Top 10 Best Charcoal BBQs Grills For 2017 – Barbacue Comparisons & Reviews
Which is the Best Charcoal BBQ
Grilling is a classic part of every summer. From burgers to the perfectly cooked hot dogs, nothing commands summer like barbecuing among loved ones. Regardless of the various kinds of BBQ grills or cooking techniques, nothing pretty adds the flavour like a charcoal BBQ.
Gas BBQ's and electric BBQ’s have undeniably a considerable amount of comfort and additionally their own advantages and committed fans. Yet, guys who prioritize flavour unavoidably tend to stick with charcoal grills.
For genuine charcoal BBQ aficionados, purchasing a charcoal BBQ is not as simple as finding one discounted at a decent cost. There are various elements to mull over such as the BBQ’s design, components and varieties. There are also hundreds of models to choose from and it’s hard to tell what sets one apart from the others. To help you decide as easy as possible, we’ve compiled the best 9 charcoal BBQ’s that will give an idea of what makes the best charcoal BBQ.
Charcoal BBQ Buyer’s Guide
Buyers have diverse needs with regards to purchasing a charcoal barbecue. Here are probably the most critical elements to consider when looking for the best charcoal grill for you:
- Cooking uses - Sausages and beef burgers are relatively easy to cook on any type of BBQ grill. However, if you want to get more refined in how you cook your meat, then working with a charcoal grill might be the best idea for you. Barrel grills are perfect for smoking meat or for slow cooking while ceramic grills are the most solid option for all around variety and flavour.
- Temperature control - Garden grillers that think about perfection will need to pick a BBQ that considers some temperature control. The cover or lid of your grill assumes a major part in temperature control and a tight-fitting top is essential regardless of the model you choose.
Some charcoal grills come with an adjustable height grill that allows you to alter the distance between the coals and the cooking surface, which makes it simple to increase or reduce the amount of heat your food is exposed to rapidly and effortlessly. Other models come installed with temperature gauges which give precise readings for you to know when to make height adjustment.
- Convenience & cleaning - While charcoal BBQ’s give a superior flavour, one of the drawbacks of picking charcoal over different kinds is that it needs more work to get started and prepare your food how you want. Most home grillers, however, will become used quickly with the charcoal BBQ and won’t be an issue – perhaps only sitting tight for it to heat up.
Some models come with an extra door or pivoted cooking grates that make it less demanding to include more charcoal when needed without removing the food or grates on the barbecue. You’ll also come across various models with a removable ash catcher that will make it easy to get rid of the collected ash. This makes a big difference than having to flip over the grill to dump the ash.
- Durability & Quality - The best BBQ’s should last through many summers of BBQ’s and that also comes with proper maintenance. The best thing to pay special attention to when looking for a strong BBQ is the construction materials. Most BBQ’s feature stainless steel construction and that’s probably the toughest material but the quality and thickness may differ. Customer reviews and the product warranty might also tell something about durability.
- Staying safe around BBQ's - Similarly as with most types of cooking, security is to a great extent in the hands of the client. Ensure you check how the grill functions; read the instructions on some fundamental safety tips for charcoal barbecuing. Some things though only need common sense, like it’s not safe to dispose the ashes until they’re completely doused. The primary thing to look for in a charcoal grill as far as safety is concerned is one that is solid. You got to feel sure it won’t tip over while you’re using it.
- BBQ Size - If you need a charcoal grill that you can take with you outdoors or over to a friend’s house, you’ll need one that is moderately light and versatile. The size of the cooking surface also matters. If you won’t be regularly cooking for more than four people at any given moment, then any size of cooking surface will do.
In case you want to have the capacity to toss enormous patio BBQ’s for more than 20 guys, then you’ll need something bigger. All things considered, you’ll need to find a charcoal BBQ with a moderately extensive cooking surface. Most retailers give figures on the number of burgers you can fit on the cooking surface so you can get an unmistakable picture of what’s in store.
- Budget - Most customers equate price to their various needs. If affordability is your top priority, then a basic barbecue is going to be your best option. In the event that you need a large cooking surface yet aren’t ready to pay a hefty price, you can find charcoal BBQ’s that aren’t necessarily expensive. While you can still get a BBQ for under £100, most buyers will fancy going a bit higher for some reasons. In any case, spending more can get you a bigger cooking surface, a sturdier grill or one that gives exceptional flavour.
With this list of key features to have an eye out for, you should now have a greater understanding of what to look for when seeking the best charcoal BBQ.
