Best Charcoal BBQ
A charcoal grill is an equipment or device that cooks food by applying heat produced by charcoal. Charcoals cook meat and veggies in the best way as they fill the food with a perfect smoky flavour. Any kind of charcoal grill will cook meat by heating it, but that doesn’t mean you can pick any model. If you have decided to buy a charcoal BBQ grill, you must first determine your needs before buying so that you get the right product. If you’re just starting barbecuing and grilling, then you must carefully assess all those factors that are needed to buy the best charcoal BBQ.
Important things to consider before buying charcoal BBQ?
So, before you buy a charcoal BBQ, you must know that there are lots of things that make it a good choice for all barbecuing and grilling enthusiasts. Following are some of the important features of the charcoal BBQs:
1. They are available in different sizes:
The good thing about charcoal BBQs is that they are available in a variety of sizes. If you want something portable, you can also get a grill for camping purposes because there are super small units available too. There are professional grade giant models too, which you can keep in your garden or yard to prepare delicious and mouthwatering BBQ for your guests. Before you buy a charcoal BBQ, you must first think about the size you’re going to buy.
2. They are very affordable:
Charcoal BBQs are not very expensive, and they won’t break the bank. However, there are professional and super fancy models of charcoal BBQ grills available in the market. You can get some of the most affordable ones too. You can buy the cheapest charcoal BBQ for only £20 but if you want bigger models you’ll have to invest more. However, you can easily get a bigger model of charcoal BBQ grill in around £100 to £150 range and that is affordable too. If you go for the fancy models though, they can go as high as £1000.
3. They come in three different styles:
Charcoal BBQ are available in three different styles and that are kettle charcoal, ceramic grills, and barrel grills. Following are each of these types discussed in detail:
- Kettle Grills:
Kettle grills are very small, simple, and versatile. They are mostly of 363 square inches or 22 inches. This size is small, but you can still cook many burgers on it at a time. There are larger kettle grills available too, such as those of 26 and even 36 inches. The kettle grills have a near-spherical shape that allows them to reflect the heat inside them and cook the food thoroughly and evenly through this technique. Some of them have removable ash receptacles and they are very easy to maintain. The kettle grills are usually very affordable and versatile. You can buy a good model for around £100.
- Barrel grills:
Barrel grills are bigger in size and they can be larger than 36 inches. Barrel grills are designed particularly for barbecuing, grilling, and smoking. These grills are like big steel drums where the charcoal is placed in the bottom half and there is a lid on the top half part. There is a chimney and air vents as well as wheels that make the whole unit portable. Barrel grills have an additional warming rack too. With these barbecue grills, you can cook larger amounts of meat as compared to kettle grills.If you’re learning to smoke, you must start with kettle grills because they are simple to use. Even if you aren’t able to smoke properly you can make do with grilling only. Barrel grills are larger and more expensive as compared to the kettle grills. You can get a good unit for around £200 but you’ll also get a generous space for cooking large amounts of food.
- Ceramic grills:
The ceramic grills are the most expensive charcoal BBQ grills available. Even the mid-range models of ceramic grills start at around £700 and the high-end ones are more expensive. These BBQ units feature a solid ceramic construction and offer amazing heat control too. The heat control feature is amazing because it allows you to grill even when the weather is extreme. The ceramic grills can cook at 200F which is a low-end temperature, and it can go as high as 500F and even hotter.The ceramic grills are available in various sizes and you can get small or big ones according to your requirement. Some ceramic grills are very large, that is, they can weigh as much as 200 pounds.
4. They are not very easy to clean:
Charcoal grills are not that easy to clean as compared to others. However, with all types of BBQs and grills, you’ll have to face buildup of ash. Small charcoal BBQs can be flipped over to empty out the buildup of ash, but the larger ones are more difficult to clean. Fortunately, there are many accessories available that can help you make the task easier.
5. They go well with the BBQ accessories:
Lighting charcoal grills is a tricky thing and most people spend a lot of time lighting them. However, these days charcoal grills are equipped with a lot of features that can help you light them up. Some of the charcoal grills have small propane panels at the bottom that help you speed up the lighting process. Charcoal chimneys are very helpful in this regard and they offer a fast and effective way to light up a charcoal BBQ. They are not expensive, and they offer a fluid-free method for lighting up the charcoal grill. You just have to fill the cylinder with charcoals, light them up and transfer them to your grill to start cooking.
How to use a charcoal BBQ?
A charcoal BBQ offers an amazing way to add taste to your meat and make it sizzle. However, before you start with grilling or barbecuing, you must first know how to use it. Following are some tips to use a charcoal BBQ the right way:
- Spread the lumps (briquettes) in a single layer just near to the food you want to cook.
