What could be better than a charcoal grill? It’s such a classic way to enjoy your outdoor barbecue, and using lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes imparts a deep, smoky flavor into your food. If you’re in the market for a new grill, you may have noticed that charcoal grills are the most widely available type of grill. What does that mean? There are hundreds of options available at a variety of price points. From low-cost kettle grills to large cooking area barrel grills, it’s hard to know which charcoal grill will best fit your needs.

To help break it down, we looked at the best charcoal grills available on the market and rated each grill using the following factors: Temperature, Control, Grates & Cooking Area, Ash Removal, and Durability. After rating the grills, we looked at their overall usability and factored in each grill’s unique features to come up with an Overall Score that brings it all together.

The grills below represent the wide variety of charcoal grills available. The Overall Charcoal Grills Review Scores table will give you a snapshot into each charcoal grill. If you’re interested in learning more, a more thorough analysis is included in the individual pages of each grill.

Overall Charcoal Grills Review Scores

Brand

LID

Temperature

Control, Grates & Cooking Area

Ash Removal

Durability

Overall Score

Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill

Weber

5

5

5

5

5

5

Char Broil Kettleman charcoal grill

Char-Broil

5

5

5

5

5

5

Dyna Glo Premium Charcoal Grill

Dyna Glo

4

4

4

5

4

4

Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart

5

5

4

5

5

4.5

Char-Griller Charcoal Grill Pro Deluxe

Char Griller

5

4

4

5

5

4.5

22-Inch Weber Charcoal Grill

Weber kettle grills have become something of a classic over the years, the shape being instantly recognizable even for those who don’t grill. I found this Weber barbecue grill to be easy to assemble, apart from when inserting the legs into the body section. I was never quite sure they’d clicked into place, and the last thing you want is a bowl filled with hot coals tipping over. There are wheels on the rear legs for moving it around, but given the above I wouldn’t go moving it around when it’s lit.

Apart from issue with the legs on this charcoal outdoor grill, I also found the handles got very hot. I know we should all be using oven mitts, but it’s easy to forget you’ve taken them off to drink your beer. Other models don’t have this problem, makes me wonder why Weber haven’t addressed the issue.

This Product Is Ranked as the #1 Pitmaster’s Choice In The Charcoal Grills Category

Char-Broil Charcoal Grill with Infrared

Although this infrared charcoal grill needs some assembly out of the box, I found it very easy to put together. All the pieces are separate and individually labelled, which is a big help. If you’re going to do flat-pack, this is a good way of doing it. The wheels on the back legs are useful if you need to move it, but you have to do this when it’s cool, as there’s nothing to grip once it’s lit. The legs are held together by what Char-Broil call a rack, but the unless you’re storing basketballs or watermelons, the bars are too widely spaced to be useful.

I’m not convinced this Char Broil charcoal grill is a step forward in BBQing technology. It barely qualifies as barbecuing in my book, after all, BBQs are supposed to be fun. I can’t help thinking it would be just as easy and probably quicker and cheaper to just cook the food in the kitchen.

Dyna Glo Charcoal Grill

As you probably guessed, this Dyna Glo charcoal BBQ grill is big. There’s a main cooking area of 576 square inches, and another 240 square inches on the raised area. Enough to grill 30 burgers at the same time, if you were wondering. Of course there’s a fair amount of assembly to do when it arrives, as you would expect, but it’s not too bad to put together. It took a couple of hours, so not too onerous.

These days everything seems to be made cheaper and cheaper, and this is no exception. It’s not heavy duty thick cast iron, except the door and the grates, and you can tell when assembling it accuracy of manufacture wasn’t exactly a strong point. It’s not durable enough to be used professionally, but if you have a large family or a lot of friends, and you use it occasionally, then it’s fine.

Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill

If you’re looking for a portable charcoal briquettes grill, you can’t go far wrong with this model. At just over 20lb it’s easily manageable by most people, and the size allows you to slip it into the trunk of all but the tiniest car. There are even a couple of large handles on the sides. It looks good too, with it’s distinctive green lid. Just don’t forget the charcoal, although you can always buy it when you get to wherever you’re going. There is some assembly required when you take it out of the box, but it doesn’t take long.

Now, this portable outdoor charcoal grill is priced higher than some models, but you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap that’s what you’ll get. If you want something a bit better, and with a 3 year warranty, it’s worth paying that bit extra for something like this Cuisinart.

Char Griller Charcoal Grill Pro Deluxe

I would say this outdoor charcoal grill is in the large category when it comes to cooking area. There’s plenty of room here for the larger families and small parties. Assembly this beast wasn’t the easiest, but it wasn’t too bad, particularly if you’ve done similar things before. The stand is simple tubes of bent steel with supports bolted on, but it’s sturdy enough, if not exactly elegant. The two large wheels make moving it simple, even when lit. The wooden preparation tray at the other end doubles has an handle, so no problem there.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Fuel Do You Need for a Charcoal Grill?

What is the Difference Between a Barrel and a Kettle Grill?

What are the Benefits of Infrared Charcoal Grills?

Which Fuel Should You Choose, Lump Charcoal or Charcoal Briquettes?

What is the Best Way to Light the Charcoal?

Can You Cook With Indirect Heat on a Charcoal Grill?