|KamadoJoe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill||4.2||Check Price||Read More|
|Weber 15502001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill||4.8||Check Price||Read More|
|Weber Original Kettle Premium 26 Inch Charcoal Grill||3.8||Check Price||Read More|
Baseball, swimming, road trips, and cooking on your charcoal grill – these are the hallmarks of summer you simply can’t pass on. But if you’ve never bought a charcoal grill before, you may be surprised how many models from popular brands are available at affordable prices today. Moreover, you may be overwhelmed by how many important specifications are packed into each charcoal grill.
Fortunately for you, we’ve crafted this guide to the best charcoal grills in 2019. In this guide, you’ll learn about how to choose a charcoal grill, including detailed explanations of several key specifications. In addition, you’ll have an opportunity to compare and contrast some of 2019’s top-performing charcoal grills.
Take some time to read our charcoal grill guide and empower yourself as you prepare to make this red hot purchase.
- The Benefits of Owning a Charcoal Grill
- How to Choose a Charcoal Grill
- How We Selected the Best Charcoal Grill
- Best Charcoal Grill of 2019
- Getting More Bang for your Buck
The Benefits of Owning a Charcoal Grill
While grilling, in general, brings a variety of delicious benefits, charcoal grilling, in particular, brings with it a whole assortment of benefits that you simply cannot achieve with gas or electric grills. Owning and using a charcoal grill is fully worth your investment and here are just a few reasons why:
Unbeatable Smokey Flavor
While the best cooking scenario involves slowly simmering your meats and vegetables over a rich wood source, cooking with charcoal is the next best option. Charcoal briquettes allow the same amount of flavorful smoke to percolate through your foods, enriching them with a flavor that simply cannot be attained from propane or an electrical element.
While new propane cylinders can cost $50 or more, a bag of charcoal runs at a much more affordable price tag. This makes the cost of using a charcoal grill much cheaper. Also, while wood is by far the best cooking source, it can be difficult to source and burns inefficiently. Here, too, charcoal briquettes can save you time and money.
Easier Temperature Distribution
While gas grills often brag of their ability to evenly cook food, they suffer from a major problem: they lack the ability to vary the temperatures across the cooking space. Charcoal grills, on the other hand, allow you to distribute and modify how much heat reaches certain parts of the grill. This allows you to cook your favorites – such as rare hamburgers and steak – to flavorful perfection without needing to take them off the heat early.
Radiant Heat Transfer
Charcoal grills rely on radiant heat to maximize their cooking potential. Direct heat sources on gas and electric grills can create hot spots that don’t cook the food item on all sides. Charcoal grills lock in flavor on all sides as they trap and distribute moisture within their cooking chamber, allowing it to settle back in before you take your food off of the heat.
Charcoal grills have long been the favorite of grill masters on the road thanks to their often portable construction and fuel source. Many models can be lifted and carried about by an individual, while others feature a compact form factor ideal for packing in with your camping gear. Charcoal is also readily available, allowing you to pick some up at your cooking location if need be.
How to Choose a Charcoal Grill
A common refrain among would-be grillers is, “what is the best charcoal grill on the market?” The answer comes down to specifications and performance, which can vary from model to model. As with any outdoor equipment, you’ll want to choose a top charcoal grill that performs optimally without taking up too much space and without taking a bite out of your wallet.
Of course, you won’t be able to test each charcoal grill in-store. As such, you need to look for some of the following qualities in order to preliminarily determine each grill’s quality and durability:
The exterior coating may be the first factor you notice about a grill. On many grills, this coating provides the trademark shine across the domed surface. This coating is more than just for looks; in fact, this coating can protect the entire grill from corrosion while also trapping in valuable heat.
Porcelain-enameled coatings are common and effective, especially among kettle-style charcoal grills. Be sure to look for a coating that is intrinsically rust resistant, as this will exponentially expand your grill’s lifespan.
As the place where your burgers, brats, and vegetables will rest while they cook, a quality-made cooking grate can be the difference between perfect grill lines and burnt husks. While reinforced aluminum has become a standard, you should look for cast iron and other non-stick grate materials for the best cooking performance. These enhanced materials can lock in and spread charcoal heat effectively without locking down and sticking to your foods.
Whether you plan to grill in your backyard or on the road, you’ll want some degree of portability in your charcoal grill. Some models feature a compact form factor that makes them light and easy to transport. Others feature plastic wheels, especially regular-sized kettle grills. Castor wheels (with locks) are the best if you can find them, especially if they come pre-equipped on each support leg.
Though you may not be able to evaluate how long a given charcoal grill will last while you are in-store, you can get a good sense based upon overall construction. If you notice a preponderance of cheap-looking or plastic components, you may have the right sense that low durability is present.
A useful check to perform in-store is a simple shake test. By giving each grill a light shake, you can get a feeling for the grill’s overall stability – a key indicator of whether or not a grill is made from durable components.
Though a given to some degree, be sure that each charcoal grill’s price matches with its features list. You don’t want to be overcharged for poor construction or useless features. One great resource for evaluating cost compared to quality is in online customer reviews. These customers are often able to succinctly summarize whether or not a given grill is a good value for its price.
