The best charcoal grills are the ones that make you feel like you’re cooking in your own backyard. They offer a wide variety of features, including temperature control and even WiFi connectivity.
The best extra large charcoal grill is a type of grill that has been around for a while. It’s the best choice for those who want to cook on their outdoor grills when they are not using them.
In the summer, nothing beats the scent and flavor of a charcoal barbecue. Charcoal cooking requires a little more time and care to get things exactly perfect, so everyone knows you’re serious when you use a charcoal grill for a barbeque. That’s why it’s critical to invest in a charcoal grill that allows you to easily regulate the temperature, remains as hot as you need it to be throughout the meal, and needs little cleaning after you’re done.
We put six kettle-style charcoal grills to the test since, when it comes to cooking, less is more. There were two obvious winners after a number of cookouts over the past several weeks.
Overall, the best grill
The Original Premium Kettle Grill by Weber is available in three colors and is 22 inches wide. It’s the simplest grill to regulate temperature on, therefore it’s our top choice.
Best grill for a low budget
You can still enjoy the complete Weber charcoal grilling experience for around $100 with the 18-inch Original Weber Kettle Grill.
Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill
Weber’s rich heritage is reflected in the 22-inch Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill. The Weber charcoal grill has been around for almost 70 years, and it’s simple to understand why, even if the form of the kettle hasn’t altered much.
The Weber Premium was by far the simplest grill to regulate temperature on throughout our tests, with the flames within the kettle reacting perfectly to every touch of the vents. Controlling the temperature is essential for effective charcoal grilling. Burgers cooked to a medium rare degree on the Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill, and our chicken came out juicy and with a nice sear on the exterior. Other grills we tried were either too hot, overcooking the hamburgers, or not hot enough, barely searing or cooking the meat.
The original kettle’s premium variant is 22 inches wide and available in three colors. Weber’s One-Touch cleaning system is included in the premium edition, which features a big covered ash pan for simple maintenance, as well as a built-in thermometer and lid hook. While both Weber barbecues cooked well, the premium model’s improvements make the Weber Original Premium Kettle Grill our best charcoal grill for 2023.
Weber Original Kettle Grill
The Weber Original Kettle Grill, the genuine original Weber grill, is available for around $100, making it our best budget grill choice. This grill is 18 inches wide, which is a significant change in surface area from the 22-inch grill. It is missing a lid hook and a thermometer, as well as the ash collector. This Weber, on the other hand, takes less than 10 minutes to set up and needs no hardware. Burgers cooked to a beautiful medium rare on this grill, just as they did on the Weber Original Premium grill. The chicken we grilled took four minutes to sear and another 25 minutes to reach a safe internal temperature over indirect heat. This Weber is for you if you’re searching for the most cheap charcoal grill under $100 that will cook your meat to the ideal temperature.
It’s essential to learn how to start a charcoal grill properly since it’s not as simple as beginning a gas grill. You’ll need a pack of briquettes, as well as lighter fluid or a convenient charcoal starter. We utilized a Weber RapidFire Chimney Starter for our testing. We briquetted it all the way to the top, then placed newspaper below, set it on fire, and waited 15 minutes for the coals to heat up. After the briquettes have been heated up and are ready to use, pour them into the kettle grill’s base. You’re ready to start cooking after you’ve placed the cooking grate over the red-hot briquettes.
Inside a charcoal barbecue, use the RapidFire Chimney Starter.
Direct and indirect heat are the two most popular techniques for charcoal grilling. Hamburgers are often cooked over an open flame, resulting in a sear on the flesh. The indirect technique is ideal for cooking chicken on the bone because it allows the fowl to get up to the proper, safe temperature without charring or drying out. By pushing your briquettes to one side of the grill, you can cook indirectly. We recommend investing in a charcoal rake to assist spread the briquettes about the grill since they are red-hot when you drop them out of the chimney starter. It’s simple to utilize the indirect cooking technique if you have the right equipment before you start grilling with charcoal.
We cooked hamburgers over direct heat for four minutes on each side for our testing, then compared their doneness levels. We also grilled chicken leg quarters, scorching them for two minutes on each side over direct fire before continuing with indirect heat until they reached a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Our test hamburgers were cooked to medium rare on both Weber barbecues, while they were cooked to medium on the Oklahoma Joe’s, Cuisinart, and Char-Griller grills. We grilled burgers on the Napoleon grill at its maximum setting, which was very far away from the briquettes. On the Napoleon, we only grilled our hamburgers to rare. The chicken leg pieces were seared beautifully on each grill while remaining juicy on the interior. The chicken skin had the deepest sear on the Oklahoma Joe’s Kettle Grill and Weber Original Kettle Grills.
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We used an external thermometer to check the temperature of the grill surface as well as the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure that any built-in temperature gauges were accurate. With the exception of the Cuisinart gauge, which barely registered any temperature throughout our testing process, the built-in thermometers were mostly accurate.
