Best Charcoal Grills in 2024: Expert Reviews & Top Picks

With charcoal grills, you have a lot of control over the cooking process, allowing you to create mouthwatering dishes every time.

Charcoal Grills in the backyard

To create several cooking zones, set the coals wherever you’d like in the grill and use as many as you’d like to reach the ideal temperature.

If you want a scorched surface, cook directly over the coals.

If you prefer a more delicate cooking method and smokey flavor, move the food to the cooler area.

However, keep an eye on the coals, and before putting your grill away, don’t forget to properly extinguish them.

However, there are so many charcoal grills out there, it can be overwhelming knowing which grill to go for.

We have done all the hard work for you. In this article, we have reviewed the best charcoal grills for you to choose from.

1. Original Kettle Premium 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

For both gas and charcoal barbecues, Weber is a well-known brand.

The ash collector is where the biggest distinction exists between this model and the Original Kettle.

Unlike the standard version, which had an exposed plate, this premium version has a closed container.

However, each kettle has a one-touch cleaning system that removes the ash from the bottom of the kettle.

Ash is collected beneath a grate where the coals are located.

The premium grill’s cooking grate features two corners that can be raised to add more coal without raising the entire thing.

We liked that the side handles have tool storage, and its lid has additional heat protection beneath the handle.

This charcoal grill is available in a range of sizes to fit any space.

This model comes with wheels, making it easy to transport when you wish to move it for storage purposes.

Pros

  • Design – This charcoal grill features a very classic design that a lot of customers like.
  • Ash Container – Weber has created an enclosed ash container for this grill. This makes cleaning the grill a lot easier overall.
  • Raised Cooking Grate – The grill features two corners on the grates that can be lifted to easily add more charcoal to your grill

Cons

  • Storage – Some customers have noted that storage space on the bottom shelf is smaller than they expected.

Also, available to purchase from Weber and Walmart.

2. Char-Griller E2827 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill

One of their top sellers is the Char-Griller Pro. It’s a sturdy barbecue with shelves for storage that is also portable.

More cooking space is provided by the warming rack that is part of the barrel design.

Cast iron cooking grates, a side vent, and a smoke stack allow for the best temperature control.

When purchased with the side fire box adapter, the Pro can further be utilized as a Texas-style smoker.

During testing, we were astonished by how simple it was to assemble this grill.

As the directions were very detailed and included helpful images, and all the parts, including the washers, were simple to identify.

Thus, anyone would be able to put this grill together.

Pros

  • Clear Instructions – You can easily put this grill together thanks to the detailed and clear instructions provided.
  • Portable – Wheels are added to the bottom of this grill for really easy portability.
  • Storage Space – This grill comes with storage space below and a side shelf.

Cons

  • Front Shelf – A lot of customers have noted that the front shelf isn’t very wide. Thus, it can’t hold many items.

Also, available to purchase from Char-Griller.

3. PK Grills Charcoal Grill And Smoker

Its straightforward design made assembling a breeze, and once put together, this grill feels quite strong.

The cooking chamber is composed of two solid pieces of aluminum that retain heat well and heat up rapidly and uniformly.

Four steam vents which provide the best airflow and temperature control are also included.

While cooking, the lid’s handle stays cool, and it swings open, so you can see what’s happening on the grates.

The rectangular design provides a generous amount of cooking space and enables fairly even coal distribution.

Both the side table and the unusual cup holder are useful.

The best thing about this grill is that you can use it anywhere you are and still receive high-quality results.

The rubbery wheels can handle a variety of surfaces.

Pros

  • Portable – You can easily move the charcoal grill and take it with you.
  • Sturdy – This grill is made from strong steel and aluminum.
  • Four Steam Vents – On this grill, you will notice it has four vents. This helps you to control the temperature of your grill really easily.

Cons

  • Ash Tray – There is no ashtray on this grill. Which can make cleaning up a bit more of a hassle.

Also, available to purchase from PK Grills.

4. Dyna-Glo Dual Zone Premium Charcoal Grill

This Dyna-Glo charcoal barbecue is a sizable and powerful grill for anyone to own.

It also has a retractable divider that can divide the cooking area in two if required.

The temperature of the high-gloss, porcelain enameled cast iron grates can be adjusted separately thanks to two movable charcoal trays.

The two front doors each provide access to the trays, allowing you to add additional coals when needed or move the trays around during cooking.

Under the charcoal trays, there is an ashtray that may be slid out for cleaning.

For additional temperature and smoke control, the smoke stack can also be changed.

Pros

  • Large – This is one of the larger charcoal grills on our list today. Thus, it is perfect when feeding larger gatherings.
  • Two Cooking Zones – The movable trays help you to create two cooking zones within the grill.
  • Front Doors – There are two front doors, which allow you quick access to the charcoal. So, you can quickly add more charcoal when needed.

Cons

  • Heavy – Due to being so large, this grill is quite heavy and takes up more space in your yard. Hence, it may be difficult to move around.

Also, available to purchase from Walmart and Dyna-Glo.

5. Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Tabletop Charcoal Grill

This grill is ideal if you currently have a gas grill but occasionally want the flavor of charcoal.

It works well in cramped areas and for the occasional griller.

Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler has a compact but durable body and two big handles that make it simple to move about.

You may add more coal as necessary because it includes a tool for lifting the hot grates while cooking.

Additionally, it has a removable charcoal tray that is adjustable.

If you don’t want a large full sized grill but still want to enjoy charcoal grilled foods.

Then you should consider purchasing this charcoal grill.

It is compact, yet it still does a perfect job of searing and cooking your food.

Additionally, cleanup is simple after cooking as well.

Pros

  • Side Handles – The side handles make it easy to move this grill.
  • Lift Hot Grates – You are provided with a tool that allows you to easily move the hot grates while cooking. Thus, you can easily add more coal if needed.
  • Heavy Duty – Made from durable cast iron and alloy steel to create a durable and reliable grill.

Cons

  • Small – This grill is more suited for a small family. Thus, it wouldn’t be ideal if you have a large social gathering.

Also, available to purchase from Oklahoma Joe’s and U-buy.

Best Charcoal Grills Buyers Guide

When it comes to purchasing a charcoal grill, there are a couple of factors that you always need to consider.

In this guide, we have covered all the main points that you should always think about when you are looking at any charcoal grill.

That way, you know you are buying the best charcoal grill that will suit you and your needs.

Price

High-quality charcoal grills don’t have to be expensive, but there are numerous high-end versions with excellent design quality and alluring features.

The majority of us consider pricing to be an important factor in every purchase.

We would strongly suggest purchasing a charcoal barbecue with an ash removal mechanism, regardless of your budget.

You will be happy you spent the extra money for that convenience, which significantly lessens the pain in the ash, even though it costs a little more.

It’s a simple feature that helps you out a lot more in the long term and makes your grill more enjoyable to use.

Yet, it is important to always have a budget in mind.

Sometimes, particular features such as being portable to air vents can increase the price.

It’s about finding the right balance that meets your needs and price range.

Size

Many people who live in condos and apartments desire a tiny grill that will fit on their little patio.

However, they frequently run into charcoal usage restrictions and will probably need to look into alternative fuels.

Portable charcoal barbecues are well-liked and efficient for camping and tailgating.

Yet, if you desire a substantial family grill for the backyard, go big.

Generally, the best rule to follow is to allow at least a half inch between food when grilling.

You may want the ability to set up a two-zone configuration.

In order to do this, charcoal fuel is often piled or gathered on one side of the fire to produce a high direct cooking zone and a mild indirect zone on the other side.

A two-zone setup allows you the choice to softly roast or sear or sizzle at the same time.

Yet, it also allows you greater control over your cooking times.

Think about how many people you expect to be cooking for with your grill.

If you don’t think you will use it often and don’t have many mouths to feed, then go with a smaller model.

Although, if you are known to throw large social gatherings, a large charcoal grill may be more beneficial for you.

Lid

It is important to purchase a charcoal grill that comes with a lid.

Depending on your chosen cooking methods, you may need one.

For grilling or frying burgers you may not need a lid, but if you want to roast something using your grill then you will need a lid.

The lid will also lock in the heat from the coals and produce a smoker flavor.

Air Control And Construction

For safety reasons, gas grills must have adequate venting.

However, charcoal grills work best when they use sealed systems with sturdy, tight construction for efficient air control.

The charcoal fire uses air to burn, just like a gas fire does, and you can make use of the oxygen flow.

When finished, turn off the air dampers to completely extinguish the charcoal or lower the cooking temperature.

Open them up widely to saturate the fire with oxygen and produce a blazing, smoldering coal bed.

In actuality, charcoal grills also make pretty fantastic smokers due to the air control needed.

The vents on a charcoal grill can be closed to let very little air in and out.

As a result, smoke has plenty of opportunity to gently caress food and infuse it with its special, smokey flavor.

As a result, you should be looking for a grill that is made from solid construction. This could be steel, iron or aluminum.

The solid construction will keep the smoke and air within your grill while in use.

It is up to you how many air vents you want your grill to have.

However, the more vents there are, that means the greater control you have over the oxygen entering the grill.

Special Features

A lot of people like to look out for the special features when purchasing a charcoal grill.

This can include storage shelves, toolholders, and big handles.

An adjustable charcoal tray that makes it easier to regulate the temperature of the grates and how close the coals are to your food are very sought after features.

Even though they are frequently more expensive, little touches like this increase the enjoyment of grilling.

Also, storage shelves help to keep all your grilling equipment together.

It makes the process of grilling easier when you can have all your tools and food on hand for when it is needed.

That way, you don’t have to take your eyes off the grill.

With that being said, you don’t have to have a grill with these special features.

Yet, the features add a nice touch that makes grilling easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens To The Charcoal After You’ve Finished Grilling?

You should always dispose of the contents of your ashtray after grilling and when everything has cooled down.

This is immediately underneath the grill, and it usually has a handle for convenience.
Often, there isn’t much whole charcoal left for use, and most of it has become ash.

When you next want to use your grill, add new charcoal to use.

How Do You Clean A Charcoal Grill?

Clean your grill before each grilling session to make the grilling season simpler on yourself. Coals should first be lit, and the grill should then heat up for around 10 minutes.

This ought to heat the grates sufficiently for any food that has crusted over to be easily removed using a grill brush.
After cleaning the grates, oil them by using a paper towel that has been dipped in oil.

Once you have finished cooking for the day, give the grill grates a thorough once-over with the grill brush. However, don’t worry about cleaning them completely—a little layer of grease will help shield the grates from the environment and ward off rust.

Finally, remove the ashes from your grill and the grill covered when it’s not in use.

How Do You Keep A Charcoal Grill Going For Hours?

Instead of being scattered, charcoal should be stacked. The fire retains the same height and temperature for a longer amount of time when the charcoal is stacked.

The charcoal then serves as a barrier and maintains the temperature.
The best place to stack your charcoal is in the center of the grill.

Is Gas Powdered Or Charcoal Grills Healthier?

Both gas and charcoal grills have advantages and disadvantages, but they are both essential to any outdoor kitchen. Although charcoal grills create a lot more flavor than gas grills, the latter may be thought of as slightly healthier.

Gas can keep your food moist, but charcoal helps to give it a smokey flavor that comes exclusively from cooking with charcoal.

Hence, which grill you choose to use is entirely up to you.

Do You Need To Leave The Air Vents Open While Grilling?

On the bottom of most charcoal grills are vents. Sometimes, on the lid or the sides, some grills will have a vent. You can get more air and a hotter fire by opening the vents widely.

Vents can also be partially closed to reduce airflow and to cool the flames.
When lighting the charcoal and assembling the grill, ensure the vents are fully open. Then close when needed.

Tommy Hall