Best Charcoal Grill Reviews: Top 5 Picks That Exist Today

Charcoal grills are more and more popular every single day due to great practicality, and delicious meals they can provide with BBQ recipes these days. At the same time, they come in a variety of sizes and shape, therefore suiting to every single individual. These grills are the best choice, but only if you choose the best charcoal grill!

Weber Performer Deluxe 22" is a professional model, as the name suggests. It also has a cooking surface of 363 square inches, and it is available in green, black and copper colors. The highlight of this grill is the Touch-N-Go feature, used for simple fire starting.

Some of the more advanced features include LCD timer (built-in) and a thermometer. We should add that this grill is available with an additional thermometer, available as an option.

Portable Kitchen Grill (PK Grill) is a more expensive model, made from aluminum, for better heat distribution. This also makes it incredibly easy to clean and maintain. The best fact about it is a dual filter system. It is a combo of grill and smoker at the same time.

Dampers and vents are fully adjustable, allowing each user a better temperature control, which leads to a more delicious meal!

Weber Master-Touch 22" is a cheap model with 363 square inches of cooking area and a size of 22 inches. It is available in green, black and copper color variations. The bowl is porcelain-enameled which guarantees a high level of resistance and durability.

Gourmet Grid system, One-Touch cleaning system and tuck-away lid design are also a great feature, unique to this model. The model in question is also available with a grilling set (available as an option extra).

Weber Jumbo Joe 18" features a compact size. It isn’t small (dimensions are 19.75 x 20.5 x 19.75 inches) but with 240 square inches of cooking space, it is perfect for minor and camping applications. It is made from rust resistant aluminum and it comes with a glass nylon reinforced handle, capable of withstanding heavy-duty applications.

A cooking grate has a diameter of 18.5 inches and it is made from steel, maximizing the durability.

Akorn Kamado Kooker 16620 is the latest addition to the market and correspondingly, it comes with a few advantages. It uses less charcoal and less air while operating. If you want a delicious meal, it is a grill for you.

The grill here is made from steel and aluminum. It comes with wheels and a lid can be locked. I can say that it offers a great value for the money.

Best Charcoal Grill Reviews 2018

Rankings

Charcoal Grill Brands

Cooking Space (square inches)

Price

Editor's Rating

#1

363 (about 17 burgers)

$$$$$

#2

306 (about 15 burgers)

$$$$

#3

363 (about 17 burgers)

$$

#4

240 (about 11 burgers)

$

#5

312 (about 15 burgers)

$$$


This may be the best charcoal grill under 500 if you don’t mind the high price. It is well-made and it is based on the latest generation, therefore it brings some upgrades. The first one is the Touch-N-Go system. It makes starting the fire extremely simple. Add the 363 square inches of cooking space and you will get a family grill that can be used for the more demanding operation.

BEST CHARCOAL GRILL - Weber Performer Deluxe 22" Charcoal Grill Review

A One-Touch cleaning system is one of the upgrades I have mentioned. Another one has to be the new ash catcher. I also liked the LCD timer and the thermometer. The LCD can be removed, which makes cleaning and maintenance easier. In addition, the manufacturer adds an additional thermometer, available as an option!

The ash catcher is big and has a simplified attachment system.

The colors available are copper, green, and black. All of them look beautiful and you will be able to notice that the quality is outstanding. After all, this is a high-end grill, so it comes with corresponding features and additions.

Instead of copper, the flame tube is made of steel so it could withstand high temperatures.

I really love the igniter. It is a battery powered device.

I don't like the design because there is a flaw. It's not easy to get the grill grate on because of the screws that hold the lid catcher on. Weber should place it under the screws.

Although it can be used as a smoker, it isn’t its main applications, so I cannot say this is a plus side. This grill is designed for family applications and for usages in backyards and near the home. It is a heavy unit, imitating the usages on remote locations.

Due to high rates of the owners, I can say that this grill is a best charcoal bbq grill. All of them are satisfied with the quality and features, but some owners mentioned that assembly process may be too complicated.

What I like

  • It is very durable.
  • Can be used for heavy-duty operations.
  • LCD timer.
  • Battery powered igniter.
  • The thermometer is mounted on the lid.
  • A cooking surface of 363 square inches.

What I don't like

  • Heavyweight (91 pounds).
  • Expensive.

