Any grill can be used to cook meat, but if you’ve tasted meat prepared using a charcoal grill, you’ll know there’s a certain flavor that it carries.
You can probably get such flavors by using any charcoal grill, but the grill will disappoint you in a short while if it is missing out on some features a good charcoal grill should have.
To start with, let’s take a look at the top five charcoal grills we’ve selected. We recently reviewed the portable charcoal grills, so if you’re interested in them, do well to check out that review.
So, here we go…
#1. Best Charcoal Grill – Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Weber is well known for making great and portable charcoal grills and the Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill is no exception.
It offers an impressive 363 sq. in. of cooking space. That is to say that it can fit 13 burgers measured with Weber’s burger press.
The strong build quality is another plus for this charcoal grill and the fact that it sports wheels makes it much easier to move from one point to another. You’ll also find the ashtray and storage rack underneath quite helpful.
What To Consider When Shopping for Charcoal Grills
The factors we pointed out below include cooking area, build quality, size, type, and extra features such as temperature control and storage racks.
Type of Grill
There are different types of charcoal grills available on the market. They include the brazier, pellet grills, shichirin, kettle grill, and the barrel-shaped models. The barrel-shaped and kettle shaped grills are the most common.
The materials used for constructing your charcoal grill greatly determines the overall build quality.
Some popular materials manufacturers use include cast iron, aluminum, ceramic, and porcelain-coated materials.
For us, we recommend the ceramic, cast iron, and aluminum models over the other types. This is because they tend to have better quality than the others.
Number of People The Grill Will Serve
Portable and tabletop charcoal grills are quite compact-sized and are only suitable for preparing food for less than 6 persons at once. A larger barrel-shaped charcoal grill can cater for more persons with ease.
Therefore, it is important to know the number of people that need to be
If portability is an issue of major concern to you, then you should take note of the size of the charcoal grill you’re interested in buying. The size of the body of the grill directly affects the size of the cooking area the grill will have.
With respect to the cooking area, this is often measured in sq. inches. Portable charcoal grills offer just about 160 sq. inches of cooking space and more. If you don’t intend to cook much, then you should be fine with that size.
Don’t forget to buy an accompanying grill prep table for your portable or tabletop grill. For larger models, portability is compromised for cooking space and extra features.
Your charcoal grill should have enough vents to allow the easy movement of air in and out to increase the ability to tame the flames. Also, having an integrated thermometer will help you keep an eye on the temperature of the fire.
In the absence of an integrated thermometer, a temperature probe hole is often present.
Having extra features on your charcoal grill can be a time saver. Features like an ashtray which makes cleaning easy, storage racks which makes it easy to store items for quick usage – including charcoal briquettes, and lastly, a hanging rack for hanging some of your cooking utensils.
Charcoal Grill Reviews
We shared our opinions on different charcoal grill types including portable, tabletop and full standing charcoal grills.
#1. Best Charcoal Grill – Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Cooking Space: 363 sq. inches
Features: large cooking space, steel cooking grates, ashtray, lid hook for hanging the lid on the side, wheels for easy movement, dampers for good temperature control.
The Weber 741001 kettle charcoal grill is one of the highly sought after charcoal grills from Weber. It is a kettle shaped grill with a size of 22-inches that equates to 363 sq. inches of cooking space.
It is made from a combination of different materials such as stainless steel, porcelain, and rubber. At a glance, you’ll appreciate the overall build quality of the grill, thanks to how good it looks and feels.
The Weber 741001 Charcoal Grill features dampers that offer a degree of control over temperature while cooking. There is also a lid hanger for hanging the lid when you’re grilling.
Underneath the grill lies an ashtray for catching ash and beneath the ashtray lies the storage rack for putting a few items into place. The wheels on this charcoal grill are firm but you’ll need constant oiling to smoothen the wheels.
#2. Best Barrel Charcoal Grill – Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill
Cooking Space: 800 sq. inch
Features: large cooking space, two cooking spaces, large storage racks, hanging hooks, smokestack, temperature gauge, ergonomic scald-proof handle, side air vents, wheels for movement.
The Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill should be your go-to charcoal grill if you want to tend to a large number of people. For a grill that offers two cooking boxes with a combined cooking space of 800 sq. inches, it will feed many at a go – perfect for class beach parties and campfires.
It’s has a strong build quality and comes with tons of features. As we mentioned earlier, it has two cooking spaces, a larger cooking space, and a side box. This gives you the ability to grill two things at different times.
Additionally, each cooking space has an easy to remove ashtray that allows for easy cleaning. It traps the ash and grease from your meat thus keeping your grill clean. There is a smokestack as well as a temperature gauge on this model.
The Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill also features an access door by the side of the grill that makes it easy to access the charcoal without stopping your grilling. There’s also enough storage space underneath the grill and wheels to help in movement.
We forgot to mention there are tons of racks, a small extended table to the right, as well as a warming rack to keep already grilled food warm for long periods. In all, if you’re looking for a large charcoal grill to serve a large number of persons, then this is it.
Cooking Space: 196 sq. inch
Features: lightweight, portable, compact-sized, dampers for improved airflow, stainless steel cooking grates, rust-free porcelain lid, sizeable cooking space.
The Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill is one grill that is fit for everyday travel. It’s compact-sized and lightweight enough to occupy a conspicuous space in your car trunk without getting in the way.
Price-wise, it’s also pocket-friendly – for the cost of a few cups of coffee, you get to taste grilled food with great taste. The Weber 10020 offers a good deal of cooking space – at 196 sq. inches, it’s fair enough, considering the size and features the grill has.
It is made with a combination of materials including aluminum, porcelain, and stainless steel. There is the cooking grate as well as ashtray and grill legs all made from stainless steel. The grill also features dampers that help with the airflow to make sure that you’re not choked beyond measure by smoke.
Unlike some kettle grills that have hanging lids, this one doesn’t. The lid is totally removable and it’s lightweight.
#4. Best Charcoal Grill/Prep Table Combo – Weber 15401001 Performer Premium Charcoal Grill
Cooking Space: 484 sq. inches
Features: grill & prep table combo, charcoal storage, extra storage space, cooking grate compatible with GBS inserts, easy cleaning, hanging hooks, large cooking space, wheels for easy movement.
If you don’t want to spend extra on a grill prep table, then this weber charcoal grill is for you. The Weber 15401001 Charcoal Grill is targeted at premium users with a flair for the good things of life.
It is made from a combination of materials including stainless steel, aluminum and of course, the grill itself with a porcelain-enameled lid. The grill features a secluded compartment under the table for storing charcoal. Behind it, you’ll find an open storage space for storing your cooking items.
With this Weber grill, you get about 484 sq. inches of cooking space. This includes the extra table space by the side. The Weber 15401001 Charcoal Grill has multi-directional wheels that aid for easy movement.
We like the grill’s design since it allows for easy use and cleaning. The grill’s grates are designed to be compatible with GBS inserts. Let’s not also fail to mention that the grill comes with a temperature gauge and even the table has a timer and hanging hooks by the side.
Cooking Space: 1089 sq. inches
Features: unique design, large cooking space, wheels for easy movement, hanging hooks, BBQ tray, stainless steel finishing.
Lastly, we take a look at this uniquely designed portable charcoal grill. The Starwide Go Portable Charcoal Grill is a rugged-looking large sized charcoal grill shaped like a minibus. Its size gives it a large cooking area – up to 1089 sq. inches.
The grill doesn’t come cheap and it weighs more than all the grills on this list. To make movement easy given its weight, Starwide included wheels on the grill. With two wheels to the front and rubber feet to the other end, the grill is ready for use.
It comes with a ton of cooking accessories including a BBQ fan, frying pan, and a tarpaulin cover, to mention a few. The grill’s cover doubles as the BBQ serving tray. There are hanging hooks by the side of the grill as well.
The Starwide Go Portable Charcoal Grill is an awesome grill, no doubt, but it doesn’t come cheap. However, you get great value for your money with respect to features and the strong build quality that it has.
A charcoal grill offers a ton of benefits to you. First, you get a unique flavor on any food you cook using the grill. Secondly, it saves you the stress of carrying a propane tank around especially when you’re going out.
So grab a small-sized grill and give it a trial. That’ll convince you well.