Charcoal grills allow you to cook tasty and smokey food without spending a lot of money. They use lump charcoal or briquettes and come in many sizes for both professional or personal use. They are also durable (typically made of steel) and have multiple add-ons that make food preparation a breeze and fun. Their lidded designs have built-in thermometers for checking the temperature of the grill. Ash trays make clean-up easy, while their vast cooking space is suitable for cooking all meals. Therefore, if you do not own one, consider buying one now.
Buying a charcoal grill comes with many benefits. They are cheaper to own and use than standard electric and gas grills. They are also portable and can transport cooking supplies such as pans/pots and ingredients. We have reviewed a few premium brands that offer value for money.
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Here are our picks for the best, high tech, and budget brands that you will like. They are easy to use and available online.
Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill
Cuisinart CCG190RB is portable, durable, and easy to set up at home, making it the best overall charcoal grill. Although it only measures 14-inches, you get around 150 square feet of cooking space, which is enough for most people. You can adjust its temperature via a dual venting system to cook most foods. You can also lock and unlock its lids to create the best environment for cooking a preferred meal. Finally, you get a firebox for smoking food and an ash catcher that makes it easy to clean. You will enjoy owning a new one.
Royal Gourmet CC1830S Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
The Royal Gourmet CC1830S takes up more space than the Cuisinart CCG190RB but offers significantly more benefits. You get a larger cooking/smoking area (800 square inches) with a protective chrome plating. You also get long-lasting steel grates (porcelain-coated) that last for long and stops food from burning. You also get a large storage area on the bottom, a prep rack, and a lid with a temperature gauge.
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Weber 441001 Original Kettle Charcoal Grill
Do not settle for a low-quality charcoal grill just because you have a low budget. High-quality budget brands such as Weber 441001 are readily available online. Buy yours now. It holds and cooks up to nine burgers without jostling for space. The grates are made of plated steel, while its steel lid has a porcelain enameled lining resistant to heat. Its legs (removable) eliminate the need for tables and countertops. It also has wheels for moving it around and cool-touch handles.
Benefits of Charcoal Grills
Most of us like to grill during the weekend or outdoor camping parties. However, because of our naivety, we pick low-value grills that fail to satisfy our needs. If you are one of them, here are a few reasons why charcoal grills are ideal.
Cost-Effective: Charcoal grills are cheaper than electric and gas grills, making them ideal for cooking daily. You do not have to spend a lot of money to own one. They also use charcoal or briquettes as a heat source, which are also cheap.
Long-Lasting: Manufacturers use heavy-duty materials such as steel to make charcoal grills. As such, most available brands last for many years. While dents and scratches are inevitable, they rarely break down while in use. They can also withstand high heat, especially if porcelain coated.
Easy to Use: If you are willing to get dirty during setup, you will have an easy time using a charcoal grill. Most models do not have luxuries such as electric ignition. However, once you have added charcoal, you can use a fire starter to fire it up, which is easy. To clean, remove the ashtray and empty it.
About Charcoal Grills – What to Look For
Capacity: It is a good practice to check the cooking area of your grill or choice and make sure it is enough. The cooking area should be as large as possible. Also, look out for add-ons such as a warmer rack and smoker to improve how you cook.
Longevity: Parts such as frames, lids, and cooking grates should be durable. Check the quality of the material used to make them and make sure they are the best. Powder-coated steel, for instance, withstands environmental abuse well, making it a suitable material for the frame. Cast iron is food-grade, durable, and non-stick, making it is deal for grates.
Ease of Use: Look for a product you will never struggle to use at home or anywhere else. If possible, it should have a thermometer for tracking heat. Most are on the lid, where you can read them with ease. Add-ons such as heat vents and wheels are equally beneficial while using such grills.
List of the Best Charcoal Grills in 2021
Which are the best charcoal grills for use at home, outdoors, and on campsites? We have reviewed the best brands here.
1. Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill
Cuisinart CCG190RB is a 14-inch charcoal grill best-liked for its portability. It uses both briquettes and charcoal and has a portable design made from heavy-duty steel. Its superior functionality and its low-maintenance design have also won the hearts of millions of people. The grates, for instance, offer 150 square inches of cooking space. You can flip a few burgers on it or cook meats or vegetables for a small family or a group of friends. The grates have a chrome-plated design that lasts for years. Thus, if you need a long-lasting grill suitable for camping, it is one of the best brands.
Even though charcoal is fire, you have reasonable control over heat for two reasons. First, the dual venting system of this product provides the ultimate charcoal management while cooking. You can adjust its temperature up and down by opening and closing the system. The charcoal grill also has a lid, which offers you control overheat as well. You can close it to lock in heat or open it to lower heat if needed. The lid has a lockable design (3 locks) for safety.
