The Best Charcoal Grills For Some Seriously Scrumptious Barbecues

Make Delicious Outdoor Treats With These Best Rated Charcoal Grills

When looking for a decent charcoal grill for cooking those lovely steaks, burgers or chicken on, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before getting the BBQ charcoal heated up. If you are reading this it means the grilling bug has bitten, and you’re reeling to get going with your 3 Michelin Star out-of-this world yummy grilled delights.

To save you-all the time and effort of wading through tons of products, we’re going to show you how to select, review, and then buy not just some random marketing facilitated gimmicky grill but THE grill, your very own (perfectly suited to your desires). However, if you are just looking for a random empty-corner-filling (on your patio) charcoal grill then we say ‘pack it in’ and ‘pack it in, now’. Seriously.

Here is a carefully selected list of reviews for the top best nine charcoal grills currently on the market. We promise that not one of these beauties will disappoint, but like everything in life, not all are alike. If you-all are in a hurry then simply skim the list and find something that best matches your budget.

The Ultimate Charcoal Grills Buyers Guide

This review and buyer’s guide is for that guy or gal who simply cannot wait to throw some shrimp on the barbie or seer culinary scrumptiousness into that tender cut.  We know the power of a new found passion and understand not buying that generic grills – the one that clutters the barbecue aisle of your local retailer – wasn’t easy.

You probably have the meat marinating as we write! Relax, your wait is over. If you spend a couple of minutes reading this we assure you, the arrival of one that’s perfect for you and your family, is imminent  (and before the marinate has soaked through). Pick any of our recommended grills and get started on your newly found irrepressible drive to start to cook, in the right direction.  You are spot on if, through all your research, have come to understand that to cook is an art form that has to be done right. Nothing compares to the pure bliss of eating mouth-watering perfectly food. Nothing! We know you-all want to be at the receiving end (and rightly so) of gratuitous praise when family and friends alike sample your inexpressibly tasty food-, because they’ll be licking their fingers. Are you ready to put the sizzle back in your summer? Yes? OK – let’s do this!

We understand that choosing the right cooker isn’t easy, because we’ve been in your shoes. There is that innate fear casting a doubt on your ability to make food that warrants the money spent. And then there’s the confusion you-all feel when you peruse all those products on the market. Don’t stress folks, finding one that meets your unique needs will be cinch (not singe) after reading our buyers guide. Here goes:

How often do you think you will be using it?

Remember if you are going to be cooking outside every day for a good portion of the year then you’re going to need a robust product that is designed to be hard wearing with little maintenance to boot. Using these items is inherently messy and fats, oil and other food pieces will inevitable accumulate in every conceivable nook and cranny fast. We suggest then that you buy one that has a sleek modern design like the Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe or Napoleon NK22CK-C Rodeo with Cart that relinquishes her dirt with a simple wipe of a warm soapy rag (don’t use the wife’s indoor dish dedicated cloth!). In addition units with removable working surfaces to facilitate fast and thorough cleaning are better. We know if you love outdoor making of food this much you-all will make the effort to extend the life of your with regular cleaning. With that in mind, make sure your working surfaces are stainless steel or porcelain enamel to prevent rust and fading.

Determine the largest group of people you think you will be helping to cook for

If you entertain large groups every now and then your expensive grill can’t rise to the occasion you’ll be left shuttling ready-to-eat food back-and-forth for reheating with angst and frustration mounting. It makes sense to us that you would want a cooking surface that allows timely preparation of everyone’s chicken kebabs simultaneously. If you-all live in an apartment on the sixth floor (one that allows balcony ‘barbies’) or embark on Sunday picnic grill-aways then a small compact unit like the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman and our favorite the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is for you.

For larger areas (think gatherings of more than 10 carnivores), we recommend the Broil King Steel Keg BKK4000 Charcoal Grill for Convection-Style Cooking, Primo Grills and Smokers 773 All-in-One Kamado Round Grill, Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Dual Zone Premium Charcoal Grill and Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe Grill, 22-Inch, Black.

Some of the fabulous grills like thee Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe, 22-Inch come with a custom warming solution (draw or shelf) which is a great boon for larger parties.

Place of use 

For newlyweds or couples who like to entertain in small groups or out in the countryside, the portable grills like the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere are the way to go. For folk with larger homes and or beautiful entertainment areas the larger units (mentioned above) are an obvious choice. If you can afford it, buy yourself both. The versatility and pleasure of having a mobile cooker on hand is next to none!

How sophisticated am I planning to go with this? (AKA are you embarking on becoming the neighborhood grill master or do you simply want those picture perfect seared stripes on your beef patties?)

It’s all in the control. Control of what you may be wondering? The greater your skill set the more versatile your charcoal-broil needs to be. We’ve seen units that allow for smoking your food, frying and pizza preparation. All this –let’s say –enhancements of the essential function require minor changes in equipment and temperature. If being a veritable pro is on your cards then spend some cash and get one that has fine temperature tuning, smoking, and pizza making capabilities. The Weber 15501001 Performer Deluxe has a removable round center grate for (as we said) placing cooking surfaces like Wok, Griddle or Pizza Stone. A removable curved warming rack is also available on this unit.

Amount you are prepared to spend

By now you know that these come in all shapes and sizes. And with that the price changes too. Looking at our list of reviews, the prices range enormously from as low as $50 and climbing to $1600 depending on the kind of features you prefer. You decide. It’s your money just make sure you follow our guide to help you buy what is right for you.

Those who want to hang a little longer can read some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) from others like you. The questions are pertinent and insightful and best of all they’re proof you’re not alone in your quest for the best grilling perfection.

What type of charcoal should I use?

Good question and we glad you-all didn’t assume charcoal is charcoal. The burning reality us there are loads of propriety charcoals one can throw under the grid, but this is all you need to know:

(a) Lump Charcoal in layman’s terms is wood that (by means of a smoldering oxygen starved burn) has had all the moisture, sap and other extraneous substances removed. The end result is a pure (irregularly-shaped) carbon that will give you quite a vigorous outdoor food prep experience. Within a quarter of an hour (even less) you-all will have a white hot coal on which to grill. Given the smorgasbord of woods used in the manufacturing process your meat can have a variety of smoky flavors, but work quickly because lump charcoal drops its heat after half an hour.

(b) Hardwood Charcoal briquettes are charcoal with no additives. Note: They not quite as hot as lump coal and cool pretty quickly once they reach their max. Also, these guys (due to the manufacturing process) have uniform soap-shaped silhouettes.

(c) Kingsford® Briquettes: are very common in the States and make for a great fuel source because the manufacturers have added mineral char to increase the heat temperature and duration. We thought the addition of the ready-to-grill ‘marker’ in the form of a layer of white limestone (forms when the coal is ready to use) to be transcendental!

Please advise me on how to deal with flare-ups?

Resign yourself to the fact that given the content of some of the foods (i.e. high in delicious dripping fats) flare-ups are going to happen. And so they should. How else do you think you’re going to seal in those delicious flavors? The problem arises when these tiny fire explosions are relentless and threaten to burn out your expensive fillet. If this is your experience don’t hesitate to bring the lid off near at the first signs of a flare up (usually that inexorable display of fat hissing and eruption of blinding smoke). Closing your product with the lid will choke your fire out while allowing you to temporarily move the food to an area of indirect heat. Once you’re flare-up free, simply move the food back.

What’s the most efficient (easy) way to get the fire going?

Well…as they say…there’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat and lighting the fire is no different. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use a good quality DRY coals
  • Invest in some premium lighter cubes. Some of these can even be lit when wet. The fuel in the cube is an excellent propellant to help a tentative flame pull through.
  • A chimney starter is a handy tool that supports a small clump of charcoal in a cylindrical frame. When placed of crumpled newsprint or lighter cubes there is an even and concentrated heat distribution that ensures quick and thorough ‘activation’ of all your charcoal.


Bonus Tip: I get the charcoal lit only to watch it die. What’s going on?

This can be frustrating and we’ve got you-all covered. First make sure that the ash receptacle is cleaned out before you-all start to cook. You are not going to get proper airflow from obstructing clumps of ash. Secondly your dampers (not yours!) must be set to ‘fully open’. Again the design of a charcoal grill is based on optimum airflow. No flow…no fire. Also keep in mind that if you grilling for a protracted time (60 min +) be sure to check on the ash. You may have to clean that baby out more than once.

There you have it fellow grill masters. We’re done. Helping you-all find that perfect grill has been a real trip! Remember to stay burn free with those mitts and let us know if we can drop by your place for some deliciousness (we won’t stay long. Promise). Please let us know if you-all found this review helpful. May the grilling force be with you.