Have you heard the quote, “Good things come in small packages?” If yes, you would know that it really is true when it comes to small charcoal grills. Portable charcoal grills look cute and fancy and make it easy for us to carry them wherever we want.
Moreover, a BBQ party is supposed to be fun and delicious. So, if you can’t enjoy it in your preferred surroundings, what is the point of arranging one? Thanks to small charcoal grills, you can invite your friends to your backyard or even a park and enjoy some meat straight from the hot grill.
If a portable charcoal grill excites you, you have landed on the right page. In this article, we will review ten different portable grills that use charcoal to create a party of flavors in your mouth. Moreover, with a bonus buying guide, we will assist you in finding the best portable grill without you making any regretful decisions.
We can’t make you wait anymore. So dig in for a good read!
11 Best Small Charcoal Grills for You
Why do home chefs consider charcoal grills over other options? There are many reasons and the first being affordability.
Charcoal is an inexpensive fuel source that helps prepare a beautiful meal within a short time. In addition, it adds a unique smoky flavor to your pizzas, pulled pork, and hot dogs that is quite unmatchable.
Besides, charcoal grills are quite convenient to operate. Thanks to their container-like structures featuring lids and racks, they also look quite simple. But that doesn’t mean that all portable charcoal grills are equal.
Some models are more advanced and efficient than others. The list below covers some amazing small charcoal grills.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about portability? For us, it is the grill’s lightweight and foldability. It is better to have a small grill that can collapse and become half of its size to be carried easily.
If you are looking for the best portable charcoal grill with a great folding mechanism, the Weber Go-Anywhere grill may strike your fancy. It comes with stainless steel legs that swivel up and out and wrap around the lid.
Moreover, this amazing grill has a nylon handle on top of the porcelain enameled lid, providing a comfortable grip to move this piece of equipment from one place to another. The fancy lid also features vent dampers with three holes that prevent any air from ruining the coals that can be used in future grilling experiences.
Moreover, the enamel coating saves the grill from any rusting. It also provides good heat management to keep the food warm and well-cooked.
What’s more, this small charcoal grill only weighs 15 pounds and is equal to the size of a breadbox. Unfortunately, the Go-Anywhere grill doesn’t contain an ash pan, but you can easily turn the grill over to dump all the unnecessary ashes for a quick cleanup. Moreover, you can also place an aluminum sheet on the grill’s bottom to collect any dripping grease and ashes.
This amazing charcoal grill has plated steel cooking grate with a cooking surface of 160 inches. It means you can easily grill six burgers at a time or cook two Porterhouse steaks conveniently.
But like anything in this world, the Go-Anywhere grill is not perfect. It has some flaws, such as the cooking grate is closely attached to the main body of the grill, which creates a hindrance when it comes to adjusting the cooking time.
Besides, this charcoal grill has imbalanced wire legs, which is a big design flaw for many.
Other than that, if you are a grilling enthusiast who likes to cook lots of food in a compact space, the Go-Anywhere charcoal grill may become your favorite soon.
- Foldable design
- Quick to set
- Excellent lid to maintain the temperature
- Adequate cooking area
- Grates too close to the grill
- Wire legs aren’t sturdy
Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Small Charcoal Grill
Cuisinart is famous for manufacturing food processors and blenders, but who would have thought that this brand could also come with the best portable charcoal grill. But the truth is that this brand excels in that department too.
There are many reasons why the CCG-100 Gratelifter grill is our favorite. First, it has a solid steel structure that features exceptionally sturdy legs. Moreover, the lid of this grill has a user-friendly lift system; you can conveniently access the cooking surface without getting a burn.
The lid of this grill is made of porcelain enamel colored in green, reflecting exceptional durability. In addition, it also features a temperature gauge that is quite convenient to use. The airflow mechanism maintains the temperature so your food can cook properly within the expected time.
What’s more, as opposed to most gas grills, the CCG-100 is quite easy to use and clean. In addition, it comes with an ash bin to collect the deposits of charcoal briquettes quite easily.
This is a lightweight grill, weighing only 2.2 pounds. The coated grill measures 240 square inches. It means you have enough area to grill ten burgers or eight chicken breasts in one single go.
Interestingly, as per user experiences, the CCG-100 Gratelifter is one of the best portable charcoal grills. It doesn’t have many flaws except that it is only available with a green lid, and you might have to tighten the pins on the grate every time before using this equipment.
Other than that, both experienced, and novice meat lovers loved how quickly this grill cools down and heats up. That’s quite a plus if you love grilling without any wait.
- Solid model grill
- User-friendly lift system
- Comes with a temperature gauge and an airflow mechanism
- Bin makes it easy to clean
- Cools down quickly
- Available in only green
- Pins need tightening before every use
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Premium Charcoal Grill
Next, we have the affordable Weber Original Kettle portable charcoal grill. Charcoal grilling on this piece of equipment is a treat. Why?
First, it requires a pretty easy and quick assembling. A user says it takes about 15 minutes to put this unit together.
In addition, it comes with a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid that retains heat and keeps the cooking temperature according to your preference. The grilling space can hold 13 burgers at a time, making it easy for you to cook for a large group of friends.
What’s more, as the best charcoal grill, it can also cook anything you want, from pork to chicken. So, whether you are a seasoned expert or a beginner, the Weber Original Premium charcoal grill will serve you right.
It also comes with a built-in lid thermometer that helps maintain cooking temperatures. You can also adjust the internal environment and have precise temperature control. Moreover, the cooking grate of this grill features a hinge to help add charcoal while you are busy cooking.
One of the best things about this grill is its cleaning system. The one-touch mechanism helps move all the debris and ash into the ash catcher. However, according to some users, you might have to apply some force to remove this catcher.
- Quick to assemble
- Maintains internal temperature
- Comes with a built-in thermometer
- One-touch cleaning system makes cleaning easy
- Catcher takes effort to remove
Kamado Joe Junior Charcoal Grill
While the Kamado Joe Junior grill weighs 68 pounds, this grill is still perfect for tailgating and grilling adventures. That might sound surprising, but it is quite true.
This grill is a rule-breaker, and for good reasons. First, it is a much lighter version than its predecessor that weighs 208 pounds and is an ideal treat for outdoor grilling events. In addition, this Kamado grill features in-built handles coated with HDPE, which makes it quite easy for two people to hold this grill.
Moreover, it has a solid body made of stainless steel and ceramic components. All these parts come with a lifetime warranty, so that’s pretty huge for a user who wants to trust a brand for the first time.
The thick walls of the Joe Junior grill trap all the heat and moisture, thus enhancing flavor and at the same time limiting the use of excess charcoal. In addition, the deflector plate is made of ceramic which makes cooking under indirect heat quite convenient.
This grill comes with air vents on its bottom. These help keep the area with grill grates ventilated and contribute to the self-cleaning process.
The Kamado Joe Junior grill has a 22-inch height and a cast iron stand that helps add four inches to its original width. The cooking area is almost 148.5 square inches which are more than enough to prepare a turkey breast or delicious ribs.
While this amazing grill is versatile and great for both slow and fast cooking, it still has a downside: the high weight which a single person cannot carry. Moreover, the Kamado Joe Junior grill doesn’t come with wheels which would have helped move the unit from one place to another.
- Versatile grill
- Built-in thermometer
- Solid structure
- Ceramic finishing
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Heavy unit
- Doesn’t come with wheels
Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Firebox
What makes this firebox special? The 2424 Charcoal grill and the firebox is designed for Texas style slow smoking. You can either utilize it as a tabletop unit or use it as a smoker. However, while you can convert this grill into a firebox, you cannot use it as a grill again.
The 2424 charcoal grill features an adjustable air vent positioned perfectly under the charcoal box providing excellent cross ventilation. Moreover, another vent is located close to the grill’s top that helps move the smoke required to cook food.
What’s more, this portable charcoal grill has an easy dump ash pan and a charcoal drawer for easy maintenance. It also comes with an ergonomic handle making it easy to remove and add charcoal with safety.
The cooking grates are made of cast iron which requires constant cleaning to enjoy a long life. The Char-Griller 2424 grill and firebox are pretty heavy in big regarding their dimensions and weight. It weighs almost 40 pounds but doesn’t come with durable wheels.
That said, it’s cooking surface area is 250 square inches. This means you can easily cook 12-pound brisket or turkey on this piece of equipment.
There are a few things that we wished were slightly better. First, the distance between the coals and grates is very small, harming the grates with time. Moreover, it doesn’t come with a cover, so you will have to buy one separately if you want to maintain the quality of this grill for a long time.
- Works great as a grill and firebox
- Durable structure
- Excellent cooking area
- Comes with an ash pan to remove charcoal
- Heavy grill
- Doesn’t come with wheels
- Grates too close to the coal area
Fox Outfitters Original Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill
When you imagine a small charcoal grill, what is the minimum size that comes to your mind? Perhaps a grill as small as a notebook or something that you can place in the back of your motorbike while heading towards a beach?
If that’s what comes to your mind, we have the Fox Outfitters Folding charcoal grill that can meet your criteria. This Quick grill comes in a small nylon bag that folds to become the size of a notebook. Moreover, unfolding this grill is also pretty quick as it comes with five pieces that take less than a minute to come together.
The best thing about this BBQ grill is that it weighs only 4.8 pounds which is quite lightweight. But just because it is light and compact doesn’t mean the grill lacks quality and performance. It isn’t built for an iron pan, but the grill serves you well if you don’t mind cooking with a Dutch oven.
If you look closely, this grill’s shape looks like a steel inverted colander. But do you know that this unique shape has a brilliant purpose to serve?
The funnel shape accompanied by a reflective metal increases the intensity of heat produced, contributing to a controlled internal temperature. However, according to a user, high heat can increase the overall temperature of the grill, so you need to be very careful while working around it.
This Quick Grill has a cooking space of 144 square inches. You can either cook five burgers or 12 hot dogs on this grill at one time. In addition, if you want to heat water, the grill is also equipped for that job.
This isn’t enough grilling space for a huge party, but if you plan a small get-together with a few friends, this portable charcoal grill will support your adventure.
- Completely Foldable
- Compact and lightweight grill
- Comes in a storage bag
- Retains the heat for a smooth cooking process
- Dishwasher safe
- Not designed for a big party
- May heat up while cooking
Old Smokey Charcoal Grill
Do you want a portable charcoal grill made in America, by the Americans, and for the Americans? If yes, we are sure you will love the Old Smokey charcoal grill. So, what has bought this item on this list?
Many things, actually! The 22-inch grill weighs 19 pounds and is also available in 14-inch and 18-inch models. This grill may not look fancy, but its excellent performance and portability are enough to amaze you.
The unit has a steel body and also features chrome hardware. Moreover, it has legs and grates made of aluminum and wooden handles. It takes about 15 minutes or less to assemble this grill.
This unit has a unique barrel design that helps retain smoke and heat around the food to enhance the perfect flavor. Moreover, the grills have a tall structure which means the distance between grate and coal is adequate to reduce the chances of burning.
In addition, since this grill can conveniently hold moisture and heat, you can also use it as an amazing smoker.
But we have a few complaints about this grill. First, we think that the grill isn’t space efficient and is not designed for small vehicles used for transport.
Secondly, it doesn’t come with a temperature gauge. That’s a major feature missing as a temperature gauge helps control the internal temperature and also guides the user to increase and decrease the heat intensity.
That said, if you are old school and prefer good results over everything else, the Old Smokey grill will most probably amaze you. In addition, it is also quite inexpensive, so it is a good option for people on a tight budget.
- Inexpensive grill
- Requires cook assembling
- Easy to use
- Retains moisture and heat
- Can also be used as a smoker
- May look old style
- Doesn’t come with a temperature gauge
PK Grills PKO-SCAX-X Charcoal BBQ Grill With Smoker
Do you want to experience the best of both worlds?
Grilling and smoking are two different methods that help prepare great food. Smoking utilizes indirect heat to prepare your food slowly, while grilling uses high heat to cook food quickly. So, if you want the best portable charcoal grill that can help you shift from one method to another, the PK Grill and Smoker is a great candidate.
Made of cast aluminum, this grill offers excellent heat conduction. Moreover, its ergonomic shape and unique venting system with four points make the grill ideal for smoking and grilling.
What’s more, the solid aluminum construction of this grill is durable, rust-free, and lightweight. In addition, this material helps to conduct heat way efficiently than charcoal grills made of steel.
You can place this grill on a trolley and also detach it easily when its job is done. The grill has enough room for cooking. For instance, its cooking space is 305 square inches which means you can conveniently grill a whole turkey.
But there is one design flaw that we should mention here. The lid of this grill doesn’t attach securely, so make sure you pay attention to the internal temperature while cooking.
- Sets up easily
- Portable grill
- Works for both grilling and smoking
- Provides excellent heat conduction
- Made with lightweight and rust-free aluminum
- Lid doesn’t attach securely.
Char-Broil Portable CB500X Charcoal Grill
Char-Broil is a well-known brand that manufactures quality products every time. And so, the CB500X charcoal grill also follows the brand’s values and high standards.
This portable charcoal grill has a smart design and a steel structure. It also comes with a charcoal drawer and weighs up to 34 pounds. The weight might not be too much for young grillers, but old BBQ enthusiasts might find it hard to move the grill from one place to another.
But if you can ignore the weight, the size of this grill is ideal to fit any vehicle. Moreover, it also features an adjustable and well-designed fire grate that helps maintain the heat levels of the grates.
In addition, there is a temperature gauge mounted on the lid to monitor the internal temperature. The dampers also help manage the temperature as you close or open them. So, if you want to increase the temperature, open the damper, but close it partially if you want to decrease the temperature.
The pull-out drawer works as an excellent mess free ash catcher to support quick cleanups.
The CB500X grill has a cooking area of 240 square inches. This means that you can easily cook eight burgers at a time. We don’t have many complaints about this model, but the holes design for gas elements is unnecessary.
Besides, according to some users, the drippings from the meat can ruin the grill’s foundation very quickly.
- Great design
- Adjustable ash pan
- Comes with a gauge to measure temperature
- Good enough cooking surface
- Unnecessary holes as part of the design
Lodge L410 Sportsman Charcoal Grill
Our final recommendation is the Lodge L410 best portable charcoal grill. It is a simple piece of equipment with no-frill or fancy features, and that’s what makes it special. This basic grill is designed for beginners and expert grillers to enjoy great cooking without getting lost in a pool of advanced features.
Moreover, unlike most other units, this grill heats up quickly, working best for people who have no patience or time to cook food. This portable charcoal grill weighs almost 9.8 pounds and features a solid and durable cast iron body.
The good thing about its cast-iron structure is that you can adjust it for two different heights. This feature helps the users cook on the grill according to their comfort.
What’s more, the Sportsman charcoal grill also has a unique draft door for the regulation of heat and also offers quick access to the charcoal bed.
However, we can rave about the cast iron body, but we can’t deny that such a structure required maintenance. It can easily rust, so if you want to keep your L410 grill clean, you should oil it regularly and clean all the parts properly.
Also, if you live in a city with wet weather, this grill may not suit your needs.
This amazing grill has a cooking area of 14 ¼ by 9 inches. This surface is enough to accommodate eight burgers or five to six steaks at a time. In addition, the sturdy structure of the grill makes sure you can use the grill anywhere you want.
But be careful as the grill’s body might heat up quickly, resulting in a burn.
- Basic grill that heats up quickly
- Solid and durable structure
- Cast iron grates are adjustable
- Draft bed helps regulate heat
- Sufficient cooking area
- Not designed for wet weather as it can rust quickly
- Grill may turn hot and cause burn
Best Portable Charcoal Grill-Buying Guide
Do you find the above recommendations worth consideration? We are sure you do, but we also understand that picking one from a group of ten is quite challenging.
What if you select the wrong grill that doesn’t work for you? To reduce this risk, below we have some imperative factors to consider before you make a purchase. So take a look before you start hunting for the best charcoal grills.
Size of the Grill
Any grill with a cooking area of less than 350 square inches is an ideal candidate for a portable charcoal grill. You can easily utilize this unit to prepare food for almost five people in one go.
That said if you are planning to cook for a party of 10 guests, buying a portable grill won’t do you any good. You will then have to invest in a large grill to cook conveniently.
Whether you go for a portable grill or choose a full-size one, make sure you properly consider the number of people that will eat your food. This factor is imperative to reduce your cooking time and save you from any embarrassment.
Compactness and Foldability
Why do you want a portable grill in the first place? That’s because you want something compact that can move with you whenever you feel like arranging a BBQ party, yes?
So, while you select a portable grill, make sure you love its compactness. It should easily fit in your vehicle and doesn’t take much space while cooking on it.