We also made notes on how to put each grill together. Though you only have to go through setup once, if you’re picking up a charcoal grill for a last-minute barbeque, build time is very important. It took 15 minutes to construct the Weber Original Premium Grill, while the Weber Original Grill took just 10 minutes. Weber grills were the only ones that didn’t include a hardware kit. You can simply assemble any Weber grill by yourself, with the exception of connecting the handle and wheels, which needs the use of a hammer or screwdriver. The remainder took anything from 27 minutes to more than an hour to put up, with various degrees of difficulty and the number of people required to accomplish the job. The Cuisinart Kettle Grill’s packaging claims that it takes just 15 minutes to set up; nevertheless, it took us 27 minutes to do it. It took us 45 minutes to set up both the Char-Griller Kettle and the Oklahoma Joe’s Kettle Grill.
On a charcoal barbecue, a chicken leg is scorching.
The Napoleon Freestanding Charcoal Kettle Grill took the most time to assemble, taking an hour and five minutes. While the grill does come with a trolley to help with setup, we found the directions to be difficult to understand and the quantity of hardware supplied to be intimidating. If you’re going to buy this grill, we recommend having it built and delivered to you by your local hardware shop.
Weber, Napoleon, Cuisinart, Char Griller, and Oklahoma Joe’s all have charcoal grills.
Oklahoma Joe’s Blackjack Charcoal Kettle Grill ($279.99; homedepot.com) is a charcoal kettle grill from Oklahoma Joe’s.
The design of the Oklahoma Joe’s Blackjack Charcoal Kettle Grill is excellent, with a connected hinged lid for easy opening and shutting, an enclosed ash pan, and a handy detachable side shelf. The lid distinguishes this grill from a standard Weber kettle, which has an unattached kettle top. During our testing, we liked how easy it was to hinge open the lid of the Blackjack for a fast flip of our meat.
The Blackjack Kettle Grill also has two air vents, which made it simple to regulate the grill temperature. The bottom vent is similar to that of most kettle grills, while the top vent is more akin to that of a conventional smoker vent. The temperature on this grill is primarily controlled by the bottom vent. We also found the temperature indicator integrated inside the device to be accurate. Our burgers and chicken both got a great sear on this grill. The hamburgers cooked to medium during our testing, but the chicken took 32 minutes to get up to temperature.
The ash pan, which can only be emptied by reaching into the grill and lifting it up and out of the kettle, is one disadvantage of this grill. Because the pan isn’t as deep as the Weber Premium’s, it needs to be cleaned more frequently, which can only be done after the grill has completely cooled. This grill took us 45 minutes to set up as well. However, if you enjoy the unique venting system, aren’t put off by the need for more regular cleaning, and want a charcoal barbecue with a few more features than a Weber, this may be the grill for you.
BBQguys.com sells the Napoleon Pro 22-Inch Freestanding Charcoal Kettle Grill for $499.
The performance of the Napoleon 22-inch grill was underwhelming, which is most likely due to the grill’s need for more briquettes to function properly. The kettle on this model is quite deep, and the cooking grate can be adjusted to two different levels. If you want a nice sear, we wouldn’t recommend cooking with the grate at the highest level because it’s too far away from the heat. The grill grate on a Napoleon is made of thicker, flatter cast iron, which is an upgrade from most charcoal grills’ lightweight stainless steel grates. It does, however, take longer to heat up and provides a unique cooking experience when compared to traditional charcoal grills. We could only get our hamburgers to cook to rare during our tests, and our chicken did not sear and crisp up as well as it did on the other grills. As a result, the Napoleon is not a grill for newcomers to charcoal grilling.
Premium Red Kettle Charcoal Grill by Char-Griller ($177.62; amazon.com)
No matter what we did to adjust the airflow, this grill ran red-hot and it was nearly impossible to lower the temperature. The Char-kettle Griller’s is noticeably deeper — it’s the deepest of all the grills we tested. Despite the distance from the heat, meat sears well on this grill due to its high temperature. It took over an hour to reduce the temperature of this grill from 400 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cuisinart 18-Inch Kettle Charcoal Grill ($84.14; homedepot.com; originally $93.49;
With an 18-inch kettle, the Cuisinart Black Kettle Grill is one of the smallest we tested. It’s about the same size as the Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill, but it includes an ash pan and a thermometer. The built-in thermometer on this grill, on the other hand, was barely functional. If it wasn’t directly over the briquettes, it wouldn’t register any temperature, and according to the external grill thermometer we used, it was usually showing temperatures much lower than the grill was actually at. When cooking, the Cuisinart was also the only grill that caused grease flare-ups.
Continue reading CNN Underscored:
The best weber charcoal bbq is a type of grill that is designed to cook food efficiently. It is also known as kettle grills because they are made up of an open-top cooking chamber with a lid.
Frequently Asked Questions
What brand of charcoal grill is best?
Are Weber charcoal grills the best?
Weber charcoal grills are the best.
Whats the best charcoal BBQ UK?
The best charcoal BBQ UK is the Weber Q2200.
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