We have to agree that using a charcoal grill tremendously impacts the quality of the food cooked on it, so if you want to have the finest barbecue party possible, you’ll need the best charcoal grill. Because there are so many grills available, it might be difficult to narrow down your options. To help, we have put together a list of some of the best charcoal grills under $200 and reviewed their key characteristics.
- Top 5 Best Charcoal Grills Under 200 Dollars
- A COMPLETE GUIDE ON CHARCOAL GRILLING
Top 5 Best Charcoal Grills Under 200 Dollars
1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black
The original Kettle can rekindle your love of charcoal cooking. One-Touch cleaning system with a high-capacity ash catcher and a hinged cooking surface provides for a seamless barbecue adventure from start to finish on the Original Kettle Premium charcoal grill.
Up to 13 burgers may be cooked at once in the Original Kettle Premium, and the lid has a thermometer built in. This grill is an obvious choice with its aluminum damper and rust-resistant construction. Plus, the high-capacity ash catcher and one-touch cleaning mechanism make it easy to remove ashes. The grill’s cooking grate is detachable, so charcoal can be added quickly and simply. In addition, the free BILT app provides a 3D virtual instruction manual for assembling this grill.
Spec’s & Features
- Superior Heat Retention
- One-Touch Cleaning System
- Lid Thermometer
- Hinged Cooking Grate
- Heat Shield
- Dimensions: 22.5 x 22.5 x 27 inches
- Net Weight: 32.3 pounds
- Power Source: Charcoal
- Finishing: Painted
2. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill, 22.5 Inch
All the essentials for a simple cookout on the patio can be found in the Char-Broil Charcoal Kettle Grill. The porcelain-coated grilling grates provide 360 sq. in. of surface for grilling. The lid and base of the Char-Broil Charcoal Kettle Grill are protected from the weather by a porcelain enamel coating. As a result of the ash catcher’s vents, hot air and moisture may move freely all through the grill.
Adjusting the height of the charcoal grate allows for finer regulation of cooking temperature and speed. The twin dampers allow for simple temperature regulation. The chrome-plated wire bottom shelf provides stability, and the two wheels make it straightforward to move about. This charcoal kettle grill is the standard, reliable option for any outdoor cooking situation.
Spec’s & Features
- 360 Sq. In. cooking area
- 22.5-inch diameter
- Equipped with temperature gauging system
- Dimensions: 29.9 x 27.4 x 14.8 inches
- Net Weight: 36 Pounds
- Material: Metal
- Finishing: Painted
3. Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black
The Char-Griller Patio Pro BBQ Grill is the best option for those who want to barbecue but are limited by space. The Char-Griller Patio Pro BBQ Grill has a uniform cooking space thanks to its cast iron grates. This grill has a double-bottom design that permits more accurate temperature control and an easy-to-empty ash pan that makes a snap cleanup. Offers a generous 250 square inches of grilling space, guaranteeing delicious results every time.
Spec’s & Features
- 250 Sq. In. cooking area
- Heavy-Duty Steel Construction
- Powder Coating Finish
- Think iron grates
- Perfect for small decks, backyards, and patios
- Net Weight: 50 Pounds
- Dimensions: 31 x 21 x 44 inches
- Finishing: Powder Coated Material: Alloy Steel
- Material: Alloy Steel
4. Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker
The Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker is ideal for backyard barbecues with loved ones or casual get-togethers with friends. It’s perfect for those times when you want a fast and easy barbecue with your offset smoker. The main cooking chamber of the grill does a fantastic job of retaining heat, making sure the meat stays soft and juicy while also imparting a delicious smoked flavor. It’s simple in design, function, and maintenance. This grill will turn you into a BBQ expert if you aren’t one already.
Spec’s & Features
- Total cooking area of 823 sq. in.
- 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates
- 191 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack
- 189 sq. in. offset smoker
- Extra storage space
- Net Weight: 57 pounds
- Dimensions: 45.7 x 28 x 48.8 inches
- Power Source: Charcoal
- Material: Steel
5. Char-Griller E06614 Portable Charcoal Grill Under $200
The Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill is a compact and portable version of the popular kamado-style grill. It features a 153-square-inch cooking surface, making it perfect for small patios or balconies. The grill is constructed of durable steel with a heat-resistant outer finish in red color and uses charcoal as a fuel source. The built-in ash pan makes for easy cleanup, and the grill also features a cast iron cooking grate and a built-in temperature gauge for easy temperature control. The grill’s compact size and folding legs make it easy to transport and store, making it perfect for camping, tailgating, or small gatherings with friends and family.
Spec’s & Features
- Compact and portable kamado-style grill
- 153 square inch cooking surface
- Constructed of durable steel with a heat-resistant outer finish in red color
- Uses charcoal as a fuel source
- Built-in ash pan for easy clean-up
- Cast iron cooking grate
- Built-in temperature gauge for easy temperature control
- Dimensions (inches): 21.5 x 19 x 23.5
- Cooking Surface Area (square inches): 153
- Primary cooking area (square inches): 153
- Secondary cooking area (square inches): N/A
- Total cooking area (square inches): 153
- Weight: 39.7 pounds
- Fuel Type: Charcoal
Check out a related product Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Grill Review (E16620)
A COMPLETE GUIDE ON CHARCOAL GRILLING
Factors to Consider While Buying a Best Charcoal Grill Under $200
Feeling anxious or unprepared is normal before trying charcoal grilling for the first time. Your first charcoal grilling experience will be considerably less daunting with our advice. Before grilling on the best charcoal grill under 200 dollars, let’s look at some of the important factors to make your experience a memorable one.
Choosing your Charcoal
Today, mangrove charcoal and mallee root charcoal are two of the most popular types of charcoal. Charcoal made from mallee roots is a high-temperature fuel option. Using this kind of charcoal, you can expect a rapid and intense sear on your steak and other meats.
Conversely, you might get a more consistent burn with mangrove charcoal. When using this charcoal, your food will be cooked to perfection with a more nuanced flavor. Mangrove charcoal is ideal for foods like vegetables and some types of meat that don’t need as much cooking time.
Preheat the Charcoal Grill
When you preheat your grill, you can be assured that your food will be thoroughly cooked and infused with a smokey, caramelized flavor. Charcoal on the bottom grate of the grill is necessary for preheating. With the grill lid open, you may place your charcoal in a pile or the chimney starter. Once you get them where you want them, light them and walk away for approximately 20 minutes. Spread them out in a single layer on the grate if they are already blazing red. Keep them burning for another 5-10 minutes or until they’re completely consumed by grey ash.
Select Your Grilling Option
Direct and indirect grilling are the two main methods.
It’s possible to conduct direct grilling on just about any grill. The meal is cooked by placing it on the grill rack right over the flames. Tender, tiny, and thin items that may be cooked in about half an hour are ideal for direct grilling. Direct grilling is ideal for cooking a variety of foods, including steaks, burgers, kabobs, hot dogs, boneless birds, fish, and the vast majority of vegetables.
In contrast, indirect grilling entails positioning food over an area not in contact with the flames. A similar method involves covering the lid during cooking. To grill in this manner, the coals must be fanned out on the side opposing the meal, creating a single zone of indirect heat in the center. Whole birds, rib racks, huge roasts, and fish should all be cooked on an indirect grill.
Any drippings of fat or meat fluids onto the embers might start a small fire. You should control flare-ups since they cause scorched flavors in meals. Flare-ups can be contained in a number of ways, such as by lifting the grill rack, covering the grill, separating the hot coals, or removing some of the coals. Taking the food off the grill and spraying water on the flames is another option. If the fire dies down, put the food back on the grill.
Check Grill Temperature
Holding your hand over the grill with the palm facing down is a good technique to gauge the heat of a charcoal barbecue. The fire level of your grill is low if you can safely keep your hand above it for five seconds. A 4-second hand count is possible with a medium fire, while a 3-second count is possible with a medium-hot fire. Finally, if the timer on your grill reaches 2 seconds, you know the fire is good to go.
The quantity of coals in your grill should be decreased if the temperature is too high. If your grill isn’t hot enough, you may increase the temperature by tapping the ashes of the burning coals.
TIPS FOR CHARCOAL GRILL
Here are some tried-and-true tricks of the trade for using charcoal in your kitchen that will get you one step closer to creating delicious meals that will wow your guests:
1. A Charcoal Chimney Is A Good Place To Begin
It’s natural to be curious about lighting a charcoal barbecue. Charcoal cooking takes longer than gas grilling because lighting the charcoal takes time. Lighter fluid is tempting to use, but avoiding accelerants is better for the taste of your meal. Choose a charcoal chimney if you want to light your charcoal like a master.
