During summer the smell of barbecue excites me unlike anything else. Charcoal grill stoves being an ideal alternative to gas grills, are also super inexpensive, and easily prepare delicious smoky meals. Whether you just want a grill for backyard cooking time or camping, you can get the best charcoal grill under $100, which is much less than its counterparts.

Different sizes, shapes, and cooking styles make these units pretty much suitable for all outdoor cooking needs. Although all charcoal grills will get you quite tasty and flavorful cooked meals, one has an upper hand over others in terms of durability, cooking style, and convenience.

The list includes some great grills considering major cooking aspects. Regardless of your preference, you will find the right one among the list below.

The Best Charcoal Grill under $100 in 2020


1. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill, 14-inch, Red

Highlighted Features

  • 14 inches, 150 square inches super portable grilling unit
  • Weighs 2 pounds
  • Chrome-plated cooking rack
  • Dual-venting system
  • Three lid locks
  • Enamel coated firebox

Having a super portable and lightweight charcoal grill allows you to carry the unit pretty much everywhere you go. Weighing only 2 pounds, there won’t be much comfort issues while carrying the grill.

Although the grill is a small-sized unit, you can still prepare meals for a number of people. The surface is large enough to cook 3 burgers, 3 hot dogs, or 6 six burgers or hot dogs at a time. If you want a grill for small picnic purposes, it’s the perfect size without putting much weight to the carrying loads.

The cooking surface can distribute the heat evenly to the foods ensuring you great tasting meals within the shortest possible time. Chrome plated cooking rack cuts a significant period of cooking time. If you are to make anything quick and fast, the unit will easily meet such requirements.

Featuring a dual-venting system, the grill provides you all the coal management control for both slow and low cooking. Like most top charcoal grills, this one can also prepare other meals apart from just BBQ. You can cook quite a few chicken breasts with ease.

Note that this size isn’t for cooking for an overwhelming number of people. Still, it should be more than enough for couple trips, camping, tailgating, small homes, RVs, and travel trailers.

Pros

  • Ideal for small cooking needs
  • Evenly heat distribution
  • Great coal control for both low and slow cooking
  • Can be transported easily and safely
  • Ash catcher doesn’t make a mess

Cons

  • Parts and components are flimsy
  • Not for lots of cooking needs

2. Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Highlighted Features

  • 363 square inches grilling surface
  • Holds up to 13 burgers
  • One-touch cleaning system
  • Durable plated steel grate
  • Wheel system

Top rated charcoal grill units don’t just cook meals, these also offer convenience and great value for the price. This one from Weber is one of those grills that makes outdoor cooking a lot easier.

The grill is large enough to hold up to 13 burgers. In addition, it features a burger press to provide the smokiest flavour to the meals. For partying, camping, backyard family cooking, RV, and other cooking purposes, the size meets the sweet spot for being an ultra-portable and large enough stove.

Features plated-steel cooking grate to ensure even heat distribution and flavourful food preparing. In addition, the lid and bowl got porcelain-enameled material that also helps to stabilize the temperature to take minimum time to prepare foods while not ruining the exterior paint job.

The material is quite durable, and also much easier to clean. You can even put coal directly on the grate as per the cooking requirements.

Using the dampers, you can control the cooking temperature without lifting the lid. When you close the dampers, this will completely cut the oxygen flow, and extinguish the coals.

Although the grill is quite lightweight and fairly easier to carry, it further comes with wheels to make moving the unit even convenient.

When it comes to clean the unit, you won’t need to do much hassle. Cleaning charcoal ash and debris is just one-touch away, which go directly into the rust-resistant ash catcher.

Pros

  • Evenly cooking
  • Temperature can be controlled
  • Durable materials
  • Wheels make it easy to transport
  • Easy to clean the ash

Cons

  • Wheels don’t feel that durable

3. Char-Griller Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

Highlighted Features

  • 250 square inch cooking space
  • Cast iron cooking grates
  • Bottom storage rack and side shelf
  • Two wheels
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Damping ash pan

You can find a decent grill that cooks really well, but only a few of them are also reliable when it comes to durability. If you are to carry the grill stove to different places to feed people tummy with smoky foods without harming the durability, this one from Char-Griller is worth considering.

Offering 250 square inches of cooking space, you can easily cook six 17 inches kebabs while leaving enough space for roasting other items. You can fit a whole chicken with indirect heat as well. So, for a small family gathering, camping, partying, and tailgating, the grill stove got enough space to meet the cooking needs.

Grate is made of cast iron, which assures you about its durability as well as even heat distribution. Unlike conventional grates, it won’t take rust and corrosion whatsoever.

The overall construction is made of quality steel. For a grill that will be moved from place to place, you can rely on its construction quality.

