Best Charcoal Grills To Sizzle The Food

Grilling is one of the greatest enjoyments in life. When picking out a charcoal grill, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices you might get. And, somewhere in that corner of your brain, you are having some doubts about whether a charcoal grill is indeed suited for you. Let us clear that doubt and help you choose that best charcoal grill to serve your purpose.

This guide is extremely extensive, and if you are just wanting a quick recommendation on which to get, try this model: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill.

In this guide, the models that we are covering are:

 

The Advantages Of A Charcoal Grill

There are many reasons why we think a charcoal grill is the better choice. Here are 6 reasons.

#1. That Smoky Flavor We So Craved

Ever wonder why a charcoal grill is never out of fashion despite the rise of more convenient options? One of the most salient reasons why people prefer a charcoal grill is the ability to infuse the smoky aroma into the food. Why? Because that contributes to taste.

Taste is not only referring to the sensation that the thousands of taste buds that covering your papillae perceived – such as sweet, saltiness or bitterness. It is the combination of that, and of smell, sight and, touch.

Noticed that the aroma of the food is actually one of the main elements that lead your brain to perceive that the food you are able to consume taste supremely nice? If you are getting a charcoal grill, this is on the major advantages that other kind of grills cannot easily replicate.

#2. The High Heat Over A Larger Surface Area

Charcoal grills can go up to 700F and this is especially important for searing. Searing is done by exposing the surface of the food, often meat, to high heat for the Maillard reaction and caramelization. This reaction is the primary cause for the richness, sweetness and savory taste that people often like. Searing will also create that layer of crispy crust that adds on to the entire experience.

Some may argue that searing will also lock in juices. Unfortunately, that is only a myth. Searing does not lock in juices. If you are interested in more myths, you can read this.

Although there are other kinds of grills that can create such high temperature needed for searing, they are limited to only a couple of steaks at a time. A charcoal grill can allow you much more room than that.

#3. The Ability To Separate Into Direct And Indirect Heat Zones

 

Many grilling recipes call for the use of both direct and indirect heat, this requires you to create zones. And a charcoal grill allows you to easily create zoning arrangements using the most primitive, original method ever known to man – by moving the charcoals around.

Zoning refers to separating your grill surface to a high heat and low heat area. There are cases where 3 zones are used, but that’s relatively rarer.

Why zoning is needed though? That is because high temperature, other than it being useful for searing, accomplishes nothing else. So, the ability to zone grants convenience when you want to sear with high heat and complete the cooking on the lower heat area.

#4. The Price

You know what is great about the simplicity of a charcoal grill? No complex mechanism stands for a lower price. When it comes to start-up cost, charcoal grills are, by a large extent, cheaper than its alternative. Of course, charcoal grills can go into the thousands of dollars for those who are willing to splurge. But for most of us, one under $200 works equally well.

#5. Comparatively More Portable

If you are looking to go somewhere else than your backyard this summer. A charcoal grill is a better bet. Compared to a gas grill, you will less likely find yourself having to lug along propane cylinders or tanks along with you other than a bag or two of charcoals. And really, a bag of charcoals is way lighter, at least to me.

And before I forgot to mention, charcoal grills, itself, is lighter. The simplest design is only a tray and a grill grate.

#6. The Complete Experience

When one mentioned a BBQ, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? You will start to imagine the process of lighting the coals, the fire starter, the soot and the sweat. All of these contributes to the camaraderie of you and your friends.

If we imagine a person as a molecule, then the experiences shared between two molecules must be the bond. Setting up a fire and getting all smoky and sweaty with your friends, laughing with each other is irreplaceable.

The Disadvantages Of A Charcoal Grill

It would be unprofessional of us to only talk about the good side of stuff. Charcoal grills do come with its fair share of disadvantages.

#1. Preparation Time

By preparation time, we are specifically referring to the time needed to get the grill to the fun part – the actual grilling. While there are many accessories these days that help with the setting up significantly easier and faster, but it will always be longer than pushing a button on a gas grill.

Charcoal grills, on average, take about 20 minutes to get to the appropriate temperature without considering the time needed to get the charcoal lit. Gas grills, on the other hand, takes about half the time.

Taking it further, the preparation time will also be affected by uncontrollable variables, such as the strength of the wind that day. Lighting the coals is already hard, the strong wind just makes it even tougher.

