Top Pick: Weber 741001Check Latest Price →
Why We Chose It:
- Modern looking.
- Big cooking capacity.
- Easy-to-control temperature.
- Made of steel.
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl.
- Weight of 33.1 pounds.
The fuel that you use for grilling not only defines your grilling experience but also plays a huge role in how your food tastes. If you’re looking for a more traditional grilling taste and experience, it makes sense to look for a charcoal grill. If you want to get your money’s worth, a basic grill’s not going to do. Instead, you’ll want to make sure that you find the best charcoal grill for your needs.
Charcoal grills run the gamut in price and size, ranging from basic units that you can take in your car to massive grills suited for professional cooking. If you’re in the market for a charcoal grill, you are lucky because we’ve gone ahead and done the research for you. We have put together a list of some of the best charcoal grills on the market, not only listing where you can buy them but also reviewing each of them so you can pick the best grill for your cooking needs.
- Top Charcoal Grill In 2021
- Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
- Royal Gourmet 30″ BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw 1063 Square Inch Charcoal Grill / Smoker
- Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill
- Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill
- Royal Gourmet ZH3002-S 3-Burner Gas Charcoal Grill Combo
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Charcoal Grill Buying Guide
Top Charcoal Grill In 2021
|Weber 741001||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Royal Gourmet||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Char-Griller E56720 AKORN||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
|Cuisinart CCG190RB||CHECK LATEST PRICE →|
It’s important to remember that the usefulness of a grill is ultimately going to come down to what you need from the product more than anything else. Each of these grills has different features, some of which might matter more to some buyers than others. Before you buy, make sure that you take a look at the features of the grills discussed below.
Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
- Classic Kettle design
- One-touch cleaning system
- Dampers for easy heat control
- Won’t rust or peel outside
It’s never a bad idea to start with the classics when you are looking for the best charcoal grill. Weber’s not only one of the best-known names in the grilling space, but the Kettle design is also one of the most common. Copied by virtually every other grill maker, this design has been a key part of the grilling world for decades. If you are in the market for a classic type of no-frills charcoal grill, you may want to take the time to see if the Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill has anything to offer you.
This grill is about as simple as you get. There aren’t a lot of fancy features here, but there are a few little touches that make this grill particularly useful to those who plan on using it frequently. One of the best is the one-touch cleaning system that allows users to quickly dump ash out of the bottom of the grill, making it easier to keep it clean and thus extending the useful life of the grill. The unit also has heat dampers to help you control the temperature, a must for those who are trying to perfect their grilling skills.
This kettle grill is also designed to last for a long time. The outer coating was specifically made to stand up to weather, so you won’t have to worry about it rusting out or starting to peel even if you keep it outside. This is a grill that feels made for serious use but it’s not one that’s made for those who need a lot of extra help cooking. This is really a good fit for anyone who feels confident enough in his or her cooking skills to use a simple grill as well as for those who are looking to get into the wider world of charcoal grilling for the first time.
Royal Gourmet 30″ BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
- Removable charcoal and ashes pans
- Includes an offset smoker
- 800 square inches of cooking area
- Wheels make it easy to transport
Sometimes it makes sense to get a bigger grill. As you start grilling out more often, you’ll find that having some extra cooking space goes from being a luxury to a necessity. You may also find that simply grilling isn’t enough to get the kind of charcoal flavor you’ve come to love; instead, you may want to start smoking your food at the same time. If you are on the lookout for a grill that’s not only going to allow you to move space to cook but that also has a great smoker attached, you’ll want to take a look at this traditional barbecue grill from Royal Gourmet.
Royal Gourmet’s grill isn’t fancy but it definitely gets the job done in a way that most grill owners are going to enjoy. Though it does have nice features like a scald-proof lid handle and a built-in thermostat, most people are going to come to rely on the fact that the grill has eight hundred square inches of usable cooking surface. This is easily enough room for all but the biggest grilling projects, giving you a bit step up from the portable grills that most novice grillers start out with. You’ll honestly be amazed by exactly how much you can fit on this grill.
The other big selling point of this unit is the attached smoker. Though it is small, it’s good enough for those who are still on the fence about buying a more substantial unit. Relatively easy to use as both a smoker and as a separate, smaller grill unit, it’s a great addition that really feels like it was worth the effort to an add-in. This is a good example of the whole being better than the sum of its parts, though, as these two very solid cooking devices work together to make something very special.
Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw 1063 Square Inch Charcoal Grill / Smoker
- Cast iron grates for even heating
- 1063 square inches of cooking space (including warming rack)
- Adjustable fire grate for heat control and clean-up
- Double bottom designed to stand up to years of use
One of the bigger issues that most charcoal grillers will end up running into is that even heating can be hard to get with charcoal. It’s not impossible, of course, but it generally takes a lot of effort and experience to learn how to get the heat to spread evenly across a grill. That’s why so many charcoal grill owners like to stack the deck a bit by using tools that can help them accomplish that job a little easier and why grills that can provide a more even heat are usually sold at a premium. That, perhaps, is why this grill from Char-Griller tends to be so well-reviewed.
The secret behind this grill doesn’t actually have to do much with what you’ll see on the outside. Sure, it does have a heavy-gauge steel construction scheme and a double bottom, both of which will help it to last for years to come, but neither of these features actually help with consistent heating. Even the actual heat control, which also doubles as a great easy-clean solution, can only do so much to help ensure that the heat from the charcoal spreads evenly across the grill. No, it really is what’s on the inside that counts for this grill.
The secret to getting even heat here is the cast iron grates. These simple, heavy grates do a great job of radiating heat evenly across the large cooking surface, eliminating cold spots so that grill owners can cook a little bit more reliably. If you are in the market for a grill that’s going to help you to cook more efficiently without having to sacrifice the amount of usable cooking space you have, this is a grill at which you really need to take a look.
Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill
- 447 square inches of cooking space including warming rack
- Insulated design means more heat with less charcoal
- Cast iron cooking surface
- Rubber wheels for easy moving
One type of grill that’s been gaining a lot of traction in the US is the Kamado-style grill. This style of the grill is native to Japan and is designed to heat up incredibly efficiently, though it leads to the same kind of charcoal taste that American grillers have loved for generations. If you are looking to try something new, you’ll quickly find that this grill will change your grilling style for the better.
The big selling point of this type of grill is that it produces more reliable heat with less charcoal. Though charcoal fuel isn’t exactly the most expensive fuel out there, knowing that you can use less to get the same kind of impact is definitely an attractive proposition for many grillers. What’s even better, though, is that the grill’s design maximizes the heat in a way that’s going to greatly impact how even that heat distribution is. This grill’s excellent for those who want a more even cooking platform.
It’s also nice to note that this smaller grill is fairly easy to store and move around. The rubber wheels making moving it easy, while the smaller size will take up less room in a shed or a garage than its larger counterparts. Though this unit definitely stands out compared to most traditional American grill designs, it does the basics so well that you’ll begin to wonder why you have spent time cooking on any other type of grill.
Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill
- 150 square inch chrome-plated cooking rack
- Dual venting system for extra heat control
- Only weighs two pounds
- Mess-free ash catcher
Grills are great to have at home and there are models you can use inside your home permitting you to cook indoors, but sometimes they’re even better to have on the road. Whether you are going camping or tailgating in front of the big game, knowing that you’ve got some real cooking capacity in front of you can be incredibly beneficial. While most charcoal grills are just too big for travel, this Cuisinart grill is perfect for those who want to cook on the road.
This grill is certainly smaller than most might realize. Weighing in at around two pounds, it’s light enough that you’ll barely notice its weight as you travel. Despite the lightweight, though, there’s plenty of room to cook here – around 150 square inches, in fact. That’s not anywhere near what you’d get from a full-size grill but it’s more than enough space to throw on a couple of steaks or even a handful of burgers without trouble. The combination of easy portability and cooking space is both surprising and nice to have in such a unit.
Your cooking experience will also be better than you might expect from a portable grill. There’s plenty of room for charcoal here, and the grill is designed to retain heat fairly well. Cleaning is also easy, with the same kind of one-touch cleaning system that you’d find in most of the bigger cleaners. This isn’t a replacement for a bigger charcoal grill by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a great device when based on its own merits. If you love to grill and you love to travel, this might be the perfect charcoal grill for you.
Royal Gourmet ZH3002-S 3-Burner Gas Charcoal Grill Combo
- Gas and charcoal grill combination
- Firebox can heat up to 600 degrees
- Height-adjustable charcoal pans
- Three stainless steel burners
If you love to grill, you’ve probably been told that you ultimately have to make a choice between gas and charcoal. Though the two types of grilling are very different, both of them really do have their own benefits and drawbacks. The biggest reason why most people have to make a choice between the two types of grilling is that having two grills generally takes up too much space. If you really want both, though, you might do well by taking a look at this excellent two-in-one gas/charcoal comb grill from Royal Gourmet. Not only does it cook with both types of fuel, it actually does so incredibly well.
If you’re in the market for the best charcoal grill, you’re probably more concerned with the charcoal side of this unit than the gas side. This is an excellent charcoal grill with plenty of cooking space, one that can safely hold a temperature of up to six hundred degrees. This not only makes it easy to keep cooking longer but it also greatly increases the range of things that you can cook on the grill. With an adjustable height charcoal box, it’s also a very useful grill for multiple types of cooking.
The gas side is nothing to sneeze at, though. Not only does it have three burners, but it’s got plenty of space on which to cook. It’s not quite as roomy as a dedicated grill but it’s got enough space to cook without having to make many sacrifices. If you don’t have the room for both a dedicated charcoal grill and a dedicated gas grill, this really is the next best choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Weber the best charcoal grill?