As it’s a versatile grill stove, using adjustable dampers, you can control temperature for slow, low, and fast cooking.

For more convenience, the grill features a wooden side shelf that comes great useful for keeping food preparing things and ingredients. Furthermore, there is a bottom storage rack where you can keep more things that you would need while cooking.

Designed for small spaces, you won’t need to compromise much space for the unit. For ease of transportation, it has two wheels.

When it comes to ash disposal, the unit comes with an ash pam for easy dumping. You won’t need to lift the greasy grills. Regardless of the number of foods you cook, cleaning won’t bother you at all.

Pros

  • Spacious cooking surface
  • Temperature can be adjusted
  • Convenient storage option
  • Easy to move wheels
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Smoke escapes
  • Grease leaks

4. Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill, Black

Highlighted Features

  • 250 square inch cooking space
  • Cast iron cooking grates
  • Bottom storage rack and side shelf
  • Two wheels
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Damping ash pan

For those who want an on-the-go grill stove with a durable construction and other cooking conveniences, this can be the best charcoal grill under 100 for them.

The cooking surface is large enough to hold up to 5 burgers at a time. As you would expect from a portable grill unit, it also features a weber burger press. You won’t miss the smoky and BBQ flavor no matter what you prepare on the grate.

Weighing around 9.5 pounds, the unit feels comfortable to carry while on the go. You won’t feel carrying anything overwhelming at all.

Weber used quality grates that evenly distributes heat to the meal. Furthermore, it got a porcelain-enameled lid as well as bowl to retain heat and prevent the grill from rusting or peeling. Both the grate and entire housing of the grill is easy to clean, and don’t require much effort from the user’s end.

Whether you are preparing a slow or fast cooking meal, you can adjust the temperature through dampers for ease of control.

The lid got a comfortable to hold handle made of reinforced nylon material, which also retains heat, and is much safe to touch.

To tackle the messes, the grill got an aluminum ash catcher. It’s large enough not to fall the ash on the ground.

If you are looking for a grill to prepare burgers and similar foods while hanging out with friends that don’t require much care and cleaning, this option is just right for your needs.

Pros

  • Spacious cooking surface
  • Temperature can be adjusted
  • Convenient storage option
  • Easy to move wheels
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Smoke escapes
  • Grease leaks

5. Char-Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box, Black

Highlighted Features

  • Duo setup, use as a charcoal grill and side firebox
  • Cast iron and steel construction
  • 250 square inches of cooking surface
  • Easy to damp sliding drawer
  • Adjustable dampers

Although it’s a table top grill unit, you can use it as a charcoal barrel grill and as a side fire box for convenience. Once you use it as a fire box, you cannot use it as a grill unless you thoroughly clean it.

This setup will add 250 square inches of extra cooking space. So, when it’s about cooking for multiple families, it got enough space for that.

The housing is made of durable steel material. To enhance its durability, the manufacturer further treated it with powder coating. If you plan to move along with the unit for camping, tailgating, RV, or picnic purposes, you will find it to be durable enough to withstand regular travelling toughness.

For ease of cleaning, it features a sliding drawer to easily access to ash and coal. Just damp the ash pan to take care of the messes.

To cook different meals, you can adjust the dampers to increase or lower the temperature. Whether certain dishes require slow or low cooking, its two adjustable dampers can handle them all.

As far as the weight and carrying convenience is concerned, it weighs 41 pounds. You can transport it without doing much hassle as it has an overall compact design.

If you currently own a charcoal grill, and you want to extend the cooking space or use it as an individual grill stove, this deal would be worthwhile considering for both cases.

Pros

  • Considerably large cooking space
  • Heat control for versatile cooking
  • Easy to clean
  • Has multiple usages
  • Durably made

Cons

  • Paint quality isn’t good
  • Firebox leaks smoke

6. Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

Highlighted Features

  • 160 inches cooking surface
  • 6.59 kg
  • Plated steel grate
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and base
  • Adjustable dampers

If your outdoor hanging out and long trips require a compact grill with large enough cooking surface, this one from Weber would be the value charcoal grill for such needs.

The cooking surface is well-spacious to hold up to 6 burgers along with a burger press. It’s about 160 square inches. You won’t miss the taste of perfectly made burgers and other meals using the grill. The smoky flavour will surely delight you in the best way possible.

Despite having a quite large surface, you will find it comfortable and lightweight to carry on the go. The shape and design is extremely user-friendly to carry the grill. It got a nice and comfortable carrying handle for your convenience. Its rectangular size will easily fit the back of any car without taking much space.