OUR TOP 9
CHARCOAL BBQ REVIEWS
Meet our top picks, starting from our best charcoal BBQ and the rest following in no particular order:
Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill Review
**OUR BEST PICK**
CHARCOAL & GAS - BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!
- Cart made from thick tubular steel, 5cm.
- 3 stainless steel burners.
- Body built from heavy gauge steel.
- 3 smoke chimneys.
- Stainless steel temperature gauge.
- Stay cool handles.
- Easy dump ash pan.
- Chrome-plated warming racks.
- Push button electronic ignition for gas grill
- Porcelain coated cast iron cooking surface.
- Porcelain coated flamer tamers.
Everything about the Char-Griller 5050 Duo Charcoal BBQ is steel. The body is built from heavy gauge steel while the cart features tubular steel of 5cm thickness. Nothing beats the cooking power of this grill with 3 stainless steel burners. There’s more than 1,200 sq. inches of cooking space which sounds pretty enough but you’ll probably cook on one at a time unless you are good at multitasking. The charcoal and gas combination is a great advantage over most other models meaning you have an option in case you run out of either fuel.
There are 3 smoke chimneys which let smoke escape away from your company. There’s a temperature gauge which helps you to regulate heat and it’s also made from stainless steel. It features stay cool handles which are comfortable even when the grill is hot. The chrome plated warming racks are a great additional feature while the push button electronic ignition comes handy when using gas.
When cooking on the charcoal side, the cast iron cooking grates are excellent for heat transfer and the double layer bottom retains the heat and protects the steel finish. Add on the separate firebox and you can use this charcoal grill for smoking. And while you’re still cooking, waste fuel collects in the damp ash pan which is pretty easy to clean thereafter. This charcoal grill needs assembly and can take long because of the sheer size. The good thing is that instructions are easy to follow.
What to be aware of!
- The drip pan for the gas side is a bit flimsy and needs improvement. The steel construction also makes it a very expensive product.
Our recommendation - The Char-Griller 5050 Duo Charcoal BBQ is probably the most solid charcoal BBQ on our list. The body and other components are made of steel which is probably the toughest material for building most home appliances, and that sums up why this charcoal grill is the most expensive product in our list. Yet, the vast cooking space is something most of you will appreciate, making it the best BBQ for a garden BBQ party and ultimately our best pick.
Tepro Toronto Trolley Grill Barbecue Review
- Charcoal black BBQ.
- Built-in thermometer.
- Height Adjustable grid with crank mechanism.
- Chrome plated warming rack.
- Powder coated design.
- Comes with assembly instructions.
- 1 “Toronto” Trolley Grill included.
- Two-tier BBQ rack.
The Tepro Toronto Trolley Grill is the ideal buddy for genuine barbecuing fun whether on warm summer evenings or throughout the winter months. Working with this charcoal BBQ starts from assembling and the process is relatively easy with the help of the assembly manual. Some steps are a bit tricky and need two people to handle. It comes with a coal tray with a variable height adjustment which gives you unlimited options for your grilling experience.
Temperature control is crucial when cooking and Tepro has installed a thermometer in this grill cart to help you monitor your dish. Once you have the figures on the thermometer, you can alter the distance between the coals and cooking surface to adjust the cooking temperature of your food. Another advantage of the built-in thermometer is it allows you to know precisely when to add charcoal so your BBQ keeps going long into the night. Even so, the two-tier design of this grill allows you to enclose the grill region to keep heat from escaping out of the grill. That implies the grill cooks your food evenly.
There are unique air vents that guarantee uniform air circulation during the cooking process while preventing the coals from extinguishing when the top is shut. The two-tier design combined with the smooth-action lid makes indirect grilling easy – a cooking technique where the food rests in an enclosed space and not directly over the fire.
This “Toronto” is especially made with the cook in mind as you can tip it sideways and move it around thus making it pretty convenient. Whether you want to entertain your children on your balcony or guests on the patio, this charcoal grill cart is perfect for flexible barbecue fun. The availability of a bottle opener along with utensil hooks sum up to the best grilling companion you can have.
What to be aware of!
- The instructions manual is only written in German which is inconveniencing to most people.
Our recommendation - Apart from assembling issues, the Toronto Trolley Grill is easy to work with. What we loved most is the temperature control enhanced with the built-in thermometer and the adjustable grill rack. The bottle opener and utensil hooks are also bonus features that will make for a great BBQ party. It comes at over £100 but you can be sure you get a great barbecue companion.
Azuma Black Steel Barrel BBQ Charcoal Grill Review
- Provides an old-school method of cooking.
- Built with shelf and racks for holding utensils.
- Easy to move around.
- Includes side vents.
- Heavy duty lid with a wooden handle.
- Upper shelf for keeping food hot.
- Approximate size when assembled: 80 x 104 x 40cm.
This heavy duty steel Barrel from Azuma provides an old-school way of cooking your favorite BBQ by heating charcoals to deliver an even cooking temperature, giving food a particular flame grilled look. There’s a lot to assemble on this one and the instructions are pretty clear. All you need is a firm hand, a screw driver and an adjustable spanner to fix around 10 bolts.
It’s easy to light the charcoal and it needs to be lit at least 40 minutes before you plan to cook to ensure a steady high cooking temperature. There’s also a clever way of adjusting the heat – simply lift or lower the internal tray which means moving the heated coals closer or away from the food. The storage features such as the lower rack and the front shelf are also remarkable. That’s where you can place sauces, plates and condiments for n entertaining cooking experience. The racks are also easy to clean.
The solid construction of this grill is also something that you’ll love. Yet, we found out that there are some weak points such as on the grip connection and the plastic and fragile wheel connectors. It incorporates side vents for air circulation and the heavy duty lid with a wooden handle provides safe handling. There’s a T-shaped strengthen bar which connects the legs and the fire bowl. To maintain this grill and probably last longer, the manufacturer recommends that you remove ash after every cooking session.
What to be aware of!
- We found out that the legs of this grill are wonky so sometimes it wobbles under use. The assembly instructions are also challenging so you have to be keen on that.
Our recommendation - The Azuma Steel Barrel BBQ grill is a fantastic quality for an affordable price. Temperature control is excellent with the raising and lowering of the rack while the inclusion of shelf and racks are a great bonus. It’s built tough apart from one or two components and it cooks simple and well.
Fire Mountain Deluxe Trolley Charcoal Barbecue Review
- Comes with two adjustable grills.
- Three levels of cooking or keeping food warm.
- Constructed from tough, powder-coated steel.
- Two side shelves.
- Cooking area: 63 cm width, 38.5cm depth.
- Size: 123x99x50cm.
The Deluxe Trolley Charcoal BBQ is the kind that takes your cooking to almost anywhere you want as its one of the most portable charcoal BBQ in our reviews. It takes about an hour to assemble following the instructions manual of which we found is somewhat small for much detail. Nonetheless, putting the components together takes about an hour.
It has a relatively large cooking area split into two levels and both have chrome steel grills which can be adjusted to over three heights. This kind of flexibility offers a great way of grilling various types of food simultaneously. When on the highest level, the back grill can likewise serve as a warming rack while the other ingredients cook.
Most good charcoal BBQ’s are built tough and this Deluxe is no exception, thanks to the solid steel construction with a black powder coating which prevents wear. To make the cooking more fun, there are two black side racks for holding plates and condiments or for arrangement while the food is cooking. Underneath the grill you’ll find a substantial space to hold extra charcoal or dishes, holed up at the back of the fabric front.
Another noteworthy feature is the two wheels on either side which allows for movement and repositioning or rolling into a storage area when not being used.?
What to be aware of!
- The assembly instructions are a bit lacking and the space for the coal is relatively small compared to other charcoal Barbecues of about the same price.
Our recommendation - The Deluxe Charcoal BBQ offers an incredible way to cook traditional grilled food for family meals as well as garden parties. With three levels of cooking and warming food, it’s one of the most versatile charcoal grills in our reviews. This Deluxe is also quite portable, allowing you to take the cooking fun almost anywhere.
Landmann Tarrus 660 Large Charcoal BBQ Review
- Painted lid and firebowl.
- Enamelled charcoal grid
- Enamelled cooking grill.
- Vast warming rack.
- Removable ash catcher.
- Comes with lid thermometer.
- Removable and sturdy side shelf.
At first handling, you’ll get the impression that the Landmann 31421 is a solid charcoal BBQ because of the weight of the box – it’s incredibly heavy. As such, we recommend that it’s set up by two people. Of course, one person can build it but it would be hectic due to the weight of it and the awkwardness of the components. There are building instructions however in pictures only which are handy for a few things including the lower shelf. You might find it challenging if you are not good with DIY. It’s quite solid once put up so it’s not one that gets knocked over accidentally.
Perhaps what you’ll find more impressive on this charcoal BBQ is the vast cooking area of which can easily cater for more than 10 people. The surface is square-shaped and measures 60cm x 36cm with a huge depth of 53cm which is bigger by far than most products here. The fact that you can move the coal up and down to adjust the heat is also a huge bonus. Your food remains static during the alteration and that means you don’t have over enthusiastic sausages rolling into the coals or on the ground.
The side mounted shelf is a brilliant idea but we found it’s a bit flimsy so can only cope well with medium sized trays of meat on top. The ash removal tray helps in cleaning the BBQ by simply pulling it out and emptying the tray. This kind of maintenance also helps in keeping the BBQ last long. There’s also a lid thermometer which helps you to monitor the cooking temperature. Landmann even gives a guide on how to BBQ and how to look after a BBQ.
What to be aware of!
- We feel the instruction manual should be backed with written tips as picture illustrations alone don’t tell a step by step way of putting the components together. The removable side tray is also not sturdy enough to hold heavy trays of meat.
Our recommendation - The Landmann 660 is built strong and looks fantastic when assembled. The cooking area is really spacious and allows heat adjustment to ensure efficient cooking. It has assembly issues and we recommend it for those who are good with DIY.
Landmann Stainless Steel Pedestal Charcoal Barbecue Review
- Removable ash catcher.
- Cooks food for up to 4 people.
- Height adjustable chrome-plated grill.
- Ventilation disc for extra heat control.
- Comes with instructions booklet.
Landmann has been a major player in the realm of grilling for more than 40 years and they’re known for manufacturing practical, functional and lightweight products. This Stainless Steel pedestal charcoal BBQ is a younger brother to our previous Landmann model which can only cook for up to four people. Landmann constructed this BBQ using stainless steel and gave it a modern design making it a perfect outdoor companion for any home.
The Grill-Chef is easy to put together and only requires pairing the nuts and bolts together to fix everything in place. The process takes about 10-15 minutes which is far quicker than our other models. It also comes with an instruction booklet which can be of great help to first-time users. The grill is height adjustable which makes for more controlled cooking while the ventilation disc provides air circulation for further heat control. It also comes with a removable ash catcher for disposing waste fuel.
What to be aware of!
- The frame is somehow wobbly and it’s a bit fiddle to assemble especially when dealing with the pedestal.
Our recommendation - This Landmann Stainless Steel Barbecue is the perfect accessory for small outdoor BBQ events. It’s compact and lightweight for moving around anywhere, cooks great and the stainless steel construction is a huge bonus for the money. It’s perhaps the best small BBQ in the market today.
Banquet Tuscan Masonry Charcoal Barbecue Review
- Made from high quality refractory cement.
- Great masonry design.
- Includes storage shelves.
- Chromium plated grill.
- Two grill levels.
- Smoke channeling duct.
- BBQ dimensions: 1.79H X 86cm W X 56cm D.
- Extended workspace storage
What a spectacular design? The masonry design is beyond any doubt to make an awesome impact on your guests. Interestingly, the design can be painted or decorated to give it your desired look in the garden. This charcoal BBQ features a high quality refractory cement construction. The material is highly heat resistant and makes for a robust, sturdy and long-lasting product.
Storage racks have been strategically placed in the body of this grill to offer you a lot of space for fuel, adornments and utensils. The worktop of this grill is also extended around the body to provide extra workspace or additional storage while cooking, ideal for keeping sauces, grill rubs or flavours. The chrome-plated grill is tough against wear and is easy to clean even after exposure to flames and smoke.
There are two grill levels which allow you to move the grill up or down in order to control the cooking temperature. The smoke-channeling vent lets the smoke escape up far from you and your visitors giving you a lovely air of engaging that only the weather can ruin. For information, this charcoal BBQ comes in parts form and that requires the parts to be put together and painted by the user.
What to be aware of!
- The concrete material makes this BBQ heavy and panting means additional costs to the already expensive price tag.
Our recommendation - This BBQ is a great feature to any garden and the advantage is that you can paint to your custom outfit. The cement material offers great benefits and the usually annoying smoke has no room here. However, expensive, this charcoal BBQ is a solid buy.
Azuma Steel Barrel BBQ Smoker Summer Cooking Grill Review
- Suitable for both charcoal and wood.
- Use for grill and BBQ or smoke cooking.
- Installed with temperature gauge.
- Vent on the lid for controlling smoke.
- Large cooking chamber.
- Side box for separate grilling and smoking food.
- Wooden handles and two wheels for easy moving.
- Complete dimensions: 125cm (W) X 70 cm (D) X 134cm (H).
Azuma Steel Barrel comes ready for both charcoal and wood consumption making it perfect for grilling and smoking your food to flawlessness. Regardless of whether its red meat, fish, poultry or vegetables, this unique grill offers a fabulous range of cooking options to excite your taste buds. It’s more like an extended kitchen outside in your garden.
It features two separate cooking chambers allowing you to directly cook and grill our food or smoke and spice it indirectly for a genuine barbecued taste. The side box features a customizable vent to control the cooking temperature. It also has a chimney on the lid with a duct to control the smoke. The fully equipped grill additionally features a temperature gauge on the cover of the large cooking barrel.
There’s a front shelf and lower rack where you can put your plates, condiments and sauces. The wooden handles and wheels make it easy to move the Steel Barrel around your garden before you start cooking. It comes packed in different parts and requires home assembly. The box contains instructions but there’s plenty to assemble.
What to be aware of!
- The instructions are somewhat unclear and the legs are flimsy.
Our recommendation - The Azuma Steel Barrel Smoker is well built especially with the inclusion of the side box which gives an additional platform for cooking and grilling. We think this extra cooking space is what contributes to the hefty price tag of this BBQ. Nonetheless, it’s an awesome accessory for your garden.
Jamie Oliver Classic BBQ Grill Review
- Easy to read thermometer.
- Comes with detachable ash catcher.
- Upper material: stainless steel.
- Lower vents for heat control.
- Dimensions: 120cm (H) x 57cm (W) x 66cm (D)
This Classic BBQ has a vast cooking area on the stainless steel rack which has curved wires to prevent food from falling into the coals. The rack itself is easy to remove whenever you want to add more coals using the supplied hooks. The built in thermometer gauge is easy to read and quite helpful when cooking indirectly.
There are two trays that fit perfectly into the front legs and are handy for holding sauces and utensils whilst you’re grilling. The stainless steel upper material ensures long-term use of this grill and the upper lid has a soft grip handle which remains cool under high temperature.
It takes a while to build, even up to 2 hours on your own, but it looks solid when built. We also found it’s quite heavy but again the manufacturer fitted wheels to help in moving around. The best part about this charcoal BBQ is the 10 year parts warranty although it comes on a condition; you must register your product online at Jamie Oliver’s BBQ’s within 30 days of purchase.
What to be aware of!
- This BBQ is quite heavy and takes long to build. It’s also expensive.
Our recommendation - The Jamie Oliver Classic BBQ is simple, robust and equipped with the good features for fun cooking and grilling. The 10 year parts warranty is a major selling point which perhaps guarantees durability of this BBQ. In any case, it’s a great quality product for the money.
Our Final Conclusion
Smoky flavours are awesome, yet the entire experience of BBQ’ing outside with family and buddies is an essential part of the equation. We hope you’ve learned from the best charcoal grills from our product reviews and next time you want to buy one remember to go back to our guide.
Our Best Pick
After looking at the various charcoal grills in our list, we finally concluded that the Char-Griller 5050 Duo Gas-and-Charcoal Grill is the champion in the field of barbecuing. The fact that it uses both gas and charcoal makes it the most versatile modern grill. There is a vast cooking space which we think can cook for more than 15 people. You can still opt to use the side box when cooking for your family or if you have a few guests.
The solid stainless steel construction is also something to boast about. Upon purchasing this grill BBQ, you can be sure you’ve invested in the most durable charcoal grill, however, expensive it is.
Best family charcoal BBQ
We think the small size of the Landmann Stainless Steel Pedestal Charcoal Barbecue makes it perfect for family BBQ’s. It’s one of the simplest to assemble and following the instructions booklet, you can build it within 15 minutes. It has a heat control mechanism for proper cooking. The ash catcher and a ventilation disc complete the set of an affordable and quality charcoal BBQ?.
Best User-friendly Charcoal BBQ
The Fire Mountain Deluxe Charcoal Barbecue is probably the most portable charcoal BBQ in our review, and that’s a major factor why we choose it as the best user-friendly grill. Other aspects include three levels of keeping and warming food, two adjustable grills and two side shelves which make for a great user experience. The cooking area is also large enough for preparing family meals and hosting garden parties.?
After many hours of research, there really isn’t a “best” charcoal grill that can be recommended to everyone, the fact us not everyone requires the same features. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration before picking out the charcoal grill.
Have your say!
That’s it. We hope our guide and each charcoal BBQ review have provided meaningful solutions to your outdoor cooking needs. Do you know any other models that you think we might have missed out? Feel free to share with us your thoughts in our comments section.