Last updated on January 6th, 2020
We all love to grill outside, especially on a nice, hot, summer day. This is why we tested and reviewed some of the best charcoal grills on the market! Yes, we bought 8 different charcoal grills and grilled ribs, burgers, brats, and steaks. We did this so that we could curate a list of what we feel are the absolute best charcoal grills on the planet.
Obviously, we know that there are “better” charcoal grills out there but we couldn’t test them all. We only ended up testing charcoal grills that the average family can afford comfortably.
Whether you’re cooking brats, hot dogs, steaks, or even hamburgers, you want to make sure you’ve got a good grill to cook your favorite summertime meats. These 5 grills will not only cook some mean meats, but they’ll also last you quite a while before having to replace as well.
About Charcoal Grills
Charcoal grills use either charcoal briquettes or natural lump charcoal as their main fuel source. When they get burned, the charcoal transforms into embers that radiate the heat that is necessary to cook food.
Grilling with charcoal has been around for many years and to this day, there is much contention about which type of charcoal is best for grilling. However, nobody really knows which type of charcoal is the best to use. It’s one of those things where everyone has their own opinion.
In addition, charcoal grills have many different configurations as well. Grills can be square, round, or even rectangular. Some also have lids, and some don’t. Most have venting systems for heat control as well.
Top 5 Best Charcoal Grills
1. Kamado Pro by Vision Grills (Our Favorite)
Experience the ultimate in grill versatility with the Vision Grills Kamado Pro Ceramic Charcoal Grill. It replicates wood oven cooking, allowing you to grill, sear and smoke meats and vegetables as well as bake pizzas and bread. An electric starter port lets you light the grill with ease.
Dual calibrated draft vents provide perfect temperature control and a removable ash drawer makes for easy cleaning. This high-quality ceramic grill offers 604 sq. in. of cooking space and 2-tiered stainless steel flip grates.
Additional features include a cast iron calibrated top vent, two solid-surface drop-down shelves and a full-length vinyl cover for durable protection.
- The design and thick ceramic construction create a convection heat environment for even cooking and reduces charcoal usage.
- Thick ceramic wall construction reduces heat transfer and eliminates the risk of burns from the exterior.
- Dual calibrated draft vent dials for superior temperature control.
- Easy-lift spring-assist lid with shock absorber.
- Calibrated cast iron top vent.
- 2-solid surface drop-down shelves.
- Electric starter port for lighting ease.
- Removable ash drawer for easy cleanout.
- Full-length heavy-duty vinyl cover included.
- Sturdy powder-coated steel cart with 2 locking casters.
- Easily convertible to gas (natural or propane) with the Quickchange Gas Insert (sold separately).
The great features and high quality of the Smokin’ Champ make it a better option than many grills that cost twice as much. Its versatility is appreciated by barbecue pros and backyard enthusiasts. It features a large grilling area of 1238 sq. in. with cast-iron grates that heat evenly and lock in the flavor of your food.
The main grill barrel is 675 sq. in. There is a 256 sq. in. side firebox for smoking meats. The warming rack is 307 sq. in. The ash box is easy to clean. Durably made of heavy gauge steel, this grill will last for years. There is a built-in heat gauge, airtight flanged hood, and two metal shelves. Rotisserie and warming rack adaptable.
- Spacious cooking surface and firebox for smoking.
- Ash box is easy to clean.
- Heavy-duty steel construction, black finish.
- Durable cast iron cooking grates.
- Warming rack turns bread golden-brown and keeps cooked foods toasty.
- An adjustable ash pan allows heat intensity alteration and easy coal removal.
- The built-in heat gauge offers precise temperature regulation.
- Side table and lower shelf offer ample storage options.
- Equipped with wheels for easy portability.
The KitchenAid Cart-Style Charcoal Grill in Black offers 851.1sq. in. of cooking space spread across its upper-level warming rack and main-platform grilling deck. Features include heavy-duty cast iron cooking grates that are matte finish porcelain-coated so pre-seasoning is not required.
Adjustable charcoal tray, ventilation, damper plus front-access door to charcoal make it easy to control cooking temperatures, which are easily monitored via the built-in heat gauge. Collapsible side tables allow its footprint to shrink when it’s not being used and the wheels make it easily portable. A convenient slide-out ash drawer makes cleanup a breeze.
- Equipped with 3 porcelain-coated cast iron matte finish cooking grates.
- Grid-lifting tool included for moving hot grates to add more charcoal.
- Warming rack lets you keep finished food or buns toasty until side dishes are done.
- The slide-out ash drawer enables easy cleanups.
- Height-adjustable pre-oiled steel charcoal tray lets you intensify or scale back the heat.
- Adjustable ventilation and damper for ultimate heat control.
- Foldable side shelves allow convenient storage.
- The temperature gauge ensures consistent cooking for flavorful results.
- Wheels allow for easy mobility.
The Akorn Kamado Kooker can maintain consistent temperatures from 200°F to 700°F. That lets you cook a variety of foods such as steaks, fish, chicken, ribs, brisket, pizza, bread and even cookies. The innovative design uses double-walled steel with insulation.
In order to generate heat, air must be flowing through the grill and around the coals. Airflow causes food to dry out. With the Akorn insulated design, it retains heat better, requiring less heat and less airflow. Therefore, insulated heat, juicier meat.
- Insulated design means more heat using less charcoal and less airflow resulting in juicy meat.
- Akorn is the only kamado-style grill with an easy dump ash pan allowing ash to be removed easily from the grill without a mess.
- Tubular steel cart construction.
- 26 in. x 26 in. prep/serving table.
- Dual adjustable dampers allow for precise air adjustment required for dialing in and maintaining specific temperatures.
- Cast iron cooking grates enhance flavors and heat evenly; it will hold up to 23 burgers.
Get the same high-performance kettle BBQ grill that is synonymous with the Weber name, now outfitted with a heavy-duty steel cart, push-button ignition system, side table, charcoal bin and LCD timer. The Weber Performer Deluxe 22 in. charcoal grill in copper also boasts the Tuck-Away lid holder that acts as a pair of extra hands to cradle the lid while you tend to the main course.
- Gourmet BBQ system hinged plated steel cooking grate has a 363 sq. in. cooking area, compatible with other BBQ systems’ separately-sold cookware (wok, griddle, sear grate, pizza stone).
- Includes an electronic touch-n-go gas ignition system; uses separately-sold 14.1 oz. or 16.4 oz. disposable liquid propane canisters.
- Steel cart frame includes 1 char-bin weather-protected charcoal container, 1 removable LCD timer, 3 tool hooks, 1 wire bottom rack, 1 painted metal side table, 2 locking caster wheels and 2 all-weather 8 in. rubber-molded wheels.
- Portable backlit LCD cook timer displays countdown time; take it with you or secure it to the grill cart.
- Copper performer deluxe 22 in. kettle and lid constructed with high-grade porcelain-enamel.
- Includes a 2-touch cleaning system with 3 aluminized steel rust-resistant dampers, which regulate airflow while cooking and sweep ash after grilling.
- Includes large-capacity removable ash catcher to easily dispose of coal ashes.
- The lid has a handle with a heat shield, built-in thermometer and adjustable damper with 4 air vents.
Best Charcoal To Use For Charcoal Grills
There’s nothing better than the start of summer and getting the grill started for the first time. For many of us, grilling outside for friends and family is a great way to celebrate the season. In addition to getting together with everyone, a good charcoal grill gives your meats a nice smoky flavor that everyone always loves.
With a charcoal grill, you need a good brand of charcoal to encapsulate that rich smoky flavor. In the table below, we’re going to list some of the best charcoal to use for charcoal grills.
If you’re in the market for a really great charcoal grill, our favorite was the Vision Kamado at #1 on our list. This grill will never rust and will last for many years. We have never seen a grill that’s this durable before. Take a look at it and you’ll see what we mean.
If you have any further questions about any of these grills, feel free to leave us a comment below. Or, if you would rather message us directly, feel free to use our contact form on our contact page and we will respond to your email in a timely manner.
Do you love grilling? What do you prefer? Propane or charcoal grills? Does the food taste better to you with a charcoal grill?