The 5 Best Charcoal Grills on Amazon
The primal thrill of creating fire, the smoky 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 hot coals that elicits images within one’s mind of our ancient ancestors who cooked in similar ways. While cooking over an 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, 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 wildfires.
Modern charcoal grills allow us to connect with our primal past in a safe and efficient way while providing flavorful and smoke-infused food that gas grills simply cannot replicate. This is why I’ve put together this list of the 5 best charcoal grills on Amazon to help you decide which one 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 is sure to make your next barbecue the best you’ve ever had.
Lodge Logic L410 – Simple, Portable, and Perfect for Outdoor Enthusiasts
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 the 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 handy 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 under $100 and with free shipping , this charcoal grill is one of the more affordable choices.
Portable Kitchen PK 99740 – Retro Cooking at its Finest
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 without 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″ – A Classic Smoker
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, or even larger cuts of meat such as beef brisket or pork shoulders.
It is simple and lightweight, 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 – Classic Design, But Not Your Average Charcoal Grill
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.
At first glance, the Weber 741001 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.
This grill’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 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 400 reviews and an average rating of 4.6 out of 5, this definitely is one of the best charcoal grills currently available on the market.
Our Top Pick – Weber Performer Platinum – Go Big or Go Home!
The Weber Performer Platinum is the perfect example of blending the old with the new. The Performer features a traditionally styled, porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, much the same as the Weber 741001 above. Also like the 741001, the Performer features the extremely handy one-touch cleaning system. What blasts this grill’s 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 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 for lighter fluid!
Other features include: a removable LCD timer for keeping track of cook times 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 higher end grills, the Weber Performer Platinum is our top recommendation for the best charcoal grill.
Bring on the Smoky Goodness!
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 as your guide, you are one step closer to reconnecting with your ancient ancestors, or…just having a really excellent meal. Check out our list of the top tabletop grills to expand your grilling arsenal even further.
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 deserve. 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.