9 Best Charcoal Grills for 2017

  • Written by: Amanda Myers

Let's face it, the perfect smoky flavor and juicy taste can only be achieved when you cook food over hot coals. But most people have switched over to gas and electric grills mainly because they are easier to ignite and clean. But times have changed, charcoal grills have improved over the years and much more convenient to use. Please read further below to learn about these new features and find out why now is the best time to switch back to charcoal grills.

GRILL TYPE

There are several types of charcoal grills to choose from. The most common type of charcoal grill is those that are on wheels or legs. People are usually going to put the grill in their backyard or deck and stand while they are grilling. The wheels give you the capability to move the grill wherever you want around your house. On the other hand, legs that are foldable or adjustable allows you to transport them without taking too much space in your vehicle.

While most people cook food on grates or wire meshes, we also included skewering grills that allow you to grill foods on stick or skewer.

Table top charcoal grills are also quite popular especially for travelers because they are extremely portable. They are small, lightweight and easy to store. Additionally, some of them are mountable on railings, rod holders, pedestal and in-ground posts.

SHAPE

Barrel-shaped charcoal grills are very popular because aside from the fact that they look like those classic rugged Texas grills, they have larger capacity, covered with a lid and comes with several convenient features.

Kettle-shaped charcoal grills are slowly becoming more popular especially with city dwellers mainly because they are smaller than a barrel-shaped charcoal grill and they look more current.

Rectangular grills are perfect for skewering foods because of their width and length. Its perfect width allows you to securely place skewers on the grill, while its length allows you to arrange the skewers neatly from left to right.

Other than these shapes, we also have grills in a shape of square and cylinder. Square is a perfect shape for a swiveling grill as it provides balance on all sides. A cylinder-shaped grill that is about the size of a tumbler is perfect for travelers.

ESSENTIALS

The basic parts of a charcoal grill are the cooking grates or wire meshes and charcoal grates. In order to easily add, remove or spread the coals while you're grilling, you would want to have cooking grates that are removable or hinged. Hinged cooking grates give you an opening to have access to the coals without removing the cooking grates.

Some charcoal grates are now adjustable. This is an important feature because it allows you to control the amount of heat that is directed towards your food by either raising or lowering the charcoal grates so you can get the hot coals near or far from your food.

Other features that help you easily control the heat or smoke in a charcoal grill are chimney with a slide out cover, side vents, dampers and even the lid. Also, a built in thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature.

Additionally, some of the charcoal grills on our list have unique storages for spices, cooking tools, dishes, etc. There are shelves that can either be on the front, side or bottom, cup holders, basket and tool hooks. They may also come with extras like spice shakers and tongs.

Product Our Rating Brand Model Grill Type Shape Dimensions (inches) Weight (lbs) Cooking area (sq in or in) Storage Lid
Grekitchen BBQ Grill
GreKitchen BBQ, Charcoal grill, Foldable and Portable Outdoor Grill with Carry Bag, A Perfect Gift for Barbecue Lovers Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
GreKitchen None Mini Grill Slim cylinder 15.75 x 7.87 x 5.9 6.61 No information
Char-Broil 12301714
Char-Broil American Gourmet 800 Series Charcoal Grill Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Char-Broil 12301714 Wheel cart Barrel 49.5 x 42 x 29 89.1 569
Weber 14401001
Weber 14401001 Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Weber 14401001 Wheel cart Kettle 38.5 x 27 x 22.5 36.9 363
Char-Griller 2123
Char-Griller 2123 Wrangler 635 Square Inch Charcoal Grill / Smoker Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Char-Griller 2123 Wheel cart Barrel 50 x 29 x 35 112 435
Heavy Duty ParkGrill
Heavy Duty Park Style Charcoal Grill Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Titan Attachments ParkGrill In-ground post mounted swiveling grill Square 16 x 16 x 8 58 16 x 16
Party Griller 642213298951
Party Griller 32” Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill – Portable BBQ Grill, Yakitori Grill, Kebab Grill, Satay Grill. Makes Juicy Shish Kebab, Shashlik, Spiedini on the Skewer Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Party Griller 642213298951 4 Legged Skewering Grill Rectangular 32 x 8 x 7 (w/o stand) 32 x 8 x 31 (w/ stand) 16.8 20 x 8 and 12 x 8
Kuuma 58110 Stow N' Go
Kuuma 58110 Stow N' Go 160 Charcoal Grill with Inner Lid Liner Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Kuuma 58110 Mountable Table Top grill Rectangular 18.5 x 11 x 11.2 16 160
Camp Solutions BBQ Grill
Camp Solutions BBQ Grill, Charcoal grill, Foldable and Portable Outdoor Grill, A Perfect Gift for Barbecue Lovers Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
Camp Solutions None 4 Legged Skewering Grill Rectangular 25.9 x 11.8 x 27.6 16.4 218
WolfWise Portable
WolfWise Portable Folding Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill with Grill Pan Party Grill Cookouts BBQ for Camping Hiking Review thumbnail FULL REVIEW HERE
WolfWise None 4 Legged Skewering Grill Rectangular Higher position: 29.5 x 11.8 x 30 Lower position: 29.5 x 11.8 x 12.2 16.75 17.7 x 10.4 and 9.8 x 10.4

Char-Griller 2123 - Provides better temperature control

This barrel type heavy duty charcoal grill provides you with better temperature control through the slide out cover of the chimney, adjustable side vents and adjustable firebox that lets you raise or lower the height of the charcoal pan so you can control the distance between the hot coals and your food.

