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Published on April 21st, 2013 | by Patricia

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5 Best Charcoal Grills in 2014

The primal thrill of creating fire; the smokey flavor, the intense smells: these are the qualities that attract individuals to cooking with a charcoal grill. Charcoal grilling is an experience that engages the senses in a way that grilling with gas simply cannot. There is something about lighting a fire and stoking the coals that elicits images within one’s mind of our ancient ancestors, who cooked in similar ways.

While cooking over open fire – using coal or wood – is an ancient technique, modern advancements have made the process simpler and more efficient. Cooking surfaces over the flame provide a stable platform for food preparation, thereby ensuring that the food remains free of ash and is cooked evenly. Containing the heat source in a durable enclosure, provides more efficient heat regulation, and reduces the possibility of wild fires.

Modern charcoal grills allow us to connect with our primal past in a safe and efficient way, while providing flavorful and smokey food that a gas grill simple cannot replicate. This is why I’ve put together this list of the 5 best charcoal grills in 2014 to help you decide which grill is right for you. Whether you want a simple, no-frills way of cooking wonderfully grilled and smoked food; or, if you desire the greatest technological advancements in charcoal grilling, there is something on the list for you that’s sure to make your next barbecue the best you’ve ever had.

Lodge Logic L410

Lodge Logic L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman's Charcoal GrillLodge Logic L410 Pre-Seasoned Sportsman’s Charcoal Grill

The Lodge L410 is a rugged and affordable grill that can withstand years of use and abuse, and will keep on grilling like a champ. Lodge is known for their high quality cast iron products and as such, the L410 is an item that should last you the rest of your life. It even comes with a limited lifetime warranty to back that statement up.

The L410 is great for sportsmen, tailgaters, camping enthusiasts, or those of us that just want to cook an excellent steak on our back patio. This is not the biggest charcoal grill, yet it still has plenty of surface area for cooking for up to four people at once. The neat thing about this grill is its size, which makes it great for bringing to a picnic.

A draft door helps you adjust the grills heat; a flip door allows you to adjust coals and add wood chips for extra flavor; and the grill’s two adjustable heights–are features that make this little grill extremely user-friendly. Clocking in at about $70, this charcoal drill is one of the more affordable choices.

Portable Kitchen PK 99740

Portable Kitchen PK 99740 Cast Aluminum Grill and SmokerPortable Kitchen PK 99740 Cast Aluminum Grill and Smoker

A reproduction of an original 1950s grill design, the PK 99740 is a great grill, which combines retro styling with an innovative venting system, allowing incredible temperature control. The PK 99740 has four adjustable vents and dampers in key locations, which allow you to make on-the-fly adjustments to ensure the perfect temperature.

This grill is made from heavy-duty cast aluminum which is built to last, and radiates heats quite efficiently–which means food cooks more evenly with out the need for constant turning. Additionally, the hinged hood makes the PK 99740 as great for smoking as it is for grilling.

Another cool feature of the “Portable Kitchen” is that it is, indeed, portable. The cooking section detaches from the lightweight carriage, and the entire unit is easily disassembled, making it one of the best charcoal grills for taking along on a camping trip.

Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #22

Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #22 (Large)Old Smokey Charcoal Grill #22 (Large)

As its name might suggest, the Old Smokey excels at smoking. With a large cooking surface and raised hood the Old Smokey has enough room to cook for a large quantity of people at once. The raised hood makes the Old Smokey a great choice for those wanting to try their hand at cooking beer can chicken/turkey.

It is light weight, making it easy to transport and it has adjustable vents, which means your food can be cooked how and where you like. The grill is constructed of aluminized steel, making it resistant to rust and corrosion, which also means it will be your choice for smoked food for years to come.

 

Weber 741001

Weber 741001 Silver One-Touch 22-1/2-Inch Kettle Grill, BlackWeber 741001 Silver One-Touch 22-1/2-Inch Kettle Grill, Black

Weber is one of the leading pioneers of backyard grilling. Their goal is to introduce innovative products that make backyard grilling so easy and efficient, that the backyard is considered to be an extension of the kitchen. The 741001, at first glance looks like your typical charcoal “bowl” grill. However, look closer and you will see subtle innovations, which add up to make your grilling experience far more enjoyable.

The 741001’s first subtle feature is its hinged cooking grate – the hinged grate makes it easy to add briquettes or wood chips once grilling is underway. The 741001’s most innovative feature, however, is its incredible “one-touch” cleaning system. One of the biggest drawbacks to charcoal cooking is cleaning up the ash after grilling is done. With the one-touch cleaning system, simply rotate the handle, and three blades in the bowl sweep all of the ash through vents leading to an aluminum ash catcher. The ash catcher is easily removed, allowing you to dispose of the ash easily. With over 200 review and average rating of 4.6 out of 5, this definitely is one of the best charcoal grills available currently available on the market.

Weber Performer Platinum

Weber Performer Platinum Charcoal GrillWeber Performer Platinum Charcoal Grill

The Weber Performer Platinum is the perfect example of blending the old with the new. The Performer features a traditional styled, porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, much the same as the Webber 741001. Also like the Weber 741001, the Performer features the extremely handy one-touch cleaning system. What blasts this grills design into the 21st century, is its Electronic Touch-N-Go gas ignition system.

The Touch-N-Go ignition system makes this grill nearly as convenient as a gas grill, while retaining the flavor and aroma of charcoal. To start grilling, simply remove your coals from the performers built in charcoal storage bin, place them in the grill’s bowl, turn on the gas and hit the igniter button – a few minutes later and your coals will be ready for cooking, without the need of lighter fluid!

Other features include: a removable LCD timer for keeping track of cook times, even while away from the grill; a built in lid thermometer; three tool hooks; “Tuck-Away” lid holder; and a large built-in work surface. With all the bells and whistles of the higher end grill, the Weber Performer Platinum is our top recommendation for the best charcoal grill.

Conclusion

Charcoal grilling is great! It’s fun, affordable, and it provides some of the best, and most flavorful food you will ever find. Charcoal grilling isn’t just for the outdoorsy, hunting and fishing types. Anyone can get in touch with his or her primal side. With this list of the 5 best charcoal grills in 2014 as your guide, you are one step closer to reconnecting with your ancient ancestors, or…just having a really excellent meal.

What are you waiting for? Any time is a good time for grilling; get your grill, grab a nice steak or some veggies and prepare your taste buds for the treat that they are about to receive. Be warned though, you may decide to start cooking all your meals out on the grill, though, as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with that.

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About the Author

I'm Patricia Baker, a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom. I enjoy writing product review as a way to help other consumer (just like myself) make informed decisions.



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