Behind any grillmaster is a high-quality grill. Without the right home barbecue setup, your meals won’t be nearly as tasty nor your cookouts as grand. That’s where the charcoal grill comes in. The name says it all, really: This style of outdoor cooker runs on charcoal, which some grill purists believe imparts more smoky flavor than other fuels, like electricity or gas.
Charcoal grills have been a staple of the barbecue world for many years and have been refined over time. They still do require a little more effort to ignite, control and clean than their gas or electric counterparts, but, hey, it’ll all be worth it when you bite into that perfectly charred steak.
When it comes to selecting a charcoal grill, one size (or design) does not fit all. You’ll need to consider the footprint of the grill and how much real estate it will occupy in your outdoor space. The size of the grates matters, too, since that determines how much you can cook at any one time.
To give you a headstart, we’ve selected four of the best charcoal grills available on Amazon. Happy grilling.
1. Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill
Weber is a name that needs no introduction. The brand is renowned for its iconic kettle grills that have been around since the ‘50s, and this particular model is the one that started it all. Aptly named the Original Kettle, it was designed by Weber’s founder, George Stephen, back in 1952 and is now loved the world over. The 22-inch design features a durable, porcelain-enameled lid and bowl to retain heat, along with dampers to adjust the temperature. Inside, the plated steel cooking grate spans 363 square inches and can easily fit up to 13 burgers. The grill also features a nifty one-touch cleaning system that gets rid of ash in a snap.
2. Char-Griller Outlaw Charcoal Grill
Unlike our top pick, Char-Griller’s charcoal grill isn’t afraid to take up space. Featuring cast-iron grates that span 1,063 square inches, it offers the most amount of cooking space of the grills on this list. This makes it perfect for grillers who like to entertain or have big families. Crafted from heavy-duty steel, the grill is fitted with an airtight flanged hood that helps to keep in all the warmth from the charcoal. It also features a heat gauge that allows you to quickly read the temperature at a glance.
3. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
Engineered for devout carnivores, Royal Gourmet’s charcoal grill features an offset smoker to give you even more options when it comes to cooking meat. The grill’s porcelain-coated steel grates offer 438 square inches of cooking space, while the smoker offers an additional 183 square inches. There’s also a chrome-plated warming rack inside the grill that spans 179 square inches and can hold extra ingredients. While it’s not the most compact grill on this list, it has wheels that make it quite easy to transport. It’s also fitted with a temperature gauge and scald-proof handle to keep you safe and in control while grilling.
4. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill
If you’re just getting into the grilling game, Cuisinart’s compact charcoal grill is a great option. It’s on the lower end of the price spectrum, but still showcases the quality the brand is famous for. The chrome-plated cooking rack features 150 square inches of cooking space, which is more than enough for a few hot dogs. Best of all, the grill tips the scales at just 2 pounds and features three secure lid locks. This makes it super easy to transport and fantastic for camping, cookouts and tailgating, as well as small decks and balconies. It’s easy to clean, too, thanks to its mess-free ash catcher.