The Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill is our best charcoal grill which stands at dimensions of 10 by 19 inches. On the design, a flip-down door gives you access to the coals. In fact, this charcoal grill has already been seasoned so you just need to use it. Also, you can even use wood instead of coal and it can be used for grilling or frying.
Our step-up pick is the Weber 741001 Original Kettle Charcoal Grill and this one has a one-touch cleaning system for all of your conveniences. For the design, the vents are also rust-resistant (made of aluminum material) to keep your food safe from contamination. Also, the lid and the bowl are both porcelain enameled to prevent getting damaged earlier and to provide a sleek design and finish. And moreover, the cleaning system makes use of 3 lades within the bowl towards the ash catcher so you can easily dispose of the burnt ash from the coal.
The budget pick is the Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable 14-Inch Charcoal Grill and it has a total cooking area of 150 square inches. A highly portable charcoal grill for budget seekers, it is super ideal for any picnic, barbecue party, tailgating, camping or any other outdoor activity that involves cooking and grilling outdoors. Overall temperature control and managing charcoal is not a problem due to the dual venting system. This charcoal grill is currently available in red and black.
A Little Background
Charcoal has been the most classic and traditional among cooking fuels in the world. Because of its classic way of grilling food ever since the beginning of time, it is definitely hard for some people to live without using charcoal. In any emergency situation, you have no choice but to use charcoal for cooking your food or at least firewood because there is limited source in your vicinity or area. Propane and natural gas aren’t always available and this is why most people from poorer countries and limited areas are only able to use charcoal for grilling food.
The only concern about charcoal is the carbon footprint and the global impact. Carbon is the number one enemy of the environment because it depletes the Ozone layer at an alarming rate and has been the source of global warming for the last centuries of mankind. Because of this, our climate is beginning to change and many wildlife and resources are being depleted as well due to global warming and climate change. This is why some people don’t like using charcoal when possible.
Nonetheless, many people still prefer the taste of charcoal-grilled food because it is said to bring out peculiar juices out of the food, regardless of the type of food you cook in it. Some traditional people, especially our grandparents, believe that food cooked in charcoal gives a certain taste that is unmatched compared to food cooked in gas fuel.
Charcoal fuel is also relatively the cheapest type of fuel to spice up any barbecue party and is widely available in comparison to natural gas and LP fuels. As a source of fuel, charcoal is widely available in any part of the world because of its ample source. In fact, other than charcoal, some charcoal grills can also take in firewood for fuel if charcoal is not available. This is why many people still resolve to using charcoal grills as a form of grill for their food.
Despite cooking relatively slower than electric and gas grills, a charcoal grill is still a favorite among BBQ parties and households due to its incomparable taste. We all know that charcoal grills cook relatively slower compared to heating up with gas grills. In other words, charcoal grills are for those who just want a slow and steady grilling experience.
Charcoal grilling also presents a simpler way of life. It also makes a great bonding activity for the family during summer seasons and during camping. Summer activities will often include charcoal grilling with the family or with friends. Any barbecue party or camping will definitely be a rewarding experience when you roast chicken or barbecue over the fire of charcoal or firewood because it is classic, authentic and traditional in its style. It may cook slower but hey, there’s no need to rush when you want to focus on the bonding and socialization factor and benefits of charcoal grilling in any place.
Today, there are still many charcoal grills out there – from traditional to automatic blower type to electric ignition ones. In fact, some grills are hybrid – you can either use charcoal or convert it to natural gas or liquefied petroleum as a source of fuel with just a few adjustments.
How We Picked
Various criteria have been listed down and considered when choosing the best charcoal grill and some of these include:
Safety features – a safe and reliable charcoal grill has well-designed deposit areas for keeping charcoal or firewood and the venting system should be just right so you can adjust the flames so they do not easily burn you or your food, as coal needs to be controlled during cooking, just like a regular gas grill or stove in general. In some cases, some charcoal grills also have very friendly handles that do not heat up when you have to touch them to adjust your grill or lift the grill from one place to another. Not every charcoal grill is equipped with wheels so you have to at least touch them to move them from point A to point B or from the patio to the campsite. A plus point is given if the charcoal grill is also portable.
Eco-friendly features – to reduce your carbon footprint, consider a charcoal grill that has eco-friendly features. It may be hard, but you can find one out there that will definitely not impact the environment too much with its carbon content. For instance, you can go for a hybrid charcoal grill which can also be converted to a gas grill when needed or when you want to reduce your carbon emissions and cook faster while you are at it.
Ash tray – a charcoal grill needs to have a reliable ash tray to catch all of the ash that falls from the debris of the coal or charcoal that you have been using to cook your food in a no-mess manner. The ash tray allows you to easily collect anything that falls from your grill’s coal deposit so you get a super clean charcoal grilling experience. And as a matter of fact, some ash trays out there can also be used as a double purpose grease catcher so your food stays fat-free in the long run.
Cooking size and area – this is highly important in case you want to look for a charcoal grill that can cook more food on the go. This pertains to the square inch area of a charcoal grill and you should know whether you can fit many burgers or barbecues on the charcoal grills surface.
Maintenance – the charcoal grill should be very easy to clean. Aside from a mess-free ash tray system, the charcoal grills cooking grates should be easy to clean and wipe as well as the surface of the charcoal grill. Compared to gas grills and propane grills, a charcoal grill gets messier due to the ash and coal so it should be very hassle-free to maintain.
Adjustability – a charcoal grill should also have a good sense of adjustability when cooking or turning your food. Whether you are handling kebab, yakitori, barbecue or anything else like even roast chicken, make sure that the charcoal grill is highly adjustable as well. The adjustability goes to the fact that you can adjust the charcoal grill grates so you can easily cook two different foods at the same time or control the level of your charcoal grill heating due to the fact that it uses a different heating system than gas or propane so it can be a little bit harder to manage. And this is the main reason why charcoal grilling should only be done outside of your home or in camp sites due to its high potential of burning things.
Portability – it is important that you get a charcoal grill that works depending on your usage. Would you like to use it for most patio and garden parties for barbecue, kebab or other grilled foods? Is the charcoal grill supposed to be used in camp sites or tailgating, RV living, hiking or backpacking and many other severely rigorous adventures? You should get a charcoal grill that is foldable and very durable from most elements. We recommend that you get a stainless steel charcoal grill that will last for many years to come and will not run short against rain or sunshine.
Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill
Our best charcoal grill is the Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill and when it comes to the looks and functionality, the grill has a hibachi-style design that is rugged and made from cast iron material that is highly durable. This grill stands at dimensions of 10 by 19 inches while the top grate measures 9 by 17 inches so it has a wide cooking space. This one will be ideal for big barbecue parties.
For convenience, the charcoal grill can be washed by hand for easy maintenance. You can, in fact, regulate heat easily using its integrated draft door. And moreover, this charcoal grill has already been seasoned so you just need to use it. The cooking speed can be tweaked using the two adjustable heights. And to add to its ease of use, a flip-down door gives you access to the coals. This is extremely helpful if you want to have a charcoal grill that will definitely be easy to maintain and use in the long run.
Ideal for any picnic, camping or tailgating situation or even at home, the Lodge Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill can be used for grilling or frying. And as a matter of fact, you can even use wood instead of coal.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Everything in this world has its pros and cons, and the Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill is not an exception to that. However, these cons are not very major so they are okay. For instance, the fact that it is made from cast iron makes it hard to cool down or to heat up, but nonetheless, distributes even heating.
Weber 741001 Original Kettle Charcoal Grill
Our step-up pick is the Weber 741001 Original Kettle Charcoal Grill and this one has a total of 363 square inches of cooking area. When it comes down to its looks, it has a kettle grill design and it stands at a height of 38 inches when assembled. For the convenience factor, this grill has a one-touch cleaning system for all of your conveniences.
When it comes down to construction, ease of use and reliability, the nylon handles are made from reinforced glass and are heat-resistant so you can handle the lid better. On the design and the sleekness of the charcoal grill, the lid and the bowl are both porcelain enameled to prevent getting damaged earlier and to provide a sleek design and finish.
On the functionality of the Weber 741001 Charcoal Grill, the vents are also rust-resistant (made of aluminum material) to keep your food safe from contamination. And other than that, the cooking grate (hinged) is made from plated steel and measures 22 inches in diameter. Moreover, its closed lid design helps you control the heat better using its damper system.
On its heating safety, both the bowl and lid were baked at 1,500 degrees F so it is made to stand for the hottest temperatures possible. On its maintenance value, the cleaning system makes use of 3 lades within the bowl towards the ash catcher so you can easily dispose of the burnt ash from the coal. To provide you with ease of use, the ash catcher is made from aluminum material so it is also rust-safe.
With the Weber 741001, the wheels are highly durable and can withstand all types of weather and terrain and are also equipped with full wheel hubs. This highly convenient step-up pick comes with an owner’s guide and it is currently backed by a warranty of 10 years.
Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable 14-Inch Charcoal Grill
Available in red and black, our budget pick and budget solution for many of our folks out there is the Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable 14-Inch Charcoal Grill. This one has a total of 3 secure lid locks so you can protect your food while moving it from one place to another. When it comes down to size, this charcoal grill has a total cooking area of 150 square inches.
Durability-wise, the Cuisinart Portable 14-Inch Charcoal Grill has a grill surface which is made with chrome plated material that measures 14 inches. On the functionality of the grill, its temperature control and managing charcoal is not a problem due to the dual venting system. What’s more, the fire box is finished with durable enamel coating so you are assured that it will stand up to the highest temperatures.
For your convenience, an ash catcher below provides convenience and a mess-free cooking experience. The Cuisinart CCG-190RB Grill is truly a highly portable charcoal grill for budget seekers and it is super lightweight at only 2 pounds. This grill is very ideal for any picnic, barbecue party, tailgating, camping or any other outdoor activity that involves cooking and grilling outdoors so you should definitely have it as a personal or party grill whenever you need to cook something using charcoal.
Best Hibachi Style Charcoal Grill
Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Hibachi Charcoal Grill
For our best hibachi style charcoal grill, we picked the Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Hibachi Charcoal Grill. For this particular grill, the air vents on this charcoal grill are highly adjustable so you can control the burn rate of your charcoal. Its cooking grids are adjustable up to 3 positions so it is highly convenient.
With the grill measuring 10 by 18 inches, the Marsh Allen Hibachi Charcoal Grill has a total cooking surface of 157 square inches. And what’s more, when it comes down to durability and reliability, grill is made from cast iron and has a hibachi style design. As a matter of fact, the overall adjustment is well-protected and manageable due to the wood grid handles that protect your hands from getting burned.
In terms of its features, the air flow vents also keep the cooking more even and spread better throughout the food. Do know that each of the grills has dimensions of 9 by 8 inches. This charcoal grill is sure to provide convenience to any barbecue party.
Best Dual Zone Charcoal Grill
Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Dual Zone Charcoal Grill
For our best dual zone charcoal grill, we chose the Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D Dual Zone Charcoal Grill which has been equipped with 3-inch locking casters that house 8-inch wheels made of resin so you can easily maneuver the charcoal grill.
With this grill, the 4 cooking grates are made from heavy duty and porcelain enameled cast iron material so your food is ensured of its natural juices. When it comes to design and versatility, the unique dual zone cooking feature makes you keep versatility on any cooking spree. This charcoal grill also comes with convenient side shelves and a storage basket for keeping the most important cooking supplies.
On the size, the Dyna-Glo Dual Zone Charcoal Grill has a total cooking area of 816 square inches (576 square inches on the primary one and 140 square inches on the raised cooking area). Moreover, this grill comes with two charcoal basket trays that are highly adjustable so you can control the heating of your grilled food. And as a matter of fact, with this grill, you can grill up to 30 hamburgers all at once with this awesome charcoal grill.
In its functionality, the smoke stack is made from stainless steel and the flu cap is adjustable as well. The grill area measures 32 by 17 inches while the side vents add to the control of your inner heating. This charcoal grill has a total heating capacity of 24,000 BTUs when it comes down to heating power.
As a unique feature, a bottle opener is included for your convenience. On the design and protection factor, the lid is made with stainless steel with a double wall liner construction. The charcoal grill by Dyna-Glo even has an ash tray at the front (which also works as a grease catcher) so you can clean up the charcoal grill in a breeze.
Ideal Charcoal Grill for Yakitori and Japanese Food Grilling
Fire Sense Large Yakatori Charcoal Grill
Ideal for yakitori and other delicious Japanese grill recipes, the Fire Sense Large Yakatori Charcoal Grill is a truly rewarding grilling experience for any person who wants to grill something outdoors. On the size, the large cooking surface allows you to work with much food at the same time. On the functionality, the ventilation is also highly adjustable.
Because it is made from handmade clay construction, it is truly one of a kind when it comes down to traditional charcoal grills. The charcoal grill is also available in a large rectangular version and a portable and smaller cylindrical version.
On the construction and durability, ceramic used is factory-grade so you can assure that it effectively distributes the heat throughout your food and can enhance your use of charcoal significantly. As a matter of fact, the whole charcoal grill measures 10 by 17 inches. The mechanism of the charcoal grill can secure your food well due to its grill lip design.
The Fire Sense Large Grill has a total cooking area of 157 square inches which is ideal for any small or medium sized party or home cooking and it can be used for camping, tailgating, patio barbecue parties and many more.
Best Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill
Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless-Steel Grill
For our best stainless steel material charcoal grill, we have the Camco 57305 Olympian 5500 Stainless-Steel Grill which has a total heating capacity of 12,000 BTUs per hour. This one can be used for RVs and other outdoor activities. And believe it or not, it can be converted between gas, propane and charcoal fuel. For added convenience, the mounting rail makes it ideal for RVs and mobile homes.
This charcoal grill by Camco has a total cooking surface of 180 square inches. For added convenience on the go, the legs fold up so you can use it for table tops. It is made from high quality stainless steel material. Its mounting bracket can be adjusted up to 45 degrees. This grill also has a tray to catch the grease.
On durability, the smoker plate is made from cast iron material. And as for convenience, it also has a temperature gauge. The Camco 57305 Olympian Grill comes fully assembled when it arrives. It includes a user’s manual and is backed by a warranty of 1 year.
Ideal Charcoal Grill for Kebab Grilling
CharbabGrill 32″ Stainless Steel Shish-Kebab Grill
The CharbabGrill 32″ Stainless Steel Shish-Kebab Grill can be used for a wide variety of recipes such as shish kebab and many other skewers. Its stainless steel cooking grate is made from 18-gauge 430 stainless steel which is 1.2 mm in thickness and it has a total of 20 skewers to easily cook your kebab of choice. This grill can be easily cleaned with a garden hose due to its durable construction.
Overall, the charcoal grill by CharbabGrill measures 8 by 6 inches on its grill part while the overall grill measures 32 by 8 inches, and its grills have an inside width of 10 inches. And moreover, a top table stand is included which measures 2 inches. On flexibility, the charcoal layer height is adjustable from 3.5 to 4 inches. For adding to its classic design, each skewer has an S hook for the traditional feel. It also has a wired guard handle for convenience. Moreover, the grill also has vents on both sides so you can adjust the heating of your charcoal.
Charcoal Grill with Folding Mechanism
Fox Outfitters Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill
The Fox Outfitters Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill is our ideal barbecue grill with a folding mechanism. On the size, the grill measures 12 by 12 inches and has a sleek design and it can fit most grilled food such as burgers, hotdogs, barbecue, steak, corn, fish, etc. Another great thing is that this charcoal grill can be used on most camping sites, tailgating, RV living, trailers, picnics, parks, hiking / backpacking, patio parties and many more.
The charcoal grill by Fox Outfitters can be used with either charcoal or wood and the folding design helps you take this charcoal grill in the woods or at campsites with ease. To add to its portability, a carry bag helps you move along with this highly portable and convenient charcoal grill.
Very easy to set up, the solid stainless steel construction will guarantee its durability for the many years to come, making the Fox Outfitters Folding Grill a truly rewarding grilling experience.
Ideal Tabletop Charcoal Grill
Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill is our ideal tabletop charcoal grill which has a total cooking area of 250 square inches. On its safety features, the hood handle is made to stay cool due to its material. This unique charcoal grill has a cool design in which it can also become a side fire box or smoker aside from being a charcoal grill and it can become an ideal tool for Texas smoking.
Adding to its convenience of maintenance, the Char-Griller 2-2424 has an easy to remove ash pan for easier maintenance and cleaning. As a matter of fact, you get a smoker and a table top grill all in one charcoal grill.
Moreover, the grill has 2 adjustable dampers to control the temperature within your food grilling area. On its stability, cast iron grill material is made to stand for the years to come. An ideal for grilling on the go, the Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top measures 17 by 18 inches. However, as a warning, do know that it cannot be converted back to a charcoal grill once use as a side box for smoking.
We value your time and money so we already left out the other charcoal grills that may not be the best value for your money and your time and we only chose the best charcoal grill that you will surely love to have because of its multiple functions and reliability.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Are you deeply interested with charcoal grills in general? If you are, you might learn a few tips and tricks with these commonly asked questions:
Q: Why do many people still cook with traditional charcoal fuel?
A: According to Livestrong , people consider charcoal-grilled food to be tastier than ones cooked with gas. This is because of the fact that the juices are said to flow out much more when cooked with charcoal. Just make sure that the charcoal grill is used outdoors because too much carbon monoxide is lethal for any person as charcoal can be dangerous when left alone so make sure it is definitely put out after use.
Q: What are the benefits of choosing to grill your food instead of frying them?
A: According to Fit Day , grilled food are said to have lesser fat content than those fried on the pan. This is because fats drip away from the grills to the catch pan so you get less grease on your food, making them healthier. Your calories are also lessened with grilled food so you stay healthier and in shape.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Lodge L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill is our best charcoal grill for any home or camping activity that requires traditional style of grilling your food.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.