In our post about the best charcoal outdoor grills in 2020, you’ll find our top picks for quality barbecue grills that will suit any budget and size for your patio or backyard.
Whether you need to feed a crowd or a family of four, whether you want to spend $60 or $400; we got you covered.
Nothing beats the unique taste and aromatic smell of food cooked over burning charcoal. The high-temperature sears in the juices of the steak or vegetables to preserve the best flavor ever.
Many people would love to get a charcoal outdoor grill but are concerned about cleaning it. Read more in our post about our guide to clean your barbecue grill.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at our top choices of the best charcoal outdoor grills.
* Please note: all product links in this product review are affiliate links. That means, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Comparison Chart For The Best Charcoal Outdoor Grills In 2021
For a quick overview of our top choices of charcoal outdoor grills, please have a look at our comparison chart. To check the prices, you’ll need to click the image which will take you to the Amazon product site.
Price indication: $ – $50 to $150; $$ – $199 – $300; $$$ – $350 – $700; $$$$ from $700 to $1200.
Reviews Of The Best Charcoal Outdoor Grills 2021
Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black
It features everything we are looking for in a high-quality, sturdy, and high-performance barbecue grill. The grill itself sits in a robust cart that not only offers lots of working space and a handy container for the charcoal. But it is also easy to move around.
Weber has solved two issues some owners of charcoal grills have: First, the Weber Performer Deluxe has an ignition that allows for lighting the charcoal in minutes and without a fuss.
Secondly, the One-Touch cleaning system with the integrated aluminum ash catcher makes cleaning out the ashes a breeze.
Read my detailed review of the Weber Performer Deluxe here.
The porcelain-enameled bowl and lid are rust-resistant. The lid features an inbuilt thermometer, and the cooking surface offers a generous 363 square inches of cooking space.
What Are The Cons?
The cooking grate is stainless which is not really a con, but we like to use a cast iron grid. You would need to purchase the Weber Gourmet System Sear Grate which is excellent.
There is also no warming rack available with this grill. Your option here would be to move the cooked food to the edges of the cooking grid to keep it warm.
There is so much to love about this outdoor grill. Weber offers an extensive warranty (read more in my review), it is made in the USA, and the quality of this grill is superior.
The grill is easy to assemble, the cart moves quickly and smoothly and best of all, lightning the charcoal and cleaning out the ashes is a breeze.
So, if you have a big enough patio or backyard and want to spend a bit more money on a charcoal grill, then the Weber Performer Deluxe is your #1 choice.
Kamado Joe Classic II, Blaze Red
A Kamado grill is not your usual barbecue outdoor grill; it is far more than that. The Kamado Joe Classic is a prime example of a high-quality Kamado style grill that is exceptionally versatile to use.
Grilling, slow cooking, smoking, baking pizza, making bread – you won’t find another outdoor grill that can do all these things.
Read more about Kamado grills here.
The Kamado Joe is our number #1 choice because of the high-quality material, the included accessories, and the lifetime warranty.
With 250 pounds the Kamado Joe is massive but thanks to the heavy-duty cast iron four-wheeled cart it sits on, it is easy to move around.
The removable ash drawer makes for easy cleaning.
One of the best parts of the Kamado Joe Classic grill is the stainless steel divide and conquer cooking system. It allows you to cook on different levels for fast searing and slow cooking at the same time.
Read our detailed review here.
The new and improved model features a double-thick fiberglass gasket and a patented, all-aluminum, no-rust, rain-proof control tower top vent. It allows you to control the airflow and therefore reach the desired cooking temperature.
The lid features an inbuilt temperature gauge that works precisely.
What Are The Cons?
Regarding the quality and durability of a Kamado Joe Classic grill, there are no issues at all. But to get the most out of a kamado-style grill, there is a learning curve involved since it operates a bit differently than the usual charcoal outdoor grill.
Also, the price tag for the Kamado Joe grill is much higher compared to other charcoal grills.
The Kamado Joe Classic is fantastic for everyone who wants to take grilling, smoking and barbecuing to the next level. Backed up by a lifetime warranty, the Kamado Joe is built for many years to come.
Weber 14501001 Master-Touch Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black
The Weber Master-Touch Charcoal grill offers nearly the same features as the Weber Performer Deluxe except for the moveable cart including the generous workspace and the gas ignition for easy lighting of the charcoal.
The cooking space is a generous 363 square inches that can fit lots of burgers, steaks, hot dogs and chicken wings for your next barbecue party.
The high-quality materials like the porcelain-enameled bowl and lid make sure that this grill withstands rust for years to come.
Read our detailed review The Weber BBQ Charcoal Grill for more information.
