A true grill master will always credit their own skills, but the right charcoal goes a long way towards cooking your favorite summertime cuisine to perfection. With the right charcoal grill at your fingertips, you’ll be well on your way towards pleasing family members and party guests with juicy steaks, tender bratwursts, and perfectly charred vegetables.
No two charcoal grills are precisely alike, though, so it is essential that you do your research before investing in a major appliance. Luckily, some of the highest-quality charcoal grills on the market today are also among the most affordable. So, no matter what charcoal grill you choose, you won’t be forced to compromise between cost and quality.
Rather than shop around at every outdoor store in your area, you can read this helpful guide to shopping for your new charcoal grill. I’ve reviewed 10 of the most popular charcoal grills on the market today, including the Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill (22-inch) and the Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Premium Charcoal Grill (X-Large). Each and every grill I’ve reviewed is packed with features that will add to your grilling experience while retaining an excellent price point. No matter your needs or your budget, there is a charcoal grill just waiting to add flavor and excitement to your outdoor cooking experience.
With each grill, I’ve compared many of the most important specifications for you to consider before purchasing a charcoal grill, including size, form factor, construction material, total cooking area, and ease of maintenance. Many of these charcoal grills include unique features, so I’ve included many of the top features in this review so that you can see what sets each grill apart from the competition. I’ve also listed pros and cons for each product, allowing you to make an informed choice about what charcoal grill fits your needs and your budget.
Review of the Best Charcoal Grills
This Louisiana Kamado charcoal ceramic cooker offers a perfect cooking environment to make gourmet dishes for your family or friends (4-6 people) right in your backyard.
This upgraded version of an ancient Asian oven is great for making any party or event unforgettably delicious and unforgettable! Its durable encapsulated thick-walled ceramic interior provides even heating and can be used many times for long cooks. It boosts the flavor and traps the moisture of your favorite foods!
You can cook almost anything in it and add some unique flavor which only this cooker can provide. Use low and high temperatures for cooking certain dishes, e.g. various seafood, pizzas, sausages, holiday turkey, mouth-watering steaks and burgers (high temperature) and first-class BBQs (low temperature).
Just open the exhaust vent at the bottom of the cooker and turn the switch on its adjustable top cast iron vent to set the desired temperature. This cooker uses 100 % natural lump charcoal to deliver 200 % amazing meals!
The Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill remains the American standard for charcoal grilling and with good reason. Its form factor and cooking capabilities are industry standards, often imitated but rarely replicated. The Weber Original has a place in every charcoal grilling situation, from the back porch during a 4th of July celebration to a weekend at the lake with friends.
The Weber Original features 363 sq. inches of cooking space upon a plated steel cooking grate. With room to cook up to 13 hamburgers, the Weber Original provides space to cook for your hungry family or a whole picnic. The cooking grate pattern is sure to lock in flavor in your favorite meats and vegetables, especially after you turn up the heat by lifting the hinged cooking grate to add in more charcoal.
The Weber Original also features a unique damper system that allows you to effortlessly adjust the air flow within the grill, providing good heat control while you cook. With an optional built-in cooking thermometer, you’ll be sure that your rare steaks and seared chicken will be cooked to specification without needing to lift the lid, causing heat to escape. But when it is time to lift the lid and remove your well-cooked food, your fingers will remain nice and cool as the handle features a built-in heat shield.
Season after season, you’ll be able to count on your Weber Original as its porcelain-enameled lid and bowl stand up to the elements in order to prevent rust and degradation. The exterior also features several accessory hooks, perfect for hanging your spatula and tongs on while you enjoy a drink from a refreshing summer beverage.
After you’ve served your charcoal grilled meal, grill clean up won’t have to be a hassle with the Weber Original. Its plated steel cooking grate is designed to release cooked on food with ease. In addition, this grill features a unique “One-Touch” cleaning system that lessens the burden of cleaning out charcoal ash. All you have to do is release the ash into the high-capacity catcher located near the bottom of the grill and dispose of the ash once it has cooled.
Owners of the Weber Original back up its popular acclaim, with first time charcoal grillers and veteran chefs alike complementing its simple, but effective, construction and form factor. Long-time Weber users also note one of the model’s improvements, the One-Touch ash cleaning system, as a major reason for sticking with the brand and upgrading. Some creative customers even say that with a little practice, this grill can be used as a smoker – perfect for everything from smoked salmon to smoked cheeses.
No matter how you plan to use it, the Weber Original checks all the boxes for what a charcoal grill should do and how a charcoal should perform. Overall, this is a great charcoal grill that you won’t regret adding to your porch or patio.