Weber is definitely a company that has a fantastic reputation in the world of charcoal grills. It has long been known as one of the leading brands and it still has a really strong presence in the world of grilling. It’s hard to say, though, that it always has the best charcoal grills. It definitely has some of the best grills for many people and all of the company’s products are solid and trustworthy, but you might find that other grills serve your needs better. Instead of just relying on the name brand, you need to look at how individual grills work to assess their value.
Is grilling with charcoal bad for you?
There have been some reports that grilling over charcoal is bad for you because grilling can create HCAs that are linked to certain types of cancer. The truth, though, is actually much more complicated than just saying that grilling is bad for you. In fact, while studies have shown that HCAs are linked to higher rates of cancer, it’s still not known what amount of HCAs are necessary before you see any kind of carcinogenic effect. If you are afraid of these compounds, though, there’s a fairly simple solution – put foil under your meat before you grill so there’s nothing that drips on top of your coals as you cook.
Why are Weber charcoal grills better?
Weber’s charcoal grills have a very good reputation for a few reasons. First and foremost is the fact that these grills are actually engineered with a fair bit of care, with most of these grills not only giving users a consistent level of heat but also standing up to the elements quite well. The other reason that they are so beloved is that Weber has managed to keep up their standards of quality for many years, making it easier to trust that the money you spend on a Weber grill is going to be worthwhile.
What type of charcoal barbecue is best?
Honestly, it’s not the type of BBQ that you choose that’s going to determine how useful it might be. Instead, it’s going to be the combination of features and craftsmanship that really determines whether your purchase is worth the money. Though there are certain brands like Char-Broil or Weber that have excellent reputations, the best grill is always going to be the one that you can use to get the results that you want. Instead of trying to figure out if a single brand is going to do exactly what you need it to do, you should spend your time looking at individual grills to figure out the kind of cooking experience you’ll get from them.
Charcoal Grill Buying Guide
Every charcoal grill is a little different from its counterparts. When you’re shopping for the best charcoal grill for your home, it’s important that you understand what all of those little differences mean. Though you can certainly get down to the microscopic details when you’re looking at the best units out there, it’s usually a better idea to start your search by looking at the bigger factors. Below is a brief buying guide that will help you to determine exactly what you need when you’re looking to buy your next charcoal grill.
One of the biggest features that you’ll need to keep in mind when searching for your charcoal grill is the size of the grill itself. This is going to matter in a few major ways, but one of the biggest is the amount of cooking space that the unit has available. You’re going to be looking for primary cooking space in square inches here, not the overall size of the unit – there are some clever designs that can maximize the latter without greatly increasing the former. The more cooking space you have, the more you can cook at one time.
You should, however, also keep an eye on how much room the grill is going to take up. You only have a finite amount of room in your cooking space, after all, and you should make sure that your grill isn’t going to be too big for your needs. Finding the balance between the available cooking area and the amount of space you have available for your grill can be difficult, so go ahead and do your calculations so that you can set some upper and lower limits before you start shopping.
The way that your grill allows you to dispose of ash and charcoal is going to play a bigger role in how often you use your grill than you think. Most cheaper grills simply allow you to remove the grates from the grilling space so that you can scoop out the garbage, a process that’s not so much difficult as it is labor-intensive. The higher-end grills will let you completely remove the ashtray or even allow you to drop the ashes directly into a bag through a chute, so try to figure out what methods of disposal work for you.
Note that there are also some other cleaning features you should keep in mind. The composition of your grates is going to play a role in you clean them off, as treated steel and cast iron both have very different ways for which they need to care. Likewise, you should see how the outside of your grill needs to be cleaned off, as this is a chore that probably needs to be done more often than you might have assumed. Maintenance is a key part of keeping your grill functional so try to learn how it will work with any given grill before you make a purchase.
There are plenty of extra features that you can find on a grill, not all of which are as important as others. If you plan on moving your grill around, for example, you might want to look for a model that has wheels. If you’re going to spend a lot of time doing prep work outside, on the other hand, it might be more important for you to have a grill that has attached prep tables. These are features that will determine how you interact with your grill, so pay attention to them.
There are also features that are merely extras and that should only be used to separate grills that are otherwise identical to one another. Things like plastic handles to ensure that you don’t burn your hands or a built-in thermostat so that you can see the temperature of the grill are nice but they aren’t usually making or break elements. Only you can judge how important such features are to you, though, so do some research to figure out how the extras have impacted how others have used their grills and whether they’ll play the same role for you.
Finally, make sure that you pay attention to the price. While it’s true that you will largely get what you pay for when you’re buying this type of grill, the best charcoal grill for you may not be the most expensive. Try to see if the features for which you are paying are actually worth the price and if the performance of the grill actually holds up to the price tag. There’s nothing wrong with paying a premium for a good grill but do make sure that you’re paying for more than just the brand name.