The 7 Best Charcoal Grills

The 7 Best Charcoal Grills

Have you ever pondered over the secret behind the exceptional taste of barbecued food? Look no further than the charcoal grill. Unlike gas and electric grills, charcoal grills have the remarkable ability to impart a distinct and unparalleled flavor to your dishes. The smoldering coals release a char-grilled smokiness that elevates the taste to a whole new level. For an added touch of authenticity, you can enhance the smoky flavor by incorporating wood chips into the charcoal. Although charcoal grills require a bit more effort to ignite and manage compared to their counterparts, the mouthwatering end results make it a worthwhile endeavor. Moreover, charcoal grills tend to be more budget-friendly, adding to their appeal.

Types of Charcoal Grills

Kettle Grills

The kettle grill was invented by George Stephens of Weber Brothers Metal Works (the precursor to Weber Grills) in 1952. He basically took a metal buoy, cut it in half and added grates, vents and legs to create a revolutionary new style of backyard grilling. Kettle grills have a rounded shape. All you have to do is place coals in the bottom and you’re pretty much ready to grill. These types of grills are typically small, so they’re easy to transport, and they tend to be inexpensive. 

Kamado Grills

Kamado grills originated in Japan, and they have a distinctive egg shape. Most feature thick ceramic walls that heat up quickly, retain heat very well, and are weather and rust resistant. These types of grills can also be used as a smoker and an oven, so you can slow cook items like ribs and brisket or use them to make pizzas and bread. The only downsides are that they tend to be heavy and expensive.

Cart-Style & Barrel Grills

Cart-style charcoal grills look much like gas and electric grills. They typically have a rectangular or barrel-shaped cooking chamber resting on top of a cart that usually has side tables and wheels for easy transport. Most also have ash pans to collect any charcoal debris. These types of grills often have more cooking space than kettle or kamado grills, so they’re ideal for cooking for large numbers of people. 

The 7 Best Charcoal Grills

If you’re considering switching to charcoal grilling or looking to upgrade your current charcoal grill, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, I’ve carefully selected the best charcoal grills on the market in 2020. These grills have been chosen based on their superior performance, convenient features, and exceptional durability. With one of these grills, you can take your grilling experience to a whole new level.

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal GrillWeber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Dimensions: 39.5 x 27 x 22.5 inches

Weight: 32.3 lbs

Warranty: 10 years for the bowl and lid, 5 years for cleaning system and plastic parts, 2 years for the other parts

Introducing the Weber Original Kettle Grill – a true icon in the world of BBQ. Dating back to the 1950s, this grill revolutionized American grilling traditions and continues to impress with its modern features. With a spacious cooking grate spanning 363 square inches, it easily accommodates enough food to satisfy up to 6 hungry individuals.

Crafted with utmost durability, this premium model boasts a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, as well as a rust-resistant steel-plated cooking grate. Take control of your grilling experience with rust-resistant dampers that allow precise temperature and airflow adjustments. The one-touch cleaning system effortlessly clears away ash, while the built-in thermometer ensures perfect cooking temperatures.

Enjoy added convenience with a heat shield, tool hooks, and an innovative lid hook for easy storage. Plus, the hinged cooking grate allows for hassle-free charcoal replenishment. Effortlessly remove and empty the high-capacity ash catcher, completing the ultimate grilling experience. The Weber Original Kettle Grill: a true testament to BBQ greatness.


  • Great value
  • Durable construction
  • Hinged grate for easy refueling
  • Heat shield on lid handle
  • High-capacity removable ash catcher


  • Grill is a bit short for tall users

Weber Performer Premium Charcoal GrillWeber Performer Premium Charcoal Grill

Dimensions: 43.5 x 48 x 30 inches

Weight: 97 lbs

Warranty: 10 years for the bowl and lid, 5 years for cleaning system and plastic parts, 2 years for the other parts

Elevate your grilling game with the Weber Performer Premium charcoal grill, a true game-changer in kettle grill innovation. This grill combines the beloved kettle grill design with the comfort and convenience of a cart-style configuration.

While it may come with a higher price tag compared to the Original Kettle Premium, the abundance of extra features makes it worth every penny. The heavy-duty steel cart offers a side table for added workspace, while the gas ignition system ensures quick and effortless startup. With three dampers and a charcoal bin, you have complete control over temperature and fuel management. Keep track of cooking times with the LCD timer, which can be conveniently attached to the cart or removed for remote monitoring.

Storage woes are a thing of the past with the weather-resistant CharBin container, providing a dedicated space for charcoal storage. The side table offers ample room for ingredients, and the tool hooks keep utensils within easy reach. The steel rack at the bottom is perfect for storing plates, propane tanks, or additional tools. Plus, the lid holder eliminates the need to place the lid on the ground. Take your grilling experience to new heights with the Weber Performer Premium charcoal grill.


