Grilling has been a popular pastime for generations. Throughout this time, it has continued to evolve, with more and more products being released for it. While quite a few of these are grilling accessories, many of them are the grills themselves.
That’s because manufacturers have looked to continually improve their products, and they’ve done so in multiple ways. One of the more notable is portability. That’s driven by the fact that many people want to grill when camping and going on a variety of other holidays.
Because of this explosion in popularity, many people may struggle to figure out what the best portable charcoal grill is. One reason for this is the sheer number of options, which can seem overwhelming. Alongside this is the fact that it can be difficult to compare different charcoal grills.
However, that’s something that a bit of research can help with. There are a few notable things that you should know when buying a new grill, regardless of whether or not it’s portable.
The Best Portable Charcoal Grill: Top 5 Contenders
There are quite a few charcoal grills on the market, many of which are portable, and there are a few, in particular, that stand out from the others. That’s because they offer more benefits and features than their counterparts, and boast relatively few drawbacks.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the best portable charcoal grill reviews.
If you’re looking for a portable grill, then you’ll want it to be relatively small and compact. After all, size plays a large role in portability. While a lot of options are great for this, many of them sacrifice overall cooking space to do so. Typically, it ends up being a choice of having a smaller grill or one with more space to cook.
With this Texsport Barbecue Mini Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill, you should get enough of both to keep you satisfied. That means that you should have no problem bringing the grill anywhere while also cooking a decent amount of food. The benefits to this don’t end there, though.
There’s a dual heat vent, which will make temperature control much easier than you’d find elsewhere. That leaves no issues when it comes to getting food to the right temperature to cook properly. As you might expect from a grill of this size, it’s also easy to clean. You shouldn’t have to spend too much time cleaning up after cooking, which is a nice benefit.
There’s also the fact that it’s surprisingly durable. The main components and body of the grill should tolerate a decent amount of usage. However, that doesn’t extend to the legs, which are flimsier than you might expect, given the durability of the rest of the grill.
That being said, the legs should put up with most of the wear and tear that you’d expect when using and transporting it. As long as you don’t take liberties with it, it should be fine and you’ll be able to use it for perhaps years to come.
- Much more durable and long-lasting than you would expect, especially with its rust-resistant feature.
- Can cook a decent amount of food for such a compact grill.
- The dual heat vent makes it great for temperature control.
- Should be much easier to clean than most of its competitors.
- Legs aren’t as durable as the rest of the grill, but they serve their purpose.
Charcoal grills can be somewhat hit-or-miss in terms of quality. While some are great at specific things, they can often be lacking in other areas. When it comes to this Kuuma Premium Stainless Steel Mountable Charcoal Grill, though, there are far more benefits than there are disadvantages.
Made with stainless steel, this grill looks quite stylish compared to some other options. The material and design also make it one of the easier-to-clean choices on the market. It’s also one of the few portable grills that come fully assembled, so you shouldn’t have to put much effort into setting it up.
That’s an issue that many portable grills tend to suffer from, as they often take more time to put together than may be worth it. Thankfully, this grill should let you get to grilling with as little time investment as possible, without compromising on the overall quality of the grill.
There are several other benefits to the design. For example, the handle is made to stay cool throughout the cooking process, so you’re less at-risk of burning yourself than you might be with competitors. Alongside this is a lid liner, which should prevent the lid from suffering from heat discoloration.
Despite the benefits, this Kuuma suffers from many of the same drawbacks as other portable grills. The most notable of these is the cooking space, which is much smaller than you might like. That could mean that you’ll end up spending more time cooking than you may want or have expected to.
- Made from stainless steel, so cleaning should be easy.
- The handle is designed to stay cool, even during the grilling process.
- The lid liner is designed to make sure that the lid doesn’t suffer from heat discoloration.
- Comes fully assembled, so no effort required.
- Can’t cook as much food as you might want.
You might not be looking for a lot of cooking space in your portable grill. Instead, you might just want one that small enough to bring it somewhere with ease while also cooking properly. There are countless options that could fit this bill, though many of them might not be high-quality.
However, the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is certainly a well-recommended option, thanks to its compact nature. Coupled with the fact that it’s lightweight, you should be able to bring it almost anywhere. That could make it one of the more appropriate choices for camping trips and whenever you’re on the road.