If you’re ready to take your charcoal grilling skills up to the next level, then you’ve found the ideal charcoal grill to do it with. The Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D provides flexibility, performance, and a bevy of added features that will have your trying all types new and challenging recipes this grilling season. After looking over this premium charcoal grill’s unique set of features, you’ll begin to see why this grill is a favorite among next-tier home chefs.
Every one of the Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D added features are geared towards providing flavor and an excellent cooking experience time after time. That all starts on 576 sq. inches of porcelain-enameled, cast iron cooking surface. There, your meats and vegetable will have an opportunity for maximum heat transfer without sticking to the cooking surface. You’ll have space for up to 28 hamburgers across this cooking surface, so don’t hesitate to invite friends and family over to enjoy your new favorite cooking implement.
But what if those guests have different tastes in charcoal grilled foods, requiring you to grill several different foods at once? The Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D has the ideal solution with its stainless-steel firebox divider. With this divider locked in, you’ll be able to fill both coal baskets with different levels of coal, allowing for separate heating patterns over your broad selection of grilled foods. You won’t have to worry about burning your grilled vegetables in order to sear your steaks with this kind of built-in partition. Refilling the charcoal baskets couldn’t be easier either, as the double doors on the front of the grill allow for easy access, even while you cook.
While you grill, you won’t need a third or fourth hand in order to keep all of your grilling essentials in order. Two built-in side tables are an excellent place to store your spatula and tongs, especially when you reach for your favorite cold brew (opened, of course, with the built-in bottle opener). In fact, you won’t even have to lift the lid to check the temperature time and again, allowing valuable smoke and flavor to escape. Using the built-in, easy-to-read thermometer on the lid, you’ll be able to pinpoint the sweet spot when your favorite grilled foods reach maximum juiciness.
The stainless-steel smokestack on top of the lid provides you one more way to control the temperature and airflow within the grilling chamber. A set of sliding dampers also help you maximize airflow, which in turn helps you increase burn efficiency from your favorite charcoal.
Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D owners are well satisfied with their purchase. Many espouse high expectations for a premium grill, all of which are met with this model. Given how it stands out from the competition, the dual cooking surfaces remains a favorite feature among fans. No matter the food and no matter the temperature, users find this grill goes well beyond their expectations.
For a premium charcoal grilling experience, there is no better choice than the Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D. After just one meal cooked on this grill, your family, your friends, and even your own taste palette will notice the enhanced flavor that comes with precision charcoal grilling.
Like its older sibling, the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe remains an iconic charcoal grill for those who like to take their grilling on the road and onto new adventures beyond their back yard. The Smokey Joe can be taken just about anywhere, owing to its compact form factor and lightweight. Whether at the campsite, in the park, or at a pre-game tailgate, the Smokey Joe can serve up everyone’s favorite charcoal grilled foodstuffs.
You and your friends will be able to share this grills bounty as its 196 sq. inch cooking grate provides space for up to five hamburgers to be cooked at once. And you can bet that those hamburger (or whatever else you choose to grill) will be cooked to perfection as the plated steel cooking grate transfers heat and creates aesthetically pleasing grill lines. Like the Weber Classic before it, the Smokey Joe’s overall shape is conducive to even cooking, no matter what part of the grill your food rests on. With the Smokey Joe’s rust-resistant aluminum damper system, you’ll be able to control air flow within the cooking space, ensuring that just the right amount of heat and flavor makes it to your hot dogs, brats, and vegetables.
When you camp and travel, you always want to make an investment in high-quality equipment that will stand up to wear and tear of the road. Trip after trip, you’ll be able to count on the Smokey Joe. Its heavy-gauge steel grate won’t degrade over time when exposed to high heat. In addition to trapping heat, its porcelain-enameled lid and bowl are also resistant to chipping and degradation. You’ll always have a firm grip on the Smoky Joe as well, with its glass-reinforced nylon handles remain cool and intact even after repeated strain.
Travelers and home chefs alike agree that the Smokey Joe is among the best. Smokey Joe owners often praise its stout, straightforward design as well its ability remain firm and productive, even after being left out in the elements. They believe the craftsmanship speaks for itself, especially when it comes to providing a flavorful meal to friends, family, and travel mates.
For value and portability, the Smokey Joe is the way to go. Its size is by far its largest asset, but that certainly doesn’t take away from its exceptional ability to cook meat and vegetables to perfection. Wherever it goes, you will be sure to know that delicious charcoal grilled meats and vegetables (and hungry guests) are soon to follow.
The Char-Griller E16620 Charcoal BBQ Grill and Smoker stands out from its competitors, not least because of its unique egg-shaped form factor. The Char-Griller also provides an assortment of added features – including smoking capabilities – that put it a step above. Those interested in new charcoal grilling opportunities will find this grill be a perfect fit as its construction and cooking system work to improve an already excellent method for cooking meat and vegetables.
With 314 sq. inches of cooking space, the Char-Griller E16620 provides plenty of space to cook up everything from steak and chicken to shrimp and vegetable shish kabobs. This grill can easily maintain temperatures between 200 and 700 degrees, meaning you’ll be able to sear steaks just as easy as you’ll be able to cook chicken and other fowl. The cast iron cooking surface is a rare asset in the grilling business, allowing for a more even grilling process that minimizes unwanted hot spots and sticking.
While you cook, you’ll never have to worry about where to put the lid from this grill. Its hinged lid is always close at hand. Plus, the Char-Griller E16620 provides two convenient shelves for storing and serving your cooked foods. If you’re interested in smoking, you’ll be able to use the entire cook surface as well as an insertable smoking rack that provides an addition 144 sq. inches of cooking space.
The Char-Griller E16620 is built to last and provide you with an exceptional grilling experience year after year. For example, the triple-walled insulation traps heat more effectively than many other models. As a result, your grilled meats will require less charcoal and less airflow before they become tender, juicy, and ready-to-serve. In addition, the Char-Griller E16620’s unique egg-shaped cooking space allows for special type of airflow unmatched in competing traditional shaped charcoal grills.
Outside the cooking chamber, this grill is built from powder-coated, 22 Gauge steel that won’t warp or bend when exposed to high levels of heat. In addition, the cart is built from tubular steel, allowing the grill added stability and longevity.
Owners of the Char-Griller E16620 couldn’t be happier with their purchase. Many note how pleased they are with the versatility of having both a charcoal grill and a smoker available without needing space for two separate implements. Some home chefs have even gotten creative with the Char-Griller E16620 by cooking entire pizzas on the grill’s roomy cast iron cooking surface.
The Char-Griller E16620 is an excellent choice for those seeking more variety in their charcoal grilling experience. From smoking meats and cheeses to grilling vegetables and even entire pizzas, you’re sure to find a recipe for this grill that will satisfy your family and your guest’s appetites.
If your tastes lie in char-broiled meats and vegetables, then the Char-Griller E1515 will make an excellent addition to your porch or patio this grilling season. Its unique construction and form factor enable it to cook crisp yet juicy foods for your family, friends, and party guests in no time. Once you start cooking on this charcoal grill, a new realm of grilling possibilities that were previously unseen with tradition charcoal grills will open for you.
When you open up the Char-Griller E1515, you’ll immediately see that its 260 sq. inches of cooking space has plenty of room for many of your favorites. Tri-tip steak, kabobs, and even a whole chicken will fit comfortably within the cooking chamber. Whatever you put in, you know it’ll be cooked evenly and flavorfully as the cast iron cooking service spreads out the heat to minimize charring.
While your favorite meats and vegetables cook, you’ll be able to easily modify the internal airflow using the two dampers – one on top, over the cooking surface, and one on the bottom, near the coal tray. You won’t even need an oven mitt when it comes time to inspect your delectable creations. The “stay-cool” handles allow you add, flip, and remove your food without risking your own safety. With your burgers, brats, and hot dogs off the grill, you’ll be able to easily serve everyone using the convenient side table attached to the grill.
Unlike other grills on the market, the Char-Griller E1515’s unique cylindrical body makes it ideal for char-broiling. In fact, you can even smoke fish, ribs, and more using the drum-shaped air pattern created within the cooking chamber. Even for all of its use, the Char-Griller E1515 doesn’t take up too much space, making ideal for smaller homes and even apartments. Moving this grill is a solo job as well, with its light weight and weather-resistant wheels ensuring that your grilling capabilities make it to every family gathering and outdoor party.
After cooking, this grill helps you with the cleanup. The Char-Griller E1515’s cast iron cooking surface is easy to keep clean and ready for use. You can dump charcoal ash in just minutes as well using the ash pan located at the bottom of the grill.
Char-Griller E1515 customers hail its easily installation and ease of use as two big reasons they continue to use this charcoal grill. Everyone from new grillers to longtime outdoor cooking experts agree that this unique grill provides new flavors to peak through in their favorite meats. In all, the Char-Griller E1515 provides unique char-broiling capabilities without compromising general practicality or value.
They say that “everything is bigger in Texas.” And like a ranch in Texas, the Weber 60020 “The Ranch” Charcoal Kettle Grill shows off its impressive size in order to set itself apart from the pack. Even for its impressive size, this grill manages to evenly cook each and every meat and vegetable on its surface, ensuring that everyone at your party will be lining up for seconds. If feeding a large crowd is your goal, The Ranch will easily feed the masses with room to spare.
The Ranch’s main feature is its massive cooking surface, which clocks in at well over 1,000 sq. inches. Designed for caterers and country clubs, this kettle charcoal grill has room to cook multiple turkeys, chickens, or other roasts at once. The Ranch even has room to cook up to 19 Cornish hens at once, a testament to its capacity! All of that on top of Weber’s familiar stainless-steel cooking grate, with a special hinged opening for adding even more charcoal while in the midst of cooking.
But don’t think The Ranch manages this voluminous accomplishment by compromising cooking ability. The stainless-steel grate evenly distributes heat evenly over your charcoal grilled creations, ensuring that they turn out just as you and your hungry guests imagine. The unique kettle design keeps The Ranch in line with other well-regarded Weber models in terms of trapping and circulating heat, even after seasons of use. Meat and vegetables cooked on The Ranch measure up to Weber’s standards, ensuring that your meal is flavorful and evenly cooked without fail.
Just as The Ranch features a high capacity to cook, this grill also features a high capacity for durability, party after party and season after season. The porcelain-enameled bowl and lid are designed to repel the elements and resist chipping, even if left outdoors (though it performs best if kept under covering when not in use). The Ranch ensures that control over the grill is always in your hands, literally. With two glass-reinforced nylon handles – made from weather-resistant thermoplastic – remain cool to the touch, ensuring that you can strike when the irons are hot.
This grill also takes the hassle out of the usual quandary about “where to put the grill lid.” The Ranch features a “tuck-away” lid holder, making it unnecessary to set your grill lit down on the ground any longer. After the cooking is done and your charcoal grilled entrees have been served, you’ll be able to get right to enjoying your meal as the built-in ash catcher makes clean up quick and easy (once cooled).
Surprisingly, a massive surface area and a platoon of added features is not all you get when you add The Ranch to your outdoor kitchen. This model also comes with a Weber cookbook for no added charge, proving you with new recipes for you to try as you provide mouth-watering meals to everyone you know.
Owners of The Ranch agree, this is a serious charcoal grill for serious charcoal grillers. Many hail its versatility in serving parties large and small, from birthdays to full family reunions. Owners are always looking for new large-scale items to grill up on this charcoal grill, with everything from large briskets to full racks of ribs on the table. Even for the higher-than-average cost, The Ranch returns its investment in capacity and performance.
If you’re looking to grill for large audiences time and again this season, then the answer is clear: buy The Ranch for your outdoor kitchen this year. With its high-capacity and performance combined, you’ll quickly see that this top-end charcoal grill can do a lot with just a little bit of flame.
The Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #18 remains a standard-barer for travelers across the country, with a long history of performance and portability dating back decades. Its lightweight design and tight form factor make it ideal for storing in a truck, a camper, or any other vehicle as you broaden your horizons and take in nature’s bounty.
Even for its compact size, the Old Smokey has room to cook up many of your charcoal grilled favorites. With 220 sq. inches of space, you and your buddies will have plenty to share once this charcoal grill heats up. Once the fire is roaring, you won’t have to worry about food sticking to the cooking grate either. This model features a chrome-plated steel cooking surface, a rarity in comparable charcoal grill models. Moreover, this model features two air vents, allowing you to easily modify and control the internal temperature within the cooking space.
With an aluminized steel body, the Old Smokey is easily one of the lightest charcoal grills on the market today. But such a lightweight body doesn’t mean trading in long-term reliability. This model’s construction allows it to remain rust-resistant, from top to bottom. This model’s removable ash pan also cuts your clean up time in half, leaving you time to focus on your company and your fresh-cooked meal.
Old Smokey brand stands by the quality of their products. As such, they make their grills right here in the United States – in Texas, the heart of grilling country. Should anything go wrong with your Old Smokey, you’ll be eligible for a 2-year warranty, providing you peace of mind on your purchase. As a commitment to the US’ diversity, their instruction and assembly manual is also bilingual.
Old Smokey owners agree that this is a must-have for grilling beyond your backyard. Many note that it costs a fraction of some other major brands, but provides equal (if not better) performance in the long run. With reviews like that, it’s no wonder more and more travelers are reaching for the Old Smokey when it’s time to charcoal grill.
When space is limited, it’s frankly difficult to justify adding a weighty, sizable cooking implement that you can only use part of the year. But with the Char-Broil Portable Tabletop Charcoal Grill, you no longer need to compromise valuable space in order to fire up the grill and get that unbeatable char-broiled taste. This grill’s convenient size and storage makes it ideal for trekking to the campsite as well storing in an urban apartment.
The Char-Broil Portable’s constructive benefits are obvious as soon as you pick it up. Weighing it at only 7.5 lbs., it is easily one of the lightest charcoal grills on the market. While you carry it, you won’t have to worry about pesky wire legs sticking out either. They fold in easily and snuggly against the main body. The Char-Broil Portable’s rectangular form factor – paired with its fold-in legs – imitates a toolbox, making it easy to pack in with other gear for the road.
You’ll be sure to have this grill on many outings to come, too, as its durable, high-temperature finish helps to resist exterior damage as well as interior warping. With a little extra care, you’ll be sure to have this portable grill available for wherever your adventures lead you next.
Purchasers of the Char-Broil Portable agree that its portability is nearly unrivaled. Many owners believed that they couldn’t manage to charcoal grill at some of their favorite locations off the beaten path – that is, until they added the Char-Broil Portable to the equation. Between its easy set up and solid construction, owners heartily recommend this model.
Whether you’re short on space or need to limit what you carry off the beaten path, the Char-Broil Portable will be a perfect fit for your charcoal grilling needs. With this compact charcoal grill in hand, you’ll be sure to have good times and good food close behind.
Price point is an important figure when investing in a charcoal grill. The Expert Grill 24-Inch Charcoal Grill is able to satisfy those concerns while still providing a good quality charcoal grilling experience. For a little extra assembly, you’ll soon have a charcoal grill that can feed the family and satisfy party guests all summer long.
When it comes to cooking, the Expert Grill keeps pace with the competition. This model’s 372 sq. inches of cooking space provides room for cooking up to 20 hamburgers at one time – room for first servings and maybe even seconds! As you cook, you won’t need to worry about opening the lid and releasing valuable heat and smoke. Simply open the front-facing charcoal door in order to add more fuel to your fire.
With some added fuel, you’ll need to ensure that the internal cooking temperature is just right. The Expert Grill’s built-in temperature gauge makes this easy, meaning your rare burgers and seared steaks will always come out juicy and ready-to-eat. Once you’re ready to serve, you won’t need an extra hand to hold the serving dish. Instead, you’ll be able to use the convenient side shelf to hold your cooking accessories. Don’t forget to pop open a refreshing drinking while you grill using the built-in bottle opener!
Safety at the grill is critical, no matter what model you choose. The Expert Grill takes this into account with its powder-coated steel construction and cool-to-touch handle. You can also be sure that you’ll get precisely what you want with the Expert Grill’s 2-year warranty.
Owners and other reviewers of the Expert Grill were well surprised at its exceptional quality, especially given its low price point. With an assortment of added features – including a separate warming rack and ash collection pan – this grill has what it takes (and more) to cook up a delicious summer time meal. Plus, customers appreciate the Expert Grill’s wide availability, making it easier to shop for the best price.
Through and through, the Expert Grill is a good balance between performance, price, and durability. Summer to summer, you’ll be pleased to pull out this charcoal grill and fire it up in anticipation of another char-grilled meal that satisfies.
For grilling on the go, you have to have a go-to charcoal grill. After just one use, you’ll have found that grill in the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill. This grill maximizes portability in performances without slacking off on durability and affordability. Your next adventure will be made all the better when it ends with charcoal grilled meats and vegetables, fresh off your Weber Go-Anywhere.
On its 160 sq. inch, triple nickel-coated steel surface, you’ll have space to cook up to six hamburgers (and maybe the fresh fish you caught down at the lake). The twin top-facing dampers will allow you control the internal air flow and temperature with ease, allowing you to get just the right amount of heat onto your grilled creation.
When it’s time to pack up shop, the Weber Go-Anywhere goes with you in a snap. Just fold up its steel wire legs into its rectangular form factor, securely lock the lid latch, and you’ll immediately be on the road with a grill the size and shape of your favorite tackle box. If you get caught out in the elements, you can focus on keeping yourself dry, rather than your grill. The Weber Go-Anywhere’s Porcelain-enameled base and lid resist rust and chipping to add to this grill’s productive life.
Owners of the Weber Go-Anywhere are adamant about its many uses, from small home grilling jobs to charcoal grilling at a pregame tailgate. This model’s portability is by far its greatest asset, allowing it to stand out in a crowded market. Once you add a Weber Go-Anywhere to your home or camping kitchen, you’ll begin to see just how well it combines portability with performance.