11 Best Portable Charcoal Grills of 2020 (Ranked & Reviewed)

Looking to break out something that packs in a punch on your next cookout? Here are five of the very best portable charcoal grills to take out while on the move.

charcoal in portable grill

Portable charcoal grills are a great way to bring the beauty of good home barbecue grilling on the road with you. Whether it be at a tailgate party, or on the road camping.

Here are five of the very best for you to look at before you buy:

The 11 portable charcoal grills we’ll be looking at are:

Let’s take a deeper look!

Want a backyard grill? Check out our guide to the best charcoal grills.

kamado joe

Kamado Joe Jr

Check it out on Amazon

The unique thing which you will notice about the Kamado Joe is the compact and modular design. This makes it perfect for using in a small amount of space quite easily.

The grill’s 14-inch ceramic grill is perfectly perched on a cast-iron stand means that it is highly stable. You can place it on any surface or countertop with ease. Additionally, it consists of a 304 stainless steel cooking grate. The advantage of stainless steel cooking grate is that it can handle wear and tear and high temperature.

Some of the features of this grill which set it apart include the ceramic heat deflector. It increases heat retention capacity. As a result, the amount of charcoal required to cook your favorite delicacies gets significantly reduced. It consists of a grill gripper as well, which adds to the convenience. With the help of the ash tool, it is easy for you to remove the ash and residue at your convenience.

With all of these features, you might be wondering what the total cooking area is?

The answer to that question is 148.5 in.². Also, with the help of built-in thermometer on the lid, it is easy to measure the temperature. Also, the temperature range is usually between 225F to 750F. It means that you can cook at a high temperature with ease.

Find out the difference between the Kamado Joe Classic and Classic II

The modular design, coupled with the stand and adequate cooking area makes this grill a good option.

According to some users, the functionality of the grill in itself is excellent. However, the instructions are pretty limited. Due to this very reason, there is a learning curve involved.

Apart from that, the grill works perfectly fine, and the customer support is good enough. That is why, if you do not mind the learning curve, you should go with this grill.

If you follow the manual up to the last detail while using a grill, this one isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a compact and efficient grill which will help you make those delicacies, you can certainly choose this option. Since this is a charcoal grill, it can provide you with that smoky flavor as well, which is positive.

Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman

Check it out on Amazon

The USP of this grill is the cooking space of 360 in². It means that it is suitable for not just personal cooking but bulk cooking as well. As it consists of wheels at the bottom and is highly portable, you can use it for tailgating, parties, and camping. As a result, the applications of this charcoal grill are virtually endless. Any discussion about the grill is incomplete without mentioning the cooking area. The cooking area consists of 22.5-inch diameter cooking grates. These grates are porcelain coated. As a result, they can handle the high temperature.

With the help of hinged lid, you can open it and close it as per your needs. Closing the lid will ensure that you can induce that smoky flavor in your food. Additionally, it can help you monitor the temperature.

With the help of a removable ashtray, cleaning the grill is not a problem. There is also wire shelf at the bottom that provides you with storage space.

Due to its portability and Infrared element which can fire the charcoal, it is a great option.

Some users have experienced problems while slow cooking. The grill is perfect for cooking burgers and steaks, but when you use any other cooking technique; you will not get the same efficiency.

Also, the design of the grill surface is such that it can accumulate residue faster. It means that the cleaning frequency is on the higher side.

At the same time, many users commented that the design controls the flare-ups. It means that even heat and even cooking is possible using this grill.

If you’re looking for a grill to cook steaks and burgers using the conventional grilling technique, this grill checks all the boxes. Moreover, due to its Infrared heating element, it conveniently fires the charcoal in no time. As long as you plan on sticking to the traditional cooking techniques, this is the grill which you should buy.

weber go anywhere

Weber Go Anywhere

Check it out on Amazon

What is the 1st thing which you often notice when you see a grill?

Many Consumer notice the size. That is why, when you check out the pics of this grill, the general perception will be that it is quite small.

What if I told you it could handle six burgers at once?

Yes, that’s true in spite of the compact design; the efficiency is so high that it can cook six burgers at a time. It comes along with the Weber burger press which helps you get that authentic taste and texture.

Every feature of this charcoal grill enhances its portability. The stands at the bottom are foldable. Once you fold it, it becomes similar in form factor to a briefcase. It has a handle on top to lock the lid; you can be sure that it stays closed throughout the journey. As a result, moving it around is easy. That is why; it is the perfect option for tailgate parties, small get-together, and even camping.

When you look at the cooking area, it consists of triple nickel-coated steel cooking grate. The heat retention capacity is on the higher side. With the cooking area of 160 in², you can cook six hamburgers at a time.

