Last Updated on 17th December 2021 by
Fine charcoal grilling with the smoky taste and charred texture meat is not something you have to have inexpensive stationary grill for. You can get the same experience with a portable charcoal grill, and I want to share with you my list of options for the best portable charcoal grill available.
Weber Smoky Joe Silver
This is quite possibly the best small portable charcoal grill for your money. At only 14 ½ inches around, it is small enough to be taken pretty much anywhere.
It’s easy to transport thanks to its reinforced handle and it comes with a dome lid that circulates air perfectly for smoking meat. It has a feature I like to see in a portable grill, and that’s an ash catcher. That reduces cleanup for you and makes for a tidier grilling experience.
There is a gold version of this portable grill as well, and the only real difference in the two models is the vent holes on the side. For the Silver version, the vents are placed on the bottom, but the Gold’s side vents mean that you can use your grill a few times before the ashes need to be cleaned out.
CuisineArt GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
This travel grill is made from steel and is very sturdy. The green porcelain enamel lid gives it a stylish look, and if you want your grill to stand up, you can purchase a separate grill stand for it. This grill sports an accessible charcoal tray and a great airflow system and temperature gauge.
These make that grill easy to use and make for a low learning curve. This portable grill comes with a large ash collection bin, and that’s good for a quick and easy cleanup. This CuisineArt grill only weighs a little over two pounds, making it eminently portable.
It’s also wider and longer than most portable grills, giving you plenty of space to cook whatever you want and to cook multiple meats at once. It’s a great grill for cooking safely, as it doesn’t heat up so much on the outside that it becomes hard to handle and move around.
So, you can adjust its position and location while it is grilling without burning yourself. The lightweight and durable design make it probably the best portable charcoal grill for camping.
Kamado Joe Junior Charcoal Grill
This is a heavy duty portable grill. It’s still portable, but it weighs almost 70 pounds. It’s definitely portable compared to a stationary grill, which can weigh hundreds of pounds. This grill is made with a lot of ceramic parts that have a lifetime warranty backing them.
It’s very thick and durable, and the heavy design makes it good for locking in both heat and moisture. This ensures that your meat has a wonderful flavour and also makes it easy to cook at high temperatures without using a lot of charcoal. There are definite advantages to having the heavier, thicker grill design.
This is considered the best portable charcoal grill for tailgating. You actually see it often at tailgating parties, and the unmistakable design is easy to pick out of a crowd. This is a self-cleaning grill, which is a major feature that I have to share with you.
It takes about 30 or 40 minutes for the self-cleaning process to go through its steps. As the grill cleans itself, the grate and plates will all be cleaned off. This makes it very convenient grill with less mess to deal with than other similar grills.
You get a large cooking surface with this grill, which is about 149 square inches, making it large enough to cook a long rack of ribs, a large roast, or multiple steaks at once. While the heavy design and size may deter you, this is definitely worth considering as the best charcoal portable grill for people who will be grilling often.
Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill with Side Fire Box
This grill also doubles as a side firebox that can attach to full size grills. This is a standalone charcoal barbecue grill and my top choice for the best portable charcoal barbecue grill around.
The compact size and versatility make it an easy pick, and it is perfect for both smoking and grilling. That’s because it has perfectly positioned vents, with one positioned near the top and one near the bottom at opposite sides.
This gives you what is called cross ventilation and ensures that your smoke moves across the entirety of the food you are grilling, giving your food a great smoky flavour.
The handle and hood are design with the user in mind, and you can open the hood without being burnt thanks to the Stay-Cool handle. It includes a sliding charcoal drawer, which I think is a great addition to the overall user-friendly design.
This portable grill weighs 40 pounds, so it comes in as one of the heavier options on this list, but I don’t think it’s overly heavy. It gives you 250 square inches for your cooking, which is perfect for cooking some larger items and for cooking for multiple people at once.
This is a great grill for cooking at high temperatures very quickly and for keeping the temperature stable through the entire cooking process. It’s perfect for using as a camping grill or tailgate grill because of its tough construction and great stability.
You can use it for both direct and indirect cooking, and it’s a grill that is designed to be easy to use.
Char-Broil Portable Grill
One last portable grill I want to look at is Char-Broil’s CB500X. This is also one of the heavier grills, weighing 34 pounds, because it is made out of aluminium and steel. However, it’s a high-quality grill with 240 square inches of cooking surface.
The ash tray pulls out for convenience, and the grill includes a front charcoal door and a damper. The lid has a temperature gauge so you don’t have to open it to check on your food.
This is a good quality grill with a few little drawbacks. It can be a little tricky to figure out how to use and put together, particularly when it comes to attaching the gas element.
The way the grill handles drippings can be a little bit troublesome as well, with some with drippings running down the back legs and causing damage to the surface the grill rests on. Other than these minor quibbles, though, this is a quality grill that is worth the money.
These are a few of my top choices for portable charcoal grills, and I looked at a few different factors to determine my selections. I considered the price and weight of the grill as well as the durability and functionality.
Some of these factors may be more important to you than they were to me, so I provided as much information as I could to help you make a smart choice.
I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food! You can find my Facebook here