When it comes to buying charcoal grills, customers are not as picky as they are when they buy things like smartphones and television sets. However, if customers are aware of the different grades of charcoal grills, they can get the best cheap charcoal grill that will last a long time and meet all their grilling needs.
The Benefits of Charcoal Grills
Charcoal grill owners enjoy a number of benefits. Before we go into reviews for the best charcoal grills available in the market at reasonable prices, let’s learn about some of these benefits in detail.
- Make Grilled Meat Preparations at Your Own Convenience: Grilled meat preparations, if done well, taste brilliant. While you can enjoy such preparations at your favorite restaurants, wouldn’t it be more convenient if you could make them at home whenever you pleased?
With a charcoal grill, you can make popular grilled dishes such as California Grilled Chicken, Caprese Steak and Korean-style grilled chicken whenever you want without leaving the comforts of your home.
- Portable Options to Choose From: If you are looking to purchase the best cheap charcoal grill in the market, then you have to probably choose a portable charcoal grill. Thankfully for you, there are a plethora of portable options to choose from. These portable charcoal grills allow you to enjoy your favorite grilled preparations wherever you go.
- The Tastiest Grilled Preparations: While electric and gas grills are also available, they just don’t deliver the quality of results that charcoal grills do. When you grill meat using a charcoal grill, you can keep it incredibly flavourful and juicy on the side and at the same time, make them really crispy on the outside.
The secret to why charcoal grills can do this and electric and gas variants can’t is simple; charcoal grills heat up much faster than their counterparts.
- Fewer Maintenance Needs: Quality charcoal grills have very little maintenance issues and even if they do need maintenance, the repair work is generally easy and is not very time-consuming. This means that even if your charcoal grill has some technical issues, you can get repairs done at reasonable prices and quite quickly as well.
How to Choose the Best Cheap Charcoal Grill
There are a few things that you, the buyer, need to look out for before you invest in a charcoal grill. Let’s look a closer look and find out all about what those things are:
- Does the Grill Allow Even and Efficient Charcoal Spreading?: Charcoal grills should be such that they should allow the charcoal to be spread in an even manner. Without an even spread of charcoal, you can’t expect the grill to heat the meat evenly. Also, the grill should deliver quality results in terms of heat without using up a ton of charcoal at one go.
- How Big is the Grilling Surface?: If you are looking for the best cheap charcoal grill, you have to accept the fact that you won’t get a very big grilling surface. However, at the same time, the surface shouldn’t be too small, as it can take time to prepare the grilled meat preparations, especially if there are a fair few mouths to feed.
- Is the Cooking Surface Height Adjustable?: While some charcoal grills offer owners the freedom of adjusting the cooking surface height, some don’t. For convenience’s sake, you should choose a grill that offers this feature over one that does not.
- Is It Easy to Carry Around?: All charcoal grills within an affordable price point are portable. However, just because they are portable does not mean they are all easy to carry around. Some may be difficult to take from one place to another in a small vehicle, so if you own a small car, then you should definitely look options that offer easier portability.
- How Easy Is it to Clean?: The more frequently you use your charcoal grill, the more frequently you would have to clean it. If you are planning on using your charcoal grill on a weekly basis, then you need it to be one that makes cleaning simple. A charcoal grill that needs cleaning regularly but can’t be cleaned easily can be a huge convenience.
- How Quickly Does it Do the Job?: Charcoal grills are typically quite fast. But not all of them operate at the same speed. Ideally, you would want a charcoal grill that heats quickly but without burning up too much of the charcoal. Considering this parameter during purchase is recommended as you are more likely to find a grill that’s both effective and efficient.
- Is it Easy to Set Up?: Setting up your grill shouldn’t be a hassle. It most likely won’t be considering that all affordable units allow owners to get the grilling going as soon as you want. But again, for convenience’s sake, you should select one that takes the least time to set up and start operating.
Top 5 Cheap Charcoal Grills
Now that we have finally come to the review section, let’s take a look at 5 charcoal grills that have been making waves in the market and see which one the best cheap charcoal grill is.
Royal Gourmet CD1824A
This traditional grill is not just affordable, but it packs in a lot of incredible features as well. For its price point, it features a quite spacious grilling surface, with one-time use being sufficient to grill food for at least 8 people. Its cooking grates are porcelain-enameled, making it a long-lasting charcoal grill. Royal Gourmet offers a one-year warranty for all the parts of the grill and you would also find an owner’s manual for all the instructions to set up and start operating the grill.
- 380 square inches cooking surface
- 210 square inches warming wrap
- Six options for height adjustments
- Built-in bottle opener
- Air vent on the side of the grill, which is adjustable
- In-built thermometer and spring handle that remains cool-to-touch
- Pull-out drawer for collecting ashes allows efficient clean-up post-grilling
- Charcoal door in front of the grill
- Wheels for easy movement
- The slatted lower shelf
- Unfolding side tables
While this particular grill is quite effective in terms of the core grilling and cooking features, the manufacturers could have gone a few steps further to make the side tables foldable and use the space of the lower shelf for giving something more to customers. However, all things considered, this is a solid charcoal grill and definitely a contender to be reckoned with as far as the best cheap charcoal grill goes.
Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Weber’s Kettle grill design has been a success and this particular model is quite impressive. This charcoal grill features an aluminized steel design, which protects the surface of the grill from falling prey to rust. Its wheels are very well-made, making it an option that buyers should seriously consider if portability is the priority. Its compact measurements allow owners to use it without engaging in constant assembly and de-assembly.
- Spacious 363 square inches cooking area for its relatively small size
- Hinged grates
- Convenient to clean
- Heat resistant handles that guarantee safety for users
- Users can assemble and de-assemble if they want but it is small enough when assembled to carry around without de-assembly
- Quality ventilation system
- Plated steel grates for greater protection
- Only features closed-lid cooking and grilling
Competitively priced, this particular charcoal grill packs quite a punch for its size. With numerous benefits and only one prominent negative, it is one of the best cheap charcoal grills available in the market at present. While the closed-lid cooking and grilling can be a hindrance, once you get used to it, you are guaranteed to make some absolutely stunning food. Also, in its price range, you probably won’t find a grill with a better ventilation system.
Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw 1063 Square Inch Charcoal Grill/Smoker
For a charcoal grill that is marketed as a budget grill/smoker, the Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw 1063 Square Inch charcoal grill sure does offer a lot of features. For starters, the cooking surface is absolutely huge. It’s so big that you can fit up to 38 standard-size burgers on the grill, which is a whopping amount. The grill features a body made from heavy-duty steel, which makes it incredibly durable. The grill can be enhanced by purchasing the Side Fire Box separately, which would be ideal for those who like to do their grilling in the good old Texas-style.
- Ash Pan that allows for easy cleaning
- Three storage shelves
- Allows for convenient heat control thanks to the adjustable fire grate and the airtight flanged hood
- Even heating and searing thanks to cast iron grates
- Included heat gauge
- 1063 square inches grilling, cooking and smoking area
- Durable steel construction
- The use of heavy-duty steel makes the grill a bit difficult to move around, even though it features wheels
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, then it’s unlikely that you would find a more powerful unit considering the price point. While portability is an issue, the other features more than makeup for it.
Dyna-Glo DGN486DNC-D Heavy-Duty Charcoal Grill
Another charcoal grill that has thoroughly impressed users is the Dyna-Glo DGN486DNC-D Heavy-Duty Charcoal Grill. This charcoal grill is jam-packed with features, which makes it one of the affordable charcoal grills than can give more expensive grills a serious run for their money. The grill features a removable ash pan that makes it incredibly easy to clean. The 686 square inches of grilling area ensures that this is a grill you can use for large family get-togethers. Reloading and stoking the charcoal is also made easy thanks to the steel access door.
- Change heating temperatures using the adjustment crank
- Cast iron grates promote greater heat retention, making meats incredibly juicy from the inside
- Temperature gauge works well to indicate the appropriate temperature for grilling
- Additional temperature customization through the smokestack and its adjustable flue
- Two wheels for mobility
- Construction could have been better
- Ventilation is not up to the mark
- Evenly spreading the charcoal can be a hassle
While this particular charcoal grill is full of exciting features, it could have been better in terms of allowing users to spread out the charcoal a bit better. An even spread of charcoal is essential if you want to use the entire cooking and grilling area efficiently. However, due to minor flaws in its grate construction, this grill did not reach the level it could have.
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
If you want a charcoal grill that’s primarily meant to be a travel companion, then there are few in the market space that can compete with the Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-inch portable grill. Due to its ultra-compact measurements, there is no need to de-assemble this grill and carry its parts separately. Also, users don’t need to worry regarding damage to the grill as they travel, as all the parts of this grill come with a 10-year warranty.
- You can carry this grill almost anywhere along with you
- For an ultra-compact portable grill, its grilling area can still hold up to 3 steaks or 6 burgers at a time
- Both its bowl and lid are porcelain-enameled, making it rust-resistant and efficient at heat circulation
- Aluminum dampers for more convenient cooking and grilling
- Safety for hands thanks to glass-reinforced nylon handles
- Get a fire going in the grill easily with the chimney starter which features an aluminized steel construction
- Thin legs that are prone to bending and other types of damage
- Bottom vents get clogged frequently leading to airflow issues
As far as portability is concerned, there is simply no other grill in the market that is better than this particular charcoal grill. It is incredibly easy to use as well, which also makes it the ideal grill for those who are new to grilling.
So, after careful assessment and review of five of the best grills in the affordable segment, it’s time to declare the best cheap charcoal grill. With all five grills being so good, it was a hard decision to come to a clear conclusion, but in terms of all-round performance, the Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill did everything that a grilling enthusiast could want a grill to do.
It’s a compact but very powerful unit and barring one or two cons, it has virtually no negatives. Its compactness also makes it very easy to carry around. In terms of the grilling area, the grill has enough space to cater to a family gathering.