best charcoal grill for the money

Best Charcoal Grills Reviews & Buying guide

Although charcoal grills require a bit more skill to use when compared to gas grills, the satisfaction that comes from executing a perfect charcoal grilling is like no other.

Charcoal grills provide food rich in flavor which makes the effort worth it. Modern charcoal grills have numerous features that have made their use simpler. Whether it’s lighting the charcoal grill, regulating & monitoring the temperature, and cleaning.

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the best charcoal grills in the market and what to look out for to make it easier in making the decision.

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Review of the best charcoal grill for the money

The Weber Original Kettle is a 22-inch charcoal grill with a cooking area of 363 square inches. It’s able to accommodate about 13 burgers when grilling, this is an estimate using a burger press from weber.

The bow and lid on this charcoal grill is made from material coated with porcelain. The coating aids in heat retention and prevents rusting, cracking and peeling. The lid is conveniently attached to the bow of the grill enabling it to hang when the lid is open. This reduces the hassle of trying to find a safe space to position it.

You’re able to easily open the grill using the insulated handle. Most noteworthy, the handle does not heat up as a heat shield is in place to prevent it from being too hot.

This charcoal grill is fitted with durable wheels that allow the movement of the grill from one place to another. Whether setting up or storing, you’re assured of quick movement.

It’s cooking grates are plated with steel that makes it sturdy and durable to handle and retain the heat produced. Whether you prefer direct or indirect heat, you’re able to arrange the coals on the fuel grate and the heat is consistently uniformly distributed. The grill grates are easy to clean after grilling.

Moreover, the Weber original Kettle charcoal grill is fitted with dampers for heat control without having to open the lid. Opening the dampers allows the entry of Oxygen and closing will cut the supply to extinguish the coals.

It’s a popular grill with a one-touch cleaning system that makes clearing the mess a breeze. All that is needed is sweeping the debris and ash on the grill onto the ash catcher. You can then transfer all the material collected into a bin. The ash catcher is rust-resistant therefore, no maintenance issues and long-life.

The Weber 14402001 Premium Kettle grill shares pretty much the same features as the previously reviewed charcoal grill.

Its grate area is 363 square inches with a lid height of 7.5 inches. It’s a charcoal grill that fits 13 burgers as measured by a Weber burger press. The cooking grate is hinged and is made from plated steel. This makes it able to withstand the heat for direct or indirect cooking.

You’re able to control the grill temperature using the dampers, there’s no need to lift the lid. In case you need to lift the lid, a handle is in place. This handle is shielded from getting too hot by a shields handle. There’s also a built-in lid thermometer that aids in monitoring the temperature of the grill.

The Weber Original Premium charcoal grill features durable wheels that facilitate movement of the grill. It’s also fitted with hooks on the side. These provides an area to hang your tools for easy access when grilling.

Cleaning the grill is made simple as an ash catcher is fixed on the charcoal grill. The high capacity catcher is able to capture all the debris and ash that collects as it’s hooked on the bowl.

The two main differences between the Weber Original and the Weber original premium charcoal grill is the type of as catcher each has. The premium charcoal grill has a high capacity one.

Other differences are in the grill grates, thermometer and hooks, on the Weber original premium, the grate is hinged, has a built-in thermometer and hooks while the Weber Original does not have the hooks or thermometer and the cooking grate is not hinged.

The Char-Griller Outlaw charcoal grill is one designed with a heavy gauge steel construction. This charcoal grill is also powder coated to enhance durability. It measures 49 by 50 by 29 inches, has a combined cooking area of 1063 square inches and weighs 112 pounds.

The cooking area includes the main grilling section (725sq inches) and the warming rack (338sq inches). This cooking space makes this charcoal grill perfect for large barbeques and backyard parties.

 Its cooking grates are made from cast iron to facilitate even heating. Moreover, the grates come in pieces for convenience when it comes to adding charcoal to the grill. No need to maneuver the entire grate.

An adjustable fire grate is in place together with a heat gauge for the control of heat. All you need to do is move the fire grate up and down depending on the heat requirements. You’re able to adjust between hot, warm and medium temperature. 3 shelves are fitted on the Outlaw charcoal grill to provide space for the storage of your essentials for grilling.

The large round legs on the grill are able to support the entire structure of the grill giving you sturdy support when grilling. The process of cleaning this Char-Griller Outlaw grill is straight-forward. The ash pan collects all the debris, all you have to do is remove it and dispose off its contents.

The Akorn Kamado charcoal grill is a product from Char-Griller with a sturdy steel construction. It features a locking lid, folding metal shelves and double wall insulation. The body of the charcoal grill is made using 22-gauge steel, the exterior steel is powder coated while the interior porcelain-coated.

It has a combined cooking area of 447 square inches- 314 being the main cooking area while 133 square inches the removable warming rack. In addition, 2 folding shelves with hooks are at your disposal for additional storage. The cooking grates are made using cast iron material, which is versatile, evenly distributes heat and is easy to clean.

Temperature control on this Char-Griller Akorn charcoal grill is straightforward. There are top and bottom dampers that are adjustable to regulate the air flowing into the grill. It’s able to maintain a temperature of between 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

The walls of the charcoal grill are triple-insulated to retain heat. Therefore, you’re likely to use less charcoal when grilling. The cart is constructed with tubular steel and rubber wheels that facilitate movement. There’s also a locking caster on front to lock it in and out of position as needed.

