Best Charcoal Grill Under $200 (Reviews & Comparison)
Are you tired of letting your budget define your weekend, backyard gatherings? There is nothing that you can do about the rising cost of food products, but with the right information and know-how, you can choose an affordable grill that is more than capable of cooking your full to the delicious state that you are used to.
There really is nothing in this world like getting the friends, family, and neighbors together to enjoy a beautiful Sunday backyard cookout. Unfortunately, with the rising food cost and increasing tariffs more and more individuals are finding it harder and harder to enjoy these kinds of activities. There is simply no denying that the increasing food costs coupled with the tariffs are killing many Americans and their weekend plans. And, this is not to even mention the cost of a suitable grill. However, you do not have to let these costs increase define you and your weekend. When you opt for the best portable charcoal bbq grill, you will not only get the most bang for your buck, but you will ensure that your food gets grilled and roasted like it never has before.
5 Best Charcoal Grills: Quick Overview
1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
When it comes to dependability, reliability, performance, and portability it really is hard to beat what the Weber Original Kettle has to offer. Just look at the cooking surface. This bad boy literally has the ability to hold 13 burgers. This is more than enough to feed a family. Heck, you could almost feed an entire block with this innovative little cooking device. And, this is just the start of what the product has to offer. When you look at the other features and offering it will be more than easy to see why this grill made the list.
- Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press; Built-in lid thermometer
- One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
Anytime you are investing in a grill, you must without a doubt consider the materials that the grill are made of porcelain is without a doubt one of the best looking materials out there. Not only this, but it is incredible at retaining heat. The only problem is that porcelain isn’t the sturdiest when it comes to harsh punishment. Just a few mishaps and you could be looking at some unsightly dents and dings. This is exactly why the manufacturers of the Weber Original Kettle decided to enamel the lid as well. The lid is constructed of porcelain but has a top layer of enamel to offer more protection against the weather as well as harsh punishment. With this kind of setup, you will never have to worry about the grill rusting or peeling, even if you store it outside.
Includes A Lid Hook
Not only is the lid constructed of extra durable material, but it has a neat little hook installed on it. However, this little hook is not just for looks, even though it does add some flair to the grill. No, the hook is there to give you the ability to hang the lid when it isn’t in use. For instance, when you are raising the lid to check or flip your burgers or chicken, you can hang the lid on a hook or other utensil nearby. This prevents the need to put the lid on the ground or somewhere else where it will be in the way.
Hinged Cooking Grill
There is no denying that charcoal provides a hotter more even heat. However, the only problem is that charcoal only burns so long. It is like wood. It will eventually turn to ashes and you will have to add more. This is something that you will probably experience a lot when cooking for a large guest list. This not only makes the cooking process longer, but it makes it a bit more difficult. Luckily, the manufacturers of the Weber Original Kettle have sought to make the process a little easier by adding hinges to the cooking grate, making the whole process easier.
- Hinged cooking grate makes adding charcoal easier
- Includes a lid hook
- The porcelain-enameled lid is durable and weather-resistant
- Can hold up to 13 burgers
- Assembling the ash catcher is rather difficult
- The instruction only offer pictures
2. The Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill
If there is one grill that really stands out on this list it has to be the Po’ Man Charcoal Grill. The first thing that should be noted about the grill is its looks. This grill is not only sleek, but it is entirely unique. In fact, just look at the pictures and you will see that this grill literally resembles an aluminum garbage can. However, do not be fooled by the look alone because this bad boy is more than capable of handling your every grilling need.
- Charcoal Grill with 1 round grate, flavor lock drip-plate, 2 skewers
- Huge capacity cooker that will be the talk of your next BBQ
Large Cooking Capacity
Due to the fact that the grill was designed like a garbage can, it has the ability to cook a lot of food. The deep cooking surface ensures that you will always have more than enough space between the lid and the cooking grate. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking a small bird or a large turkey, this grill will have the storage space and cooking depth to handle your every need. Not only this, but the grill was specifically designed to offer maximum flavor while ensuring that the cooker is inconvenienced as little as possible.
Stainless Steel Construction
The Po’ Man Grill might look like an aluminum garbage can, but it should by no means be mistaken for one. You already learned that it has the ability to handle just about all of your barbecuing needs, but those enamored with the design are going to be surprised to learn that the grill is actually constructed of stainless steel. Not only is it constructed of stainless steel, but the entire grill is painted with bbq paints to ensure that the paint withstands the cooking temperatures.
- Looks very unique
- Offers a deep and rather large cooking surface
- Constructed of durable and reliable stainless steel
- Coated with bbq paints to withstand cooking temperatures
- Doesn’t include any wheels for rolling or transportation
- Only comes available in one color scheme
3. Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22- Inch Charcoal Grill
When you look at everything that the other Weber grill had to offer it probably only just makes sense that another one would make this list. Although this grill looks similar, the should by no means be mistaken for the same. The Weber 741001 might include similar features to the Original Kettle, but this is not to say that it doesn’t have it very own unique features that make it stand out as well.
- Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
- One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free ash cleanup
When looking at the Weber 741001, you should notice right away that the lid has dampers installed on it. This is a unique and almost essential feature for the avid cook because it gives you the ability to control the temperature of the grill without even removing the lid. All you have to do is make the proper adjustments on the dampers. Closing the dampers will cut off the oxygen flow to the fire, which will eventually extinguish the coals. If you want to add more heat just simply crank open the dampers and add more oxygen. You can even stick a thermometer in the damper openings if you want to get a temperature reading just for safe measure.
Extremely Durable Cooking Grate
The cooking grate of the Weber 741001 might not be constructed of porcelain, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely durable. In fact, it is and it is constructed of plated steel. Plated steel is not only an extremely durable material, but it is one that is more than capable of retaining heat.
- Control the cooking temps without lifting the lid
- Plated steel cooking grate retains heat well
- Portable design with convenient wheels
- Designed to specifically withstand high temperatures
- The aluminum bowl isn’t the sturdiest thing in the world
- Not great for tailgating because it doesn’t collapse down
4. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill
If you are looking for a portable grill that can handle most of your barbecuing needs without destroying that flavor, look no further than the Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill. This grill is extremely compact, as it literally just stand a few feet off the floor. This might make operating the grill on the ground a bit more difficult, but it certainly makes it more portable than most of the other models on this list. Plus, all you have to do is sit the grill on a table or blocks to get the increased height. Combine this with the grills other features and you will easily see that this Weber is a must for any barbecue enthusiast.
- Holds up to eight burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
Wide Cooking Surface
The Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill might not offer as much cooking depth as the Po’ Man Grill, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a large cooking surface. In fact, this grill alone has the ability to cook eight burgers at one time. This is more than enough to feed an average family.
This Weber also features a lid that is similar to that of the other Webers on this list. Although it isn’t completely the same design, it does serve the same function. And, this is to ensure that you never have to place the lid on the ground or in your way. The tuck-n-carry lid gives you a unique hook to hang the lid on when you are flipping or checking the temps of your burgers.
The also features dampers right on the front of the lid. These dampers work on the same premises as the others mentioned here. With these devices, you can literally feed the fire more oxygen or starve it out by just simply making the right adjustments. And, you can do all of this without even lifting the lid and letting the heat escape.
- Control the temps without removing the lid
- Tuck-n-carry lid gives you a place to hand the lid
- Porcelain-enameled lid
- Holds up to eight burgers
- Doesn’t feature any wheels for transportation
- Extremely low to the ground
5. Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill
With a name like Royal Gourmet, you would expect that this grill possesses qualities that would make it more than excel at barbecuing. If this is what you expected then you expected right because this grill not only offers your traditional charcoal abilities, but it features an offset smoker that gives you the ability to smoke your meats as well. Not only this, but the offset smoker can even be used as a small grill.
- Traditional charcoal grill with offset smoker combination for dual style barbecue. The offset smoker can also be used as a small grill. Please fuel it using lump charcoal or briquet, with a small amount of wood chips added to help increase flavor.
- Spacious porcelain-coated cooking grates, retain heat evenly helping to lock in the juices and make your meat more tender. And also easy to clean.
Removable Charcoal Pan
One of the best and most unique things about this grill is that it features a very easy to use the charcoal pan. This pan was specifically designed to catch the ashes from the charcoal so that they can easily be removed and thrown in the trash. You combine this with the total 800 square inches of cooking surface and it should be more than easy to see that this bad boy is more than enough to handle all your barbecuing needs.
Spacious Porcelain-Coated Cooking Grates
The cooking surface of the Royal Gourmet Grill is not only spacious, but it is constructed of durable porcelain. Porcelain possesses the ability to retain heat more evenly than other materials. This will ensure that your food comes out evenly cook every single time. Not only this, but porcelain also has features and properties that can help lock in the juices while making your meat more tender overall.
- Porcelain-coated grates
- Easy to clean
- Removable charcoal pan
- Spacious cooking surface
- Not very portable or lightweight
- The grill is only 4 feet tall
Choosing The Best Charcoal Grill Under 200: Buying Guide
Purchasing your first barbecue grill is more than exciting. However, this doesn’t mean that it won’t come without some challenges. Heck, the avid cooker has a problem when shopping for barbecue grills today. And, this is because there are just so many models with so many features. Yes, this is great because it gives you truly cooking versatility, but it sure doesn’t make the process any less time-consuming. This is why it is always essential to go in with a gameplan as well as knowing what key features to look for. Of course, these features will really depend on your specific cooking needs, but as long as you know what you want, you shouldn’t have a problem finding an affordable grill to suit all your cooking needs.
The first thing you always want to consider when shopping for grills is the materials. What are the grills constructed of? From the above, you probably already learned that stainless steel and porcelain are without a doubt the best. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t come without their own downsides. Porcelain is a bit more vulnerable than stainless steel and this is why it is best to opt for manufacturers that offer porcelain-enameled components. However, just be ready to pay the extra costs because these materials will cause the price to rise.
You also have to consider portability when shopping for grills. This will, once again, depend on what you are trying to do with the grill. Are you looking to take it tailgating and camping? Maybe you are just going to utilize it around the backyard. Whatever the situation is, your decision will make a difference in your overall decision. If you are want to take the grill tailgating and camping, opt for something that is lightweight and compact. Something with wheels will probably be more suitable for the backyard.
Temperature Controls And Monitors
Barbecue is all about timing, control, and preparation. This is especially true when you are cooking with charcoal. This is why you want to opt for models that offer all of the above. Look for models that offer dampers and right on the lid as well as thermostats. This will not only give you the ability to monitor the temperature without living the lid, but it will afford you the ability to alter the temperature. All you have to do is make the right adjustments on the dampers and you will be all set.
At the end of the day, it would be hard for anyone to denying the fact there is a lot of moving pieces when it comes to buying a grill. Not only do you have to consider the size and price of the purchase, but you have to consider the features as well as the manufacturer. Whatever the situation is, there is simply no denying that choosing the very best grill doesn’t come without some thought and careful planning. You can easily see that even the best and most expensive models on the market have their flaws. In fact, every model will have some kind of flaw.
If you get anything from this guide it should be that choosing the best grill is about choosing the one that suits your specific needs. What types of foods are you going to cook with the grill? How often are you going to use the grill? Where will you store it? These are all essential things and more that need to be considered before making your final purchase.
Why are charcoal grills superior to gas and electric?
When you are shopping for grills, you will quickly discover that there are literally millions available. And, the worst part is that they are all different. Some will have different features. Some will vary in size and some will even operate under different applications. For instance, some grills run on electric while others run on natural gas or propane. However, it is the charcoal grills that are superior. This is the case because charcoal grills not only produce a hotter heat, but they produce a heat that is evenly distributed. Simply put, charcoal grills offer more even cooking.
What are the sturdiest materials available?
Unfortunately, when it comes to grills another aspect that you are going to need to consider are the materials. What materials are the grills constructed of? As you probably already guessed, grills come available in a wide range of materials. Heck, nowadays you can literally find everything from chrome grills to cast iron, porcelain, and even stainless steel. Porcelain is without a doubt probably one of the most popular options out there due to its unique appearance and performance.
The only problem with this material is that it requires careful handling not to chip them. And, this is not to even mention then fact that porcelain will increase the overall price of the purchase. Even though stainless steel will add to the price it is probably your very best option because it has all the benefits of traditional aluminum, but has the ability to take more punishment.
Why are grills rated in BTUs?
When you are out there shopping for your next grill, you will probably quickly discover that all grills are rated in BTUs or British Thermal Units. This is simply how the manufacturers rate the performance of the grills and it means nothing more than the amount of heat that is required to raise a pound of water by one degree. Due to this revelation, most people just make the assumption that going with the maximum BTUs will offer maximum performance. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all.
The most important thing is to choose a grill that offers a balance between the cooking area. This is something that you probably won’t have to worry about with more charcoal grills because they are excellent at cooking evenly. However, as a general rule of thumb, it would be best to opt for anywhere from 80 to 100 BTUs per square inch of cooking surface. This will ensure that you get a good, evenly cooked meal every time.