The best charcoal grill is one that’s easy to use and clean, has good durability, airflow control, and more. We used these features as well as numerous of customer reviews when creating our top seven list of the best charcoal grills for 2018. Each review focuses on their advantages and disadvantages as well as their specs. They’re listed based on ratings from lowest to highest.
Best Charcoal Grills Comparison Table
10. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill
First on our best charcoal grill list is the Portable Charcoal Grill from Cuisinart. This product is designed for versatility and it can work for one person or a small group. It is lightweight and compact for portability. For safety purposes, the lid locks on the bowl. It features a dual venting system as well as an ash catcher. Even with the vents, however, it may not have the best circulation as food can get heated too fast. Assembly is quick, but the materials could be better in quality.
First up in the countdown for the best wood pellet grill is a classic Louisiana Pellet Grill. It features an easy-to-operate Digital Control Center that ranges from 180ºF (82ºC) to 600ºF (315.6ºC). It heats up well and quick, yet it has a hard time maintaining lower temperatures for that “low and slow” cooking method. Additional features include a functional meat probe and two separate cooking racks.
9. Char-Broil American Gourmet 800 Series Charcoal Grill
The Char-Broil 800 Series comes with two separate cooking areas. Controlling the heat and smoke is done via an adjustable height steel fire grate and multiple dampers. Some may have trouble adjusting it at first though. You can monitor the temperature with ease by looking at the temperature gauge mounted on the hood.
Moreover, for cleaning purposes, there’s a removable ash pan. The grill offers mobility with two attached wheels. Additional features are the folding full-length front shelf, a folding side shelf, and three tool hooks. Assembling this grill may take some time, and it may or may not come with instructions.
8. Broil King Keg 5000 Charcoal Barbeque Grill
Next on our best charcoal grill list is the Broil King Keg that uses an insulated steel setup to retain more heat. It has two cooking surfaces, the second of which can be rotated out of the way. For portability, it can hitch onto a trailer. It also has a wheeled base. Though it can heat up fast, it can be difficult to lower the heat. There is, however, a good damper system for low and slow smoking. To provide additional prep space, there are two removable side shelves with tool hooks.
7. Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller Patio Pro is compact in size in save on space, yet still has a roomy cooking area. The added two wheels are designed to give it mobility. Assembly is required, but it can be done by one person. It comes with a number of other features like an ash pan for easier cleaning, a bottom storage rack, side shelf, and utensil hooks.
There’s also a side air vent, adjustable dampers, and a double bottom for heat control. This is made with a large wooden handle on the lid that fights off heat. Concerning the lid itself, however, it doesn’t sit flush, so heat/smoke may still escape.
6. Old Smokey Charcoal Grill
With the Old Smokey Charcoal Grill, you get a large space whether you want to smoke or grill. It heats up well, and it can maintain its heat. The grate sits high above the fire so there’s little chance of burning the food. Concerning its build, it has solid legs and two handles on either side to make moving it easier. However, the quality of the aluminum construction seems poor as it is prone to rust.
5. Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill
This Char-Griller Table Top is the best charcoal grill that can be used two ways: on its own or mounted as a side fire box on larger Char-Griller barrel grills. As it stands on its own, this grill can go anywhere you need it to go. It features solid steel construction to withstand multiple trips too. Moreover, with the adjustable dampers, you can control the heat well.
This can maintain temperatures enough so that it can be used as both a grill and a smoker. However, with such high heats, the paint can curl up and peel after just one use. Among its other features is a dump ash pan for quicker cleaning. It also has a sliding drawer to give instant access to the ash pan and coal.
4. Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Next on our best charcoal grill list we have the Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill that comes with a hinged cooking grate. This design grants you access to the fuel without you having to stop cooking. Underneath the charcoal grate, there’s enough room to cook two ways: indirect or direct. Moreover, to provide airflow inside, on top of the lid there is an aluminum, adjustable damper.
For cleaning, it has a One-Touch Cleaning System. By rotating the handle, the three blades inside move the ash down into the ash catcher, which then lifts out for disposal. Though made of good material, the quality control can be low sometimes (e.g. missing parts, bent parts).
3. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
The TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill uses an infrared cooking method to help food cook evenly. In addition, it attempts to help you use less charcoal. The grates are designed so that food can’t fall through. However, there’s little room between the cooking rack and the coal rack. The lid is hinged so you don’t have to completely remove it.
Furthermore, it can lock in place to remain open. However, it does seem like the lid doesn’t seal completely, which can let heat out. On top of the lid is a large, adjustable damper, and there is also a mounted temperature gauge. For airflow, underneath the grill, there is a 360-degree air inlet. There’s also a removable, slide-in ash pan for quick clean-up.
2. Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill
The Weber Performer Deluxe is the best charcoal grill that utilizes an electronic gas ignition. It’s a Touch-N-Go system that starts the grill with a push of a button. There’s a removable backlit LCD timer as well. With its open-cart design (and four wheels for mobility), it provides numerous storage options. However, the ash pan, bin, and hanging tools can limit access to it. Other features are a tuck-away lid holder, work table, char-bin storage container, and tool hooks.
1. ISUMER Portable Foldable Tabletop Charcoal BBQ Grill
This is the best charcoal grill for portability as it features four foldable legs and a handle on the lid so you can pack it up and move it wherever you need it to go. Even though it’s small in size, it isn’t the easiest to assemble as it comes with many small parts to put together.
There are two racks inside: a warming rack and a cooling rack. The lid can remain open or stay closed depending on how you want to cook. For ventilation, this grill features an adjustable damper that comes with six vent holes. Also, there is additional ventilation on the side of the grill.
For those looking for the best charcoal grill, the above list provides an assortment of options whether you want something portable or one that stays at home. Also, if you are interested in getting a smoker only, you can check out our best smoker grills recommendations. Grilled on any of the products on our list? Let us know what you think of them in the comments below.