Moreover, foldability is also key. Any grill that folds easily is worth considering. You can’t carry an open grill at all times, so the one that packs conveniently can be your best bet.
Also, make sure to invest in a charcoal grill that doesn’t demand cumbersome assembling and disassembling. No one has the time to understand the parts and their adjustments before putting their grill to work.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Who loves a cleanup after spending a whole day grilling and eating food with your friends and family? Well, if you are a clean freak, you might, but otherwise, it gets quite tiring to perform a cleaning session after a long day. But that doesn’t mean you should leave your grill with all the juicy drippings and tough char.
If your portable grill cleans easily, it won’t take you long to make it new again. Besides, some users think that a grill with a round shape is far easier to maintain than the one with a rectangular shape. But that’s not all you should consider.
Factors such as the grill’s weight, the depth of the bin, and the availability of cash drawers also contribute towards the cleaning mechanism of a grill.
Features and Design
Do you know what makes one grill superior than its competitors? Its features like drawers, vents, and dampers affect the overall quality and performance of a unit. So, regardless of the size of your charcoal grill, you shouldn’t take these features for granted.
Some charcoal grills have a dual venting system that supports healthy airflow and help manage the cooking temperature. Without vents and dampers, you can only attain a temperature that is required for hot grilling.
Moreover, dampers and vents also assist with cooking large pieces of meat slowly.
Another feature that holds lots of importance is the sturdiness of the handle and legs. These two characteristics can greatly impact the way you can use a grill for a purpose. Flimsy legs and handles can ruin your food and may also lead to accidents that can damage the grilling experience.
Do not invest in a grill that doesn’t have a solid structure or isn’t made of long-lasting material. Just because a grill is portable doesn’t mean it should have a weak or disposable structure.
Good quality grills are either made of steel or cast iron. Some also have aluminum structures that make them worth your money.
The grates of a portable grill are its most imperative parts. You will either find plated steel cooking grate or porcelain enameled. Some cooking grates are also made of stainless steel or cast iron.
When choosing a grill, you should check whether a cooking grate can stand the unit’s weight or not. Moreover, you should also pay attention to how efficiently it rests on the unit and holds food carefully. Finally, grates that require quick cleaning should also be considered.
Some cooking grates have adjustable heights. So, if you can get hold of a grill with these, you are in for a treat.
Your food won’t cook properly as long as your grill’s lid doesn’t offer a tight-fitting. Moreover, an ill-fitted lid also makes it hard to maintain the airflow around the food. If you plan to cook different meats requiring varying temperatures, only invest in a grill with a perfect lid.
A lid that comes with a lock is also a plus. Imagine traveling with your grill, and suddenly, the lid falls off and breaks down. How would that make you feel? Bad, right.
So, make sure to buy a lockable grill that can also help you store items such as a charcoal chimney and other grilling tools inside the grill chamber.
How much space will you have to arrange to store your portable grill? Will it fit in a cabinet, or will you have to arrange a separate shelf?
These questions will help you choose a grill that won’t require more space than you already have. For example, if you live in a shared property with a single room, getting a small grill will save you from the hassle of arranging additional space.
Some portable charcoal grills also come with the covers and tools required for their operation. Some generous manufacturers will also provide you with carrying bags to store the grills when they are not in use.
For some accessories, you might be required to pay extra. If you find a bonus tool important, there is no harm in purchasing it, but don’t waste your money if you can find it for free from another manufacturer.
Brands and Price
Finally, don’t overlook the brand and price of the grill you want to buy. Lucky for you, portable grills are far cheaper than full-size units. But make sure you choose the one that offers good performance every time.
You will also come across grills that will be expensive, but if their brand and quality are impeccable, there is no harm in considering them.
If you want to make a wise decision, read customer reviews and expert recommendations before you head out to spend your money.
If you love BBQ parties and enjoy eating smoky and grilled meat, a portable charcoal grill is your best weapon to impress your guests with your culinary skills. This piece of equipment is not only handy but is also a user-friendly unit to make all your BBQ dreams come true.
Make sure to consider the factors above before you select the best charcoal grill. Hopefully, our ten recommendations will help you to pick the best item for your grilling adventures. But if you are still confused, don’t panic and continue with your search.
Best of luck!