  • Heavy-duty cart with side table
  • Large cooking area
  • Removable LCD timer
  • Storage bin for charcoal
  • High-capacity removable ash catcher


  • A bit pricey   

Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal GrillNexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill

Dimensions: 45.75 x 36 x 30 inches

Weight: 48 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Experience the best of both worlds with the Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill, combining the convenience of a gas grill with the authentic smoky flavor of charcoal. With a generous 550 square inches of cooking area, including main grates and a warming rack, you’ll have ample space for your culinary creations. The side and front tables provide additional room for plates, food, and essential grilling tools. The sturdy cart design offers comfortable cooking height, mobility, and stability during use.

Take control of your grilling with easy-to-use ventilation dampers for precise temperature and airflow management. Adjust the charcoal tray to achieve the perfect heat proximity for your food. The versatile warming rack can be used to hold cooked dishes or removed to create more grilling space. Despite its affordable price, the Nexgrill Cart-Style grill doesn’t compromise on features. The built-in thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature without lifting the lid, ensuring precision cooking every time. The folding front and side tables offer flexibility in space utilization, while the porcelain-enamel grates resist rust and prevent food from sticking.

Elevate your grilling experience with the Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill.


  • Affordable
  • Multiple ventilation dampers
  • Heavy-duty porcelain-enamel cast-iron cooking grates
  • Adjustable charcoal tray
  • Durable wheels for mobility


  • Short warranty
  • Assembly can be challenging

Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal GrillMasterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 Digital Charcoal Grill 

Dimensions: 52.16 x 61.02 x 33.07 inches

Weight: 231.13 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

Indulge in the pinnacle of grilling excellence with the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 charcoal grill. Offering unparalleled performance and a suite of cutting-edge features, this grill is a true marvel. The charcoal hopper, conveniently located on the side, holds enough charcoal to provide eight hours of continuous cooking time.

Take command of your grilling experience with the WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled control panel, allowing you to effortlessly set and monitor the temperature from your smart device. Within minutes, the grill reaches your desired temperature and maintains it flawlessly throughout the cooking process. The reversible porcelain-coated cast iron grates empower you to sear or smoke with precision, while the folding warming and smoking racks optimize space and capacity. With a generous 550 square inches of cooking area, you’ll have ample room to unleash your culinary creativity. The digitally controlled fan ensures optimal airflow, delivering consistent heat distribution from the hopper to the grilling area. Download the Masterbuilt app to conveniently monitor and adjust the temperature from the comfort of your smart device. 

Designed with convenience in mind, this exceptional grill features a side table and stainless-steel rack, offering a dedicated space for prepped food and cooking tools within arm’s reach. The bottom shelf on the cart provides storage for extra charcoal, while the fold-out cord storage area in the back keeps your cables safe and organized. Elevate your grilling endeavors to unprecedented heights with the Masterbuilt Gravity Series 1050 charcoal grill.


  • WiFi and Bluetooth enabled
  • Can hold enough charcoal for up to eight hours of cooking time
  • Reversible porcelain-enameled cast-iron grates
  • Side and front tables for extra prep space
  • Built-in meat probe


  • Expensive
  • Short warranty

Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal GrillKamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

Dimensions: 26.4 x 26.4 x 36 inches

Weight: 250 lbs

Warranty: Lifetime warranty for ceramic parts, 5 years for metal parts, 1 year for thermometer and gaskets

Discover the world of kamado-style charcoal grilling with Kamado Joe, renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship. At the heart of their collection is the highly acclaimed Classic II 18-inch model. This contemporary charcoal grill is a true multi-tasker, allowing you to grill, smoke, and bake with ease.

The innovative Divide & Conquer cooking grate features dual half-moon racks, enabling you to cook various foods at different temperatures simultaneously. With the top vent, you have precise control over the temperature, ranging from 225 to an impressive 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Built to withstand the test of time, the Kamado Joe Classic II boasts thick ceramic walls that ensure durability and exceptional heat retention. The powder-coated cast aluminum top vent resists rust even in challenging weather conditions. The robust wire-mesh fiberglass gasket creates an airtight seal when the lid is closed, surpassing industry standards in longevity. Despite its sturdy construction, the air-lift hinge makes opening the lid effortless, requiring just one finger. Safeguard your grilling masterpiece with the stainless-steel latch, ensuring no smoke or heat escapes during the cooking process.

Cleaning up is a breeze with the slide-out catch pan that conveniently collects and disposes of ashes. Kamado Joe offers a range of additional accessories, including a rotisserie, wok, and charcoal basket, to enhance your grilling experience and simplify maintenance. Unleash your culinary creativity with the Kamado Joe Classic II, the epitome of versatility and durability.


  • Can be used to grill, smoke, and bake
  • Two-level grates for cooking foods at different temperatures
  • Air-lift hinge for easy opening and closing
  • Durable
  • Multiple accessories available


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal GrillChar-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

Dimensions: 47 x 31 x 45 inches

Weight: 97 lbs

Warranty: 5 years

If you’re intrigued by the allure of a kamado grill but hesitant about the price of ceramic models, the Char-Griller Akorn charcoal grill offers an affordable alternative. Crafted with porcelain-coated double-walled steel, it strikes the perfect balance between lighter weight and exceptional durability. The triple-walled steel construction excels at heat retention, allowing for fuel efficiency and potential long-term savings.

