At $280, the Napoleon charcoal grill is expensive. Our favorite bird from this batch was the one cooked on the Weber, though it was a tough call. Cajun Grill’s Preaux model can be described as a more top-shelf take on models like Hasty-Bake’s Legacy. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. To begin with, these grills are very durable. The Weber was the undisputed king on this test. 10 Best Charcoal Smokers Reviewed The best all around charcoal smoker – Weber Smokey Mountain 18-Inch Read our full review.. With a rich history dating back to 1981, the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) still holds the crown for best all around charcoal smoker. The lid houses a temperature gauge and a handy hinge that makes it easy to add charcoal. 7 Of the Best Smoker Grill Combo #1. Charcoal grills on the other hand produce infrared heat organically, offering this same benefit, without the exorbitant price tag. Weber's $109 original kettle-style charcoal grill continues to stand the test of time. For charcoal grills, this usually means stainless steel — thanks to its superior high heat handling and weathering resistance. Our Gravity Smoker works hard so that you don’t have to, for food that’s as consistent as it is delicious. Ceramic Grills: Also known as “Kamado grills,” these grills benefit from ceramic construction that helps to recycle heat and moisture. Between the rack system and regular top grilling grate, the XL 400 offers a collective 680 square-inches of real estate for cooking. Between the two, I'd say it largely depends on your budget and what style of grill you prefer for other meats like burgers or steak. Style: Using your intended use as a jumping-off point, you’ll want to consider your grilling aspirations, before deciding which style of grill best lends itself to your specific wants and needs. Cooking over charcoal took longer than cooking with a gas grill, and we did have to add more fuel to keep our grills above 300 degrees. HiConsumption is reader-supported. HiConsumption was established by gearheads for gearheads as a modern day men’s lifestyle publication, uncovering the greatest products in adventure, tech, gear, automotive, and style. You combine American-made craftsmanship with world-class innovation. Since I specialize in southern BBQ at my restaurants, I like that extra smokey flavor that comes from these old-fashioned grills,” he says. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill Weber’s aptly-named Go-Anywhere grill is a solid, minimalistic charcoal unit that boasts surprisingly robust construction considering its sub-$60 price-point. In our chicken test it held a high temperature for longer than any other grill in the lineup. The CNET Smart Home editors have been serving up grill data for a few years now. Part of Ikea’s ÄPPLARÖ collection, this grill is a fantastic option for more style-conscious consumers that aren’t looking to spend a fortune on a “designer grill.” Alongside the stainless steel barrel-style grill itself, this unit is neatly integrated into a VARDA-stained wooden cart with a modular storage cabinet and shelf, and a prep table lined with stainless steel. Despite more than a century passing since then—during which time the gas grill was introduced—charcoal very much remains the go-to choice for those who are serious about their barbecue. While it does come in at a little over a grand, this is a grill that’s engineered and constructed to last a lifetime (and then some). Best Ways To Charcoal Grill. In most every way, this is a charcoal grill that is as easy to operate as any of the best pellet cookers. Veggies as well as skewered food do well on its surface, which is … If you're unable to find one, we suggest the 22" Weber Original Kettle Grill Premium as an outstanding alternative. The resulting chicken was tasty, and the grill features really nice cast iron grates across its 365 square inches of cooking area. While traditionally charcoal grills have been divided into recreational and industrial units, in recent years this line has been increasingly blurred, as the market is treated to more and more high-end and high-performance grills. affect cooking temperature, requiring constant vent adjustment. Ideally, a quality charcoal grill (or any smoker) will keep its fire humming along as close to 225 degrees F (107.2 C), for as long as possible. There’s an enormous number of factors separating all of the different styles and models of charcoal grills on the market, however, there are a few key areas to consider that should help you better hone in on the grill that’s best for your particular needs. We pick the best WiFi and budget options. Our Best Overall pick, the Napoleon NK22L-LEG-2 Charcoal Kettle Grill, is in short supply. We carry Dyna-Glo, Americana, Weber and more. How do you create the best charcoal smoker? Its rack of ribs was ready in a short 4 hours, 30 minutes too. On top of the more common classic charcoal briquettes and natural lump charcoal (also known as “charwood”), there are also premium charcoal fuel sources such as Japanese-style Binchotan and coconut shell charcoal, just to name a few. Get the best reviews, videos and comparisons in CNET's Smart Home and Appliances newsletter. Hasty-Bake calls it the “mini-workhorse” charcoal grill because it adheres to a traditional suburban design that will complement your backyard. Ribs cooked on the Napoleon grill came out tasty, though with bark that was a little dry. As barbecue grills go, the $500 Masterbuilt Gravity Series 560 is an outlier. As you’d expect from Kalamazoo, the American brand has put its signature elite, artisan spin on the South American grill, delivering an insanely premium Gaucho. It has three heights for your grates, so you can control just how much direct heat your food gets while cooking and grilling. Napoleon delivered excellent cooking results in our ribs test. Flavor, Flavor, & Flavor: Flavor is one of, if not the biggest upsides to using a charcoal grill. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill. The Napoleon grill was the second best on this test. We also drop a few chunks of smokewood on top of the snake (aka fuse). If you'd prefer to find the best charcoal grill for cooking that is cart-style, the $99 Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill proved a worthy challenger to the Weber in our tests. Mankind has been cooking with charcoal for literally thousands of years, with evidence of the naturally occurring carbon-rich fuel source being utilized as far back as 200,000 BC, though it wouldn’t be until the late 1800s that the first charcoal briquette was patented. We lit the charcoal inside the chimney, letting it burn until the smoke dissipated and the coals began to turn grayish white, then put the charcoal into the grill. Learn more. We placed two steaks on each charcoal grill near the center and seared for five minutes before flipping them over and searing five more minutes. Meat from the Nexgrill was delicious, with just a bit more flavor than the Weber. Kettle grills are the classic dome-on-legs design and offer solid performance and an exceedingly reasonable price. Easy to learn on, great value and produce amazing results. In fact, most of the time the temperature hovered between 220 and 230 degrees (F). Appearance & Design: Gone are the days of the charcoal grilling space being limited to the simple barrel and kettle-style units, with today’s market now boasting a wide array of grills hugely differing in industrial and aesthetic design. And while its ribs came tender and juicy overall, the exterior bark had a few burnt spots. With proper care, they can last for a very long time. Best Charcoal Grills – A Final Word. The Chicago-based company builds insanely elite grills with world-class performance and equally enticing outward industrial designs, as thoroughly evidenced by its Shokunin model. We tested the 22-inch model in black, but Weber also offers an 18-inch version of their original kettle design. A good charcoal grill will offer a good-sized grilling grate, and a large bottom drum to give you plenty of room to manoeuvre your coals. We noted similar temperature performance from the NexGrill, along with similar rib results. Powered by a 59” retractable cable, the grill hides a “Fast Flame” ignition that can bring charcoal and wood up to cooking temperatures in approximately ten-minutes. The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill 22″ is our pick as the best charcoal grill for most people. Built to last and built to grill, Char-Broil charcoal grills are the perfect addition to any backyard party. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. © 2020 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. What To Look For When Buying A Charcoal Grill. Other highlights on this model include the brand’s WAVE cooking grids, and a special charcoal basket provides heat for a rotisserie. PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker Combinatione – The Smoker Grill Combo with the Best Portable Design #4. Quality - When judging charcoal grills, our experts look for quality construction with great warranties and the best materials around. At 14.5lbs, it isn’t very conducive to carrying on foot, that its plated steel legs do fold up, which makes it easier to travel with, as does this model’s locking lid. To test high heat, we seared two steaks on each grill. That translated to seriously flavorful ribs. Then be sure to check out our guide to the best gas grills for a look at some incredibly easy-to-use models that don’t skimp on