Table of Contents Hide
- The 8 Best Portable Charcoal Grills:
- 1. Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
- 2. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
- 3. Char-Griller Smoker Side Fire Box Portable Charcoal Grill
- 4. Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal Grill
- 5. Char-Broil GRILL T/T CHAR BLK
- 6. Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill
- 7. BESPORTBLE Charcoal Grill Folding BBQ Grill
- Factors to Keep in Mind While Charcoal Grilling
- Things to Consider When Buying Portable Charcoal Grills
- How to Control Heat on a Charcoal Grill
- How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill: 5 Steps
- What to do with Coals after Grilling?
In today’s busy culture, it is imperative that we are able to bring as many comforts of home with us on all of our journeys. That’s why finding the perfect portable charcoal grill is essential to ensure your trips are enjoyable, no matter how long or short.
We have been grilling and smoking for over twenty years, so we have learned a thing or two about the importance of grilling, even on the go. In order to assist you in finding the best portable charcoal grill for camping or RV use, we have reviewed the highlights and features of the grills on the market and compiled a list of the best portable charcoal grills.
The 8 Best Portable Charcoal Grills:
1. Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable GrillView at Amazon
The Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill is simply grilling at its best. This grill provides you with a small stature for easy transport, with a large grilling capacity to accommodate all of your guests. Whether tailgating or camping, this grill is the perfect complement to any day out with friends.
We believe that this Weber Smokey Joe portable grill is the best portable charcoal barbecue you can purchase. It is lightweight and compact making it extremely easy to transport and store, particularly while on the move. The simplicity of the design allows for consistently well-grilled food with every use.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 9.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 14.5 x 17 inches
- Cooking Surface: 147 square inches
- Plated Steel Cooking Grate allows for even cooking
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl help to prevent heat from escaping
- Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
- Can easily hold up to five burgers to accommodate several guests at once
- Steel cooking grate is easy to clean
- Quality construction will hold up well in any circumstance
- Some consumers have found this grill difficult to light
- Ventilation has been a problem for a couple of buyers
2. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal GrillView at Amazon
The Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill features plated steel legs that swivel out and up, securing the lid and providing perfect compactness for storage and transport. This is an excellent grill to provide a taste of home while camping or tailgating.
The Go-Anywhere grill from Weber is a small and portable charcoal grill that is great for those individuals that are looking for easy setup and storage capability. It poses a durable construction with ample cooking space, making it an excellent accessory for any camping trip or outdoor adventure.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 21 x 14.5 inches
- Cooking Surface: 160 square inches
- Legs swivel out and up to secure the lid for easy transport and storage
- Nylon Handle is galls-reinforced so as to avoid becoming too hot to handle
- Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
- Cools down quite quickly allowing for a quick clean-up process
- Perfectly compact for easy setup, break down, storage, and transport
- The cooking space is more than adequate for most portable cooking uses
- The cooking grate sits low to the grill which may pose difficulty in regulating the
- Consumers mentioned that vents are sometimes hard to manage once they get hot
3. Char-Griller Smoker Side Fire Box Portable Charcoal GrillView at Amazon
The Char-Griller Smoker Side Fire Box Portable Charcoal Grill can be used as a tabletop grill or as a horizontal Texas-style smoker. It features a removable ash pan, heavy steel construction, and cast iron cooking grates. This grill provides extreme versatility for the avid griller or smoker enthusiast.
This easy-to-assemble and use Char-Griller box charcoal grill is perfect for anyone who is looking for options with a portable griller. With features like the ability to use it as a smoker and an easy-to-clean ash/charcoal drawer, we believe this to be a great portable charcoal barbeque grill option.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 17 x 16 inches
- Cooking Surface: 250 square inches
- Removable ash pan provides a simple clean-up of coals
- Heavy steel construction provides longevity and durability
- Cast iron cooking grates
- 2 Sliding drawer for easy access to coals and ashes
- Stay Cool hood handle to prevent burning your hands while in use
- Offset allows the ability to use for Texas-style smoking
- Holds heat well and heats evenly so you will get the best meal with every
- Only a small amount of charcoal is required for each use
- Consumers reported problems with the door sticking shut while cooking
- While portable, this grill is quite heavy and may pose difficulty during
transporting from point A to B
4. Cuisinart CCG-190RB Portable Charcoal GrillView at Amazon
There is no mistake that the Cuisinart CCG -190RB was made to be transported. With its three-lock hood and lightweight construction, this grill is a must-include in our tabletop charcoal grill reviews list and should be a top contender for those individuals that are looking for a simple, portable tabletop grill.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.5 x 15 inches
- Cooking Surface: 150 square inches
- The cooking rack is chrome plated providing evenly and efficiently distributed
heat throughout the cooking surface
- Dual venting system which allows optimal management of temperature and
- Contains three secure lid locks for safe transport between locations
- The firebox is coated with durable enamel for added safety
- The Ash catcher feature enables easy and mess-free clean up
- Extremely lightweight and allows for very simple transport
- Extra lid locks allow you to pick the grill up as one whole unit
- Easy to assemble and clean
- May be prone to burning food, so close attention should be paid during entire
time grill is cooking
- Some consumers have mentioned that the grill grates may move while in use
5. Char-Broil GRILL T/T CHAR BLKView at Amazon
The Char-Broil Portable Tabletop Charcoal Grill is an excellent choice for those grillers that are looking for a quick and easy set-up portable grill. This grill features heat-resistant handles, and quality steel construction and works with lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes.
This compact portable charcoal grill is a great purchase for the griller who is looking for an easy option to take along on a camping trip, in an RV, or to the beach.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 17.5 x 11 x 12.6 inches
- Cooking Surface: 187 square inches
- Works will charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
- Chrome-plated steel wire cooking grates
- Extremely compactable with simple set up and clean up
- Heat-resistant handles for added safety while cooking
- Constructed of quality steel for extended durability
- High-temperature finish assisting in rust prevention
- Large cooking area allowing you to grill for all of your friends
- The Cooktop grill portion can fit easily in the dishwasher
- Consumers are loving how compact, portable, and easy to use this grill is
- Vents on the grill are permanently open taking away control of the heat from the
- There is nothing underneath the bottom vent to catch hot ash or drippings
6. Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Portable Charcoal GrillView at Amazon
The Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill features heavy-duty steel construction along with thick cast-iron grates. The tray is height-adjustable providing versatility for all of your grilling wants and desires. The side handles are very sturdy, making this grill an easy and durable option for camping, trips to the beach, or tailgating.
The Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler portable tabletop grill is a large portable charcoal grill. We believe that the sturdy design and heavy-duty construction will provide an excellent option for grillers who need a larger cooking capacity but still want the ability to move their grill from place to place.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 53 pounds
- Dimensions: 26.7 x 19.5 x 21.8 inches
- Cooking Surface: 218 square inches
- Heavy-duty Steel construction ensures durability you can trust
- Thick cast-iron grates produce a perfect sear
- The height-adjustable charcoal tray lets you grill with high heat or cook Low and
- Large air dampers allow for accurate airflow control
- Full-size, removable ash pan makes clean-up easy
- The lid handle has a rubber grip for easy handling
- Extremely sturdy design will keep you grilling for a long time
- Very easy to assemble
- The temperature gauge features glow-in-the-dark accents for use in lower
- The back wall of the grill may flex, according to consumers
- Its heavy construction may hinder transport for some users
7. BESPORTBLE Charcoal Grill Folding BBQ GrillView at Amazon
The Besportble Grill works with charcoal and contains a large grilling surface. It is extremely portable, with the ability to fold flat into an included travel bag. Extremely lightweight and constructed of food contact grade stainless steel, the Wayfarer grill is an outstanding option for the avid outdoorsman.
The Besportble is a lightweight, foldable option that can be used as a fire pit or a grill. Its stainless steel construction folds up flat and fits perfectly into the supplied travel bag for easy storage and transport. The large capacity grill surface is ample enough to allow you to grill for all of your friends, family, and neighbors.
Size and Weight
- Weight: 10 pounds
- Dimensions: 22.4 x 19.7 x 2.8 inches
- Cooking Surface: 370 square inches
- Purchase includes a travel bag for easy transportability
- Consumers are saying that this grill is incredibly durable
- Can be used with either charcoal or wood, as a grill or firepit
- A bit more expensive that the other grills on our list
Factors to Keep in Mind While Charcoal Grilling
Just like with any type of cooking, it is imperative to keep several factors in your mind to help ensure the best results possible. Here are a few factors that you need to keep in mind when charcoal grilling to help ensure that you can properly control the grill’s temperature.
Don’t Get Trigger Happy with Vent Adjusting
Although adjusting your grill’s vents is an important aspect of properly grilling, you do not want to overdo it. Before you start fiddling with the air vents to help control the temperature, you want to aim for the grill to have a stable temperature for at least twenty to thirty minutes.
After all, you cannot adjust the temperature properly if you do not have an accurate read on the temperature you are starting at.
Once you have adjusted the airflow, you want to wait for around twenty minutes to see the change in temperature that you have adjusted.
However, it is important to know your grill and once you do, adjusting the airflow of your vents will be easier for different situations.
