The Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports: Reviews And Buying Guide

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It is always fun to cook outdoors. Just imagine how exciting it is to prepare your favorite meals in a gnarly public park or quiet camping spot. The excitement increases even more when you’ve got the best portable charcoal grill at your disposal.

You must be thinking instead of taking a grill on a picnic or a camping trip, you would probably buy something to eat from a food joint, but honestly speaking, there is no fun in doing that. It becomes important that you eat fresh and healthy at the picnic or camping spot, which is why you need a charcoal grill.

However, is it easy to buy a charcoal grill these days? The answer is ‘No’ because there are so many brands available on the market with their different charcoal grill models. The quest to the best charcoal grill is not going to be easy, but we can help you with this. You just need to go through the best charcoal grill consumer reports in order to determine the most suitable charcoal grill.

Let’s discuss the six best charcoal grills that are sold like hot cakes in the market all over the world.

Best Charcoal Grill Reviews As Per Consumer Reports

1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber has evolved as one of the most prominent grill manufacturing companies in the world due to its great products.

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is among the most amazing charcoal smokers that is available on the market (this is the best small charcoal grill).

From alluring design to pragmatic features, everything in this smoker will mesmerize you. Despite the ‘portable’ tag, you will be able to cook a significant amount of food at one time, as the cooking area of the grill is 363 square inches, which is larger than many other portable charcoal grills.

Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Reasons To Buy Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

  • The design of this grill is unique, and the inclusion of a porcelain enameled lid and bowl allows fast and efficient loading.
  • While the cooking area of the smoker gets to extreme temperatures quickly, but you will not be affected by those temperatures because the company has provided nylon handles, which are heat resistant. So, you can handle the grill without worrying about burn injuries.
  • To regulate the temperature during grilling session, aluminum vents will come into use, as these are fitted perfectly to make way for heat to leave the grill.
  • A temperature control system has been incorporated into the smoker to easily increase or decrease the cooking temperature.
  • Weber is offering a 10-year limited warranty on the product, so you can experiment a bit while cooking without worrying about what would happen if something goes wrong and the machine malfunctions.

2. Char Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker

This grill comes to you at the right time because you are looking for the best portable charcoal grill, and this grill is one of the top contenders.

This grill is efficient and affordable, thus providing you with scrumptious meals every single time.

The incredible round and horizontal shape of the grill along with user-friendly operation makes this model a great charcoal smoker.

This grill is capable of providing you with excellent grilled and smoked food because it is designed so.

Having a cooking area of 153 square inches, you can cook enough food to satisfy the hunger of 3-5 persons.

Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Reasons To Buy Char Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker

  • This smoker is built to last due to its triple-walled construction. It is worth every penny you’ve spent on buying it.
  • Despite having a lesser cooking space compared to other smokers, you can still cook a decent amount of food. Moreover, we are discussing a ‘PORTABLE’ grill, so you will have to compromise on the size.
  • This grill is easy to transport from one place to another due to its compact size and less weight.
  • Cooking on this grill is fun, and you will always get evenly cooked food as this grill is all about delivering the best quality.
  • This grill is easy to use, let it be the temperature control or the top and bottom air dampers, everything can be used quite easily. After the grilling session, you can easily clean the dump ash pan and put the charcoal grill into the van.

3. 18-1/2 In. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package

If you are extremely passionate about cooking in the open, then this grill can help you fulfill your desires. You will get rich and consistent flavors in the food that you cook on this smoker, and it is quite easy to use.

The build quality is incredible as a result of durable steel and a coating of porcelain enamel. Besides a large cooking area, you get space for hanging a bunch of items that you wish to prepare on the grill.

Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Reasons To Buy 18-1/2 In. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package

  • This grill provides you with multiple options for grilling. Just choose the right setting, and you are set to cook the food in a different style. You will find a still grill gate in the unit that will perform like a grill and get you the most delicious grilled food outdoors.
  • The grill by Pit Barrel may look bulky, but in reality, it is compact and lightweight. You can easily transport it in a van or SUV.
  • You get a decent cooking area where you can grill, smoke, sear and bake your favorite meals, but that’s not it. You can also hang the meat in the center in order to let it cook with the penetration of smoke or fog that generates when the juices drip on coal lumps.
  • You can also hang meat on the 8 stainless steel hooks and 2 hanging rods, which you can immediately add to the cooking area.

4. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

If you were scouting for a mid-size charcoal smoker that you can use as a multi-purpose cooking machine, then WSM 18 inch smoker would be an ideal choice for you.

This is a high quality, bullet-shaped charcoal fuelled smoker, which has all the credentials to compete even with the bigger counterparts.

You don’t have to babysit the food as it cooks on the smoker because it is going to maintain a steady temperature throughout the cooking period, thus eliminating the need for checking the food periodically.

Moreover, you can easily raise or lower the temperature by opening and closing the smoker’s vents.

Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Reasons To Buy Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

  • Solid construction with a beautiful finishing makes the WSM smoker a highly considerable option. The central section, bowl, and lid of the smoker is coating with porcelain for better heat retention. Moreover, the coating protects the unit from rust and peel.
  • The smoker stands on sturdy legs on which a bowl-shaped aluminum heat shield is attached as well.
  • To check the temperature at which the food is cooked, you will get a bi-metal thermometer in the unit, which is built into the lid. To insert the thermometer into the food to determine the temperature, a soft grommet has been provided on the right side.
  • The inclusion of two cooking grates makes it easy for you to cook two large items at a time.
  • You can easily add more charcoal and wood into the smoker during the cooking process, thanks to the fuel door of the smoker, which comes off easily.

5. Premier Specialty Brands Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

This is popularly known as Kamado Joe Classic II, which also confirms that the smoker is in fact popular.

The first glimpse of the smoker will take your breath away as it is so elegant and beautifully crafted that you won’t find a piece similar to this on the market.

The manufacturers have taken care of even the tiniest of things while designing this smoker, which can be clearly seen.

The ceramic body of the smoker and stainless steel cooking grates don’t just add to the beauty of the smoker, but also help cook the food quickly and efficiently.

You will see a new multilevel grate & heat-deflection system being introduced in this smoker by the name of ‘Divide & Conquer’ in which there is a group of multilevel racks along with deflectors, which will create diverse cooking zones within the smoker to accommodate different types of food.  

But, that’s not where the features end, as there are a lot more to this smoker that will make you go for it.

Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Reasons To Buy Premier Specialty Brands Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill

  • The material used to build the charcoal grill not just adds to the beauty of the product, but also protects it from rust and peel.
  • The multilevel design of the smoker allows you to cook different meals at the same time without any issue. You will be able to enjoy the authentic flavors of each meal that you’ve cooked.
  • You can easily open the lid while the food is being cooked inside the smoker, courtesy of ‘Air Lift Hinge’.
  • The inclusion of a slide-out ash drawer makes it easier for you to clean the ash.
  • The company has provided side shelves that can be used to keep cooked food, sauces, and some cooking utensils so that you don’t have to rush to the kitchen to get anything.

6. Weber Performer Premium Charcoal Grill

Going by its name, this is indeed a great performer, as it incorporates a ‘Touch-N-Go’ gas ignition system to quick-fire the charcoal using the propane gas so that you don’t have to spend time igniting coals.

The design of the smoker’s grill features an open cart that surrounds the conventional Kettle-style grill area that we all have been seeing in Weber smokers for all these years.

With the ability to see grill temperature, set timers for grilling and preheat sessions and hang grilling tools, this charcoal grill has all that it takes to be an integral part of your in-house or outdoor BBQ adventures.

Best Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Reasons To Buy Weber Performer Premium Charcoal Grill

  • The feature that makes this charcoal grill stands out from the rest is the ‘Touch-N-Go Ignition’ system. With this system, the grill can be started immediately and you can move onto the cooking part.
  • The inclusion of a built-in thermometer along with a mounted LCD timer makes it easy to check the temperature inside the grilling area and set timers for preheating and grilling respectively.
  • The lid on the smoker features a shield that prevents the top handle from getting hot, so you can lift the lid to check the status of the food.
  • The inclusion hooks, side table, and charcoal storage makes cooking on this smoker a true adventure. You can have all the things you need while cooking within your reach, thanks to the side table and hooks. Whereas, the charcoal storage ensures that you have sufficient stock within close proximity.

These were the six best charcoal grills you can choose from, but we would still urge you to look at some of the important parameters before buying a charcoal grill.

Factors To Keep In Mind While Choosing The Best Charcoal Grill

Cooking Area

How much cooking area you need depends on you and the number of people you are looking to serve.

To serve a family of four, a grill with a cooking area of 150-200 square inches is good enough, whereas to serve more than 4 persons, you can select a grill that has 200+ square inches.

Air Vents & Air Flow

You will have to take a close look at the air vents of the grill because an efficient air vent will ensure much better temperature control. Rotating air vents that are easily accessible work the best.

Burning Area

A grill with a bigger burning area is always better. You can identify the burning area by measuring the distance between grates and briquette.

The bigger the area is, the lower the risk of burned food. Moreover, you can add more charcoal to the smoker to prolong the cooking time.

The Lid

A lid is of paramount importance because cooking the food with a closed lid is going to make sure that the food is cooked evenly and in less time.

The lid will allow the food to be cooked at fixed or higher temperatures, and also keep the smoke inside the grill for better flavors.

Ash Cleaning

Every grill has its own unique ‘ash cleaning’ way, so the grill having the best ash cleaning system is the one that you should be buying.

Stand/Legs

If you are looking to buy a charcoal grill that you can transport from one place to another easily, then you need to check whether the grill is equipped with legs or a stand.

If it is not, then you will require a separate table upon which the grill will rest. However, you should prioritize a grill that comes with a stand or has stable legs.

Final Verdict

The market for the charcoal grill is expanding with every passing day, so the sooner you decide, the better it is going to be for you. All you need to do is, go through the best charcoal grill consumer reports comprising of six incredible products. Look at all the features of each of the grill before making any decision.

All six products discussed above stand out from all the charcoal grills that are available on the market, so you can make the right decision by choosing one of these six charcoal grills for your food adventures.