The Char-Griller Akorn quickly heats up and boasts a temperature range from 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This versatility enables you to indulge in slow-cooking and smoking meats, baking pizzas and bread, and achieving perfect sears on steaks. Fine-tune your grilling experience with the two adjustable dampers, allowing for precise control of airflow and temperature. The cast iron grills provide a generous 306 square inches of cooking area, while the warming rack offers an additional 165 square inches of space.

Convenient metal side tables on each side of the grill are ideal for food and plate placement, complemented by metal hooks for hanging essential tools. The cart design features a bottom shelf for storing bags of charcoal or other cooking utensils. Mobility is a breeze with two sturdy wheels, while locking casters ensure stability during cooking sessions. The Char-Griller Akorn represents excellent value for a kamado-style grill, combining affordability with outstanding performance.


  • Great value
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used to grill, smoke, and bake
  • Retains heat and moisture well


  • Ash pan can rust if not cleaned regularly

Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube Portable Charcoal GrillEverdure by Heston Blumenthal Cube Portable Charcoal Grill

Dimensions: 9.05 x 13.67 x 16.73 inches

Weight: 19.55 lbs

Warranty: 2 years

Experience the ultimate in portable grilling with The Cube, a compact and versatile companion for camping, beach outings, and tailgating adventures. Its lightweight steel construction and convenient side handles allow you to take it anywhere with ease, while the safety latches ensure secure closure during transport. The Cube’s thoughtful design features a base plaque that keeps surfaces cool, making it suitable for use on various settings like picnic tables, truck flatbeds, or grassy areas.

Unleash its potential by opening the safety latches to reveal a bamboo cutting board and a food storage tray atop the robust stainless steel cooking grate. The porcelain-enamel coated firebox houses a removable charcoal tray, enabling hassle-free setup before your culinary endeavors. What sets this portable charcoal grill apart is its exceptional heat management, ensuring that surfaces remain safe to touch throughout the cooking process. The handles stay cool, and the grill’s exterior only warms up slightly without reaching burn-inducing temperatures. Cleaning is a breeze as well. Simply remove the charcoal tray to dispose of ashes, then wash the firebox and components with soapy water.

With The Cube, enjoy the convenience of on-the-go grilling without sacrificing safety or cleanliness.


  • Compact, lightweight, and portable
  • Integrated storage with food tray and bamboo board
  • Strong safety latches for transport
  • Handles stay cool to the touch during cooking
  • Easy to clean


  • Small cooking surface

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Charcoal Grill

When venturing into the world of charcoal grills, several factors should be taken into account to ensure you make the right choice. Let’s explore these considerations to guide your decision-making process.


Begin by evaluating your cooking needs. If you often host large gatherings or cook for numerous family members and friends, a grill with a spacious cooking surface, such as a cart-style model, is ideal. On the other hand, if you typically grill for smaller groups or require portability, a kettle grill or kamado grill may suffice.


Consider the functionalities you desire from your charcoal grill. If smoking and slow-cooking are priorities, opt for a grill that excels at maintaining low temperatures for extended periods. Kamado grills provide versatility, serving as smokers, grills, and even ovens. However, certain cart-style grills also offer remarkable versatility depending on the specific model.

Direct vs. Indirect Grilling

Understanding the distinction between direct and indirect grilling is crucial. Direct grilling involves placing food directly over the heat source for searing and quick cooking at high temperatures. In contrast, indirect grilling requires separating the food from the heat source, resulting in longer cooking times. To achieve indirect grilling on a charcoal grill, either create separate zones by pushing coals to one side or choose a grill with adjustable racks that maintain distance from the coals.


While charcoal grills generally offer cost-effective options, prices can vary significantly. Kettle grills and portable models tend to be more budget-friendly, but they may compromise on cooking area and convenience features. In terms of functionality and additional features, investing more often yields higher quality and enhanced performance.

Selecting the ideal charcoal grill may seem daunting, particularly if you’re new to grilling or haven’t upgraded in a while. Ultimately, your decision should align with your specific grilling requirements and budget. Each grill recommended in this guide has received acclaim for exceptional performance, top-notch construction, and unique features. Rest assured, any of these choices will elevate your grilling experience to new heights.

Parting Words

Choosing the perfect charcoal grill is crucial in order to create an unforgettable grilling experience. The 7 grills mentioned in this article offer exceptional performance, durability, and versatility. Consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget when making your decision. Whether you choose Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill or any other grill from our list, you can’t go wrong with any of these options.

Explore the features, read customer reviews, and make an informed decision. With the right charcoal grill, you’ll be ready to create delicious, smoky dishes that will impress your family and friends.

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