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Best Portable Charcoal Grill: Every Barbeque Lover’s Dream

portable charcoal grill on table
John C. Porter
Written by John C. Porter

Are you a lover of barbecue? Do you still thirst for the old classic method, the best portable charcoal grill you can get your hands on? Well, you are not the only one. Numerous people love the taste and the smell of the food made over charcoal, and they find them effortless to transport, unlike the portable gas flame broils.

But, we have some barbecue lovers who enjoy convenient cleanup of a gas grill over a charcoal grill. Whether you are tailgating or camping, a portable grill is an unquestionable requirement. You could attempt to wrestle a normal-sized barbecue grill into your car, but why go through that stress when there is a portable grill that is really made for the current task?

Charcoal and gas grill will swear by their rightful fuel source, but gas grill has an obvious edge as regards to portability because one-pound propane canisters are quite easier to carry around than a huge bag of briquettes.

However, that doesn’t mean that the charcoal grill is a no-go area. If you have space for the fuel, there is no denying the yummy, smoky flavor it can give is worth the extra effort.

Product NameWeightDimensionMaterialColorPrice
Char-Griller 2828 Pro90 lb50 x 29 x 42 inSteelBlackCheck price on Amazon
Portable Kitchen PK 99740 Grill and Smoker35 lb35 x 20.5 x 35.5 inAluminumSilverCheck price on Amazon
Weber 40020 Smokey Joe9.8 lb15.88 x 18.38 x 31.38 inMetalBlackCheck price on Amazon
Weber Original Kettle 1440100132.3 lb5 x 27 x 22.5 inAluminumBlackCheck price on Amazon
Kikkerland Portable BBQ Suitcase32 lb12.4 x 3.4 x 6.5 inStainless SteelSilverCheck price on Amazon
Barbecook Collosea26 lb39.7 x 22.4 x 22.4 inStainless SteelKiwiCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider

Below, you are going to see what the important features of a charcoal grill are, thus, knowing your personal needs, you will be fully capable of doing a proper research that will ensure that you end up with a grill that is perfect for you.

Size matters

The main consideration is the size factor, which relates to price. Begin by taking a gander at the quantity of square inches of the main cooking surface. That is the primary cooking grate. Some makers list the total cooking region and that incorporates the warming rack suspended over the main cooking region.

You can cook over the main cooking area, however, its separation from the flame, implies that food cooks contrary up there, despite the fact that the temperature is not that lower.

Cost

You need to know what you will spend before going shopping. Just like with cars, the more alternatives, the more costly they become. You can get the finest portable charcoal grill for $300 or less. The old dependable, versatile, very capable Weber Kettle can be bought for $100 or less. Full-sized charcoal grills can be bought for $2,000.

Best portable charcoal grill

You need to look for thermometers and for a cover also. The dial on many charcoal grills whether gas or charcoal is useless and a decent digital test that can be placed beside the meat can have an enormous effect.

Producers purchase the least expensive model they can discover and after that mount them up in the arch, far from the food, considerably higher compared to the warming rack. You also need to get a decent meat thermometer.

Head space

You will need enough space to broil a turkey, therefore ensure there is no less than 12″ of head room within the cover and also between the cooking grate.  If a warming rack is there, make sure that it is removable.

Temperature control

The essential key to a good cooking is temperature control. On the off chance that you can’t make a 2-zone setup, you are seriously impaired.  Charcoal grills require tight tops and dampers that can be closed or opened to control the air that is blowing the fire and along these lines control the warmth.

charcoal grill temperature control system

There are some grills that are able to lower and raise the coals. This is a pleasant feature for when you need the coals just beneath a steak for a strong dark burn.

High heat

If you enjoy red meat with a good dim crust and pink to red within, and also on thin steaks, and then you need a charcoal grill that can get hot. A good and portable charcoal grill can more often than not do steaks flawlessly, particularly if you raise the coals under the cooking surface area.

