Best Charcoal Grills

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 16, 2017
If you love outdoor rest and have been looking forward to the summer season and picnicking, this top charcoal grill review is for you! With all the models easy to clean, well-designed and functional, it is easy to find the best charcoal grill you need! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
TYPE / SHAPE
COOKING METHODS
COOKING SURFACE
MATERIAL
HEAT CONTROL
CONVENIENCES
ASH REMOVAL
SIZE
WEIGHT
 
PROS
Large cooking surface, easy temperature control due to a few modes provided, which makes the cooking temperature regulation convenient.
CONS
The construction is not completely leak-proof.
OUR VERDICT
Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill is a wonderfully designed model, an excellent choice for a group of friends up to 8 people to use in the backyard or just outdoors.
detailed parameters
TYPE / SHAPE
Classic / Barrel
COOKING METHODS
Grilling, Smoking, Searing
COOKING SURFACE
830 square inches / up to 8 portions
MATERIAL
Cast iron cooking grates, Tubular steel cart, Heavy duty steel body
HEAT CONTROL
Adjustable grates, Opening side dampers
CONVENIENCES
Temperature sensor, Side shelf, Bottom wire shelf, Condiment basket, 3 utensil hooks, 2 transporting wheels
ASH REMOVAL
Easy clean-up: just pull out the dump ash pan and clean it
SIZE
42 x 29 x 50 inches, 35 x 29 x 50 inches, 49 x 29 x 50 inches
WEIGHT
95 pounds
PROS
What makes this model compelling is that it does not require assembly, keeps the high cooking temperature for a long time, and the entire construction is very firm and stable.
CONS
This model does not have a lid.
OUR VERDICT
Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill, compared to other steel constructions, has a tough cast iron design which makes it a perfect choice for cooking juicy steaks for many years.
detailed parameters
TYPE / SHAPE
Portable / Hibachi
COOKING METHODS
Grilling
COOKING SURFACE
84.56 square inches / up to 2 portions
MATERIAL
Cast iron body and cooking grates
HEAT CONTROL
2 adjustable heights
CONVENIENCES
Metallic carrying handle, Small stable legs, Cast design
ASH REMOVAL
Flip-down door to reach the coals easily
SIZE
19 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
WEIGHT
32 pounds
PROS
A great virtue of this model is a cleaning system, carried out with just a press of a button. Please note that this charcoal grill is designed of high-quality materials to guarantee durability.
CONS
It is not quite convenient to use in the countryside as it requires dismantlement for transportation.
OUR VERDICT
This is an excellent model that can be used can be used both for grilling and smoking meat at high and low temperatures.
detailed parameters
TYPE / SHAPE
Classic / Spherical
COOKING METHODS
Grilling, Smoking, Searing
COOKING SURFACE
363 square inches / up to 4 portions
MATERIAL
Porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, Plated steel cooking grate, Steel charcoal grate
HEAT CONTROL
Damper system
CONVENIENCES
2 transporting wheels, Triangle shelf, Aluminum ash catcher
ASH REMOVAL
One-Touch cleaning system
SIZE
25 x 20.5 x 38.5 inches
WEIGHT
31.8 pounds
PROS
This model is perfect for a low-temperature smoking, it has a proper design, a hinged lid can be fixed for a proper wind protection.
CONS
The construction has a low profile so you need to put it on some stand to make it easy to use.
OUR VERDICT
Char-Griller is a perfect choice for smoking, it can also be attached to such models as Pro Deluxe, Wrangler, Outlaw and Duo as an additional grill.
detailed parameters
TYPE / SHAPE
Classic / Barrel
COOKING METHODS
Grilling, Smoking, Searing
COOKING SURFACE
250 square inches / up to 3 portions
MATERIAL
Heavy steel body, Cast iron cooking grates
HEAT CONTROL
2 adjustable air dampers
CONVENIENCES
4 metallic legs, 2 ways of the lid fixation, Can be attached to other charcoal grill models
ASH REMOVAL
Sliding drawer so you can remove the ashes and reach the coals easily
SIZE
18.5 x 16 x 17 inches
WEIGHT
41 pounds
PROS
The main advantage of this model is its portability provided by the small size and low weight of this charcoal grill. In addition, it has convenient carrying handles.
CONS
The ash removal is not quite convenient.
OUR VERDICT
Go-Anywhere grill, due to its excellent portability, can be used both in your backyard and almost everywhere you go for a picnic, even in places where other models can not be transported to.
detailed parameters
TYPE / SHAPE
Portable / Rectangular
COOKING METHODS
Grilling, Searing
COOKING SURFACE
160 square inches / up to 2 portions
MATERIAL
Porcelain-enameled lid and base, Plated steel cooking grate
HEAT CONTROL
2 air dampers on the lid
CONVENIENCES
2 steel pivoting legs, 3 convenient carrying handles, Removable lid
ASH REMOVAL
Porcelain-enameled covering is easy to clean
SIZE
12.2 x 21 x 14.5 inches
WEIGHT
14.5 pounds

What is a Charcoal Grill

These days it is hard to imagine summer season without grilled food. And it is almost impossible to imagine a picnic without juicy steaks or fragrant grilled sausages. Among all kinds of grills invented up to the present, a charcoal barbecue grill is one of the most appreciated. A charcoal grill is a tried and true classics. The main point in charcoal grill cooking is roasting without pans, on metallic grating, using special charcoal as a fuel. It does not require any power connection, so you can take it anywhere. A charcoal grill is also much more compact and portable compared to a gas grill since you won't need any fuel vessels. In case you are interested in gas models, please, look through our best outdoor & camping grills review. And here you will find the best 5 charcoal grills review.

What Features to Compare

The first tip for choosing a charcoal barbeque grill is its Material and Shape. There are several shapes of grill such as rectangular, spherical, or cylindrical. The latter is known as the barrel. You can also choose a classic or a portable type of the charcoal grill depending on your needs. Please note that models with a lid provide an ideal cooking temperature, the best fragrance, and will preserve all the useful vitamins. Some of the charcoal grills have the oblong-shaped bodies with small stable legs, these models are called Hibachi, they are very portable though they usually have no lid. Choosing a charcoal grill, you should also pay attention to such useful details as additional shelves and hooks to place all necessary utensils, and different ways to adjust the lid. Temperature resistant handles are essential for transportation and safe use of the portable charcoal grill. As for the material, charcoal grills are usually made of cast iron or porcelain-enameled stainless steel. There is also a special range of porcelain-enameled charcoal grills that can be used as an oven or a tandoor. Please note that bbq charcoal grill shape directly affects its cooking methods. You can grill, sear and steam your meals depending on a charcoal grill model, and some models provide all of these options.

The next important thing you should consider is charcoal grill Conveniences. A very important feature for any kind of grill is its efficiency factor. It depends on the cooking top size, for you can place more food on a larger cooking surface and, as a result, prepare meals for more people in one go. Using modern charcoal grills, you can cook from 2 to more than 8 portions at a time. You should also keep in mind the heat control. If you would like a grill with adjustable grates, you can easily vary a cooking temperature and you will not have to wet down the coal or wait till it cools down. There are also models with side or lid air dampers for the proper charcoal temperature adjustment, and that is very convenient as well. It stands to mention that there are cutting-edge models with a thermometer on the lid so that you can choose and control the cooking temperature.

The last tip to look at is the Ease of Use. The maintainability of bbq charcoal grill depends largely on its operation. Ash removal should be an easy job. The most convenient are charcoal grills with easy clean up systems and portable ash catchers. There are constructions with a flip-down door on their side to access the coals and ashes without difficulty. Bbq charcoal grills are usually portable, but there are models which are not so easy to transport by car because they have tall legs or/and are too large. The most convenient in transportation are charcoal grills with small dimensions and low weight. Some portable models can be carried in a case bag or by the special handle.

