Best Portable Charcoal Grill
Barbecue and smores are always a good idea when you're out in the mountains and the wild on a camping trip. Food serves not only our senses, but it is also needed, especially if we want to gain as much energy as we can to sustain us for long hikes. That is why most of us bring our own grills with us during camping. One of the types of grills that are commonly used by most campers is the good old charcoal grill.
But not all charcoal grills are created equal. That is why if you're looking for a charcoal grill to bring with you on your next camping adventure with friends and family, you have to look for the grills that are not only easy to use but are lightweight and portable. We have curated a list of the best charcoal grills for campers to help you find the perfect one for you. Read more below and tell us what you think!
|1. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill||Amazon|
|2. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill||Amazon|
|3. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal Kamado Grill||Amazon|
|4. Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill||Amazon|
|5. Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box||Amazon|
|6. PK Grills PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker Combination||Amazon|
|7. Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Smoker Grill||Amazon|
|8. RockCreek Portable Compact Charcoal Grill||Amazon|
|9. UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit||Amazon|
|10. Lixada Camping Stove Wood Burning Stoves Portable Folding Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove||Amazon|
1. Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill
Grab your buddies, turn on the game, and throw some burgers on the grate. Enjoy the simplicity of just hanging out with good friends and the Smokey Joe charcoal grill. This portable grill can hold up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press. It is compact and lightweight for grilling on the go. This has a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl that retains heat in order to cook perfectly. This doesn’t rust or peel. Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill. It also has a durable plated steel cooking grate that retains heat and is easy to clean. The dimensions of the lid closed is 17 H 14.2 W 14.5 D inches. Grab your buddies, turn on the game, and throw some burgers on the grate. Enjoy the simplicity of just hanging out with good friends and the Smokey Joe charcoal grill.
- Big cooking surface
- Doesn't have handle in the grilling rack making it hard to lift on and off
There is really some magic if you cook in traditional charcoal grills. Beef grilled this way has a certain smokiness and char that makes it distinguishing and perfect. But if you are in a camping one major requirement for a top-notch charcoal grill is is portability and stability.
That being said, This Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill ticks all the right boxes. It was easy to put together (even in the dark with a flashlight) and took less than 10 minutes. It is sturdy enough to boil a medium sized pot of water on it and large enough to cook hot dogs around the edge while the macaroni cooked. Everything is operational and I was surprised that it wasn’t blown away at some points. We even used it with heavy cast iron skillets to make biscuits and cook sausage and eggs.
I think this is the perfect size for a small family, camping, tailgating, or for when you don’t have power. I’m highly satisfied and I hope it lasts a long time. Highly commendable!
2. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
Travel with a taste of home. While spending most days on the way to somewhere else, the Go-Anywhere portable charcoal grill brings you back, even while on the road. The Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill can hold up to six burgers made with the Weber burger press. It is designed with Truck-N-Carry lid lock that is handy and convenient to transport. It also features a plated steel cooking grate and steel legs that hold it in place. The lid locks for easy portability and dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill. The durable plated steel cooking grate retains heat and is easy to clean. The primary cooking area is 160 square inches. Compact to fit in your trunk yet big enough to feed a buddy or two at the campsite. With convenient carrying handles, you're able to grill and go anywhere.
- Compact and can fit perfectly in a shopping car or in the trunk of the car
- Cools down fast
- Easy to assemble
- Has smaller cooking surface than the Smokey Joe version
- Not always available
When you are looking for a charcoal grill to bring with you in your next camping trip, you should take note that the grill must be (1) portable and compact enough to fit in your trunk, (2) light enough to be carried by hand when your are walking or hiking, (3) should be sturdy so that you can cook soup in it (you know how heavy a pot of soup can be), and (4) has a big cooking surface to let you grill as many as you need in as little batch as possible. With that, the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill, is a good candidate.
This grill is wonderful for small barbecue jobs as you can grill two mid size steaks or 6 to 8 pieces of chicken depending on size of the pieces at once. On top of that, it also cools down fast after you're done grilling with it. This grill is more functional for many purposes than the round version Weber sells, and it compacts beautifully for the trunk of the car. It sits easily in the two-a wheeled shopping cart that you can use to walk it to the local park, and it sits easily on the shelf.
In conclusion, this charcoal grill is definitely value for money. You should try it!
3. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal Kamado Grill
Kamado style grills promote even heating to enhance flavor. Easy dump ash pan for fast and simple cleanup. The top and bottom air dumpers are for easy and precise temperature control. It is more durable, affordable, and lighter weight than ceramic grills - great for tailgating, camping or going to the park. It holds heat like the more expensive ceramic grills this grill is more with less charcoal. It also features dual air-flow dampers, hinged locking lid, heat gauge, and triple wall steel with insulation to deliver a superior grilling experience. The convenient handles makes it portable and grilling on the go better. Short sturdy legs keep your Akorn Jr. steady while grilling. The easy dump ash pan makes for quick and easy clean up.
- Sturdy and durable
- Promotes even cooking
- Less smoke
- Not as expensive as others
- The handles can get too hot
- Kinda heavy
This charcoal grill has a unique, patented design that makes it stand out from the rest. First of all, because of its built and the cover that seals the entire cooking surface shut when cooking, the meat can be evenly cook while using as little charcoal as possible. Because of its cover, as well, lesser smoke comes out of it.
On top of that, the built is sturdy and durable. It is made of a thick metal that makes sure that it can withstand long-term use. It also has handles that make it easy to transport to and from your camping site. If there is something that this charcoal grill can improve upon, it is its weight. Nonetheless, this is a sensible charcoal grill and a good value for money.
4. Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller has a cooking surface of cast iron and the body is constructed of 22 gauge steel. Its exterior is powder coated steel finish and the interior is porcelain coated steel finish. Its cart is constructed of tubular steel with rubber wheels, locking caster on front and the indexed damper is already numbered so you can note the position of the damper. It features locking lid, two folding black metal shelves, easy dump ash pan, double wall insulation and a heat gauge. The top and bottom adjustable dampers maintain even air flow into and out of the grill while cooking or smoking. The Kamado design makes it fuel efficient so you can use less charcoal when cooking. Enjoy Kamado style cooking with the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Grill and Smoker. Easily sear meat with high heat or enjoy a low and slow roast. This versatile grill and smoker is built to last easily maintain cooking temperatures ranging from 200-700 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Comes with wheeled legs
- Even cooking with temperature control
- Small cooking surface
- Kinda heavy
The Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill is one of the best grills manufactured by Char-Griller. It also comes in the same shape and design as the Jr version but it has a lot more features added with it. First of all, it comes with a physical design that is made to control the temperature - that way, the grill won't be too hot to cook certain food that don't need very high temperatures to cook. Secondly, it comes with its own wheeled legs, making it easy to move around and transport. It is also small enough that it can fit into the trunk of a car.
The only concern about this product, though, is that it doesn't have a very big cooking surface so you have to cook food in batches, especially if you're cooking for a family. Other than that, this charcoal grill is impressive and one that you need to consider.
5. Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
The Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill is the ultimate portable grill. This easy to carry grill can go with you anywhere you want to add grilling fun. It is a giller made with heavy steel and is a tabletop charcoal giller with the 250 square inches of grilling space. The easy dump ash pan makes cleanup a breeze. This can go from a grill to a side fire box, once done you cannot go back to the grill. It also attaches to all Char-Griller barrel grills (#2123, #2828, #2137 and the #5050 Duo Gas and Charcoal Grill). It could also be an offset for Texas style smoking. You will never regret buying this Chargriller for it is “always well done.”
- Has ash pan making it easy to clean
- Long-lasting and durable
Char-Griller has already made a name as one of the best brands for charcoal grills in the market. That is why you can get some assurance that the products they produce are of high-quality and functions properly. The Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box is of no exception. Unlike other Char-Grillers here in this list, this charcoal grill is a table-top grill. Which, for some campers, is more reasonable and is what meets their needs. It also comes with some awesome features that make other brands shrink for its awesomeness.
One of the features that this grill is proud of is the easy dump ash pan which makes cleaning very easy. It is also made with heavy steels, assuring that it is sturdy, heavy-duty, and can last a long time. All in all, this charcoal grill is functional, portable, and durable. You rarely get wrong with Char-Griller, to be honest.
6. PK Grills PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker Combination
This is a charcoal grill and smoker that packs unique capsule shape and four vents to make it easy grilling hot and fast or low and slow. It is made with cast aluminum construction which is rust proof, durable, lightweight and conducts heat 4 times more efficiently than steel charcoal grills. The PK cast aluminum charcoal grills are covered against rust, burnout or breakage for a full decade. It has 300 square inches of cooking surface and this charcoal can handle everything from brats to a thanksgiving turkey. It could be detached easily from any of its available stand options for transport. As a portable smoker grill, PKs are great for tailgating, camping, fishing/hunting cabins and others.
- Detachable legs for easy transport
- Easy to clean
- Controlled temperature
- The aluminum is thin
The PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker Combination is not only a charcoal griller but it is also a smoker all in one equipment. You can grill your meat or smoke them as the temperature is adjustable thanks to its thoughtful design. It is also made with aluminum that's why it is very lightweight, easy to clean, and rust free.
One cool thing about this charcoal grill and smoker is that it is detachable from its wheeled legs, which makes it easy to transport inside the trunk of the car. It is also high enough to prevent you from squatting while cooking. You also won't need an extra table to put it into so that it is in the right height. With the price that it comes with, this grill is a steal!
7. Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Smoker Grill
With the Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Grill + Smoker by Master built, you can smoke, grill, sear, bake, roast and so much more. You can set the temperature on the digital control panel or your smart device. The Digital Fan maintains the desired cooking temperature of the grill. The GravityFed charcoal hopper holds over 12 hours of charcoal and gravity ensures you have constant fuel to the fire. The reversible cast-iron grates are perfect for smoking or searing and in just 13 minutes this grill can reach 700°F. Master the art of charcoal grilling and smoking with Masterbuilt. It has two porcelain-coated warming/smoking racks for 560 total square inches of cooking space. It has a built-in temperature gauge and thermometer for perfect results every time you cook.
