A great backyard barbecue or camping trip is the perfect way to catch up with family and friends. All you need is a grill, some food, and beverages to have a great time. To ensure that the food is perfect, you need one of the best small charcoal grills.
We have scoured the market to find those that will fit all of your needs by evaluating their features and reliability. By laying out the details of the best options, you will be able to quickly come to a decision.
Best Small Charcoal Grills:
1. Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill
The Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill is made from durable materials that resist rust so you have had this grill for a long time.
The cooking grate is a plated steel material on this small round charcoal grill, allowing for frequent use without it losing its structural integrity. It also leaves solid grill marks so that your foods also have a nice presentation once you are done cooking them.
This grill features dampers so that you have full control over the internal temperature of the grill. Because of this, you can ensure that meats are cooked to the exact temperature that you desire.
Due to the material of the lid, it will retain heat that will not escape until you remove the lid from the grill.
Once you are done using this good charcoal grill, it is easy to clean. All you have to do is use soap and water to clean all of the different components.
Many reviewers remarked on its portability. It fits into almost any vehicle trunk, allowing you to take it with you.
This grill is easy to clean, according to several customers. Once it cools, you can have it clean and ready for another use within minutes.
- You have control over the temperature
- This grill is portable
- The usage is straightforward
- The assembly instructions could be clearer
2. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill has legs made from plated steel. This ensures that they remain durable even when you use the grill regularly. The same is true for the grate.
It is made from the same material so that it does not start breaking down prematurely when you use your grill often. These features also make it the best small charcoal grill for camping.
There is a handle on the lid and the legs fold up. Combined with the locking lid, these features make it easy to take this grill with you. You can fit it easily into the trunk of your vehicle.
The body is made from porcelain enamel so it is durable. It will resist rust while ensuring that it retains heat when you are cooking. This material is also resistant to peeling even with high levels of heat.
This grill is small but has a nice cooking surface, according to multiple customers. You can prepare food for up to six people at a time.
Several people said that it is very lightweight. This ensures that you can take it anywhere you need to prepare food.
- You can fit six to eight burgers or pieces of chicken at the same time
- It will sit on most tables
- The lid locks
- The body may be too shallow
3. Char-Griller Smoker Side Fire Box Portable Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller Charcoal Grill can be attached to a larger grill or you can use it on its own for optimal flexibility. When you are cooking, you can use this as a grill or as a smoker, depending on the types of foods that you want to prepare.
Cleaning up the coals only takes a couple of minutes. This is because you can remove the ash pan and simply dump it out. The other components can be wiped down quickly to keep them clean.
The body of the grill is made of heavy steel for durability. The grates are made from cast iron so that they can stand up to a lot of use. The grates give you 250 square inches of cooking space, allowing you to prepare whole meals.
Several people said that this grill is easy to clean. You can wipe down the surfaces and the ash pan makes it easy to remove old charcoal.
It connects to a larger grill easily, according to many consumers. This allows you to extend how much cooking space you are getting.
- You can smoke and grill foods
- It works as a stand-alone grill and an extension
- The materials are very durable
- The paint may chip and peel prematurely
4. Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller Arorn has 153 square inches of space to cook your meals. The grate is made of cast iron, ensuring durability and a clean flavoring for the foods that you prepare.
Since this grill is easy to transport, you can take it everywhere from picnics to preparing a meal in your backyard. It retains heat effectively since it is triple-walled. You can cook foods at a temperature range of 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The body of the grill is 22-gauge steel. There is a porcelain coating on the interior and a powder coat on the exterior.
Both of these coatings help to maintain the integrity of the grill and further, its heat retention abilities so that you can cook numerous foods without cold or hot spots.
This is one of the most durable charcoal grills, according to many consumers. The materials can withstand a lot of use without breaking down.
Several people said that this grill is efficient. You can get a high level of heat without needing to use a lot of charcoal.
