Last Updated on June 21, 2023 by David Michael
Best Charcoal Grills of 2023
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we may earn a commission if you make a purchase using our links.
Are you ready to take your grilling game to the next level? Look no further than the best charcoal grills on the market. With their unbeatable smoky flavor and superior heat retention, these grills are a must-have for any barbecue enthusiast. But which charcoal grill should you choose? We explore the top contenders and help you find the perfect grill for your outdoor cooking adventures.
Our top picks for the best charcoal grills:
Recommended Charcoal Grills
I have had a Weber Kettle Grill in my backyard growing up for as long as I can remember. It’s the only brand my dad would get, and with good reason. The Weber quality is there, and this premium 22 inch version has some great improvements. The ash catcher is better than ever and easier to clean. A folding grill lets you add more charcoal easily. The classic kettle grill still delivers.
Masterbuilt brings an exceptional grill and smoker combination with their Gravity series. Cast iron cooking grates can be switched out for a solid griddle. With 800 square inches of cooking area the Masterbuilt is large enough for large family gatherings and celebrations. The unique gravity feed hopper holds enough charcoal for up to 10 hours of use. The temperature control is the best we tried.
The same Weber quality and performance with the ease of lighting the grill with the touch of a button. If you want a charcoal grill but would rather spend your time grilling and not tending a fire, Weber’s Performer Deluxe is a great choice for you. This has a grill size of 22 inches.
Royal Gourmet is our budget friendly charcoal grill and smoker recommendation. With just over 800 square inches. of cooking area this can handle gatherings large and small. The cooking grills are porcelain coated steel, and the body is not as heavy duty as other grills we looked at. This is an excellent choice for a first grill to see if grilling is for you.
Char-griller’s Kamado style grill does it all. The Akorn can grill at high temps up to 700 degrees F. It also excels at low heat cooking and even smoking. The optional smoke stone is needed if you want to use the Akorn as a smoker, and I highly recommend it. This Kamado grill is built from insulated triple-walled steel. The 20 inch cooking area has cast iron grates. My favorite feature of Kamado grills is their fuel efficiency. My friend fires up his Kamado year round and swears by it (his ribs are even better than mine).
For our recommendations of gas grills see our post Top Gas Grills for Outdoor Cooking.
Looking for a grill you can take with you to the beach or tailgating? Check out our post on the Best Portable Grills.
For more grill information see our posts:
How to Choose the Perfect Grill: A Comprehensive Guide
Charcoal vs. Gas Grills: Choosing the Perfect Outdoor Cooking Companion
For more great summer backyard ideas to make the most of the season be sure to check out our post Backyard Accessories – Summer Essentials
Tips for Grilling Success
Now that you have chosen the perfect grill, let’s delve into some tips and techniques to ensure grilling success:
Preheating the Grill
Before placing any food on the grill, it’s crucial to preheat it properly. This allows the grates to reach the desired cooking temperature and helps prevent sticking. For gas grills, preheat with the lid closed for approximately 10-15 minutes. For charcoal grills, wait until the coals are covered with a thin layer of white ash before starting to cook.
Seasoning the Grates
To minimize sticking and enhance the flavor of your food, consider seasoning the grates. Before preheating the grill, brush the grates with a high-heat oil such as canola or vegetable oil. This helps create a non-stick surface and adds a subtle hint of flavor to your grilled dishes.
Properly Lubricating the Food
To prevent your food from sticking to the grates, ensure that it is adequately lubricated. Brush marinades, oils, or sauces onto the food before placing it on the grill. This not only adds flavor but also helps create a barrier between the food and the grates, reducing the chances of sticking.
Mastering Direct and Indirect Heat
Understanding how to utilize direct and indirect heat is key to achieving perfectly cooked meals. Direct heat refers to cooking food directly over the heat source, while indirect heat involves cooking food adjacent to the heat source. This technique allows for more gentle and slower cooking. By mastering the art of combining direct and indirect heat, you can sear meats to perfection while ensuring they are cooked evenly throughout.
Keeping a Clean Cooking Area
Maintaining a clean and organized cooking area is essential for efficient grilling. Keep a spray bottle filled with water nearby to tame any flare-ups. Additionally, have a designated area to place cooked food and another for raw food to prevent cross-contamination. Regularly clean any excess grease or food debris from the grates to avoid flare-ups and maintain optimal cooking conditions.
Monitoring Internal Temperature
Investing in a reliable meat thermometer is crucial for ensuring your food is cooked to perfection. Different types of meat require specific internal temperatures to be safely and thoroughly cooked. By using a thermometer, you can accurately monitor the internal temperature of your food, minimizing the risk of undercooking or overcooking.
Resting the Meat
Allowing grilled meats to rest before serving is a vital step often overlooked. Resting the meat for a few minutes after cooking helps retain its juices and allows for more even distribution throughout the meat. This results in a more flavorful and tender final product.
Remember, grilling is an art that requires practice and experimentation. Embrace the journey, have fun, and savor the incredible flavors that grilling can bring to your culinary adventures.