10 Best Portable Charcoal Grills for Cooking Almost Anywhere

Best Portable Charcoal Grill

If you are one of the many seasoned grillers that prefer to take the party on the go, a portable charcoal grill will be a great investment.

With the best portable charcoal grill, you can cook from almost anywhere whether it is at the beach, park or deep in the woods when camping.

Portable charcoal grills will have a cooking surface of 300 square inches or less, and they come in a compact and lightweight design to make them easy to carry. Also, most are easy to take apart and assemble or foldable for enhanced portability.

But as more and more grillers discover the convenience and versatility of these grills, new models are also coming into the market, and so there will be plenty of options to pick from when buying one.

To help ensure that you end up with a good portable charcoal grill, below we review 10 top rated models and also explain how to pick the right one for you.

10 Best Portable Charcoal Grills – Reviews

Product Name

Image

​Features/Benefits

Rating

Current Price

1. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill


Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

An easy to carry and use charcoal grill that also stores away nicely and features a highly durable construction with plated steel legs, porcelain enameled coating for rust prevention and glass-reinforced nylon handle that remains cool to touch

4.5

2. Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe Portable Charcoal Grill

Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe Portable Charcoal Grill

A highly portable charcoal grill with durable porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, glass-reinforced nylon handle for easy handling even when hot, rust-resistant dampers, and an aluminum ash catcher for easy cleaning

4.7

3. Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Portable Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Portable Charcoal Grill

Solid charcoal grill with 250 square inches of cooking space, heavy steel construction, cast iron grates and convenient sliding drawer for easy access to the ash and coals

4.2

4. Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium Portable Charcoal Grill

Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium Portable Charcoal Grill

Compact and lightweight grill for use on the go with porcelain-enameled lid and bowl for heat retention and rust resistance and some handy dampers to make temperature control easy

4.2

5. Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill

Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill

With a cooking space of approximately 255 square inches, this is an excellent grill for most families, and it will also provide perfect heat retention and control, easy assembly and use and it has a high-quality steel construction

3.8

6. Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Portable Charcoal Grill

Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Portable Charcoal Grill

Highly affordable charcoal grill with an adjustable grate position and air vents for easy temperature control and some wood grid handle for easy handling when cooking

3.8

7. Char-Broil Tabletop Portable Charcoal Grill

Char-Broil Tabletop Portable Charcoal Grill

Portable charcoal grill that folds up completely to make it easy to carry and will use both briquettes and lump charcoal and also features a durable steel construction

3.9

8. Char-Broil CB500X Portable Charcoal Grill

Char-Broil CB500X Portable Charcoal Grill

Tabletop charcoal grill that works with both briquettes and lump charcoal and comes with dampers and adjustable fire grates for easy temperature control, and also includes a removable ash pan for easy cleaning

3.7

9. Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Ultra-portable charcoal grill with dual venting system, sturdy one-piece base, large ash bin for easy cleanup and a more accurate temperature control system

3.5

10. Pinty Portable Folding Charcoal Grill

Pinty Portable Folding Charcoal Grill

250 square inch portable charcoal grill with some heat-resistant handles, efficient ventilation system and comes in a fully foldable design for easy transportation

4.3

1. Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Best grills for use on the go

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 160 square inches
  • Material: Porcelain-coated cast iron
  • Weight: 14.05 pounds

Weber 121020 is designed for use on the go, and it is one of the easiest grills to carry thanks to the compact size and easy to pack design.

The charcoal grill provides a cooking surface of 160 inches with plated steel cooking grates, plated steel legs that you can easily maneuver for easy transportation, and a porcelain enameled coating that helps to prevent rust and corrosion.

This portable charcoal grill also has a built-in lid hanger that makes the lid easy to manage. And the lid also comes with a glass-reinforced nylon handle that will stay cool to the touch when cooking.

Also, this grill will not require any assembly, and it is designed to be quick and super easy to clean.

Despite the 160 square inches of cooking space being one of the smallest in our portable charcoal grill reviews, it should still be enough for cooking for a small group or family.