That doesn’t mean that it compromises on overall cooking power, though. Despite its small size, it offers decent heat that should cook through food in no time. This is enhanced by the fact that this grill seals in the heat quite effectively. That should help maintain a consistent overall cook.
As you should expect from its size, this is relatively easy to cook. There aren’t many complicated parts, so getting everything clean should be quick. The size of this Weber could also prove to be a negative. That’s because of the cooking space.
There’s a lot less of this than you might want, which means that you can’t fit too much food on it. While this won’t be an issue if you’re cooking for two or three people, it could be a problem if you’re with a lot of friends and family. If that’s the case, then you could find yourself cooking for quite some time.
- Small enough to be taken almost anywhere.
- Much more compact and lightweight than most of its competitors
- Seals in the heat much better than some competitors.
- A breeze to clean.
- Not as much cooking space as other portable grills.
One of the biggest problems that many portable charcoal grills have is their cooking space. Since they need to be relatively small to stay portable, they often have to sacrifice space overall. Naturally, that means that less food can be cooked at any given time. Thankfully, though, not all portable grills suffer from that flaw.
The Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill offers a decent amount of cooking space despite its relatively small size. That should give you no problem cooking for a larger group of people. There are also a few other benefits that you might like.
Its durability, for example, is quite good, with this being enhanced by its enamel coating. That should mean that it’ll last you longer than its relatively affordable price tag might suggest. The last major benefit to this is its dual venting system. This gives you greater control over the heat.
As a result, you should be able to cook your food perfectly, regardless of what you’re cooking. However, this will require a decent amount of assembly before use. That could be a bit irritating and might take a while, which could be a problem for many potential buyers.
Outside of that, though, it doesn’t seem to have any issues.
- Offers a decent amount of cooking space.
- A dual venting system allows for a greater degree of control over temperature.
- Decent-sized cooking area while still being portable
- Enamel-coated for added durability.
- Can be harder to put together than other models.
There’s a decent chance that you wouldn’t want to keep replacing a charcoal grill every few years. After all, the majority of us want one that will last a while. When it comes to portable grills, though, that often isn’t the case. Instead, they can break much easier and quicker than you might want.
Replacing them can then end up being quite expensive. Naturally, all of us would want to avoid that as much as we can, although we’re not sure how. While trying to take better care of them will help, that only goes so far. Instead, you need a portable charcoal grill that will last as long as possible. That’s where this Oklahoma Joe’s 19402088 Rambler comes into play.
Made with heavy-duty construction, this best portable charcoal grill is designed to last much longer than other portable alternatives, making it a worthwhile investment. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t shine in other areas. There are several other benefits that you might find appealing.
For example, the iron grates are designed specifically to be durable while also ensuring the perfect sear on any food, adding to the overall flavor of your meals. Alongside this is the charcoal tray, which is height-adjustable. This can affect cooking time, so you should be able to ensure an overall even cook, regardless of what you’re grilling.
Lastly is the ash pan. Since this is removable, cleaning it should be easier than other grills on the market. That’s also the case for the rest of the grill, which needs much less maintenance than you might see with other options.
However, this grill doesn’t seal as well as we would expect. That could result in a lot of heat loss through any gaps, which could be an issue. Specifically, it means that you might end up wasting a lot of heat and have to spend more time cooking something. Thankfully, though, it isn’t as bad as it could be, though you’ll still need to be on the lookout for it.
- Heavy-duty construction means that it should be much more durable than competitors.
- Iron grates are designed to ensure the perfect sear.
- The charcoal tray is height-adjustable, which affects cooking time.
- A removable ash pan makes cleaning quick and painless.
- The grill might not seal as tightly as you might want.
What to Know When Buying the Best Portable Charcoal Grill
When it comes to buying a charcoal grill, there are quite a few things that you’ll need to consider. Typically, whether or not it’s portable will be one of these large factors. If you’re set on a portable one, then that narrows down the number of options quite significantly.
That’s also the case of picking a charcoal grill, as it means that you’re free to ignore gas and electric options. However, there can still be quite a few other factors that you’ll need to consider. While some of these will be quite obvious, others might not be. Either way, they can each be quite vital to the choice.
Price will naturally play a significant role in which charcoal grill you’ll end up purchasing. That’s because portable grills can vary in price drastically, with this typically being driven by what features they include. If you’re working on a budget, then you’ll need to get your budget in place as early as possible and narrow down your choices from there.
Available Cooking Space & Size
Cooking space is another notable factor that you’ll have to pay attention to. This refers to the overall surface area that can be cooked on. Unfortunately, portable grills tend to have much less of this than their non-portable counterpart, but this is to be expected if you want to be able to take your grill wherever you go.
However, portability doesn’t mean that the grills are all the same size. In contrast, there can be a wide range of sizes available. While bigger can often be better that isn’t always the case. Instead, you might be better suited with a grill that has a smaller cooking area if you’re only cooking for one or two people.
You’ll only need a larger cooking area if you plan on grilling for large groups of people. One area that many people tend to overlook is how easy the grill is to store. That’s because we typically just think of when we’re using it. However, many of us will only take it out for special occasions, such as holidays and barbeques.
How compact it is and its overall size can be the main factor here. When you’re looking for a new grill, it’s worth thinking about where you’ll store it when it’s not in use. If you can think of a particular area to store it, then you’ll know whether or not certain models will fit there.
Level of Maintenance
You’ll also want to think about how easy it would be to clean your portable grill. While the majority of models are going to be relatively difficult, some are easier than others. Some options will also come with removable ashtrays and other features that make it much easier to clean.
Construction Quality & Durability
One area that’s relatively minor, but that you might want to pay attention to, is the material that a grill is made from. There’s a wide variety of materials on offer, some of which are better than others. A lot of this will be focused on durability, with certain materials tolerating more damage than others.
Some of these materials may also heat up faster than others, which could affect the exterior of a grill. That could mean that you might burn your hand when you’re using it. Naturally, that’s something that you’ll want to avoid.
It’s also worth noting that the different materials and types of grills can affect the price drastically. In general, it’s recommended that you go with the kettle charcoal grill, which is the most common grill on the market. It’s also the most portable.
Temperature controls are also another major factor to consider. While there might not be specific settings you can choose, the majority of grills have some type of dual vent system that controls heat levels on the grill. These can be highly desired and can offer quite a few benefits when you’re cooking.
However, these could make a grill more expensive, though it may be worth the price. There might also be some related displays that show the internal temperature of the grill, although these aren’t too common in portable grills. There can also be a few accessories available for your grill, some of which may be worth investing in.
While there will be more accessories for non-portable grills, there are still quite a few to choose from. Typically, these will be focused on making the cooking experience easier, alongside making it more enjoyable. Many of these won’t be essential, though they’re something that you should consider getting.
These include the likes of warming racks and side burners. They can often provide increased flexibility when you’re cooking and could also help you cook more types of food.
How Often You Plan to Use Your Portable Grill
You should also consider how often you’re going to use your grill. If you will be using it a lot, then you should try to get a more expensive grill.
Doing so will mean that it should be of a much higher quality than others. These will also come with multiple features, which should make the grilling experience much better. If you’re only going to use it every so often, though, then you might want to choose a more affordable option.
While these won’t have all of the bells and whistles associated with their high-cost counterparts, that doesn’t mean that they’re bad. Instead, they can be affordable grills that get the job done without being difficult to use. They can also have a few nice features without costing too much.
Essentially, you should look at what your needs for a grill are and make your decision based on that. What works for other people might not work for you, and vice versa.
Figuring the best portable charcoal grill may seem difficult, but taking the time to figure out exactly what you want can result in a well-researched and worthwhile purchase.
That being said, the Texsport Barbecue Mini Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill offers quite a few advantages. While it might be a little more expensive than some other models, the benefits make it well worth it. Its portability is unquestioned, with its setup and take-down times being much better than you would see elsewhere.
As such, it’s worth the majority of charcoal grill lovers’ attention. It ticks almost all of the boxes that you should have when looking for a grill. While there might be some better options in some specific areas, these can be much more expensive and might not be worth the price.
For a portable charcoal grill that isn’t going to cost too much, the Texsport Barbecue Mini Portable Charcoal BBQ Grill is definitely a well-recommended option.