Many gas barbecues can’t hit that temperature unless they possess the new infrared or singe burners. The separation of the warmth source from the food can be vital. The nearer, the better searing, yet in the situation that gas burners are near the surface and far separated from each other, some lower temperature spots will appear.

Smoking

If the charcoal grill can do smoking, then you don’t need to bother yourself with a different standalone smoker. For you to smoke rightly, you should have the capacity to control wind stream.

For instance, the Weber Kettle portable charcoal grill produces a nice job when it comes to smoking since it has astounding wind stream control and a tight cover. Include the cheap Smokenator and you can contend on the Barbecue circuit. Many gas grills normally do not have tight lids

Materials and toughness

The best grill is produced using cast iron, powder covered steel, vitreous veneer attached cast aluminum, steel and top notch stainless steel. Weighty steel holds and circulates heat unlike cast aluminum or thin steel.

Cast iron and regular steel can corrode, even if they were colored with a great warmth resistant paint, and this is the slightest attractive covering since it chips and peels effortlessly. Powder covering is a thick, durable covering that is created by adding a positive electrostatic cathexis to a polymer powder, priming the metal of the grill, splashing it on and holding it with heat.

Another amazing covering is vitreous finish. A glass-like powder is showered on the metal and liquefied. It is strong under heat and doesn’t blur, however, it is somewhat fragile and can break if you twist or drop it, and rust will shape out in the cracks.

weber charcoal portable grill

Quality aluminum and stainless steel won’t rust, however, they do change color due to wear and tear. Your sparkly new stainless charcoal grill will never look in the same class as the day you got it and attempting to make it sparkle will result in the wastage of good elbow oil.

Craftsmanship

Does it have Solid legs and Sharp edges?  Does it have wheels sufficiently large to move over gravel, decking, brick or whatever surface it rolls over on? Does it have latches and hinges? What is the nature of the welds? Does it have a lot of shabby plastic parts? Are screws going to rust?

Does the moving part have a long-lasting appearance? Is the metal sufficiently thick that it will not wrap? Those are questions that need to be considered when it comes to the workmanship of Charcoal grills.

Grates

Most charcoal grilling is by convection or radiation, but in the situation where the food is touching the cooking grates, the cooking is done with conduction and that is the manner by which you obtain black grill spots.

Charcoal Grill

There are various sorts of materials utilized for making grates ranging from stainless steel, cheap wire grates, expanded steel, cast iron, porcelain coated and also expelled aluminum. On charcoal grills, only a few makers offer pivoted grates or access entryways so you can effortlessly add more charcoal when required.

In any case, don’t give crappy grates a chance to destroy the deal. You need to always purchase substitution grates. They are not costly.

Double fuel

There are some new grills that process one side for charcoal and the other side for gas. This is an incredible idea since gas great features like temperature control, convenience and easy cleanup, and charcoal for burning heat and smoky flavor. A large portion of the combos is efficiently assembled and is compromised on all fronts.

Trucks and wheels

Most charcoal grills come on carts. The grills should be well worked, with strong welds and jolts. Some carts are encased for storage. You need sturdy doors and shelves. Verify whether they are rainproof. You won’t like your charcoal or pellets getting moist.

portable charcoal grill with wheels

If your charcoal grill has wheels, how sturdy and strong are they? Are they plastic or elastic? Are they are sufficiently large to roll easily on an unpleasant surface such a concrete, deck, lawn or the pavers?

Built-in grills

You may want to get a grill that can be forever mounted in an open air kitchen. Ponder carefully on this technique. When it destroys, you will most likely not be able to get a replacement that fits into an indistinguishable opening as the old one.

In the event that you need a more current model, or something bigger, or you need to change from gas straight to charcoal, you are trapped. There is no standard measurement for these and it is uncertain that the replacement you need will fit.

Top Product Reviews

Here are the reviews on some of the top portable charcoal grills on the market. You will definitely find the one that suits you best, among the models we reviewed here.

