With spring and summer seasons quickly approaching, the time to prepare for campfires, backyard barbecues, pool parties, birthday celebrations, and other fun outdoor events is now. And to fulfill your dream of being the best party host around, there is one integral element to ensuring absolute success: a charcoal grill.
A great charcoal grill will roast those hamburger patties and hot dogs so efficiently and deliciously (hello, scrumptious smoky flavor!) that your guests will be singing your praises and clamoring for more. However, with a never-ending variety of products to choose from, it can be impossible to pick the perfect grill that will suit your every need.
That’s why we decided to compile a list of the 15 best charcoal grills under $200, so you can not only please your guests but also save money!
Why Charcoal Grills?
You may be asking, why should I buy a charcoal grill instead of gas grills or wood pellet grills? The answer is simple: not only are they much less expensive grills (the price range for an electric grill can go up to $10,000!), they also reach a higher temperature, perfect for searing all types of meat and veggies with attractive sear marks that your barbecue guests will love.
Plus, charcoal grills supply meat with a delectable smoky flavor that no other grill can deliver! The advantages go on and on.
What to Look for in a Charcoal Grill
If you’re a newbie to grilling, you might also be asking what features you should be looking for in a charcoal grill. Lucky for you, we crafted a list of elements that your perfect charcoal grill must have to ensure ultimate satisfaction!
1. The first thing you should be looking for is the type of grill you want. There are three central types: the kettle, barrel, and kamado. Kettle grills are the best all-purpose choice, as they can do anything from low-and-slow cooking to searing. Barrel grills are larger and can cook more food than the kettle, but tend to burn out sooner. Kamado (or ceramic) grills are the highest quality, but usually the most expensive; they are best at holding in heat and grilling anything from briskets to turkeys.
Cater your choice to what you plan to do with your grill. Are you hoping to host barbecues and big backyard parties over the summer? Go with the barrel grill; its wide cooking surface will allow you to cook as many patties or hotdogs as your extensive guest list requires. Are you dreaming of becoming a grilling extraordinaire?
The kamado is the choice for you. With the level of control you’ll have over the cooking process, you can expand your grilling repertoire to anything you please. Are you a casual griller looking for a basic unit that will produce five-star hamburger dinners? Go with the kettle.
Each grill is a good option and has its strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the choice is up to you!
2. The second thing you should look for is a dependable construction. Make sure that your prospective grill is made out of stainless steel or thick metal; that way, it won’t develop rust or mold that could infiltrate your delicious patties!
Are you planning on transporting your grill? Then make sure it has wheels–at least two wheels on a grill ensure that it can be moved from place to place.
3. A tight-fitting lid. Without a lid that will seal over the cooking meat, heat can escape and slow down the process.
Do you, like most normal human beings, hate cleaning? Then make sure your grill has an ash catcher. That way, you can cut cleaning time in half by simply removing the ash catcher and dumping it out!
Vents. In order to have ultimate control over the air flow/cooking temperature inside your grill, you have to make sure there are both top and bottom vents. Most grills come with this.
A door or hinged grate to add more coals. Removing the grate during a grilling session to add more coals is dangerous and inconvenient. Finding a unit that comes with a way to easily replace them is key! However, it isn’t absolutely necessary.
A heat shield. Grill burners are operating at high temperatures, and need protection against meat drippings or other debris. However, if your grill doesn’t have a built-in heat shield, then you can easily build one yourself.
Some final words of advice–buy yourself some grilling tools. Grilling kits that come with standard grills are fine, but rarely do the job; instead, invest in some gloves, a chimney starter, stainless steel tongs, and a good scrubbing brush. You won’t regret it!
So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading to find the best charcoal grill under $200 for you!
Here is the scoop on the best charcoal grills under $200!
1. Weber Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill is a great option to fulfill all of your grilling needs, particularly for those with a large family. The stainless steel grill is big enough to hold up to thirteen burgers at a time, with a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl that retain heat to ensure those patties are thoroughly seared.
Additionally, the Weber Charcoal Grill is equipped with a hinged cooking grate made of heavy gauge steel. This allows you to safely add charcoal and wood as you grill–no more burning yourself on regular grates!
Because this Weber grill is a kettle, you can be sure that the grilling process won’t be complicated by confusing dials and switches. Another perk of Weber’s simplicity is its one-touch cleaning system. The Weber Charcoal Grill dumps the ash and food debris from the grill into an aluminum pan below that you can easily dispatch of; this cuts cleanup time in half!
2. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker
With a variety of great features, it’s a shock to see that The Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker is less than $200. On the grill itself there are 800 square inches of cooking space–you heard me right, 800!–so next time you want to have a large gathering, you’ll be able to feed everyone in record time! The offset smoke stack makes the unit a smoker grill combo, meaning the aforementioned delicious smoke flavor will bless any meat you grill. There also is an easy dump ash pan that makes the clean-up process simple.
The Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill is a great option for barbecues or camping trips. However, the grill is pretty heavy duty (55 pounds), so make sure you have some help when transporting it.
3. Char-Griller Patio Pro Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for a grill that can fit into small spaces, then the Char-Griller Patio Pro Charcoal Grill is for you! This grill is the perfect choice for apartment-dwellers or small-home owners, as it’s only 250 square inches but is still able to feed 4-6 people.
On either side of the grill, there is a drawer for your coals and a foldable side shelf for organization. Additional features include adjustable dampers that give you complete control of the oxygen flow and heat of the wood chips, so you can manage exactly how seared your food gets! And when the grilling is over, there is a removable ash catcher to dump out the excess debris.
The Patio Pro is also a good grill for transporting. There are built-in durable wheels, so you can roll the unit to your car and take it camping!
4. Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for a good charcoal grill even smaller than the Patio Pro, then look no further than the Char-Griller’s Table Top Charcoal Grill. This unit can be used as a table top grill or as a horizontal Texas-style smoker. On top of its versatility, the grill’s relatively small dimensions make it easy to transport. The cast iron cooking grate is another great feature that transfers heat evenly and retains it within the lid.
Featuring 250 square inches of primary cooking space, this grill can serve up to 6 people. Perfect for a small family or gathering! Like most other high quality charcoal grills, there is easy access to a removable ash tray for quick clean up.
5. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill
Brother to the Weber Original Kettle Premium mentioned previously on this list, the Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill is another portable grill with a five-star reputation. Despite this unit’s compact size, it can hold up to eight burgers at a time within the porcelain-enameled lid. It also comes with adjustable dampers so you can control just how hot your patties get!
This small grill comes with a lid handle that locks for secure transportation. It also doubles as a lid holder to keep the top from resting on the ground once you open it. With this build quality, it’s no wonder the Jumbo Joe is reclaimed as one of the best inexpensive charcoal grills out there!
6. Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill
If you’re big into the grilling world, then you may have heard of the famous kamado grills. Kamado grills not only have a unique design, but also can be used for smoking, low and slow, baking, searing, and cold-smoking–the versatility speaks for itself! However, most are sold at a price point of $900 or more. Luckily, we found the Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Kamado Charcoal Grill, a kamado style grill that promises to deliver delicious foods at a low price.
This grill is the best choice for both high heat grilling and low-and-slow cooking. However, in both methods, not checking the dome temperature could ruin your perfect brisket. That’s why the AKORN is built with a lid thermometer, perfect for keeping an eye on your precious creations!
If you want a kamado-style grill but are living on a tight budget, then look no further–the Char-Griller AKORN is for you!
7. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
Looking for a long-lasting, durable, and efficient kettle grill? Look no further–the Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill is for you! With 360 inches of cooking space, the Kettleman can fit up to 16 burgers, 10 chicken breasts, or 8 steaks at a time. No matter what type of meat you and your family prefer, this grill can fit enough of it to feed a village!
The Char-Broil Charcoal Grill also comes with a mounted temperature gauge that ensures easy operation and temperature monitoring. As you cook, air vents on the side of the grill provide circulation for the heat inside, promising wholly cooked meat pieces!
If you’re not a frequent barbecuer but want one around for occasional backyard parties and delicious hamburger dinners, try out this grill! With its durable and rust-resistant features, the Char-Broil Charcoal Grill is the best option for those looking for an inexpensive backyard grill that will last a long time.
8. The Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill and Cooker
Although it looks like a trash can, the Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill and Cooker puts nothing to waste. In fact, with its flavor lock drip-plate and simple instructions, the Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill promises mouth-watering meat that is so good, it will be devoured right out of the can. Who needs traditional grills anyway?
All you have to do to work this large grill is light the coals, add the meat, tilt the lid, and sit back with family and friends–it’s that easy! Indirect grilling has never been so fun. With these unique features, it’s no doubt that the Po’ Man Charcoal Grill and Cooker is one of the best inexpensive charcoal grills out there.
9. Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill
Shoppers looking for a versatile, portable charcoal grill, cease your searching! The Realcook Charcoal BBQ Smoker Grill is here to save the day. This unit can grill, steam, bake, braise, roast, and smoke, and can also be used as a fire pit! What more could you ask for?
On top of its versatility, the Realcook Grill has 636 square inches of cooking space. However, don’t let this large size intimidate you; the unit has two cooking grates stacked on top of each other so it won’t take up too much space in the backyard.
