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The Best Charcoal Grill to Buy in 2023, According to Our Test Kitchen

There's no comparison to the smoky flavor of meat cooked over charcoal. If you love to cook outdoors, it's time to invest in one of the best charcoal grills.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

In the grilling world, there are two camps of people: Those who like the convenience of gas grills, and those who can’t live without the delicious smoky flavor of a charcoal grill. If you’re in the latter group, chances are you’re willing to put in the extra effort to cook your food over charcoal. There’s no other way to get the same moist, flavorful results. New to the great world of grilling? You can learn more about the charcoal vs. gas debate here.

When it comes time to purchase a new grill for your home, there are a lot of considerations to take into account, but no matter your needs, you’ll find your match in one of these dependable charcoal grills.

The Best Charcoal Grills

Taking all these factors into account, our Test Kitchen and shopping experts have put together a list of the best charcoal grills you can buy today, including options for every budget.

New to charcoal grills? Check out our guides on how to use a charcoal grill, as well as how to start a charcoal grill.

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Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grillvia merchant

Best Overall Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill

Topping our list of best charcoal grills is none other than this classic Weber grill. Weber is one of the most trusted names in the grill industry, and its Original Kettle Charcoal Grill is a worthwhile investment. The circular grill has a convenient cleaning system that lets you sweep ash into the catcher below for easy disposal, and it features a heat shield that prevents the handle from getting too hot. There’s a large damper on the lid to control airflow, and the grill is mounted on two large wheels for increased portability.

“I have tried less expensive brands over the years. I’ve never had the same quality of heating or longevity that I get from a Weber,” says Catherine Ward, our Taste of Home prep kitchen manager, who owns four of these amazing charcoal grills.


  • Versatile charcoal grill that lasts years
  • 363 sq. in. cooking area that fits 10-15 burgers at a time
  • Steel grill grates and steel construction
  • Attached wheels make it easy to move
  • Professional assembly available
  • Affordable price point


  • Assembly required
  • Cover not included

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Royal Gourmet Charcoalvia merchant

Best Budget

Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill

You don’t have to break the bank for the best charcoal grills. At just over $100, the best charcoal grill on a budget includes a generous, 823 sq. in. cooking surface, a warming rack and plenty of space to house all of your grilling tools and accessories. With this barrel-style Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill, you don’t have to sacrifice cooking area or quality for a wallet-friendly find. Over 2,700 five-star reviewers attest to the charcoal grill’s ease of assembly, ability to fit meat, veggies and fish at once, and top notch quality at an attractive price.

“I have bought quite a few charcoal grills and that being said, this one is the best one I have ever owned!” shares five-star reviewer, K. Hall. “It’s easy to clean and the food tastes wonderful. The barrel keeps the flavor and heat in, and the steaks, chicken and hamburgers turn out perfect.”


  • Affordable price point
  • Large, 823 sq. in. total cooking area
  • Warming rack
  • Wheels attached for easy moving
  • Easy to assemble


  • Assembly required, but reviewers note it takes less than an hour
  • Some reviewers have found the paint can chip or peel

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Dyna Glo X Large Heavy Duty Charcoal Grillvia merchant

Best Barrel Grill

Dyna-Glo X-Large Heavy-Duty Charcoal Grill

Cook for the whole neighborhood with this oversized barrel-style charcoal grill from Dyna-Glo, which holds up to 30 hamburgers at a time! The grill has a crank-controlled adjustable charcoal tray, as well as an access door where you can easily add more briquettes. Its smoke stack features an adjustable flue for temperature control. When it’s time to clean up, the Dyna-Glo grill has a high-capacity ash pan that you can simply remove and empty, letting you get back to the party faster. Talk about best charcoal grills!


  • Large, 576 sq. in. primary cooking area
  • Includes secondary cooking area
  • Warming rack
  • Two side shelves
  • Removable ash pan fo reasy cleanup
  • Attached wheels for easy moving


  • Takes up more space on the deck or yard

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Broil King Keg 5000 Charcoal Kamado Grillvia merchant

Best Kamado Grill

Broil King Keg 5000 Charcoal Kamado Grill

Kamado grills, which have a unique egg-shaped exterior, are better insulated than other grills, helping to keep moisture and smoke within the unit for more flavorful food. The Broil King Keg 5000 Kamado Grill is a versatile option that’s made from double-walled steel for superior insulation, and it features two removable side shelves for food prep. It has a draft damper system for temperature control, and its pull-out ash tray makes cleaning easy.


  • Double-walled steel insulation results in more flavorful food
  • Two removable side shelves
  • Attached wheels for easy moving
  • 480 sq. in. total cooking area


  • On the pricey side

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Weber Go Anywhere Charcoal Grillvia merchant

Best for Tailgating

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Portability and ease of use are key features to look for in the best charcoal grills for tailgating. But taking a close look at the cooking surface area can make or break your tailgating or camping adventures. After all, why not invest in a high quality pick that grills more yummy food in less time? With over 4,000 five-star ratings, the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is the best of both worlds for its lightweight build that can quite literally go anywhere without issue. Its medium-sized, rectangular cooking surface is a real pro, holding up to six burgers at a time. Plus, you’ll enjoy years of use with this Weber pick.

“What an amazing little grill,” writes verified Amazon reviewer, Kay. “We had a Fourth of July party at the beach with about 12 people and this little monster satisfied us all. Corn, steak tips, salmon, asparagus, burgers, hot dogs, this grill perfectly cooked it all and was easy to get going. I would recommend a charcoal starter to get the little beast going and you’re all set!”


  • Ideal for tailgating, camping or any outdoor adventure
  • 160 sq. in cooking area
  • Handle for carrying
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Locking lid
  • Affordable price point


  • Cooking for a large crowd is a tad more time consuming due to smaller cooking area

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Charcoal Grills

There are so many best charcoal grills that it can overwhelming to pick just one! As you narrow down your choices, use these important features to ultimately guide your decision:

  • Shape: Charcoal grills come in a variety of shapes, including kettle, barrel and kamado grills, which are shaped like eggs. “Instead of a standard round grill, go for a rectangular shape, similar to a gas grill,” recommends Taste of Home food stylist Josh Rink. “Many charcoal grills of this type have adjustable racks which allows you to move the charcoal embers closer or further away from the food smoker, giving the cook more control over the intensity of the heat.”
  • Cooking area: Another key feature to take into account is a grill’s cooking area, which is usually measured in square inches. This will give you an idea of how many servings of food can be cooked at one time. Barrel-shaped grills usually provide the most cooking space, whereas kamado grills often have small cooking surfaces.
  • Charcoal placement: “I look for models that features a grate for the charcoal to rest on, which creates air flow around charcoal,” says Josh. “If the charcoal rests directly on the bottom of the grill, this can affect how well the charcoal burns.” You may also want to assess how easy it is to add more charcoal to the grill while in use. Some newer models have access doors that let you add more fuel without disturbing your food.
  • Air vents: When cooking with charcoal, air vents will help you control the temperature of the flames by allowing more or less airflow into the grill. A good charcoal grill should have at least one or two easily-adjustable vents.
  • Clean up: One of the downsides of charcoal grills is that clean up is a little more labor-intensive, as you have to remove the charcoal ash. You’ll want to look for a model that makes clean up easy with a removable ash drawer or bucket.
  • Additional features: In general, charcoal grills don’t have as many bells and whistles as their gas counterparts, but some units comes with features like adjustable-height grates and built-in thermometers.

How We Found the Best Charcoal Grills

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

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