Have you also considered damp charcoals? If you do not have any backup charcoals, you will find the time needed to get the grill started significantly longer than what you would have expected.

However, all of these can be mitigated with more experience and good planning.

#2. Handling A Charcoal Grill Is Dirtier And Messier

You would have to get your hands dirty, literally. There is no two way about it. That is the very essence of charcoal grilling. Moreover, the cleaning up part is not easy as well and it takes time, loads of it. You would have to cool the ashes before you can dump the ashes or re-use it. Only then, you can start to clean it up.

If you are using a liquid fire starter, the odor is another thing you will have to bear with. Of course, there are odorless options in the market.

But if you are also a fan of that smoky flavor and enjoy the process as much as we do, it shouldn’t be that much of a big minus.

#3. The Temperature Is Harder To Control On A Charcoal Grill

The ability to control where you place the charcoals also symbolizes a harder time controlling the heat. As opposed to a gas grill, getting even-ness in a charcoal grill is significantly harder. You can’t place too much or too little in a spot. It is demoralizing when one moment, you are grilling perfectly, and the other, it turns out charred.

So if you want your food to be grilled to perfection, you would need to learn to control the fire, which means a steeper learning curve. However, once you can do that, this supposed disadvantage turns into an ability you can flaunt, master chef.

#4. You Cannot Turn it “Off” and “On” Easily.

There are bound to be downtime in your party, where you actually take the time to eat and mingle. Otherwise, the party seems moot, isn’t it? What this means would be that there are times where the grill is cooking something, but nobody is there to look after it.

This translates to you being distracted now and then while chatting with guests – what did you say again? This distraction can prove to be a bane to delicious food, over-cooking or under-cooking the food makes it taste less delicious than it ought to be. At this point in time, you would wish you have a faster way to turn it on or off and concentrate on one task at a time.

#5. The Health-Related Issue

I am sure you would have heard that grilling over charcoal creates cancer-causing compounds. Well, to be more specific, it is the process of cooking your food over high temperature that increases the risk.

Cooking at high temperatures produces cancer-causing chemicals known as heterocyclic amines aka. HCAs. This problem is not unique to grilling, it does happen to broil meat too.

However, this can be mitigated by marinating your food. Studies have shown that marinating has helped to significantly reduce the production of HCAs as compared to the contrary. By significant, we are talking about up to 99%!

Also, the smoky flavor that we love can also contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). As meats cook, the layer of fat burns off and dripped onto the coals beneath and create PAHs. These PAHs is not only clinging on to your food and clothes, but it is also coating the insides of the lung, which is by any measure unhealthy.

That said, grilling over charcoal is still my preferred choice over gas.


The Best Charcoal Grills You Can Buy

#1. Best In Class: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch

If you have no idea what to get. The probability of you getting it right the first time would be this model. This original kettle grill is made by Weber, a trusted brand globally and often, you will see this in your neighbors’ patio.

This model is 22 inches in diameter and can grill up to 8 person worth of food at any one point in time. The material that is used to make this is porcelain-enameled.

Your BBQ is done and the feeling the headache of clearing those ashes? This model takes that away from you with its’ one touch cleaning system. Yes, you still need to do some work, but it is a lot easier.

Have you ever lifted the lid to serve food but have no idea whether to place that lid? You can’t place it on the floor, that would be unhygienic. You can’t place it on the table; where will you put the food then? Imagine the hassle of walking to and from the table. This is where the lid hook at the side of the grill is useful – a small but welcome gesture.

There are dampers at the top of the lid and vents at the bottom of the grill for better temperature control. There are also handles on the lid and at the side of the grills if you need to move it around.

The assembly process is also made easy with the instruction manual. Be aware though. This model is different from the 10020 Smokey Joe.

The Product Specifications

This model is 39.5 (H) x 22.5 (W) x 27 (L) inches. The grill area is 22.5 inches in diameter. The grill itself weighs 32 pounds. It comes with two wheels and a third leg as a stand.

Currently, it is offered in 3 colors – black, copper, and green.

What Do We Like About This Model?

