It's hard to beat the traditional smoky flavor of foods cooked on the very best charcoal grills. But with an endless number of grills available on the market, how can you tell which is the best option? From prioritizing the features you want to making sense of cooking space measurements, our guide can help you navigate the process of selecting and purchasing the best charcoal grill for your home.


Product FAQ

Why Do So Many Grilling Experts Choose Charcoal?

Do Charcoal Grills Have Any Downsides?

What Should I Consider When Shopping for the Best Charcoal Grill?

What Features Should I Look for in a Charcoal Grill?

How Can I Make Sense of the Amount of Cooking Space Each Grill Has?


How We Reviewed the Best Charcoal Grills

In evaluating the best charcoal grills, we took into consideration each grill's ability to quickly and evenly cook a broad range of foods. We also evaluated each grill's ease of use as demonstrated through features like removable ash pans, easily cleanable cooking grids, built-in thermometers, and hinged lids that can be locked into place.


Overall Price Range of the Best Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills range widely in price from about $30 to nearly $1,000. The best charcoal grills tend to be more sturdily constructed and have adjustable cooking grids, vents, and other features that give the home cook greater control over the temperature than can be attained with other units.


What We Reviewed

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill


Features 

The Smokey Joe 14-inch portable grill by Weber is designed for grilling on the go. This kettle-style grill’s small size makes it a good option for camping trips, tailgating, and trips to the beach. With 147 square inches of primary cooking space, this grill can cook 6 standard-size hamburgers at a time. The cooking grate is made of durable plated steel, and rust-resistant aluminum dampers help control the grill’s internal temperature. The Smokey Joe needs to warm up for about 30 minutes before cooking.


Warranty

The cooking bowl and lid on this grill come with a 10-year warranty. The cleaning system and plastic components have a 5-year warranty. All remaining parts carry a 2-year warranty.

PROS

  • Easy to assemble       
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable, easy-to-clean cooking grate
  • Affordable price
  • Rust-resistant dampers

CONS

  • Legs are not as sturdy as we’d like
Sale
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
  • Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won't rust or peel

PK Grills PK 99740 Original Grill & Smoker


Features 

This grill/smoker combo is made of aluminum casting, which is efficient in conducting heat, highly durable, and rust-resistant. Four air vents offer ample control over temperatures, meaning this grill can either sear or slowly roast meats, and it can be used within a range of other cooking styles. This grill has 306 square inches of cooking space and nickel-plated steel grates. Side and bottom shelves provide additional storage space.


Warranty

his PK grill is covered by a 10-year warranty.

PROS

  • Easy assembly
  • Cooks foods evenly         
  • Made out of durable aluminum casting
  • Lengthy warranty
  • Side and bottom shelving for storage

CONS

  • No ash pan
  • No temperature sensor
PK Grills PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker...
  • A CHARCOAL GRILL AND SMOKER - PKs unique capsule shape and 4 vents make it easy to grill hot and fast or low and slow.
  • CAST ALUMINUM CONSTRUCTION - Aluminum is rust-proof, durable, lightweight and conducts heat 4x more efficiently than...
  • 10-YEAR WARRANTY - Buy with confidence. PK cast aluminum charcoal grills are covered against rust, burnout or breakage...

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


Features 

The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman charcoal grill is designed to heat its porcelain-coated grilling grates as consistently and uniformly as possible, resulting in more evenly cooked foods. Specially designed grates cut down on flare-ups and prevent food from slipping through. A hinged lid that props open makes it possible for home cooks to use both hands when grilling. This grill has 360 square inches of cooking space and adjustable air vents that help with temperature control.


Warranty

This grill’s firebox and lid come with a 10-year limited warranty. The ash pan has a 5-year warranty, and all other parts have a 2-year warranty.

PROS

  • Cooks foods evenly     
  • Mounted temperature gauge
  • Removable ash pan
  • Hinged lid
  • Porcelain-coated grilling grates

CONS

  • No shelves
  • No extra accessories
Sale
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill, 22.5 Inch
  • Charcoal kettle grill with a 360- square inch total cooking surface.
  • 22.5-inch diameter porcelain-coated cooking grate keeps food on top and prevents flare-ups.
  • Hinged lid with mounted temperature gauge for ease of operation and temperature monitoring.

Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill


Features 

The Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker is a portable grill that can be readily taken along to tailgate parties, the park, the beach, and other outdoor spots. The Kamado design is fuel-efficient, meaning you’ll use less charcoal when cooking. The 153-square inch cast-iron cooking grate helps minimize flare-ups, and upper and lower adjustable dampers make it easy to control the temperature. A hinged lid that can be propped up keeps both hands free for cooking.


Warranty

This grill comes with a 5-year warranty. The ash pan is covered by a separate one-year warranty.

PROS

  • Built-in temperature gauge  
  • Easy-dump ash pan
  • Fuel-efficient design
  • Hinged lid
  • Adjustable dampers

CONS

  • Heavier than some other portable options
  • Assembly and setup are challenging
Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal kamado Grill
  • 153 Square inch primary cooking area with cast iron grates
  • Kamado style grills promote even heating to enhance flavor
  • Easy dump ash pan for fast and simple cleanup

Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Dual Zone Premium Charcoal Grill


Features 

This entry in our list of the best charcoal grills has an adjustable system that allows grillers to determine and track how high above the charcoal foods are suspended, giving the home chef a range of cooking options. This grill has an ample 576 square inches of primary cooking space and porcelain-enameled cast iron grates. A stainless steel smokestack with an adjustable flue allows for additional temperature control. This grill has side tables and a lower grated shelf for additional storage.


Warranty

The grate on this grill is covered by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

PROS

  • Removable ash pan
  • Built-in temperature sensor
  • Lower storage
  • Extra-large cooking area
  • Built-in stainless steel bottle opener
  • Stainless steel smokestack with an adjustable flue
  • Heavy-duty wheels

CONS

  • Pricier than most other grills
  • Not exceptionally durable
  • Lid doesn’t close well
Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Dual Zone Premium Charcoal Grill, X-Large,...
  • Removable firebox divider for single or dual cooking zone
  • Primary cooking area is 576 square inches
  • Secondary cooking area is 240 square inches

Coleman Stand Up Charcoal Grill


Features 

This Coleman grill is a traditional unit that allows users to cook over an open flame positioned at standing height. This grill is not lidded, which means there’s no way to control air flow, but the adjustable grill surface can be raised or lowered for different cooking temperatures. Designed for tailgate parties, picnics, and other outdoor events, this grill has 304 square inches of cooking space, and it uses a chrome-plated steel wire grate.


Warranty

his grill comes with a 2-year warranty.

PROS

  • Slide-out tray for ash cleanup  
  • Adjustable grill surface
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • No lid
  • Not meant to be left outdoors
  • Match lighting is required.
Sale
*Coleman Signature 2000019522 Grill Charc Park Series Stand Up
  • Camping cooking grills
  • Versatile top of the line
  • Another quality product

Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill


Features 

Constructed entirely out of durable cast-iron, this hibachi-style grill is small enough to take along easily for camping, beach weekends, and cookouts. The pre-seasoned, adjustable cooking grate has 114 square inches of cooking space, meaning it’s large enough to cook about four or five hamburgers at once. A draft door regulates heat, and this Lodge grill heats up quickly and cooks food evenly.


Warranty

This grill is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Quick-heating materials and design          
  • Durable cast-iron construction
  • Hibachi-style grill
  • Adjustable cooking grate
  • Draft door regulates heat

CONS

  • Heavier than some other grills
  • Long cool-down period

No products found.

Primo 774 Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill


Features 

This Primo Ceramic smoker/grill is great for use on smaller patios and decks. With 210 square inches of primary cooking space, this ceramic cooker can handle roughly 10 burgers a time. It comes with a porcelain cooking grid that lends itself to a variety of cooking styles, including those requiring direct and indirect heat, baking techniques, and convection-intensity heat.


Warranty

This grill comes with a 20-year warranty on ceramic parts and a 5-year warranty on its metal parts.

PROS

  • Grill-and-smoker combo
  • Hinged lid
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Easy to clean
  • Porcelain cooking grid

CONS

  • Pricier than many other grills
Primo 774 Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill, Oval Junior
  • Unique oval design for more flexible and versatile grilling and smoking
  • 210 square inches of standard cooking surface; up to 360 square inches with rack extensions
  • Exterior features a premium-grade ceramic blend coated with a protective, lead-free, scratch-resistant porcelain glaze

Kingsford 24″ Charcoal Grill


Features 

This Kingsford grill has a cast-iron cooking grate with a generous 360 square inches of cooking space. A foldable side shelf with tool hooks offers additional space for utensil storage and food prep supplies. Other features on this grill include a removable ash pan, a temperature gauge, and an attached bottle opener.


Warranty

This grill comes with a 2-year warranty.

PROS

  • Removable tray  
  • Temperature gauge
  • Foldable side shelf with tool hooks
  • Attached bottle opener

CONS

  • Some users have complained that the lid rusts

Aicok Portable Smokeless Charcoal Grill


Features 

This portable charcoal grill by Aicok provides about 126 square inches of grilling space, making it best-suited for smaller groups of 2 to 4 people. It’s portable and lightweight. This grill heats up quickly and uses a removable cast iron grate. It runs on 4 AA batteries that are not included.


Warranty

The cooking bowl and lid on this grill come with a 10-year warranty. The cleaning system and plastic components have a 5-year warranty. All remaining parts carry a 2-year warranty.

PROS

  • Quick heating  
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Easy assembly
  • Designed to prevent fat from dripping onto the charcoal
  • Comes with its own travel bag

CONS

  • Inner bowl can’t be removed for cleaning
  • Batteries not included
Aicok Portable Smokeless Charcoal Grill, BBQ Grill, Compact Barbecue...
  • SMOKE REDUCTION - Our portable charcoal grill features a built-in battery operated fan which works just like a bellow,...
  • HEAT ADJUSTMENT & WASHABLE - By regulating the switch of the fan, you can control the amount of air into the oven and...
  • DURABLE DESIGN - Non-stick coating grill plate made of iron cast, uniform heat and reach cooking heat in five minutes,...


The Verdict

Once you have assessed your cooking plans and devised your own personal list of specs for your next grill purchase, you will have many great options.

Weber's Smokey Joe 14-inch Portable Grill and the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill are among the best charcoal grills on the market. The Smokey Joe is ideal for those looking for a smaller grill at a great price. But with 147 square inches of primary cooking space, it can still cook 6 hamburgers at a time. The Smokey Joe also has a durable cooking grate and aluminum dampers that help with temperature control.

We also greatly appreciated the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman grill, a full-sized model that heats quickly and cooks food evenly. The grates on this grill are designed to manage flareups and prevent food from slipping through.

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