Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Charcoal Grill?
- 2 Why Do You Need A Charcoal Grill?
- 3 List of Best Charcoal Grills under $200 (with Ratings)
- 4 Reviews of the best budget charcoal grill under $200
- 4.1 1. Weber Premium Charcoal Grill [Editor's Pick]
- 4.2 2. Weber Jumbo Joe: Best Portable Charcoal Grill
- 4.3 3. Char-Griller Patio Pro Charcoal Grill
- 4.4 4. Char-Griller Kamado Charcoal Grill
- 4.5 5. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
- 4.6 6. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill
- 4.7 7. Fire Sense Notebook Folding Charcoal Grill
- 4.8 8. Char-Broil BBQ Offset Smoker
- 4.9 9. Isumer Charcoal Grill for Kebab
- 4.10 10. Isumer Tabletop Charcoal Grill
- 5 Buying Guide for Charcoal Grills
- 6 How to Use A Charcoal Grill
- 7 Maintenance of A Charcoal Grill
- 8 Warning
- 9 Final Verdict
- 10 FAQ
Whenever you think of outdoor cooking with your family or acquaintances, you think of grilling. Grilling is not just about cooking food; it is a lot more than that. Most of us like to enjoy grilling when we are spending time with our family and friends.
The smell of grilling creates an enjoyable atmosphere. The sizzling sound of food plays like music. Grilling with your loved ones can be a way to entertain as well. Outdoor parties, get together, camping, tailgating all seem dull if there is no grilling involved.
You don't have to be a MasterChef to grill. Few tricks and some practice can help you become a decent cook. Being an expert in grilling comes with time, but you undoubtedly will enjoy the time. A right grill can ease your journey of becoming the star of the party.
What Is A Charcoal Grill?
The name describes itself; the charcoal grill uses charcoal to grill. Charcoal grills are more traditional grills. Nowadays, they come in different shapes and sizes, also at various price points. You can indeed find one that is suitable for you.
Charcoal grills are meant to use outdoor. It takes a bit of work to start grilling, but it makes the food taste a lot better than other grills. If you want to adapt the skill for grilling or are fully dedicated to grilling, you should consider charcoal grills.
As it takes a little bit of practice and skill, not everyone might enjoy it. But there are pretty good charcoal grills out there that are very easy to operate and cook.
Real grill or bbq lovers know the flavor a charcoal grill can provide and prefer a charcoal grill. It gives an authentic grilled taste and smoky flavor.
Why Do You Need A Charcoal Grill?
The answer is simple; if you love grilling, get a charcoal grill; if you want to learn to grill, then go for it. Grilling is an art and source of entertainment. If you enjoy cooking, you might enjoy grilling too.
You can enjoy friends and family gatherings while showing off your cooking skills. You never know, you might become the next Salt Bae.
List of Best Charcoal Grills under $200 (with Ratings)
Our Top Picks
Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill
Fire Sense Notebook Folding Charcoal Grill
Char-Broil BBQ Offset Smoker
Isumer Folding Charcoal Grill for Kebab
Isumer Tabletop Charcoal Grill
Reviews of the best budget charcoal grill under $200
It has become effortless to get something online, even for grills. You can get grills online without any hassle. There are many grills available online. Prices are ranging from very affordable to costing thousands of dollars. We all want to enjoy the grilling experience with our friends and family but don't want to break the bank for it.
So, here are some of the best affordable charcoal grills you can get online. All of them are less than 200 dollars, yet gives you the benefits of having a good quality grill.
1. Weber Premium Charcoal Grill [Editor's Pick]
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill comes in the size of 22 inches. It is big enough to cook about 13 burgers at a time. With the large surface area, you can cook chickens, hotdog, about a 12lb turkey too. It has a lid height of 7.5 inches, allowing you to cook bulky things.
The lid has a damper that helps you control the heat without lifting the lid. You can open or close the damper according to your need. It has a heat resistant handle on the lead. The heat shield helps the handle not to get too hot. You can hang the lid on the side of the grill with the lid hook. You don't have to worry about placing the lid on the floor.