- Highly automated
- Can be used for long cooking
- Has own temperature control and gauge
- Can be connected to smartphones
- More expensive that others in the list
- Slightly heavy
Cooking is made easy with the Masterbuilt MB20040220 Gravity Series 560 Digital Charcoal Smoker Grill. The thing that sets this grill apart from the rest is the fact that it digitally operated. That means that you can control the temperature while you're cooking by simply turning a knob. This is a perfect feature for someone who is going camping but wants to eat food that feels like home. Controlling this grill is also highly automated. You can connect it to your smartphone via WiFi or Bluetooth and you can control the cooking through your screen.
It is also built for long cooking. It can contain as much as 16 lbs of briquettes and can last up to 12-15 hours without refueling new batches of charcoal.
8. RockCreek Portable Compact Charcoal Grill
RockCreek Portable Compact Charcoal Grill has a heavy-duty black enamel fire bowl with red powder coated lid and chrome plated cooking grid. The charcoal grid is Zinc plated and has adjustable air vent to control the heat. The three painted steel legs can be folded into the base for compact storage. It is 14” in diameter by 13” of cooking height; 20 ⅞” H with lid and 153 sq. in. of cooking surface. This compact charcoal grill is perfect for camping, tailgating, or other outdoor activities you wanted to enjoy with some perfectly cooked food.
- Has vents to control temperature
- Detachable legs
- Not very durable
- Smaller cooking surface than others in the list
- Not available all the time
While the RockCreek Portable Compact Charcoal Grill, is not as high-tech or as huge as others in this list, the reason why it made it here is the fact that it is highly portable. This charcoal grill has a very simple but thoughtful design that works efficiently when cooking with limited resources. It is big enough to be able to cook some meat but it is not so big that it is hard to carry when hiking. It is also made of lightweight materials, making it one of the most portable tabletop charcoal grills in this list.
Whenever you need to control the temperature, there are three vents that you can open and close if you want to add more oxygen to fire to make it hotter and vice versa. It is also one of the cheapest in this list. It may not be the best, but for the price that comes with, this is good enough.
9. UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
The UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit can be folded to 1.5 inches thick and fits in a backpack. It can also be used as a fire pit and it comes in regular or mini sizes. The regular sizes features 13 by 10-inch grilling area for up to 6 servings and the mini has 9 by 6.75-inch grilling area for up to 3 servings. The stable base is safe for grilling, the sides of the grill serve as windbreaks, and it also has a 30-second setup. This safely contains fire and keeps fire off the ground that is constructed from durable stainless steel to provide high rust and corrosion resistant grill.
- Foldable - can fit inside a backpack
- Made with stainless steel
- Easy to clean
- Doesn't have temperature control
- Doesn't cool down fast
If you are looking for a charcoal grill that works as it should without breaking your bank, this should be it. The UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit has a very simple yet efficient design. Since it is made to look like an inverted pyramid, it can contain as much charcoal as needed without compromising on the weight and bulkiness of the product. It is also very sturdy as it is made with stainless steel and very portable as it can be folded. In fact, when folded, it can fit inside a backpack.
It may not be the most complex charcoal grill, the bottomline is that it works as well as other expensive grills in this list. That is the reason why it deserves a shout out!
10. Lixada Camping Stove Wood Burning Stoves Portable Folding Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove
The Lixada stove lite is the perfect addition to any backpacker’s bag as a lightweight cooking stove for one to two people; and the best part? No fuel to carry! Your food shouldn’t depend on carrying or finding a place that sells gas when nature provides the perfect tinder and wood all year. Now you can minimize your pack weight and your footprint with this ultra-efficient stove. Wherever you set up your camp, no chemical emissions, no carbon footprint. Fold the stove flat and stuff it in a pocket or backpack to start a low-carbon travel.it has a sturdy structure and extremely easy to assemble. This is reusable and convenient carrying. The Lixada stove is a natural convection, inverted down gas gasifier stove with double-wall construction that yields efficient wood-burning camp stove cooking.
- Portable - can be folded to fit inside a backpack
- Unique, efficient design
- Not expensive (cheapest in the list)
- Easy to clean
- Not automated
- Small cooking surface
The unique design of the Lixada Camping Stove Wood Burning Stoves Portable Folding Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove comes from the fact that it is (1) collapsible, (2) made with easy to clean stainless steel, and (3) it has two layers. Because of this design, you can burn wood at the ground, cook meat in the lower bunk, and cook vegetables in the upper bunk. This design is not only cool but it is also fuel efficient.
Portability is also one of the strongest suite of this backpacking stove. Because it is collapsible, it can be folded to fit inside your backpack. And because it works even through timber, you don't need to bring fuel or charcoal with you! Less hassle.