If you don’t have time to read the whole article and just want to know what is the best charcoal grill under $200, then our recommendation is the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill. It’s durable, easy to use, and comes with many useful features that make grilling a lot more fun.
Ok, so you have decided to get an affordable new charcoal grill and are looking for the best option. Then you have come to the right place!
Are you looking for a large grill, or a portable one? Maybe a kamado-style grill? Well, it doesn’t matter, you can find the best one here.
In this article, we’ve picked and reviewed 6 of the best charcoal grills you can get under 200 dollars.
We’re going to review the following charcoal grills in this guide:
- Best Overall: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
- Best Kamado Style Grill: Char-Griller AKORN Jr
- Best Budget Option: Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
- Largest Option: The Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill
- Most Portable: Grillerette Pro
- Most Durable: Lodge L410 Grill
Or perhaps you are not yet sure if a charcoal grill is what you want. Read on to learn all about why you should get yourself a brand new charcoal grill for endless months of grilling heaven.
Why Go With A Charcoal Grill?
- It’s Got That Traditional Grill Flavor
You know that smell. It wafts over the gate from your neighbor’s house on a summer night, and it reminds you that it might be time to fire up the barbecue. It’s more than just the smell of food cooking, it’s the smell of food cooking on charcoal that really ignites your taste buds. If you’re lucky enough to have a sample, the charcoal-infused flavor is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
- They Get Hot Enough For That All-Important Sear
Have you ever heard of the Maillard Reaction? It’s the more scientific name for that gorgeous exterior crust or “sear” of certain cuts of meats. It’s why steaks and lamb chops can be crisp on the outside while remaining pink in the middle. And that’s because the grill gets hot enough to perform this action. All gas grills don’t get hot enough for this to occur unless they have infrared burners.
- Charcoal Is An Affordable Option
Because of the simplicity in design and the reduced amount of metal parts, charcoal grills are generally on the cheaper end of the spectrum. This means you can get a high-quality product without breaking the bank. The smaller you go, the less you’ll spend.
- You Can Control The Heat With Some Practice
Many rookies in the charcoal world think that a detriment is the lack of temperature control with charcoal. Not so! By using grill tongs (longer and more heat-resistant) and moving the coals around the grill, you can easily reduce the heat or concentrate it on certain areas of the unit. Another key for precise temperature control is to reduce or increase the airflow inside your grill. All good charcoal grills have air vents for this purpose.
- Charcoal Grills Are More Portable
Since they are generally more lightweight and don’t require an exterior gas tank, charcoal grills are more portable overall. Set your new grill in the back of your truck for the next picnic in the park!
What Can You Get With 200 Bucks?
Obviously, we all know that if you’re willing to spend an unlimited amount of money, you can get every feature under the sun. But what if you want to spend less than 200 dollars?
You might not be able to afford absolutely every cutting-edge development on the market with that price.
However, there are definitely a few key features that you’d be wise not to overlook. This way you can get a magnificent grill unit and stay on the budget.
Be sure to get a grill that has the following:
- Sturdy Construction, Preferably With Stainless or Porcelain Elements
The metal body of the grill needs to be able to stand up to high temperatures, as well as large temperature swings as the grill rapidly heats and cools. Stainless steel or porcelain enameling are marvelous material options here. Keep your eyes open for things like double-welded seams, which keep things connected for even longer. Don’t scrimp on metal quality or durability.
- Ample Size For Your Regular Crowd
When you grill, who are you usually cooking for? Yourself? Your family? For the whole neighborhood? Keep this in mind when sizing your new unit. Many people want to go for a massive grill top area for show, but then they only cook for 2-3 people and never really entertain. This type of grilling could mean even more unnecessary spending of money when buying the charcoal or briquettes.
- Sturdy Lid and Handle
You want a domed, heavy-duty lid made from a good metal. The handle should ideally have some insulation on it so it won’t heat up as quickly. Also, a bonus perk on many grills is a built-in lid hook on the rim, so you don’t need to set the scorching hot lid on the ground while flipping your food. This is definitely worth it!
- Ash Catcher
The one main drawback for owning a charcoal grill is the disposal and cleaning of the ashes. If you have a simple grate underneath the grill, ashes can fly everywhere when transporting them to the garbage. Therefore, keep your eyes peeled for nifty little cages or containers for the ashes to fall into, making clean-up a breeze.
Best Charcoal Grills Under $200 Reviewed
Here are reviews of the best charcoal grills in the price class:
Best Overall: Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill
When it comes to charcoal grilling, Weber is hands-down the most popular and iconic brand, and for a good reason. These grills are durable, user-friendly and highly portable.
Some cheap rudimentary charcoal grills are basically just a metal cover with a grid and a lid, but this grill is so much more than that! The Original Kettle is loaded with nice features that make grilling more enjoyable.
The cooking grate has a convenient hinge on it so that you can easily slide some more charcoal in even while you have food cooking. It’s super slick!
The body and lid are porcelain-enameled so that they will retain heat but not rust or peel with time and use. The lid also comes with a built-in thermometer and there is a hook for hanging it during cooking.
The unit is mobile and has a handy catcher for the burned-out ashes that makes cleaning up a lot easier. It has two wheels so you can conveniently move it around on an even surface.
Despite being compact and portable this grill has 363 square inches of grilling space. You can fit in up to 13 burgers made with Weber burger press.
You can control the heat level with adjustable dampers on the lid. When you’re done grilling, just close them completely to extinguish the coals. Unfortunately, the grilling grate is stationary, so you can’t move it up or down to adjust the heat.
In addition to all this, there are a couple more little things that I really like. The lid handle has a heat shield that prevents it from getting too hot. There are also hooks for hanging your grilling tools when they are not in use.