- This grill is very portable
- You can adjust the temperature
- Cleaning and maintenance are simple
- Assembly is more difficult compared to similar grills
5. RESVIN Portable Charcoal Grill
The RESVIN BBQ grill is one of the more affordable charcoal grills, especially for its level of durability. It is made from stainless steel and chrome so that it is resistant to heat, rust, and scratches. These materials are also easy to keep clean.
The charcoal container has 12 air vents. This gives you a lot of control over the heat level and how quickly the fire builds.
Fold the legs to make this grill easy to transport. When you are ready to start cooking, you can fold them back out and set this grill on the ground or on a table, depending on where you prefer to cook.
A lot of consumers talked about the setup. You can have it ready within minutes so that you are not wasting time on assembly.
Other people mentioned temperature control. There are multiple vents so that you can determine the level of heat that you need.
- You can prepare meals for up to five people
- It is easy to travel with
- The grate is durable
- The welds could be more durable
6. Uten Portable BBQ Grill
The Uten Portable BBQ Yakitori Grill is ideal for small gatherings of up to five people. There is enough space on the wire mesh to prepare multiple foods at the same time.
The wire mesh is made from premium chrome and cold-rolled iron, ensuring optimal durability and heat retention. These materials also help to prevent cold and hot spots.
The legs are strong so they will not collapse when you have the grate loaded with food. They fold away so that you can carry and store this grill with ease.
This grill has 12 air vents. Because of this, you get a lot of air circulation so that you can start the fire as quickly as possible. This design also ensures a high level of control over the temperature so that you can cook meats and other foods to the precise temperatures that you want.
Several reviewers said that this is the best small outdoor charcoal grill. You can place it on the ground or a table when you are using it for flexibility.
You can cook for up to five people at once with this grill, according to multiple reviewers. This helps to shorten your cooking time.
- This grill is easy to carry around
- The body is very strong and durable
- You can clean this grill within minutes
- The charcoal area could be deeper
7. Outsunny 28 Stainless Steel Small Portable Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill
The Outsunny Folding Charcoal Grill is made from stainless steel so that you can use it frequently without having to worry about any other types of premature wear. This material also helps to retain heat so that you get even cooking.
There are vents on each side of the grill so that the air flows well. Due to this feature, you can avoid hot and cold spots on the items that you are preparing on the grill.
The grill itself is very lightweight and the legs fold. Because of this, you can easily make the grill more compact so that you can fit it into your vehicle for easy travel. Choose between two wire mesh panels so that you have the cooking area needed for the meal that you are preparing.
This is an inexpensive charcoal grill with plenty of features, according to multiple customers. They say that you can cook just about anything so that you have diversity in your meals.
Other people said that it is easy to put together. They were able to assemble all of the parts in under 15 minutes.
- The legs fold
- You get two wire mesh panels
- The materials are durable
- The wire mesh panels could be more durable
8. KAYSO HOME 32″ Steel Portable Charcoal Kabob Grill
The KAYSO HOME 32″ Steel Portable Charcoal Kabob Grill resists warping and rusting due to its stainless steel body. The cooking surface measures 32 by eight inches, allowing you to cook large amounts of food at the same time.
Due to the width, you can remove the grate and put kebabs right over the fire so that they cook evenly. The design of this grill allows for even air circulation. Because of this, you get the right level of heat to cook a wide array of foods.
You also do not have to worry about hot spots when you are preparing meats and other items. Since the vents are adjustable, you determine how open they are.
There is only minimal assembly with this grill. You can have it together in under an hour so that you can start grilling.
Multiple people talked about how you can remove the grate. This allows you to insert kebabs for easy cooking. Other people said it is lightweight despite its size. Because of this, they were able to move it around and transport it without any issues.
- Its design makes cooking kebabs easily
- The grate is durable
- It has a long cooking surface
- It is harder to clean than similar grills
9. Char-Broil GRILL T/T CHAR BLK
The Char-Broil GRILL T/T CHAR BLK allows you to use either lump charcoal or briquettes. These are placed under the steel wire chrome-plated cooking grate. The cooking surface is 190 square inches, allowing you to prepare an entire meal at once to save time.
The handles on this grill are heat resistant so that you can touch them when the grill is still hot without experiencing an injury. When you need to transport the grill, it folds up so that it fits into your vehicle with ease.
This grill is constructed from steel. This ensures that it helps to retain heat while standing up to high temperatures to prevent premature structural integrity problems.
Several consumers said that this is a high-quality charcoal grill. The materials are durable, and you have a lot of flexibility regarding what you cook. Other people talked about easy maintenance. It takes little time to keep this grill clean and ready for use.
- The grate holds a lot of food at once
- There is a handle on the lid to open it safely
- You can assemble it quickly
- The handles may melt with long cooking sessions
10. Ledeak Folding Charcoal Grill
The Ledeak Folding Charcoal Grill is one of the best small charcoal grill options due to its unique design. It has a triangle shape that allows you to fold the grill down when you need to transport it.
This allows you to pop it in your vehicle’s trunk when you want to take the grill with you.
This grill uses food-grade stainless steel. This ensures that it resists heat and rust and that it will not warp prematurely. On either side of the grill are vented so that you have some control over the temperature. Due to these vents, you can get even heating no matter what you are cooking.
You can set this grill on a table or the ground. This allows you to use it just about anywhere.
Many people talked about how lightweight it is. Because of this, it is easy to pick up and take with you. Other people discussed the assembly. They said that you can have it ready for grilling in less than 10 minutes.
- You can fold it down until it is almost flat
- Assembly takes under 10 minutes
- You can use this to grill a variety of foods
- It is smaller compared to other portable grills
11. Uten Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill
The Uten Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill is a grill and a griddle in one. Since you can use both sides of the grill at the same time, it is easy to prepare a wide variety of meals in the shortest time possible.
You can quickly remove the legs to transport the grill. They go back on within minutes when you are ready to use them. There are two baskets on the sides to hold food and utensils when you are cooking.
You always get proper air circulation due to the dual vents. These allow you to control the temperature so that your foods come out exactly as you want them.
Many people say that the metal is highly durable. You can use this grill often without having to deal with rust or similar issues.
Other people mentioned the dual-use abilities. You can use this as a griddle and a grill at the same time to expand the types of foods that you can prepare.
- You can use the griddle or the grill
- It is easy to assemble
- You can clean it with ease
- The leg attachments are plastic and may melt
How To Season Cast Iron Grill Grates
Have you ever noticed your cast iron grill grates can get rusty or build up a nasty residue after the months they spend in storage? Your grates might seem like a lost cause, but we’re here to tell you that’s false.
In this piece, we’ll be discussing how to season cast iron, and BBQ grill grates so you can enjoy your legendary grilling and smoking sessions for as long as possible. So, let’s check out the simple but important oil seasoning method below!
Seasoning Your Cast Iron Grill Grates
Before we dive into cast iron grill grates care, we have to discuss oil. Being that you’re going to be working in the 200ºF range, you want to go with an oil that has a higher smoking point. For this reason, olive oil is off the table as an option.
This point is important – olive oil is the one oil explicitly stated as unfit for cast iron seasoning! There are plenty of other options though, so don’t sweat. The following oils are the most highly recommended options, with grapeseed oil being the most recommended:
- Grapeseed oil
- Flaxseed oil (a smoke point is low ~ 225ºF)
- Vegetable oil
- Peanut oil (BEWARE OF ALLERGENS)
- Safflower oil
- Canola oil
Flaxseed oil is a recommended second behind grapeseed oil, but it should be mentioned that flaxseed oil tends to flake if applied incorrectly.
Other oils can work just fine as well. If you choose to pick another oil, or even spray, be sure the oil contents are favorable to seasoning and have high enough smoke points.
1. Clean/Heat the Grates
After choosing an oil for your seasoning, it’s time to get to cleaning those grates. Ideally, you have a steel brush to work off some of the rust and residue that’s loose atop the grates. If your grates are brand new, it still doesn’t hurt to give them a quick brush to clear any surface particulates.
Once you’ve given the grates a brushing, it’s time to crank the heat to about 200ºF. This helps to burn off old residues, as well as to loosen thicker debris and rust.
You should allow anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes for the grates to get hot, which makes cleaning them infinitely easier. Once they’re heated, you can brush them once more using a steel brush or other tool.
After brushing the grates and removing as much rust and residue as possible, you’re going to physically wipe down the grates with a wet paper towel or other cleaning cloth. Be sure to use tongs or heat-resistant gloves for this final cleaning step.
2. Season with Oil
Having cleaned the grates rather thoroughly, you’re ready to do the seasoning. To begin, you’re going to wipe the grates just as you did with water for cleaning, but this time you’re going to apply a layer of whichever oil you’ve chosen.
You want to make sure that you’re covering all parts of the grates in some oil; that means the underside as well as the sides of the grates.
As soon as you’ve completed covering the grates in a layer of oil, it’s time to turn up the heat. At this point, you want to turn the grill’s burners up – all of them – to their maximum burn setting.
This allows for the oil to carbonize on the surface as it burns, which is how this process helps create a non-stick cooking environment.
This process takes roughly an hour and gets pretty smokey, but don’t worry because you want this. Once they’ve burned for an hour, turn the heat off and let the grates cool for almost two hours, or until they’re completely cooled.
Seasoning the grates is not a one-shot process, and it takes a couple of rounds of seasoning to reach optimum, non-stick cooking conditions.
So, once the grates have completely cooled, break them back out for another round of oil application. You’re going to follow the same method as in step two above.
As always, put your safety first and use tongs or heat-resistant gloves for the re-application of oil.
Having re-oiled the grates set them back on the grill and set the burners to the maximum as you wait for another hour or so for the oil to burn on the grates.
Again, turn off the burners and all heat and permit the grates to completely cool down, roughly another two hours or so.
The process of seasoning is most effective when repeated and applied multiple times. The ideal number of oil applications is about five. We recommend assessing your grates after about three applications to see if they could use more oil layers or go without them.
4. Post-Cooking Clean
To maintain your cast iron grill grates for a full season of grilling, smoking, and cooking, you should finish every session of use with a cleaning.
Cleaning your cast iron grates is remarkably easy when you get to them while they’re hot. For this reason, we recommend leaving your burners on after finishing a grilling session for about an hour and a half, or until you can get to the grates for cleaning.
Similar to the cleaning methods applied in the beginning, you’re going to start by brushing or scraping the residue on the grates with a steel brush or other tool.
After you’ve removed the surface and bulky residues, you’re going to wipe the grates down with a wet paper towel or another, more preferred, cleaning cloth. Once you’ve cleaned your grates, it’s best to apply another quick layer of seasoning before storing them for their next use.
Adding a seasoning layer after you’ve completed the initial seasoning is rather easy in comparison. You’re going to follow the same methodology of wiping the grates with a layer of oil as safely as possible.
Again you’re going to cook the grates on maximum burn settings to regain that non-stick surface. Once you’ve cooked the oil on the grates for about an hour, your grill is ready for stowing away and is fully prepared for the next use.
Seasoning your grill grates can seem like a daunting task, but with all of the waiting in between steps, you’ll find that the process isn’t all that difficult. The most difficult part of the process may be cleaning off rust and last year’s debris from the grate surface if you didn’t close your grill down properly the previous season.
Even if you have to work through this, the process of seasoning your grill is the perfect weekend task to prepare yourself for a season full of great cooking and problem-free grill grates. Don’t forget to clean and season your grates after every use to ensure they remain as capable as possible! So, happy grilling!
These are the best small charcoal barbecue grills. They all have their advantages, but the Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill is the top pick. You can easily take it with you since it is lightweight and compact.
It resists rust and it holds enough food at a time to feed approximately four people. You also have control over the grill’s temperature, making it easy to cook meats to your desired level.
To make sure that you choose the best one, first, you want to take some notes about the features that you need in a charcoal grill.
Use this information to compare to what you learned in the reviews to see which one best fits your needs. After making your decision, it is time to make your purchase.
Then, you can invite people over and throw a backyard barbecue that everyone will enjoy and never forget.