There are a lot of different kinds of charcoal grills that offer many different features. I've picked the 10 best charcoal grills from the simple kettle grill to large full functional charcoal grills that can cost well over $2,000. Pick the grill that is right for you and right for your pocketbook. These grills represent the diversity of charcoal grills on the market whether you are looking for one that can smoke, one that can grill like no one's business or just let you cook up a simple... meal.
01 of 10
This is the grill that launched Weber. While there are lots of imitators this grill is built to last and has superior cooking abilities. The round design focuses heat and the multiple vents allow you to control it. This one charcoal grill can do most everything including smoking on a limited basis. The large grilling area gives you plenty of space for direct and indirect grilling. You can even get an optional rotisserie kit.
02 of 10
Big Green Egg (Large)
Okay, this is marketed as a charcoal grill, but its ability to hold low temperatures for an incredible amount of time has made it and other Kamado cookers very popular among smokers. Giving you the best of both worlds, the Big Green Egg may just be the only piece of outdoor cooking equipment you'll ever need (because it will probably last longer than you will).
03 of 10
Easy to use and highly durable, the Old Smokey 22 inch charcoal grill is perfect not only for your backyard barbecue, but can be taken most anywhere since it only weighs 19 pounds, making it a great portable charcoal grill as well.. Made of aluminized steel, the Old Smokey #22 has no paint to peel or burn off and it taken care of can easily last for decades. Because of the tight construction, you can hold temperatures down for low and slow barbecue. This charcoal grill comes from a small company... in Texas (where it is still made) that has been in the same location, making quality products since 1923.
04 of 10
The best feature of the Portable Kitchen Cooker is its amazing longevity. Stories of people using these grills for more than four decades are common and the current version of this grill is identical to the one that Milton Meigs first invented in 1952. The design is primitive, some would say retro, and simple. It is this simplicity that makes it a great grill capable of high-temperature grilling and low and slow smoking. The only limitation is the small size. At 301 square inches, it is only a... little larger than an 18.5 inch Weber Kettle.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Some people manage to get it right the first time. Grant Hastings got it right when he built the first Hasty Bake Grill in 1948. This charcoal grill has changed little in function since then. Basically, it is a closed box with a charcoal pan mounted so it can be adjusted close to the cooking grate for high, direct heat, or raised as much as 14 inches, for low-temperature cooking. Add the removable heat diffuser and it grills, smokes or bakes indirectly. This makes the Hasty Bake design one of... the most versatile on the market. There are many models and this version, one of the least expensive, starts are around $1,000USD, so this isn't an inexpensive product. However, the quality construction (made in the US) means it will last a very long time.
06 of 10
In 2011, Napoleon reinvented the kettle charcoal grill with a new design for airflow that helps create an even charcoal fire. In 2012, they have taken this grill and mounted it into a metal cart with folding side table, providing workspace and stability. While more expensive than most metal charcoal grills, this grill has the extras that make it worth the increased price, particularly the heavy cast iron cooking grate that fits into three positions and is hinged to allow access to the fire. This... charcoal grill is comparable, very comparable to the Weber Performer charcoal grill.
07 of 10
The Broil King Steel Keg is so closely modeled on the size and shape of the Big Green Egg that grates and accessories are interchangeable, yet this metal version has some truly impressive innovative features and design. Capable of hitting very high temperatures while staying cool on the outside with great temperature control, this grill really is an amazing unit. You can even mount it onto your trailer hitch and take it tailgating, something you would have trouble doing with similar ceramic... kamado cookers. While a great grilling grill, there are some small problems with the design that might give you issues.
08 of 10
The Grillworks 36
First of all, it is important to point out that I refer to this as a charcoal grill in the loosest sense. This is a live fire wood burning grill. You can use charcoal, but if you are buying this grill then you really should be buying good hardwood logs split and ready to burn. From the simplest perspective, this is like cooking on a campfire. Of course, this campfire is built in a 304 stainless still box with an adjustable cooking grate and a list of great features.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
The Weber Charcoal Grill is the most successful product of its type ever made. It is sold worldwide and recognized for its versatility, quality, and capacity. The Weber Performer Platinum is the $350USD version of this iconic charcoal grill. This model comes with a large table, gas powered charcoal lighter, digital timer, and all the bells and whistles. It is, simply put, a great charcoal grill, capable of so many cooking styles and capable of creating that authentic cookout experience. This... version is for the person who wants it all.
10 of 10
Once the little backyard hibachi grill ruled. Constructed of heavy cast iron, durable, and punished these grills were a mainstay of college parties, beaches, and parks across the country. As this kind of metal work moved overseas, these grills got cheaper and virtually disappears. Fortunately, Lodge Manufacturing has remained in business and actually thrived in the cast iron world. The Lodge Sportsman grill is the best-selling portable grill on Amazon and for $100USD you too can have this... powerful yet simple portable charcoal grill.