This video from purchasing advocate Consumer Reports also digs into some desirable qualities you should look for in a charcoal grill:
How We Selected the Best Charcoal Grill
In order to select the best-rated charcoal grill, we evaluated many of the key qualities listed above as well as many performance-based specifications that could only be evaluated by taking each grill for a test run. The specifications we used to determine the top charcoal grill model include weight, cooking space, cooking grate material, portability rating, and price.
|PRODUCT||WEIGHT||COOKING SPACE||GRATE MATERIAL||RATING||PRICE|
|KamadoJoe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill||250 lbs.||406 sq. in.||Stainless Steel||4.2||$$$$|
|Weber 15502001 Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill||91 lbs.||363 sq. in.||Reinforced Aluminum||4.8||$$$|
|Weber Original Kettle Premium 26 Inch Charcoal Grill||60 lbs.||508 sq. in.||Stainless Steel||3.8||$$|
Best Charcoal Grill of 2019
When you’re in the market for a new charcoal grill, you simply have to get one of the best modern models that optimizes your grilling capabilities without taking up too much valuable outdoor space. These following reviews cover the best of the best when it comes to charcoal grills, allowing you to quickly compare which model meet
s your expectations when it comes to charcoal grilling performance.
KamadoJoe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
- Thick-walled, heat-resistant ceramic shell
- Kontrol Tower Top Vent for balanced maintaining airflow
- AMP FireBox
- Multi-tiered cooking racks
Some might call the KamadoJoe Classic II an overachiever, but when it comes to charcoal grilling, it simply cannot be beaten in terms of outstanding construction and cooking capability. From toe to tip, this charcoal grill can last for decades and provide you the best BBQ and grilled vegetables you’ve ever made at home.
A great deal of this model’s cooking capabilities derives from its thick-walled construction, which traps in every degree of radiant heat produced by your favorite charcoal briquettes. Built from ultra-durable cooking ceramic, this model’s egg-shaped cooking chamber is sealed at the center with a unique wire mesh and fiberglass gasket. This ensures that the cooking chamber attains a perfect interior seal every time you lower the lightweight lid.
This model’s tower-style airflow vent also stands out as exceptionally useful when it comes to maintaining the right balance of moving air and smoke inside the cooking chamber. The multi-tiered racks will also make it easy to differentiate cooking areas – ideal for simmering vegetables and rare meats.
Altogether, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better charcoal grill then the KamadoJoe KJ23RHC. Though pricey, this model is well worth it if you consider yourself a true grillmaster.
- Professional grade construction and cooking capability
- Durable ceramic exterior with wire mesh and fiberglass gasket
- Dual side tables for added convenience
- Slide-out ash box for easy cleanup
Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill
- Portable 4-wheel construction
- Electronic Touch-N-Go gas ignition system
- Built-in timer
- Top-mounted internal temperature thermometer
In the search for the best charcoal bbq grill, we simply could not pass over this “deluxe” model from long-time grill craftsmen, Weber. Mixing the best of kettle-style and cabinet-style charcoal grill construction, this model is easy to light, easy to cook on, and easy to transport wherever you need it.
Cleanup on any grill can be a hassle, but the Weber Performer Deluxe has taken some of the hair-pulling out of the equation with its One-Touch cleaning system. This side-mounted aluminum catch is durable enough to safely store warm coals and large enough to only need emptying after every 2-3 uses.
Even for its higher-than-average price tag, we found this grill to meet many of our key specifications while still providing an ideal space for preparing and serving our grilled creations.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Very portable for a cabinet-style grill
- Built-in timer and ignition for easy use
- Aluminum cooking grate doesn’t distribute heat well
Weber Original Kettle Premium 26 Inch Charcoal Grill
- Innovative One-Touch cleaning system
- Tuck-Away lid holder
- Hinged stainless steel grate
- Two wheels on a tri-mounted frame
Weber has made the kettle-style charcoal grill into an American mainstay, but that doesn’t mean they’ve grown to rest on their laurels. In fact, this Weber model also features a truly innovative One-Touch cleaning system that makes it easier than ever to dispose of ashes and get back to communing with your family and party guests.
In addition, this model includes a side-mounted Tuck-Away lid holder.
Because this grill’s lid weighs in at around 20 lbs., you’ll certainly use this storage rack rather than placing the lid on the dirty ground. Moving this charcoal grill won’t take much time either, thanks to its twin wheels mounted onto its tripod frame.
Adding more charcoal while you cook can be a hassle with most charcoal grills, but not this Weber model. The full stainless steel grate on this grill is hinged, allowing you to efficiently add more fuel without disturbing the cooking process.
Overall, this Weber charcoal grill represents a simple, but effective upgrade over the standard kettle-style grill you’ve likely used many times before.
- Space for up to 19 hamburgers
- Ash catcher a major upgrade from similar models
- Durable wheels for easy transport
- Heavy lid
Getting More Bang for your Buck
While getting the best charcoal grill is your top priority, finding an affordable option is very likely your second imperative throughout this process. Among these top charcoal grills are some of the most affordable options available today, including models within several price ranges.
For those shopping on a tight budget, check out the best charcoal grills below $100.
If you have a bit more cash to spare, the Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr makes for a great charcoal grill under $200. This model provides truly succulent meat and vegetables every time. Check out our complete list of the best charcoal grills under $200 here.
Finally, the Weber 15301001 Performer Charcoal Grill is a solid option for those looking for the best charcoal grill under $300. As a hybrid cabinet-kettle style grill, you get the best of both types in terms of performance and portability.
At the end of the day, there have to be a few charcoal grills that stand above the rest. In order to answer that long-standing question about “what the best charcoal grill on the market” today is, these following grill models have been selected to represent the very best of what is possible when cooking with charcoal.
The best overall quality charcoal grill is difficult to choose given how outstandingly each of these models performs when put to the heat. But only one can reign supreme and that would be the KamadoJoe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill. Durable beyond measure and able to cook all meats and vegetables with professional quality precision, you will simply never consider using another charcoal grill model after giving the KamadoJoe KJ23RHC a try. Though it’s a pricey investment, you’ll certainly thank yourself for making it when your brisket and ribs come out of its well-sealed, thick-walled cooking chamber.