- Now light the charcoal grill. You can light up the charcoal BBQ using any method such as by arranging them in pyramid in the kettle. You can also use a chimney starter to light them up.
- Next step is to check whether the coals are hot enough for your food to cook it thoroughly and evenly. Hold your hands some inches above the hot coals and feel the heat. If you can feel the heat for less than 4 seconds at least 4 inches above the coals, it means the coals are around 350 degrees hot.
- If you want to cook directly over the flames, you need to be a pro for that. The exterior of the meat you are cooking directly will char quickly and thus you have to act quickly. The direct heat method is good for cooking steaks, fish fillets, and chicken breasts.
- If you want to cook through the indirect heat method, you’ll have to put the food in a cooking grate and put it in between the grates.
- After you’re done barbecuing or grilling, you should clean it using a stiff wire brush. A good quality brush with bristles will help remove the residue and buildup easily.
Weber Charcoal Grills:
Weber has a huge variety of charcoal grills that are available in the category of kettle series, smoker series, and portable series. Weber charcoal grills are one of the best charcoal barbecues available on the market. These are the ones that will help you master the art of charcoal grilling and will make you a pro in only some days.
The first Weber BBQ was designed around 50 years ago, and it allowed people to roast the whole chickens and joints of meat easily and added a delicious barbecue flavour to them. Weber Charcoal Grills have that quality that gives your food the taste and flavour that no other barbecues can give. Following are some of the best Weber charcoal barbecues:
1. Weber Original Kettle:
Weber Original Kettle is one of the best Weber Charcoal Grills that can grill the vegetables and meat perfectly. The good thing is that it is very affordable and is easy to use too. It is very lightweight and portable, and you can move it from one location to the other easily. This Weber charcoal grill comes under the Kettle series category and is very popular among grilling geeks.
The Weber Original Kettle is made up of porcelain enamelled bowl and lid and it features no-rust aluminium vents too. There are glass reinforced nylon handles and chrome-plated steel hinged cooking grill. The original kettle is equipped with 2 Char-Basket charcoal fuel holders and Rapidfire Charcoal ‘V’ grate. It has a bezel lid thermometer, crack proof all weather wheels, and an aluminium drip pan too. The good thing is that it has a 10 year limited warranty and a Kettle cookbook is provided too.
- It offers an easy ash removal and cleaning method.
- It features versatile grilling.
- It is equipped with amazing cooking abilities.
- It is a bit unstable.
2. Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill:
The Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill is another top-notch Weber Charcoal Barbecue that offers easy grilling and barbecuing. It is very easy to use, and you can start cooking with the push of a single button. Once you’ve pushed the button, your coals will ignite and bring the whole grill to action. The charcoal grill is equipped with lots of amazing and handy features such as the Electronic Touch-n-Go gas ignition system and the built-in lid thermometer. With the touch-n-go feature, you can just set the grill and temperature and then forget it for some time until its cooked.
There is a removable backlit LCD cook timer and painted metal work table that allows easy operation. The lid holder is a tuck away type which is quite easy to use. There are tool hooks provided too so that you add various tools on it. To make cleaning easier, there is a removable high-capacity aluminium ash catcher provided too. The charcoal grill offers a lot of space for cooking and you can easily cook lots of steaks at once.
- The table and storage space is good.
- The gas starter system offers an easy start.
- There is a seamless design that prevents rust.
- The ash removal system eases the cleaning process.
- It is not very portable.
3. Weber Ranch Kettle Charcoal Grill:
The Weber Ranch Kettle Charcoal Grill offers a good amount of space for cooking. This charcoal barbecue is perfect if you want to entertain a large number of people at your place. The charcoal grill has a removable porcelain enamelled steel ash catcher which is very handy when it comes to cleaning. The handles are glass-reinforced nylon ones and the lid and bowl are also porcelain enamelled. The wheels are durable all-weather ones and they make the whole unit very portable.
There are aluminium vents provided too and is overall very well built. The best thing about this charcoal grill is its space and there are smart temperature controls too. The unit is easy to move, and it can lock while you’re cooking too. The top materials are very well designed and there is no worry of it getting rusted either.
- It is very large and spacious and thus it offers large capacity.
- It has versatile cooking capabilities.
- It is easy to move and clean.
- It is very durable.
- It is very expensive.
- It is good for large number of people only.
4. Master Touch Charcoal Grill:
The Master Touch Charcoal Grill is a kettle style Weber BBQ and it looks beautiful because it has some modern touches too. There are specially designed charcoal baskets that are present on each side of the BBQ and are there for indirect cooking. There is a grille that folds up and provides easy access to the user. The Master Touch Charcoal Grill has a removable ash catcher which is rust proof and there is an integrated tool holder too.
The charcoal BBQ also features an aluminium vent that helps in controlling the temperature flow that leads to perfect barbecuing. The bowl of the charcoal grill is also fitted with a lid holder and a weatherproof handle. There are wheels there too that improve the portability. There is a temperature gauge in the lid too and the weatherproof handle allows you to hold the hot lid without being burnt. Lighting the BBQ is a bit difficult, but you can use a chimney starter for that.
- It has a removable ash collector.
- There is a built-in temperature gauge.
- It has air vents that control the temperature.
- It has a large capacity.
- It is difficult to light.
- The instructions aren’t useful.
5. Weber Summit Charcoal Grill:
The Summit Charcoal Grill is one of the best charcoal grills on the market. This grill is basically Weber’s entry into the kamado grills, but it has a touch of the Webber grilling techniques as well. The Weber Summit Charcoal grill combines the grilling capabilities of a large kettle grill and the smoking abilities of a smoker. It is a very versatile one and thus is perfect for those who want to enjoy the features of a BBQ and a smoker both. The charcoal grill has a porcelain enamelled, double walled and air insulated bowl and lid. The ignition system is gas powered and there is two position fuel grate.
There is a large ash catcher and an easy clean out system. The lid assembly is hinged and there are stainless steel handles and hardware. There are stainless steel gourmet BBQ system cooking grates and stainless steel vents and a diffuser plate. As opposed to the traditional ceramic body, this charcoal grill is a kamado style grill and smoker. The charcoal BBQ can hold low temperatures easily for smoking for around 10 hours. The design is very efficient, and it looks stylish too.
The grill offers 452 square inches of total smoking and grilling area. The accessories are sold separately and the good thing is that there is a wide range of accessories available that make the grill even more versatile.
- It is very versatile as it functions as a grill and smoker.
- There is gas powered ignition system.
- It has a large capacity.
- It features easy ash removal and cleaning.
- It has amazing cooking capabilities.
- It is very expensive.
Landmann Charcoal Barbecues:
Landmann is a well-known company and is one of the leading Barbecue brands in the Europe. It is popular around the world for its BBQ products diversity, accessories and equipment. Their vision is to provide quality BBQ and grilling equipment to people. They invest all their passion and knowledge to fulfil this mission. The company was founded in 1966 and since then it has developed by leaps and bounds. Following are some of the best Landmann Charcoal barbecues:
1. Kepler 600 Kettle Barbecue:
The Kepler 600 Kettle Barbecue is made up of heavy duty cast iron and has foldable sections for easy access. The charcoal barbecue has a 56 cm cooking grill which can easily cater the needs of around 10 people. There are two charcoal baskets that allow the users to position the charcoal for direct and indirect cooking both. There is a vent and an integrated thermometer that controls the temperature and keeps it well-regulated throughout the cooking process. There are ergonomic handles too along with a tool holder to make operation easier.
The Kepler 600 kettle charcoal barbecue is very portable too as there are sturdy wheels provided. The fire bowl, lid, and charcoal grid, all are enamelled along with the cooking grill that is cast with hinged opening. There is a bottom wire storage shelf too and a chimney controls the ventilation. The BBQ kettle comes with a 5 year warranty.
- It is sturdy and stylish.
- It is very portable.
- It offers good ventilation and temperature regulation.
- It comes with a good warranty.
- It is expensive.
2. Landmann Vista Charcoal Grill:
The Landmann Vista Charcoal Grill is an amazing grill that is good for all types of beginners and experienced grills. The grill is very easy to use and there are top and bottom vents too that help in controlling the temperature. The iron cooking grates are porcelain coated and they provide a good cooking area too. The grill is easy to clean and slide out and the ash drawer is very handy when it comes to cleaning.
There is a bottom shelf provided too that offers a good space for putting accessories and supplies. There are front access panels that give a no-fuss access and allow you to adjust charcoal or wood in the grill. The main frame is made up of steel and its overall weight is 44.1 pounds. The assembly is not that easy, and no tools are provided either. The grill is weatherproof and thus there is no worry of the unit being damaged due to extreme conditions. The grill surface is 572 square inches and the warming rack area is 225 square inches.
- It is very easy to clean.
- It is weatherproof.
- It is sturdy and long-lasting.
- It has a large cooking area.
- The assembly isn’t easy.
3. Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue:
Taurus 440 Charcoal Barbecue from Landmann is a compact and stylish charcoal barbecue. This is unit is perfect for small spaces such as patios or small gardens. The grill can cater up to 6 people and has enough cooking space so that you can serve them all at once. There is an integrated lid thermometer and the cooking grill and warming rack is enamelled. The removable ash collector is very handy as it allows you to clean the barbecue in just a few minutes only and that too without any hassle.
The charcoal barbecue is also provided with removable side shelves that allow you to store things such as barbecue accessories and tools in the space. One good feature of this charcoal barbecue is that it has an adjustable height which is very useful if there are different people cooking on it. The warming rack is large enough and has dimensions of 40 cm X 18 cm and the cooking area is 44 cm X 36 cm. The hood and the fire bowl is powder coated and the unit comes with a warranty of 5 years.
- It is sturdy and compact.
- It offers adjustable height.
- It has an integrated thermometer in the lid.
- There are side shelves for easy storage.
- It can’t serve a big crowd.
4. Dorado Charcoal Barbecue:
The Doradol Charcoal Barbecue is stylish and beautiful as it has a gloss finish and it has a very unique design. The unit features a height adjustable charcoal grate and it is also fitted with heavy duty, cast iron grills. There is a built-in warming rack too that allows the user to cater up to 10 people. There is a slide out ash catcher that allows easy cleaning. The charcoal barbecue is very versatile as it allows you to cook directly and indirectly both. Direct cooking can be done when the charcoal tray is raised, and indirect cooking can be done when the tray is lowered down.
The Dorado charcoal barbecue has a glossy back, and an enamelled hood and fire bowl and heavy duty cast iron enamelled grills. The cooking area is 57 cm X 41 cm and the warming rack is 54.5 cm X 22 cm which is large enough. The lid is double walled, and the ash catcher is easily removable. There are 2 foldable side shelves and a bottom wire shelf. This unit also comes with a warranty of 5 years.
- It is sleek and stylish.
- It can cater up to 10 people.
- It allows direct and indirect cooking.
- There is ash collector for easy cleaning.
- There are 2 foldable side shelves.
- The ventilation system isn’t good.
5. Piccolino Portable Charcoal Barbecue:
If you’re looking for a portable option, this charcoal barbecue is perfect for you. The charcoal barbecue is designed for camping purposes and for barbecuing or grilling outdoors. It is ideal for a barbecue day out at a park or the beach because of its portability and easy transportation. There are rubberised clips that surround the lid and keep it closed tightly while you carry the unit or cook something in it. The cooking grill is made up of stainless steel and is of 34 cm and there is a warming rack available too.
The fire bowl and lid is enamelled, and the cooking grill and warming rack is chrome plated. The overall frame construction is chrome-plated too. There is a ventilation disc in the lid so that the temperature inside the unit is controlled and airy. Along with the package, you also get stainless steel barbecue tongs so that you barbecue safely. The portable charcoal barbecue is suitable for 4 people and if you want to entertain a big crowd, it will be a bit difficult for you.
- It is very portable.
- It is compact and lightweight.
- It has rubberised clips that give a secure grip to the lid.
- You get tongs with the package.
- It is sturdy and stylish.
- The cooking space is very less.
6. Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue:
The Tennessee Broiler Charcoal Barbecue allows you to cook and smoke food for longer periods and is ideal for keeping in gardens or patios. It features height adjustable charcoal grate which has an oven style charcoal door too that allows you to put charcoal whenever you need it. There is an easy removing ash catcher tray that slides easily from the bottom of the fire bowl and offers easy cleaning. It has heavy-duty cast iron grills and the warming rack is chrome plated.
The cooking area provided by this Tennessee broiler charcoal barbecue is 42 cm X 57 cm and the warming rack is of 62 cm X 22 cm which is large enough to cater 12 people. There are two folding side tables and a bottom wire shelf too. The folding side tables are very handy as they help you keep the dishes and cooked food when it’s ready. There is an integrated hood thermometer too that allows you to keep a check on the temperature of the food that is being cooked.
- It can cater a large number of people.
- It has a height adjustable charcoal grate.
- The ash catcher tray allows easy cleaning.
- There is an integrated hood thermometer.
- It is expensive.
Cheapest Charcoal Barbecues:
If you want a very affordable option to buy a charcoal barbecue, you must look at our list of cheapest charcoal barbecues. These charcoal grills are not only affordable, but they have very good cooking capabilities too. So, if you don’t want to spend much on a fancy design or a top-notch brand, you can consider these charcoal barbecues. Though these units lack the qualities and features of the large and fully equipped ones, but they are good enough for you to test your barbecuing or grilling skills. Following are some of the cheapest charcoal barbecues available on the market:
1. Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue:
The Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue is a very well performing and beautifully designed unit. It has two adjustable grills that help in keeping the barbecue at a comfortable cooking position. The grill features three levels to keep the food warm or to cook it. The whole unit is made up of a sturdy black-powder coated steel which looks elegant and stylish. The dimensions of this unit are 123 cm X 99 cm X 50 cm. There are two side shelves and there is storage behind the fabric front too.
The storage and the shelves make it easier for the user to store the tools or BBQ accessories. The assembly takes time, but the instructions are really helpful and easy, so the process goes smoothly. You will just need a screw driver and you can easily assemble the whole unit in some minutes. There is a handy tray provided too that collects ash, when it’s full you can easily slide it out and then clean it. The size is convenient and overall the whole unit is very well built.
- It is very well designed.
- It is easy to assemble.
- It offers a good cooking area.
- It has adjustable chrome steel grills.
- The coal grid covers only half area.
2. El Fuego Ontario Charcoal Grill:
The El Fuego Ontario is also one of the cheapest charcoal grills available. It has a unique height adjusting mechanism for the charcoal tray which allows easy access and simple cleaning of the unit. The size of the grilling surface is around 42 X 55 cm which is sufficient for 4 to 6 people. The unit is made up of steel and there is a temperature display too. It arrives well packed and looks sturdy and stylish. The charcoal grill has a small door opening into the charcoal grate that allows the user to add coals to the unit while cooking.
The El Fuego charcoal grill is very compact and lightweight. You can place it in your garden or patio and it won’t take much space. It has two sturdy wheels that increase the portability of the whole unit. It looks stylish and has a very functional design. It will take around half an hour to 45 minutes to assemble it.
- It is very portable and compact.
- It has an ash collecting tray.
- It offers a height adjusting mechanism.
- According to some customer reviews it is very unsafe.
3. CosmoGrill Outdoor Charcoal Barbecue:
The CosmoGrill Outdoor Charcoal Barbecue is very portable and has a built-in thermometer too that allows the user to keep a track of the temperature. There is a warming rack that has a stainless-steel handle which allows easy lifting up and down. There are two wheels attached so that moving the unit is easy. The grill has a large cooking space that can easily accommodate a whole chicken. There are two side shelves provided for storing and keeping tools and accessories.
The CosmoGrill outdoor charcoal barbecue has a great customer service too. According to the company, if you think there’s some fault in the BBQ or you aren’t satisfied with the purchase, you can easily contact the customer service personnel. The CosmoGrill can easily cater up to 20 people in a day and it is easy to clean too after long or rough uses. The assembly is easy, and the instructions are clear so that there is no issue during the process. The tray provided in the unit is perfect for controlling direct heat and there is a top rack too that is good for keeping the cooked food warm.
- The tray is great for direct heat control.
- It is sturdy and nicely built.
- It is portable.
- It is easy to assemble.
- There are some complains of the unit arriving damaged.
4. Miady Stainless Steel Foldable Charcoal Barbecue:
The Miady Stainless Steel foldable charcoal barbecue is built to last, and it contains a wide variety of accessories and tools. There are 20 pieces of BBQ tools which include grill meshes, removable sinks, grill pans, skewers, tongs, mesh handles and others. It is made up of 410 stainless steel that is rust-resistant and is durable. It has a foldable design that makes it very portable and easy to carry. The grill size is 74 X 33 cm which is large enough to serve around 5 to 10 people at once.
This charcoal grill is the easiest to assemble as you just have to unfold the stand and use the accessories provided. Also, since the grill is made up of stainless steel, it is very easy to clean. The size and quality of the charcoal barbecue is perfect as it is neither too small nor too big. The weight is good too, that is, it is lightweight enough to carry it around while you’re camping or grilling at the beach or park. The foldable design makes it easier to keep it in a carry bag and take it along on the go.
- It delivers good value for money.
- It is very easy to install and assemble.
- It is compact and fits easily into a carry bag.
- It has a foldable design.
- It is ideal for camping.
- It is quite flimsy.
There is a wide variety of charcoal barbecues available on the market and many of them are used by BBQ junkies for years. When you use a charcoal barbecue, you can use any type of charcoal such as lump charcoal, briquettes, flavoured briquettes, and more. You have to consider your grilling style and your personal taste before you choose the type of charcoal.
The charcoal barbecues reviewed in this post are all from the top-notch brands and are very popular among the grilling and barbecuing geeks. Weber and Landmann are one of the best barbecuing and grilling equipment manufacturers and their products are trusted because of their good quality. There’s nothing like a food cooked on a charcoal barbecue because the taste and the smoky flavour can’t be compared to other barbecues.