Nothing can give off the feeling of connection, caring, and love more than a feast in the backyard or a camping trip with your beloved. But it would not be wholesome without the best camping charcoal grill. Thus, which aspects would make the best camping charcoal grill for a gathering?
Whether you are a busy worker who rarely has time for the cooking, or you are a housewife or house husband who is way too familiar with kitchen kinds of stuff, charcoal grills come in different shapes and sizes, so you can be overwhelmed while choosing the best camping charcoal grill for your family
In the following post, we will present a wide range of aspects that make the best camping charcoal grill in your gatherings. Without further delay, dive in and choose from our 15 best camping charcoal grill that have the best features for a family day.
best camping charcoal grill Comparison 2020
Best camping charcoal in heating
Best camping charcoal grill in popularity
Best camping charcoal grill in portability
** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the best camping charcoal grill, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Top 15 best camping charcoal grill Reviews 2020
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
Living up to the name ‘Go – Anywhere’, this is one of the best camping charcoal grill to carry anywhere away from home no matter how far. Its rectangular shape is especially suitable to put into a tight place just like a small suitcase.
With small size comes lightweight. With just over 14 pounds, even a child can lift it with ease. Small as it is, the cooking space is in no way limited, as 160 sq. is more than enough to feed a family of three or four.
What makes it the best camping charcoal grill for me are the Tuck-N-Carry Lid Locks. With 2 handles on the sides and a top handle, it ensures stability while transporting. Everything will stay put inside, even after a bumpy trip. Also, the lid lock helps to keep the heating surface warm, so you don’t have to wait for too long to feed the starving tummies of crying kids, which makes it the best camping charcoal grill for families that are crowded with loud children.
However, it seems the bottom is not deep enough, which makes the food touch the charcoal and get burnt easily, while the inside is still raw. So if you want to cook thick meat, this is not the one.
o Rectangular shape, easy to fit into small space
o Touch-N-Carry lid locks, easier to carry
o Wide cooking space, can be warmed up beforehand
o Easy to set up
o Shallow bottom, make it hard to cook meat and fish
Cuisinart Portable Grate Lifter Charcoal Grill
This camping charcoal grill is living evidence of the saying “Good things come in small packages”. It has everything a full-sized permanent charcoal grill would have, while the size is nearly 7 times smaller. And with lifting cooking grate, you will not have to touch the filthy grill after cooking to take the charcoal out. This is the best camping charcoal grill if you are a cooking-savvy.
The grill lid is made of heat-resistant material, so we can safely open and close the lid without accidentally burning our hands, also save us the troubles from curious kids. In addition, with a weight of 23 pounds, it cannot be knocked over easily, suitable for those who have toddlers at home.
However, it seems that some people have trouble assembling every part after unboxing, especially the grate lifting mechanism. It would receive better reviews if producers could simplify the instruction.
o Spacious cooking space (240 square), enough for the whole family
o Lifting grate, so I don’t have to touch the dirty grate while cleaning
o A collection bin equipped, make it easier to collect ashes and unburned charcoal
o Heat-resistant material and dual venting system help control the temperature before and while cooking.
o The lifting grate is hard to put into the baseo Inflexible legs, so it takes quite some extra space.
Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill Silver/Gold
Like any other ‘Weber’, this camping charcoal grill is outstanding for its durability and also the warranty policy of the company. As some of the customers’ reviews, Weber charcoal grill can last up to 18 years, saving a lot of money and household waste. The secret lies in the material of this grill. It is made from metal that can withstand rust and wear and tear, which means you can leave it everywhere, even out in the hazardous nature and it will still be as clear as gleaming daylight. If you are forgetful and usually leave your stuff around, this is the best camping charcoal grill for you.
Furthermore, being under 10 pounds, combining with the handle lid made from nylon coated with glass, carriage has never been a problem for users. One minor flaw is that the design of the legs is not meant to be sturdy, thus failing to make up for the feathery weight. Therefore, this is not the best camping charcoal grill for a mountain climb.
