Are you a veteran when it comes to the barbecue? Do you still have an affinity for the classic old charcoal briquette? You’re not alone! Many Americans prefer the aroma and taste of meat, veggies, seafood, etc. cooked over charcoal, and find charcoal grills easier to carry and work with than portable gas grills. We have been grilling meat using fire and coals a few thousand years.
However, with the multitude of charcoal grill models and add-ons available in the market, it can be difficult to pick the right option. And if you don’t know what to look for, you can end up buying a wrong grill. That’s why we’ve spent time compiling a list of the 5 best charcoal grills and researched what makes them special. But first, let’s discuss what considerations should go into the buying decision.
What to Look for in A Charcoal Grill?
Below are some of the key factors to take into consideration when hunting for the right charcoal grill:
Size: Charcoal grills come in all shapes and sizes, and the size you pick will depend on your style of grilling. Models usually range from 100 sq. inches all the way up to 800 sq. inches. If you want something for smaller spaces like a balcony or patio for grilling a few burgers, a grill that’s 150-200 sq. inch in size would get the job done. But for serving holiday turkeys or feeding the neighborhood, the griller would need a 500+ sq. inch of surface.
Style: A kettle style grill is a classic choice and it’s the most affordable option. The style is essentially a metal ball with legs, with charcoal sitting at the bottom. Then there are barrel grills. The shape is similar to the classic gas grill, rounded at the bottom and the top, and some models include a hinged top as well. The choice is ideal for big smoking events. Lastly, there are ceramic grills – the most versatile of the lot (and the most expensive too). It can be used to bake, grill, and smoke.
Charcoal Space & Ventilation: Another consideration to make is that the grill should have an easy way of accommodating more charcoal when and if required. For instance, some models require the user to remove the food to include extra charcoal. Additionally, the lid of the grill should feature holes for ventilation. Adjustable hotels should be present in the grill’s body or on its sides so that the user is able to control the quantity of fresh air flowing into the chamber.
Warranty: This one is quite straightforward – longer warranty indicates that the finest-quality materials have been used to manufacture the grill.
Best Charcoal Grills to Buy In 2018
Where to Buy
PK Grills The Original PK Grill & Smoker PK 99740
Standard Cooking Surface: 21.5 inches x 14 inches nickel-plated steel cooking grid – hinged. RIDICULOUSLY DURABLE – PK Grills are rust-proof with cast aluminum grill capsule, aluminum cart, and stainless steel hardware. The Original PK Grill & Smoker is more durable than fragile, porcelain Kamados, and comes with a 10 YEAR WARRANTY on cast aluminum parts.
Weber Original Kettle 26-Inch Charcoal Grill 16401001
Rust-resistant aluminum damper and two glass-reinforced nylon handle with tool hooks. Assembled dimensions are 42.3-inch by 32-inch by 24.4-inch
Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
Heavy steel construction, Cast iron cooking grates, 250 -square inch of primary cooking space
There are so many options in the market to pick from but we have come up with four top options to consider.
If you’re searching for something affordable that doesn’t sacrifice grilling efficiency, this is the ideal buy. It comes with 4 adjustable vents that can be combined with ample cooking space (360 sq. inches) to offer ample room for indirect and direct grills (which means achieving perfect flavor is a possibility). The grill even features a cast aluminum, which acts as a heat conductor to regulate temperature. Also, with an airtight lid, PK 99740 ensures the user doesn’t have to worry about alternating temperatures and flare-ups.
What makes it stand out?
The grill is lightweight, and the cart detaches from the stand easily, so the user can take it with them. It’s great for camping, tailgating, hunting cabins. Etc. Also, this model is more durable than porcelain, fragile, Kamado ones, and its cast aluminum parts come with a 10-year warranty.
If you prefer a family-sized charcoal grill, look no further than this model. It has a large arched lid and 508 sq. inches of grilling surface (enough space to cook a whole Thanksgiving Turkey). No fancy crannies, nooks, or knobs to check up and clean. Uses just empty the ash, wipe the grate, and the 16401001 is ready for the next session. Another fantastic feature is the retractable portion of the gate. It allows users to easily access the coals when needed, and the nylon (glass-reinforced) manages the useful hooks on both ends to hang users’ grilling tools.
What makes it stand out?
It comes with “One-Touch” cleaning technology that enables the user to simply take out the ash catcher to eliminate the ashes. It’s as straightforward as that. Also, it’s easily portable, but this model doesn’t have feature a surface for anything else apart from the food being cooked on it.
This is another viable pick for outdoor grilling. Its steel construction ensures it is able to withstand hours of grilling. The Char-Griller 2-2424 has about 250 sq. inch of cooking surface, heat control capabilities, and a slide drawer within the grill that makes it extremely easy to access charcoal. Its structure feature two dampers that can be adjusted to control the temperature when grilling. Additionally, there’s an ashtray that closes and opens seamlessly, thereby making it easy to clean up the grill.
What makes is stand out?
Heavy steel construction makes this grill durable. Also, it can be both as a Texas-style smoker and a table top grill. Moreover, users can go to a side fire box from a grill (but can’t go back to the grill once done). And how can we forget? It’s the ultimate portable model that can be taken anywhere to for grilling fun.
If fancy extras, nobs and doors aren’t your forte, a Kingsford grill is probably what you’re aiming for. It offers ALMOST 800 Sq. Inch of cooking surface and features a cast iron grate plus a cylinder body at the side and the bottom. While several other models are lightweight and aim for portability, this one is made with longevity and durability in mind. It’s best for a get-it-going grill masters, who loves grilling meat on a strong old hunk of classic metal.
What makes it stand out?
If you want a grill that can be kept outdoors and won’t want to haul in the garage, this is probably the best pick. It is rugged enough to survive tougher weather. While the model is twice as heavy as other names on the list, it’s simply because it’s made to last long.
Over to You
If you’re looking for ample cooking surface, we’d recommend Kingsford and the Weber Original models. However, if you care more about design, extras, and portability, then PK Grills and Char-Griller would be the better options to consider.