Charcoal grilling has never been so easy with the Realcook Grill. The unit itself only takes 30-45 minutes to install and has a compact design that can be transported anywhere–high-quality camping food, here we come!
With all of these esteemed qualities, The Realcook has got to be the best budget charcoal grill out there! And it’s on sale for 19% off right now–what are you waiting for? Go buy it!
10. Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill
The Nexgrill Cart-Style Charcoal Grill is made for convenience. With a cart-style build that allows for easy wheeling and a side table for organization, you can be sure that all of your organizational needs will be met.
Additional features include 572 square inches of cooking surface, cast iron grids, a built-in thermometer, and a removable charcoal ash catcher. Inside, the durable porcelain interior can withstand high temperatures–no heat is too much heat!
The Nexgrill is one of the top picks of all cart-style grills. It was built with rust-resistant material to weather the test of time, so you can keep using this unit as long as your grilling needs persist!
11. King-Griller Smokin’ Ace 30-in W Black Barrel Charcoal Grill
One of the number one complaints regarding low-quality charcoal grills is that they take too much time to heat up. Luckily, with the King-Griller Smokin’ Ace Charcoal Grill, you won’t have to worry about low-quality grill concerns–the King-Griller ensures expert-level operation with unbelievable speed and efficiency!
Temperature control is easier than ever with the built-in gauge and adjustable fire grates. Backyard barbecue enthusiasts and grilling experts alike will love this unit!
Added features of the King-Griller include an adjustable grate that allows for large-capacity searing, a charcoal hopper that slides out for easy charcoal application and removal, and two wooden shelves for work space.
12. Dyna-Glo Portable Tabletop Charcoal Grill
A porcelain steel tray, side handles, and a heavy-gauge steel body construction are just some of the many features that make the Dyna-Glo Portable Tabletop Charcoal Grill one of the best grills out there for a great value. With its transportable design, you can take the grill anywhere you need to go to sear up a full rack of ribs that come out tasting deliciously smoky. That’s right, it’s small but mighty–the Dyna-Glo’s total cooking area is 287 square inches, and has the capacity to grill a rack of ribs or around 13 hamburger patties.
The grill is also equipped with a removable charcoal ash pan.
Additionally, the grill‘s grates are made out of enameled cast iron, a material that retains heat and locks in flavorful juices.
13. Cuisinart Vertical Charcoal Water Smoker
Have you ever wanted to cook meat with the delectable smoky taste that comes with charcoal grilling, but you just couldn’t figure out how to do it? You’re in luck–the Cuisinart Vertical Charcoal Water Smoker is easy to use from beginner customers to advanced. The Cuisinart is equipped with a deep ash catcher and enamel coated charcoal bowls that facilitate lengthy smoking, along with vents located around the lid and base that provide optimal temperature control necessary for a successfully smoked meat.
With 510 square inches of cooking space and durable coated components, you can make all the hamburger patties, hot dogs, and briskets you want for as long as you want! The Cuisinart Vertical Charcoal Water Smoker is made to withstand the test of time.
14. Expert Grill Heavy Duty 24-Inch Charcoal Grill
When looking for grills, a good thing to consider is whether or not the unit has enough space to fit your lofty barbecuing dreams. With enough space to cook 20 burgers and an additional 201 square inch warming rack, the Expert Grill Heavy Duty Charcoal Grill is a grill that can deliver.
Additional features include a charcoal access door, a built-in lid thermometer, and an adjustable charcoal pan. There also is a wide side shelf that provides ample space for organization, along with three hooks to keep grilling utensils within reach.
The Expert Grill comes with wheels on the right legs that offer smooth maneuverability around your patio or desk. If you bonk one of the sides on a corner while moving it, never fear–the grill is made with a durable black exterior that will combat corners and other hazards with a steely resolve.
15. Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill
Another great adjustable charcoal grill is the Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill. Built with an extra leg, the Beau Jardin promises lightweight stability and efficiency. The grill also comes with a porcelain enameled lid and bowl, meaning it will retain heat and reject rust and peeling! The lid also has a hook that attaches to the grill so it doesn’t touch the ground or any other germ-filled surfaces. In case it gets too hot, the bowl’s aluminum damper allows for complete heat control.
Like the Weber design, there is a one-touch cleaning system with an ash catcher. If you’re looking for a simple, lightweight charcoal grill that is transportable, the Beau Jardin is the grill for you!
All in all, choosing the best charcoal grill is a process that is much trickier than it sounds. Most people don’t know the difference from one unit to the next, which results in poorly-made purchases and disappointed barbecue guests. But with the help of this article, you can rise above the mistaken consumers before you and save money while grilling up the perfect hamburger patties!
We hope you enjoyed the 15 best charcoal grills under $200! To read more about grills and other camping supplies, consider reading the following articles: