Let’s admit it, everyone! We all love having a joyful barbecue party, where delicious food is well roasted and served while it’s still hot.
But things can get slightly complicated if you are on a picnic, and you want to enjoy some outdoor cooking. Building a campfire is not an easy task, and it might just take the fun out of the trip before you can even enjoy your food.
Tada, fortunately for you, here comes the best portable charcoal grill! A charcoal grill is almost always a must-have these days for any BBQ party, and without a doubt, there are portable versions of it on the market.
Are you pondering over the portable grills available on the market? If so, scroll down and study our comprehensive review of the top 7 best portable charcoal grills!
Table of Contents
- Comparison Chart: the Best Portable Charcoal Grill
- Top 7 Best Portable Charcoal Grills
- #1. Weber 121020 Charcoal Grill – The Top-Rated Portable Charcoal Grill
- #2. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill – The Charcoal Grill with a Large Cooking Area
- #3. Char-Griller E22424 Charcoal Grill – The Best Charcoal Grill for Texas-Style Smoking
- #4. ISUMER Charcoal Grill Barbecue Portable BBQ – The Detachable Charcoal Grill
- #5. TACKLIFE Charcoal Grill – The Biggest Portable Grill
- #6. EVOLAND BBQ Charcoal Grill – The Most Affordable Charcoal Grill
- #7. Char-Broil Charcoal Grill – The Foldable and Highly Portable Charcoal Grill
- What to Look For In the Best Portable Charcoal Grill?
- Are They Okay to Use?
Comparison Chart: the Best Portable Charcoal Grill
Top 7 Best Portable Charcoal Grills
First off on our list is a product from Weber. If you need a high-quality charcoal grill, you have to check this out.
Model 121020 prides itself on the sleek design. With porcelain enameled coating, not only is Weber 121020 rust-resistant, but it also looks neat and pleasant for cookware.
Another feature that you will love about Weber 121020 is its Tuck-N-Carry lid lock and handles. This mechanism allows for better protection of your grill, while still being perfectly handy.
However, the plated steel legs are reported to be a bit frail. If you want to make sure your grill stands sturdily, do not forget to lock the legs using the attached clips.
VERDICT: With its modern design, Weber 121020 is an ideal choice for customers seeking a charcoal grill not only for its efficiency but also for its appearance.
If you are a fan of Weber, but you dislike the rectangular shape of model 121020, we suggest that you take a look at Weber Jumbo Joe.
At first glance, Weber Jumbo Joe stands out thanks to its porcelain-enameled bowl. The bowl is designed to retain as much heat as possible to ensure your food can be properly cooked and ready as soon as possible.
Another interesting feature of Weber Jumbo Joe is its aluminum ash catcher. By placing an aluminum tray right under the cooking area, the manufacturers make it easier for you to clean things up after your party is over. Yay!
Still, while the handle comes with a heat shield, it is advised that you wear gloves when dealing with Weber Jumbo Joe. The round surface tends to heat up rather quickly during the cooking process, so be careful!
VERDICT: If you are about to feed four to six people, Weber Jumbo Joe is your best bet.
Are you a fan of steaks made by Texas-style smoking? Now, you can get what you want at home with the help of Char-Griller E22424.
What we love most about Char-Griller E22424 is its durability. The outer coat of the grill is made from heavy steel, combined with the cast iron cooking grates. Together, they create a sturdy construction that promises to resist against any external factors.
And let’s not forget about the heat control system here. Through a pair of dampers, users can easily adjust the firepower inside the smoker. Excellent, right?
But do not expect perfection from this product. Despite the powder coating, the paint on Char-Griller E22424 gradually peels off once it comes to exposure with the flames.
VERDICT: Char-Griller E22424 is a sturdy grill, but it is not highly portable. It will fit you best in case you are looking for a home yard cookware that can perform some Texas-style smoking.
The next up on our list of the best portable charcoal grills is ISUMER.
This grill is made from stainless steel, and it is portable in every sense. The legs of this grill are detachable for easy storage or convenient caring anywhere you go. Pack light, and bring your grill with you! It’s perfect for camping, picnics, tailgate get-together and everywhere you are allowed to grill.
Besides its unique design, ISUMER’s attraction lies in its construction details. You will be surprised that this grill has amazing abrasive resistance - it won’t rust or twist and will last you for many seasons. It also features air ventilation, convenient handles, and double air vents and ash catcher.
You can adjust the height and balance. The grill comes with 4 legs and a plastic floor mat that makes it more stable. If you are going somewhere where the terrain is uneven, just adjust one leg to be shorter or longer and balance it.
If you don’t like spending much time while cleaning, this is the perfect grill for you, because it’s a piece of cake cleaning it.
In addition to the regular meals on this grill you can prepare shish and lamb kebab, skewers, Japanese yakitori, shashlik, Malaysian satay, and many others.
This grill is smaller, so it’s best to be used for small gatherings.
VERDICT: If you want to invest in high quality, long-lasting cookware, you cannot go wrong with ISUMER Charcoal Grill.
Most portable charcoal grills are small in size, which makes them unsuitable for a large party. But TACKLIFE sees to this problem by promoting a portable charcoal grill that can cook for around 10 people.
Overall, TACKLIFE charcoal grill looks like a robot with its cooking bowl, the stainless steel frame, and the attached wheels. The bowl features a 22.5-inch cooking area, which can hold up at least 12 burgers at the same time.
Furthermore, the reinforced wheels mean users can effortlessly move the grill around. With such a big grill, some of you may be concerned about the cleanup. But rest assured that any ash will fall into a removable ash catcher placed under the bowl, so you can tidy things up in no time.
One thing we dislike about TACKLIFE charcoal grill is its assembly. The manual is complicated with many ambiguous instructions, which can be a real challenge for customers. Urgh!
VERDICT: TACKLIFE charcoal grill is cut out for family gatherings with up to 12 people. But be aware that fitting this grill onto the truck to travel away is not an easy task, so you should consider hosting a barbecue party somewhere near your home!
If your budget does not allow a fancy charcoal grill with lots of cooking space, you can try out EVOLAND BBQ Charcoal Grill. This is an extremely affordable alternative compared to the previously introduced products.
What strikes us most about EVOLAND BBQ Charcoal Grill is its portability. The grates are removable, so when needed, you can move them out, and then fold the whole grill into a 1-inch flat surface.
Another advantage of EVOLAND is its straightforward setup. The design of the grill is relatively simple, which makes it effortless for customers to assemble everything. No screws needed!
This grill has mess-free ash catcher and 5 vents on both sides to make the airflow better so that the charcoal can burn more efficiently and grill food faster.
But still, there is one drawback to this seemingly perfect product. The paint can start peeling off because of the heat. Not very convenient.
VERDICT: Compact and portable, EVOLAND BBQ Charcoal Grill is the ideal charcoal grill for a short trip of one to two people!
Similarly to Fire Sense Notebook, Char-Broil Charcoal Grill is another economical choice for you in case you need a handy cooking machine for a picnic!
The most distinctive feature of Char-Broil grill - in our opinion - is its durable construction. The outer frame is made from high-quality steel, combined with the chrome-plated steel wire grates. Overall, they create a sturdy body to hold up against external factors. Talking about a long-lasting product!
That is not to mention the attached handles on top and at both sides of the grill. If you need to move the grill around, these handles will be of great help!
However, you should bear in mind that Char-Broil grill only comes with one standard height for the grates. In other words, you cannot raise or lower the cooking surface.
VERDICT: Char-Broil Charcoal Grill should top your list if you are in need of a handy, convenient, and easy-to-use outdoor cookware. Even better? It will not dry out your budget!
What to Look For In the Best Portable Charcoal Grill?
After reading our review, we figure that you might be slightly confused. With so many choices available, how can you tell which one is the best portable charcoal grill?
If you need some extra guidance on choosing a charcoal grill, let’s have a look at some factors below.
1. Types of Charcoal Grills
There are many types of charcoal grills available on the market for you to choose from. If you want to purchase a small grill for family gatherings, you should go for a kettle grill like Weber Jumbo Joe.
On the other hand, barrel grills or smokers - like Char-Griller E22424 - are bigger and more versatile in usage. Opt for them if you usually have to cook for more than a dozen people.
Another popular type of charcoal grill is a ceramic grill. It is a huge egg-shaped machine, which allows a wide variety of cooking methods. Are you running a barbecue-style restaurant or you are about to host a large party outdoors? Then ceramic grills are cut out for you!
The affordability of a portable charcoal grill should be among the top concerns for any customer. Usually, with up to $30, you can get a cheap grill like the Fire Sense Notebook, or the Char-broil. These are the perfect choice for anyone not interested in having to spend lots of money on outdoor cookware.
If you want to invest in a long-lasting grill, be prepared to spend around $40 to $60.
For a smoker or a barrel grill, the price range can go up to $100.
The most expensive of all when it comes to charcoal grills are ceramic grills. Most of them are well above $800, and some even cost around $1500.
Another vital factor to take into consideration when buying a portable charcoal grill is its size.
First, you have to check out if the size of the grill itself is suitable for your cooking environment. You can fit a smoker on your backyard, but you cannot bring it all the way to the picnic site.
Secondly, do not forget to measure the size of the cooking area. There are some compact grills suitable for a meal with one or two people. There are other grills designed to feed up to 15 people at the same time.
The best way to make sure you will purchase the right size is to read the manual first. Most manufacturers give an approximation of how many burgers/steaks a grill can cook, so stick to their words!
4. Cooking Methods Available
If all you need to do is to prepare some burgers or hotdogs, then a basic charcoal grill will be fine. Most portable charcoal grills provide direct grilling as the primary cooking method.
However, some high-end grills like Weber or TACKLIFE allow food to be indirectly grilled, smoked, or slow-cooked.
5. Cleaning Issue
Charcoal grills make use of coals to produce heat, which will leave behind ashes. In open space, this can lead to a huge mess, so you seriously have to take the cleanup into account.
Most charcoal grills are designed with a sliding drawer, or a removable ash pan to deal with the problem. You can easily collect the ash, empty the drawer/pan, and then insert it back to the grill. Everything is neat and tidy again.
But still, things are not that straightforward with some products. Take Fire Sense Notebook for an example. There is no separate ash catcher, so the ash will accumulate at the bottom of the grill.
In this case, you will have to wait until the cooking is over to throw away the ash. It is not only inconvenient, but it can also be dangerous in windy circumstances. Imagine what may happen if the wind blows right through the grill, and the ash is spread all over!
Durability is sometimes overlooked by customers, as they prioritize other factors like the price or the appearance of the grill.
But a flimsy charcoal grill is to be avoided at all cost! You would not want your grill to last for a few months, then get rusted and run down, wouldn’t you?
To make sure you get the most sturdy grill, you should research and opt for reputed brands. Read the reviews carefully and see how other customers react.
And this one is of extra importance: do not forget to pay attention to the materials! Check out to see if the grill is from enamel, steel or cast iron. Each material has a different durability level, and it will help you decide which grill is best for you.
Are They Okay to Use?
A charcoal grill will be your best friend for any cookout. Not only is it versatile, but it also features a wide range of costs and sizes. All you need is to do some research, and you’ll find out which fits you most.
In our opinion, the best portable charcoal grill is Weber 121020. While its price range can be a bit higher than the average grills, the product is definitely of good value. Weber 121020 is portable, easy to use, and to clean up - a perfect alternative to your kitchen!
- Holds up to six burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and base retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- The lid locks for easy portability and dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
- Durable plated steel cooking grate retains heat and is easy to clean.Primary cooking area (square inches):160
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