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Review of Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller 2828 Pro

Char-Griller 2828 Pro

Material and Construction

This charcoal grill has a cylindrical or so-called barrel shape. This is one of the most popular form-factors used by bbq charcoal grill manufacturers. As for the material, this model has a heavy-duty steel body which provides structural durability and cast iron cooking grates to prevent meals from burning. And, if necessary, the grates can be lifted easily to add more coals while you cook meals on your grill.

Conveniences

One of the main features of the Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill is a large cooking surface equal to 830 square inches. 580 square inches are a primary cooking space, 250 square inches are for an additional warming rack. Such a spacious cooking surface is enough for more than 8 people to enjoy juicy steaks or other tasty meals, which is perfect for a big family or a group of friends. This model provides an easy temperature regulation by an adjustable fire grate and dampers which you can adjust to let enough air in. An additional advantage is a thermometer you can use to set and control the temperature.

Ease of Use

This charcoal grill has an easy clean-up system so you can get rid of the ashes mounting up during the coal firing. An easy-dump ash pan can help you to remove ashes with no hassle. All you have to do is pull out the pan from the side of the grill. Do it carefully not to get dirty or spill the wastes. There is also a convenient wooden side shelf and a large bottom wire shelf for necessary utensils and raw food, a condiment basket and a hook you can hang up a towel or a cooking paddle. The size of this grill is too big to transport it in your car but there are 2 reliable wheels for easy transportation in your backyard. Choosing this model you can also buy a kitchen utensils set to make your charcoal grill cooking even more comfortable. This set consists of 12 items, including a spatula, cleaning brush, tongs, 4 stainless skewers and 4 corn cob holders. A special case for convenient storage and transportation also comes with this kitchen utensils set.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Chargriller Super Pro First Use and Review
Char-Griller 2828 Pro
Char-Griller 2828 Pro
 
Review of Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill

Lodge L410

Lodge L410

Material and Construction

This grill has a hibachi shape. The word 'Hibachi' means 'fire bowl', it is a traditional Japanese heating device. The Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill has an oblong shaped bowl with short legs, the charcoal is put inside the bowl and the meal is placed on a grater. The grill has a tough cast iron body providing a long-term usage and protecting against burning. This portable charcoal grill does not require assembling, all you need to do is unpack it and start using.

Conveniences

The Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill has a middle-sized cooking surface, which amounts to 10-1/4 by 8-1/4 inches. Such charcoal grill cooking surface dimensions are enough to cook a meal for 2 people. As for the temperature control, it is not difficult as well. You can adjust the cooking grate heights so that your meal gets just as much heat from the coals as needed. There are 2 cooking grate heights available in this model.

Ease of Use

This charcoal grill has a convenient cleaning system. A flip-down door on its side helps to dispose of the ashes easily. If you need transportation, Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill is just the perfect choice. With dimensions of 19 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches, it is portable enough to be put into a car trunk, and there is also a special handle to carry this model. If you want to go on a picnic and enjoy tasty meals, you can take this charcoal bbq grill with you and it won't take much space.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
My new grill: Lodge Amazon.com: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal Grill
Lodge L410
Lodge L410
 
Review of Weber 741001 Original Kettle Charcoal Grill

Weber 741001

Weber 741001

Material and Construction

This Weber charcoal grill has a spherical shape, quite common for this type of grills. It is made of durable materials and includes the following parts: a steel bowl and a lid coated with porcelain enamel that can withstand temperature of up to 1500°F and make the air circulate inside the grill, a plated steel cooking grate, a steel charcoal grate, an aluminum ash catcher, rust-resistant dampers, an aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system, glass-reinforced nylon handles, 2 on sides of the grill and 1 on the lid.