One question is why two models Silver and Gold? In Silver, the air vent is at the bottom of the base, allowing even heating between every part of the fire bed, but you have to clean it afterward. In contrast, the Gold model has the air vent on the side, so it will not be cloaked with ash, allowing you to use many times, but would take more time to heat the cooking grate. So take into consideration before choosing the best camping charcoal grill for your gatherings.
o Lightweight (9.5 pounds)
o Long-lasting, resistant to severe weather, rust, and time
o Easy to assemble
o The aluminum legs are a bit flimsy and easily bent
o Do not have an ash collector like the sibling models
In a sporting event, a hibachi-style is the best camping charcoal grill compared to others. The cooking grate is already seasoned, making your food far tastier than other plain dishes and you don’t have to bring the seasonings. Moreover, you can disassemble the cooking grate easily by sliding it out of the base, which is much easier than bolts and screws.
This charcoal grill is anything but lightweight, but the additional weight transfers into stability and the ability to keep heat inside, increasing safety and fuel efficiency. In addition, there is a flip-down door on the side, so you can control the heat by adding or removing charcoal conveniently in the grilling process, not once do you have to touch the boiling hot grate. This is the best camping charcoal grill if you do not want to get your hands dirty in the cooking process.
One minor drawback is the cast iron cracking, but it is covered by the willing replacement from ‘Lodge’.
o Easy to carry around, especially to crowded events
o Thick-walled base, keep heat inside, increase fuel efficiency
o Made from cast iron to resist rust
o Flip-down door, easy to adjust the heata
o Heavier than other portable charcoal grills
o May get too hot if not noticed
Char Broil Portable Charcoal Grill
Do not let the first impression fool you. This box may be heavy, but it has anything a cook, professional or not, may need. Its cast-iron grate, which is strong, durable, and leaves stunning stripes after grilling, makes it the best camping charcoal grill for tailgating parties or camping nights.
At the front, there is a firmly attached door, which gives easy access to the fire bed. You can use it while cooking to adjust the charcoal, control the temperature without lifting the cooking grate. Besides, there is an ash collector to help faster the cleaning and two dampers to make the most of the charcoal. This one of the best camping charcoal grill in terms of fuel efficiency.
As mentioned, this charcoal grill is quite heavy compared to other portable charcoal grills. This is why everyone should take careful precautions if you do not want an injured back or foot on your arrival.
o Strong, durable, rust-resistant, and pre-seasoned cast iron grate
o Easy access to fire bed through the hinged front door
o Thick wall keeps heat inside, make cooking much faster
o Sauce can leak through the nooks between the legs and the baseo Might get too hot under long time use
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill
Thanks to the creativity and dimensional intelligence of the designers, a lot of conveniences of an ordinary Weber Kettle are included, giving us a much lighter and more portable version. And with an 18-inch cooking grate, you can fit 8 hamburgers at the same time, making it one of the best camping charcoal grill for big families.
This charcoal grill is porcelain-enameled, so it is resistant to rust and peel. Moreover, the lid and bowl are also porcelain-coated, which is perfect for retaining heat, keeping the interior at high temperature.
Some of the screws and bolts provided are not firm enough to hold the charcoal grill together and are not suitable for kitchen appliances. But we can all buy replacements at any electrical shop.
o Lightweight, easy to carry around
o Ash catcher tray at the bottom, easy to clean
o Long-lasting material
o Decent cooking space
o Weak screwso Incoherent assembly instruction
Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill
Have you ever wished to have alone time? Like when everything is too much, just grab a small bag, stuff some clothes inside, and hit the road. This is the best camping charcoal grill for a one-man trip. It is as light as a feather at only over 3 pounds. More importantly, it is foldable. Once folded, it can fit into a tote bag. What comfort!
Do not judge the book by its cover. The charcoal grill is by no means flimsy. With the solid construction material, combining with the leg locks at the base, no need to worry about knocking it over accidentally.
However, there is no lid to this charcoal grill, so if you lean more to fast cooking, prepare something to block out the winds. This will probably be on the best camping charcoal grill list for mountain and forest camping.
o Portability and foldability, can fit into a small bag easily
o Sturdy design and material
o The height is adjustable to fit different users
o Not big enough to cook for more than 2 people
Old Smokey Charcoal Grill
Now comes one of the most misjudged. With its sizable and bulky appearance, most people leave it out as a choice for the best camping charcoal grill. In fact, it is 22 pounds in weight, not as heavy as the Lodge Sportsman’s Grill as well as some of Weber’s models.
Having the design of two buckets clasping together on metal legs with handles on each side, it takes users only 15 minutes with a screwdriver to assemble. Every bit and piece is made of durable steel, so time will do next to no effect on it. However, this charcoal grill is not rust-resistant, so it is not the best camping charcoal grill to be left outside.
With the two bucket design, nearly no air can get out, which makes the temperature go blazing hot, so you can cook much faster than open lid charcoal grills. In addition, as the air cannot get out, this grill is a one of the best camping chẩcl choice for smoking.
Be aware that there is no vent or damper, so the heat is very uncontrollable. However, the distance between the fire bed and the cooking grate is quite far, so burnt food should be the least of your worry.
o Durable steel, stand against wear and tear
o Relatively great distance between charcoal and cooking grate, food will not be burnt easily
o Spacious cooking capacity, prevent from waiting too long for food
o Easy to set up, even without instruction
o Not lightweight-looking, so many people may leave it out of the top list
o No ash catcher, take longer time to clean
Char-Griller Charcoal Grill
With the hardly seen design of an upside-down teardrop, the Char-Griller Charcoal Grill definitely stands out among all the fireplaces. This charcoal grill is designed based on a Japanese grilling technique called Kamado. But unlike Kamado, the Char-Griller Charcoal Grill does not contain ceramic or clay, but rather made of durable and long-lasting steel which helps it survives wear and tear.
It does weigh a lot more than most of the camping charcoal grill (37 pounds), but it is the extra weight that helps it pack in more features. In addition to the shared parts with other charcoal grills, the heat is much easier to control thanks to the internal heat gauge and dual-air ventilation. Besides, the outside is enameled with a layer of powder coating, while the inside with porcelain. These two coating helps keep the grill intact and assist the heat retention ability so that you can cook without putting in too much fuel.
o Wear and tear has little to no effect on the grill
o Has 2 coatings which increase the fuel efficiency
o Versatile between grilling and smoking
o Large cooking space
o High heat retention
o Unsuitable for indirect grillingo A bit on the pricey side
Broil King Keg 5000
It would be such a shame to mention the keg-shaped design without naming the Broil King Keg 5000. Even though the price is near the top of the grilling device market, but you get what you pay for!
This charcoal grill has double walls, separated by an insulation layer. This design helps retain heat much more effectively than other grills, while the exterior is still cool enough to touch. This will ensure safety for not only the cook but also the guests.
Not to mention, the 480 square inch of the cooking surface is a huge plus for any extended family. On purchasing this device, the long wait is no longer a problem in crowded gatherings. In addition, this charcoal grill can firmly stand with 3 sturdy legs. Moreover, with 2 wheels on one side, you can easily take it around the house for any purposes. With a little adjustment, it can be connected to a car and towed anywhere.
o Retain heat efficiently, speed up the cooking process
o Outside cool enough to touch while cooking
o Spacious space for cooking
o Sturdy base
o Wheels make it convenient for moving
o Quite pricey in comparison to other grills
Char-Griller TableTop Charcoal Grill:
Do you take more liking to sided grill than standing one? If that is the case, the Char-Griller TableTop Charcoal Grill is the one for you. With horizontal cooking space, you can see from the side how your food is being cooked and adjust in time. One more advantage is that you can use this separately or attach to a larger grill for larger cooking space.
Made of heavy steel, this charcoal grill screams durability. Its cooking space is 250 square inches, which means it can hold up a whole chicken easily. On the top and at the bottom are two vents, allowing smoke to flow through every part of the cooking grate, so food can be smoked thoroughly.
Additionally, the gliding charcoal door, ash catcher tray, and heat-resistant handles make setting up the grill for cooking and cleaning much easier, as you can do it from the side, not having to unattached the grate before doing so, unlike vertical charcoal grill.
o Require a small amount of charcoal
o All parts of the cooking grate are heated evenly
o Retain heat well
o Smoking and grilling available
o Require special careo Peel or rust easily under hazardous condition
Mr. Flame Son of Hibachi Vintage Charcoal Grill
Are you a fan of the vintage style? Then Mr. Flame Son of Hibachi should be on your top list. Whenever you finish cooking, just clasp two pieces together, the fire will go out automatically, and leftover charcoal will go to disposal without a touch of your hands.
With 18 pounds, portability is one of its strongest points besides self-cleaning and self-extinguishing. Its handles can be folded down to make sturdy legs while using. The best thing is that the 170 square inch cooking space can fit into the size of a small schoolbag, convenient to carry anywhere.
In contrast, the downside is quite minor. The chimney will get a bit difficult to light up if you do not do it properly. Also, the zipper on the storage bag and the carrying bag does not last very long and may come apart if not oiled.
o Large cooking area
o Convenience and portability
o Self-cleaning and self-extinguishing
o Cool exterior even just after the cooking process
o Not rust resistant
Weber Original Kettle
Let’s take a trip down the memory lane, back to the beginning of Weber, with the one who started it all: Weber Original Kettle. This is the loved one of every generation: our grandfather, our father, and ourselves. To keep up the love everyone has for their first time, not much has been changed about the charcoal grill.
Bucket wise, the grill is relatively cheap compared to all the comfort we receive. With the circular shape creating a convection heating system, combining with the dampers on the top and at the bottom, we can easily control the temperature while cooking, giving out the best dish as we wish. The round kettle can be used for both direct grilling and indirect smoking, and depend on your need, you can choose between three sizes: 18, 22, or 26 inches. In my opinion, 22 inches is enough- can feed many people, but not too bulky to carry around.
With the One-Touch cleaning system, there is no worry in terms of hygiene and wear and tear. The One-Touch cleaning system consists of a three-blade ash sweeper and a detachable ash catcher tray so that your charcoal grill can be spotless in just a factor of a second. Last but not least, the tripod designed with 2 wheels opposite a sturdy leg increase not only portability but balance and stability as well.
o Long-time popularity and familiarity to users
o Convection heating system
o Versatile between grilling and smoking
o Easy to wheel around the house
o Easy to clean with One-Touch cleaning system
o Reasonable and affordable price in comparison with other charcoal grills
o Not as good as others in smoking
o Portability might be limited due to the attached tripod
Weber Performer Deluxe
Living up to the reputation of ‘Weber’, it comes as no surprise to witness how amazingly well this charcoal grill performs. For a camping grill, portability has the uttermost importance, which means some features will be left out and cooking space will be narrowed down. But this is not the case for the Weber Performer Deluxe. The cooking area is by no means limited at 363 square inches, which is more than enough to grill for the whole family.
One outstanding feature of this charcoal grill compared to others is the lid thermometer. With this thermometer, users can see the internal temperature so that we can adjust the heating in time so that our food will not be burnt. When it comes to changing the heat, there is no difficulty in doing so. By closing the dampers all the way, you will stop the oxygen from coming into the fire bed, igniting the cracking fire, thus putting the fire out without pouring any liquid on it, preventing from making a mess.
o Spacious cooking area
o In-built lid thermometer
o Easy extinguishing with dampers
o Timer used to set the time for the preheating and grilling process
o Easy cleaning, has a detachable ash collector
o Excellent temperature control
o Warranty policy
o Made from material not suitable to stand hazardous outdoor condition
o Cannot stand against time
BonNoces Portable Foldable Charcoal Grill
Different from many other formers, BonNoces is a relatively new company, therefore does not have much reputation like Weber or Broil. However, the quality of the company’s products does not come great below the other two’s. In contrast, the BonNoces Portable Foldable has some excellent aspects that praise their creativity. Most of the existing charcoal grill has permanent bases, while this model is constructed to be detachable, so you can put it together when you need, and then disassemble as soon as you are done.
When you purchase, they also include a handbag to carry the parts, which is a huge plus for creativity. Besides, dismantling the grill can help with cleaning. Put together into one big stove, it is hard to wash every nook and cranny, including the joint, which will get rusted after a long time of use.
This grill is made from durable stainless steel, which helps it stand against wear, rust, and weather. You can use this fireplace for years without any problems with design or construction. Moreover, this grill is superb in wind resistance, raising the heating efficiency of fuel. Furthermore, with several holes constructed on the base, all of the cooking space will be heated evenly. However, there seems to be too much distance between the fire bed and cooking grate, which lengthen the cooking process.
o Lightweight, easy to carry
o Detachable base, efficient and easy cleaning
o Made from durable stainless steel
o Wind-resistant, increase the fuel efficiency
o Too much distance between the coal and the grate
Complete Buying Guide: How to choose the best camping charcoal grill
Camping charcoal grill is one of the must-have in every household, travelers or not. It can be used not only in traveling and camping but in family gatherings and hangouts between friends as well. With a faulty device, the meetings will not be wholesome, everyone’s mood will go down. Therefore, choosing the best charcoal grill for your needs is one of the methods to gain a better understanding of other people and develop relationships.
In this overwhelming market, customers tend to find themselves lost in the vortex of goods stacked on shelves. Because of that, I recommend considering some factors below before deciding to purchase any charcoal grill:
Size and weight
Most portable charcoal grills have a capacity of 300 square inches or lower. Any larger charcoal grill might be too bulky and cannot fit into car trunks. Consequently, the bigger the size is, the heavier the grill weighs. You will not want to buy one that may break your bones when you try to carry them in your arms.
Unlike permanent grills which are heavy and stay forever at one place, camping charcoal grills need to have suitable features for efficient use. First of all, as their name suggests, they are supposed to be portable, so check if there are detachable or foldable legs, wheels, or handle lids. In some cases like the BonNoces, every part is detachable, just like a set of lego.
Secondly, check the stability and sturdiness. You cannot expect to transport a charcoal grill without facing some outer pressure. Make sure the lid can be firmly closed, all of the parts can assemble nicely and do not come apart like a collapsed building.
In a gathering or camping, you cannot make a huge mess and clean them later like in your backyard. That is why every camping grill needs a cleaning system, the least they can provide is an ash catcher tray or an ash collector. If the grill does not have anything to help you clean, it is not worth it.
There are some parts that every camping charcoal grill needs to have:
This is where charcoal is stored and lit up when in use. Check if there are any nook and cranny for liquid or ash to leak through.
A metal plate with holes to let the hot air and smoke through the food. Usually, this part is made of metal that can withstand high temperature, which is more than often cast iron.
Controlling the temperature is one of the keys to giving out the best dish. With dampers, you can control the air that flows through the firebed, therefore control the amount of heat given off.
Originally, when you want to adjust the coal, you have to lift the grate. But with the charcoal door, you have direct access to the firebed without going through the cooking area.
One of the ways to keep the right temperature is knowing if it is too hot. Then a clock to keep you updated about the heating condition would be a good choice, especially for the newbie.
Usually, camping charcoal grills only include an ash catcher or ash collector tray. How about putting inside the grill a sweeper so that it will sweep out the charcoal and ash lingering on the wall? This would make a very huge difference in sales, as no one wants to waste time and effort rinsing the inside every time they finish.
Let’s hear from a true owner. Click on the video below and see what people say of this camping charcoal grill
Final Thoughts: My Top Picks
Below are my chosen three best camping charcoal grill in terms of heating, popularity, and portability