This grill can be used for any occasion and comes at a relatively affordable price tag. Weber has introduced small but useful features such as the lid hook and grilling tools hook really take some pains out of the grilling process. It can even be used a smoker for smoked meat too.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

The design of the grill is aesthetically pleasing. But the overall balance of this model is delicate. Trying to move it around and the lid may just slide off and hurt yourself.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

You would like this if you are a first-time grill buyer and wants to be correct in this first purchase. Weber, as a trusted brand has a reputation for making durable grills and in the off chance, it is spoilt, the customer service will leave you pleased.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you are looking for something smaller or does not live in a place with a backyard or patio, then this is not for you. You might want to consider the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

Overall, the Weber original kettle will not disappoint, whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned griller.

#2. Best Light Weight Charcoal Grill: Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill


Great for small gatherings. Having a game to watch with friends this evening? Trying to avoid the hassle of cleaning up a massive amount of parts? Then you might want to consider this. The Weber 10020 Smokey Go is compact and light for anyone looking for some light grilling.

This 14-inch portable grill can hold up to a maximum of 4 burgers at any given point in time, which really is enough for a small get together. The make is also of high quality; made of thick porcelain-enameled material. This grill won’t rust and can retain heat well.

Weber 10020 also comes with vents at the bottom for more precision in controlling the temperature. As we have stated many times, temperature control is essential in grilling. If that is not enough, there are dampers on the lid for additional airflow to make your grill hot. This model does not have side vents.

The grate is made up of steel, which is durable, retains heat and relatively easy to clean.

The Product Specifications

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe weights at 9.5 pounds and its dimensions with lids closed are 17(H) by 14.2(W) by 14.5(D) inches. Without the lid, it stands at 12 inches tall. Currently, it only comes in black color.

The grill area is around 13.5 inches in diameter, and it can get to a temperature of 500F.

This model also does not come with wheels.

What Do We Like About This Model?

It is compact and great for 2 or 3-person grilling. The relatively smaller size makes it easier to clean. Find space to store it is not an issue. It is also easy to put together. The material of this grill is built to last. The catch tray at the bottom makes ash-clearing a breeze.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

Hoping to see some handles by the side. When the grill gets hot, there is practically no way to move it around. Don’t count on the top handle, it gets hot too.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

People who like to camp and grill outdoors. The size and weight make it a breeze to transport it to the nearest picnic spot. People who are living in small apartments will find this equally useful. Carrying it to the shared yard is not difficult.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you are looking to host a BBQ party. Don’t get this. Your guest will probably starve and order takeout and look at you with sheer disbelief. If you are also accustomed to thick slabs of meat, then you shouldn’t get this as well. As the model is small, there is a limit to the number of charcoals you can place, which means the temperature may not get as high as bigger models.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

It is an awesome grill if you are grilling for yourself and one or two other flat mates or your significant other. It does okay for general grilling for a small amount of meat. Look at other models if you are intending to grill for a larger crowd.

#3. Best For Cast Iron Lovers: Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill

If you are a fan of cast iron, you will love this grill. Lodge, a family-owned business has been making cast iron wares for 120 years. I am not surprised that the grill they make is made from the material that they do best – cast iron!

If you are not already aware, cast iron is not the best conductor of heat. Hence, depending on the thickness, the heat may not be spread even as fast as steel. But the one important thing it does better than steel is that it retains heat, which means your food stays warm even when charcoal is running low.

This grill can cook for up to 4 steaks at any one time. Though, it really depends on how big the steaks you are intending to grill are. Read below for the exact dimensions. There is a small sliding vent door at the bottom of the grill for air flow.

The assembling method is also rather simple; with 7 parts and will take about 10 minutes to assemble. The process is also very intuitive

Cast iron also needs to be seasoned – not in the flavoring sense, of course. But Lodge has already done that for you. What you get is a low-maintenance, well-oiled ware that can be used for ages. And if it is important to you, Lodge’s ware is made in the USA.

The Product Specifications

The dimensions of this grill are 8.2 (H) x 20.1(L) x 10.4(W) inches. The grill area is 17.3 (L) x 9 (W) inches. A guesstimate of the weight puts it at roughly 20 pounds. The grate is a ¼ inch thick. Measuring from the top of the bowl to the top of the grate, it is about 1.87 inches high.

What this means is if you fill the charcoal fire bowl to the brim, it will still be 1.87 inches from your food.

What Do We Like About This Model?

