Best Portable Charcoal Grills Reviewed – Top Choices on the Market

If you're a griller, particularly with charcoal, there are times when you are going to want a portable charcoal grill. Compared to gas and electric grills, they are easier to set up and operate. You add charcoal, fire it up, and you are ready to cook. They are also cheaper and work well in most areas of the home (patios and balconies) and on camping sites. Therefore, if you enjoy grilled meats or vegetables or host outdoor parties often, buying a charcoal grill is the best decision you can make. We have reviewed the best brands that will make life fun.

What does this article provide? First, we have reviewed the benefits of owning a charcoal grill. Then, at the end of the article, you will better understand the pros of charcoal grills and why buying one is a good idea. We also have a buying guide for charcoal grills and a few bestsellers that offer professional results.

Are you in a hurry?

Shopping for the best portable charcoal grills while in a hurry can be a chore for beginners. To ease the process for you, we have provided a snapshot of the bestsellers in this niche for you. Here are the best overall, high-end, and affordable models.

Recommended
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Best Overall

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

While choosing a portable charcoal grill, look for a lightweight brand with a large cooking area and looks great. The 22-inch Original Weber Kettle meets this threshold. For a few dollars, you get a lidded charcoal grill with a thermometer for checking the temperature. It makes up to 13 burgers per session and retains heat better than other brands as both its lid and grade have a porcelain enamel coat. The coat also prevents corrosion/ rust.

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Portable Grill

High-End Pick

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Portable Grill

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe is a perfect camping grill due to its size. Measuring 14-inches is almost twice as small as the Weber Original Kettle, which is ideal for campers. Transporting it is easy. In terms of performance, you will also love its cooking ability. The grill can cook up to five burgers at a time, which is sufficient for a small family. The bowl and lid both have a porcelain enamel coat that plays two roles. First, this non-stick coat boosts heat retention, fast-tracking cooking. Second, it also stops corrosion and rust and prevents food from burning while cooking.

Amazon Smart Oven, a Certified for Humans Device – plus Echo Dot

Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill

Budget Pick

Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart CCG190RB comes at a reasonable price but offers all the benefits of advanced charcoal grills. Even though compact (14. 5 x 14. 5 x 15 inches) and light (2 pounds), you get 150 square inches of cooking space. Its chrome-plated grates are durable and non-stick, while its vented design offers you total control overheating. Open the vent to increase temperature and vice versa. You can lock the lid for safe transportation. You also get an ash catcher and a firebox, each with a porcelain enamel coat that stops rusting when exposed to water.


Benefits of Buying a Portable Charcoal Grill

While shopping for a grill, you will come across three main types – gas, electric, and charcoal. This section reviews the benefits of owning a charcoal grill to help you determine if it is good for you. Here are the common ones we have come up with:

Cost-Effective: If you are on a tight budget but love grilling, a charcoal grill will be the best choice for you. They are cost-effective on two fronts. First, they are cheaper to buy than other brands. Most premium brands are attainable at a fraction of the cost of electric and propane models. Second, they are also more affordable to use as charcoal does not cost a fortune.

Heat Output: Charcoal takes longer to fire up. However, once you get the fire going, it burns hotter and for longer than gas and electric grills do. Therefore, whenever you are cooking meat or vegetables, you will get a good sear and thus tasty food. Charcoal also retains heat for a long time, making it perfect for slow cooking.

Taste: While this is debatable, most people think that food cooked on charcoal grills compared to gas and electricity tastes better. It introduces a soothing smoky flavor that people enjoy.

About Portable Charcoal Grills – What to Look For

Cooking Area: While shopping on impulse, many people fail to factor attributes such as cooking in decision-making. Do not make the same mistake. For example, even though portable charcoal grills are small, check out what is available. Is it enough for you and your family? Make sure you are getting value for cash.

Material: Before spending your money on a new portable grill, make sure you are getting a durable product. Check its material. Is it resistant to corrosion or rust? Can it withstand heavy abuse of high temperatures without falling apart? Robust materials such as aluminum and steel are the best. For parts such as grates, porcelain-enameled cast iron works great.

Dimensions: Attributes such as size and weight are critical while shopping for a portable charcoal grill. Look for a product that you can carry and store without taking up a lot of space.

