If you are a fan of outdoor life, then you’d probably know that nothing makes a sunny day in a park or on the beach better than food. To do this, then you need a good quality grill for the job. There are different types of grills that can be powered by charcoal or gas.
The charcoal grill is the closest you can get to traditional grilling. Not only more affordable and simple but they also produce smoke that seasoned barbecue experts will tell you cannot be reproduced by gas grills. But even with charcoal grills, there is a wide range of products from different manufacturers.
In this review, we go over the features, pros, and cons of 5 of the best portable grills to help you choose the right one for your outdoor cooking needs.
Best Portable Charcoal Grills
Best Portable: Lodge Sportsman Grill for Camping
Char-Griller E6714: Akorn Kamado Kooker Review Charcoal Grill
Oklahoma Joe's Judge Charcoal Grill Review
Raptor Grilling Portable Charcoal Grill Smoker
Top 5 Best Portable Charcoal Grills Review
1. Best Weber 14402001 Kettle Charcoal Grill
The Weber 14402001 is a high capacity charcoal grill with a 22- inch diameter and a cooking area measuring about 363 square inches. One of the highlights of this grill is how easy to clean it is. It features a one-touch cleaning system and a removable ash catcher which is designed to make it easy to clean up the grill after use.
Using this grill is easy as well. You can control the temperature it delivers using the adjustable dampers. There is also an in-built thermometer in the lid which allows you to monitor the grill’s temperature. This is a well-built charcoal grill with a porcelain-enameled bowl that can withstand very high temperatures. The damper is also rust-resistant and it also comes with two glass nylon handles that are reinforced.
2. Best Portable: Lodge Sportsman Grill for Camping
This rugged grill has a cast iron construction which makes it quite durable. It also gives it superior heat retention which allows you to get even more results while using less charcoal.
This charcoal grill has a versatile size which makes it suitable for a wide range of applications. It can be used for tailgating, picnics, car camping, or as a patio grill among other uses.
One of the outstanding features of this Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill is its side flip-down door which makes it easy to add more coal to the grill quite easily.
There is also a sliding draft door which enhances airflow and makes heat regulation quite easy.
3. Char-Griller E6714: Akorn Kamado Kooker Review Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller E6714 has a tipple-walled insulated design which means you’ll get more done with this grill while using less airflow and less charcoal.
The grill has a body built out of 22 gauge steel and has a powder-coated exterior this makes this grill built to last. It has adjustable dampers both at the bottom and at the top which makes it easy to maintain airflow and adjust the temperature while cooking with this grill.
With a diameter of 153 square inches, you get plenty of room to do your grilling. Still, this grill is quite portable. It features two durable handles which makes it easy to move the grill around and makes on-the-go grilling possible. This is one of the best portable charcoal grills as seen by consumer reports and customer reviews.
4. Oklahoma Joe’s Judge Charcoal Grill Review
The Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Charcoal Grill is portable and versatile. It is suitable for light home use but can also be used carried along with you as your portable heavy-duty grill on camping trips, tailgating, and other outdoor uses.
This unit has a steel construction which ensures that the grill lasts for as long as possible. There is a sturdy side handle which makes it easy to carry the grill around too. For maximum temperature and airflow control, this unit has large dampers. The tray is also height-adjustable for convenience.
The grates are also made with thick cast-iron which means you are guaranteed the best result on heating. You will also find this unit easy to clean since the ash pan is removable for convenience.
5. Raptor Grilling Portable Charcoal Grill Smoker
This is a versatile charcoal grill with large chrome-plated steel grates. It offers a sufficient surface for grilling while still being very portable and suitable for both light and heavy-duty outdoor uses.
Not only is this grill cheap, but you also get to save money on its use. This is a high-efficiency charcoal grill that helps you to use less charcoal while still getting great results. This portable grill is designed to deliver mess-free cooking. You don’t have to touch the ash or charcoal as the grill can be lighted using the charcoal chimney starter. This grill delivers the perfect grilling temperature and also cools down really fast.
The Best Portable Charcoal Grills Buying Guide
To get a quality portable charcoal grill, there are certain features and considerations you should pay close attention to. In order to find the best portable charcoal grill, here are some features to look out for:
1. Cooking/Grilling area:
The diameter of the cooking area is one of the main features to consider in deciding to buy a charcoal grill. Of course, buying a portable unit means the cooking area will be smaller than that of regular grills. Still, you want your charcoal grill to be large enough to serve your needs. Consider how many people you will be cooking for and how often you will need this grill. A small sized grill will be enough if you are simply going on a fishing trip alone or with a friend but you will need something bigger for a camping trip with your entire family.
2. Build quality:
The quality of the construction material of your grill will determine how long-lasting it will be. Of course, one of the biggest compromises you will have to make if you want a portable grill is that lightweight and possibly low-quality materials will be used to build the unit to keep it lightweight and easy to carry. But there are some very durable portable grills. Alternatively, you can go for a grill made with cast iron. Although these types of grills tend to be heavier, they are typically more durable.
The air vents of your charcoal grill is what it uses for temperature control. For convenience, you want a grill with large air vents. Easily accessible or rotating vents also make it easy to vary airflow and consequently adjust the temperature the grill delivers as well.
4. The lid:
The lid of your grill serves two main purposes. First, closing the grill while cooking ensures efficient temperature control since the heat is locked inside the grill which allows you to get higher heat output. It also helps to keep the smoke locked in the grill which can have a tremendous impact on the flavor of your food. On the other hand, a grill lid or cover protects the grill when it is not in use.
Even portable grills come in different sizes. The size and weight of the grill to go for depends on the intended use of the grill or the number of people you will be cooking for. Choosing a lightweight unit also means you will have less trouble carrying the grill with you especially if you intend to use it for picnics, tailgating, and other outdoor uses.
6. Additional features:
Asides the basics, there are a number of additional features to watch out for as well. While these may not necessarily be make-or-break features, these additional features can motivate you to make a decision to buy a grill or not. Some of these extra features include:
- Stand or legs
- Chimney starter
- Easy cleaning
- Temperature gauge
Following the above buying guide, we believe you’ll able to choose wisely from best portable charcoal grills to meet your meat demand.