The hibachi style grilling is a welcomed difference from the usual Weber we are familiar with. The use of cast iron ensures heat retention. While this means slower heating up, but once it does, it stays that way for longer. The heavier material also gave it a premium feel.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

This model does not come with a lid, which limits the use of convection heating method for your food. While it is not a deal breaker, personally, I would prefer that option.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

People who like the Hibachi experience will appreciate this. Korean-style BBQ lovers would want this. The size of this grill some to tout it to be camping-friendly, however, the relatively heavier weight due to it material will deter me from doing that. No hard and fast rule here.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you are looking to grill in large quantities, this is not for you. Cast iron still requires maintenance – you will still need to keep it dry to prevent rust. The material also means that your grate will reach the optimal temperature slower. It is a boon for some, a bane for others. If this bothers you, check something else.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

Cast iron fans? Get this. It feels heavy and it is heavy. But, that to us is a premium feel. Looking to take your time grilling, this is for you.

#4. Most Fuel Efficient: Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal Kamado Grill

 

Kamado grills are well known for its egg-shaped grills and thick walls. You may have even seen one at a grill restaurant down the road. This Akorn Jr is made with solid steel and its durability is beyond doubt.

This model is triple-walled to maintain heat and can go from 200F to 700F and is comparable to ceramic grills. This means that you can easily sear your meat for that crusty, sweet texture. The grill can cook up to 3 persons worth of food at any one time.

The built-in temperature gauge is useful in determining the precise temperature inside, leaving no room for guesswork and the need for opening the lid to check.

While this model is also 3-legged, it is just more balanced compared to Weber due to its unique egg-shape and low center of gravity.

There is a damper right at the top and a sliding vent at the bottom for temperature control. Use it in conjunction with the temperature gauge and there should be not much room for mistakes. If you are wondering about clean up. The Akorn JR comes with an ash pan for easier cleanup.

Comparing to grills on the same portability class, Kamado provides convenient handles for portability and grilling on the go.

Kamado also provides a useful chart to guide you on the damper adjustments for varying temperature. The assembly process is also easy, but it might take more time, about 30 minutes, to fully assemble it as compared to a Weber.

The Product Specifications

This model is 20.5 x 21.5 x 25.3 inches. The grill area is 14 inches in diameter and can hold up to about 8 chicken thighs. The weight of this grill is 37 pounds so its on the heavier side. The grill itself is made of cast iron.

Currently, it comes in either black or red color.

What Do We Like About This Model?

The heat retention ability of this model is impeccable. The weight and shape of this grill make it harder to tip over. The smaller size means you could place it on your dining table with ease. The temperature gauge that comes with it. A masterful stroke.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

The assembly portion can be a real hassle. You need to get the right screws for the right parts.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

People who love searing or reverse searing their meat but do not want to get a larger grill. One plus point of the Kamado is that it uses less charcoal to attain a high temperature as compared to other small grills.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

You need to bring it around. The size of this grill is portable, but the weight might not be. If you are just bringing it out for a picnic and traveling by car – this works fine. But if you are camping and traveling on foot – then perhaps no.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

The Kamado grill does a great job for the buck it commands. It is an efficient grill that maximizes the energy of every charcoal and produces consistent results.

#5. Best In-Between Grill: Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill 18-inch Barbecue Grill and Smoker


First impression? you might find the design familiar. The Beau Jardin is designed to be an 18 inch, wedging in between the 22 inch and 14-inch models that we are used to seeing in the market.

This model comes with a porcelain-enameled coated fire bowl and Lid for retaining heat. The 18-inch diameter grill also allows for cooking up to 7 people worth of food. That is about 14 chicken thighs.

There is one damper on the lid and a vent at the bottom for air flow. The vent at the bottom also doubles up as a one-touch cleaning system. The ash catcher or tray is made of aluminum and placed right below the vent.

For portability, it comes with 2 wheels and 2 legs for stability. Assembly is also straightforward. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes to fully assemble it.

The Product Specifications

This model is 18 x 18 x 28 inches. The grill area is 18 inch in diameter. The weight of the Beau Jardin is 13.4 pounds. It comes only in black color.

What Do We Like About This Model?

We like that it is an in-between. The 18-inch grill fills the void created by the 14 and 22-inches perfectly. Moreover, the cost of this grill is also very affordable. Based on the specifications listed by the manufacturer, it should work as well as the premium brands.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

According to some feedback by users, it seems that this grill could do well with consistency in the shipment. Some has mentioned about missing parts and the lack of information in assembling.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Weber’s. You can consider this model. Although there seem to be some hiccups with the manufacturer’s packing process, we do look forward to them solving this and making this an even better bang for the buck.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you want the best charcoal grill and not willing to risk it, consider the bigger brands like Weber or Kamado. They are a tad pricier, but the quality is vouched for by many.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

Overall, this is a good model and a team of good customer service professional. What’s more this model doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket. The Beau Jardin does well for most grilling purposes.