Add-Ons: Accessories such as a thermometer, ashtray, vents, and firebox are critical in charcoal grass as they ease its use. Look out for them whenever you are choosing one for day-to-day use. A thermometer will help you to check the temperature in real-time. Vents help you to regulate temperature. An ashtray catches ash as charcoal burns to keep your work surface clean.


The 5 Best Portable Charcoal Grill in the Market this Year

In the previous section, we evaluated the benefits of buying charcoal grills and what to look for while buying one. In this section, we have reviewed the best charcoal grills for you.

1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Features:

  • Removable legs.
  • Porcelain-coated parts.
  • Lightweight (32 pounds).
  • Portable 22-inch design.
  • Lockable lid.
  • Large ash catcher.
  • Precision heat control.
  • Easy to load and use.

Weber Original Kettle is a 32-pound charcoal grill with a portable 22-inch design. You can remove its legs and fold them for easy transportation or storage in a small area. The superior design of this charcoal grill can satisfy the needs of most people. The grates, for instance, have a long-lasting porcelain-enameled design that disperses heat evenly. Thus, food cooks quickly and evenly without burning. It is also spacious (can male 13 burgers) and has a lid (porcelain-coated) that stops heat loss. It also locks in moisture to keep your roasts juicy.

Loading charcoal in this grill is effortless because of its hinged grates. Lift it, add the required amount of charcoal, land light it up with a fire starter of dry straw. Its cleanup is also effortless via a high-capacity ash catcher mounted on the bottom. This catches ash and other debris to keep floors clean.

Pros:
  • The Weber Original Kettle has a high-capacity design that cooks up to 13 burgers.
  • Its porcelain-coated grates and lid have a durable and heat-resistant design that boosts its efficacy.
  • Its one-touch cleaning system has a large bottom-mounted ash catcher that keeps floors clean.
Cons:
  • You have to disassemble the base whenever you are traveling with the charcoal grill.
Our Verdict:

Weber Original Kettle is a portable device that cooks up to 13 burgers on a porcelain-coated grate. Its lidded design keeps food juicy. The metal base supports a lot of weight, while its in-built ash catcher keeps your floor clean. A precise heat control system on top helps you to regulate the temperature in real-time. Close the port to heat the interior of the grill and vice versa.

2. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe Portable Grill

Features:

  • Compact and portable design.
  • Holds up to five burgers.
  • Long lasting steel.
  • Porcelain-coated interior.
  • Lockable lid.
  • Low profile legs.
  • Rust and peel resistant.

Ideal for traveling, you can carry this charcoal grill in the trunk of your car without cluttering space.  It measures only 14-inches wide and has a compact countertop design that takes little effort to set up. Lift the grate, add charcoal, light it up, and start cooking. Easy, right? It is also durable. The grates and its lid have a heat-resistant porcelain coat that plays two roles. It not only boosts the strength of the grill but also its efficacy.

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe can hold and cook up to five burgers. While this is not great, it is sufficient, considering its compact design. You can also prepare delicious single plate meals while cutting costs and saving space. To regulate temperature, you can open and close the lid while cooking or use dampers.

Pros:
  • Its compact and portable design cooks efficiently while taking up little space.
  • Has inbuilt dampers for regulating the internal temperature of the charcoal grill.
  • Its heat-resistant porcelain enamel coat boosts its efficacy and longevity.
Cons:
  • Can only cook one or two meals per session and therefore cannot satisfy a large family.
Our Verdict:

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe is a portable, 14-inch charcoal grill that cooks up to five burgers at a time. It has a lidded design with porcelain-enameled grates that cook efficiently without burning. The body and legs of this charcoal grill are 100% steel. It also has a damper for regulating the internal temperature.

3. Cuisinart CCG190RB Charcoal Grill

Features:

  • 150 square feet.
  • Chrome-plated grates.
  • Venting system.
  • Durable steel structure.
  • Sturdy legs (four).
  • Secure lid locks (three).
  • Built-in ash catcher.
  • Enamel coated firebox.

The painted finish of this 14.5x14.5x15-inch grill pops. Its strength is remarkable, while its efficient charcoal-fired system can satisfy the needs of most people. We have reviewed these features in detail to help you determine if this is the best product for you. If you need a charcoal grill for traveling, Cuisinart CCG190RB has a robust steel structure that you will love. It can withstand physical abuse in transit. The top and its steel grates also have chrome plating that adds strength.

What is the capacity of Cuisinart CCG190RB? You can use it to cook delicious meals for a small family on 150 square inch grates.  This is impressive considering that the device is small and portable. Charcoal and heat management is also easy via a venting system. Open and close the vent to increase or lower its temperature to suit the type of food that you are cooking.

Pros:
  • The charcoal grill has a large cooking area measuring around 150 square inches.
  • It supports precise temperature management via a dual venting system on its shell.
  • Its compact and portable design measure 14-inches wide and weighs just two pounds.
Cons:
  • The set-up, preparation, and clean-up can be arduous for most people with little skill.
Our Verdict:

Do not let the compact design of this charcoal grill scare you. It has a multi-functional and feature-rich design that comes in handy whenever you are cooking outdoors. The plated grates (chrome) for instance, distribute heat evenly for even cooking. You can transport it easily and regulate the heat on demand via a dual venting system. You can also open and close its lid and then lock it for safer transportation via three secure locks.

4. Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro Charcoal Grill

Features:

  • 580 square feet of cooking space.
  • 250 square inch side firebox.
  • Durable cast iron grate.
  • Powder-coated steel shell.
  • Smooth-rolling wheel kit.
  • Removable charcoal drawers.
  • Built-in thermometer.

Weighing about 113 pounds, Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro is heavier than the charcoal grill that we have reviewed herein. However, because it has a wheel kit, transporting it to and from your patio or backyard is very easy. The increase in size also has many additional benefits. Its cooking area measures around 580 square feet, which is the largest on our list. This makes cooking burgers and sausages for a large group easy, as it can prepare large batches of food at once. Its removable charcoal drawers are also super convenient. You do not have to lift its top and cooking grates to add charcoal to its system.

Char-Griller E1224 Smokin Pro has a light strength design made from powder-coated steel. The material has a weather-resistant design that you can use outdoors safely. It also has a firebox (side-mounted) with a powder-coated finish, cast iron cooking grates, and a thermometer for tracking temperature.

Pros:
  • Even though heavy, you get a spacious cooking area (580 square feet) for cooking large meals.
  • Its powder-coated finish (steel) creates a weatherproof seal that boosts its longevity.
  • The pull-out charcoal drawers enable you to load charcoal and dump ash easily after cooking.
Cons:
  • The lid has a few gaps due to fitment issues which might compromise its efficacy over time.
Our Verdict:

Apart from the few fitment issues that this charcoal grill has, you are getting a good all-around product. It has a spacious cooking deck and a side-mounted smoker that will make your meals great. Its steel structure (powder coated) is durable, while the wheel kit on its base boosts the grill’s portability.

5. Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill

Features:

  • 438 square inch main chamber.
  • 179 square inch warming rack.
  • Offset 183 square inch smoker.
  • Porcelain-enameled grates.
  • Adjustable damper.
  • Heavy-duty lid (lockable).
  • Cool-touch spring handle.
  • Fits five pounds of charcoal.

Royal Gourmet CC1830F is a spacious charcoal grill with an offset smoker that you can use to add flavor or preserve food. The main chamber offers around 438 square inches of cooking space with porcelain-enameled grates measuring around 1/4 inches thick. A warming rack takes up 179 square inches of space, while the offset smoker takes up around 183 sq inches. The smoker has solid grates with an enameled porcelain finish.

Apart from its size and versatility, Royal Gourmet CC1830F is popular for its ease of use. The charcoal tray holds up to five pounds of material, which enables you to cook for longer. An air vent grants airflow to boost combustion, while its wheeled base has a mesh shelf for storing ingredients of cooking tools.

Pros:
  • It has a robust design with porcelain-enameled cooking grates that last for many years.
  • It has a spacious design with a large cooking area, a warming rack, and a side-mounted smoker.
  • Its large capacity design holds up to five pounds of charcoal for cooking for long.
Cons:
  • It has a somewhat bulky design that is hard to transport over long distances.
Our Verdict:

With Royal Gourmet CC1830F, you get a versatile charcoal grill with vast cooking space and a smoker. The grills have a long-lasting design with a non-stick coat that stops burning. It also has a sturdy base with a mesh shelf and a wheel kit for moving it around. While transporting it over long distances is hard, its premium design has earned it a spot on our list.


Final Thoughts

These portable charcoal grills are handy in homes as they can prepare delicious meals and last for long. They are easy to set up and have add-ons such as vents and smokers, which makes your cooking experience better. Consider buying yours today.

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