There are a lot of types of grills that you can choose from depending on your preferences. But if you want quality at a low price, we have the best charcoal grills under $300.
Charcoal grills are like the cooking style’s pioneer and considered the most authentic appliance if you want to grill food. They are perfect for barbecue and more.
Grills, in general, can cook almost anything that you want. Some modern grills and other models can cook in slow and low temperatures for smoking meat.
Charcoal grills can add some of the smoky flavors to the food. This unique barbecue flavor that you only get when you use charcoal grills instead of the other ones.
Here, we have a list of the best charcoal grills you can get for under $300. Usually, charcoal grills do not cost much, but you can never go wrong with buying the best quality.
Why Go With Charcoal Grills?
There are other types of grills, such as electric and gas grills, available on the market. They are convenient and easy to use, so they are naturally the ones we usually choose.
Cooking in those types of grills is faster and is less messy. You can place the food on them and allow them to cook it in a few minutes without requiring much work from you, the user.
So it gets us to ask, why choose charcoal grills? Well, many benefits come with charcoal grills, and we have a few of those advantages here, so let us take a look at them first.
1. Charcoal grills can get hot- Unlike electric grills, charcoal grills can get up to very high temperatures and can go higher than most grills since you can add fuel to them at any time.
Compared to electric and gas grills, charcoal grills can go up to higher temperatures. Other grills can get up to that as well but not as high as the charcoal grills can.
2. They are very versatile- Charcoal grills use authentic fuel, which can retain heat for a long time, giving them the ability to give off direct and indirect heat to their cooking.
With the ability to give off direct and indirect heat, charcoal grills can be switched to a smoker or cook in another style, such as roasting, searing, baking, and many other types.
3. Charcoal grills can also cook different recipes at the same time. Since you can determine the firebox’s fuel area, you can easily make a two-zone cooking grill.
This means you can place the charcoals and light them up on one side while you leave the other side at a cooler temperature. You can cook two different recipes at a time.
4. There are more flavors put into the food. When you cook with charcoal grills, you not only use what to cook the food but also add some flavors to it with the help of the smoke.
Although the flavor is not as noticeable as when you cook with real wood, you can still taste the different flavors. Adding a chunk of wood on top of the charcoals will also improve the smoke.
5. Charcoal grills are less expensive. Compared to gas, electric, and pellet grills, charcoal grills are generally cheaper because they do not need a lot of technology to cook the food.
That does not necessarily mean that there are no charcoal grills with a little bit of technology in them, but they are very simple. You can easily make your charcoal grill at home.
Best Charcoal Grill Grills Under $300
1. Weber 15301001 Performer
The first on our list is the amazing grill built by one of the most popular names in the grill industry. This charcoal grill from Weber is the perfect backyard grill to cook with at home.
It is a circular charcoal grill that has 22 inches of plated steel for its cooking grate. Overall, the cooking area is 363 square inches which can handle up to 13 burgers all at the same time.
One of the main issues with charcoal grills is the mess they make while cooking. This grill has its cleaning system that you can easily access to remove the ashes and other dirt.
You can easily sweep the ashes into a removable ash-catcher. I also like the lid on this grill since it has a heat shield, and you would not even need gloves to prevent burning your hands.
While most grills of this design do not have side tables, this one does so you can prepare the food right beside the grill. You can also hook the lid on the side, so do not put it on the ground.
Refueling the grill does not have to be much of a hassle. You can put more charcoal in the firebox without having to lift the entire grill grate and remove the food from the heat mid-cooking.
You just need to lift the center part of the plate and put the charcoals in. It is not the most convenient style, but the benefit you get from this is you do not remove the food from the heat.
2. Dyna-Glo Heavy-Duty Charcoal Grill
Another popular name in the grill industry is Dyna-Glo, and they also feature powerful and versatile charcoal grills. This model from them is a great grill that can cook a lot of foods.
With the design and quality of materials alone, you will hardly believe that this grill costs less than $300. The primary cooking area has porcelain-enameled cast-iron grill grates.
You can cook up to 20 burgers at a time as the cooking area is 486 square inches. There is also a 200-square inch warming rack made with porcelain-enameled stainless steel wire.
With this grill, you can cook a lot of food which makes it perfect for small parties. There is also a large space for preparing the food with the two side tables and a small basket at the bottom.
I liked this grill because I can adjust the grates’ height without touching them. You can lower or raise the grill grates with a crank outside of the grill.
That way, you can make your food cook at different temperatures without adding too much fuel. Speaking of fuel, you also do not need to open the grill’s lid to refill the charcoals.
On the side of the grill, there is a door that opens directly to the firebox. I loved this feature since I can easily slide the charcoals and add fresh ones while removing the ashes.
3. Char-Griller Akorn Jr
If you want a slightly different type of charcoal grill, then you can go with Char-Griller’s Kamado-style grill. It is a durable grill that, perhaps, has the best heat-retaining capability.
Kamado grills are usually made from ceramic to retain heat. Companies make other lighter materials and combine them to make an interior that can retain as much heat as possible.
The Akorn Jr. has triple-walled 22 gauge stainless steel. The exterior is powder-coated, while the interior is porcelain-coated to maximize the heat-retaining capabilities of the materials.
You can grill, smoke, roast, bake, sear, boil, and do other cooking styles in this grill. It is large enough to be in the backyard, but it is also not that large, so you can bring it with you on trips.
It is the perfect grill if you want to go tailgating or want something to cook while camping. This grill can go as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit without needing too much fuel.
That is what I loved since I was able to cook my pizza on this grill. It can also go as low as 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the perfect temperature for smoking thick meat cuts.