The grate of this charcoal grill is easy to clean and retains heat. The cooking grate is hinged so that you can easily add charcoal while cooking. The grill has few hooks where you can hang your grillings tools, such as tongs, spatulas, or scissors.
Weber Premium Charcoal Grill has two durable wheels that make it easy to move around your yard. The materials are sturdy yet lightweight. This charcoal grill is easy to assemble, only taking about 20-30 minutes.
2. Weber Jumbo Joe: Best Portable Charcoal Grill
Jumbo Joes charcoal grill is a very compact and travel-friendly charcoal grill from Weber. This charcoal grill is best for outdoor events, camping, or tailgating. You can easily carry this around. Even though it is compact, it has an 18-inch surface area where you can cook a good enough food portion. This grill can cook up to 8 burgers.
The grill is easy to assemble. The ash catcher on the bottoms is a plus for this grill, as you can easily clean the ashes.
The dampers on the lid let you control the heat of your grilling by letting out air. You can quickly put out the coals if you seal the dampers off.
The lid space is a little less compared to other grills, but that helps with the portability. This grill is lightweight and has an enamel coating, which gives it a nice look.
The locking system helps you keep the lid tightly close when you are not using it. It mainly comes in handy while traveling with the grill. Having a lid holder is also useful.
3. Char-Griller Patio Pro Charcoal Grill
Char-Griller Patio Pro Charcoal Grill is ideal for you if you have a smaller patio or deck. It is perfect for small families with limited space. You can cook food for up to 5 people.
This grill has an ash pan. You can easily clean the ashes just by removing the ash pan. You don't have to worry about removing the grate to clean ashes. An adjustable side damper allows you to control heat while cooking.
There is a wooden side shelf where you can put your grilled food. It comes really handy when you are grilling. It also has storage for charcoals at the bottom. The rack in the bottom of the grill can be used to put charcoal or other things.
This grill is easy to assemble, has 02 wheels. You can quickly move the grill if you want.
4. Char-Griller Kamado Charcoal Grill
Char-Griller Kamado Charcoal Grill is a Kamado style charcoal grill. It is made with 22 gauge steel that will last a long time, so you don't have to worry about buying a new one in a short time. Even though it is made to be durable, it is small in size, lightweight, and easy to carry.
This Char-Griller is designed to mimic a clay oven. So you can use this grill to make other things like vegetables, pizza, bread, etc. it has a dual airflow damper, one in the top and one in the bottom. You can use the top damper in the lid to control the heat while cooking. You can use the grill as a smoker by sealing the dampers.
The bottom damper is attached to the ashtray. It lets you precisely control the temperature for cooking. You can effortlessly clean the ashes by removing the ash pan.
Advanced cooking can be done using this charcoal grill. But it would be best if you used it a few times to get a grip on its controls.
5. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker is a combination of offset smoker, BBQ, and charcoal grill. It will be the right choice if you enjoy grilling with your family and friends. It has a large surface area for grilling, 30 inches, to be exact. It has a porcelain wire grate that will retain heat evenly and make the meats tender. The grate is also rust-resistance and easy to clean.
This grill provides a lot of cooking area. The swing-away cooking rack has enough space for warming or cooking food. You can cook at a temperature you like by adjusting the 2-levels of the charcoal pan's height.
This charcoal grill has a lot of storage. The front mesh rack provides good enough working space. It is beneficial when you are grilling. It has a shelf at the bottom where you can keep extra charcoal or other stuff if you like. The grill is very sturdy and has two wheels. The wheels are durable and make it easy to move around.
This grill has a large capacity for charcoals; you can use up to 5lbs of charcoal in this grill. The side door allows you to put charcoal easily while cooking. Removing the ashes is easy as well.
6. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill
This grill has a 14 inches surface for grilling, which is good enough to grill about 04 hamburgers. The grates retain heat evenly for the best cooking. The dual venting system gives you access to temperature control and charcoal management.
7. Fire Sense Notebook Folding Charcoal Grill
The Fire Sense Notebook Folding Charcoal Grill is unique and has a luxurious look to it. This triangular and modern-looking grill is portable, being very lightweight. It folds like a notebook and very easy to carry.
