Some manufacturers offer special cleaning agents - environmentally friendly and not harmful for the surface of the grill.

Warranty

Leading manufacturers of steel grills usually offer a 5-10 years warranty, ceramic - life-long warranty on their products.

Efficiency

Should you base your choice upon the reputation of the brand? In this case, the answer is “Yes”, you should. Because the reputation of the firm, manufacturing such devices, is earned not with an advertisement, but with long-term cooperation with the customers and their experience with the grills, a rating of the quality, endurance and longevity of the product. That’s why we advise you to pay attention to grills from the leading manufacturers.

Such as:

  1. Weber - manufacturer of “Barbeque-grills”, with more than one hundred years of experience.
  2. Kamado Joe - one of the best manufacturers of premium-class ceramic grills, constantly innovating and improving it’s models every year.
  3. Char-Griller got its start decades ago with our unique charcoal barrel-style grill.
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