Weber 14401001 - Nothing beats a Weber when it comes to longevity

This kettle grill is equipped with several unique features by Weber that makes the whole grilling experience easy and fun. It has hinged grates that gives you an opening for add, removing or spreading coals. That way, there is no need for you to remove the cooking grates while you're grilling. It has a One Touch Cleaning System that sweeps the ashes using an ash propeller, then the ashes are collected into the detachable pan.

Party Griller 642213298951 - A skewering grill with a large capacity

If you need a skewering grill that has a large capacity, we recommend this grill. It has foldable legs which make it easier to store and possibly be transported for outdoor activities. It also comes with extras like tongs and spice shakers. Overall, this is a heavy duty skewering grill that will last for several years.

Camp Solutions BBQ Grill - A portable skewering grill fully packed with features

I consider this the most portable skewering grill on our list because it is a lot smaller than the other skewering grills on our list and it has shorter legs. But despite its relatively smaller size, this grill is fully packed with features. It has a nice basket with tool hooks and a cup holder that can also be used as a side table. Plus, it has a griddle plate allowing you to cook smaller foods like ground pork, corn or even sauces.

Char-Broil 12301714 - For the price, this grill is a great value

This is a budget grill made of decent gauge of steel that can last for a couple of years and maybe more depending on how often you'll be using it and how well you take care of it. For the price, the grill is fully packed with features such as a thermometer, several shelves, chimney, side dampers, and adjustable fire grate with a large capacity.

Grekitchen BBQ Grill - About the size of a tumbler, this grill is highly portable

This is the smallest grill on our list that is about the size of a tumbler and comes with a carrying case. This means that you can hold it for hours without straining your hands, hang it to a keyring, put in a bicycle bottle rack or store it in your camping bag. It comes with charcoal rack and hinged cooking grates. The size of this portable grill is ideal for 2-4 people and can also be used for skewered food.

WolfWise Portable - Extremely easy to assemble with adjustable legs

This is a regular sized skewering grill that is extremely easy to assemble. It has the most flexible legs ever. The legs can either be short, long or can adjust to uneven floors. This helps in achieving a stable and well-balanced grill wherever you go. This grill won't require you to lift the charcoal rack for adding, removing or spreading coals because this grill uses a pull-out to the side charcoal tray.

Heavy Duty ParkGrill - An in-ground post mounted swiveling grill

This is the only in-ground post mounted grill on our list. This is ideal for those who want a permanent charcoal grill in their backyard. I would install this grill at the center of any space because it swivels 360 degrees. Because this grill is going to be mounted in a hole in the ground and covered with cement, the grill is going to be well-balanced, stable and will not topple. Finally, it is important to note that this grill is made up of thick, heavy duty steel grill - probably one of the most solid grills on our list.

Kuuma 58110 Stow N' Go - A mountable table top grill ideal for boaters

This is the only table top grill on our list. It is basically rust-resistant because it is made specifically for boaters or anywhere near the ocean. Other than that, it is also one of my favorite portable grills because it is compact with fold away legs and can serve a gathering of 5-10 people. The latched lid also helps secure the interior parts and even hot coals inside the grill while the boat or other kinds of vehicle is moving. Furthermore, the grill is mountable but you do need to contact the manufacturer for mounting hardware. They provide options for mounting on railings, rod holder or pedestal.

CONCLUSION

Basically, these charcoal grills are not ordinary. They have features that old charcoal grills don't have. So, charcoal grilling isn't as difficult and inconvenient as they were before.

For camping, you can bring a charcoal grill that is as small as a tumbler or you can bring with you a table top grill. Table top grills can also be mounted on railings, rod holder, and pedestal. This is why table top grills are ideal for boaters.

If you want a grill for a small deck or balcony that looks modern, the Weber grill is highly recommended. It is probably, in my opinion, the most convenient to use.

If you want a huge grill with complete features at an affordable price, we recommend those barrel-shaped charcoal grills. Plus, I like the fact that this type of grill can be easily transformed for rotisserie, smoker box, searing and more.

For those who like to thread foods on a stick, we recommend skewering grills. Also, this type of grill is great for big gatherings.

If you want a permanent grill for your backyard, we recommend those in-ground post mounted grills. The one that we have on our list can be swiveled 360 degrees. Although the post stays in one place, the fire box can be rotated.