Pros:

  • Easy to clean grates
  • Built-in lid hangers
  • No assembly required
  • Cool to touch and durable glass-reinforced handle
  • Highly portable and packs away nicely

Cons:

  • Relatively smaller cooking surface
  • Cleaning it can be quite tedious

2. Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe Portable Charcoal Grill

Lightweight and highly portable

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Weber 1211001 Jumbo Joe Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 240 square inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 8.2 pounds

With a cooking surface if 240 square inches, the Jumbo Joe will be a perfect charcoal grill for cooking for a medium size group on the go.

Besides the relatively larger cooking space, this charcoal grill is also well-built to ensure many years of great service. And the construction includes a porcelain-enameled bowl and lid, and a glass-reinforced handle that will remain cool when cooking.

The top rated portable charcoal grill also comes with come rust-resistant aluminum dumpers and ash catcher to enhance its performance and make cleaning it an easier task.

Although it requires some assembly, the manufacturer provides some detailed instructions and all the necessary parts and hardware to make it an easy process.

The metal seems to have some sharp edges, but they are easy to get rid of with a little filing, and although a hinged grill would have been better, the one on this grill still works well enough.

Pros:

  • Relatively large cooking surface
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handle
  • Easy cleanup thanks to included ash catcher
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy assembly

Cons:

  • Lots of sharp edges on the metal
  • A hinged lid would have been better

3. Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Portable Charcoal Grill

The best tabletop charcoal grills

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 250 square inches
  • Material: Cast Iron
  • Weight: 38 pounds

The 250 square inches of cooking space that you get on Char-Griller’s model 2-2424 will be perfect when you have to cook for a larger group.

Apart from providing a larger cooking surface, this charcoal grill is also well made with a heavy steel construction and some equally durable cast iron grates.

With the two adjustable dampers on this grill, temperature adjustment is also a quick and easy process, and with the easy dump ash pan and sliding drawer that provides access, this is also an easy to clean grill.

This portable charcoal grill is also designed to be ideal for various uses as you can also use it as a side firebox.

The spacers do not seem long enough, but this should be a simple problem to fix with a trip to the hardware store.  And although it is the second heaviest in our list, it is still quite portable.

Pros:

  • Large cooking surface
  • Heavy steel construction and durable cast iron grates
  • Convenient sliding drawer for easy access
  • Simple heat control
  • Ideal for multiple uses

Cons:

  • Spacers are not long enough
  • Relatively heavier

4. Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium Portable Charcoal Grill

Small but highly efficient grill

Editor's Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 147 square inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 9.8 pounds

A compact and lightweight charcoal grill like the Weber 40020 is designed to not only make cooking on the go easy but also ensure that carrying it will be an almost effortless task.

Also, it is a well-built grill that features porcelain-enameled lid and bowl that will resist rust to ensure maximum durability and also ensures maximum heat retention.

The tuck-n-carry lid lock design will also double up as a lid holder to ensure that you never have to place the lid on the ground at any time.

Temperature adjustment is also made quick and easy by the built-in dampers that ensure that you can adjust the temperature inside the grill precisely.

The 147-square inch cooking surface is the smallest on our list, but it can still accommodate up to 5 burgers which makes it ideal for cooking for an individual or small family/group.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight for easy portability
  • Rust-resistant and heat retaining bowl and lid
  • Easy to manage lid
  • Quick and easy temperature control

Cons:

  • Smaller cooking surface
  • Side vent location not the best

5. Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill

Easiest to use charcoal grill on wheels

Editor's Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Beau Jardin Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 255 square inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 12.55 pounds

While this Beau Jardin product might not be the smallest portable charcoal grill, it is one of the most portable that you can get anywhere. And this is thanks to its compact and lightweight construction and the fact that it also includes some durable wheels.

Also, it provides up to 255 square inches of cooking space which should be more than enough for typical families.

But, what many grillers will love most about it is the perfect heat retention and control. The impressive heat retention comes from the porcelain-enameled bowl and lid while the adjustable air vents make heat control easy.

One touch clean system that includes an ash catcher makes cleanups easier and quicker, and this is also a quick and easy grill to assemble.

Although some people will find it a little too short, this is an easy problem to fix with a little innovativeness, and it also does not take anything away from the fact that this is a high performing charcoal grill.

Pros:

  • Excellent heat retention and control
  • Large cooking surface
  • Simple to use and clean
  • Convenient transport wheels included
  • Easy and quick assembly

Cons:

  • Not high enough for some users

6. Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Portable Charcoal Grill

Best grills for the money

Editor's Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Marsh Allen 30052AMZ Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 157 square inches
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 18 pounds

Marsh Allen's model 30052AMZ is our best portable charcoal grill for the money thanks to the fact that it is the cheapest in our list and also because it is hard to find anything that performs better at that price tag.

This lightweight and highly portable grill features a sturdy and highly durable cast iron construction designed to ensure that it will serve you well for many years.

Also, the grates can be adjusted to three different positions, and there are also some adjustable air vents to make temperature control easy when using this grill.

Handling this grill when it is hot or when you are cooking is also made easy by the wood grid handles.

Although the 157 square inches of cooking space is one of the smallest on our list, it should still be enough to cook for one or a few people.

Pros:

  • Multiple position cooking grate
  • Wood grid handle for easy and safe handling
  • Adjustable air vents
  • Sturdy and durable cast iron construction

Cons:

  • Relatively smaller cooking surface
  • Grill handles do not feel very durable

7. Char-Broil Tabletop Portable Charcoal Grill

A high performing tabletop grill at a good value

Editor's Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

Char-Broil Tabletop Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 190 square inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

Char-Broil is one of the most reputable charcoal grill manufacturers, and if you are on the hunt for the best tabletop charcoal grill, they have you covered with this top-notch model.

It is a compact and lightweight grill that will fold up easily to make it convenient to carry. The set up is also a quick and almost effortless task which makes this one of the best portable charcoal grills for camping.

Also, you can be sure that it will serve you well for many years thanks to the highly durable steel construction. And with the heat-resistant handles and easy to clean grids, this will also be a more convenient charcoal grill to use.

Some air adjustment vents like what you find in other models and sturdier legs would have been nice, but these are still not deal breakers as this grill still cooks well and fast enough.

Pros:

  • Folds compactly for easy portability
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Durable construction and finish
  • Heat-resistant handles
  • Easy to clean grids

Cons:

  • No adjustable air vents
  • Legs are not sturdy enough

8. Char-Broil CB500X Portable Charcoal Grill

Top quality grill from a top brand

Editor's Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)

Char-Broil CB500X Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 240 square inches
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 40.5 pounds

Another top quality Char-Broil charcoal grill that is designed for convenient use from a tabletop and is still portable enough for use on the go.

This high-quality grill features a durable cast iron construction and grates that are designed to retain more heat and ensure a more even heat distributions.

Also, it comes with an adjustable fire grate design and dampers to make it easy to control the temperature when cooking. And with the lid-mounted temperature gauge, you can also monitor the cooking temperature easily.

This portable grill will also work with both lump charcoal and briquette, and it has a removable ash pan to make cleanups easy.

Despite this being the heaviest model among our portable charcoal grill reviews, it is still quite portable, and the plastic leg caps are also not a big concern because you can easily replace them.

Pros:

  • Easy heat control
  • Lid-mounted temperature gauge
  • Removable ash pan for easy cleaning
  • Temperature control dampers included
  • Works with both briquettes and lump charcoal

Cons:

  • Quite a heavy grill
  • Plastic leg caps cannot handle high temperatures

9. Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill

Perfectly sized for on the go grilling

Editor's Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Cuisinart CCG-100 GrateLifter Portable Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 240 square inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 30 pounds

Cuisinart CCG-100 is perfectly sized for portability which ensures that you can use it from almost anywhere. Also, it comes with integrated side handles to make transportation easy.

With this charcoal grill, temperature control is also easy thanks to the unique grill lift system that also makes it easy to access the charcoal bed and precision air flow system.

The one-piece base design helps to keep this grill sturdy and stable to ensure that you do not have to worry about it tipping over regardless of where you place.

Also, there is a lid-mounted temperature gauge that makes it easy to monitor the cooking process and a large ash bin for easy cleanups.

This is our second priciest grill but it is worth every buck you will pay for it, and although the lid hinges should be a little more substantial, they still do what they are meant to do well.

Pros:

  • Accurate temperature management
  • Large ash collection bin
  • Unique grill lift system
  • Stable and sturdy base
  • Integrated side handles for easy transportation

Cons:

  • A little pricier
  • Lid hinges need some improvement

10. Pinty Portable Folding Charcoal Grill

Taking tabletop grilling a notch higher

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Pinty Portable Folding Charcoal Grill
  • Cooking Surface: 250 square inches
  • Material: Carbon steel
  • Weight: 9.92 pounds

With the fully foldable design and lightweight construction of this charcoal grill, transporting it should be an effortless task which is just what you want in a portable grill.

Besides the ease of transportation, this is also an easy-to-use grill with 7 vents that are designed to provide more efficient ventilation and enhance the dust discharge.

Handling the grill when cooking should also be safe and easy thanks to the heat-resistant handles. And you can easily cook for the whole family or a small group as it has a relatively large cooking surface of 250 square inches.

This grill also uses some porcelain-enameled grates, and it has a dust-proof surface to make it easier to clean. And the cooking efficiency of the porcelain enameled grill also helps to cement this grill's position as one of the best portable charcoal BBQ grills out there

Although the cleanup can still be quite tedious because you need to take out the grates, it is still a straightforward process. And the hard to read assembly instruction will be a non-issue for most grillers as the assembly is quite easy.

Pros:

  • Simple transportation and storage
  • More efficient ventilation and dust discharge
  • Easy clean design
  • Heat-resistant handles
  • Larger cooking surface

Cons:

  • Cleanups can be quite tedious
  • Hard to read assembly instructions

How to Buy the Best Portable Charcoal Grills

How to Buy the Best Portable Charcoal Grill

Portable charcoal grills will not only make cooking on the go easy but will also ensure that you can still enjoy that rich smoky flavor in your meats regardless of where you are.

However, to ensure that you get a model that cooks well and offers you great value for your cash, you will need to consider the following factors when shopping for the best portable charcoal BBQ grill.

#1. Size

Size determines the portability of the charcoal grill, and so it will be one of the most important factors to consider when shopping.

When it comes to the size you will need to make sure that the grill is small and compact enough to make it easy to carry but still large enough for efficient cooking.

To make sure that you get a grill that will work well for you, it is important to consider the weight and the actual dimensions of the charcoal grill and try to strike a balance between portability and the amount of cooking space that you get.

#2. Cooking Surface

The cooking surface is one of the key elements that define a grill and the portable charcoal grill is not an exception.

For a portable grill, 300-square inch cooking surface is often considered the maximum size. And hence, buying something that is around this size should be good enough as you can use it to cook for at least 4 people at a go.

The number of serving portions that you need or the number of people you will be cooking for regularly should help you determine the cooking surface that you will need.

#3. Material

The build quality of the portable charcoal grill will determine how well it will serve you and also its durability.

For the build quality, the most important factor that you will need to consider is the material used to make the different components of the grill.

First, consider the frame material and go for tough and sturdy ones like cast iron and stainless steel. Also, you also need to consider the materials used to make the grates, and here you will also have many options from plain cast iron and stainless steel to porcelain enameled and coated aluminum.

The material used to make other things like the handles also matters, but the most important thing here is to ensure that the material is heat-resistant for easy handling of the grill even when hot.

#4. Accessories

There are some accessories that might not come with all portable charcoal grills but they are still great to have as they can make grilling easier and more convenient.

Some of these accessories to watch out for when shopping include things like covers, carry bags, grill tools and grilling recipes and tips books.

#5. Price

Top-rated portable charcoal grills with larger cooking surfaces and some fancy features and accessories will not come cheap, but this also does not mean that you need to spend a fortune to get one of these grills.

You can get a good quality portable charcoal grill for under $50 while some high-end models will retail for up to $500 or more.

When it comes to the price, you need to come up with a budget and then choose a model with the right cooking surface and features for you within that budget.

Conclusion

Portable charcoal grills make it possible to enjoy your favorite grilled foods on the go whether you are out camping, hiking or even just at the park or beach.

Like with any other grill type, finding a good model ensures that you will have a grill that is not only easy to use but also cooks well, efficiently and fast enough.

By taking into account factors like the material, cooking surface and price, you should have an easy time getting the best portable charcoal grill.

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