Nothing screams summer like the smell of well-roasted steaks on the grill. Although you may find gas grills convenient and easy to maintain, you can’t compare them to the flavor you get from the charcoal grills.
However, with various brands to choose from, you may find the process of selecting a charcoal grill stressful.
Below is everything you need to know about selecting the best charcoal grill and tips to help you pick one that meets your cookout needs.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We chose the best grill choices based on factors like the cooking space, material of the grill, availability of temperature control, and ease of maintenance. Our research also involved evaluating user reviews to understand the pros and cons of each product.
Top 8 Best Charcoal Grill Choices for Cookouts
Below are some of the best charcoal grill choices in 2019.
The Weber Original Premium Charcoal grill is a must-have if you’re looking for a vintage feel and a grill that enhances your food’s flavor. Its 22-inch diameter allows you to have enough room to cook your steaks and burgers without overcrowding the cooking grate.
You’ll love its unique design and its ease of cleaning thanks to the one-touch cleaning technology. Moreover, you don’t have to deal with a messy yard after guests have cleared as the Weber Kettle premium grill comes with an ash catcher. All you need is to remove the tray, and you’re ready to prepare the next meal.
In regards to safety, the manufacturer includes an aluminum damper that keeps you safe from the flames. Its nylon handles allow you to move with the grill to a friend’s place or a campout site. You can use the grill for parties, events, and barbeques.
The 14402001 charcoal grill comes with an inbuilt thermometer that lets you know the best temperature to prepare your food. You’ll need some minutes to assemble it, but you’ll enjoy the flavor that emanates from your food.
On the downside, the legs may feel shaky when moving the grill and the cooking surface may not accommodate large gatherings.
The Dyna-Glo charcoal grill is an excellent choice if you need something to use outdoors without requiring lots of space in your backyard. While at first the size may put you off, with time you’ll realize that its performance is unmatched and boasts of added capabilities that you can’t find in other charcoal grills.
Its colors give the grill an elegant and regal look, while the vertical bars provide more storage space for your cooking tools. What’s more, the manufacturer uses steel and cast iron materials that ensure you have a durable grill that can serve you for years.
Another major highlight on the Dyna-Glo is its heating power. You can effortlessly store heat in your grill. You can set the concentrated temperature and tune the temperature by lifting the coals.
Other excellent features include a beautiful finish, a large surface area, and quality build. The pair of wheels allow for easy portability when you need to share food with your friends on the weekend.
The Weber Deluxe Charcoal Grill boasts of convenient features and a quality build. You’ll also find other extras like the touch-n-go electronic coal ignition button, a charcoal storage bin, and an LCD timer.
Its performance allows you to enjoy a seamless grilling experience. You should also get this charcoal grill if you’re not confident about temperature control, lighting, and the cooking time.
The painted metal side table enables you to perform a fast foil wrap and other activities like storing basting stuff and lifting burgers to plates. You’ll love the one-touch cleaning system that makes your cleaning work less tedious.
For a comfortable grill experience, Weber incorporates adjustable dampers, an inbuilt thermometer, and an easy to read LCD timer.
Unfortunately, the grill is quite heavy, which makes it less portable. Also, the company doesn’t include a hook on the domed lid. The lack of markings on the vent slider comes as a disappointment to some grill users.
The Kingsford OGD2001901 kettle grill is a compact, yet affordable charcoal grill that provides you with ample cooking surface. You can conveniently remove the wheels for easy portability. The charcoal chamber and lid comes with a heat resistant porcelain coating.
Also, on the lower side, you’ll find a basket for storing your cooking tools. The Kingsford has air vents that control the temperature. You can adjust the heat thanks to the side vents and top chimney.
If you’re not sure about the temperature, the inbuilt thermometer allows you to check the temperatures and adjust to suit your cooking needs.
The Blackstone charcoal grill boasts of a smooth finish and premium design that gives it a high-end feel. Also, its quality steel composition protects the grill and ensures its durability for years. The company goes ahead to include a thermometer that allows you to adjust the temperature and prepare delicious foods for your loved ones.
You can comfortably prepare fish, meats, kebabs, and roast barbeque with this charcoal grill. Unlike other charcoal grills, the Blackstone grill has a rotisserie motor that enables you to rotate the meats without the need to move the items manually.
The Royal Gourmet charcoal grill is one of the best charcoal grills in the market due to its wide cooking area and premium build. Its enamel coating gives the grill long-lasting quality, not to forget its superior performance in roasting and grilling.
You don’t need extra counters or tables to prepare food as it has a cooking area of 393sq. inches. The adjustable vent allows in air flow and regulates the temperature.
You’ll love the extra storage space and the ash pan that makes cleaning convenient. Also, you can adjust the heat thanks to the height adjustable charcoal pan.
The Original PK grill and smokers offer a retro feel, and grilling enthusiasts appreciate its simplicity. Being an aluminum cast grill means, you can use the grill for years without the need to get a replacement.
Although the cooking area is not ideal, it’s enough for a small family. Its nickel-plated steel grates come as a convenient feature. The little shelf on the side offers enough space for food and other cooking accessories.
It’s also lightweight and easy to assemble. You can effortlessly pack the frill to a camping site or a friend’s place. Unfortunately, its lack of an ash catcher makes your cleaning difficult. However, you can place an aluminum tray under the vent to collect the ash.
The lack of extra features and a temperature sensor is something most users find unappealing with this grill.
The Char-Griller Patio Pro grill has a traditional frame and a compact body. Its inclusion of cast iron and heavy metal makes it durable. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about rust when using the grates.
Although its cooking surface can only accommodate a small gathering, it’s an ideal option if you have little space. You can grill your meats and vegetables with ease.
Purchasing the best charcoal grill can be stressful due to the several factors you need to consider. While a grill may appear functional at first glance, you may be disappointed if it fails to meet your cookout needs.
Technical specifications may be essential, but you need to check the grill’s practical performance. Fortunately, we’ve made your work easier by doing all the research.
Below are some few tips to help you with the selection process.
Determine the Purpose of the Grill
It’s critical to understand that there isn’t a one size fits all type of grill. However, you can find a charcoal grill that meets your needs. You need to find a grill that meets your present cookout needs.
Check the Size of Your Cooking Area
You need to consider the size of your cooking area when shopping for a charcoal grill. The right space could depend on how many people you plan to cook for or the size of your preferred grill.
Also, you may need to carry the grill with you to a friend’s house or camping. For this reason, a smaller grill is an excellent idea. Ceramic grills are heavy and big, while ceramic and kettle grills are smaller and portable.
Ease of Use
Although charcoal grills enhance the flavor of different foods, they require more maintenance. What’s more, they do require you to be patient when heating up, something that can be disappointing when people are hungry.
However, manufacturers now have grills with hinged cooking grates or an additional door that allows you to add charcoal without the need to remove your food. Also, some grills come with a removable ash catcher, something that makes your work easier when removing the ash.
Don’t Forget the Durability
A quality grill can last you long, that’s why some people have grills from a decade ago. Find a grill made of durable materials and quality build. You can choose the best charcoal grill from a reputable company that provides a warranty.
Expect to spend more on a quality grill, but you can be sure that you won’t have to get a new one again unless you get an extra one.
Safety should be a Priority
You need to ensure that you read the manual and understand how the grill works. Look for a sturdy grill that won’t fall over when you’re busy cooking. Also, avoid dumping the ashes while the grill is still hot and always keep the exhaust damper open when cooking.
Look Out For Extra Features
Checking the charcoal grill for extra features and accessories is essential. For example, gills with multiple cooking sections allow you to cook various things at different heat levels simultaneously.
A few grills make it easy to adjust the charcoal from the cooking surface, something that promotes heat precision. Some grills have a v-rack that allow you to make poultry or ribs on the grill.
Asses the Temperature Control
As a cookout fun, you may want to find a grill that comes with temperature control. Check the dampers of the grill to ensure that there’s one that allows oxygen in and another one that lets the exhaust out. Extra vents or dampers enable you to have control when handling large grills.
Find out if your preferred grill has a damper and a tight lid as this not only controls the temperature but also creates various cooking zones to meet your needs.
Grills with an egg-shaped design and ceramic walls have the best temperature control, although it takes time to learn how to regulate the temperatures.
Customer Service and Warranty
Don’t skimp on the warranty and a company’s customer service. Find a company that provides a solid warranty that backs up heavy usage. Find out if the company has replacement parts in case you need to change them.
Check the type of support a company provides should you run into a problem with the charcoal grill. The best customer support also ensures that you get any questions or issues resolved on time.
Work With a Budget
You can find different grills all at varied prices. A simple kettle grill is ideal if you’re on a budget and looking for something functional. However, you can find a reasonably priced barrel grill that gives you a large cooking surface than a kettle grill.
Sometimes you may need a sturdy construction and a large cooking surface to accommodate more visitors. With this, you may need to spend more.
The perfect charcoal grill can help you enjoy some well-roasted meats, barbeque, vegetables, and other delicacies. Our list above has some of the top-rated charcoal grills that have different features to make your grilling experience hassle-free. Don’t forget to read our buyer’s guide to understand what to look for in a charcoal grill.