Charcoal grills allow for great control over the cooking process, so you can make mouth-watering recipes the way you like. Put as many coals as you’d like to achieve the perfect temperature, and place them wherever you want in the grill to create different cooking zones. Kettle grills--sphere-shaped models with vents at the end bottom--tend to be the most user-friendly. It comes in a variety of materials, which can impact cook quality and durability.
Weber’s Original Kettle Grill
Known as the best charcoal grill overall, Weber’s Original Kettle Grill has a tried and true design that grills perfectly in the past years and doesn’t break the bank. The material of this kettle grill is a ceramic-coated stainless steel grill and grate. It claims to be easy to use, clean, outfit, and repair. But not the thickest steel and likely won’t last much more than five years. The Weber Original Kettle grill has three available sizes--18, 22, and 26 inches in diameter. You may buy a cheaper grill you like, but the slight difference isn’t worth the loss of several years of good use you’ll get out of a Weber.
Kamado Joe Classic II
As the best-upgraded charcoal grill, the Kamado Joe Classic II is a ceramic-lined grill with a teardrop design that burns charcoal efficiently, doubles as a smoker, and retains heat best. It has cast iron, powder-coated cast aluminum vent, and ceramic materials. The only available size of this grill is 18 inches in diameter. Kamado Joe Classic II claims to have excellent insulation and heat retention, is fuel-efficient, doubles as a smoker, grates set at different heights, and has sturdy wheel locks. But it also has disadvantages: being heavy and tricky to learn how much charcoal to use (easy to overheat).
Weber’s Smokey Joe
This best portable charcoal grill is everything to love about the brand’s Original Kettle grill. But it is even more affordable. There are tons of travel-sized grills out there, but the miniature version of Weber’s 14-inch Smokey Joe is the most basic and familiar. It is made of stainless steel grill and grate and claims to be lightweight. But, it is not entirely spill-proof and bulky for a portable grill.
Masterbuilt’s charcoal grills
Masterbuilt is the best extra large charcoal grill. It is ruggedly built to accommodate the most critical jobs but costs a fraction of the upscale grills on the market. The Masterbuilt has three available sizes--30 and 36 inches in diameter with stainless steel and cast iron materials. It can quickly load from the front and has adjustable rack height with large and sturdy casters. As for its cons, the Masterbuilt’s charcoal grill is heavy, has a one-year limited warranty, and doesn’t seal perfectly.
Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg and the Kamado Joe are almost identical but with the exception. The Kamado Joe comes with everything you need, while the Big Green Egg is merely the egg itself. So, it gets a bit more expensive and also more complex to set up. The Kamado Joe also has well-built casters. In terms of cooking, it is designed with adjustable grates for cooking at different levels. The Kamado Joe also has a counterbalanced lid, so it’s easier to lift and doesn’t slam shut on you while your hands are full.
Broil King Keg 5000
A kamado-style grill that should function like a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg but might not last as long. It is made with double-walled stainless steel instead of a ceramic liner. This probably won’t do you wrong, but you may invest and save up in a ceramic model down the line.
Char-Griller Acorn Kamado Kooker
This grill is made without a ceramic liner and a more affordable take on the kamado. It outperforms the top pick in heat retention but at more than twice the cost. This fine grill is worth recommending, but the Weber is the better pick for most people and most budgets.
This is an acceptable option as a two-in-one gas-and-charcoal grill, but it’s not built as well as you’d like. If you noticed, the few flimsier parts, including the wheels, the hardware, the grate, and the lid, don’t seal well. The gas and charcoal grills might be separate items for you to buy.
IG Charcoal Grill
Considering the price, you may be a big fan of this grill. This stainless steel grill can take a beating if you want to cook over a large, open, and adjustable bed of coals. Still, it is not for everyone as it’s oversized and doesn’t come with a lid, so you have no way of trapping heat.
This heavy-gauge steel also makes for an excellent campfire. If you want a grill that’s going to last ages and make you feel like you’re homesteading across the great divide, look no further. It’s probably a little too involved for most people when it comes to cooking. That being said, if you want to enjoy the atmosphere and the heat beside the grill, it can be a good option.