Portable Kitchen Grill (a.k.a. PK Grill) is a great choice for people who are going to use it on a remote location. This is the main reason why it comes with a de-teachable carriage. The main material is aluminum, known for impressive heat distribution. I will add the fact the retro-design is a great advantage. It makes this grill an extraordinary and different than most products of this type, which I also prefer the most.

HIGHEST QUALITY CHARCOAL GRILL - Portable Kitchen Grill (a.k.a. PK Grill) Review

Dampers and vents can be fully adjusted. This simple addition makes grilling more professional, despite the fact you may lack experience. A grill is hinged as well, making, using and maintaining simple.

This model is available in silver and graphite versions, but both of them come with the same carriage, which is a drawback, simply because both of them look similar! On the other side, both versions are made in the same way and both of them are lightweight. With a weight of 35 pounds, this is light for its materials.

I liked the fact this is a versatile grill. It is possible to grill steaks, beef, and even pizza! Another fact you should know is that you get two products in one. Beside grill, this is the best charcoal grill smoker combo as well.

There is a version comes with Stainless Steel Grid. Although it will cost you more money, i still recommend you choose it because of the quality.

Almost all owners said that they liked the quality of it and they are satisfied with the taste of meals. Most of them claim that it will last a lifetime. However, some owners reported that there are some gaps in the design! Most of them are located in the base and in cover.

What I like

  • A grill and a smoker in one product.
  • Extremely durable.
  • De-assemble process is simple and last a couple of minutes.
  • Retro look.
  • A low weight of 35 pounds.

What I don't like

  • Expensive.
  • Need to be bigger and taller.

The quality is definitely the best part of this grill with the price under $200. It is made from conventional and aluminized steel. Both types of metals are extremely durable and resistant to corrosion, heat and low temperatures. All of this suggests that this model will serve you for many decades and it will stay in spotless condition.

BEST CHARCOAL GRILL UNDER $200 - Weber Master-Touch 22" Charcoal Grill Review

A cooking grate is hinged steel and it is another advantage of this model. I must say that porcelain-enameled bowl is also something that makes this model an outstanding grill, combined with an affordable price. Keep in mind that you also get a large cooking area. It is 363 square inches, more than most other models have to offer.

It's a bit awkward during moving the grill. The green color is not as good as the picture so you should choose the black or copper one. Weber doesn't place any hinges on side so it's not easy to slide over the side on the grill.

The ash collection system is pretty good. Ash catcher has been improved. But it's hard to detach ash catcher, your hands need to be strong. Now, it is a high-capacity unit that is made from aluminum and it is easy to clean and maintain.

Handles are made from glass-reinforced nylon, a relatively new material that is highly appreciated in charcoal grill reviews. In addition, they also have hooks for additional tools. Maybe this is a simple addition, but it is much needed and it can make a difference.

Master-Touch's features are mostly same as Original Kettle Premium but come with more upgrades (height is added, better rubber wheels, GBS grates, tuck-away lid holder). With the price of Original Kettle Premium, you just need to spend  about $50 and get those advantages. That's why I prefer this one, it's a well worth.

Most owners of this grill claimed that the assembling process is extremely simple and the quality is at the highest level. A few of them complained about the location of the thermometer. There are vent holes on top of the lid, use them to put the thermometer.

Best charcoal grill under $200.

What I like

  • Cooking area of 363 square inches.
  • Simple assemble proves.
  • Affordable.
  • One-Touch cleaning system.
  • Available in different colors.
  • High quality.

What I don't like

  • Hard to detach ash catcher.

The Weber Jumbo Joe 18" Portable Grill certainly isn’t the most advanced grill here, nor on the market, but it has a few advantages, compared to other models and is the best charcoal grill on a budget under $100. The first one is the design itself. It looks interesting and practical. Nevertheless, the quality is matched and it is a well-made grill.

BEST PORTABLE CHARCOAL GRILL - Weber Jumbo Joe 18" Portable Charcoal Grill Review

A bowl is made from porcelain enameled material, commonly used for products of this kind. It makes it literally indestructible and more resistant to rough usages, which is another reason why this model is suitable for camping and outdoor applications.