Even though this is a compact grill, yet it has enough grilling space to cook a full meal for one person, or you can cook two large steaks at once. It has 14 inches grilling rack. It is a simple design having only a grill and a charcoal rack. As the design is straightforward and has not many parts, it is effortless to clean.
8. Char-Broil BBQ Offset Smoker
Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker is a good family-size grill, BBQ, and Smoker. It has two compartments; the bigger one is for grilling and the smaller one for smoking. You can cook up to 18 burgers at once in this grill.
This grill has a side shelf where you can place sauces, seasoning, or other utensils. The handles of the grill are heat-resistance so that it is convenient to use. It has a quickly accessible side door for ash removal.
9. Isumer Charcoal Grill for Kebab
Isomer charcoal grill is portable and best for BBQ. It is perfect for grilling in smaller spaces or outdoors. You can take this grill to parks, picnics, camping, tailgate parties, etc. It has detachable legs, which is easy to assemble or disassemble. You can detach the legs to carry the grill. The grill is made of a strong material, which is accessible to clean and long-lasting.
The grill size is decent, can cook up to 3 small steaks at a time. This grill is perfect for making skewers, kebabs, Shikh kebab, lamb kebab, Japanese Yakitori, Shashlik, Malaysian satay, etc.
The grill has a double air vent that creates air circulation for the perfect grill. The ash catcher comes in handy while cleaning.
Handles on both sides make this grill conveniently portable. A notable feature of this product that it has adjustable legs. If you plan to set the grill outdoor on an uneven surface, the adjustable legs will help make the grill stay perfectly aligned.
10. Isumer Tabletop Charcoal Grill
The Isumer tabletop charcoal grill is designed to carry around easily. Though it has a compact design, it still has most of the features that a grill needs. It is very lightweight, and you can take this grill anywhere you want, parks, camping, picnics, tailgate parties, etc. Even though this a small grill, you can still cook almost six burgers in it.
The grill is made of steel, the grater is made of non-stick steel and is easy to clean. The stay-cool valves in the lid allow you to control the temperature. This grill also comes with an air vent that helps to circulate the air. The lid also has a heat-resistance handle.
Buying Guide for Charcoal Grills
Grill manufactures are coming out with new features now and then. With the latest technology, they are advancing their grills as well. But the popularity of the classic charcoal grill has not decreased. A considerable amount of people still prefers charcoal grills over gas, propane, or electric grills.
Charcoal grills give the meat a unique smell and flavor which you will not get from other grills. Therefore, various types of charcoal grills are trending equally with different grills. There are a few things you should keep in mind before buying a new grill.
Charcoal Grills Size
The size of the grill depends on your choice. If you have enough space for a big grill and want one, then you can go for a big grill having the capacity to grill for many people at a time. On the other hand, if you don't have much space but enjoy grilling, you can choose some compact charcoal grills.
You should also keep in mind that if you have a small family and cook a smaller portion, choose a small grill. Cooking a smaller quantity in a big grill can be a hassle. If you have a big family and buy a small grill, you might have to keep grilling in small amounts, which can be a lengthy process.
The bigger grills come at a higher price. Sometimes smaller grills are expensive too for having many unique features. But you can get a decent grill at a reasonable price that will last a long time.
Portability of a Charcoal Grills
Most grills under $200 are portable. Depending on our needs, you can decide if you need a portable grill or not. There are some grills which are so compact that you can take them in your car and travel. You can set them to grill anywhere you want.
On the other hand, you cannot travel with heavy-duty grills. They are meant for your backyards, patios, decks, etc. though most of them come with wheels so you can move them around. But you can't carry them on long trips.
For your home, you can go for the durable ones. If you wish to go on to different places with your grills, buy portable ones, but they might not be very durable.
Temperature Control System of Charcoal Grills
Most charcoal grills come with vents or dampers so that you can control the heat and temperature. If you are planning to do some advanced cooking, you should check the dampers of the grills. Good grills come with an adequate vent system so that you get perfectly cooked food. They have more control over the heating and temperature. At the same time, the cheaper grills provide primary vent or dampers with little to no control.
Charcoal Grills Cleaning System
Grilling is a messy process, and cleaning is critical. Not being easy to clean loses the usability of a grill. The right grill must have a good system for cleaning the ashes or grease.
Most of the grates for grills are made with material that is easy to clean. Also, make sure the grill is not made of something that might become rusty.
Having an ash catcher is a plus for any grill. The grills must have a good system for storing ashes and cleaning it. Otherwise, the whole process of grilling becomes messy. Not just cleaning, sometimes the ashes get into the food too. In that case, you should definitely stop using that grill. A right grill must an ash catcher with is easily removable.
The durability of Charcoal Grills
Durability is vital for any product. No one wants to buy something that will hardly last one use. Most people buy a grill and use it for many years. Grills are made with strong metals so that they can last for a long time. You will not want to spend money on a grill that will not last very long. So it's better to check if the grill is made with durable material.
How to Use A Charcoal Grill
Firstly, you have to prepare the grill. You have put charcoals of your choice. Make sure to open the vents as it will need oxygen to fire up the charcoals. Use the vents to control the temperature. Let the coals burn for about 15-20 minutes.
When the grill is ready and can start grilling, enjoy the experience. After you are done grilling, close the vents all the way to put out the fire. Let it cool down.
After you are done, make sure to clean the grate. It's best to clean it while the grate is warm; otherwise, it will be difficult to clean.
Maintenance of A Charcoal Grill
Your grill will need some maintenance if you want your grill to last at least a few years. It does not take much to take care of a grill. It is all about keeping the grill clean. Some things and ways how you can maintain your grill are below.
Cleaning the grate
It would be best if you cleaned the grate of your grill after every use. It becomes easier to clean if you clean the grate while it is a bit warm. When the grate cools down, it becomes hard to clean. You can use a stiff brush to clean the grate. You just need to scrub the grate to clean it.
Emptying the ash catcher
You must be dumping the ashes, and it is essential after grilling. If you do not remove the ashes, it might cause corrosion. But make sure the ashes get enough to cool down before you try to dump the ashes.
Get a grill cover
If you want your grill to last, you should invest in a grill cover. Grill covers don't cost much. It protects your grill from external dust, dirt, etc. But if you leave in a place where the grill cover can hold moisture, it is better not to use a cover. The cover might result in the rusting of the grill.
Clean the whole grill
At least once in every year, it would be best if you cleaned the whole grill. You should remove any gunk and wash it with soapy water. If you are a seasonal griller, you can clean the entire grill after you are one for the season. If you grill all year, you should clean it a few times a year.
Don't worry about not having a big budget for a fancy grill. The affordable grills are good enough and will to disappoint you with the authentic grill taste. These grills are suitable for you whether you like grilling regularly or occasionally.
Now that you know all about affordable grills get ready for the next grilling season. Enjoy your time with your friends and family, and impress them with your new cooking skill. Practice a bit beforehand and surprise everyone.
Should I leave the charcoal grill open or closed?
It depends on how you are cooking. The purpose of a grill is to let the heat build-up in a closed container and cook the meat. If you open the lid, the steam will come out. If you keep the top open, it will take a bit more time to cook. It takes a bit of practice to understand when to leave the lid open and close it.
How long do you need to let the charcoal burn before cooking?
It depends on how much charcoal you are lighting. Usually, you should leave your charcoal for 15 -20 minutes to heat up properly before cooking.
Which is better: charcoal or gas grill?
The charcoal grill gives a traditional flavor, whereas a gas grill provides a bacon-like taste. Both are good, and it depends on your tastebud, which type you like more.
Can you use a charcoal grill inside?
No. you cannot use a charcoal grill inside, even in your garage. Charcoal grills produce a large amount of carbon monoxide; the smallest amount of it can kill you.
Can wood be used in charcoal grills?
Some grills are strictly instructed to use charcoal. Some may not have much problem if you use wood. It is best to use charcoal for charcoal grills.