performance. If propane is clean then electrical smokers are the cleanest. Capable of operating at very high temperatures, these grills are enormously versatile and tend to boast robust, durable construction. Its rack came out well too, though like the Napoleon, its bark was more pronounced than what the Weber produced. Hasty-Bake’s Legacy grill has gone largely unchanged since its introduction in 1948, with the American-made charcoal units very much falling into the category of “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” Manufactured in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this grill is outfitted with adjustable nickel-plated cooking grids, inside and an 18 gauge powder coated hood and base. The following 2 models are, in our opinion among the very best choices of charcoal smoker for the beginner just starting out. Offering 160-square-inches of cooking space–or roughly six burgers–this grill—the Go-Anywhere is constructed from cast-iron steel coated in porcelain enamel and features a heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate and a plated steel cooking grate. Best Charcoal Barbeque Grillers 1. Protected by a lengthy warranty, the grill is comprised of an air-insulated double-walled porcelain-enameled lid and bowl with a heavy-duty steel cart frame, a vent setting for “low and slow” smoking, a “Rapidfire” lid damper, an aluminum high-capacity ash catcher, a dual-position heavy-gauge steel charcoal grate, and a stainless steel hinged diffuser plate and one-touch cleaning system. Charcoal grills really don’t get modern than Heston Blumenthal’s HUB series grill, which offers the convenience of a gas grill, with the rich flavor of a charcoal unit. If you'd prefer to find the best charcoal grill for cooking that is cart-style, the $99 Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill proved a worthy challenger to the Weber in our tests. There are grills that fall into more specialized and/or niche categories, though charcoal grills are generally divided into four primary groups. Turn your charcoal smoker into a set it and forget it machine with the best automatic temperature controllers. There we have it, 4 techniques to control heat on your grill. The best charcoal smoker brings gravity to the table. It’s a classic for good reason. They're often more affordable, too, making charcoal grills a good option for tight budgets and beginner grillers. And though this does mean a competitive and diverse market, it also means buying a charcoal grill requires poring through hundreds of different available styles and models. And, while a smoker box makes this process easier, the reality is that you can toss wood chunks directly onto the hot coals. They are made from heavy duty steel and powder coated for extra durability. From the more traditional charcoal grills to contemporary items designed to blend into modern home decor, the increasingly diverse nature of this product space makes aesthetics a factor well worth taking into account. All you need is a bag of charcoal, a lighter and your favorite ingredients in order to achieve a quick meal with true smoky flavor. Adidas year-end sale: Get 50% off Ultraboost 20 running shoes and more, Watch Wonder Woman 1984 today with HBO Max -- and don't skip the end credits, How to watch Pixar's Soul with Disney Plus today, Discuss: Best charcoal grills for 2021: Weber, Napoleon, Char-Griller and more, Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill 22-inch, Best grills for 2021: Top charcoal, gas and kamado models, The best way to clean BBQ grills and grates, How to smoke low and slow on your charcoal grill, Gas versus charcoal: Summer's most important decision, The best kamado grills: Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Char-Griller and more, 10 grilling tools under $25 to boost your BBQ game, Essential camp cooking gear makes the great outdoors delicious. Readings from our own thermocouples, plus a digital pit thermometer, confirmed this. And, just like the motto says, this product “grills, bakes, and smokes.”. Testing charcoal grills means a lot of hands-on cooking experience. Only 100 of these S35VN & titanium folding blades exist. What are a few brands that you carry in charcoal smokers? The Nexgrill cart-style grill came in right behind, a close second in terms of flavor and texture. We fired up popular models from Weber, Napoleon, KitchenAid, Char-Griller, Nexgrill and more to find out which charcoal grill is king of the cookout. Despite its heavy-duty construction, the grill’s LIFT-EASE roll-top lid bares the vast majority of the weight of the hood when opened. Construction: Like any other appliance or piece of gear, the quality of the construction and materials used play a pivotal role in overall quality and durability.