5 Best Charcoal Grills for the Smokiest BBQ Flavor

There is nothing more exciting than spending quality time with your friends while enjoying the delicious food. The food grilling on barbeque smells so good that no one can stay inside the home. People are using charcoal grill from the time to cook lip-smacking dishes with a smoky flavor. You can also give it a try to enhance your grilling experience. To achieve adequate temperature, you can use as much coal you want. For the charred exterior, cook directly over the coals or move the food to a lesser hot spot for a smoky taste and gentle cooking.

In a charcoal grill, it is necessary to keep an eye on the coal as it must be replenished before you are going to cook. Moreover, don’t forget to keep them out thoroughly before storing your charcoal grill. We have compiled some top picks of charcoal grills that come in different shapes and sizes to suit different needs.

Buyers Guide

Why charcoal grill is the right choice for me?

If you love grilled and smoky flavor on your food, then there is no better option than a charcoal grill to cook your food. These grills get hotter than electric or gas grills, and as a result, you will get adequately charred food. Most of these grills are portable. So it is easy to carry, and you can take it anywhere you want.

How well does a charcoal grill maintains and controls temperature?

The bottom and top vents assist in regulating the temperature. Some charcoal grills have charcoal placement options so you can move it further from your dishes, and Kamado-style grills do a great job of maintaining temperatures.

What are the different kinds of charcoal grills?

There are three types of charcoal grills, namely kettle grill, barrel grill, and ceramic grills. A kettle grill is the smallest and expensive type of charcoal grill. It is a round shape that is designed for significant heat retention. This type is the most portable grill and convenient for smaller groups and fast cooking times.

A barrel grill is a barrel-shape design that gives it a large cooking area that makes it suitable for families. It is adequate for slow cooking, and it tends to be less portable and more expensive.

Ceramic charcoal grills or kamado grills is an egg shape designed for efficient heat regulation. They heat up quickly and are flexible for smoking and cooking varieties of food.  They tend to be the most expensive type and are weather-resistant and highly durable.

What kinds of fuels does a charcoal grill use?

Two types of fuels used in a charcoal grill are lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes. Lump charcoal burns quickly and is extremely hot. They are irregularly shaped and made from a single kind of wood and are ideal for smoking. Charcoal briquettes are uniformly sized and thus easy to stack. You can arrange them as a bed of hot coals.

What are the different types of grates in a charcoal grill?

Cast iron grates are the most durable and the heaviest. They are effective at heat distribution as well as retention. These grates can cook quickly but are more expensive than other grates. Cast iron grates need more maintenance.

Porcelain-coated grates tend to chip and are mid-range price.

Steel and stainless steel grates are the least durable as well as least expensive. They are likely to chip. Stainless steel grates are more durable and have efficient non-stick properties.

How can we clean the charcoal grill?

We need to clean each section of the charcoal grill; otherwise, impurities will pollute further cookouts. Begin with the grates. Clean its upper side properly because there will be lots of greases, and the smoke is not appealing at all. Using the bristle brush is a good option. Ensure that you clear the ashes by scooping from the bottom. Scrape the carbon layer off the dome using a putty knife. Once the charcoal grill is clean, it is ready to use throughout the grilling season, but don’t forget to repeat this process after every use.

Product Reviews

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill-Best Overall

Weber Kettle charcoal grill has the simplicity of design, and that makes it easy to assemble. The excellent temperature control allows doing consistent and reliable cooking, and it can be used as a smoker too. The un-paralleled heat convection is achieved through a spherical shape. The premium upgrades include features that improve its usage. It can hold up to thirteen burgers at a time.

The grill design is simple, but it does its job pretty well. The two wheels allow it to move whenever there is a need. Weber will enable you to do charcoal grilling authentically as there is no ignition button or multi-level grill racks.  The high capacity ash catcher allows easy ash cleanup.

It has a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid so it won’t peel or rust. The hinged cooking grate provides charcoal to add while grilling. For a beginner, it may take some time to understand its functionality, like lighting and maintaining a fire. Slowly you will learn the process and enjoy your favorite grilled food with Weber Kettle.

Key Features

  • Built-in lid thermometer
  • high-capacity ash catcher
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
  • Comes with a lid hook
  • Hinged cooking grate

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Temperature Control
  • Easy to assemble
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Three-legged design is sometimes unsteady in grass

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Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill- Best high-end grill

Char-grill comes with a compact body and a sufficient cooking area of 250 square inches. It is in a traditional grill frame, and that makes it different from other small grills. The heavy-duty steel construction makes it durable, and grates are made from cast iron. The product has double-layered steel and so it good at heat holding.

The grill has a side drawer, so it is easy to add charcoal or remove ash. The single side shelf holds utensils or food, so this grill is a super choice for limited space. Four air vents give superior temperature control. It can be used as a smoker.

Key Features

  • Side drawer and side shelf
  • Cast iron grates
  • Wood handle
  • Side air vent
  • Double steel bottom

Pros

  • Compact
  • Convenient Storage
  • Easy Clean-Up
  • Built Strong

Cons

  • Instruction manual needs to be more precise
  • Grates tend to rust

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Expert Grill Heavy Duty 24-Inch Charcoal Grill- Best portable grill

The Expert Grill is known for the balance between price, performance, and durability. Every summer, when you pull out this grill, the meal will give you a sense of satisfaction. You will enjoy the charcoal grilling experience. The model has a cooking space of 372 square inches and can cook up to twenty burgers at a time.  You don’t need to open the lid because of the front-facing charcoal door. Simply open it to add required fuel to the fire.

Wheels offer smooth movement around a patio, porch, or deck. It is available in a powder-coated durable finish. You can adjust the height of the charcoal pan with a crank, and this helps to customize cooking temperatures.   The heat retention by cooking grates is exceptionally super and produces sear marks on burgers, steaks, chicken, and more. The features include an adjustable charcoal pan, charcoal access door, and easy to read built-in lid thermometer.

   The built-in temperature gauge will ensure the right cooking temperature internally, and you will get the juicy steaks that are ready to eat. The side shelf holds the cooking accessories. Safety at the grill is vital despite any model you choose. The handle is cool to touch, and powder-coated steel construction ensures safety.  The exceptional quality is offered at a low price. The added features include an ash collection pan and a separate warming rack.

Key Features

  • Sufficient cooking surface area
  • Cast iron cooking surface
  • Powder-coated steel exterior construction

Pros

  • Secondary warming rack
  • Large size for the price
  • Folding side shelf
  • Ash collection pan

Cons

  • Vents melt

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Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Charcoal Grill-Best outdoor grill

Take your grilling skills up to another level with Dyna-Glo charcoal grill. It provides performance, flexibility so you can try as many recipes you want. The unique set of features of this charcoal grill makes it a favorite of everyone.  The cooking surface is constructed with cast iron that is porcelain enameled. This allows maximum heat transfer without sticking the food at the cooking surface. You can cook up to 28 burgers at a time.

The unique feature of this grill is that you can cook different grilled foods at once. The firebox divider made of stainless steel allows the cooking of different foods. Fill the different levels of coal in coal baskets for separate heating patterns. Refilling the charcoal baskets with the double doors on the front is simple.

Two side tables are built-in and offer an excellent place for keeping the kitchen accessories. There is no need to lift the lid for a temperature check. The in-built thermometer will give you the sweet spot that your food has reached maximum juiciness.  

On the lid top, there is a smokestack that controls airflow in the grilling chamber and controls the temperature. The sliding dampers maximize airflow and increase the burn efficiency of the coal.

Key Features

  • Built-in thermometer
  • Stainless steel smokestack
  • Easily accessible charcoal box
  • Firebox divider
  • Dual grilling zones

Pros

  • Temperature Control
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Color changes with usage

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Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #18 (Medium), White-Best grill for value

The Old Smokey Charcoal Grill boasts of long performance history and portability. The convenient, lightweight design with tight form factor makes it perfect for storage in the vehicle. The grill has a compact size, but it has room to prepare many of the grilled dishes. The cooking space is 220 sq. Inches so you can cook plenty at one time. The chrome-plated cooking surface does not allow sticking your food on the grate. Two air vents allow changing and controlling the internal temperature.

The aluminized steel body makes it one of the lightest charcoal grills. The construction is rust-resistant, and removable ash pan makes it easy to clean. The cost-effective charcoal grill gives superior performance in the long run. You can smoke burgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts all together with a fantastic result. This allows you to use charcoal effectively and thus saving the cost.

Cover the grill with the trash bag but pay attention to the sharp edges. However, the product does not come with a thermometer and a lid handle. The two years warranty provides peace of mind, and you can use the product without worrying.

Key Features

  • 6 lbs Weight
  • 220 sq. inches Cooking Surface Area
  • Chrome-plated steel cooking surface
  • Aluminized steel exterior construction

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact form factor
  • Retro design
  • Ideal for camping

Cons

  • No thermometer
  • No handle for the lid

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Conclusion

As pieces of equipment, charcoal grills are simple, and so is their maintenance. All you need is to clean it properly after every use so that it can be long-lasting. Never let the charcoal grill placed out in the rain because the water and ash mixture equals potassium hydroxide and sodium, which is collectively known as lye that readily burns flesh. This lye corrodes the metal quickly, and so it is better to use a grill cover.  Moreover, it is suggested not to use it in an enclosed space because burning charcoal produces carbon monoxide, a deadly gas. Indoors it can kill without warning.

Now there are plenty of charcoal grills options available that are high-tech and will also remind you of childhood summers.   We have gathered some of our favorite charcoal grills that will surely fulfill your requirements. So you can pick one of your choices to start cooking your favorite dishes.