The ash pan allows the easy collecting and dumping of ash material when cleaning.

This Royal Gourmet charcoal grill with smoker provides a sizable cooking area of 800 square inches. The cooking area is a combination of 3 main sections- the main chamber (438sq. inches), warming rack (179 sq. inches) and the offset smoker (183 sq. inches).

Additional working and storage areas are provided by the bottom shelf and front table made from steel mesh. You can store ingredients and tools for grilling, making them easily available when needed.

The wire cooking grates are coated with porcelain. The coating helps in even heat distribution and locking in of the juices for enhanced flavor. Moreover, the cooking grates are easy to clean and rust-resistant.

It’s a charcoal grill that comes in combination with an offset smoker. You’re able to heat and smoke your food for better flavor. The charcoal grill has a large capacity and accommodates about 5 lbs of charcoal at a time. The side door makes the process of adding charcoal quick and easy. It has a 2-level adjustable charcoal pan with lifting handles fitted on the grill to manage the height of the charcoal and enhance heating.

Air vents are incorporated in this top-rated charcoal grill for air flow. The vents and dampers enable the regulation of heat in the grill. The Royal Gourmet charcoal grill is made with a heavy-duty lid, fitted with a thermometer for temperature monitoring.

The E1515 patio pro is the best charcoal grill for small spaces. It’s a compact grill measuring 31 by 21 by 44 inches with a weight of about 50 pounds. It’s constructed using powder-coated heavy-duty steel and has a cooking area of 250 square inches.

This grilling area can fit a whole chicken, a tri-tip or kebabs with vegetables. The wooden side tray provides additional cooking areas while the bottom rack gives a storage area for charcoal and grilling equipment. The grates on this patio grill give a great sear to food. They are made from cast iron that is durable and easy to manage when it comes to cleaning and storage.

When cleaning, the easy dump ash pan aids in collection of debris after grilling for disposal. All you need to do is pull out the ash pan from the charcoal grill and dispose its contents. The wheels aid in movement for easy transportation.

This charcoal grill from Dyna-Glo is premium and stylish with a large cooking area of 816 square inches and extra storage space. It’s made using sturdy heavy-duty steel and cast iron that ensures longevity and value of money.

The cooking grates are porcelain-enameled for even heat distribution and fast cleaning. They are also sliding to make it easier to manage the food when grilling.

A stainless steel smoke stack is in place and has an adjustable flue for directing the smoke released from the burning charcoal. The smoke will work to flavor the food and not interfere with you and those around the grill. The stack also aids in temperature control by regulating the flow of air.

The lid is fitted with a stainless-steel temperature gauge for keeping track of the temperature. An adjustment crank facilitates the movement of the charcoal as you can move it up or down to adjust the temperature of grilling.

When you’re running low on charcoal, you can easily add more using the easy access door made of heavy-duty cast-iron. The Dyna-Glo premium charcoal grill features a removable high-capacity ash pan for stress-free cleaning.

For managing the charcoal grill, 8-inch resin wheels with locking casters allow the movement and staying in place of the grill. When enjoying drinks, the grill encompasses a bottle opener.

What to Look for when Buying a Charcoal Grill

Before settling on a grill, there are certain aspects to look into and compare. Here are the most important features to consider before buying the best charcoal grill;

Size

All grills come in different shapes and sizes. What matters the most is the size as it determines the quantity of food you’ll be able to cook at a time and also the working area you’ll have.

If you’re preparing meals for a large group of people, it’s recommended to buy a bigger charcoal grill with a cooking area of 500 square inches and above.

Most noteworthy, the charcoal grill size also determines the amount of charcoal you’ll require. Weigh all these options to have a balance such that you’ll minimize the amount you spend on charcoal while maximizing on the quantity of food you grill.

Design

A charcoal grill can either come in a barrel or kettle grill design. Generally barrel grills are large when compared to kettle grills. The design you choose is a matter of preference. However, you also need to consider the space you have available for storage and grilling.

Also, portability- do you need a more portable grill? A smaller kettle grill is easier to move around with compared to a barrel grill.

barrel vs kettle grill design

Material

Check the material making the charcoal grill to ensure it lasts long. The material should ensure the best charcoal grill does not chip or rust.

Some of the best charcoal grills are made from materials such as enameled iron and steel, stainless steel, and cast aluminum.  Also look out for grills with heavy-gauge metals.

With these, you’ll get value for money and the cooking grates will make grilling easier with even heat distribution.  

Temperature Control

When it comes to charcoal grill, controlling the temperature can make or break your grilling experience. It’s therefore crucial to buy a charcoal grill that gives many options when it comes to temperature control.

The common features for temperature control include: air vents that control the amount of air entering the grill, the crank for controlling the level of charcoal and dampers.

It also helps to have a thermometer on the grill for monitoring the temperature. With this, you’ll quickly know whether to add more charcoal or use the dampers and air vents.

Conclusion

The best charcoal grill is constructed with heavy-duty quality material, makes it easy to control and monitor temperature and its size and design is adequate for grilling and portability.

Two main charcoal grill designs are barrel and kettle or kamado. The design depends on preference, but generally kettle grills are smaller and portable compared to barrel ones.

The most popular brands we came across when it comes to charcoal grills are Weber, Char-Griller and Dyna-Glo. They are industry leaders who ensure the grilling experience is elevated.

Get yourself one of these amazing charcoal grills for tasty food full of flavor. Looking to try other grills? Here’s a list of other grills types.