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Best portable charcoal grill 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated May 1, 2019
Best portable charcoal grill of 2018
Come with me. Following is the list of top three portable charcoal grill of 2018. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best portable charcoal grill.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this portable charcoal grill win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this portable charcoal grill come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
Why did this portable charcoal grill take third place?
A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
portable charcoal grill Buyer’s Guide
After grilling 6burgers, 30 pounds of chicken, and 2pounds of bratwurst on nine portable grills, we found the best ones for both small backyards and outdoor adventures. The Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill is our pick for the best portable gas grill because of its no-fuss convenience and stellar grilling performance. For charcoal purists, we recommend the Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18″. It’s just as capable as a full-size kettle at searing and grilling food to perfection.
We tested five propane models, and the Weber Q 1200 Gas Grill is the best portable gas grill for most people. In our tests, the Q 1200 outperformed the competition at both high-heat searing and low-and-slow grilling, with the fewest flare-ups. The Q 1200 has a cast-aluminum firebox that evenly distributes heat across its 189-square-inch grilling grate. We like the spacious dome lid, because it has a built-in thermometer that lets you know when it’s hot and ready to grill. The small fold-out side tables are convenient for keeping grill tools within reach. This Weber model’s long handles make this 30-pound grill comfortable for one person to carry, too. And Weber backs this model with a warranty that covers most parts on the grill for five years.
If you prefer that smoky charcoal flavor, the lightweight Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18″ matches the searing and grilling abilities of a full-size kettle. In our tests, the well-placed vents in both the lid and the firebox provided precise temperature control that no other grill we tried—including two other portable Webers—could match. The Jumbo Joe’s 18-inch-diameter cooking surface is enough to grill a complete meal for two or the main course for a small party (about eight burgers). We also like the Jumbo Joe’s tripod base, which automatically stabilizes on uneven terrain. The simple ash catcher is a nice touch and keeps hot embers from falling on the ground. And the heat-resistant lid handle stays cool enough to grasp without a towel or oven mitt. Weber covers the Jumbo Joe for up to years.
If you want a more compact propane grill, the Char-Broil Portable Grill2Go X200 Gas Grill is designed for one-handed toting. This portable grill is slightly larger than a briefcase and keeps the lid, grate, and firebox tightly packed for transporting. In our tests, the Grill2Go produced intense heat that was ideal for searing steaks but had us battling some flare-ups when cooking chicken pieces. Although we wouldn’t want the Grill2Go as a primary patio grill, it’s a decent dedicated portable for camping and tailgating. Char-Broil’s five-year warranty covers the burners, lid, and firebox.
Who should get this
Wirecutter staffers Tim Heffernan (foreground) and Lesley Stockton testing the Cuisinart Petit Gourmet and Char-Broil Grill2Go, respectively.
Portable grills aren’t just for camping, picnicking, and tailgating; they’re also great for city and apartment dwellers with limited outdoor space. Grills in this category should be light, small, and comfortable enough to carry from a car into a park or campground.
If you have enough space for a full-size grill, you’ll probably be happier with one of our full-size picks (we looked at both gas and charcoal models). Portable grills are generally not as versatile. Their capacity and their compact size aren’t ideal for cuts of meat that require slow or indirect cooking, such as roasts or pork shoulder.
Gas (propane) grills are better for people who want to grill more than once a week and can sacrifice heat and the classic taste of charcoal for convenience.
These are the nine grills we tested.
A great portable grill offers consistent heat, minimal flare-ups, a generous cooking area, and an easily totable design. Aside from being compact for easy transport, a portable grill should be a functional home grill for folks with small outdoor spaces. Grills that evenly distribute the heat across the entire grate cook food more consistently. Extreme hotspots and flare-ups cause patchy charring and require you to babysit your dinner. Excessive flare-ups are annoying and can make food taste like burnt oil. We think the ideal capacity on a portable grill is enough to accommodate a full meal for two or a main course for a small crowd.
We immediately ruled out collapsible models because they’re made from thin steel and probably not durable enough for regular use. Portable kamado grills are gaining popularity, but we think their 12- to 14-inch grilling surfaces are too small to justify the high price. We didn’t focus heavily on hibachis because they’re lidless, primarily for high-heat grilling, and limited in performance.
In addition, we promptly dismissed gas grills equipped with a coupling for a 20-pound propane cylinder. We prefer 1-pound liquid-propane tanks because they’re small and lightweight enough to stash in a backpack or tote bag.
The appeal of gas grills lies in their ease and convenience. Think of portable gas grills as small, outdoor, propane-powered ovens. The push-button ignition and the temperature-control dial should be easily accessible and clearly marked so you can quickly start the grill and adjust the heat without fumbling.
Well-designed heating elements and flame shields help reduce the risk of flare-ups, which happen when open flames aren’t properly shielded from drippings, resulting in grease-fueled flames that give food an acrid flavor. Preventing grease and fire contact is especially important since the cooking grates on portable gas grills sit very close to the heating element (usually a 1- to 1½-inch clearance). Steel inserts that sit over the flame ports can help, as can a cleverly designed grilling grate that channels grease away from the fire.
Vents and airflow
Controlling the temperature in a charcoal grill is all about vent placement, since you can’t turn coal heat down. But vents are also important for the airflow required to keep your coals lit. We found that a vent in the top of the lid and another in the belly of the firebox created the best air circulation. Vents should remain easily accessible and swivel freely for fast temperature adjustments. In addition, you don’t want a grill with bottom vents that sit above the coal bed; this design reduces airflow and can extinguish the fire prematurely.
How we tested
We had to manage some minor flare-ups on our runner-up pick, the Char-Broil Grill2Go.