Indirect Cooking vs Direct Cooking
Many people do not realize that it is possible to indirectly and direct cook on a charcoal grill, but they need to be approached differently. It is all based on preference, but you should know the differences between these two forms of cooking to know which one will best fit your methods.
Although it is possible to slow-cook something over direct heat, it is still recommended to use indirect cooking for slower meals.
It is important to understand that charcoal grills can cook more than just burgers and steaks. However, you must know your grill and its limitations. Regardless of your techniques knowing how to control the temperature of your charcoal grill might be different than your friend’s grill.
We hope that the information provided above can help you to get a better understanding of how to control the temperature of your charcoal grill, but we are not perfect.
If you have any secret techniques that you use, please let us know because we are always looking for new and helpful information and grilling techniques.
Grilling with charcoal is the purest form of cooking out there. Food grilled with charcoal is tender and has an authentic flavor and aroma. Once you have finished grilling your food, the charcoal lit in the grill will continue burning unless you extinguish it yourself.
Therefore, knowing how to put out a charcoal grill is vital in preventing a fire disaster. This is because a hot charcoal grill will cause severe burns to children or people who touch it. Suppose you left your grill burning, and an animal knocks the grill over spilling hot charcoal on your backyard. Avoid damaging your property or harming your family by following these steps on putting off the charcoal grill.
Things to Consider When Buying Portable Charcoal Grills
While more expensive grills may come with all the bells and whistles, you may not necessarily need them to achieve your desired results
Do you want a compact or larger travel-size charcoal grill? Will it satisfy all of your cooking needs, large or small?
Determine if the control regarding temperature is easy for you, as your cooking could be affected if you are having trouble in this area.
Be sure that you understand how the grill works in order to ensure optimal safety while in use. Look for a grill that makes you feel confident in its sturdiness. Also, keep your exhaust damper open any time the grill is in use, and do not dump the ashes until they are fully extinguished.
Is it easy to use and assemble? Are there any accessories that help set
up or clean up? How long with this grill last?
How to Control Heat on a Charcoal Grill
Have you ever been grilling or cooking to find out after an hour that your food isn’t being cooked fast enough or come back to it being burnt because of temperature issues? Do you understand how to control the temperature of your charcoal grill to ensure your food cooks to perfection?
We have had some of these issues in the past. Therefore, we have come up with some helpful information on how to control the temperature of your charcoal grill.
Four Ways of Controlling Heat in A Charcoal Grill
There are many techniques that people can choose to help maintain the temperature in their charcoal grill, but there are four techniques that are recommended for the best situations.
Adjust Your Grill Vents By Decreasing or Increasing Airflow
Many people get confused about airflow when grilling because different types of grills require different techniques. For instance, with a gas grill, the more airflow the cooler the grill will be.
However, charcoal grills are the exact opposite. You want more airflow in a charcoal grill because it will make the grill hotter.
You do this by opening vents on a charcoal grill to help increase airflow.
There are two main thoughts when it comes to airflow:
- Leave the exhaust damper open on the lid entirely and use the bottom intake damper to control the airflow.
- This is the opposite. You will leave the damper open and control the airflow with the lid exhaust damper.
Although both of these ideas can be used, the first one is recommended by most grilling professionals because it is easier to get an accurate read on the temperature.
However, regardless of the way you choose, you need to make sure that you never fully close the exhaust damper that is found on top of the grill because gases and smoke do need to be able to escape.
Use a Grill Shield to Help Lower the Grill’s Temperature
Sometimes you realize that your food is grilling faster than you need to, and at this point, you will need to lower the grill’s temperature. Creating a grill shield is a simple way to do this.
To do this, you will need aluminum foil. Then you will fold it over a time or two before slipping it under the food that you are worried about burning.
Adjusting the Distance Between the Coals and Your Food
The closer your food is to the actual coals the hotter the grill will be. Therefore, If you realize that your food is cooking too slow, you can position your food to be closer to the coal, but if your food is cooking too fast, you will want to put some distance between the food and the coals to help reduce the amount of heat that the food is receiving.
Build a Two-Zone Fire
You can have one of the best charcoal grills, on the market, but knowing how to control the heat of your grill is important.
Building a two-zone fire can help to create a cooler zone for food that needs longer to cook thoroughly. How do you build a two-zone fire? Here are a few steps to follow to do this technique correctly:
- First, place all of your coals on a single side of the coal grate.
- Then, you want to spread them evenly across 1/2 of the area.
- Finally, replace the cooking grate.
This will help with indirect and direct grilling because you never know what will happen during your grilling session. Having a two-zone fire will allow you to maneuver between indirect and direct cooking as you see fit.