If you’re looking for a great charcoal grill, I’m sure you’ll be more than satisfied with your new Weber Original Kettle. And what’s great is that your investment won’t break the bank!
- Great value for money
- Compact and portable
- Easy to use and clean
- Loaded with nice features
- Can’t move the grilling grate to adjust the heat
Best Kamado Style Grill: Char-Griller AKORN Jr
Well well, look at this little grill! It sure is a bright and funky looking piece of equipment.
Some might even say that it looks like a small UFO, but that’s because it’s modeled in the kamado-style to promote even heating and enhanced flavor.
This grill has a handy ash collector that’s built right in. Another perk is that although this grill has a fair amount of exterior metal, it’s extremely lightweight making it ideal for taking on the road to picnics, tailgating parties, and camping.
One of the best things about the Akorn Jr. is that it has triple wall steel construction for added insulation. This makes sure that the heat doesn’t escape and makes this a great unit for slow smoking. Also, controlling the temperature is easy with the top and bottom air dampers.
The only real downside of this unit is that it only has 153 square inches of grilling space. It ‘s also a short model so you can’t really comfortably stand and tend the grill.
This is definitely one of my favorite charcoal grills in its price class. It’s smaller than the Weber model but on the other hand, it’s more portable.
Also, the Akorn Jr. is great for smoking all kinds of meats as long as you can fit them in. If the bright red color is too much for you, it’s also available in black.
- Small and lightweight
- Versatile: good for smoking
- Easy to clean
- Excellent heat retention
- Small grilling area
Best Budget Option: Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
This grill was made for traveling and taking on-the-go to the ballgame or the campgrounds with ease. The lid locks down to make carrying it a smooth and simple process.
This little guy holds six burgers so it could be ideal for small gatherings or meals.
Weber Go-Anywhere is a simple grill and using it is very easy and straightforward. It has everything you need without any extra gimmicks. The dampers allow easy temperature control.
Its porcelain-enameled lid and main base will not rust or peel even with the high heats of grilling. The cooking grates are made of durable plated stainless steel.
The grilling surface is 160 square inches, not as large as many other grills in this category. So keep that in mind if you’re having to grill for large parties.
Overall, this is an excellent budget option if you’re looking for a small portable charcoal grill to take along on camping adventures, road trips, and picnics.
- Very affordable
- Super portable
- Easy to use
- Small grilling space
Largest Option: The Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill
This is a playful take on an old makeshift neighborhood trash can fire. The base is made black and cylindrical to resemble a garbage can. Except this one is made from durable metal.
There’s an internal metal frame that contains a grill grate, drip pan, coal box, and metal skewers for hanging meat. It also has a handy starter cup that makes lighting the charcoal easier.
This grill can serve for a large gathering as you could kick in an entire turkey with a few racks of ribs and a roast. It’s a jumbo-sized unit made for big quantities of food!
You can easily assemble this unit with even a basic tool kit. The grill is made from highly durable rolled steel and stainless metals with a high-temperature solid black paint.
This unit isn’t really set up for regular grilling where you stand next to it and flip steaks and burgers. The design works best for smoking larger cuts of meat and entire birds. In addition, its style, although unique and fun, doesn’t fit everywhere since it is shaped like a trash can.
The Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill could be a great option if you like the design and are looking to slow cook big chunks of meat.
With this rig in your backyard, you’re definitely not going to run out of cooking space. You’ll also have something to show off and talk about at the barbecue parties!
- Original design
- Simple and efficient
- Huge cooking capacity
- Great for smoking big chunks of meat
- Not so good for regular grilling
Most Portable: Grillerette Pro
Now this is a fascinating take on grill portability, and it uses a battery-powered fan to help you with lighting the charcoal and keeping it hot.
The innovative cooktop blocks the grease from spilling onto the charcoal which means 90% less smoke while grilling.
This is more of a side grill and wouldn’t really serve as the main one in a house. It doesn’t have a lid so it’s only good for cooking with direct heat. On the other hand, you can make excellent steaks and burgers with it!
The Grillerette Pro is extremely lightweight and portable and is just begging to go on your next road trip or picnic. It comes with a handy carrying case and weighs less than 8 pounds.
- Less smoke
- Very easy to carry around
- Smart and convenient design
- Comes with a travel bag
- No lid
- Small cooking area
Most Durable: Lodge L410 Grill
This is a rugged pre-seasoned cast iron grill that sits on four small legs. It’s a simple yet sturdy unit that retains heat especially well so it will save on charcoal in the long run.
It’s very easy to grab this grill along from the carry handle. The unit is very compact and weighs 27 pounds.
There’s a small sliding mechanism on the grill that allows you to control airflow and the level of heat. The grill area is not very large and can fit about 8 burgers at once.
The front of the grill has a small door that you can open to add more charcoal during the cooking process.
This American-made cast iron grill is super durable. The cooking surface is also cast iron making it ideal for all types of food.
It’s a short, squat unit so it needs to be on a table or other elevated platform if you want to stand up while grilling. You can also place it on the ground and sit on a chair.
The grill has no lid so you will need to adjust cooking times accordingly.
This hibachi-style grill is built to last and you can easily take it along for camping trips, picnic, or tailgating.
- Very sturdy and durable
- Compact and portable
- Simple design that is easy to use
- Cast iron construction and cooking surface
- Has no lid
Let’s Get Those Steaks on the Grill!
So as we can see, there are many great charcoal grills that you can bring home without spending too much.
Our top pick is the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill. It’s a quality product that is convenient to use and you can easily bring it along on with you. While being portable, it still offers enough grilling space to host a small get together on your backyard.
I hope you found a grill that matches your budget and needs. Now, let’s make the grill hot and get a few cold ones from the ref, it’s barbecue time!