Best Charcoal Grills of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

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It is time to replace your old charcoal grill, but you can not make up your mind on what to get next.

It is never a good idea to go to the shop and buy the first grill you see.

Instead, let us look at a few reviews to give you some information and maybe a few good ideas.

Comparison of the Best Charcoal Grills

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best charcoal grill overall
  • A large cooking area helps to cook more food
  • Extra workspace added to the grill makes food preparation easy
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  • With this grill, you have lots of heat
  • An airlift hinge makes working with this grill much easier
  • The fold-away serving tables on the side give you extra working space
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  • Best For The Money
  • Its large grate allows for more food to be prepared
  • The carry handle can be used as a cradle for the lid
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  • Best Portable Charcoal Grill
  • To make it easy to carry, the lid locks in place
  • The small size helps to store it easily for transport
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  • Best Small Charcoal Grill
  • The grill is enameled to resist rust
  • A durable cooking grate in this grill will help retain the heat
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  • Best Charcoal Grill Smoker
  • It has large wheels for added mobility
  • The handle grips stay cool for safe access to the food
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  • Best Charcoal Grill Under $100
  • You have perfect heat control with the vent in the lid
  • The TACKLIFE charcoal grill is easy to clean after using
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  • Best Charcoal Grill Under $200
  • With the hinged cooking grate, it is easy to add fuel
  • You can cook up to 13 burgers at a time on the grill grate
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Perks of Getting a New Charcoal Grill

It is always exciting to buy a new item and to hold it in your hands. Usually, you are excited about certain perks of this new thing. It is no different when getting a new charcoal grill, so let's take a look at some of these perks.

  • It is easier to transport. You do not need to lug a large gas tank around when you go camping.

  • You have better control with a charcoal grill. That is because you can create colder areas on the grate.

  • The taste is something you can never replace or copy when it comes to the taste of a grilled steak.

  • Price-wise, you will always get better value for your money when you shop for a good quality charcoal grill.

  • As for heat, the charcoal grill will always get better heat because of the open flame you use.

  • If it breaks, you simply replace the part that is broken, so there is no extra effort needed with repairs.

  • If you struggle to get the charcoal ignited, there are a few easy aids you can use to get the fire up. You could use a charcoal chimney or a newspaper strip.

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere

How Do I Choose a Charcoal Grill?

Choosing the right charcoal grill that fits your needs should not be a daunting task. It should actually be a pleasant endeavor. If you know what you want and you know what to look for in a charcoal burner, it should be easy. What you are looking for in a charcoal grill is the following:

Price should not be the most important factor, but you still do not want to get ripped off. When you look for a charcoal grill, get prices from different suppliers.

  • The quality of the material the grill is made of will make a big difference in how long it will last. The better the quality, the longer it will last.

  • The size of your grill is not an issue, but if you plan to make food for many people, go big. More food requires a larger grill grate surface.

  • How easily you can clean the grill is a big factor. You don’t want to struggle to get rid of old ash at the bottom of the grill.

  • What are the extra features you get when buying a charcoal grill? This should be a rain cover, easy access to the food, heat control with the lid vent, and more.

Willy's Top Picks - Best Charcoal Grills

Review of the Best Charcoal Grills

This review will help you avoid any setbacks when it is time to buy a brand new charcoal grill.

Pros

  • This charcoal grill is easy to use 
  • To store your charcoal, there is a convenient bin added
  • Precision heat control is allowed via the vent on the lid
  • Internal temperature can be seen on the outside reader
  • A quick igniting feature makes lighting the grill very easy
  • The Weber grill has a very easy one-touch clean-up system

Cons

  • The grill is a bit heavy
  • There is no grill cover included
  • You have limited access to the bottom shelf

What Recent Buyers Report

This charcoal grill performs well, and it cooks great. The grill is of great quality and looks very nice. It has a simple but sturdy build. This is a wonderful, easy-to-use grill, and the extra working space makes this Weber charcoal grill a big winner.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A lot of extra space inside the grill to prepare more food at one time makes it great for a family gathering. For the person doing the cooking, this grill from Weber is very convenient, considering the large food preparation area you have. This is certainly a spacious and convenient grill.