An ash catcher and dumpers are made from heavy-duty aluminium. They can withstand high temperatures, obviously, and they are very compact. They don’t add the weight to the grill, so it weighs only 18 pounds. Keep in mind that this is a medium-size grill, made from steel and with a lot of additional elements and components!

The taste of the meals, prepared on this grill are amazing and they can be compared with more advanced and therefore more expensive grills, which is the main advantage of this model.

There is also a smaller version of this. These are best portable charcoal grills.

What I like

  • Very small size.
  • Practical.
  • Despite the size, it can still make delicious meals.
  • Glass reinforced nylon handle.

What I don't like

  • The surface beneath it must be secured.
  • Legs are pretty weak.

It has a few advantages, including the cooking surface of 306 square inches and a warming area of 165 square inches. The design has a special accent on the isolation and makes this grill a bit special. It uses less charcoal and less air in order to produce delicious meals. I definitely like this fact and I personally adore the mentioned advanced design feature.

Aorn Kamado Kooker 16620 Review

An ash pan and heat gauge are great additions. They are also based on the latest technology and I can say that they are better than most rival models have to offer. A useful feature is two shelves. They are foldable and they are located on both sides of the grill. No matter which version you choose (red, black or brown) you will get them and in any case, they will be made from metal, rather than from wood like the previous model had.

The last fact I will have to mention is that this model is available as grill/smoker, grill and grilling set or with a cover. All of these are options extra, but they are surprisingly affordable.

I bring this grill into this review because it has some features that other grills don't have you may want (warming area). But it's not the best charcoal grill. It's a nice combination of a grill and a smoker. A good kamado grill.

Owners are usually very satisfied with this grill. They like the quality and the simplicity of it. However, some of them had a negative experience with the bolts and the handle. They claim it cannot last more than 3 years.

What I like

  • Warming area of 165 square inches and cooking surface of 306 square inches.
  • Side shelves made from metal.
  • This is a grill and a smoker.
  • Looks more expensive than it actually is.

What I don't like

  • Handles look gentle.
  • There is a gap between the lid and a base.
  • Heavy.

Charcoal Grill Reviews And Comparisons

Best Overall

Top-Rated Charcoal Grills 2018

BEST CHARCOAL GRILL - Weber Performer Deluxe 22" Charcoal Grill Review
HIGHEST QUALITY CHARCOAL GRILL - Portable Kitchen Grill (a.k.a. PK Grill) Review
BEST CHARCOAL GRILL UNDER $200 - Weber Master-Touch 22" Charcoal Grill Review
BEST PORTABLE CHARCOAL GRILL - Weber Jumbo Joe 18" Portable Charcoal Grill Review
Aorn Kamado Kooker 16620 Review

Brand

Weber

Portable Kitchen

Weber

Weber

Char-Griller

Measures (inches)

30 x 48 x 43.5

35.5 x 20.5 x 35

38.5 x 22.5 x 27

19.75 x 20.5 x 19.75

21.6 x 28.7 x 24.8

Weight (pounds)

91

35

32.3

17.9

90

Cooking Space (square inches)

363 (about 17 burgers)

306 (about 15 burgers)

363 (about 17 burgers)

240 (about 11 burgers)

312 (about 15 burgers)

Wheel

Timer

Thermometer (optional)

Get Started

How My Charcoal BBQ Grill Reviews Can Help You

There are a lot of different charcoal grills on the market. This makes choosing the best one a bit difficult. A good thing is that I did a hard job instead of you. All of these models are well-made, quality products that will be able to meet your expectations. Even better, all of the reviews will give you information about:

  • The quality.
  • Functionality.
  • Maintenance.
  • Additional features.

If you are still looking for a great charcoal grill, there are some things you should know.

1

Preparing large or small meals

The first thing is based on what are your actual needs. Keep in mind that some grills of this kind have small cooking surfaces, therefore they are not designed for families and for larger, more demanding applications. They may be practical, but they won’t be a great choice if you want to prepare large meals. Knowing your needs at the first place can help you choose the corresponding grill.

2

Lightweight or heavyweight charcoal grill

Most grills of this type have been made to last for many decades. As the result, they are made from heavy-duty metals, such as steel. This means that they are heavy. If you are looking for a charcoal BBQ grill that can be transported and used anywhere you want, bigger units are not a wise option. The only choice for you are a smaller grill, made for this application. They are still practical and functional, just in lower amounts than their bigger alternatives.

3

Advanced features

If you look for a grill that will be used in your backyard, for your family or for family-related parties, bigger grills with more advanced features are the unit you need. They offer additional features and they will guarantee you a perfect meal, every single time. Of course, they aren’t great for moving and transporting.

The price has an important role. It will determine the quality of your new grill and how long it can last. It will also provide you additional features and certain additions that will make grilling simpler. This factor is more important for amateurs.

4

Design paired with a luxury

The design may be something you won’t care about, but it is equally important as other features. For example, if you want a charcoal grill that can blend-in in your high-end home, a more expensive unit with a better finish and shiny elements is the best choice. An interesting fact is that this kind of grills can make any type of home look better and add certain luxury to a backyard. I definitely prefer them, and the fact they can be used anywhere just makes them better.

5

Assemble process

How complicated a charcoal grill to assemble is? Different models come with different features, obviously. This also determines how complicated they are to assemble. More features mean more complicated process. Fewer features mean simpler assembly process. If you have experience, this won’t be a problem for you, simply due to the fact charcoal grill are not too complicated to assemble. On the other hand, if you are amateur, simpler is preferable!

What Benefits Charcoal BBQ Grills Have To Offer

The most obvious and the most important benefits is related to the practicality. These grills use charcoal, therefore they can be used anywhere you prefer them. They don’t need electricity, nor anything else in order to work. At the same time, this benefit made them so popular to people who want the highest level of practicality and at the same time want to save money. Note: These grills are generally more affordable than other types of grills.

Heavy-duty materials are always used in the production process, due to a simple reason. These grills can reach extremely high temperatures, so they must be able to withstand them. A benefit of this is that they are extremely durable. In a matter of fact, most charcoal grills can last up to several decades, without any damage.

Simplicity paired with safety is another benefit of grills of this kind. They are safer to use than propane grills, so they are perfect for usages on busy locations and they are perfectly safe to use in your backyard. Most owners have announced that charcoal grills are the perfect and the best choice you can possibly find and use.

Charcoal grills are available in large dimensions, with a stand and a wheel, but they are also available without all of that. Maybe it sounds contradictory, but it means that a grill of this kind is available in any dimension you may need. I will add that the weight is usually determined by the dimensions, so smaller is lighter!

Precise grilling may be the latest, but also the best benefit. Most of the models I reviewed have thermometers and LCD timers. This allows to you, to average griller to cook delicious meals, without a prior knowledge. In order to understand how important this is, keep in mind that a grill without these features can cause your meals to over-burn in more than 80% cases, unless you know what you are doing.

Optional extras are an important and useful addition I also liked. Some of these models come with a grilling set, a cover or with a thermometer (different than the one mounted on the lid). The best part is that all of these options are affordable and they won’t cost you a lot. However, they are made in the same way as your charcoal grill, so they will last longer and they will match the design and the functionality of your grill.

Best Charcoal Grill Reviews

Features to look in

When choosing a new charcoal BBQ grill, some features are more important than you can imagine.

Cooking surface

Absolutely the most important one is the cooking surface. Models with a cooking surface of more than 300 square inches are usually treated as the best choice, simply because they offer a perfect balance between the price and the dimensions. They are also the most versatile products of this kind.

Having a thermometer

The thermometer is another feature you definitely must have. It can help you with your grilling and make it a way better, and it can also help you prepare more demanding meals. A charcoal grill without it, is commonly used for simple grilling. Remember that some grills offer two types of thermometers. They are not the same and using both of them will help you achieve much better results.

Note: An option extra thermometer is used for measuring the inner temperature of the meat.

Ignition system

The ignition system is the simplest and extremely important feature. It can make a difference, especially if you are in nature. Almost all the latest models have this feature and it makes a charcoal grill way better. Starting the fire literally takes less than 10 seconds. In order to understand how important it is, starting a fire without this feature will take you 10 minutes!

Wheels for better mobility

Wheels are one of those features that may help, it is needed, but it isn’t mandatory. In essence, you will be able to move your new grill simpler and effortless, to any place where you want to use it next. There are two types of wheels. Smaller and bigger. Smaller are usually designed for smooth surfaces, but larger are needed if you move your grill across the grass or similar surfaces.

Big ash catcher

Large ash catcher isn’t something you may need, it is something you will need. Most charcoal grills have this feature, but the size matters. Bigger is better, simply because you will have to invest less maintenance in your grill and emptying the ash catcher will be less regular.

Warming rack as a useful addition

We all know that charcoal grills come with a cooking area, obviously. But, some of them also have a warming rack. This is one of the simple features that can make the entire grill much better. Sadly, it is usually reserved for more advanced grills and for those with a higher price. If you want this feature, make sure it has 160 or larger square inches surface. Smaller than this won’t be very effective.

Smoker/grill or both

A grill, a smoker or both. This doesn’t sound like a feature, but it is. Some charcoal grills are designed to be a grill and a smoker at the same time. They are the best choice you can possibly make, simply because you get two products in one. Most of them are also treated as high-end models and they come with additional, needed features. Of course, never look a model with these 2 features on a budget, or you will end up with a poor-quality model that promises a lot, but doesn’t actually offer anything.

Cover to protect your grill

A cover can be treated as an additional feature. It isn’t mandatory, but it is needed. In most cases, you will have to buy it separately. Due to some reason, most owners avoid buying the cover, believing that their grill is extremely resistant to anything that can affect that beautiful look. Although they are right, some elements of a grill are made from ordinary materials, rather than from aluminum or steel. As the result, these components can be damaged by a bad weather or by the rain! A cover is a simple prevention feature that can solve this potential problem.

Style of a cooking BBQ grill

The style of a cooking grill has an important role. In general, it is one of those features that usually professionals pay attention to. We will mention that the hibachi-style is nowadays extremely popular and we would recommend you to get a grill with this type of grill.

Color variations

The last, but not least, a look of your new charcoal grill, including the color is an important factor. Always try to match the look of your grill with the rest of your home. All models are available in different colors, especially for that reason. This simple choice will have two benefits. It can make your home look better and your grill looks more professional. If you have ever paid attention to high-end homes, you were able to see matching grills.

Where And How You Should Use Charcoal BBQ Grills?

I will try to be simple. Here I mentioned 5 different charcoal grills, but not all of them are designed for all types of grilling. For example, the Weber Jumbo Joe Portable 18" is a small model, therefore it is useful for camping and remote locations. On the other side of the line, Weber Master-Touch 22" is affordable for basic use. In no case, it should be used on a camping trip! If you are the one that like retro style and don't need high technology, go for Portable Kitchen Grill. This is the charcoalgrill which have top-notch materials in class out there. It can last lifetime with your life.

As you can see, the size and dimensions can define a charcoal grill. Smaller ones are usually designed for usages on remote locations, while larger models are perfect for usages on a single location.

No matter where and which model you will use, make sure you read the manual and the instructions. All of these grills require some type of assembly, so it is mandatory to make sure all elements are connected properly. Making mistakes here will have a bad effect on the taste of your food and the durability of your new charcoal grill. If you buy a big and high-end model that requires a lot of assembling, you will need the help of a professional. These models have clever and complicated assemble techniques, so as an amateur, you won’t be able to make them actually work.

The Bottom Line

At the end, I must tell you which model is your best choice. In this case, the situation is simple the Weber Performer Deluxe 22" is the best charcoal grill you can possibly find. It's a high-end professional grill, perfect for home usages. It has all that you will need and something even more. It is a great value for money and it is paired with a large cooking area, great wheels and modern design with LCD timer. I also liked the fact it looks quality and you will notice how durable it is. Adding the fact it is also available with the thermometer and a cover (separate additions) made it an even better choice.

BEST CHARCOAL GRILL - Weber Performer Deluxe 22" Charcoal Grill Review

Don’t think other models aren’t as good as this one. They also have their benefits and I liked. It is a success being on this list. The rest charcoal BBQ grills will be a simple and wise investment. They aren’t as special as the one I ranked as the number one, but they are sufficient for almost all people.

The situation is slightly different with the Weber Jumbo Joe 18". This is a small model, therefore it is the best in its own class - portable grill. It is also very cheap, which I personally like to see. Despite the low price, the quality and the functionality are at the highest level.

6 thoughts on “Best Charcoal Grill Reviews: Top 5 Picks That Exist Today”

  1. My family has a lot of people so I need a grill which has bigger square inch. Those grills above are still small ;(

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