#6. Royal Gourmet 24 Inch Charcoal Grill

Measured at 24 inches in total. This Grill offers a total of 598 square inches of cooking surface. But this is sub-divided into 393 inches for the grates and 205 inches for the warming rack. If you find that the warming rack is not needed, it can be removed.

Wondering how you should load it with charcoal? There is an access door at the front for easy loading and a removable ash tray just beneath for easier cleaning. What’s more, the charcoal fire pan itself is adjustable with a lever, offering 6 levels of control, at the side. This brings temperature control to another level.

There are two vents at the site, which is different from what we are accustomed to seeing so far. The two vents act as the main control point for airflow. Notice the two-small table at the side of the grill? They are very useful for placing condiments and seasoning. Eliminates the need to pull out another small table beside the grill from the store.

This model also comes attached with a temperature gauge, which is immensely useful when the dish you make requires precision in temperature; and you don’t wish to open the lid so often.

For mobility, there are two wheels for easier transportation around the backyard. To prevent it from skidding around, the other two legs are not fitted with wheels. However, it is not easy to assemble the grill – a lot of tinkering is required.

The Product Specifications

This model measures 50 x 22 x 48.8 inches. The cooking grates dimension is 23.5 X 16.7 inches and the warming rack is 21.7 x 9.4 inches. The entire grill weighs at 57 pounds.

What Do We Like About This Model?

For the relatively low price, this grill comes packed with features, from temperature gauges to double grilling racks. The large grilling area also ensures enough food for up to 8 people. The adjustable fire pan is a step in the right direction, but more could be done to the insulation of the lever box. The lever box itself is a vent as air could flow to the burning charcoals through it.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

If you are choosing self-assembly, you will find that the assembling process quite cumbersome. The directions are not that clear for non-technical inclined people. A possible solution to that might be better instructions and have it come assembled. The lever box acts as a vent itself, leading to difficulty in control the temperature.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

It is aesthetically pleasing and would look great on your patio. The size is just right for small to medium sized crowds.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you dislike doing the cumbersome assembling, then either you order this assembled or consider some other models.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

Overall, an affordable model for people looking in grilling for a medium sized crowd.

#7. Uten Barbecue Grill Portable BBQ Charcoal Smoker Grill

This grill is a no-frills and gets the job done product. Do not let the look of the grill deceive you. A great grill lies in its simplicity.

The Uten grill comes in two sizes and the larger one could accommodate up to 5 people – about 10 chicken thighs. For stability, the 4 legs are fitted with rubber so that it doesn’t skid. The simplistic design means easy assembling, which should not take you more than 15 minutes to set up and start.

There are 2 vents at the sides of the grill which you can use to control the temperature. But due to the lack of a lid, you might find it less than useful. The two side baskets are conveniently placed to hold your seasoning and condiments, saving you the hassle to and from the table.

The Product Specifications

This model measures at 43.7 (L) x 17.32 (W) x 27.28 (H) inches when fully assembled. The grate measures at 11.8 x 10.2 inches which translate to a grill area of 120.36 square inches. The griddle measures at 11.6 x 9.8 inches, so another 113.68 square inches of cooking space.

The weight of this model is 17.64 pounds.

What Do We Like About This Model?

The simple design of this grill. It is easy to visualize how it is assembled at first glance. It can also be disassembled easily and taken outdoors for grilling.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

A lid will be welcomed for convection cooking. Given the relatively long legs, perhaps, the fire pan could be made deeper to hold more charcoal in exchange for a slight decrease in portability.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

If you are looking for budget, no frills charcoal grill, then this is for you. Bear in mind that this grill, even the larger version cannot grill too much food.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you like tested and proven grills, then you will do better considering some other models. Also, if you are also looking for more complexity and features in your grilling. Then perhaps the other models suggested in this guide will suit you more.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

Cheap, small, portable and great for simple grilling to entertain a small number of people.

#8. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill, 22.5 Inch


Char-broil introduces several innovative features that improve the grilling experience. The no fall through cooking grates mitigates the cancer-risk concerns, specifically the PAHs as the fat will not drip onto the charcoals. But this also means the smoke is reduced and therefore, the smoky flavor most of us associated with charcoal grilling might not be as salient. But so far, I haven’t heard of complaints in this regard.