Who Will Use This Most

All those meat and BBQ lovers will find the Weber Performer Deluxe to be an excellent grilling companion. If you have an extended family and you love to make food in the fresh air, this grill is for you. It is also great for anyone who simply needs a convenient grill.

Bottom Line

This is a nice-looking and sturdy charcoal grill that will resonate with any outdoorsy, food-grilling meat lover. It is very convenient and strong, and it is quite easy to use for most people. This piece of equipment is well-balanced and valuable to any food lover.

Pros

  • The grill is very easy to use and operate 
  • It is very well designed and sturdily built
  • A heavy-duty steel cart stand comes with this grill
  • This grill is made from high-quality and strong materials
  • You have a large cooking space and innovative cooking system

Cons

  • This grill is difficult to set up
  • A high price tag is attached to it
  • It is not suitable for very cold weather

What Recent Buyers Report

This is the best grill and smoker ever made for home use. The grill is made from very strong, high-quality materials. Meanwhile, the finishing is of good quality and looks nice. It is a great, innovative grill that can be used in many ways to cook food. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The high heat you can achieve with this charcoal grill gives you much more control over your cooking applications. The slow roll smoking chamber that comes with it gives you more options for the taste and texture of your food. Also, with this grill, you have lots of working and cooking space.

Who Will Use This Most

This charcoal grill from Kamado Joe is the perfect fit for all home chefs and master barbecuers out there. These grills are made with food specialists in mind, and anyone can join their ranks with this charcoal grill.

Bottom Line

This innovative and well-engineered grill is a worthy contender in the charcoal grill lineup. However, the high price tag makes it unaffordable for those on a tight budget. This grill could easily have been the number one charcoal grill if not for the price tag.

Pros

  • It is very easy to use
  • The vent on the lid gives better heat control
  • Lid is porcelain-enameled to resist against rust
  • There is a very low price tag attached to this grill
  • All of the metal parts are made of high-quality materials
  • This charcoal grill is compact and lightweight for great portability

Cons

  • It is a bit difficult to assemble
  • No rain cover included with the grill
  • The plastic handle is not very strong

What Recent Buyers Report

The grill is very well-built and is made quite sturdy to last a long time. Everything works well and is versatile and suitable for everyday cooking. It looks nice and is large enough to cook lots of food at the same time. Plus, you use less charcoal with this grill.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Even though the grill is quite large, it is not too difficult to carry around as a mobile grill. The low price you pay for this grill just does not make sense if you look at its great quality. It is designed well and very sturdily built.

Who Will Use This Most

All those people who love to have beach parties or just any outdoor function will benefit from this handy grill. This is the perfect charcoal grill for tailgating, home patio gatherings, or just everyday BBQ use. If you are a BBQ lover, it is for you.

Bottom Line

Overall, you will get great value for your money with this mobile and sturdy charcoal grill. It will be a valuable addition to any food lover’s cooking tools and accessories in and around the yard. It is large enough and portable, so what more do you need?

Best Portable Charcoal Grill:
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Pros

  • A well-designed lid helps retain the heat
  • A vent is placed in the lid for heat control
  • This charcoal grill is very easy to clean after use
  • It is lightweight and compact for added mobility
  • This Weber grill is made from high-quality materials
  • Your Weber Go-Anywhere grill comes with a very low price tag

Cons

  • It has a small cooking area
  • This grill is not safe to use without protection under it
  • There is too little space between the heat and the food

What Recent Buyers Report

It may be small, but it is good for a small family or just for a single meal. This will work nicely on a small outside tabletop or just on a flat surface on the ground. The Weber charcoal grill is impressive and very easy to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is easy to carry with you wherever you go, making this a smart addition to your camping tools. This grill comes at an affordable price, and it will not hurt to have it as a backup grill. It is easy to use and clean up after use.

Who Will Use This Most

This Weber Charcoal grill is great for camping and is a perfect grill for use in an RV or any mobile home. It is also very suitable for a small family that loves to make food outdoors. Also, if you like to make your own lunch at work, this is just perfect.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a true portable charcoal grill, the Weber Go-Anywhere is just the grill you need. It is lightweight and portable and can be used anywhere you are allowed to BBQ. Even the price is excellent with this handy, portable, sturdy charcoal grill.

Best Small Charcoal Grill:
Weber Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill

Pros

  • The lid handle is heat resistant
  • It is very easy to assemble and use
  • Every part of the grill is very easy to clean
  • A great variety of food can be cooked on the grill
  • The vent is included in the lid for much better heat control
  • This grill is lightweight, compact, and small enough to be mobile

Cons

  • It has a small cooking surface
  • No cover is included with the grill
  • It should not be used on the bare table

What Recent Buyers Report

This model is perfect for making a nice grilled meal for one or two people. It is small enough to be used as a portable grill for cooking away from home, as well. This is highly recommended, sturdily built, and easy to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The compact build of this unit from Weber makes it the perfect small charcoal grill. It is easy to assemble and use, and you can clean this grill with little effort. Even with it being a small grill, you still have the option of heat control.

Who Will Use This Most

This Weber Smokey Joe is perfect for camping and for use when trucking around the country. It is also beneficial to sports fans who love camping at football games. It can come in handy for those anglers who spend the night next to the water, as well.

Bottom Line

For a romantic picnic or a getaway weekend, this Weber charcoal grill is the perfect cooking tool. With this charcoal grill, you can prepare your favorite grilled meal. Being affordable and easy to use and clean makes this grill a must-have.

Best Charcoal Grill Smoker:
Dyna-Glo Charcoal Smoker and Grill

Pros

  • It comes with several extra hooks
  • The grill is well-designed and strongly built
  • This charcoal smoker has a very large cooking surface
  • A removable charcoal grate and separate smoking zone is included
  • The included temperature gauge will give you readings for both the grill and smoker

Cons

  • It is quite heavy
  • There is no cover included
  • This charcoal grill is not easy to clean

What Recent Buyers Report

The smoker is perfect and works great to maintain a good temperature in the smoking zone. It is a great grill and smoker combined, and it is strongly built. This is an excellent grill and comes at a good price. It is perfect for smoking and grilling at the same time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The easy access to the food with a cool grip makes it very safe to use. It has a large cooking surface, so you can make food for many people at the same time. This is the perfect entry-level smoking grill. 

Who Will Use This Most

Everyone who needs a smoker and grill included in just one unit will benefit from this handy grill and smoker. This is the perfect charcoal grill for a large family or to make food for a function or gathering.

Bottom Line

For a function or for serving several people at once, this is the grill to use. At a reasonable price, you get a lot of extras that will help feed many people.

Best Charcoal Grill Under $100:
TACKLIFE Charcoal Grill

Pros

  • It comes at a very low price
  • It is made of high-quality materials
  • There is a convenient space to place the lid
  • This grill is very easy to assemble before use
  • A high temperature can be reached with this grill

Cons

  • It is a bit heavy
  • The plastic handle is not very strong
  • No rain cover is included with the grill

What Recent Buyers Report

This grill is large, inexpensive, and designed to grill food for a long time to come. It is also portable and easy to clean. Plus, it has an ash catcher included. It is not that heavy to move around in the yard and can be quickly set up. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

A large cooking surface makes this charcoal grill perfect for when you have many hungry mouths to feed. Strong, durable materials are used to make the grill, and it very easy to use.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great grill for anyone who needs a good quality grill but is on a tight budget. It is perfect for home use if you have a larger family that needs to be fed. This is a great everyday charcoal grill for any meat lover.

Bottom Line

As a high-quality product that comes at a very economical price, this grill is just the thing you need. It can be the perfect food cooker when you find yourself off the grid or without power. The TACKLIFE charcoal grill is a valuable addition to any home.

Best Charcoal Grill Under $200:
Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill

Pros

  • The bowl is rust-resistant
  • It is very easy to clean out the ash
  • The lid handle is shielded from the heat
  • You have quite a large cooking space with this grill
  • The grill grate can withstand very high temperatures
  • Large durable wheels will help to easily move the grill around

Cons

  • It is a bit difficult to assemble
  • This charcoal grill is a bit heavy
  • There is no rain cover included with the grill

What Recent Buyers Report

The grilling surface is large enough to cook food for more than just two people. Plus, it will not take up a lot of space when not being used. The new side handle design is a great improvement over the older one.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This charcoal grill from Weber is well-designed and made from strong materials to last for a very long time. You can easily add fuel when the heat gets low with the hinged grill grate. You can easily clean out the ash at the bottom, as well. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great charcoal kettle grill that is well-suited to use at home for all your outdoor cooking. This is the perfect grill for a larger family, but it can easily be used by a smaller group of people. It is great for parties and for family get-togethers.

Bottom Line

This is a reasonably affordable charcoal grill that will fit in with most households and family sizes. The ease of use with this grill and the easy way it can be cleaned makes this grill preferred by many. It comes at a decent price, giving it great value for your money.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying a Charcoal Grill

Before you buy a charcoal grill, gather information on what you need to know when looking for a grill.

Charcoal grills are, in general, much cheaper than their gas or electric counterparts. You can get away with buying one for as little as $30. However, you can also go for the fancy ones that are closer to $1,000.

There are many sizes available that you can choose from. The compact, portable ones can be quite small. Also, you can get larger ones with a surface area of a few hundred square inches.

It is difficult to clean a charcoal grill, but there are some on the market that have easy cleaning features. One of these features is easy access to the burned ashes from the bottom.

These grills are available in three main types. A kettle charcoal grill is the original design. Then, there is a ceramic grill that can be used to make other foods, as well, including pizzas. Lastly, you have the barrel charcoal grill that looks like the gas grill with a hinged top.

There is also a myriad of extras you can add to your purchase.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

  1. You can clean the grates by using a stiff wire brush with a long handle to stay away from the heat. 

  2. Holding an aluminum foil ball with long-handled tongs can also be used if a brush is not available.

  3. When you are done with the cleaning, you should apply vegetable oil to the grill. This can be done with a paper towel or a clean rag. The oil you put on the grill will prevent the food from getting stuck to the grill. It may also help to prevent rust. 

  4. Next, remove all the leftover ash from the base. This will also help clear the vents for better airflow and better heat control when cooking. 

  5. You can remove the charcoal grate to get to the ashes at the bottom of the base to clear it out completely. 

  6. You can clean the inside of the base with mild dish soap and a brush after all the ash has been removed. 

  7. The outside of the grill can be cleaned by using soap and water or a grill cleaner.

For complete instructions on how to clean your charcoal grill, refer to this YouTube Video.

Conclusion

Now, you have a clearer picture of what to look for when you want to buy a charcoal grill. The price tag and the good quality, as well as all the excellent features, is a good starting point. Be sure to keep the facts in mind when you are ready to make a purchase. 

People Also Ask

There are still a few unanswered questions that need to be discussed to have a better understanding of what is available. To make certain of your facts, let us take a look at those questions. Here are the answers you need.

Can You Use a Charcoal Grill Indoors?

The simple answer is no! You can not use a charcoal grill in an enclosed space - not in your home and not in your garage. Any charcoal that is used as fuel in a charcoal grill produces carbon monoxide. Even in very small amounts, carbon monoxide is deadly to inhale. 

Are Propane Grills Better Than Charcoal?

When you grill your food on a charcoal grill, you add that special flavor to your food. That flavor can not be replicated in any other type of grill. That is the big difference between a gas grill and a charcoal grill. It is slower than gas but tastes better.

Which is Healthier - Propane or Charcoal?

In general, a charcoal grill produces more smoke than gas and may release more dangerous gasses in the air. There are, in fact, more contaminants in meat that is grilled with charcoal than with gas. Overall, food grilled with propane may be much healthier and safer than charcoal-grilled food.

What Tastes Better - Propane or Charcoal?

With a propane grill, there is more steam generated to give your food more moisture than with charcoal. On the other hand, charcoal gives your food that wood-fired taste. With gas, you get that bacon flavor with your meat. Overall, it is a matter of personal preference and taste.

Do You Leave the Vent Open on a Charcoal Grill?

It is better to keep the bottom vent and the top vent open for free airflow. If all the vents are closed, it will simply kill the fire. You can use the vents at the top of the lid to have better control over the heat.

Do I Close the Lid After Lighting Charcoal?

You will have to keep the lid open when you are starting the fire. As soon as the fire is going, keep the lid off for better airflow. If you close the lid, you may kill the fire, and you will have to start all over again.

Can I Use a Charcoal Grill in an Apartment?

Using a charcoal grill in an apartment or on the balcony may cause an increased risk of fire. Any sparks that come from the fire may come in contact with combustible materials. Wet charcoal also has the risk to spontaneously combust and may cause other materials to catch fire.