Bratwurst fresh from the Grill2Go, with perfectly blistered casings.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go can handle up to six large burger patties at a time without crowding.
We put all nine portable grills, gas and charcoal, through the same tests. We loaded the grates with 6-ounce burger patties (without crowding, of course) and assessed the evenness of the heat, the temperature control, the searing performance, and any flare-ups.
We grilled bone-in chicken to test for flare-ups and how well both the gas and charcoal grills could sustain a medium-low cooking temperature over 4minutes.
The Weber Q 1200 is the best portable gas grill for most people because it’s constructed from quality materials, flare-up resistant, and excellent at maintaining consistent heat. For the third year in a row, we still haven’t found a better portable gas grill for the money.
In our tests, the Weber Q 1200 topped the competition in grilling performance. Its heavy-duty cast-aluminum firebox was the best at evenly absorbing and reflecting heat, providing the most consistent grilling of all the portables we tested. The Q 1200’s design caused the fewest flare-ups of any model we tried, thanks to porcelain-coated cast-iron grates with built-in channels that helped keep grease and drippings away from the flames. An electric push-button ignition and easy-to-read heat-control dial make the Q 1200 simple to start and adjust. The enameled body is easy to clean and rust-proof. Though the grill weighs a hefty 30 pounds, the comfortable side handles make it easy to carry. Weber’s warranty covers most of the hardware for five years.
Of all the portable propane grills we tested, the Weber Q 1200 grilled foods the most consistently.
It’s also roomy. With 18square inches of grilling area (1by 12½ inches), the Weber Q 1200 has enough space to grill a full dinner for two or the main course for a small party. We found that this Weber model is capable of grilling six large burger patties, a whole cut-up chicken, or bratwurst links at a time. And the single-tube 8,500 Btu burner runs along three edges for better heat distribution, so all of that space is usable.
The Weber Q 1200’s grilling grate can accommodate up to six large burger patties at a time.
Of all the portable propane grills we tested, the Weber Q 1200 grilled foods the most consistently, with a cast-aluminum firebox that evenly held and reflected heat throughout. It had the fewest hotspots of all the grills we tried, due in large part to the U-shaped burner, which evenly heated the grate. While the high heat setting perfectly seared burgers without burning, the Q 1200 also outperformed the competition at steady medium-low heat for items such as bone-in chicken and large sausage links.
The porcelain-coated cast-iron grates reduce flare-ups by shielding the flames and channeling grease and drippings around them while still allowing ambient heat to brown between grill marks. In our tests, burgers from the Q 1200 had the most seared surface area of all the burgers we grilled, and more browning means better flavor. This superior grate is one of the big differences between the Q 1200 and our runner-up pick, the Char-Broil Grill2Go, whose perforated stainless-steel grate produced mostly lackluster browning.
The Q 1200 gently grilled chicken pieces, with almost no flare-ups.
The push-button ignition and clearly marked heat-control dial make the Q 1200 easy to start and regulate. Weber’s propane coupling fits 1-ounce canisters and accepts an adapter for 20-pound propane tanks.
Bratwurst grilled evenly across the grate on the Weber Q 1200.
When the side tables are tucked inside the grill for transport, the Weber Q 1200 is about the size of a small carry-on suitcase. You need both hands to carry the Q 1200, because it doesn’t have a latch to hold the lid securely to the firebox. But the position of the side handles helps to evenly distribute its 30-pound heft and lessens the burden of hoisting and moving the grill.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
We had a small issue with the Q 1200 unit we got for testing. The propane coupling sat a couple of millimeters too close to the body, and we had to flex the assembly away from the grill to get the canister to fit. We asked Q 1200 owners on staff if they had this issue, and they confirmed that attaching the propane was easy on their grills. We’re chalking this up as a one-off problem unique to our test unit.
As for the weight, the Q-series grills are a bit heavy for moving around often. If you prioritize portability over cooking performance, consider our runner-up pick.
The Weber Q 2200 Gas Grill offers the same high-quality build and stellar grilling performance as our top pick, the Weber Q 1200, but with a 48 percent bigger grilling grate and 4percent higher Btu output. As with the Q 1200, the features that set the Q 2200 apart from the competition include a cast-aluminum fire box for even heating, a porcelainized cast-iron grilling grate, a push-button ignition, a domed lid, and fold-out side tables. However, this 40-pound portable grill isn’t lightweight by any stretch of the imagination.
The Weber Q 2200 easily accommodated more burger patties than we thought.
In our tests the Weber Q 2200 consistently grilled foods across its grates with few flare-ups. That’s because it features the same heat-reflecting cast-aluminum firebox, U-shaped heating element, and grease-channeling porcelainized cast-iron grates as our top pick. And the Q 2200 also has the same useful domed lid with built-in thermometer, fold-out side tables, sturdy handles, durable enameled body, and warranty as the Q 1200.
With its much larger 21½-by-15-inch cooking grate, you can fit up to large burger patties, two cut-up chickens, or 1large bratwurst links at a time. The Weber Q 2200 produces 12,000 Btu (significantly more than the Q 1200) to compensate for the extra grilling capacity. But that also means you’re going to burn through propane canisters faster on the Q 2200 than on the Q 1200.
Weighing over 40 pounds (about the same as a midsize dog), the Weber Q 2200 stretches the meaning of “portable” to its limits. However, the Q 2200 is still an excellent grill for small backyard spaces. And unlike a full-size grill, it folds down small enough to stash in a garden shed or a garage.
The Char-Broil Portable Grill2Go X200 Gas Grill is a solid compact grill for remote cookouts because it’s rugged, lightweight, and easy to carry. The Grill2Go latches tightly and keeps the lid, firebox, and grate from jostling during transport. Like the Weber models, this Char-Broil grill has a thick cast-aluminum body for even heat distribution. But unlike its Weber competitors, the Grill2Go is incapable of searing food beyond grill marks, because its perforated grate blocks a lot of ambient heat from the firebox. We also had a few more flare-ups with the Grill2Go than with our other picks.
Latches on the front of the Char-Broil Grill2Go make it easy to carry one-handed.
Checking for flare-ups and hotspots. The Grill2Go ran hotter and flared more than our other picks; chicken came out a little more charred.
The Grill2Go’s cooking grate can grill up to six large burger patties at a time.
The Char-Broil Grill2Go’s best features are its compactness and its easy-to-carry design. Two clips in the front hold the whole unit tightly together, and you can effortlessly carry the whole thing with one hand (super convenient if you need to lug it a few hundred yards).
The Grill2Go has a maximum 9,500 Btu output, versus the Weber Q 1200’s 8,500 Btu. This little portable grill gets hot—sometimes too hot. After we preheated it for five minutes on high, the Grill2Go reached over 600 degrees Fahrenheit, while the Weber Q 1200 never broke 525 °F. Char-Broil claims its “TRU Infrared cooking system” eliminates flare-ups, but we still had to manage moderate flares while cooking burgers, chicken, and brats. The perforated stainless steel grilling grate also blocked a lot of ambient heat; as a result, our food got seared where it touched the grilling grate but lacked the all-over consistent browning we saw from the Weber Q-series grills.
At 20 pounds, the Char-Broil Grill2Go is pounds lighter than the Weber Q 1200, even though it has a larger, 17¼-by-11¾-inch grilling grate. With a price that’s well below that of the Weber Q series, Char-Broil’s compact portable is a good choice if you already have a backyard grill and want a dedicated model for remote cookouts.
The propane coupling juts out the side, and attaching 1-pound liquid-propane canisters is easy. An adapter (sold separately) for the Char-Broil Grill2Go allows you to use a Type tank connection for 20-pound propane tanks.
The Weber Jumbo Joe 18-inch portable grill can hold up to a full chimney starter’s worth of charcoal.
In our tests, the Jumbo Joe produced the best seared burgers, barbecued chicken, and grilled bratwurst. The two adjustable vents, in the lid and firebox, allowed the quickest and easiest temperature control of all the grills we tested. Even after loading the Jumbo Joe with a full chimney starter’s worth of red-hot embers (about 90 briquets), we could still tamp down the temperature to medium heat. We couldn’t do that with the 14-inch Weber Smokey Joe, where the one vent and the lack of airflow caused the coals to extinguish while we were cooking.
Care and maintenance
Shield your grill from the elements to keep it from rusting or prematurely aging. Storing your grill in a garage or shed is best. If you lack an indoor storage option, keeping the grill covered and off the ground is the best line of defense against harsh weather. Weber makes affordable covers for both the Q 1200 and Q 2200 (sold separately), and we strongly recommend the investment. The carrying case (sold separately) for the Char-Broil Grill2Go isn’t weatherproof, but you can use a heavy-duty contractor-style garbage bag or a tarp for protection.
Regularly cleaning your grill will ensure great-tasting food. Before or after each use, crank it up to high for five or minutes to incinerate all the drippings and stuck-on food. Scrape the hot grates with a grill brush, wipe them with a wet rag to remove the soot, and brush them with vegetable oil. This procedure also helps prevent food from sticking.
Always empty the grease trap after grilling. That way you won’t run the risk of the trap overflowing and staining your patio or deck.
If you find that the burner ports (the holes where the flames come out) are clogged, use a thin wire to push the debris out.
Before putting the grill away for the season, give the inside a good scrubbing with lots of hot soapy water and rinse well. Also, remove the battery from the igniter to prevent corrosion.
Charcoal grills aren’t as sensitive to the elements as their propane-fueled cousins. The biggest threat to a charcoal grill’s longevity is leaving a grill full of ashes in the rain: Water combined with ash becomes lye, and it will corrode the grill. Keeping your charcoal grill clear of ashes and sheltered from rain and snow is adequate protection. Weber doesn’t make a branded grill cover for the Jumbo Joe, but a contractor garbage bag or a woven poly tarp should do the trick if you want an extra barrier from the elements.
Empty the ash catcher after each use, but only once the grill is completely cool and you see no trace of burning embers or warm ash (best to wait 1hours). Don’t use water to extinguish the coals—because, you know, lye.
Always use your grill—gas or charcoal—outside, in a well-ventilated spot. Never, ever light or use a grill in an enclosed space. Combustion produces odorless carbon monoxide, which can kill in minutes without warning.
The Cuisinart CGG-200 All Foods Gas Grill failed every test. Despite its 12,000 Btu output, it ran the coldest of all the propane portables we tested, yielding pallid burgers and flabby, undercooked chicken.
The tiny Cuisinart CGG-180T Petit Gourmet Portable Tabletop Gas Grill suffered major flare-ups when cooking burgers, and turned into a raging grease fire when cooking chicken pieces. Everything we cooked on this grill had a dark, sooty film and tasted like torched fat.
People on Vacation
There are some particularly awesome portable grills on the market that you can use when visiting the ultimate vacation spots. To be able to grill well on vacation pretty much amounts to being able to get a bunch of girls around your tent for free food. If you know what I mean.
Travelers: Some people who are on the road a lot of the time for work must also invest in these high quality products to get the best tasting foods anywhere they may find themselves on a particular day.
How to get the most out of your new charcoal smoker
It is important to keep an eye on the grilling work you are doing. Distractions come from every corner; and you do not wish to burn the food. I cannot tell you how many times I over-grilled the meats when my dad gave me the opportunity because some cute neighbor girl would not leave me alone. Focus on the food first, just by doing that you will get even more success with the ladies for your manliness. Attention is key in every aspect in life but especially more so in cooking and grilling. Take your time and avoid costly mistakes.
Lump charcoal is also known as natural charcoal. There is a belief amongst many that this is the first discovered form of charcoal, created by heating logs or trees in a device called a kiln. A kiln is like a sealed cave. This type of charcoal is binder-free and is considered pure wood. This type of charcoal burns very cleanly and purely; making it a plus for the environment. Lump charcoal incinerates unevenly though, first hot then cold. It burns very quickly, and for this reason it usually must be refilled more often.
Binchotan is a Japanese manufactured super lump charcoal which comes in cylinders resembling branches. This type of coal is created from ubamegashi, a type of oak found in mud caves throughout Japan. It tends to burn cleanly according to experts, and does not produce the usual woody flavor to overpower the meats. Due to the amazing qualities and the amount of work put into creating such a beautiful and efficient charcoal, it can be quite pricey. One of the detriments however, is that it takes a somewhat long time to get this fuel to burn properly. Experts recommend using a torch or an electric lighter and allow at least 3minutes for the charcoal to be lit. Once it is lit though, it incinerates itself for an extensive period of time.
This type of charcoal is mostly utilized in southern Asia; Thailand especially. These types of charcoal burn quickly in comparison to the Binchotan but costs a bit less. These charcoals are very rare in the United States, but most hibachi restaurants utilize them for a classic flavor you cannot get with other charcoals. It would require a plethora of coconut shells to get these fires going.
Briquettes are treated charccoals that burn hotly and evenly over an extended period of time. They are infused with a fuel like lighter fluid so they can light quickly and easily. Most experts agree that these types of coal are actually the best kind for the casual griller, as they cost less than the others and burn more steadily. The detriment of this charcoal is that it contains a mix of different materials that give off a somewhat heavy smell and taste that can overpower your meats. These are instant light charcoals that contain materials that allow it to be lit very quickly; however it is debatable whether the materials included are harmful or not when grilling. This is one you must research a bit more before buying, because some people argue it alters the taste of the foods or fear the chemicals getting in their bodies.
Does this machine have a temperature range that cooks meats at an appropriate heat setting? It is a necessity to have a good thermometer to go along with your grill. We will explore further some of the more modern features of each product as we go along.
How We Picked and Tested
Over the past few years, to be exact, we have tested over 30 charcoal smokers and have found the that we think are the best on the market. None of the products on this list are perfect by any means; yet each of them is the best charcoal smoker in its own rights ensuring highest quality grilling at the least possible price.
We were concerned with finding out several different things about each of these grills. First, we wanted to know how well each machine performed, and further, how durable these grills would be when used for extended periods of time. Also, we wished to know how the charcoals, when burned in these grills, affected the flavors that would be present in the meats that were grilled.
We spent close to two months working on testing these products to be certain that they were high quality not just in grilling but also in longevity. This is key; these grills must not only be efficient but also affordable and longlasting at the same time.
I remember testing one particular smoker that gave off a strangely metallic flavor every time we cooked in it. We wondered why exactly this was happening, and it turned out that the smoke from the grill was mixing together with poorly chosen metals used to create the smoker, so that the meats tasted strangely metallic, instead of like the barbecue sauce we used.
This became an important facet of our work; to make sure that the grills we were using were not altering the taste we were hoping to create. There is nothing worse than doing a lot of work to grill meats only to have the taste be ruined by the machine you are using.
Some of the awesome features included with this product include a built-in thermometer, heavy duty cooking grates, and a water pan that keeps your food moist and tender. This machine helps keep the grilled meat supple, tasty and extremely flavorful.
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman
This time it’s a much less popular, yet very good charcoal grill – a competitor of Weber Kettle. The 22,inch model has the same price as its competitor. It differs a lot in terms of appearance and several details.
TRU-InfraRed Cooking System makes sure that your grates heat up evenly, preventing cold spots.
The cooking area is 360 square inches. That’s a lot, as much as the main competitor.
It has big adjustable air vents on the bottom and vents at the top, which allows to easily control temperature.
There’s a temperature indicator on the lid, for a convenient control of the temperature inside the grill.
The ashtray is easy to remove. Throw the ash away and put the tray back in its place.
The main advantage of this grill is the grates, their good point is that the food won’t fall through the grates.
Kettleman TRU-Infrared grates
The charcoals are located close to the grates, which results in a much lower fuel consumption.
One downside is lack of shelves, there’s no place to put the food or accessories. But that’s not a great disadvantage in any way, considering the price and all the other factors.
Another downside when it comes to Weber Kettle is lack of accessories. Sadly, Char-Broil doesn’t have interesting accessories that would make your grill better.
Weber has plenty of useful accessories that make Weber Kettle a versatile charcoal grill.
Kettleman is a good charcoal grill for a decent price. It’s a good competitor for the popular Weber model. It differs significantly in terms of appearance, has several interesting features and the price is similar.
Another advantage is the hinged lid. At this kind of price such approach is something that can influence choosing between Weber Kettle and Char-Broil Kettleman.
Nickel-plated steel grates
It contains a small shelf on the side plus plenty of space under the grill for different accessories or food.
Very easy to assemble, thanks to the aluminum casting it is pretty lightweight and very durable. The construction isn’t big, which makes it easy to pack this grill in the car and drive to the lake.
The greatest advantage of this charcoal grill is its durability, in terms of that it has no matches. The aluminum casting guarantees that it’s a grill that will last for a lifetime, which is confirmed by numerous reviews.
Sadly, one downside when it comes to PG Grill is lack of an ash catcher. Cleaning the compartment is kind of harder because of that. Sometimes it happens that there’s ash or cinders coming out of the lower air vents, this problem can be solved by putting an aluminum tray under the vents.
It also lacks a temperature sensor inside the grill.
It is very good at keeping heat, air vents allow for a very good temperature control ( two on the bottom and two on the top ). You can freely cook your food at high temperatures or slowly smoke meat at a low temperature. To do that, first you need to learn how to properly use the air vents.
Another advantage is configuring the areas inside the grill. You can select between indirect or direct cooking depending on how the charcoal is laid out inside the grill and how the air vents are set. Such approach makes it a grill and a smoker at the same time.
No extra features
To summarize, it’s a great quality charcoal grill that will last forever. The durable and thick aluminum construction entirely made in USA guarantees resistance to rust. The air vents allow for versatile grilling or slow meat searing.
The only significant downside is lack of a removable ash tray or an ash catcher. It makes the pk grill require more time to clean it.
The price is slightly higher, but the pk grill is still worth all of its money.
It’s a charcoal grill that will last for a lifetime, except for a potential need to replace the grates in a distant future. Easy to use and assemble.
Weber Performer Deluxe
One has to admit that the weber kettle charcoal grills are the most popular and desired grills in the world. The Perfomer Deluxe version is mounted on a table and comes with all the features of weber kettle + an array of additional options that make this version the best charcoal grill.
Touch-N-Go gas ignition system – All it takes is to put in the charcoal and turn on the gas burner located under the grate. Within few minutes the charcoal will be ready, and you can begin to cook your food. All that is left to do is to turn off the gas ignition and that’s it. The burner is gas powered ( a standard propane tank ). A very convenient and fast way to light the charcoal.
There’s a removable aluminum ash tray of high capacity. You will quickly and easily clean your grill before the next cooking.
Gourmet BBQ System plated steel hinged cooking grate – the grates are compatible with other accessories for this grill, which are sold separately. All those accessories make this charcoal grill much more interesting and versatile.
It has a large cooking area, it is the 2inch model which means it has 36square inches.
There’s plenty of space on the table, such area is useful for putting food or tools needed for cooking nearby.
Touch-N-Go gas ignition system
The steel grates can be lifted and put together in different combinations. It allows for an easier access to the charcoal when cooking. That way you can easily and quickly switch the method from direct to indirect cooking. It is in the center of the grate where you can place different accessories. Among the compatible accessories are: wok, Poultry Roaster, Griddle, Sear Grate and Pizza stone.
On top of that, you can also buy other extra accessories, such as iGrill A thermometer and a timer in one, a device that allows to monitor the cooking process directly from your phone using an app.
A big container under the grill to keep charcoal, so that you always have a fuel supply at hand.
A built-in thermometer on the lid allows to control the temperature inside the grill.
An LCD watch that can be removed and taken along if needed. Sadly, it’s a cheap timer, which can only measure time up to 9minutes. It will make sense to buy iGrill 2, which has other extra features beside the timer.
Expensive additional accessories
Weber Performer Deluxe has literally everything you need. All the features present in this grill increase its price, remember that they are not necessary for normal grilling. You can buy a regular Weber Kettle 2inch, which is much cheaper and doesn’t contain all those extra features.
But if you have some money to spend then you can pick this model, you won’t regret your decision.
A great cooking area, a big table to prepare meals or for accessories and a Touch-N-Go gas ignition system. All of that makes this grill worth every cent.
Weber gives you the ability to expand your grill, you can achieve that by using different additional accessories ( obviously all are paid for separately, and their price is pretty high ).
Brand and Quality – Weber grills are recommended by quite a lot of people due to their quality and possibilities. It is worth mentioning that the Weber technical support is high-quality when it comes to any problems with your purchase.
Grill small pieces of food
Another important thing is the necessity of always keeping it clean and seasoning it. The thing about cast iron is that its surface is prone to corrosion and has to be cleaned with a brush. The upside is that this grill is incredibly easy to clean and the entire thing takes very little time.
Control and temperature maintenance
It’s a very important aspect of every grilling. A grill has to be equipped with a lid that will block the warmth inside the grill. That way you’ll be able to cook the food in the right temperature and use much less charcoal if the lid is closed. Otherwise you’ll use much more charcoals than you need.
Some grills provide the ability to adjust the distance between the coal and food, that way you can raise or lower the temperature your food is cooking in fast and easily.
The best at keeping temperature are the Kamado-style charcoal grills. However, it takes some time to learn how to properly use them.
Easy to use
A charcoal grill offers a better flavor of food but it requires us to clean it more. It also requires some time to get the charcoal burning. There are already charcoal grills available that are equipped with a gas burner to get the coal burning. It is a very helpful option, sadly it is available in much more expensive models. As an alternative, however, I recommend special accessories that make the process of getting the charcoals burning significantly easier and shorter. They are cheap and compatible with every charcoal grill.
Let me give you reasons.
The flavor – One of the more important reasons why people decide to buy a charcoal grill is the flavor, it is definitely much better than in gas grills. The reason for that is the popular and well-known delicious smokiness, which differs from gas grill or pellet grills.
The heat – a charcoal grill generates a much higher temperature because charcoal is hotter than gas. It allows for a much better sear on burger’s and steaks.
Indirect Grilling – For people with more knowledge on the charcoal grill there’s a possibility to slowly cook the meat without burning it. In order to use this method you need to have a bigger charcoal grill. All it takes is to place the charcoal on one side of the grill, and then put the meat on the opposite side. That way you will avoid high temperature.
Accessories – Kettles type charcoal grills have a wide array of extra accessories. They allow you to expand your grill and make it able to do much more than a regular charcoal grill. All the accessories are paid for separately, you can buy such things as Rotisserie Kit, KettlePizza, Smokenator, Cast Iron Grates or Slow N’ Sear and many more.
Check out my collection of recommended accessories for Kettle grills ( mostly Weber ).
Another downside is more difficult temperature control, getting distracted for too long may end with getting your meat burned.
I already know that you love the wonderful smoking aroma of meat or vegetables. Beside you, we could find millions of other people who love the food from a charcoal grill.
But if you’re a fan of gas grills, check out our reviews and buyers guide for the best models.
Weber Go Anywhere
This sturdy, charcoal barbecue has a great, space-saving design has foldaway legs and a comfortable top handle, which makes it very easily portable. The suitcase-like design makes it stylish, sleek and makes transportation even easier. It comes with uncommon, yet handy, extras such as a grater. It’s small and portable enough to take anywhere with you, and very easy to assemble; all that’s needed is to set up the legs, remove the lid and fill with charcoal. You can fit around six burgers on the grill, which is impressive for such a small and compact barbecue. It will last for many years if properly maintained.
The Lotus Grill is a beautiful round and stylish design, and all of the colours it comes in are eye-catching and vibrant. This clever design uses a battery-powered fan, which enables you to control the cooking times, and thus you are more likely to have perfectly cooked barbecue food! The fact that it’s fuelled by an efficient gas system allows you to begin cooking in just three minutes. There are no safety worries concerning the heat of the grill, as its double skinned: this means that the outside will not get hot, and so can be moved around whilst food is cooking. Not only is this feature good for safety reasons, but also means that all of the heat stays within the grill and cooks your food to perfection. The grill comes with handy accessories like a dome cooking lid and pizza stone. The charcoal is also separated from the food by a lid and flat plate so there is absolutely no smoke escaping into the air. The stainless steel grill can be put into the dishwasher for easy cleaning, and the whole grill is easy to assemble itself. The x AA batteries that are supplied last approximately 60 hours.
This rugged, tough designed barbecue has an advanced TRU-Infrared cooking system, which cooks the food evenly, and has fewer flare-ups, that ultimately gives 50% juicier food and uses up to 30% less gas. So even though you will be paying quite a bit of money for the barbecue initially, you could be saving money in the long run as it is so energy efficient. The stainless steel burner is strong, durable and built to last, and stainless steel grate is high quality as well as easy to clean. The high-tech electronic igniter makes for easy use as it lights up the grill at the push of a button. The lid-mounted temperature gauge allows you to monitor the inside temperature and will ensure perfectly cooked food every time. It’s powered by a portable 16.4-ounce disposable liquid propane cylinder, which is sold separately.
Zogin Barbecue Grill
This small, metal, charcoal barbecue stove is incredibly compact, convenient to carry and super easy to assemble. It could not be more simple, and minimalistic. The foldable design makes it great for transporting and storing at home, and the handle design is also great for portability. It’s designed to give maximum cooking area space, and so will easily feed the whole family even though it’s so compact. Although the legs foldaway, they are still sturdy and will not break – great value for money.
Invero Mini BBQ
This charcoal barbecue is a simple design with just a bucket and stainless steel cooking rack; it’s perfect for those on a budget or anyone who has minimal space in their house or vehicle. The compact design comes with foldaway legs, which makes it perfect for transportation and packing away. The tiny size and simplicity make it easy to clean and maintain.
This long lasting, top of the range Cobb barbecue is not only fuel-efficient but also doesn’t release any smoke into the air whilst cooking. The grill only needs six briquettes in order to cook for up to four hours, and so it’s perfect for buyers who don’t want to be standing over their barbecue and applying more fuel to keep it going. The separate food and charcoal sections mean that there is no smoke released, and this is perfect for buyers that have small children around, or perhaps do not want to disturb their neighbours. The separation of the food and charcoal also means that there will be no food charring or fat-dripping flare-ups. The Cobb remains cool to the touch on the outside whilst cooking, and so you can comfortably use it on any surface without causing damage. The heat will easily stay within the barbecue, and cook your food to perfection. The light up time is an impressive 15-2minutes, which is a decent speed for a charcoal barbecue, and also means that you can focus on preparing the food whilst the grill heats up. The grill-cooking surface is non-stick, and a lifting fork is provided for handling hot food. The moat has two uses: for draining fat and oil into it, and to infuse roasts with flavour. The bowl pops out of the base for easy cleaning, and the stainless steel makes it an even easier job. This barbecue is versatile enough to cook in a variety of ways, such as pizza, and smoked fish, and yet is still compact enough to take on trips with you.
Consider whether you will keep the barbecue outside when not in use and if so, looking for one with a lid will be a good idea to protect it from the elements. Another positive reason for having a lid is to control the heat easier so that your cook is cooked throughout. Keep in mind the type of design you would like: a kettle design is one of the most popular originating from America and more tradition type of look. Consider the accessories that the barbecue will come with (or that are available to purchase with it), warming racks are so helpful when cooking for bigger groups of people; you don’t need to worry so much if you have a small barbecue when you are able to keep cooked food warm.
Everyone reason for buying a portable BBQ is different, so there is no specific one to buy. Hopefully, this guide has made your decision easier on which is right for you.
Elvy Nouveou cheese fondue
Price: Rs 14,995The sheer pleasure of gooey cheese on fresh bread. That is what this lifestyle grill from Elvy promises. This steel grill comes with a grill plate, eight pans for the cheese and spatulas that make a fondue party a simple path to paradise. It comes with temperature regulator and ignition indicator.
This Char-Griller option is sitting at the top of the list for the best portable grills because it has a large cooking area, and a load of helpful features that make it a breeze to use.
Weber 74100Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Weber is a name that has become synonymous with quality grilling, so it is no surprise that their products would break into the “best of” lists for portable grilling models. This particular model is worth your time because it has a very reasonable price as well as several convenience features.
Char-Griller 282Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill
This Char-Griller might be better suited for taking along on more camper-based expeditions, there is no denying its features or its cost effectiveness for your budget. This is a large grill with several convenience features. Let’s look at what makes this grill crack into the top charcoal grills on this list.
Weber is no stranger to the grilling community, and this propane grill is ideal for the gas grilling enthusiast. Loaded with high-end features, this grill is sure to catch your attention.
Weber 5406000Q2200 Liquid Propane Grill
While a lot of Weber models might be maneuverable, there are few options from this brand that are so uniquely portable and easy to use as this propane grill is. Don’t let its small stature fool you though, as this little grill has some big features that are sure to impress.
Char-Broil has created a way for those wanting to go green to not have to give up cooking power or efficiency.
Combining a low power requirement with impressive infrared cooking, the meat and other foods you cook on this grill will be juicier and tastier than you would have ever thought possible.
Weber 5502000Q 2400 Electric Grill
If you want a tabletop style grill that is great for whatever event or trip you might be taking, look no farther than this grill from the top-rated Weber brand.
Complete with a slew of quality features in a tiny package, Weber has made an electric grill that can stand up to any of the competitors out there.
Mistakes to Avoid
Not drying off the grill: Travel grills get wet, often. That means you need to dry them – always – before breaking them down. Nothing ruins a grill faster than rust-causing moisture mixing in with the grease and ashes. Look for grills with lids and enamel coatings to help with this.
Ignoring sharp edges: We prefer more rounded grills for a safer profile, but if your portable grill ends up with any sharp edges, remember to be careful around them.
Shop all charcoal BBQs
Charcoal provides a classic barbecue experience from lighting the coals and stoking the fire, to the unique flavour created by glowing embers.
Small, inexpensive models are great for casual cooks or beginners, but large models are also available for the passionate barbecue chef.
Barbecues are for outdoor use only. Never use them in enclosed spaces such as buildings, garages or tents, as toxic fumes will build up and cause injury or even death.
Size & Cost
Charcoal grills vary in size, shape, and functionality. The best charcoal grill will be the one that meets your specific needs in a dependable way. Common types of charcoal grills include the brazier, the pellet grill, the square charcoal grill, the hibachi, the kettle, the cart, the barrel, the ceramic cooker, the tandoor oven, and the portable charcoal units. There are also a wide range of hybrids on the market that combine beneficial aspects of the above.
As we mentioned above, portability is a definite benefit of the charcoal grill. All you need is a bag of charcoal, lighting fluid, and the grill. Because of this, you will find a lot of smaller portable units that can be carried and then placed wherever you want to cook. Despite its popularity as a portable cooker, there are also many larger less mobile grills out there. Whether they are full sized commercial charcoal grills or smaller household units that can be wheeled around, you can go as small or as large as you want.
The best charcoal grill will not always be the most expensive model.
Lump charcoal is a favorite among charcoal grill users who prefer a ‘traditional’ grilling experience. Lump charcoal begins its life as wood that is buried under ground. Covered with a metal sheet and dirt, the wood is lit on one end and left to smolder for a few days. Deprived of oxygen, the fire burns through all the impurities in the wood. This includes insects, water, and sap. After a few days, the wood can be removed. What you are left with is pure carbon.
Lump charcoal is also known as lump charcoal or char. People prefer lump charcoal because it is considered a dynamic cooking experience. Coals spark and crackle as they begin to burn. It usually takes only 10-1minutes for lump charcoal to reach its hottest temperature. Be aware though that after it hits its high temperature, it will begin losing its temperature rather quickly. Sometimes, it can go from high to medium heat in less than 30 minutes. Fire will need to be occasionally replenished in order to keep the heat at the desired level. This is made simpler by the fact that any new charcoal you add will quickly heat up and helps maintain the correct temperature. When cooking, the food will have the woody scents of the lump charcoal imparted on it improving the taste. Hardwoods are the preferred source of wood for lump charcoal and your typical bag will include a number of different hardwoods.
How Do Charcoal Grills Work
You start with having to heat the coals. The coals are your fuel source and they need to be activated and heated prior to use. Some use a chimney starter for this while others simply douse the coals in lighter fluid. Either way, you will want to get them very hot to the point where they begin to glow. Spreading them out below your cooking surface, you can do the hand test to see where the heat is coming from and where you may need to reposition the coals. Once the coals are ready, you can begin cooking! An air vent on the bottom helps to control the amount of oxygen coming in while an air vent in the hood controls how much heat can escape. It is common to leave the hood on while food is cooking to ensure a better more evenly distributed cook. Also be aware that fat dripping from food can ignite when it comes in contact with the coals, occasionally causing flames to burst forth. While some prefer this because it can add taste to the food, be aware that it can also prematurely burn your food as well. Like anything relating to grills, the best thing you can do is to experiment. The more experience you get with your charcoal grill, the better you will get at operating it. In addition, you will also have a firm understanding of what you might want when it comes time to purchase your next charcoal grill.
Operating A Charcoal Grill
The best charcoal barbecue experience will come when you have a firm understanding of what your charcoal grill is capable of doing. To help further explain aspects of the charcoal grilling experience, we get into some of the most common questions asked when people are operating their charcoal grill.
How To Control The Temperature On A Charcoal Grill
There are a few ways that you can control the temperature on your charcoal grill. The first involves the use of air vents. Your typical charcoal grill will include an air vent at the base of the grill below the charcoals and an air vent built into the hood of the charcoal grill that is typically placed over the grill as things are cooking. The air is sucked in from below, providing the necessary oxygen to fuel combustion before being turned into COand being expelled from the top. By regulating the amount of oxygen coming in from below, you can decrease the amount of burning and as a result decrease the heat of your charcoal grill. This will take some trial and error to get right, as you do not want to risk depriving the coals of all oxygen.