There are dampers which help you in controlling the heat inside. Also, the porcelain-enameled steel lid is heavy-duty. The base can retain the heat as well, which means that the amount of charcoal which it will consume is on the lower side. The outer body is such that it is a rust-resistant and will not suffer from peeling. As a result, the aesthetics are maintained at all times.

The Weber 121020 grill is a brilliant option when you’re looking for something with adequate cooking area and portable.

Many consumers have praised the fact that there is very little to assemble when buying this grill. One thing, however, which most consumers pointed out was that the grate and the charcoals are pretty close to each other. That is why; you might have to vary the quantity of coal which you usually use in the grill. You might have to lower it. As long as you can follow this precaution, all will be good.

If you travel a lot and are looking for a charcoal grill which you can carry with yourself wherever you go, this is the option. With the help of its form factor and ease of use; it will fit your requirements of portable charcoal grill perfectly.

weber smokey joe

Weber Jumbo Joe

Check it out on Amazon

Looking for something compact but with the large cooking capacity? If yes, this one with eight burgers capacity is the right choice. It comes with the Weber burger press.

The lightweight and compact design aids portability. When you look at the construction, it consists of a porcelain-enameled lid. The advantage of this lid is that not only it is durable, but it can retain the heat inside. The cover also helps you in maintaining its aesthetics.

With the help of steel-plated cooking grate, the durability is on the higher side. It also means that it can handle the high temperature. You will not have to worry about replacing the grate any time soon. The USP of this grate is the aluminum ash catcher. The ash catcher is easy to clean.

It also consists of dampers on top with the help of which you can control the temperature. These features make it easy to handle the charcoal grill, which is why; consumers prefer it over many other options.

Many consumers are happy with this grill as weber provides all the hardware which you need to install it. Weber even provides a wrench and therefore, you can get it up and running in no time. The consumers also prefer it due to its excellent finish and solid construction.

However, at the same time, consumers have also highlighted the fact that there are lighter grills available. That is why, if you’re big on weight, it might be time to rethink about this one.

The higher cooking capacity of this grill, along with portability makes it the right choice. Also, the fact that it is aesthetically pleasing and quite sturdy in construction adds to its advantages.

Check out our full Weber Jumbo Joe review.

Cuisinart CCG-190RB

Check it out on Amazon

The next option our list is another compact and portable charcoal grill. The striking red color makes it aesthetically pleasing.

When you look at the cooking area, it consists of 150 in² cooking space. The chrome-plated grate means that wear and tear is not a problem. With the help of a large area, it can accommodate various delicacies at once, which make it suitable for small get-togethers as well.

With the help of dual vents, it is easy to control the temperature.

If you’re one of those who prefer that smoky flavor, it consists of a secure lid along with three locks. These locks not only come in handy during transportation but also when you want to trap the smoke inside to induce that smoky flavor.

The grill measures 14.5″ x 14.5″ x 15″. The weight is just 2 lbs. That is why; it is pretty easy to transport.

With the help of enamel coated firebox, durability is not a problem. It consists of an ash catcher as well which means that collecting any residue is easy. The handle makes it convenient to pull the lid up or down.

The fact that in spite of the compact size, it offers you 150 in² of cooking space makes it one of the best portable charcoal grill.

One thing which many consumers have commented about this grill is that it comes with the entire hardware and detailed instruction. It means that you can assemble it in just 10 minutes.

However, one thing which is lacking in this grill is stability. While in general, it is stable, but the sturdiness could have been higher. It is not noticeable when you’re placing it on a table on the countertop, but when you’re putting it on an uneven surface or the ground, you might notice it. Still, it is convenient to use.

The beauty of this charcoal grill is in the cooking space. If that is what you’re after, you cannot ignore this portable charcoal grill.


Still hungry? Check out more BBQ posts

why are drop in grills so expensive 1 Why Are Drop-In Grills So Expensive? [Burning Questions] - They're sleek and powerful, but why are built-in grills so expensive? Find out everything you need to know with our… ...
how to tell when ribs are done How to Tell When Ribs Are Done (7 Easy Ways) - Want to know the secret to perfectly cooked BBQ ribs? Here’s our guide walking through everything you need to know,… ...
tomahawk steak seared over charcoal grill How to Reverse Sear a Tomahawk Steak (BBQ Grilling) - Reverse searing is the perfect way to cook your tomahawk steak to perfection, ensuring the perfect internal temperature and crispy… ...
propane natural gas conversion pipe kit BBQ Tip: How to Convert Your Propane Grill to Natural Gas - Not sure where to begin with converting your propane grill to natural gas? Here's everything you need to know to… ...
how to reheat ribs How to Reheat Ribs - Ribs, ribs, glorious ribs. One of our all-time favorite BBQ staples. Fresh off the grill they're incredible, however trying to… ...

Get BBQ recipes straight to your inbox!

    We respect your privacy and will never spam you. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    shares