Looking for the best charcoal grill under $200 that can cook your favorite barbeque dishes to perfection without breaking the bank? Look no further, as we have got you covered with our tested top eight picks that offer superior performance and durability while being easy on the pocket.
Charcoal grilling is a beloved cooking method that imparts a distinctive smoky flavor to the food and is an excellent way to bring people together for a fun outdoor cooking experience. However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to find the best charcoal grill that fits your budget. That’s why we have curated a list of the 8 best charcoal grills that are less than $200 to help you make your choice for the next level. So, let’s dive in and find the perfect charcoal grill for you!
Top Picks for the Best Charcoal Grill Under $200
- Best Overall: Weber Original Kettle Premium
- Best Value: Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw
- Best Choice: Oklahoma Joe’s 19402088 Rambler
- Best Brand: Royal Gourmet CD1824AC
- Best Kamado: Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado
- Versatile Pick: Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill
- Ultra Durable: Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch
- Best Portable: Weber Go-Anywhere
What is Charcoal Grill
A charcoal grill is a type of outdoor cooking device that uses charcoal as its primary fuel source to heat and cook food. Charcoal grills come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from small portable models to large stationary units suitable for cooking for a large group of people.
To use a charcoal grill, the charcoal is first lit using a match or lighter and the grill grate is allowed to heat up until the hot coals are are glowing and covered with a layer of ash. Once the hot coals are are ready, food can be placed on the grill grates above the charcoal, and the lid of the grill is usually closed to trap heat and smoke inside.
Why Choose a Charcoal Grill?
There are several reasons why you might want to choose a charcoal grill over a gas grill or electric grill, or other types of grills. First and foremost, charcoal grilling provides a unique smoky flavor that cannot be replicated with a gas grill or electric grills. Additionally, charcoal grills tend to be more affordable than other types of grills, making them accessible to those on a budget. Charcoal grills also tend to be more portable than gas grills, making them a great option for camping trips or tailgating.
Types Of Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grills are popular among barbecue enthusiasts due to their unique flavor, versatility, and portability. Charcoal grills come in various shapes and sizes, but they all use charcoal as their primary fuel source. In this answer, we will discuss the most common types of charcoal grills.
The kettle grill is the most common type of charcoal grill. It has a rounded shape with a lid and is often made of porcelain-coated steel or cast iron. Kettle grills come in different sizes, making them ideal for both small and large gatherings. They are great for grilling, smoking, and indirect cooking.
Kamado grills are traditional grills, they are egg-shaped and made of ceramic or metal. They have a tight-fitting lid that allows for precise temperature control, making them ideal for smoking and slow-cooking. Kamado grills are known for their excellent heat retention, which makes them more efficient than other charcoal grills.
Barrel grills are similar to kettle grills but have a cylindrical shape instead of a rounded one. They have a large cooking surface, making them ideal for cooking for large groups. Barrel grills often have additional features such as warming racks and side tables.
Portable grills are small and lightweight, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as camping and picnicking. They come in various shapes and sizes, from tabletop models to small, foldable grills. Portable grills are perfect for grilling burgers, hot dogs, and other small items.
Hibachi grills are small, portable grills that are ideal for cooking small items such as skewers, vegetables, and seafood. They are made of cast iron or steel and are often placed on a table or stand. Hibachi grills are perfect for outdoor gatherings and intimate dinners.
Key Features to Look for in a Charcoal Grill Under $200
When choosing a charcoal grill, several factors must be considered to ensure that you get the right lump charcoal grill for your needs.
Cooking Surface Area
When choosing a charcoal grill, it’s important to consider the primary cooking surface area. The size of the grill you need depends on the number of people you will be cooking for regularly. If you have a large family or entertain often, you may want to consider a larger grill with a cooking surface of 400 square inches or more.
Cooking Grate and Grilling Surface
The cooking grate and grilling surface is a crucial factor in a charcoal grill. Look for two cooking grates made from cast iron or stainless steel, as they are durable and retains heat well. The grilling grate and should be large enough to accommodate the food you want to cook, and have a warming rack to keep food warm while you finish grilling other items.
Material and Build Quality
The material and build quality of the charcoal grill are essential factors to consider. A high-quality grill will last longer and perform better than a cheaply made one. Stainless steel and cast iron are durable materials that can withstand high temperatures and resist rust and corrosion.