The unique grates this model has touted the ability to distribute heat evenly, using infrared technology. As there are no gaps, you can be assured that the sausage you are grilling won’t end up sleeping beside the charcoals.

Back to the basics, this model has a 360 square inch of total cooking surface, which roughly translates to about 15 chicken thighs. There is a vent at the top and a vent at the bottom. The vent at the bottom cannot be closed.

The applauded hinged lid feature is also present in this model. Your lid isn’t going to end up on the floor and neither do you need to hinge it by the side. Not forgetting to mention, the removable ash pan and temperature gauge are here too!

The Product Specifications

This model measures at 29.9 x 27.4 x 14.8 inches. The weight of the grill is 36 pounds.

What Do We Like About This Model?

The innovative grill grates. Your food does not burn, your sausages don’t slip through the gaps – because there isn’t any. The infrared technology spreads heat evenly and hence temperature is easy to regulate.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

The bottom vent could not be closed and may be a hassle to extinguish the charcoals after the grill. If it could be made closable then it would be a welcome improvement.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

This model is fuel-efficient and if you are a person who doesn’t like flare-ups, go for this. The lid will not be slid off when moving it makes it great for portability.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

You prefer to see those hot red coals then this is not for you. As the design is different, you will face a learning curve in using it. The relatively thicker grill makes cleaning a tad harder to clean.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

A unique grill for the folks who like to grill, minus the flareups. The design is made to be efficient.

#9. Best Large Charcoal Grill: Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker

Looking for a grill and smoker combination then allow me to introduce this model. The Royal Gourmet is a design to accommodate up to 10 people. This model comes with a total of 617 square inches of cooking area in the main chamber, split into 438 square inches of primary cooking space and 179 square inches of warming rack.

Yes, you can load charcoal in the main chamber. Not only that, the main chamber charcoal pan is height adjustable so you can control the temperature as you deem fit. The built-in offset smoker comes with its own grate, so that translate to an additional grill area of 183 square inches. All these spaces allow you to have a large variety of food to entertain your guests.

To allow more control over the temperature, there are 2 vents at the sides for you to adjust as required. It comes with a thermostat, so controlling it with precision should not be a problem.

Despite it being already features-packed, this model still gives you your own side table for your seasoning and condiments. If that is not enough, there are some hooks along the sides of the side table if you need it.

However, do take note that you will need to pre-fire the box to prevent paint peeling off.

The Product Specifications

This model measures at 55.1 x 27.2 x 48.4 inches and weighs 54.2 pounds.

What Do We Like About This Model?

The grill and smoker combination are a welcome one. The relatively cheap price tag makes this model a real value for money. The manufacturer customer service team is more than stellar. If you encounter any issues, their team is very responsive.

What Can Be Done Better About This Model?

Important instructions in the manual could be made more salient to avoid problems of paint peeling.

We Think People Who Will Like This Are

You are organizing a medium to large sized party and need to cater to a variety of food preferences. The smoker and grill combination will serve you well in your appetite for variety.

We Think This Doesn’t Suit You If You Are

If you are looking for portability, then this model is not for you. If you are only looking to grill and won’t be using the smoking function, your money could do better elsewhere.

TLDR. In Short, What Do We Think?

Great value for money. The sheer number of features that come with the price tag is amazing.

What Do You Have To Consider Choosing Your Charcoal Grill?

We have gone through loads of good quality charcoal grills. But if you are still undecided on which one is the best charcoal grill for your purpose. Consider these probing questions to help you make your choice. These questions are not to be considered individually but together.

At the end of these inquisitions, you should be aware of which one you should get.

#1. What Dishes Are You Whipping Up?

The dishes that you are going to cook makes a huge difference in choosing the correct grill. Depending on your choices, the recipe will be different and therefore, the grilling methods will differ.

For example, if you are going to grill a variety of vegetables, a small grill is not going to cut it. That is because you will need to use indirect heat to cook them, check any recipes, mine or others, you will find that most, if not all of them, suggests avoiding direct heat or flame. A small grill does not have enough room to create that kind of zoning area.

Also, if you are an avid fan of seared meat, you would need to create that kind of zoning arrangement too.

#2. What Are You Using It For?

Now, this is important. Are you using it as a one-time thing? Or, are you using it frequently? Do you use it for a big social event or is it confined to a small family event? Consider these scenarios.

If you are a hospitable person and you like to invite lots of people to your house frequently. Get a large charcoal grill, there are no two ways about it. It has a faster churn time, where the food flow must not stop for an extended period. The larger charcoal grill will also allow for more variety of dishes to cater to different liking.

If you are using it for a small gathering, such as for your own family, a small one will suffice.

If you are having an upcoming BBQ party where you are inviting extended family members and friends, but you don’t foresee any more such similar scale events in the future. Get a medium grill. Most people will probably recommend you go for the biggest one you can find but I find that as a waste of money as you are probably not going to use it as much anymore.

Combined that medium grill with a microwave oven will yield you better results. Pre-cook the food in the microwave and you will reduce the amount of time the food needs sitting on the grates. This way, you can ensure the food flow does not stop and the taste of the food really doesn’t diminish that much.

However, don’t let it stop you if you are considering getting that large charcoal grill if you find it necessary.

#3. Where Are You Using It?

Consider the location of where this grill is going to be used and whether this grill will stay at the same place throughout. If it is going to stay on your patio and there is a lot of room for it. Consider buying the bigger one.

If you are going to get one and will likely move it around, get a small to medium one and with wheels. You do not want to find yourself dragging a big grill to a eat al fresco.

#4. Your Budget

Obvious, but too important not to write it. Don’t over-extend yourself is key. There are all kinds of charcoal grills that offer far too many kinds of features. But, if you are using it for the very basic purpose, get the one that fits into your budget.

Yes, that amazing looking handle and that ash tray are enticing. They are giving all of that for free too! No, I am not saying that it doesn’t add up to the entire grilling experience – aesthetics does make food tastier, but the incremental experience it provides is only for a fleeting moment.

#5. Headroom Of The Lid

Planning to grill an entire chicken? You might need to consider the height of that lid. Make sure that the charcoal grill lid is tall enough to be able to cover the food entirely.

#6. Are You Averse To Cleaning?

The leftover charcoal and ashes are one of the major pain in cleaning up after the event. Some charcoal grills have doors by the side to let the ashes fall out without the need to lift the still-hot grates. Some grills come with ash trays or ash pans to aid the cleaning up process by collecting the ashes either below the grill or at the side of the grill.

If you are not fond of cleaning, consider getting one with these additional features. If you are not that averse to cleaning, a normal one will suit just fine – you will just need to spend more time and effort on it. Not really a deal breaker.

#7. The Durability Of The Grill

Getting a charcoal grill is a long-term investment. You would ideally want to get one that can last a long time. Getting it replaced frequently is not only a waste of money, but it is also a waste of time and some effort. Imagine having to go through the whole process of selecting a charcoal grill again – why not get one that lasts the first-time round? The effort is saved as we have done most of the work here for you.

To do that, you will need to pay attention to the material that made up the parts of the charcoal grill. We have done that in the individual reviews above.

#8. Are The Accessories Easy To Obtain Or Replace?

In the off chance that you need to replace a faulty accessory, is it readily available? Is that part sold separately or you would need to get the entire grill replaced? If the part is easily obtainable, is it easy to replace it yourself? For that, you will need to consider the overall design of that charcoal grill.

Kettle-types charcoal grills usually allow an extensive array of accessories. So, if you are looking to give your charcoal grill an upgrade, consider this.

Do not underestimate this factor, as when the grill breaks down, you won’t be in a jovial mood. Unable to solve it easily will aggravate it.

#9. Warranty And Quality Of After Sales Service

Now, if you have no choice but to replace or repair that grill. The most positive thing that can happen to you is either the replacement is free or the company on the other line is helpful and empathetic to your situation.

So, a good and extensive warranty is a good investment. A good charcoal grill is not expensive and that also translates that a warranty does not break the bank too. Chances are, the warranty is already free if you get the right one and you will only need to pay extra if you decide to get more coverage.

Also, check out what the others say about their customer service. It can make or ruin your entire day.

Charcoal It Up

In this extensive guide, we have gone through all the pitfalls and things you should look out for in getting a charcoal grill. Not only that, we have suggested 9 charcoal grills to get you started. If you are still undecided on which one to get, we recommend you go for the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch model. It is the safest bet and chances are, it will not disappoint you, in most cases

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