Conveniences

The Weber 741001 Original Kettle Charcoal Grill has a fairly big cooking surface, 363 square inches in total, enough to cook meals for 4 people at a time. A handy damper system, created by Weber, would help you control the temperature without lifting the lid. You can adjust the dampers to make cooking temperature low enough for an hours-long smoking or keep it high for searing delicious and fragrant steaks.

Ease of Use

This charcoal bbq grill maintenance and its clean up system are of the highest level. Weber has created a unique One-Touch cleaning system for a comfortable disposal of the ashes. All you have to do is rotate a special handle. Three blades gradually move all the ashes through the vents in the bottom of the bowl and pour them into the ash catcher under the bowl. The ash catcher is fully enclosed so you do not need to worry that the ashes will be blown by the wind. You can remove all the wastes during cooking and clean the detached ash catcher, to use vents in the bottom of the bowl for proper heating.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Weber Kettle One-Touch Silver 22" grill
Weber 741001
Weber 741001
 
Review of Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller 2-2424

Char-Griller 2-2424

Material and Construction

The Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill is designed in a shape of a barrel, one of the classical shapes for this type of charcoal grills. It has a lift-up lid that can be adjusted for a proper wind protection. This charcoal grill is made of heavy steel and powder coated for a long useful life. Reliable cast iron cooking grates are easy to clean. In addition, this material prevents scorching.

Conveniences

This charcoal grill has 2 different options for use. This model can be used as both a separate bbq charcoal grill and an attachment to the larger models, manufactured by Char-Griller, for Texas Style Horizontal Smoking. In this case, you get much more grilling space. 2 adjustable dampers make the cooking temperature control convenient and effective. The total cooking surface of 250 square inches makes it perfect for a small family.

Ease of Use

The Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill can be used both for countryside camping and in your backyard. This model can be easily transported by car as it has rather small dimensions, 18.5 x 16 x 17 inches, and its weight is mere 41 pounds. There are also special covers to make it easy to store and carry the grill. As for the cleaning, this model has a sliding drawer so you can remove the ashes with one hand.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Char Griller
Char-Griller 2-2424
Char-Griller 2-2424
 
Review of Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Weber 121020

Weber 121020

Material and Construction

The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill has a rectangular shape, and it looks like a tool box rather than a grill. The cooking box and lid are made of steel with a porcelain-enameled coating, providing high corrosive resistance and easy clean-up. It has a chrome-plated cooking top and charcoal grates. There are also 2 rust-resistant aluminum dampers, plated steel legs adjustable to lock the lid, and a glass-reinforced nylon handle.

Conveniences

The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill total cooking surface amounts to 160 square inches. It may seem not so spacious, compared to other models, but this cooking top size is just perfect for the portable design of this charcoal grill, and it is large enough to prepare meals for 2 people at a time. The convenient and effective temperature control is performed by 2 air dampers on the lid, you can easily adjust them to get the temperature you need for your charcoal grill cooking.

Ease of Use

This charcoal grill is one of the most convenient and portable models. It is perfect for country camping and picnicking in places where it is impossible to use other models. All you have to do is adjust the pivoting legs in the downward position and start cooking. The dimensions of this charcoal grill are 12.2 x 21 x 14.5 inches and its weight is only 14.5 pounds so you can easily carry it by its convenient handles. Please note that there is a similar model with a portable gas fuel vessel.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill Review
Weber 121020
Weber 121020
 

Sources:

1. 5 Tips When Choosing a Charcoal Grill, eBay. March 10, 2016.

2. John Mariani, Marie Rama Tips For Choosing A Charcoal Or Gas GrillDummies. 

3. Claire Tansey How to choose between a gas or charcoal grillChatelaine. June 9, 2016.

4. Pick the Perfect Grill, Men’s Health. June 17, 2015.

5. Geoff Williams How to Choose the Best Grill for YouU.S. News & World Report. June 13, 2014.