Over the past few years, consumers have been purchasing larger and large grills. The average consumer has gone from using 18-inch models to choosing models that are 24-inches or even larger. While that provides the consumer with plenty of grilling space, it does provide them with somewhat of a conundrum. How do they transport such a large and weighty grill for their tailgates or even just to do some grilling over at a friend’s house?
Fortunately, there is a way for consumers to do their BBQ grilling when they’re away from home and that’s by purchasing the best portable charcoal grills. Many grill manufacturers have created mini-size versions of the full-size grills and these are great for tailgates, taking it to a friend’s house, or even moving from the patio to the deck. We should know because we’ve reviewed some of the models that we feel are the best of the best. Let’s take a quick look at them and see what they have to offer.
Best Portable Charcoal Grills
4Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Portable Grill
We’ve known about Oklahoma Joe’s Grills for quite some time, and knew them to make quality products, but we had no idea that they made a portable charcoal grill until we saw this model. And we do have to say that we were pleasantly surprised to find out that not only did this company make some of the best full-size grills, but they also make some of the best portable charcoal grills. Let’s examine some of its features, so all our readers can see why we’ve chosen this product for our number one position.
This model is approximately 19.5×26.8×21.8-inches in size, so it’s easy to move from one place to another, and it’s made from high-quality steel. It also features thick cast-iron grates that add a bit of weight to the unit, but also hold up extremely well to the rigors of grilling. And because this model has large air dampers, the consumer can easily control airflow in the grill so that they can grill perfectly every time they cook their favorite foods.
The two-piece removable grates provide the consumer with enough cooking space to cook up to 10 burgers at one time—with a total surface area of approximately 218 square inches. Other features that can be found on this model include a removable ash pan, an adjustable charcoal tray, a built-in temperature gauge, and side-handles that make it easy to carry. After looking at all of these features, we’re sure all of our readers can see why we have chosen this as our number one pick. It is a great portable charcoal grill.
3Weber Jumbo Joe 18-Inch Portable Grill
Anyone who has ever wished for a charcoal grill that was portable enough to carry just about anywhere but had enough cooking space to grill up a whole lot of food has just had their wish granted. That’s because this model is made to be portable, but it’s also made to grill up a lot of food. This is an 18-inch model that will have most consumers wondering why they hadn’t bought it sooner.
This model is made by Weber and is known as the Jumbo Joe. It’s a grill that’s approximately 19.75-inches by 20.5-inches by 19.75-inches and weighs just 18-pounds. This grill is big enough to cook about eight burgers and do it while providing direct heat to all of the burgers that are on it.
Another thing that’s impressive about this product is that it’s made with a porcelain-coated bowl and lid and a heavy-duty steel charcoal grate. The cooking grate on this model is plated so that burgers, hot dogs, and steaks won’t stick to it, and the lid of this model has a tuck-and-carry lid lock that makes it easier to move from one place to another.
Finally, this model is equipped with an aluminum ash-catcher that’s easy to empty after use. All of this makes this one of the great portable charcoal grills available and one that can easily fit into just about anyone’s budget. We think that this is a great grill and one that consumers are going to want to take a good hard look at.
2Weber Go-Anywhere Portable Grill
Weber is an American grill company that’s known for making quality grills and has had that reputation for years, so it should be no surprise that they not only have one grill on our top list but actually are represented by two grills. And while we don’t like this grill as much as the Weber Jumbo Joe, we still think that it’s a great product—particularly for people on a budget. Now that we’ve said that, let’s look at some of the features that can be found on it so we can discover how it earned its place on our list.
This product is approximately 12-inches by 21-inches by 14.5-inches and weighs a mere 15-pounds. It’s made with a porcelain-enameled lid and base that helps to hold in the grill’s heat and is extremely resistant to corrosion, rusting, and high-heat. Inside of the grill is a plated steel cooking grate that’s large enough to hold about six burgers—which is a little less than what the Weber Jumbo Joe can hold. However, all six of these burgers can remain to get direct heat, so it can still cook relatively quickly.
Now, let’s conclude this review by talking about some of the other features that can be found on this model. This product has a patented tuck-and-carry lid lock and a carry handle that allows the consumer to carry the grill quite easily. This model also has steel plated lids that give the grill a sturdy base for the grill. All of this makes this a product that some consumers are going to want to consider.
1Cuisinart 14-Inch Portable Grill
The last portable charcoal grill on our list is this one from Cuisinart. This model is approximately 14.5-inches by 14.5-inches by 15-inches and weighs just two pounds. It’s a very inexpensive model that isn’t as sturdy as some of the other models that we’ve reviewed but could easily fit in the consumer’s budget. It’s a product that’s small enough for the consumer to carry anywhere and can easily be transported by placing it in a back seat, truck bed, or trunk of a car.
This product is equipped with a chrome-plated grate that’s resistant to sticking and gives the consumer approximately 150 square-inches of cooking space. This product is also equipped with a dual-venting system that gives the consumer plenty of options as far as temperature control inside the grill. And this model also features three lid-locks that allow the consumer to quickly and efficiently carry this grill from one location to the next.
Because of this product’s small size, it’s great for decks, patios, balconies, or just about any other outdoor location. It’s a product that is equipped with a high-quality ash catcher and an enamel-coated firebox. All of these features, along with this product’s low-price, make it a portable charcoal grill that consumers might want to consider. It’s certainly a model that we feel will give our readers some options as to how and where they BBQ their foods.
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A Guide For Portable Charcoal Grills
We hope that the portable charcoal grills that we’ve selected will help all of our readers find the one that suits them best. For those individuals, however, who still need a little bit of help in choosing from one of these grills, we’ve decided to write this guide on the subject. This guide should provide all of our readers with the information they need to buy the best portable charcoal grill available, so let’s get started right away.
Consider The Size Of The Grill
Obviously, one of the first things that the consumer is going to want to think about is the size of the grill. Ideally, they’re going to want to choose a grill that’s small enough to be taken from one location to another location, but large enough that they can grill what they need to grill. And this is where it can be a bit tricky. Each person is going to have to figure out for themselves the perfect size for their grill.
What we can do, however, is provide our readers with a little bit of information that will make choosing that grill size a lot easier. For every burger that the consumer needs to cook, they should have at least 1/2-inch of space between them which means that for every 4-inch burger (the average burger size), the consumer is going to need 20.25-inches of space. Therefore, for a grill that has 150 square inches of space, the consumer can expect to cook approximately 7-8 burgers.
Consider The Portability Of The Grill
Although size is one of the things that determine whether a charcoal grill is portable, it’s not the only consideration. Other features can also make it easier for a grill to be transported. For example, many of the grill’s that we’ve reviewed had lid locks and top handles that allow the user to lock up the grill and carry it away quite easily. How much the grill weighs also plays a factor in its portability. Some portable charcoal grills weigh over 60-pounds and some only weigh a couple of pounds, so the consumer should keep that in mind when choosing a grill. Of course, a lot of this depends on the materials used to make the grill and how well it’s constructed. High-quality models tend to be heavier, than cheaper models made with thin steel.
Consider How The Grill Is Constructed
As we briefly covered in the previous section, it’s also important for the consumer to think about how the grill is manufactured. As we’ve said, most of the higher-quality models weigh more because they’re made with double-plated steel or even cast-iron in some cases. Rolled steel models tend to weigh less, but they also tend to not be as durable. Therefore, the consumer should always weigh durability against the grill’s weight to determine what is right for their needs.
How Easy Is The Grill To Clean?
The next thing to think about is how easy the grill is going to be to clean up afterward. Does it have a charcoal grate that can be removed to empty the charcoal? Does it have an ash pan or some other ash management system? How about the cooking grates—are they porcelain-coated so food doesn’t stick to them? All of these questions are ones that consumers need to ask themselves to determine if their portable charcoal grill is going to be a pain to clean or if it’s going to be easy to clean.
Consider The Grill’s Thermal Management System
It’s also important for consumers to think about how heat is controlled within the grill. Most grills have at least one damper that the consumer can adjust to determine how much heat remains in the grill and how much heat escapes. Some of the better portable grills also have bottom dampers that allow the consumer to control how much air reaches their charcoal. When the charcoal receives more oxygen, it will burn more quickly and if it receives less oxygen, it will burn more slowly.
Additional Features To Consider
Okay, we’re almost to the end of this guide. All that’s left now is to talk about some of the additional features that consumers might want to think about. Although the following features aren’t strictly necessary and their presence doesn’t necessarily make a grill better than one that doesn’t have them, they’re still nice additions that make the grills easier to use. Let’s look at some of them below:
- Built-In-Temperature Gauges
- Side Handles
- Sturdy Folding Feet
- Adjustable Charcoal Trays