That being said, many people won’t go for anything else except charcoal grills, so if you’re one of them, let’s take a look at some of the best portable charcoal grill models you can get on the market. We’ll also discuss about some of the features that define such grills, so you know which one to go for when you’re shopping.
One thing to note is that all of the options below are excellent in their own regard. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but some are better than others, so you should be honest about what your needs and expectations are, and pick the one that suits you most.
Another great Weber product. Lightweight and practical to take anywhere.
Great design with a decent cooking area that just weights 3 pounds!
Most versatile charcoal grill that lets you achieve perfect temperatures every time!
- Best Portable Charcoal Grill : Top 7
- Buyers' Guide
Best Portable Charcoal Grill : Top 7
As far as performance goes, you can make up to five burgers, if you make them with a Weber burger press. It depends on how big they are, honestly, so your mileage may vary. In any case, the goal with the Smokey Joe isn’t to make fifteen burgers at once, but if you set your expectations right, you’ll be able to make a couple of burgers in a run, without much issues.
The lid and bowl are porcelain-enameled, so they’ll retain heat without peeling or rusting, which results in a very well made burger. To make things even better, you’ve got dampers that will let you get a better control over the grill’s temperature. Combining these two things shows you that Weber did put a lot of thought into the design, and you’re looking at a very nice portable charcoal grill.
Last but not least, we also loved the affordability – the Smokey Joe Premium costs a fraction of some more high end options. It’s a great pick!
While talking about Weber, here are the best grills they have to offer.
The black porcelain will not rust, and will last you a good while. And to add to that, it’s rather easy to clean. Assembly is also pretty easy, and the entire thing is built really well. You have a rounded lid that will circulate the heat and give you burgers or steaks that are evenly cooked, so one less thing to worry about. Overall, it’s a great alternative if, for some reason, you don’t want the Weber.
In need for faster and better ways to clean your grill? Here are the best grill brushes that allow you to do so.
Best Smoker Option
Open it, and you’ve got a grill with a fairly large grate. Well, two of them, but it’s still quite a bit in terms of cooking surface. Unfortunately, the open design means that no heat will recirculate inside, but it also means that you’ve got a smoker on top. This is another well thought out feature, and it’s incredibly easy to use.
If you need a smoker just as much as you need a grill, the Son of Hibachi combo is the one to go for.
Best Budget Option
The design is pretty portable, and at only 2lbs, this is an extremely lightweight model, too. You’re still looking at a great build quality, especially when you factor in the enamel coated ash catcher and firebox, which is something you don’t see with many other budget options. All things considered, if weight and price are concerns, this 14” Cuisinart charcoal grill is definitely one to look out for.
Best Large Option
The design is also rather nice, with a lid-mounted temperature gauge that lets you monitor things inside, and dampers that allow for temperature control when necessary. The ash pan is removable, so you can clean things up a bit more easily when you’re done with work. You can also choose between using it with charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal, so you do get a bit of choice.
The CB500X is far from the lightest, or most portable option. However, if you’d rather sacrifice a bit of portability for a larger cooking surface, this is the one to go for.
As far as the design goes, you’ve got lid locks and dampers that will give you some level of control over the temperature inside, which is a nice addition. If you need a guide for achieving best possible results here is an article explaining every temperature. You also have a steel cooking grate that’s easy to clean and retains heat pretty well. Overall, it’s an excellent pick if the circular grills aren’t your cup of tea.
Best Compact Option
Now that we’ve got the options out of the way, let’s discuss about how you would choose which one works best. When you’re looking for the best portable charcoal grill, there are two main things to note: portability and capacity.
Portability is what defines just how easy it would be to grab the grill and take it along with you. In this regard, the 14” circular grills, such as our top pick by Weber, are the best. They’re fairly lightweight and compact, and come with carrying handles that allow you to just pick them up and take them with you.
The other thing is the capacity. This is basically how much you can cook at once, and most of the 14” grills that win in terms of portability will only allow you to make four to five burgers at a time. Of course, this might be more than enough for some, but others may need a bit more.
At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of compromise and figuring out what matters more to you. If you prefer a more compact grill, you’ll have to compromise a bit on capacity. If, however, you don’t mind struggling a bit when transporting the grill, you’ll be able to make more food at a time.
Which one you go for is a matter of personal choice. However, when in doubt, our top pick (Weber’s Smokey Joe) is always an excellent choice that gives you plenty of cooking area in a well thought out and very portable grill. The reasonable price only makes things better, and you’ll definitely enjoy using it, regardless of whether it’s at home, or at an outdoor barbeque party.