Best charcoal grills: Quick menu
The summer months are the best time to dust off that apron and indulge in the mouthwateringly smokey flavor of perfectly grilled food, and the best charcoal grills can help you do this. Ideal for creating that distinctive, authentic taste that we all associate with backyard barbecues, the good news is that there is an amazing choice of charcoal grills on the market today.
The models of this list cater to different needs and budgets, so whether you need a grill that's portable, budget-friendly, or with hybrid features, we've got you covered. Our comprehensive review process takes into account performance, design, and value for money, and we will provide star ratings for the grills we've had hands-on experience with.
As we all probably know, not all grills are created equal, and some are better suited for certain tasks than others. And if you're not set on using charcoal, the best gas grills can also be a great option, especially if you value convenience and control over maximum flavor. Then again, with so many different models available, why limit yourself? Fortunately, our guide to the best grills can help you narrow down your options across charcoal, pellet, and gas grills.
Best charcoal grills: Quick picks
Best portable grill
The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is a reliable, compact, and lightweight option for outdoor activities like camping and picnics. It features adjustable dampers for temperature control and is built with durable materials for long-lasting use. While smaller than other grills, it still provides ample cooking space and is portable, easy to clean, and affordable.
Best compact grill
The Everdure Fusion Charcoal Grill features a built-in rotisserie and quick electronic ignition that simplifies grilling. It's made of durable enamel-coated cast iron and stainless steel and can reach high temperatures. Pricier than some models, it lacks cooking space but offers versatility with electric controls and charcoal cooking. It has a sturdy design and is great for outdoor parties and simple family BBQs, but sometimes has uneven heating and a slightly wobbly construction.
Best hybrid grill
The Char-Broil Gas2Coal Hybrid Grill lets you enjoy the benefits of both gas and charcoal cooking. It has three gas burners, a 540in² cooking surface, warming rack, and removable grease tray for easy cleaning. Its handy arms provide storage space, and it's easy to switch between modes by removing gas burner tents and inserting the charcoal tray. Assembly is straightforward, and the side burner works effortlessly. This hybrid grill is also affordable and portable.
Best kamado-style grill
The Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill is a versatile option for grilling, smoking, baking, or searing. Made with 22-gauge steel and triple-walled insulation, it is fuel-efficient and has a large cooking surface of 447in². The cast iron cooking grate is easy to clean while the temperature gauge ensures precise cooking. It has fold-down side shelves, a wheeled base, Bluetooth capabilities, and a digital display for temperature control. Tricky assembly but worth it.
A great all-in-one
The Char-Griller Duo is a flexible outdoor cooking appliance with dual-function grill system for cooking with gas or charcoal. Its 1260in² cooking surface accommodates small or large groups, and it has a side burner, porcelain-coated cast iron grates, and powder-coated steel construction for durability. Assembly issues aside, the Char-Griller was easy to use and maintained heat well.
A slick portable option
The Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube is a stylish, high-quality, and portable grill with a sleek, modern steel construction and an airflow control feature. It's easy to transport and provides precise temperature control for efficient charcoal use. The heat protection shield allows for easy portability, and the removable charcoal tray makes post-grilling cleanup a breeze. It's a bit pricey, but perfect for small spaces and outdoor activities like camping, tailgating, and picnics.
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill has an iconic design with a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl that retain heat and ensure perfect cooking. The plated-steel cooking grates are durable and easy to clean. It has a built-in thermometer and one-touch cleaning system, hinged cooking grate, spacious cooking area and reliable performance. Assembly could be tricky, but it's perfect for cooking burgers, steaks, and veggies simultaneously.
A great all-rounder
The Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill has a 393in² main cooking area, with adjustable charcoal tray and porcelain-enameled warming rack. It features a built-in thermometer, a bottom shelf for utensils and supplies, consistent cooking temperatures, and is durable and versatile. It's a great all-around option for charcoal grilling.
Best smart grill
The Everdure 4K charcoal grill offers four heat control methods and allows you to monitor cooking via phone app. It has a large cooking area and is designed for easy cleaning. The grill is double-walled to avoid excessive heating, and an LED dial lets you control the airflow. It's a bit pricey and recommended for experienced grillers.
The best charcoal grills in 2023
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Best portable charcoal grill
1. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is portable, compact, and lightweight, making it perfect for activities like camping, picnics, or tailgating. The adjustable dampers allow for precise temperature control, and the durable construction and quality materials ensure it will last for a long time.
The cooking space is limited compared to larger grills, however, and it lacks certain features you might expect, like a built-in thermometer. Still, it's large enough for about four average-sized steaks and comes fully assembled straight out of the box. Because it's portable, it's easy to transport, and the lockable lid and foldable legs make things more secure.
While testing, we found that the Go-Anywhere would be perfect for those who don't have much space. It was easily assembled and could cook pretty much anything a larger grill could, with a more generous cooking area than many other portable models. It was also easy to clean - though make sure not to scratch the plate by using a scourer!
During our time with the Weber grill, we cooked everything from burgers to chicken wings, and the meat was always succulent and crispy with an incredible taste. Users agree with us, too, as it has been praised for its simplicity and affordability, though some wanted more cooking space.
Livingetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars