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Best Charcoal Grill Reviews

A Good For / Not Good For

Charcoal grills are good for:

When compared to other types of grills, a charcoal grill is much cheaper and easier to use. Not only that, most models are made out of aluminum and they have built-in wheels for increased mobility. Some more compact grills are designed to be used on the go.

Charcoal is cheaper than gas and it burns at a higher temperature. All you have to do is light the fire and blow air into the coal. The heat can rise up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can make some perfect sear marks on your steak.

People are grilling food since fire was invented. The only real and true way of grilling meat is a charcoal grill. As the coal burns, it produces smoke that is crucial for that char-grilled taste.

The bad things about Charcoal grills:

So, the smoke produced by the charcoal is essential for the taste of the food, but it can be a nuisance too. You have to know that all of your clothes will have the same smell like the food you’re cooking.

Coal produces ash and the heat of the fire can make the meat stick to the grates. That means that you’ll have your hands full when it’s time to clean the grill after a BBQ party. You might have to clean the deck too.

If you live in an apartment complex, using a charcoal grill is illegal. That’s because of the high heat and smoke they produce. Not to mention the ash that proposes a fire threat if there are trees nearby.

Review of the products

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The original Weber Kettle 22''
The Original PK Grill & Smoker
The Primo Kamodo All In One
The Weber 18″ Jumbo Joe
Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill by Lodge
The Weber “Go Anywhere” Charcoal Grill
Product name:
The original Weber Kettle 22''
The Original PK Grill & Smoker
The Primo Kamodo All In One
The Weber 18″ Jumbo Joe
Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill by Lodge
The Weber “Go Anywhere” Charcoal Grill
Cooking space:
363 square inches
300 square inches
280 square inches
250 square inches
120 square inches
160 square inches
Warranty:
10 years
10 years
20 years
10 years
Limited warranty
10 years
Size:
25 x 20.5 x 38.5 inches
16 x 35 x 35.5 inches
30 x 30 x 40 inches
19.8 x 20.5 x 19.8 inches
19 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
12.2 x 21 x 14.5 inches
Highlights:
Easy to clean, durable wheels, heat-resistant handles, precision heat control
Made of rust-proof aluminum, built-in wheels, retains heat well, large cooking area
Made of ceramics, self-locking cover hinge, American-made, precision thermomete
Durable lid bowl, compact and lightweight, two dampers
Cast iron grill, Made by a trusted USA manufacturer, perfect for camping
Portable, built in steel legs, great heat retention
Price:
$
$$$
$$$$$$$$$
$$$$

Review of the products

The Original Weber Kettle 22″ – Editor’s Choice

Pitmaster Rating: 4.5

The weber original kettle 22″ is the oldest and most memorable grill out there. As a result, the Weber Kettle has the oldest design and is the best-tested workhorse of the grilling world. At first glance, the Weber Kettle may look out of date, but don’t be fooled.

This grill holds heat more consistently than a standard kitchen oven. This is your BEST grill choice for under $150.  Because of its price and versatility, In the right hands, the Kettle has the capability of making competition grade barbecue.

When the weber charcoal grill is set up with the proper two-zone charcoal method, any pit-master can smoke a pork butt or two. However, if you like searing rib-eyes, or grilling a Thanksgiving turkey, this grill makes it easy and delicious. We know from experience.

Don’t discount the Weber Kettle. Above All, there is a reason why the Kettle has been around for so long. It’s a beast.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Can Smoke or Grill With it
  • Great Temperature Controle
  • Excellent 10yr Warranty
  • Easy to Learn

CONS

  • Looks out of Date
  • Requires Supervision
  • Limited Grill Grate Capacity
  • DESIGN 75% 75%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 80% 80%
  • PRICE 85% 85%

The Original PK Grill & Smoker – The Best Backyard Charcoal Grill

Pitmaster Rating: 4.1

This grill is the favorite of world-renowned Texas pit-master Aaron Franklin from Franklin BBQ. Subsequently, we agree and understand why. If you want to be the envy of your BBQ buds, buy this grill. Period. For example, the retro-looking PK Grill will have a uniquely timeless look that any fellow pit master is bound to notice.

The PK Grill and Smoker has four precision sliding air vents designed for excellent temperature control. In addition, It’s built with a sturdy cast aluminum anti-rust body. Aluminum conducts heat 4 times more efficiently than steel and as a result, any heat radiated inside the grill will be focused back at your food evenly. Pro Tip: The PK is also easily detachable from the base, which makes it very portable.

That is to say, for the price, you won’t find a better grill. It cooks like a thousand dollar kamodo for a fraction of the price and has twice the capacity. There is a reason why Aaron Franklin loves this grill. Again to clarify, you will be absolutely astonished and amazed at how well it grills, sears and smokes.

PROS

  • Cooks Like a Kamodo
  • Great Price for its Quality
  • Can Smoke or Grill With it
  • Makes Quality BBQ
  • Superior Temperature Control
  • Looks Retro and Awesome!

CONS

  • Not an Ideal All Season Grill
  • Requires Supervision
  • Limited Grill Grate Capacity
  • DESIGN 74% 74%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 85% 85%
  • PRICE 70% 70%

The Primo Kamodo All In One – The Best Kamodo Grill

Pitmaster Rating: 4.3

The Primo All In One kamodo grill is our favorite kamodo on the market. The Primo gives you a similar ceramic cooking experience to any other kamodo style grill and it has some great upgrades. Firstly, the All In One has reversible cooking grates for a hot and fast grilling or low and slow smoking. Secondly, Primo Grills are made in the USA.
Consequently, it feels good to buy an American Product. Further, these Grills have a unique a damage-resistant enamel over glaze over their thick ceramic core which is also very ascetically pleasing.

Pro Tip: Primo, all Primo grills are oval shaped not circular. To clarify, this gives the pit master an increased cooking surface. Finally, if your Primo cracks, chips, and/or breaks, they offer a 20-year warranty on all ceramic parts. This All In One lives up to its name. Its ceramic construction makes for an excellent smoker or grill. The Primo All In One is a solid choice for any pit master.

PROS

  • Cheapest Ceramic Kamodo
  • Made In USA
  • Cooks SUPER Evenly
  • 20yr Warranty on Ceramic Parts
  • Amazing Temperature Control

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Not Very Portable
  • DESIGN 60% 60%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 90% 90%
  • PRICE 77% 77%

The Weber 18″ Jumbo Joe – Our Favorite Portable Charcoal Grill

Pitmaster Rating: 3.9

When it comes to a portable charcoal grill, nothing beats the 18″ Weber Jumbo Joe. The Joe has an extra 4 inches in diameter of the cooking surface over the Weber Smokey Joe. Most Importantly, however, The Jumbo Joe is the portable version of Weber’s 18″ kettle grill. This means you can now grill and smoke on a larger scale when away from your home pit.

The Jumbo Joe is equipped with a stainless steel carrying handle that flips down as a lid rest. Above all, if you already know Weber Charcoal Grills, this grill cooks exactly the same. Consequently, cooking hot and fast over coals or low and slow is a breeze.

Using this grill and the traditional two zone cooking method, you can smoke pork anywhere. Finally, because of its capacity, portability, and price, The Weber 18″ Jumbo Joe should be your next addition to your arsenal.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Excellent Portability
  • Great For Tailgating
  • Excellent 10yr Warrenty
  • Cooks Like any Weber Kettle

CONS

  • Limited Capacity
  • DESIGN 75% 75%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 95% 95%
  • PRICE 65% 65%

Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill by Lodge – The Best Camping Charcoal Grill

Pitmaster Rating: 4.0

If you are looking for style and durability, look no further. We are culinary professionals and we love cast-iron cookware.  The reason being, cast iron has unrivaled durability and even temperature cooking ability. Ask your grandmother if you don’t believe us. Lodge really steps it up a notch with this Hibachi-Style grill. Primarily, It has a professionally constructed sliding door to regulate airflow.

By the way, did we mention that the grill grate is adjustable on two different levels? As a result, you have better control of cooking hibachi style. The Sportsman’s grill has durability, functionality, and user friendliness. 

Furthermore, it’s made right here in the USA, so you’re supporting local business. Don’t just take our opinion, check it out now on amazon, and read some user reviews. They love it too. 

PROS

  • Durable Cast Iron
  • Sears Excellently
  • Adjustable Grate
  • Convienent Handle
  • Made In USA

CONS

  • Heavy
  • Can only cook Hibachi Style
  • Limited Temperature Control
  • DESIGN 95% 95%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 78% 78%
  • PRICE 90% 90%

The Weber “Go Anywhere” Charcoal Grill

Pitmaster Rating: 4.0

Weber’s “Go Anywhere” lives up to its name. They [Weber] claims “wherever you bring this grill, you’ll be bringing a taste of home with you.” We have a tenancy to agree.

The Go Anywhere combines all of the best elements of a Weber grill in a portable package. To clarify, it has precision controlled air flow, durability, and portability. Some of the best features of this grill are the fold-able stainless steel legs, dual air vents, and three transportation handles.

 Firstly, the dual air vents give the Go Anywhere precise temperature control. This is exactly what you would expect from a Weber. Similarly, the handles make it easy to pick up and pack away after a beach cook or tailgate.  Finally, the go anywhere weighs in at a light 13 pounds. If you’re looking for the precision of a Weber with added portability, the Go Anywhere is perfect for you.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • It Literally “Goes Anywhere”
  • Excellent Temperature Controle
  • Excellent 10yr Warranty
  • 3 Convenient Handles

CONS

  • It Looks, Well…. Weird
  • Smaller Cooking Capacity
  • DESIGN 77% 77%
  • FUNCTIONALITY 88% 88%
  • PRICE 85% 85%

Charcoal Grill – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

If you are reading this, chances are you need guidance with picking the right charcoal grill for yourself or someone else. Grilling and smoking is serious business. Picking the right grill for your needs and budget are essential. There are many ways to buy a grill, so we recommend listening to us, the certified experts when it comes to grilling and barbecue.

With our years of experience in competition barbecue, we are confident to say that we know all the tricks. One of the first things you will need is a high quality and reliable charcoal grill. That is why we have prepared a comprehensive and short Buyer’s Guide for you! If you want to know more, all you have to do is read on.

Portability

There are many different charcoal grills on the market. Do you want a large stationary grill, or do you maybe need a small portable grill? All of them work the same, but the practical use is totally different.

Cost

The cost of a grill largely depends on its size, features, and the material it’s made of. Grills with larger grates and built-in features like thermometers, dampers, auto-lock handles, and so on, are more expensive than let’s say cast iron grills. .

Grill material

Some charcoal grills are made of aluminum, some are ceramic, and some are even cast-iron. The material they are made of determines their weight and durability. Aluminum models are the lightest and easiest to move, while cast iron grills are virtually indestructible

Grill capacity

The capacity of the grill determines how much food you can prepare at the same time. Standing grills have larger grates and more cooking space than portable or camping grills.

Expert Tips and Tricks

Anyone can cook meat on a charcoal grill, but you have to know some details if you want to be a master chef. Here are some of the tips that will help you get there.

Tip 1 – Use the right amount of charcoal

Setting up a fire with charcoal isn’t that hard, but the amount you place in the grill plays a huge role. For example, a full grill produces about 550 F, ideal for grilling steaks. Fill only half if you want to grill veggies and 1/4 for pork ribs, poultry, and smoking.

Tip 2 – Prepare the grates first

You will have to oil up the cooking grate if you don’t want the meat to stick to it. Place the empty grates over the fire to preheat them and make sure you get perfect sear marks.

Tip 3 – Learn how to use the damper

The damper is responsible for controlling the heat. If you want a stronger fire, open up the dampers so more air gets inside the grill. Do the opposite to calm the fire down.

Tip 4 – Direct and indirect heat

The speed you need to cook the food depends directly on the type of heat it’s cooking on. Direct heat is the warmth coming from beneath the food and indirect heat is reflected from above by the top cover. Closing the cover will cook your food faster.

Conclusion

Charcoal grills are the original way of grilling food. They were here long before gas and electric models, and the food prepared in these grills has that specific smokey taste. Still, there are many different types of charcoal grills, so you need to think about your needs before buying one. For example, The Original Weber Kettle 22″ is a standard charcoal grill ideal for backyard BBQ parties, while the Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill by Lodge is designed to be easily portable so you can take it camping.

Some models have extra features designed to make the cooking process easier and safer, while others provide a large cooking surface, so you can get a lot done in the shortest time. Regardless of what model you choose, you will always get that special taste that comes with charcoal grills.

With a little practice and experimentation, you will master the art of grilling, so all of your friends and family can enjoy a juicy piece of steak. Choose the model you like the most and get ready for the next 4th of July in time. Remember to get some charcoal too!

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