Airflow and Temperature Control
Temperature control is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a charcoal grill. The ability to get indirect heat and control the temperature allows you to cook food evenly and avoid burning it. Look for a grill that has adjustable vents or dampers that can be used to direct heat and regulate the airflow and temperature.
Good airflow is necessary for a charcoal grill to function properly. Look for a grill with adjustable air vents, that allow you to control the amount of air entering and leaving the grill. This feature lets you adjust the temperature of the grill and maintain a consistent heat level throughout the cooking process.
Airflow and Ventilation System
The airflow and ventilation system are essential components of a kettle grill and a good charcoal grill itself. They control the temperature and prevent flare-ups. A grill with a well-designed airflow and ventilation system will cook food evenly and provide the charcoal produces a consistent temperature.
Ash management is an essential consideration when choosing a charcoal grill. A grill with a good ash management system will make cleaning up after grilling much easier. Look for a grill with a removable ash pan or tray that can be easily emptied.
Mobility and Storage
If you plan to move your grill around frequently or store it in a small space, consider the mobility and storage options. Look for a grill with wheels and a lightweight design that makes it easy to move around. A compact grill with folding legs is also an excellent option for people with limited storage space.
Charcoal grills come in a range of prices, from less than $100 to over $1,000. Consider your budget when choosing a charcoal fuel or grill, but keep in mind that a higher-priced grill may offer better quality, durability, and features.
Safety is an essential consideration when choosing a charcoal grill. Look for a grill with sturdy legs that provide stability and prevent the grill from tipping over. Handles should be heat-resistant and placed in a way that prevents accidental burns. A grill with a lid that can be closed to extinguish flames quickly is also a good safety feature.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Maintaining and cleaning your charcoal grill is essential for ensuring its longevity and performance. Look for a grill with easy-to-clean grates and ash management systems. Consider how easy it is to disassemble and reassemble the grill for cleaning.
Warranty and Customer Support
A warranty and good customer support are essential factors to consider when choosing a charcoal grill. Look for a grill that comes with a warranty that covers defects and damage. Good customer support can help you resolve any issues or problems you may encounter with your grill.
Additional Features and Accessories
Many best charcoal grills come with additional features and accessories that can make your grilling experience more enjoyable. Some best charcoal grills have built-in thermometers to monitor the internal temperature of the grill, while others have ash catchers to make cleanup easier. Some great charcoal grills also come with side tables, hooks for utensils, or even built-in bottle openers.
Accessories can enhance your grilling experience and make it more convenient. Consider purchasing accessories such as a charcoal chimney starter, grill cover, meat thermometer, and grill brush to make grilling easier and more enjoyable.
Our Reviews of the Best Charcoal Grills Under $200
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for a durable and efficient grill in an affordable price range, then the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is worth checking out. With the ability to hold up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press, this grill is perfect for hosting a small barbecue party. The built-in lid thermometer and rust-resistant aluminum dampers make it easy to control the temperature of your grill without lifting the lid.
The Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill is a classic and reliable option that has been around for decades. Cleanup is hassle-free with the One-Touch cleaning system and high-capacity ash catcher.
The porcelain-enameled lid, grill, cooking grate drip pan, and bowl retain heat and won’t rust or peel, ensuring the longevity of your grill. The cooking is hinged for easy access when adding charcoal while grilling, and it’s also easy to clean.
Thanks to the angled lid hook, you can conveniently hang your lid on the side of the Weber grill to avoid placing it on the ground. The durable wheels make it easy to move your grill around the yard, and the heat shield prevents the lid handle from getting too hot.
If you need help assembling the the weber kettle and grill, the free BILT app provides 3D interactive instructions. In conclusion, the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is a fantastic choice for any grill enthusiast.
Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw
The Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw is a great investment for barbecue enthusiasts who want a durable and efficient grill that can handle both high-heat grilling and low and slow smoking. With its heavy-duty steel construction and powder-coated finish, this barrel-style charcoal grill and smoker is built to last for years.
The large round legs offer sturdy support, while the cast iron grill grates ensure even heat distribution for perfectly cooked food. If you’re looking for dependable charcoal grills under $200, then the Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw is a great choice.