How to Put Out a Charcoal Grill: 5 Steps
What You Will Need:
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Long grill tongs
- Bucket of water
- Long handle wire brush
- Baking soda
- Fire extinguisher
Shut Down the Charcoal Grill
Put on heavy-duty gloves when you have finished your grilling session to prevent getting burnt by the hot grill. Start by removing the rack from the charcoal grill and slowly closing the lid.
Close the two vents which are located at the top and at the base of the charcoal grill.
Closing the vents will cut off airflow to the chamber, thus blocking oxygen from fueling the fire.
Leave the grill for 48 hours to cool down so that all the embers are completely burnt. During this time, make sure your charcoal grill is safe and out of harm’s way.
Remove the Ash and Briquettes from the Grill
After 48 hours, your charcoal grill is now cold, and you should proceed to remove ash and briquettes. Some grills have ash dumps; use them to get out ash from the chamber. If not, scoop the ash with an ash-removal basket. Tip the ashes onto a sheet of aluminum foil to dispose of them away.
Wrap the aluminum foil carefully and dispose of it in the metal trash can as any burning ember can burn through a plastic garbage can. Use the long grill tongs when handling the wrapped aluminum foil to avoid getting burnt.
Place the bucket of water beside the charcoal grill, and use the long-handled tongs to place the briquettes inside the bucket.
Instead of waiting for the briquettes to cool off, you could remove them together with the ash and place them in an inflammable bowl. Do not put the briquettes and ash in the same bowl.
Even though pouring water over the grill will put it off, you are not supposed to do that. Do not pour water onto your charcoal grill while it’s showing any signs of heat. Only use water if you must pack up your barbeque for camping.
Here is why you should not use water to put off the charcoal grill:
- Pouring water on a hot grill causes thermal shock, which will make your grill crack.
- Water creates a sludgy mess at the base of your charcoal grill, which clogs the grill vents and dampers.
- Water creates a harsh cloud of steam, which causes severe burns.
Clean the Charcoal Grill
After removing the ash and briquettes from your grill, it now needs a deep cleanse cleaning. Cleaning the grill is essential in eliminating built-up grease and ash.
To clean the grill, follow these steps:
- First, remove the grill grates and clean them with a grill brush.
- Use a ball of aluminum foil to scrub off the remaining gunk on the charcoal grill grates.
- Use a spatula to scoop the remaining ash from the grill, and carefully ensure there is no ash on the grill valves.
- Clean the base of the grill using a brush to wipe any debris out of the grill. Use a bristle brush to scrape off grease from the lid of the grill.
- You may spray the grill grates with silicone spray to prevent them from rusting.
- Put the grill back together for another session of grilling.
Return Leftover Briquettes
When the hot briquettes have completely cooled down, put them back inside your grill using the long-handled tongs.
What to do with Coals after Grilling?
After grilling, Coal that is not used up is worth saving for the homeowner. If you want to be economical, follow these steps on how to reuse charcoal.
- Fill up the metal bucket with cold water.
- Put on heavy gloves, which are heatproof.
- Use a long-handled tong to remove a single piece of charcoal.
- Dip the charcoal in the water in the bucket for a minute.
- Transfer the extinguished briquettes to a dry surface.
- Repeat the process for each charcoal you want to save and arrange the cool briquettes in one layer.
- Dry the extinguished Coal in the sun.
- Once they are completely dry, store the charcoal in a fireproof container until the next grilling session.
For the best grilling results, mix the reclaimed charcoal with unused charcoal on your next grilling session. Cheap briquettes won’t be best to reuse since they crumble when they are wet.
After the summer, you may find yourself with a half-empty sack of charcoal. Since summer is over, you are probably wondering what to do with the charcoal. Please don’t throw it away.
Here is how you can use your unused charcoal:
Charcoal can be used as a fertilizer in your home garden. This is because charcoal has potash, which is an essential nutrient for plants.
- Use the charcoal together with sand and rock salt during winter deicing your home. This is because charcoal absorbed moisture and will keep the rock and salt from clumping.
- Feed the unused charcoal to your compost pile to increase the carbon content.
- Use the remaining charcoal as a natural air freshener. Put charcoal in your basement where the moisture creates a stuffy smell. The charcoal will keep the air smelling fresh.
- Drop unused charcoal on the bottom of a flower vase for the cut flowers to last longer.
Knowing how to put off a charcoal grill will save you fuel considerably and keep you, your family, and your property safe from harm’s way. Enjoy a safe and frugal barbecue.
We believe the Weber Smokey Joe portable grill is the best portable charcoal grill on the list. It has a small footprint with a large cooking capacity, making it easy to transport while being able to accommodate all of your cooking needs. As always, Happy Grilling!