The temperature gauge in the lid is helpful to keep track of the temperature inside the grill.
The hinged stainless steel cooking grate has a round removable middle part for placing a wok or the Weber Gourmet BBQ system.
An included accessory is the two charcoal baskets that allow for direct or indirect heating. You’ll also get a warming rack with your purchase.
A heat shield on the lid provides extra protection for your hands. And the lid hinge is fantastic to get the lid out of the way so you can handle your food quickly.
What Are The Cons?
There are no significant issues whatsoever. Only one customer felt that the wheels can be a bit tipsy when moving the grill. Another one experienced problems with a bowl that wasn’t rounded enough, so the lid didn’t fit properly.
My tip: if you have any issues with your purchase, get in touch with Weber’s customer service team, and they will solve the problem in no time.
The Weber Master-Touch grill is another excellent product in the Weber Charcoal grill collection. There is lots of cooking space and the charcoal basket are perfect for direct and indirect grilling.
Weber 14402001 Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Copper
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal grill will bring some color into your outdoor kitchen aka backyard. Besides black, this beauty is also available in copper (as seen in the picture) and green.
There are a few differences between the MasterTouch grill and the Original Kettle Premium Grill which costs slightly less.
For a detailed comparison between these two grills, please click here.
Number one is that you won’t get the two charcoal baskets and the stainless steel grate hasn’t got the movable middle part.
Otherwise, the features are almost the same which include the heat shield to protect your hands, the One-Touch cleaning system with the removable ash catcher, the generous cooking space of 363 square inches and the temperature gauge.
What Are The Cons?
Some customers experienced issues with removing the ash catcher which they found difficult to do. Others had problems with items arriving dented, or parts were missing.
Always get in touch with Weber’s customer service straight away.
The Weber Original Premium Kettle Charcoal grill is with over 900 sold items by far the bestseller on Amazon for outdoor charcoal grills.
This high number speaks for the excellent quality you get for your money; a great and sturdy charcoal grill that will feed the hungry family or a large crowd.
Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill offers a huge cooking space of 580 square inches plus a warming rack with 270 square inches.
If this size is a bit too big for you, Char-Griller has a smaller version available as well.
Besides a large cooking surface, the Char-Griller Pro Deluxe offers an adjustable cast iron grate, a wooden shelf with utensil hooks and a condiment basket.
The body material is heavy-duty steel while the handle is made from wood.
You’ll find two side air vents and a chimney for better air ventilation.
One of our favorite features is the removable ash drawer for easy cleaning.
For our detailed review of the Char-Griller Pro Deluxe, please read more here.
What Are The Cons?
The grill is quite massive at 81 pounds, so you need probably another person to help you with carrying the boxes and with the assembly. The assembly can be tricky, and a few customers complained about missing parts.
The construction doesn’t feel as sturdy as a Weber charcoal grill, and the material seems to rust quickly.
The Char-Griller Pro Deluxe Grill is a robust and sturdy charcoal grill, that is very affordable for the size. We don’t think it will last as well as a Weber grill. However, if you are on a tight budget and need a decent charcoal grill, then the Char-Griller might be a good choice.
The Best Way To Heat Up A Charcoal Grill
There are several ways to get the charcoals burning. From the good old way of piling up the coal in the center of the grill, soaking them in lighter fluid and then light it up.
This way is not the best method since lighter fluid can be unsafe and can leave some bad flavor on your grilled meat.
A much better way to start up the charcoal without the nasty lighter fluid is using a charcoal chimney or chimney starter.
Our preferred product is the Weber Rapidfire chimney plus the Weber Firestarter Lighting Cubes (here is the link). By using our method, you will get the charcoal burning in about ten to fifteen minutes.
Remove the cooking grate form your charcoal grill and place two lighting cubes on the charcoal grate and light them.
Fill the chimney starter with charcoal and set it on top of the lighting cubes. The flames will go upwards and start burning the coal.
As soon as the charcoal gets an ash-gray color, you can empty the chimney starter onto the charcoal grate. Put the chimney starter away into a safe heatproof place.
With long tongs (and wearing heat-resistant gloves) spread out the charcoal.
Put on the cooking grate, close the lid and let the grill heat up to your desired temperature. It should take around 10 minutes to reach 500ºF.
Open the lid and put on your delicious goodies like steaks, hamburger patties, hot dogs and cook to your liking.
We hope our review of the best charcoal outdoor grills has helped you to find a great addition to your patio or backyard.
There are choices for any budget, for the beginner and advanced griller and the absolute grill enthusiast.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave it in the comment box. We’d love to hear from you.
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