Given, this grill is not the largest, with only 153 square inches of cooking space. You can cook a 12-inch pizza in it, two steaks, or two racks of ribs that are just enough to feed a small group.
4. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill With Offset Smoker
This charcoal grill is another grill that is full-sized but is slightly smaller than the average. It is all stainless steel and can handle a lot of heat from both the insides and the outside.
The great thing about this grill is that it has another feature where you can smoke meat just like how you do with most smokers. It has a firebox on the side that puts heat into the chamber.
It is an offset smoker in some sense that cooks the food with indirect heat. It has a large cooking chamber with the main cooking space of 438 square inches and a 179 sq. inch warming rack.
The offset smoker’s cooking area is 183 square inches which means that you can cook a whole meal for a large family in this grill. It has a large cooking area meant for different cooking styles.
It also has a heavy-duty lid with a professional-grade thermometer on it. That way, you can keep track of the temperature and make sure to keep the heat inside when smoking or grilling food.
There is an adjustable plate for the charcoal to either get the fire closer to the food or farther from it. This gives you different temperatures with the same amount of fuel.
When it rains or when the weather is not the most advisable one to cook outdoors, you can easily move this charcoal grill with its large base with wheels that goes well with any terrain.
5. Expert Grill Heavy-duty Charcoal Grill
This grill is not the most common model, but it is a great grill with a professional and elegant grill. It is all stainless steel with a box design and sharp corners on it.
It is one of the largest charcoal grills on the list for the overall cooking spaces—the main cooking area is372 square inches, which can cook up to 20 burgers at a time.
There is also the warming rack which is 201 square inches in total. The warming rack is chrome-plated and can keep your food hot, or you can use it to grill vegetables or hotdogs.
There is also an access door to the charcoal grill’s firebox. You can easily add the charcoals into the firebox without lifting the grates or opening the lid to avoid disturbing the cooking process.
This grill has a side shelf that, like the main body, is built with heavy-duty steel. The shelf itself has hooks, so you can also hang the tools you need on it while you prepare the food as well.
The ash-catcher slides out pretty easily, so cleaning this charcoal grill is not a problem. The cart that comes with this grill is also convenient for moving the grill itself in short distances.
6. Weber Original Kettle Premium Copper Charcoal Grill
This is another charcoal grill from Weber that exudes not only beauty but also functionality. It has stainless steel and a copper finish that blends well with the backyard colors.
The cooking grate is made with a 22-inch diameter and has a heavy-gauge plated stainless steel finish. It has a total cooking area of 363 square inches that can cook up to 20 burgers.
The lid and the main body of the charcoal grill made in porcelain. This gives it resistance to both the heat coming from the charcoals inside and the outside elements.
There is also an angled hook on the lid itself, which allows you to hang the lid on the grill instead of putting it down on the ground, table, or holding it yourself so you can work better.
The One-touch cleaning system is also a favorite since it is one of the easiest, simplest, and most convenient ways to clean out the ash from the charcoal grill to keep the fire going.
There is also a unique way to refuel the charcoal grill with the hinge on the grill grate. You can easily lift the grill grate without removing it and adding the needed fuel into the firebox.
7. Char-broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
This is a grill that offers high-quality grilling, and you can use it anywhere you want. It uses TRU-Infrared technology that cooks the food in a slightly different way to make it taste better.
This cooking style enhances the flavor of the food and the flavors that the food gets from the fuel. It is also a feature that lessens the risk of flare-ups and reduces fuel consumption.
This grill also has a hinged lid that allows you to open the lid and not worry about putting it. The lid just stays with the main body of the grill so you can free up your hands to work.
The latch locks the smoke and heat inside and keeps the juices on the meat cooked. It is a very simple feature, but I found it truly helpful during transportation.
The cooking grate of this charcoal grill has just enough space to let the heat go through, but they are close enough, so the food will not fall in between.
It is porcelain-enameled, so it retains heat well, and you can clean it easily while it can also distribute the heat evenly throughout its 360 square inches of total cooking space.
This charcoal grill is perhaps my favorite when it comes to searing. It does not produce flare-ups that help with recipes with a lot of oil or when I use some marinades for cooking.
What To Look For In A Charcoal Grill?
It is pretty simple to choose the charcoal grill that you like, but there are some things that you need to know to make the right choice. The features that come with the grills are important.
That is especially important since you are only limited to a low budget. So to get the best charcoal grill under $300, look for the following features listed below.
Make sure that you get the right size of the charcoal grill that you want. This is determined by how many people you usually cook for and how often you use the charcoal grills.
If you are like me and love inviting some friends over to eat, you might want to get the larger models. There are a few listed above which can cook up to 20 burgers at a time.
You can also go with the smaller grills if you are alone at home or you just want to cook some steak for you and your family. So the size of the grill you choose depends on your habits.
The more control you have over the temperature of the charcoal grill, the more recipes you can cook. Make sure that you get the charcoal grill with many vents to control the temperature.
Some models have vents on both the firebox and the grill’s lid, and I find it best to go with those grills. You can control it in both high and low increments.
Easy To Clean
The most annoying thing about charcoal grills is they make a lot of mess even after just one cooking session. So get a charcoal grill that has its ash-catcher for easy cleanup.
Grills that have this feature are better since you do not have to manually remove the ashes inside. Removing the ashes will also improve the heating capability as the firebox gets more air.
You might already know the other features of the charcoal grill you want, as charcoal grills are generally the simplest grills. So to make the most out of your money, get accessories.
Some grills include many accessories that add to the aesthetic of the grills, but you can also use them to help you cook many recipes. These are great, so you do not have to buy them separately.
Accessories such as extra grill grates with different designs, ash catchers, ash removers, hooks, side tables, and more will help you cook the food more conveniently and easily.
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