Another way that you can manage the temperature of your grill is to spread out the charcoal bricks. If an area needs more heat, then you can move more bricks there. If an area requires less heat, then you can move the charcoal bricks away. With charcoal grills, the coolest zones will be those on the periphery and higher up while the hottest zones will be right in the middle. Because of this, most people cook things in the center and keep cooked food warm by placing on the sides.
Advanced charcoal grills will offer even more features that can help to control what the temperature is. These features will change depending on the make and model. You will want to carefully review these features when selecting among the best charcoal bbq grills on your list.
Establish Your Need
How often do you plan to cook? What is the size of the cooking area you need? How many people will you cook for when you cook? Do you need a lot of options or can you do more with less? Are you just starting out or are you already experienced with charcoal grills? Another question to consider is whether or not you want a portable unit or a unit that is larger and mostly remains in place. Yes this is a lot of questions. However, by establishing your need ahead of time, you can get a sense for what your price range will be. You can also begin taking steps to compare different makes and models. Also, if you have no idea about size, then go one size smaller than what you were thinking. You can often do a lot with less when it comes to charcoal grills. A few hours of work can save you ten times that amount of time looking online or in stores.
Electric grills run the middle-of-the-road in terms of cost, and require only a standard electrical outlet to operate. They allow for precise control of heat and are available in tabletop or freestanding models. Some electric grills can even be used indoors, but be sure to check your user manual first.
Gas models are typically the most expensive, but offer more features than charcoal and electric models. They require a fuel source such as natural gas or liquid propane in order to cook foods. They typically heat up fairly quickly, and can often be purchased with grill accessories such as a side burner for cooking with pots and pans. They are available in both tabletop and freestanding varieties.
With the above information in mind, in no particular order here are 4of the grills that we consider the best, based on available features and average customer ratings and reviews.
Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
This charcoal grill boasts a compact size that makes it ideal for on-the-go cookouts and family get-togethers. It boasts 160 square inches of cooking surface and features a triple nickel-plated cooking grate for years of reliable use.
This tabletop charcoal grill doubles as both a cooking grill or a smoker depending on your needs, and features a compact design that’s easy to set up nearly anywhere. It is compatible for use as a smoker with the Chargriller Pro Deluxe, Wrangler, Outlaw and Duo.
Weber 44100Original Kettle 18-Inch Charcoal Grill
This original kettle-style charcoal grill boasts an 18-inch diameter that provides 240 square inches of total cooking space. The cooking grate is made of durable plated-steel and the vents are rust-resistant for years of reliable use.
Freestanding, the classic charcoal grill is simple: it has a firebox to store the charcoal fire right below the grill grates. Some of the higher end models feature maneuverable fireboxes to adjust the distance between the fire and grill grates.
Whole joints of meat, and especially meat-on-bone, take longer to cook. This isn’t necessarily a big deal with beef. Beef which can be eaten rare or even raw. Just ask the French! But it could be a health problem with poultry. Chicken and turkey must be cooked through.
Strictly speaking it is only a barbecue if it has a lid or hood. Otherwise it is just a grill. For cooking a whole joint or meat on-the-bone you need a true barbecue. In fact, you can roast a whole chicken or a leg of lamb in a closed barbecue. On the other hand, some grills have powered slow-rotisseries. This helps the chicken or joint of beef cook evenly. Rotisserie grills don’t need a lid.
Obviously a dedicated smoker isn’t suited to the impatient. But a combined smoker/barbecue gives you the best of both worlds.
With gas, you can control the temperature quickly. If the food is getting overdone on the outside, you can turn it down immediately. With charcoal you can’t do that. You can move the rack higher above coal. But it’s not the same. Also, moving a hot rack is a quick way to burn your fingers! And that assumes the barbecue allows the rack to be set at a variable height.
Larger barbecues are harder to move than small grills. This might seem like an obvious point, but if you want to store your barbecue in the shed or garage, it’s important.
You might be quite happy to leave it out in the garden. But then you will want a cover for it. When you buy a large model, it might be worth checking if it comes with a cover. If not, a separate cover may be available to buy at the same time. Make sure you buy a cover that is designed for your model of barbecue or at least a good fit.
Also, if it’s a gas barbecue, you may want to store the gas canister under lock and key.
Tepro Toronto Trolley Grill Barbecue
The Tepro Toronto Trolley is a durable, powder coated barbecue with a hood, ideal for big occasions. The cooking surface of the main grill is 5x 41.5cm. For your convenience, this is split between two 27.x 41.enamelled grates side by side. These can be washed in a standard sized sink. You can also cover one half with a griddle plate for frying and searing (see guidelines). The chrome-plated warming rack is 53.x 24.cm.
On the plus side, it has some good features, like a built-in thermometer and a crank mechanism to adjust the grid height. It also has an upper warming grill attached to the lid and a side shelf. The former is useful, not only for keeping food warm, but also for cooking. When the lid is closed, the warming rack goes down and moves to a more central position over the charcoal. When the lid is raised, the warming rack no only goes up, but is also offset from the coals. So the food stays warm but doesn’t get overdone.
Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block
Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.
Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block
This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.
Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block
This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your portable charcoal grill wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of portable charcoal grill
- №1 — Pinty Portable Folding Charcoal Grill Carbon Steel Tabletop BBQ Grill for Outdoor Use
- №2 — Raptor Grilling – Rethinking The Charcoal Grill To Cut Mess & Save You Money -RED-
- №3 — Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill