The Best Charcoal Grills 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

Last updated on November 18th, 2020 at 01:58 pm

If you’re a barbecue enthusiast, you must have seen or at least heard about charcoal grills and offset smokers! There isn’t a big difference between the two, as both serve the same purpose. The major distinction between these is the source of fuel, as an offset smoker uses gas while Charcoal smoker grills are more on the traditional side, using coal to give the best smokiest flavor achievable to the meat, and that’s why I have written this article, to guide you step by step, on choosing the best small Charcoal Grill lowes out there!

NoProductDetailsRatingPrice
1Weber Original Premium Kettle GrillEasy Cooking
Large Space

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2Weber Go-Anywhere GrillDigital Controls
Glass door

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3Char-Griller Akorn Kamado KookerSix Racks
Easy Clean Up

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4Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill2 Years Warranty
Lightweight

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5Char-Griller 1515 Patio Pro Excellent Design
Budget Friendly

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You will find each and every tiniest bit of detail below, starting with the usability, design, performance, build, and ending with two of the most important factors to look for in a grill, the price tag, and if the Charcoal grill reviews provide value for money or not! Also, see the guide for Best Charcoal Grills on eBay.

weber Traditional And Compact A Traditional and compact Design

Weber is a well-known brand, and is also one of the oldest and the most trusted one when it comes to Best Charcoal grills or even gas grills for that matter! As you would have already guessed by its name, this grill greatly resembles a Kettle, giving it an eye-catching look, making it one of the best charcoal smokers in 2021! Starting with the measurements, the Weber Original Premium Kettle grill takes up a minimal 39.5 x 22.5 x 27 inches of space, which makes it easier to fit into a small backyard or on the terrace of your home smoker.

Bigger space and a variety of colors

The good thing is, this specific grill still provides quite a decent amount of cooking area, or to be exact, the 363 square Inches can hold quite a decent number of burgers for your family or friends, or two to three whole chickens even!  Now if you’re a choosy or an artistic person, I bet you would find it heartening to know that this particular model does not come in just black, copper, crimson and green are also being offered. This is the reason we have included this grill in our list of the best top-rated charcoal grills in 2021 out there!

Ash Catcher and Thermometer

Not to forget that the Weber Kettle Grill is a basic one, it still has all the features you could need while using it. Starting with the elevated ash catcher which reduces the hassle of discarding ash, it also has a built-in thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature to get the most flavor out of your meat.

Hooks for easy hanging

There is a useful hook located right on the inside of the lid, which permits you to conveniently hang the lid on the side of the grill. Another small yet extremely helpful feature is the hooks that are embedded into the side of the grill, making it possible to hang towels, spatulas, or any other essential you would want to.

A grill you can move around

If you’re an old person or are looking for a grill that you can effortlessly move around, then this charcoal and gas grill might be the best one for you. It weighs just a bit over 32 pounds, also making it come into the list of the most lightweight and best Charcoal grill smoker in 2021. The wheels are heavy-duty and quite durable, further increasing the ease of moving it around across rough terrain.

A Strong Build

The Weber Premium Kettle grill will never fail to surprise you in terms of build quality. The grill is porcelain enamel which prevents rusting, allowing it to last for a decade. The two dampers, located on the top and bottom of the grill are stainless steel. If you’re worried about cracks and crevices, then let me assure you that the seal between the lid and body is completely tight, providing excellent insulation which in turn controls the temperature with more precision.

A budget-friendly grill

To be precise, this grill retails at $165, which is an excellent deal considering its longevity and useful features. The cost is well justified considering the two dampers, built-in thermometer for heat monitoring, and the strong build.

It comes with a huge 10 years warranty in case it starts showing signs of rust, and for the plastic parts, you are given a 5-year warranty. Considering such amazing customer service, one should not even have a second thought when buying this grill and that’s why this grill has taken the top place in our list of the best charcoal grills in 2021.

Pros

  A simple yet unique design.
  A well trusted and known brand.
  Budget-friendly and qualitative.
  Quick ash removal system.
  Extremely long-lasting and durable.

Cons

 The thermometer is less accurate than grilling thermometers.
 Wheels should have been made bigger.

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Weber GoAnywhere GrillWhen I’m talking about Weber, what I really mean is Quality! After seeing Weber producing so many top-notch grills over the years, people have developed a strong attachment to this brand, making its reputation soar to the skies and that’s the sole reason I have decided that it is one of the best charcoal grills present in 2021.

A simplistic Design

Who doesn’t want a grill which is easy to operate and has a decent look? Like almost all the grills out there in the market, Weber Go-Anywhere grill too is on the simplistic and easy to understand side. There’s a metallic rectangular firebox with legs that fold and a grate. The rectangular firebox will give you a huge advantage over any other shape, and that is using one side with a low flame for some light cooking, while the other sideburns the meat intensely, giving the typical smoked taste.

A decent cooking area

Keeping in mind that the Weber Go anywhere Grill is a portable and compact grill, it still comes with a decent-sized cooking surface! To be explicit, the grilling area estimates a total of 140 square inches which means you can easily fit four medium-sized stakes and a few vegetables alongside. Moreover, the grill is completely secured onto a lip built right into the body of the grill, which makes it almost impossible to fall off or even move an Inch during use, easily making it the most secure grill in comparison with other grills in the market.

Ease of Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill, it doesn’t require much of effort. You can effortlessly scrape the grill grates with a decent wire grill brush. Just like every other grill out there, it is necessary to remove unused or burned coal after every use, otherwise, you would risk blocking the lower air vents, which in turn would not let the fire burn to the fullest. For ash removal, you can just dump it away by overturning the grill, it’s as simple as that!

If you want to shut out the fire, you can either let the charcoal burn away completely, or you can shut down the aluminum dampers which would help in suffocating the fire but to let you know, this grill isn’t completely airtight.

The warranty and support

This little grill is built with such perfection which is the reason Weber electric smokers have full confidence in its longevity. There is a whopping 10-year warranty against burns and rust damage for the firebox and the lit. Leaving cosmetic issues (fading, discoloring, etc.) out, there is also a 5-year warranty for the handle. For the left-out parts like the legs and the dampers, you get a 2-year warranty which isn’t at all bad!

Pros

  Sturdy build plus simple design.
  Extraordinary warranty period.
  Foldable legs.
  Dampers for temperature control.
  Easy to travel with.

Cons

 Legs can become loose over time.
 A bit smaller in size than other grills.
 The cooking grate is not adjustable.

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Char-Griller Akorn Kamado KookerThe Design and Build Quality

The Char-Grill Akorn smoker Kamado is made from porcelain coated and tripled walled stainless steel which increases heat retention. Due to the triple wall construction, it is excellent in terms of safety for kids and pets due to the exterior being relatively cool to touch. The design promotes even heat distribution as well which allows the food to be cooked from top to bottom.

Coming to the cooking area, you get a diameter of 20 Inches which equals 314 square inches. The cooking grates are constructed from cast iron, making them almost indestructible. You can get this model in grey, red, or blue according to your taste.

Side Shelves and removable circle

Surprisingly, you get a tiny removable circle right in the center of the grill, which makes adding extra coals seem super easy. There are a few other features as well which make this grill a great choice. The side shelves come with hooks for hanging which would help you in hanging utensils.

Ashcan and a removable rack

The ash can is easy to use as it can be unclipped, allowing you to quickly get rid of the ash. The lid has a locking mechanism, allowing it to be transported anywhere. There is also a removable rack which is especially useful for warming bread and buns.

Easy to Clean and maintain

Because of being Non-sticky, you would not have to face difficulty in moving your food, or even in cleaning the grates after cooking. As I have told about the removable ash can before, it makes the cleanup process less of a hassle. Not only disposing of the ash is easy, with the pan removed, you can also wash the inside of the grill and for the water, but it would also flow down right away from the bottom of the grill.

An affordable grill you can consider

Considering the price, this grill does provide value for money. With such impressive insulation, being light in weight, and good build quality, the $329 price tag can be considered as well justified.

If  You Like To Know More About Best Electrical Smokers and Grills Deeply, Then You Can Go On: Best Electrical Smokers

Pros

  Requires low maintenance.
  Simple egg-shaped design.
  Excellent heat retention.
  Sturdy build.
  Even heat distribution.

Cons

 Not rust resistant and waterproof.
 Stainless steel build.
 Adjusting the temperature requires some practice.

  → Check Price ←

Weber Performer DeluxeThe Design and Build Quality

Known as one of the oldest and much-respected company, Weber smokers have made yet another awesome Barbecue Grill, The Performer Deluxe! This grill will last you a decade, with the frame produced from heavy-duty steel, it easily withstands wear and tear, no matter how roughly it is used.

The grill being heavier than most of the other grills can survive the whole year sitting in your backyard due to non-rust materials, whether it is windy or rainy, hot, or cold! It weighs a total of 99 pounds, measuring around 43.5 inches x 48 inches x 30 inches. The charcoal bowl is made out of porcelain-enameled aluminum. The lid of the bowl is glass, making it easy to be taken off without using gloves.

Built-in table counterpart

Being a high-end charcoal grill, it comes with a built-in table countertop, providing you with an adequate amount of space to place anything you’d want, whether it is food, plates, or some other necessity. This will save you the trouble of placing a separate table nearby to keep your utensils on!

Touch & Go Ignition System

Thankfully, this specific model contains a Touch & Go Gas ignition system that can light up the charcoal in a few moments. Going into a little detail of this system, it uses disposable liquid propane cylinders plus an electric igniter to instantly set the charcoal on fire. This will save you time and the hassle people always have to face when using a typical lighter.

Lockable wheels and hooks

Moving the grill has never been easier, but with the Weber Performer Deluxe, you can move it from place to place due to it being equipped with lockable wheels.

Coming to the hooks, there are 3 tool hooks located right on the front, making the necessary tools you need nearby in reach of your hands.

Removable Timer & a Thermometer

To make keeping track of time easier, this grill comes with a removable timer, which you can carry with you in case you do not want to stand in front of the grill waiting timelessly for your food to be cooked.

The thermometer, although not very accurate, will give you an idea of the overall temperature which could help you in cooking your food at the right temperature.

Pros

  Push Button Ignition System.
  Large cooking surface.
  Removable Timer.
  Built-in Thermometer.
  A sturdy build.

Cons

 Long Assembling time.
 Thermometer not accurate.
 Not as portable as other grills.
 Very heavy.

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Char-Griller 1515 Patio ProBuild and Design

Without wasting any time, let’s jump straight to the topic! The Char-Griller Patio Pro has been built using a highly long-lasting heavy-duty steel. The powder-coated body gives it a very appealing yet decent look. Coming to the grill, it is constructed using cast iron which promotes even heat distribution.

With a cooking surface of 250 square inches, you can easily enjoy a delicious barbecue with a small family or with a few friends. It has a compact design which makes it most suitable for backyards, plus it does not require a large amount of coal due to its size.

Stay Cool Handle

The Stay-Cool handle is one of the safety features of this Best Charcoal grill. Although this feature isn’t exactly something unique, it does offer complete protection for you and your kids if they accidentally touch it during usage.

Side Shelf and Air Vent

A side shelf or a mini table, whatever you prefer to call it, is present in this Best Charcoal grill. This shelf provides you with a decent amount of space for keeping food, sauces, water bottles, or any other utensil you would want to keep in reach.

The grill also comes with a large side vent to control airflow and smoker going in and out from the grill. You would not get excellent temperature control with one vent, as usually, grills come with more than one vent for more precision.

Pros

  Comes with wheels.
  Lightweight barrel design.
  Cast Iron grates.
  Low maintenance.

Cons

 One vent makes temperature control hard.
 Small smokers for small Grilling surface.
 No built-in thermometer.

  → Check Price ←

Buying Guide For Charcoal Grills
Types of Charcoal Grills:

Kettle Grills

These kinds of grills are typically smaller than barrel style and kamado-style grills, making them suitable for people who have less space in their homes. These grills have a limited capacity, so they hold less food than barrel grills. Kettle Grills have three legs and not so stable design, so do not expect them to be extraordinarily sturdy. Due to a round design, they have proven to be much better in trapping and controlling heat than grills coming in other shapes. These grills typically range from $90-300, depending on factors I have listed down below later in this article for you!

If You Are A Beginner Then Please Read Best Electrical Smokers For Beginner Review List For Yourself Here: Best Electrical Smokers For Beginner

Barrel Grills

As you would’ve already guessed by the title, these grills look like a barrel, or some are a bit rectangular too. These grills can hold a larger amount of food than Kettle grills and have many features you usually would not find in Kettle grills such as adjustable cooking grates or an ash pan. Another important thing to know is that these grills burn more coal than Kettle grills, so you would frequently have to coal, layer by layer. They have four legs and are quite bulky, so they are usually more stable and stronger than Kettle Grills plus they have strong wheels for moving them around. The price at around $300.

Ceramic/Kamado Grills

These grills can be called the “father of all grills”. This grill will give you a unique taste, a taste you would typically only get to experience in a renowned barbecue restaurant. These grills are made using premium materials. The thick ceramic walls can survive the hottest of temperature and can retain heat for hours and hours. If you are considering to get the best experience and have no budget issue, then you can buy this grill ranging from $300 and up.

Airflow

Airflow is a necessity when it comes to Best Charcoal grills as these grills rely on airflow to regulate temperature. Movement of air is a must if you want to keep the fire burning hot, while on the other hand if you want to distinguish it, you have to block the airflow. For good control of the temperature, look for a grill that has multiple vents and solid dampers.

Cooking Grates

To have more control over how you cook your food, always go for a grill that has adjustable cooking grates, which will allow you to raise or lower the meat, permitting you to control how much farther it is from the fire, reducing the risk of burning the meat.

Coal Bed

Whenever you’re using a charcoal grill, you would always have to add more coal when cooking for longer periods of time. There are grills in the market that comes with proper doors that can be opened or sealed, for adding coal while grilling. You should go for a grill which has doors to add coal.

Grill Size and Shape

When talking about heat, size and shape play a huge role in influencing the spread and concentration of heat. For example, take the Kettle grill, it has an enclosed and narrow design, so it concentrates more heat on the meat, making the cooking process much faster while on the other side, Barrel grills are wider, giving even heat spread over a wider area but at a lesser rate, slowing down the cooking process but for reducing the risk of burning the meat on the positive side.

Go for a Barrel or Ceramic grill if you have a large family or if you often host barbecue parties, otherwise, a Kettle grill will suit you the most if you have a small family or you travel frequently, as due to its compact design, you can fit it in a car’s trunk.

If you are an old-fashioned person or are a diehard fan of barbecuing but you cannot easily afford the rising prices of offset smokers, then I would honestly suggest you go for a Charcoal Grill, as these are a budget-friendly option plus they provide the same amazing smokey taste that you would get with an offset smoker but at a much more friendly and justified price tag.

If you are an old-fashioned person or are a diehard fan of barbecuing but you cannot easily afford the rising prices of offset smokers, then I would honestly suggest you go for a Charcoal Grill, as these are a budget-friendly option plus they provide the same amazing smokey taste that you would get with an offset smoker but at a much more friendly and justified price tag.

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