Best Charcoal Grills Under $200 – Complete Round-up

| Last Updated: January 9, 2022

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It is always difficult to make a decision when it is time to buy a new BBQ grill. What type should you choose, and which ones are the most cost-effective? In this review, we look at the grills that are, in general, the most fuel-efficient.

Comparison of the Best Charcoal Grills Under $200

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retains heat
  • Won't rust or peel off
  • Allows easy control over temperature inside
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  • Offers one-touch cleaning system
  • High-capacity ash catcher for hassle-free ash cleanup
  • Built-in lid thermometer
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  • Best for the Money
  • Promotes even heating to enhance flavor
  • Durable, affordable, and lighter weight
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  • Hinged lid with mounted temperature gauge
  • Removable ashbowl for easy cleanup
  • Engineered to operate with less charcoal
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  • Impressive total cooking area of 545 square inches
  • Custom-fit Dyna-Glo premium cover
  • Equipped with wheels for mobility
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Can You Find a Quality Charcoal Grill For Under $200?

When you look at good quality products, you may think that you need to pay lots of money for quality. However, that is not entirely true, and in today's competitive market, there is still great quality that is affordable.

To be able to manufacture a durable and reliable product, you need to use high-quality materials to achieve your goal. In essence, good quality materials are more expensive than those of lesser quality. The conclusion is that you will pay more for better quality products, but there are still good quality charcoal grills available for under $200.

How to Choose a Charcoal Grill

There are a myriad of choices out there, and choosing one can be quite a daunting task. A few pointers are necessary to help you to choose the charcoal grill that will suit your needs. Let us take a look at some of them.

Heat Distribution

When looking for a good charcoal grill, you will want it to be able to evenly distribute the heat. It should be able to maintain even temperature over the whole cooking surface. This way, all your food will be cooked evenly across the surface.

Indirect Cooking

A grill’s ability to cook food that is prone to quickly burning is a very important feature to look at. It should be able to be easily adjusted to create more or less space between the food and the heat.

Convenience

This is also a deal-breaking feature. Is it easy to use, and can it be transported easily to another location, such as a picnic site? Is the grill easy to clean, and do you have easy access to ashes that need to be cleaned out?

Willy's Top Picks - Best Charcoal Grills Under $200

Review of the Best Charcoal Grills Under $200

Now that you know how to choose a charcoal grill, let’s take a look at a few of the best models so you can find one to suit your needs.

Best Overall:
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill, Black

Pros

  • Lid won’t rust or peel
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Locked lid makes for easier storage
  • Lightweight and compact for more mobility
  • Very durable and able to withstand the elements

Cons

  • No thermometer included
  • Lack of handles on the side makes transportation more difficult

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have found that using this grill is very easy and a lot of fun. It doesn’t take a lot of work to get it going. The incredible durability  also stood out to users. Even after being left out in the elements, it still looked good and performed well.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This item was made to last for many, many years, and it does. It even comes with a peace-of-mind 10-year warranty. It can survive all kinds of elements and travel. It is built solidly, and its components are made of high-quality materials.

Who Will Use This Most

The Weber Smokey Joe will be great for all grill lovers who like to move around. With its porcelain-enameled lid and bowl, it can withstand high heat. Its dampers make it easier to control what’s happening. It is small, compact, and supremely durable.

Bottom Line

This is a favorite with many people for a reason - it is great for grilling. It is a little low, so it may have to be placed on some form of a raised platform. Other than that, there is nothing to complain about. It’s definitely a high-quality option.

Runner-up:
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Reliable and durable
  • An affordable choice
  • Compact and convenient design
  • Ashtray makes clean-up much easier

Cons

  • Small cooking surface
  • Wheels are a little small
  • Ashtray isn’t as convenient

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this trusted grill love that it is simple to use and very reliable. Weber has become one of the leading grill manufacturers because they know what people love. This particular item is a little small, though, and not ideal for big households.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Aside from the great quality, this is very easy to clean. There is an ashtray that catches the ash - as the name suggests. It is also much easier to control your cooking when using this product. There’s no need to lift the lid to execute control over the temperatures.

Who Will Use This Most

This is best suited to homes that are smaller, with fewer people who need cooking for. It is also nice and compact, so if you travel around a lot, you’ll appreciate the mobility of the Weber Original.

Bottom Line

The ashtray can prove to be a little tricky - it’s got a handle that needs to be squeezed. This could be difficult to do for people with wrist or joint problems. Other than that and the small wheels, there isn’t much to find wrong with this grill.

Best for the Money:
Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr

Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill, Red

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Decent amount of cooking space
  • Perfect for camping and tailgating
  • Sturdy handles for better portability

Cons

  • Lower part retains water
  • Bolts not included in the purchase
  • Rust may occur after a few months

What Recent Buyers Report

People who enjoy grilling have found the Akorn Jr. to be a very good product. It can handle over 700 degrees Fahrenheit and reaches this temperature without a lot of coal. It cooks quickly and evenly. They have noted, however, that the lower part tends to retain water after rain, even when it is closed.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For its price, this grill comes highly recommended. It is easy to assemble and use. The Char-Griller Akorn Jr. is a great product for the price. It is triple-walled, insulated, and gives a good performance. It also works well for smoking in addition to grilling.

Who Will Use This Most

Food lovers who are also campers would love this product. It is compact, easy to move around, and durable. It is also very affordable and a great option for anyone on a tighter budget. There are adjustable dampers that add to the usefulness of the Akorn Jr.

Bottom Line

This is a smoker, as well as a grill, and it’s very popular. It is easy to set up and use. It may rust after a few months of use, though, and the bolts aren’t always included in the purchase. The built-in thermometer is very useful, as well.

4. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill, 22.5 Inch

Pros

  • Flare-ups do not happen
  • Sturdy and durable design
  • Hinged lid for convenience
  • Grill grate works superbly well
  • Uses less coal than other grills

Cons

  • Leaks when it rainsLeaks when it rains
  • Takes some time to get used to
  • Paint may peel off after prolonged use

What Recent Buyers Report

The Char-Broil impressed users with how well it works and how sturdy and durable it feels. It is made from heavy-gauge steel and aluminum and looks really nice, as well. The grill grate also pleased people, as it doesn’t let much (if anything) fall through. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This uses a lot less coal than other options. You can get away with using almost a third of the amount you normally would. Even with fewer coals, the heat is still strong and even. You can expect to experience almost no flare-ups while using this product.

Who Will Use This Most

This Char-Broil grill is ideal for just about everyone. It has a decent cooking area with a good grill grate. The lid is hinged, which makes it so much easier to use. There is also a lip around the edge to prevent food from falling off.

Bottom Line

In general, this product is just as good as the more popular Weber. It offers the same kind of experience and is very affordable. The hinged lid is an extra feature that makes it stand out, though. Anyone who wants an inexpensive, compact, and durable grill will love this one.

5. Dyna-Glo DGD381BNC-D Compact Charcoal Grill

Dyna-Glo DGD381BNC-D Compact Charcoal Grill

Pros

  • Features large ashtray
  • Adjustable charcoal grill
  • Assembly is easy and simple
  • Offers good airflow and access
  • Comes with side-mounted shelf

Cons

  • Not as durable
  • Uses a lot of charcoal
  • Paint can peel off after continuous use

What Recent Buyers Report

Users loved how attractive this product is. It has a black and silver finish, and the side-mounted shelf adds to its aesthetics. The feed door also comes with a nifty adjustment crank for easier use. Add to that how easy it is to use and users really loved it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a very convenient and easy-to-use grill. It features a built-in thermometer that helps you regulate the temperature better. The cooking grate is made with porcelain-enameled steel, and it transfers heat very effectively. The crank makes for better control, as well.

Who Will Use This Most

For people on a budget looking for a good-looking grill, this one would be perfect. It has an included gauge that is easy to read, so you’ll be assured of good cooking experience. It is not as large but does its job very well.

Bottom Line

This product does use a lot of coals to get the desired temperatures for cooking your food. It also isn’t as durable or solid as one would hope. However, with the built-in thermometer and good grill grates, it’s hard to turn down using the Dyna-Glo.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying?

There are a number of things you need to look at before you go out and actually buy one.

Price

Price may not be the most important aspect of a charcoal grill, but it is good to know if it is worth the money. The better the quality of the product, as well as the more features it has, the more you will pay for it.

Ease of Use

When considering a new charcoal grill, you will want to be able to use it without too much effort. When you clean it, is it easy to clean out old ashes, and do you have ready access? Can the grill grate be easily cleaned, and are the parts removable for a thorough and easy cleaning?

Quality

This is the most important feature to look at and will be the difference between a good or bad cooking experience. You do not want to spend your money on something that will not last long and will force you to buy another one.

These attributes are some of the most obvious things to look for when it is time to buy a charcoal grill.

How to Clean a Charcoal Grill

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your charcoal grill.

Supplies

  • Cleaning gloves
  • Two or three cloths
  • A bucket of warm, soapy water
  • One dish sponge
  • Some scouring pads
  • Mild glass-cleaning chemicals
  1. Start with the lid and exterior

  2. When you clean the exterior, you will use warm, soapy water and a sponge.

  3. For dirt that is hard to get off, use a cloth with some mild glass cleaner to wash it off.

  4. When you are done with the exterior of the grill, let it air dry.

Interior

  1. Inside the lid, there is some food build-up that will eventually peel and should be removed on a regular basis.

  2. Use a stainless steel grill brush to brush off this build-up in the lid. Then, wash it with warm, soapy water and rinse.

  3. You can prevent the build-up in the grill by cleaning the grease off after every use when it is still warm.

  4. You can clean the grate with the stainless-steel brush. Then, you can wipe it clean with the soapy water.

  5. Remove the charcoal grate and use the cleaning blades at the bottom to clean out all the debris.

  6. Use the same procedure as cleaning the lid for cleaning the bowl.

For a full review, see the following YouTube Video

Conclusion

Choosing the best charcoal grill that will suit your needs should be a much easier task now. Keep in mind all the different grills that have been reviewed and their specific attributes. There is a charcoal grill for everyone, and now you can know which one is for you.

People Also Ask

Nothing can be more annoying than when you stand in the dealer shop and you do not know a product. These questions and answers may just help show you know what you are talking about. Without further delay, let us take a close look at these helpful questions.

How Long Do Outdoor Grills Last?

Most outdoor grills are made to last quite some time if they are properly looked after. Many people will just throw out their old grills after 3 to 5 years of use. That is not necessary, though. Outdoor grills are made to last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.

Are Charcoal Grills Easy to Use?

Charcoal grills are very easy to use and to load the fuel used for heating the food. The problem lies in this fact - they are a bit difficult to light, and this may take some getting used to. Luckily, there are charcoal chimneys that can be used to make it easier.

What Can You Grill on Charcoal?

All those foods that have a relatively quick cooking time are suitable for cooking on the direct heat provided by charcoal. These types of foods may include hamburgers and most meat portions, as well as most vegetables. Food that needs indirect heat, such as a whole chicken, may not benefit from charcoal grills.

Are Charcoal Grills Healthy?

When you use a charcoal grill, your food is exposed to harmful chemicals that are present inside the charcoal bricks. All that tasty char that forms on the food may also contain harmful substances. Using indirect heat on the grill may reduce the chances of harmful chemical exposure.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Grill?

The best time to buy any type of grill is in the early summer up to middle summer. This is the time that there are many specials available on charcoal grills and other grills. September may be the magic month of grill specials, so if you can, wait until then.

Hey there, I’m Will, and I’ve been smoking and grilling for as long as I can remember. I made this blog to help others who are looking for honest and reliable info from someone they can trust. In my own efforts to try to perfect my smoking and grilling skills, I’ve done a lot of research and would like to have it compiled as a resource for others to use. Happy smoking!