It takes very little skill to operate a charcoal chimney. First, place your charcoal at the top of the chimney and fill the bottom with crumpled paper. The next step is to ignite the base and wait. Wait 15–20 minutes to allow the charcoal to heat up, depending on how much you are using. Get a pair of heat-resistant grilling gloves, light the charcoal, and then pour it into the grill’s base.
2. Put In Only As Much Charcoal As You Need
If you want to utilize charcoal for your grill, it doesn’t mean you have to buy a ton of it. Think about your desired temperatures when deciding how much charcoal to use.
More charcoal will be required if greater temperatures are sought. The charcoal chimney should be filled if you plan on cooking at high temperatures (450 degrees Fahrenheit or above), such as when grilling a steak. Fill your chimney halfway to three-quarters full if you want to cook at medium heat (350 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) with foods like chicken or fish. Last but not least, you just need a quarter of the chimney full of charcoal to cook items like brisket or pork shoulder low and long at “low” heat (250 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit).
3. Never Use Briquettes That Have Already Been Coated
As was said above, avoiding any contact with lighter fluid can assist ensure that your meal doesn’t end up tasting funny. So, if you’re going to use briquettes, steer clear of the pre-coated varieties of charcoal briquettes. To avoid exposing your food to flammable gas, it’s worth the extra work required to light the charcoal.
4. Don’t Start Grilling Until the Charcoal Is Ready
As a general rule, charcoal isn’t ready to be added to the grill’s base until it reaches a gray-white heat in the charcoal chimney. Putting off dealing with them until they are ready will pay off in the long run. It will be considerably more challenging to regulate the grill’s heat if you begin adding charcoal while some of it is still black.
Eventually, the black charcoal on your grill will catch fire and quickly raise the temperature there. The way you have your charcoals set up in the grill will be useless since the heat they produce will no longer be in line with what you want.
5. Wood Will Really Bring Out The Flavor In This Dish
Put some dry wood bits on top of your charcoal if you want your dish to have a more robust smoky taste. When cooking for extended durations at low temperatures, this method shines. The most popular types of wood for grilling include hickory, walnut, mesquite, and fruitwoods like cherry and apple. Subtle differences in flavor are imparted by the various kinds of wood used.
Wood chips may also be used in a similar fashion if you’re grilling at a higher temperature. To avoid a fire, wood chips should be soaked beforehand.
6. Prepare A Split Grilling Area
The best grilling experience comes when you have the freedom to move food around and adjust the heat as needed. Using a two-zone grill setup, charcoal may be cooked at different temperatures in different areas. A searing grate and a roasting grate are both included in this grill setup.
By placing at least 75% of the charcoal briquettes or lumps on one side of the grill, you may split the grill’s heat output into indirect and direct areas. With this, you can adjust the temperature and cooking time for various dishes. Additionally, it provides a place to keep food warm over extremely low heat while you finish preparing the remainder of the meal.
With a two-area grill design, you can separate the cooking and resting areas in case of an accident. Then you may save the food from burning by moving it to a different spot.
7. Wait for the Grill to Get Hot Before Adding Food
It’s important to preheat the grill just like you would an oven before adding food to the grates. It goes without saying that you should clean the grill racks before using them.
After you’ve spread the ignited charcoal throughout the grill, close the lid and wait at least 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes, before cooking anything. For this reason, it is helpful to have a high-quality digital grill thermometer at available for a rapid read on the grill’s interior temperature.
The grill grates should be oiled before being placed over the embers and before any food is placed on them. This will keep your food from sticking while you cook it, revealing beautiful grill marks.
8. You Can Rely On The Grill’s Vents
Charcoal grilling may appear like it lacks the precision of gas grilling. Controlling the airflow through the top and bottom grill vents allows you to choose the desired grill temperature.
Increasing the grill’s temperature is as simple as opening the vents. As the vents are opened, hotter air may flow through the grill. You may also reduce the temperature by closing the vents to a greater extent. To further prevent and manage flare-ups on the grill, make sure the vents are open and working correctly.
9. Put The Charcoal Out Safely
Charcoal, unlike gas, requires air to remain burning, so keep that in mind when you’re ready to put the grill away. So, to extinguish it, block off all the air ducts. To avoid starting an accidental fire with charcoal ash that may still be smoldering after a couple of hours, wait 24 hours before cleaning out the grill. Any charcoal that isn’t completely used can be saved for use in future barbecues.
10. Keep Leftover Charcoal Fresh
When charcoal is dry and relatively new, it produces the greatest results. Therefore, charcoal must be stored correctly if it is to be reused at a later time. Keep the leftover charcoal in an airtight container out of the water. Charcoal may last for up to two years if kept in a cold, dry area.
THINGS YOU SHOULD AVOID WHILE USING CHARCOAL GRILLS
Avoid doing these things when using a charcoal grill:
Never Put Hot Coals On A Cold Grill
Understandably, you and your friends might be hungry, but please be patient; it will be well worth it. There’s a catch, though: if you put the charcoal to the grill while a portion of it’s still black, temperature regulation will be a nightmare. The black charcoal will keep heating, and the way you’ve spread it out in the grill could not work. Before you do anything rash, you should give the chimney a chance to do its job and the coals time to turn beautiful and gray.
Avoid Preheating Your Grill To The Same Temperature On Both Sides
Gas grills are convenient since you can adjust the heat independently on both sides. However, you may achieve this with charcoal by shifting at least 75% of the coals to one side, therefore separating the cooking area into two zones. The pace at which you cook a certain item may be adjusted, and you can let your meal rest over extremely low heat while you finish setting the table.
Remember To Have The Grill Nice And Hot Before You Start Cooking
As with an oven, preheating the grill is necessary before adding food (also, make sure those racks are clean before you place anything on them). If you want to hear a light sizzle when you place protein, fruit, or vegetables over the coals, wait five to ten minutes after the coals have been spread in the grill and the lid has been thrown on.
The Vents Should Not Be Overlooked
It may seem like there is a lot more room for error when using a charcoal grill, but the temperature can be adjusted easily by opening and closing the vents on the top and bottom of a grill. The vents, which can be found both on the lid and the bottom of the base, regulate the flow of air into the grill, increasing its temperature as a result of more air being allowed in. Turn up the heat by opening the vents if time is of the essence and your guests are becoming hungry as they watch. Keep a close check on the meal, though, so it doesn’t get burned. When people are hungry, they will grumble anyway, but if the food they are given is bad, they will complain much more.
ARE CHARCOAL GRILLS GOOD TO USE?
Charcoal grills are highly recommended for smokey-flavored foods. The smoke from charcoal grills contains aromatic chemicals created by the combustion of the charcoal’s complex organic components. Foods like steak and fowl benefit from the smoke and aromatic components because they take on a char-grilled taste profile. A charcoal grill smokes food slowly and is your best bet for the most authentic smokey flavor. Additionally, they are lightweight and can be transferred to different locations without any hassle.
Your search for the best charcoal grill under $200 may end with the review above. If you’re looking for a charcoal grill that offers all the benefits listed at the beginning of this review but at a price that’s easier on the wallet, consider one of the models we’ve already covered.
Furthermore, if you are interested to know more about charcoal grills you can check our guide on the best charcoal grills under $500.
What is the best quality charcoal grill?
There are many best quality charcoals out there in the market. Every grill has its features, specifications, and customization. However, as per our research, the Char-Griller E1515 Grill is the best of the lot with its versatility, durability, generous cooking area, and affordability.
Is it cheaper to use charcoal or gas?
Charcoal grills tend to be more cost-effective than gas grills. After buying a charcoal grill and food, the only expenditure is buying some charcoal. Charcoal may be rather cheap, depending on where you live and when you buy it. We advise checking local costs if you have any doubts.
What is the most versatile charcoal grill?
Weber’s Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is the gold standard for dependable, user-friendly charcoal grills. The Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill is a great option if you’re shopping for a high-quality charcoal grill that can handle a wide range of culinary tasks.
What grills do professionals use?
Professionals use a variety of different grills as per their requirements. Professionals tend to go for more versatile grills that get the work and serve large crowds. However, Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill is widely used by professionals as well as amateurs mainly because of its huge cooking area and aromatic smokey flavor.