Vacations and family outings are almost incomplete without hot rounds of grilled meat or vegetables on everybody’s plate. Whether you are looking for a Sunday barbecue or a cookout session on your fishing trip, best charcoal grills create perfectly cooked, tender pieces of food that keep your friends coming back for more helpings.
There are various types of grills in the market and these include charcoal, electric grills and those that use gas. All of them have their own benefits but the charcoal grill is the best option for taste buds that want a lovely smoky flavor.
Charcoal is comparatively less expensive than other fuel sources and hence a good choice even for those on a tight budget. It burns more steadily than wood and can give you really high temperatures. And of course, grilled food is healthier than fried food.
Comparison Table – Out Favorite Picks in 2019
We have read 100’s of Charcoal Grill reviews of the top brands currently available and created a list of the top 7; so you can enjoy the smoky barbeque flavor food. Forget about buying the best cheap charcoal grill, add some extra bucks and buy the best one.
The important things that you must look for while choosing a grill, are size, safety, convenience, ease of use, portability, temperature, ease of cleaning, and materials used. Safety must be your top priority while selecting a grill.
So, you should ensure it has heat resistant handles and dampers to control temperature. Portability is another factor that is indispensable. You do not want your barbecue to just sit in your lawn when you are out hiking.
Barbecues have long been a part of the American tradition. More and more families are investing in a grill to take their hunting trips and football games up a notch. All you need is charcoal and lighting fluid.
Top Rated Charcoal Grills under $200
1. Weber Original Kettle Premium – Best Overall
Our number 1 pick for 2019 is the Weber Original Kettle Premium Grill. Weber has a large variety of grills and BBQ tools to choose from but this one remains an all-time favorite. It is also considered as the best charcoal grill brand.
In less than $200, this grill packs in the best features from every design and type of grill out there into one solid item that is a great investment.
From heat shields, easy cleaning, temperature control, design for easy addition of charcoal and angled lid hook for convenient placement to durable wheels and even cooking this grill has it all.
It is able to withstand very high temperatures, so you can indulge in direct and indirect grilling. To top it all, it is available in 3 color variants – black, copper, and green. So you can choose one that complements your garden, terrace, backyard, or patio.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Perfect for Large/Small BBQs
- Easy Assembly
- Set up is Quite Easy
- Lots of Space for Grill
- Cooking Surface is low (if you are tall person)
2. Best with Smoker – Char-Broil Kettleman
The Char-Broil Kettleman is an amazingly durable, easy to clean, safe and portable grill. We think it is the best charcoal grill for the money. It offers 360 square inches of cooking space and two wheels for perfect mobility. It comes with a bottom shelf which makes for easy storage of your BBQ tools.
The cooking grate is designed in such a way that no food can fall onto the charcoal below. This prevents spilling and flare-ups making it a safe choice for family barbecues.
It features a hinged lid that solves your problem of placing the lid on the floor or not being able to work with both hands when the lid is open. It also has a vent that can be opened and closed to regulate temperature and to let out heat.
The lid can also be latched open or closed during transportation. This grill uses Infrared system to cook the food evenly and quickly, using less charcoal. The temperature gauge can be used to monitor the heat required for all your food items.
And the most delightful part is that it comes with a 10-year comprehensive warranty for the firebox and the lid, a 5-year warranty for the ash pan and 2 years for all other parts.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Nice design for ash catcher
- Fire doesn’t touch your food
- Adjust the Charcoal Tray High or low
- No more burning by the lid
- Lots of Space
- No side racks
3. Best with Cast Iron Grates – Kingsford Barre
This heavy-duty grill with cast iron cooking grates is a strong and durable grill that can serve you for many years. One side shelf and a bottom storage rack make it easier to store all your BBQ tools and the wheels allow great mobility.
Post assembly, the Kingsford Barrel Grill sits at a size of 43”x 23.5”x 50” inches. A thermometer allows precision temperature control to ensure tender cooking. The little chimney on the top and the side vents help adjust airflow and release smoke when required.
The charcoal grate is adjustable so you can cook closer to or far from the charcoal heat. Like other grills, this too has an ash pan for easy emptying of ash.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Heavy Duty
- Sturdy Design
- Biggest Cooking Area
- Easy to Remove/Clean Charcoal Pan
- Comes with tool to raise cast iron grills
- Side Shelf Not has Good Gripping
- Only one Shelf
4. Best with Offset Smoker – Royal Gourmet
This item is indeed a royal purchase with its elegant design and premium black and silver color. You can rest assured that this grill can stand the test of time. It is durable, strong, and doesn’t compromise on the quality of food.
This grill boasts of features like Porcelain coated cooking grates, temperature gauge, scald-proof handle, access door on one side to manage the charcoal, side air vent and an ash pan that allows easy removal of charcoal ash.
It also has a large charcoal supply container on the left side. With a total cooking surface of 800 square inches, the Royal Gourmet Grill is fit for a royal barbecue.
The offset smoker is the highlight of this grill, which can be used to roast a side dish or vegetables to go along with your meat items.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Holds the heat better
- Sturdy Design
- Great for beginner and intermediate level
- Lots of rack space
- Hard to assemble
- Only 4 feet tall
5. Best Small Charcoal Grill – BruntmorPre-Seasoned Hibachi Style
This grill is a small sized powerhouse. The compact size enables cooking in small portions. Adjustable charcoal height lets you modify the cooking heat that your food must receive, offering an even flow without any risk of burning.
The Bruntmor Portable Grill can be carried everywhere. It has an easy access charcoal door for tending to charcoals without opening the top grate or moving your food around.
This works best for picnics and outdoor parties. Although small in size, the heating capacity is great, allowing you to cook and serve fast. The design and weight result in a sturdy product and stable placement. So there is no risk of any leaks or spills.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Use Less Charcoal
- Very durable
- Quality Cast iron
- Smaller Cooking Area
6. Best Portable Propane Grill- Coleman RoadTrip LXX
This smart outdoor grill has a portable, collapsible design, topped with features that enable convenient grilling in difficult conditions. The adjustable dual burners of the grill deliver 10,000 BTUs of heat each, providing you enough cooking power to produce a wide variety of foods.
The grill’s PerfectFlow technology makes it equally effective for summer cookouts as well as grilling in chilly conditions. Storage tables on either side of the grill allow for easy access to utensils and ingredients and can be quickly folded away.
The cooktop’s surface area is 285 sq. inches, which ensures a large cooking area without compromising portability. The grill’s wheels and a large handle make it easy to transport in your car trunk.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Provides Excessive Heat
- Comes with Wheels
- Work in Extreme Cold
- Lots of rack space
- Expensive then others
7. Best Camping Charcoal grill – Nutrichef
This is one handy grill, perfect for the outdoors. With a mere size of 13.4”x 13.4” x 8.7” inch and weighing just 11.3 pounds, the Nutrichef Grill is compact, easy to use and comes with a refillable charcoal basket, ignition tray, and a battery operated fan all in one set. The fan’s speed can be adjusted as well, ensuring steady heating.
The design prevents any grease dripping onto the charcoal, resulting in reduced smoke. In addition to this, the grill is rust proof and its top grill rack is dishwasher safe, allowing you hassle-free cleaning.
Made out of stainless steel, the grill provides has a 12.6” inch grill rack that’s great for outdoor grilling.[thrive_tabs layout=”horz”][thrive_tab headline=”Pros” no=”1/2″]
- Light Weight
- Adequate Space for Small grills
- Battery Powered
Charcoal grills are highly affordable and can be fun to use. However, if you do not buy the right grill, you may have problems down the road. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying a charcoal grill.
One of the main difficulties with charcoal grills is getting it started. Some are designed with an automatic ignition system, which works great. However, you need to maintain them and refill the propane when it runs out. If you choose to get a charcoal grill with auto ignition, keep that in mind.
The other way to get your grill started (which is the old school way) involves lighting combustibles like old newspaper and putting it in the charcoal. Once the charcoal gets red hot, you can transfer them into your grill.
You can use a charcoal chimney to make this process easier. It is not recommended that you go with this method unless you have some prior experience with charcoal grills as it can be quite frustrating for newbies.
Also, keep in mind that some grills can only take little briquettes while others can work with just about any type of wood charcoal. Additionally, you can use wood chips to some charcoal grills.
They are not permitted for use on the porch in some cases. If you are renting a property and you plan to use a charcoal grill on your porch, please check with your real estate agency or property owner.
Generally, it is best to keep them away from wooden patios. If you choose to do so anyway, take precautionary measures like getting a grill mat, and a fire extinguisher. Also, keep in mind that if the weather is windy, it may present a potential safety hazard.
Another important thing to consider when buying a charcoal grill is the heat regulation system. Unlike gas grills, you can’t just turn a knob to control the temperature of a grill.
Instead, you have to do this by controlling the airflow getting to your charcoal by closing or opening up the air vents. More airflow means the grill will continue to heat up, and less airflow keeps the temperature more or less stable (after the charcoal is glowing red hot).
Normally, you need to go for charcoal grills that have an adjustable ventilation system and a thermometer so you can control the heating process and check the temperature of your grill.
When buying a good charcoal grill, only choose one that is made with heavy-gauge metal. Also, ensure that it has a study, heatproof base. A heatproof handle is also essential for grills that have a cover.
Another thing to look out for is a removable ash pan and a mechanism that allows you to add more charcoal while using the grill. These may seem like tiny details, but they are necessary to prevent accidents and ensure it is convenient to use your charcoal grill.
The Bottom Line
Before you purchase a charcoal grill, make sure you understand your requirements well and study the various features that different products offer. Choose one that suits your needs.
These grills are easy to use and provide exquisite flavor to food. The smoke, heat, and spices coming together, make for crisp yet tender pieces of meat and vegetables that are a big hit in parties and picnics.
An easy to clean, safe, portable, and adequately sized barbecue grill can make your family gatherings and trips more memorable. So order one today, get grilling and keep this awesome American tradition alive and kicking.