As opposed to gas grills, charcoal grills pack in the flavor and bring on the heat. With the added bonus of being able to burn wood chips or charcoal, meat takes on an enriched and deeply flavorful quality when smoked. Since these types of grills emit large amounts of direct infrared heat, they are experts at searing meats. Charcoal grills are smaller in size, without all of the fancy bells and whistles, but they cook quicker and burn hotter.

While most charcoal grills are simple & dome shaped, some do come with side tables or small attachments that make grilling easier. Many charcoal enthusiasts rave about the rich flavors produced by the medium, but most simply love the flames created by it. Albeit a tad bit messy, charcoal grilling is fun and produces delicious results and nice, crisp skin. Whether shopping for a primary charcoal grill, or an add on to your current collection, there are plenty of exciting options to choose from.

Charcoal VS Gas

You may be wondering: Why Charcoal?

Unlike gas grills, charcoal barbecuing seals in the smoked flavor that is so sought out in red meats. In addition, charcoal grills aren’t monstrous in size and are ideal for small patios, balconies and apartments in the city.

No pricey gas cans or heavy grills to lug around.

What to Look For

When in the market for a charcoal grill, it’s important to read through customer reviews and do adequate research. Though most grills are relatively inexpensive, no one wants to experience buyer’s remorse.

Extra Space

Most smaller, cheaper grills are simply a dome structure. However, if you want to get fancy, shop around for a charcoal grill with side tables and even a smoker for a few more bucks.


Sturdy legs are very important when choosing a charcoal grill. When cooking large pieces of meat, you want to prevent the grill from shifting and moving around. Read specs to ensure the grill is constructed from stainless steel or a better alternative.


Charcoal grills really turn up the heat! Proper airflow controls are a must and should be found on both the top and bottom of the grill. They can manually be adjusted to maintain a steady flow.


Charcoal is messy and produces a lot of ash. Be mindful that the tray collector is provided with the grill you’re purchasing. Sometimes you have to improvise and buy your own or use a can.

Top Charcoal Grills in 2020

Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Price: $99.00

The Weber Original Kettle has a classic style and makes the list due to its positive customer reviews. and easy setup. With a decently sized 22 inch sized grate and 363 square inches of cooking room, grillers exclaim the grill is large enough to cook beer can chicken, turkey and even butts of ham! The options are endless when entertaining friends and family with this barbecue tool.

The air vents are enforced with rust-resistant aluminum to enhance flow. Other than a few complaints of the lid not sealing completely and the ash tray remaining a tad crooked, this seems to be a pretty solid product. The trusty included ash catcher, 10 year limited warranty and incorporated cleaning system makes things a little less messy.

Blue Rhino CBC1255SP Deluxe Outdoor Charcoal Barbeque Grill

Price: $94.74

The Blue Rhino Deluxe packs a lot of burger for your buck! With a whopping 480 square inch cooking area, delighted grill-masters can prepare up to 27 burgers at a time. The wheeled grill is equipped with tool holder flip down sides which increase its portability. A removable ash can and built in temperature control make this compact grill a smoker’s delight!

Simple assembly, sturdy design and heat controlled lid all lend to the Blue Rhino’s firm build and safety. Though the grill is nicely built and deliciously cooks steaks and burgers, it does have a few drawbacks. The wheels are designed to roll only from front to back, the tray at the bottom is not enclosed and the coal grate could afford to be a bit more sturdy. Despite a few setbacks, the Blue Rhino made our list because it is so well received among customers!

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

Price: $29.99

For under $30.00, it’s clear to see why this Weber backyard staple made our list. This 10 pound grill is small enough to carry to the beach or a friend’s cookout. It’s simple, yet useful with enough room to throw on a few dogs and burgers to feed the family. The rounded top ventilation system is designed to prevent overheating while locking in flavor.

This durable grill is great for those with limited outdoor space. Please note that extra patience is required during assembly, as parts are a bit small and tricky. Due to its small size, the legs may twist when in use. Remember to check and tighten when not in use, as-needed. Equipped with a porcelain-enameled coating, rust and weather-related damage is kept at bay. The Weber portable grill comes with a 10 year limited warranty, an ash tray and the promise of tasty food.

Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill

Price: $78.00

The Char-Griller Patio Pro stands proud and is compact enough for city dwellers with balconies or small patios. This cast iron grill is coated to withstand tough weather, it is crafted from heavy duty steel. With 250 square inches of cooking space and a sturdy side tray, this charcoal grill provides enough grilling space for a small family.

Reviewers love the air ventilation system as it evenly distributes heat and allows the juices to flow to perfection. The grill is stable and has wheels for easy maneuverability. Some say the instructions require a little bit of deciphering, so be prepared to do a little bit of guesswork and research. Despite the tricky setup, the Patio Pro makes the list because of its versatility and hard work.