Char-Griller 2828 Pro

Char-Griller 2828 Pro

Price: Approx. $120

Weight: 81 pounds

Dimensions: 50 x 29 x 42 inches

Specific features: Warming rack, solid metal cooking grates, weighty steel construction, customizable dampers, simple dump ash pan, easy side shelf and front condiment basket, customizable fire grate.

Best use: Any barbecue lover would love this charcoal grill because it has everything that they would ever require in a charcoal grill. It is likewise good for individuals who are just beginning with their smoking and grilling tries, as it has mostly all the gears they require to get started.

Description: This Char-Griller 2828 Pro  comes with an ash pan and an adjustable charcoal grate. The charcoal grates are partitioned into four areas which you can easily raise to use your coal. Some other components include a heat gauge, condiment basket, a wooden rack with hooks for kitchen utensils, and a base wire shelf on which you can put your other barbecue tools and necessities.

Most users can bear witness that this portable grill truly performs excellently when it comes to the grilling of food. It can smoke and grill any kind of fish and meat very well. The parts are not in any way difficult to assemble.

The rack’s surface is non-stick. It comes with an airtight hood for quickly snuffing out of coal and for perfect cooking. The whole grill is quite easy to clean and preserve. Users like this grill because it cooks well and you can purchase an extra side box for it as a smoker.

PROS:

  • 580 sq in of cooking space
  • Warming rack
  • Easy dumping of ashes

CONS:

  • Directions are hard to understand
  • Labels are hard to get off of the grill

Related: Consider the Char-Griller 5555 Grill Cover as it will keep your grill, covered and away from bad weather.

Check the price on Amazon

Portable Kitchen PK 99740

PK 99740 Grill and Smoker

Price: Approx. $370

Weight: 35 pounds

Dimensions: 35 x 20.5 x 35.5 inches

Specific features: Smoker with separable carriage, thick cast aluminum construction, retro-style charcoal exterior grill, adjustable vents and dampers, pivoted cooking framework for easy refueling

Best use: Backyard grilling

Description: This Portable Kitchen PK 99740 is a refined throwback from 1952. It has a level base, making it simple to push the coals to the other side for smoking and cooking. It has adjustable dampers at the top and beneath the fire.

The grate is pivoted for adding coals, and the broiler can be removed for camping, cleaning or tailgating. It has a base shelf and side rack. The thick cast aluminum possesses two sliding dampers above and two beneath. Most people cook indirect and direct at the same time with the PK.

This flexibility may be credited to the thick aluminum constructions, rectangular shape that holds and emanates warm, the tight fitting pivoted top and the twin dampers in both the top and base.

Today, most charcoal grills are made with thin stainless steel or coated steel, but aluminum grills were common when portable kitchen started in the 50’s. PK won’t rust since the cart is aluminum with stainless steel clasp. There are no gadgets and there are not many moving parts, many of these old grills are still in the market today.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Precise temperatures

CONS:

  • Does not seem air tight
  • Not for larger cuts of meat

Related: The PK Grills Grill Cover (PK99750) is the cover that will match this grill. It is weather proof and heavy duty.

Check the price on Amazon

Weber 40020 Smokey Joe

Weber 40020 Smokey Joe

Price: Approx. $40

Weight: 9.8 pounds

Dimensions: 15.88 x 18.38 x 31.38 inches

Specific features: Triple nickel plated cooking grates, a weber cookbook, maintenance free handles, each vent on lid and bowl, no-rust aluminum vents, handy lid lock

Best use: This portable charcoal grill is a perfect grill for tailgate parties, cookouts, and car camping

Description: Big fun comes in little sizes. This Weber 40020 Smokey Joe helps you to grill in style when you are in tight spaces such like apartment balconies and its portable size makes it the best for tailgate parties, cookouts, and car camping.

It is made with premium-class U. S. Steel, the lid and bowl of this charcoal grill are covered with a dark porcelain lacquer all around that is prepared on, melding the finish to the steel to counteract rusting and peeling throughout its lifespan.

The flexible, no-rust aluminum vent above the grill gives the correct airflow required for perfect broiling and helps you to take control of the temperature over the 14 and half-inch diameter cooking zone.

This grill has a lid lock that protects the lid set up for conveying, which brings down to double as a cover holder while you perform the grilling process. This portable charcoal grill also has a plated steel cooking grate and a glass-fortified nylon handle that will resist the components for the lifespan of the grill.

With this charcoal grill, you will really enjoy its minimal size and beautiful looks each time you fire it up.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • 5 in diameter cooking grate

CONS:

  • Coal can get lodged
  • Side vents are above the coals

Related: You can use the Weber 7417 FireStarters Lighter Cubes that comes in a box of 24 and will work when wet. Plus, they are odorless.

Check the price on Amazon

Weber Original Kettle 14401001

Weber 14401001 Original Kettle Premium...

Price: Approx. $150

Weight: 32.3 pounds

Dimensions: 5 x 27 x 22.5 inches

Best use: Backyard grilling

Specific features: 22-inch width porcelain-enameled lid and bowl, a cooking zone of 363 square inches, plated steel pivoted cooking grate, rust proof aluminum damper, aluminized steel, two glass-fortified nylon handles with gear hooks, thermometer inbuilt

Description: The Weber Original Kettle 14401001 has a 363 square inch cooking space, and it comprises of a weighty gauge porcelain-enameled top and bowl for toughness and long life span.

This grill features a pivoted cooking grate, one-touch cleaning system and a removable high-limit ash catcher to make indirect barbecuing simpler.

The thermometer inbuilt permits you to control your barbecue’s temperature and the bowl handle incorporates a coordinated gear hook for simple and comfy storage. The lid handle, highlights a warmth shield for solace and legs have a spring push pin framework for easy assembly.

You can find this grill in black, green, or copper. You can also purchase this grill with extras, like a grill cover, thermometer and grilling set to get all that you need along with the grill. This grill is pretty affordable as well, and it will not break the bank, so you can still have a fun cookout!

PROS:

  • Built in thermometer
  • Three color choices
  • One touch cleaning system

CONS:

  • Hard to get the ash out
  • Cover that comes with the grill is too thin

Related: The AmazonBasics Kettle Grill Cover is made of polyester and is waterproof. It also has straps that will click together and hold the cover in place.

Check the price on Amazon

Kikkerland Portable BBQ Suitcase

kirkland portable bq01 grill

Price: Approx. $50

Weight: 32 pounds

Dimensions: 12.4 x 3.4 x 6.5 in

Best use: Camping, tailgating

Specific features: Cooking surface region: 12.52 square inches, compact charcoal high-class stainless steel charcoal grill, capacity to allow cooking for 2 individuals, easy mess-free cinder catcher, locks and closes

Description: This flexible, convenient Kikkerland Portable BBQ Suitcase is an incredible approach to grilling your food anytime and wherever you are. Simply open the case and follow the basic guidelines and you will be cooking in the blink of an eye!

This charcoal grill can allow cooking for 2 individuals. It has a comfy mess- free fiery remains catcher. Bolts and closes securely for safe and easy transport.

Users have stated that this grill is easy to set up, very sturdy and is compact enough to take anywhere! You can cook a couple of steaks or burgers with ease. The only thing about is that you should not put the cooking grate on the grill until the flames have died down.

This is because the grate can warp in shape. However, clean up is very easy and users really love the grill, despite any flaws that it may have in it.

PROS:

  • Easy set up
  • Sturdy and well built
  • Portable

CONS:

  • Not for large groups

Related: The Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier is a type of multi tool that is made of nylon and weighs under 10 oz.

Check the price on Amazon

Barbecook Collosea

barbecook grill

Price: Approx. $260

Weight: 26 pounds

Dimensions: 39.7 x 22.4 x 22.4 inches

Best use: Backyard grilling

Specific features: Flexible fire chromed handles, quickstart framework, quick-stop framework, easy cleaning, simple to assemble, lidless grilling.

Description: Barbecook Collosea is perfect charcoal grill which gives you much power to grill without cover. Such a fire is very much easier to accomplish with this charcoal grill with its adjustable air flow. It permits you to make the perfect air dissemination in any circumstance.

It likewise guarantees healthy grilling, since barbecuing without lid implies that no unsafe substances can infiltrate the food. Also, the effortlessly flexible grid prevents contact with unsafe flare-ups. Lighting a charcoal grill has never been so convenient.

Users like that there is a large cooking area so you can grill for many people at once. While it is pricier than others, it does grill well and looks good, and it does not weigh too much, either.

There are no lids and no vents so you can not indirectly cook the food. Other than that, users have adored this grill because of its convenience and ease of use.

PROS:

  • Nearly instant extinguishing
  • Large cooking area

CONS:

  • Pricier than some
  • No lids or vents

Related: The Plancha Grills Steel Cart Outdoor Griddle Cart is great so you can put food and silverware, and much more on it!

Check the price on Amazon

Concluding Thoughts

And that ends our post on some of the best and portable charcoal grills available on the market today. There is a reasonable piece of assortment to suit your entire cooking styles, so make your choice based on the features your chosen grill offers, and make sure that these features fit your needs and get grilling!

We are sure that at least one of these models will be perfect for what you need it for, you only have to decide which one. You can make your pick depending on the features to price ratio, or as we mentioned already, just go for the one that offers the best features and forget about the price because that smell of fresh BBQ will definitely be worth it!

Now it is your turn to share some thoughts with our readers. Have you already used any of these portable charcoal grills? Or do you have any other preference?  Let us know by leaving a comment in the comments section below. Also, if you found our article interesting and useful, feel free to share it on social media so that your friends can read it as well. Thanks for reading and happy grilling!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Porter
John C. Porter

John is passionate about hiking long distances. His record is over 65 miles in one day with backpacking gear. John hiked over 10 thousand miles, tried over 100 hiking shoes and visited 56 countries so far. His favourite hiking route is West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.

  • John C. Porter

    Don’t we all love the easy clean-up part? My buddies and I were able to use this grill and we love the classic look and feel of it. We like to call it as our “vintage grill” since it’s really a classic. The heavy-duty material ensures no rusting and longevity. I’m not a fan of grills with so many moving parts and this portable kitchen PK 99740 suits me just fine.

  • Daniel Scott

    I have been thinking a lot about buying a portable grill for the upcoming family camping trip and this article had given me some good options. I was thinking about the Kikkerland BQ01 Portable BBQ Suitcase but I couldn’t find enough reviews to help me make an informed decision. From this article and the reviews I have read, I think I will go for the Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill.

  • John C. Porter

    This grill is so easy to assemble and clean afterwards. It is easy to use and the body is made of strong materials. Although it is portable, it can grill meat or fish adequately. It’s also affordable and won’t break the bank. 🙂

  • Mark David

    I bought the PORTABLE KITCHEN PK 99740 CAST ALUMINUM GRILL AND SMOKER over six months ago and have used it exclusively since. I am not kidding! This grill is a do-all for me. The most favorite part of it is adding coals during a long smoke.It allows me to quickly stoke my corner fire and get back to smoking.
    I personally love the perfectly made rectangle cooking surface of this grill. It allows you to cook the meat at a reasonable distance from the heat. In most of the grills the most inconvenient part is the clean out. But it’s quite simple in this grill. All you’ve to do is take the top off, take the bottom out of the stand, have your buddy hold open a trash bag and put all the stuff in it.

    • John C. Porter

      Don’t we all love the easy clean-up part? My buddies and I were able to use this grill and we love the classic look and feel of it. We like to call it as our “vintage grill” since it’s really a classic. The heavy-duty material ensures no rusting and longevity. I’m not a fan of grills with so many moving parts and this portable kitchen PK 99740 suits me just fine.

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