It boasts a massive 950 square inches total cooking area, with a primary cooking area of 725 square inches and a warming rack of 225 square inches.
The adjustable fire pit and heat gauge in the hood give you complete control over the heat levels, while the easy-dump ash pan makes cleaning up a breeze. The Char-Griller 2137 Outlaw also features several convenient shelves for storing your grilling essentials.
The front and side shelves of traditional grill are perfect for keeping your barbecue tools, spices, rubs, and sauces within easy reach, while the lower shelf provides additional storage space. Overall, this grill and smoker is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a durable and versatile outdoor cooking appliance.
Oklahoma Joe’s 19402088 Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for a portable charcoal grill that offers both durability and versatility, the Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler is definitely worth considering. Its heavy-duty steel construction ensures that it can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use, while its thick cast-iron grates deliver delicious sears that will satisfy any BBQ lover.
Whether you’re grilling burgers, searing steaks, or chops, this portable grill will get the job done. Have you ever struggled to find the ideal temperature and airflow while grilling? The joy of indirect grilling has never been greater. With the Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler you won’t have to worry about that anymore.
The height-adjustable tray and large air dampers allow you to create the perfect temperature for your food, while the lid-mounted smoke stack helps maintain consistent airflow. And when you’re finished grilling, the full-size, removable ash pan makes cleanup quick and easy. Overall, this portable grill top is a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to enjoy great BBQ wherever they go.
Royal Gourmet CD1824AC
If you’re looking for a reliable and spacious charcoal grill within $200, the Royal Gourmet 24 with Cover is a great option to consider. With its 394 square inch of grilling space and an additional 205 square inch secondary cooking space.
This grill provides ample space to cook a variety of dishes. The porcelain cooking grates and heavy-duty lid ensure even cooking temperatures and the built-in temperature gauge prevents overcooking. One of the best features of this grill is the adjustable charcoal pan, which allows for more efficient cooking, high temperatures used, heat production and cooking flexibility.
The two fixed side shelves and bottom shelf provide plenty of space for grilling tools and accessories. Additionally, the large removable ash tray makes for easy clean up after cooking.
Overall, the Royal Gourmet 24 Inch with Cover is a solid choice for those who love to grill. Its sturdy construction, ample cooking space, and convenient features make it a great addition to any backyard cookout. Whether you’re grilling for a small family dinner or a big get-together, this grill is sure to make your cooking experience enjoyable and stress-free.
Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado
If you’re looking for a portable and versatile charcoal grill within $200, then the Char-Griller AKORN Jr Kamado grill is definitely worth considering. Its compact size and convenient handles make it easy to transport, making it perfect for tailgating, camping, or barbecuing at the park. This Kamado grill also great for backyard use, so you don’t have to sacrifice flavor and quality when cooking outdoors.
One of the best features of this Kamado grill is its insulated design with a locking lid, which helps trap smoke, heat, and moisture for delicious, flavorful barbecue. Plus, it is lighter fluid uses less charcoal than other grills. The heavy-duty construction of this grill is made from heavy-gauge powder-coated steel and thick cast iron cooking grates, ensuring maximum durability and heat retention.
The Kamado-style Grill is easy to use and clean, with indexed adjustable dual dampers and a thermometer for precise temp control. It also has a removable Easy Dump Ash Pan for quick clean-up.
With 155 square inches of cooking area, you can cook up to 8 burgers at once, sear steaks, or smoke wings. Overall, this grill is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a portable and high-quality barbecue experience.
Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill
If you’re looking for a versatile outdoor cooking tool, then the Realcook water smoker might be just what you need. With its multi-layered design, you can use it as a fire pit, adjustable barrel grill, smoker, and more. This makes it perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a variety of camp cooking options.
One of the standout features of this smoker is its special bottom vent design. This allows you to easily control the temperature inside the smoker, ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection. The built-in thermometer on offset smoker also helps you keep track of the temperature, so you can make any necessary adjustments.
Assembly is a breeze with this smoker, and it’s also portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go. The large cooking surface and two cooking racks make it easy to cook for a crowd, and the two access doors allow you to check on your food without losing heat. Overall, the Realcook water smoker is a great investment for anyone who loves outdoor adventure.
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for a reliable and durable grill for less than $200, then the Original Kettle by Weber is definitely worth considering. Its porcelain coated steel and bowl are ultra-durable and retain heat effectively. This feature makes it a great option for grilling all year round, as it won’t rust or peel even in harsh weather conditions.
The One-Touch cleaning system is another standout feature of this grill. It makes cleaning up after a long day of grilling a breeze. The removable aluminum ash catcher helps to keep the weber grill clean, and the lid hook is a useful addition to gas grill that ensures you don’t have to place the lid on the ground while grilling.
With adjustable dampers that allow for precise temperature control, you can easily adjust the heat according to your preferences. The weber charcoal grill can hold up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press, making it a great option for a small gathering.
Moreover, the heavy-duty steel hinged cooking grate is a noteworthy feature of the Weber Charcoal Grill. Plus, the 3D interactive assembly instructions available through the free BILT app make it easy to assemble. Overall, the Original Weber Kettle is an excellent grill that’s perfect for everyone.
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for the best portable charcoal grill under $200, then the Weber’s Go-Anywhere is right for you. The Weber’s Go-Anywhere is an ideal choice for those who love camping, tailgate parties, and grilling on the go.
This compact and lightweight grill has a surprisingly large grilling area, enough to fit four medium steaks or six burgers made with a Weber burger press. It is built to last with its porcelain-enameled stainless steel grill lid and cooking box that retain heat and won’t rust or peel.
If you’re planning a camping trip or a tailgate party, this grill is a perfect companion. Its pivoting legs lock the lid into place, making it easy to carry around in one hand. The built-in lid hangers allow you to rest the lid on the side of the grill, creating an effective barrier against the wind. The dampers also let you easily control the temperature inside your grill.
Overall, Weber’s Go-Anywhere is a great investment for anyone who loves to grill on the go. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to transport.
While its durable construction ensures that it will last for years to come. So, whether you’re grilling in your backyard or exploring the great outdoors, this grill is a perfect choice to bring a taste of home with you.
Read more: A guide to choosing the right charcoal for long smokes.
Are charcoal grills harder to use than gas grills?
Charcoal grills can take a bit more time and effort to get started than gas grills, but they are not necessarily harder to use. With a little practice, you’ll be grilling like a pro in no time!
What is the best material for a charcoal grill?
Cast iron and steel tend to be the most durable materials for charcoal grills, while porcelain-coated grates are easier to clean.
Can I use a charcoal grill on an apartment balcony?
It depends on the specific regulations of your apartment complex. Some complexes may allow charcoal grills on balconies, while others may prohibit them.
Do I need to season my new charcoal grill before using it?
Yes, it’s a good idea to season your new charcoal grill properly before using it for the first time. This will help prevent rust and other damage and ensure that your grill lasts as long as possible.
Can I cook vegetables on a charcoal grill?
Yes, vegetables can be cooked on a charcoal grill. You can place them directly on the grill hot the grates or use a grill basket to prevent them from falling through.
What types of meat are best for charcoal grilling?
Charcoal grilling is great for a wide variety of meats, including beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Be sure to adjust cooking times and temperatures based on the type and cut of meat you’re cooking.
How often should I clean my charcoal grill?
You should clean your charcoal grill after each use to prevent buildup of ash, wood chips and other debris. Additionally, you should give your grill a more thorough cleaning every few months to ensure that it’s in good condition.
When it comes to buying a under $200, there are plenty of options to choose from. By considering factors such as material, size, cooking grates, airflow, portability, and additional features, you can find a great charcoal grill that meets your needs and budget.
In conclusion, a charcoal grill is a great option for anyone looking to achieve that classic smoky flavor in their cooking. With so many great options available for under $200, there’s never been a better time to invest in a charcoal grill. Consider the factors we’ve discussed, such as size, durability, and ease of use, and find the grill that best fits your needs. Happy grilling!
Anthony is a passionate outdoor enthusiast with a love for adventure and exploring the great outdoors. With years of experience hiking, camping, and rafting, he has a wealth of knowledge to share with others. Anthony’s writing captures the essence of his experiences, offering readers insights into some of the most beautiful and breathtaking landscapes in the world. Follow his journey and join the conversation as he continues to share his passion for the great outdoors.