Cuisinart CCG190RB is a durable and portable charcoal grill that offers around 150 square inches of cooking space. The grates are non-stick, while its dual vent system offers you better control of heating. The lid locks for easier transport, while its built-in ash catcher and firebox enhance its value.
2. Royal Gourmet CC1830S Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
Royal Gourmet is a massive charcoal gill for home use and outdoor camping. If you consider buying one for an upcoming party or day-to-day use, here are some of its key features—first, the cooking area measures around 800 square inches, which is enough for most people. You can grill or bake large batches of food on it or smoke meat on the offset smoker provided. The steel wire grates are durable and have a porcelain enamel coat that boosts their efficacy. This charcoal grill does not have electronic ignition. You will need a fire starter to fire it up when needed.
With Royal Gourmet CC1830S, you get multiple add-on features that will improve how you cook. The temperature gauge enables you to monitor the temperature in real-time. It also has a side air vent that prevents fire from dying off, wheels for transportation, and an ash pan that catches ash for easier/quicker disposal. You can use ordinary charcoal and briquettes to fire up the grill.
With Royal Gourmet CC1830S, you will be able to prepare delicious meals using charcoal or briquettes. It also has a smoker that you can use to add flavour to food when needed and side air vents for regulating heat. While the grill is large (800 square inches) it has a wheel kit for transportation.
3. Weber 441001 Original Kettle
Weber 441001 Original Kettle has a cool-looking black theme that does not fade over time. It is compact (14 inches) and has a comfortable height (36 inches) for most people. While grilling, you do not have to bend too much to cook, as is the case with similar brands. You will love the performance of this charcoal grill. The steel grates, for instance, are durable and have a non-stick plating that makes cooking meats, etc., effortlessly. These grates do not rust over time. They can also support significantly more weight and rarely burn food as they are 100% non-stick.
The one-touch cleaning system of this charcoal grill is very convenient. You do not have to shovels tons of as manually after cooking as an ash catcher does that for you. Once you remove it and dump the ash, the charcoal grill is ready to use. Finally, you can regulate its temperature in two ways. Its lid (porcelain-coated) retains heat efficiently. Keep it closed to maintain a high internal temperature. You can also use its dampers.
Weber 441001 has everything you will need in a charcoal grill. The steel grates are long lasting, while its lid has a porcelain enamelled coat that retains heat for long. Dampers enable you to regulate heat in real-time, while its one-touch system makes ash clean up after use hassle-free.
4. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro is a 50-inch gas grill that provides 830 feet of non-stick cooking/smoking space. The main grill measures 580 square feet, which is enough for most people. It also has an independent side-mounted smoker that provides around 250 square feet of space. The grates are non-stick cast iron, making them suitable for grilling most foods without burning. On the other hand, the frame has a robust stainless-steel design with a protective powder coat that prevents rusting. As such, you can set it up and use it outdoors without structural damage.
With a Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro, you get a removable charcoal drawer that makes loading and using it easy. Apart from charcoal, you can use briquettes as well to cook. The lid has a thermometer for checking temperature and a cool-touch handle (wood). You also get a wheel kit for transporting the charcoal grill when needed, which is a plus.
Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro has a spacious and durable design with a side firebox for smoking food. It has steady legs with wheels that ease its transportation. It also has a thermometer for checking temperature and non-stick grates (cast iron) that disseminate heat efficiently for even cooking.
5. Royal Gourmet CD1824E Charcoal BBQ Grill
Royal Gourmet CD1824E is perfect for hosting outdoor parties as it is water-resistant and spacious. It has wheels for transporting it to and from patios and a height-adjustable charcoal pan for customizing heat exposure while cooking. We have reviewed these features in detail to help you to know if it is the best grill for you. First, the cooking grates measure around 368 square feet and therefore are suitable for cooking large meals. All are stainless steel with a porcelain-enameled coating that creates a non-stick cooking area. You also get an additional 106 square foot warming rack.
The height-adjustable cooking grill of this product ensures the best cooking results devoid of the food you are grilling. Raise it or lower it to customize heat exposure and thus cook your food quickly and evenly. Empty the removable ash tray occasionally to keep its system clean and efficient. You can also move it around easily via a wheel kit on the base.
Royal Gourmet CD1824E is a large and dependable charcoal grill with a smoker and wheels for transportation. You can adjust the steel grill up and down to maximise or lower heat exposure. It provides ample cooking space for most people and has a removable ash pan that makes clean up effortless.
The charcoal grilling technology has come a long way. You can now find large, high-tech, and affordable brands online, each with its pros and cons. Our top five picks, for instance, are ideal for grilling indoors and outdoors for these reasons. They are durable. Most models have a steel frame and non-stick grates that withstand abuse for long. They are also spacious, easy to clean, and recommended to cook all foods.
Now that you have a grill, you should know how to start a charcoal grill.