When it comes to searing of steaks or cooking cuts of lamb and beef, charcoal grills are absolutely the best. What you need to know is that as compared to gas, charcoal attains higher temperatures and this makes charcoal grills to be the perfect choice for grilling. If you love foods with a smoky flavor, charcoal grills will give you the best bbq.
However, most of the charcoal grills are very large and may not be the best for those who love outdoor parties. This is where portable charcoal grills come in. What makes portable grills unique is their compact and lightweight design which makes them easy to carry. They are also affordable and easy to use.
Nonetheless, searching for the best portable charcoal grill may not be so easy and if you are not careful, you may end up wasting a lot of money on an overrated product. Have you been searching for a durable, sturdy affordable and lightweight charcoal grill? You have come to the right place because we are going to reveal the portable charcoal grills that will give you the value for your money.
But before we reveal the products, here are some key things you need to consider when buying a portable grill. We’ve ranked the products as per below guide.
- Weight – This is the first factor when you’re looking for easy to carry and moving grill. Because you are looking for a portable grill, you must see consider the weight first.
- Material – This is the 2nd factor on our list. The Grill should be made of quality materials like stainless steel and cast iron cooking grates to boost durability.
- Cooking area – 3rd Factor – You need to consider the number of people that you will need to serve. This will allow you to choose a portable charcoal grill that can prepare enough food for them.
- Ease of cleaning – Charcoal grills becomes messy after cooking. Before buying, check whether it has an ash catcher or a one-touch cleaning system.
- Temperature control – Look for a grill with an inbuilt thermometer and adjustable damper to change temperature. Make sure the grill you choose must have air vents for controlling the airflow.
Comparison Table of Our Fav Picks[table id=9 /]
6 Best Portable Charcoal Grills 2019 – Reviews:
1. Weber Original Kettle Portable Charcoal Grill – Best Overall
If you trust brand value, Weber is the one to buy. We choose this as our top pick as people trust this brand and its product durability. They have great customer service even if you have some problem after purchasing. As we are talking grills which are easy to carry for outdoor camping purpose, this grill weighs only 24.3 lbs. Weber has provided 2 big durable wheels with 2 side handle which makes it easy to carry. The 240 square inch cooking area is enough to cook for 4-5 people at once.
Let’s talk about Durability!
The grates are made of plated steel to provide equal distribution of heat. For maximum heat retention, we were pleased to find out that it features a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl which also provides consistent temperatures.
Apart from the grates, it uses a one-touch cleaning system for cleaning. It also has a rustproof ash catcher which collects the debris and charcoal ash for easier cleaning. With this unit, you can easily cook using different temperatures.
Unlike other portable charcoal grills which requires you to lift the lid when controlling heat, this one is a bit advanced since you will only need to adjust the dampers. Additionally, you can easily arrange the charcoal for both direct and indirect grilling. Coals last for a long time for longer cooking foods.
The finish is rustproof and doesn’t peel easily even when grilling at high temperatures. You can easily move it around since it comes with long lasting wheels which are built to withstand all elements.
You can’t go wrong with a Weber.
- Excellent heat retention
- Durable cooking grate
- Takes 15 mins to Assemble
- Cleaning is a piece of cake
- It is too low
2. Cuisinart CCG-100 Portable Charcoal Grill – Runner-Up
This is our 2nd pick for a compact portable grill which can easily be used for tailgating or camping purpose. It’s a little heavy than Weber but still a good grill to opt for. You can easily fit it in your car back. The grill also includes 2 side handles which makes it pretty easy to carry by one person.
Most of the part of grill are made from porcelain enamel-coated steel which is a good material for durability of any grill. You can trust that this grill will last for years, rest depends on use and how you take care of it. The Lid handle is made from stainless steel which is heat resistant. The base of the grill is strong and the grill can be placed at any solid surface easily. Although there is not stand comes with this grill. You can buy it separately which can give you some heigh and make it a table-top portable options. The purpose of the stand here is basically to add some space below the grill.
It has a cooking area of 240 square inches which is enough for 4 people. You can easily cook 4 hamburgers and 4 hotdogs for a small family at once. You can cook anything like steaks, chicken breast or burgers as well.
One of the most remarkable things about it is the advanced cooking grate lift system which allows you to cook even without allowing the charcoal to touch the charcoal grates. This system will allow you to add extra charcoal for extended cooking. Now you can shift the coals to other parts without removing the cooking grates.
For accurate heat management, it has a lid mounted temperature gauge which allows you to check the temperatures and adjust as per your requirements. You will also find that it has a strong base which provides stability.
When you are not using it, you can cover it with the long-lasting porcelain enamel cover which also prevents water from getting inside. As a proof of quality, it comes with a 3 years warranty.
- Made from Durable Material
- 3 Years Warranty
- Ultra-portable design
- Dual venting system for easy heat control
- It comes with a durable cover
- Not as sturdy
- Finish goes with time
3. Minnka Quick Portable Charcoal Grill – Best Value for Money
This is the most lightweight grill in this list even being made of a premium stainless steel material. It just weighs under 5 lbs. We think that this is value for money grill as both having a lightweight and 314 square inches cooking area is enough for any kind of grilling. It can easily handle two good sized steaks, 6 big-sized hamburgers. The best feature we liked about this grill is you can easily fold. You can fold the cooking surface (grill) in half, which is nice for compact storage.
The foldable design also makes it easy to store especially if you don’t have a lot of space. A carrying bag is also included for easier carrying while going to the campsite or beach. Due to its design, it is a perfect option for backpacking, camping, tailgate parties, picnics among other outdoor activities where you might require some grilled foods.
Although it is made from premium food-grade stainless steel we don’t think it can withstand high temperature. Unlike others, we also noticed that it has a mortarboard which helps to separate carbon and dust to allow the charcoal to burn without interruptions.
Don’t worry about cleaning because it comes with a mess-free ash catcher which makes it easy to clean. Even after entire charcoal basket area gets covered in grease, we were able to clean it easily.
- Enough Cooking Area
- Value for Money
- Foldable design
- Not for high temperature
4. Old Smokey Charcoal – Portable Grill
This one may not have the best design but you should not underestimate its performance simply because of the design. It is made of aluminized steel which makes it lightweight and a suitable choice for outdoor grilling. One of the best things about this grill is it heats up quickly and can reach up to 300 degrees in minutes. At this temperature, your food will come out crispy and juicy.
Despite being lightweight has a large cooking area of 333 square inches which tells you that it is very reliable for a large group. When using it, you can easily control the temperatures through the two air vents provided.
It also allows you to check your meat or other foods when cooking. The only notable problem is that it doesn’t have hinged grates which makes it difficult to add charcoal. You will be required to lift the whole grate when refueling. However, this is just a minor issue and it shouldn’t discourage you considering that it is very cheap.
Two side-handles are also provided to transfer it. There is no temperature gauge in this grill so you need to buy it separately. One thing you need to make sure that this grill is large so find a space to place it in your home. If you’re looking for an inexpensive charcoal smoker this is the one for you.
- Food Came out Perfectly grilled
- Can hold the heat for 3 hours
- Can reach 300 degrees temp Quickly
- Efficient in coal usage
- Adding coals during cooking is pain
- No Temp Gauge
5. Char-Griller E22424 – Charcoal Portable BBQ Grill
Char-Griller is one of the most popular brands in grills after Weber. The first thing you will love about it is its robust construction. You will find that it is made of sturdy steel and has a powder coating to boost durability. Cooking grates are made of a long lasting cast iron material which enhances equal distribution of heat. Additionally, it also comes with two adjustable dampers which allow you to control the heat.
One thing we really liked is how easy it is maintaining the temp up 250 degrees for a long time. The Lid is sealed completely which makes it good for cooking crispy food and retention of heat. There is no temp gauge provided to measure it so you need to buy it separately.
The unit has a total cooking area of 250 square inches and comes with a removable ash pan which makes it easy to clean.
Apart from that, it comes with sliding drawers which promotes easy accessibility to the coals. The top lid handle is wooden so it is easy to lift the lid at high temp as well and this allows you to move it comfortably.
If you are looking for a high-quality portable barbecue grill and doesn’t care about looks then you can buy it. You can also use it as a horizontal Texas-style smoker or a tabletop grill.
- Robust construction
- Sliding drawers
- Adjustable dampers
- Bad Customer Service
- Paint started peeling off on the first use
6. BEAU JARDIN – Largest Cooking Area
This grill is not from a very popular brand. We choose it because of the bigger cooking area, moderate weight, and less price. It has a 363 square inches cooking area which is pretty big to cook for 10 people at once. Due to its unique design, you can easily add charcoal when grilling. The cooking grate is made of steel and it is able to withstand high-temperature grilling.
Whether you want to grill directly or indirectly, this charcoal grill will allow you to do exactly that. An additional warming grate is also included. Another notable feature is the unique locking buckle which holds the large lid and also acts as a support to the warming grate.
Since it has a dedicated air vent design, you can easily control the heat without lifting the lid. You will only need to adjust the air vent position to achieve the grilling requirements of your choice. You should also note that it has a porcelain enameled coating bowl for maximum heat retention.
It also has a coated finish design to prevent rusting. When it comes to cleaning, you won’t experience any problems since it uses a one-touch cleaning system which moves all the ash and debris to the removable ash pan. An inbuilt thermometer is also included for easy heat control.
- Inbuilt Temp Gauge
- Bigger Cooking Area
- Quick Set-up
- Instruction Manual is not clear
- Plastic Wheels
- Can’t withstand High Temp
Those are the best portable charcoal grills that will give you the value for your money. If you ask us, We recommend Weber Original Kettle due to the brand trust and customer service if something goes wrong. The good thing about this unit is that it has sturdy construction to boost durability. The cooking grates are made of plated steel to enhance equal distribution of heat.
For those who are on a limited budget, Minnka Quick Grill is the option to pick. People love it due to is its lightweight design and the sturdy construction finish.
We understand that people have different preferences. Therefore, it is not easy to choose from. You will not go wrong by choosing any of our top 6 picks.
To make your work easier, we have included the product links so that you can compare the prices, rating and also check what the customers are saying about the products.
More Charcoal grills: