The 8 Best Charcoal Grills to Buy in 2018

Master the grill with these top picks

People Standing by Barbecue
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There are a lot of different kinds of charcoal grills that offer many different features.We've picked the  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...MORE 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.

Looking for more information on how to buy a grill? Check our our comprehensive grill buying guide

  • Weber Original Kettle 22

    Best Overall: Weber Original Kettle 22

    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.

  • Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #22

    Best Smoker: Old Smokey #22 Charcoal Grill

    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.

  • Portable Kitchen Grill

    Most Durable: Portable Kitchen Cooker

    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.

  • weber-deluxe-grill

    Best Deluxe: Weber 22 in. Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill

    If you love the taste of the traditional Weber charcoal grill but want a little more convenience that a gas grill offers without sacrificing flavor, then you'll want to try the Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill. With this model, you'll get a gas ignition that will help light your charcoal (typically what most charcoal grill owners gripe the most about), plus a one-touch easy clean system which most charcoal grills don't have.

    You'll get 363-inches of cooking space which can handle about 13 burgers so it can handle enough food for the whole family. Other deluxe features include a timer which can help you calculate when the food is done, a large asher which can help dispose of charcoal, and a side table to let you keep stuff like buns and condiments handy. 

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  • Best for Small Spaces: Cuisinart 14-inch Portable Charcoal Grill

    This portable charcoal grill has the familiar look of the traditional round, saucer-shaped grill, but in a more compact size. The grill surface is 14" in diameter, providing over 150 square inches of cooking space which is enough for about six burgers at a time. The grilling surface is chrome plated, so it won’t rust, and the firebox is enamel coated to resist rust and make cleaning easy.

    Just like larger grills, this has an ash catcher, and it has a dual venting system for temperature control. Unlike larger grills, the three lid locks on for easy transportation to picnics or tailgating parties. The lightweight construction, weighing in at just two pounds, makes it easy to move or carry.

  • Bubba Keg Convection Grill

    Best Portable Ceramic: Broil King Steel Keg

    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.

  • kamado-grill

    Best Kamado: Kamado Pro Ceramic Charcoal Grill with Grill Cover

    The Kamodo ceramic grill has dual calibrated draft vent dials for superior temperature control, a removable ash drawer, and 604 square inches of cooking space. The grill is made from thick, high-grade ceramic material with two-tiered stainless steel flip grates for versatility. The top vent is an aluminum alloy, and the cart is powder coated to prevent rust.

    Because of the thick walls, the outer surface of the grill stays much cooler than traditional metal grills, reducing the risk of burns, while keeping the heat inside. This is designed to create a convection heat environment for even cooking while using less charcoal. And electric starter port makes it simple to start the fire.

    This grill style is designed to replicate wood oven cooking, with the ease of charcoal fuel, and can be used for the usual grilling tasks as well as baking pizzas or bread, or for smoking.

    Dual assist lift springs make it easier to lift foods in and out of the grill. Two solid-surface drop-down shelves provide workspace or a place to rest your sauces and barbecue tools. A full-length vinyl cover is included for storage.

  • Lodge Sportsman Grill

    Best Hibachi: Lodge Sportsman Grill

    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.

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  • rivergrill-kettle-grill

    Best for Camping: RiverGrille Cowboy Charcoal Grill and Fire Pit

    This unique grill works like a contained, portable campfire, so it doubles as a convenient, moveable firepit. You can cook your food over charcoal, wood chips or logs, and you can use it for burning extra wood on chilly evenings, too.

    There is 730 inches of primary cooking space that will hold plenty of burgers, and a hand-crank rotisserie for even more versatility. An additional 154 square inches of cooking space will let you keep food warm or toast buns for those burgers.

    This is made of steel, and there is an L-shaped tube for water drainage, so it won’t retain water after a storm.