For protecting the housing, the lid and base got porcelain-enameled lid. You can rest assured that these parts won’t rust or peel whatsoever. The lid perfectly locks, and allows you to carry or transport the unit pretty much everywhere.

When it’s about cooking different meals, you must take care of the temperature. To make it easier, the grill features dampers that allow you to adjust the heat for slow or low cooking. In results, you get great tasting meals with perfect flavour and smoky thrill.

Featuring a heat retainable cooking grate, it feels pretty durable and easier to clean compared to what’s found in other grills.

Pros

  • Great easy to carry design
  • Components are of durable material
  • The cooking surface is of a decent size
  • Rust-resistant housing
  • Doesn’t peel
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The legs aren’t much stable
  • Difficult to screw the handles

7. Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch

Highlighted Features

  • Spacious cooking surface
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
  • Handle with heat shield
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Aluminum ash catcher
  • Weighs 18 pounds

Having great tasting smoky meals while traveling isn’t that difficult when you have this grill unit while on-the-go. The size is easy to carry while touring without causing much difficulties. You can easily keep it in your car’s back while leaving enough space for other gear and accessories.

The unit comes with space for holding up to eight burgers along with a burger press. This isn’t that only the restaurants make delicious and smoky flavored burgers, you can make even while on the go without doing anything overwhelming.

Unlike conventional and cheap grills, the housing of this one won’t rust or peel for outdoor exposure whatsoever. It got porcelain-enameled lid and bowl for retaining heat.

For carrying convenience, the lid is designed in a way that you won’t have to place it on the ground regardless of the circumstances.

Most grills on the list feature adjustable dampers for temperature control. With no exception to that, this one also allows you to adjust the desired temperature as per the meals require.

The grate in this grill isn’t a typical one that conventional units come with. It’s made of heavy duty steel; thus, you can assure about its durability. With no surprises, the lid got a handle, which is safe to touch even if you touch it just after finishing the cooking. It got a heat shield for convenience.

To make it much easier to clean the mess, you will also have an aluminum ash catcher. It’s designed in a way that doesn’t let the ashes fall on the ground that easily.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight to carry
  • Enough cooking space
  • Durable components
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Comfortable to hold lid handle

Cons

  • Metal wire on the top isn’t of good quality
  • A bit time-consuming to assemble

8. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker

Highlighted Features

  • 438 square inches of main cooking surface
  • Additional smoker set and warming rack
  • Easy to read thermometer on the lid
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Heat resistant paint and porcelain cooking grates
  • Two wheels

If your outdoor cooking needs require to get a bit bigger grill, and your budget is a little over $100, you can consider this top rated charcoal grill from Royal Gourmet.

The grill offers an overall 800 square inches of cooking surface that is split into a few different sections. 179 square inches chrome warming rack, 183 square inches additional cooking surface along with 438 square inches of main cooking area. For partying, camping, and family get together, you will find the size to be enough to prepare foods for the guests.

To cook while on-the-go with great convenience and experience, the grill features an offset smoker, which you can use for both heating and as a smoker. When it’s about adding charcoal, you will find the side door to be extremely useful to make your food preparing task easier.

Unlike what you see in conventional grills, the lid in this one is for some serious business. The paint is heat-resistant, thus, no chance for paint chipping whatsoever. It features a professional thermometer that tells you about the temperature under the lid.

However, the spring handle is always cool to touch regardless of the cooking temperature. To handle versatile meals well, the grill also features dampers for air flowing.

To help you organizing things that you will need while food preparing, it got plenty of storage space including a bottom shelf.

For even heat distribution, the main cooking surface got porcelain wire grate. This helps to make your meals tender, and to have proper juices in them. When it comes to cleaning, you won’t have to put much effort.

With its two wheels, you can freely move the grill around your backyard or patio without any issues. These wheels are also durably made, so you can count of them too as well.

Pros

  • Large cooking space
  • Made of durable and high-quality material
  • Temperature control, and monitoring options
  • Enough spaces for storage
  • Wheels for ease of transportation
  • Cool to touch handle
  • Much better airflow

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold heat for long
  • The paint on the housing isn’t that durable

9. Summer Charcoal Grill Barbecue Portable BBQ

Highlighted Features

  • Foldable design, detachable legs
  • Stainless steel material
  • Double air vents
  • Built-in ash catcher

Cooking foods for number of people using a small charcoal barbecue grill unit is quite an overwhelming task. If you are to buy a larger one to make sure you can prepare a lot of items at a time, all you will need is a grill like this one.

The cooking surface of the grill is large enough for a small party, picnic, hangout needs. It got detachable legs, which make it a lot easier to carry for camping, tailgating, backpacking, and other outdoor trips. Also, the handle make it more convenient to carry the unit from one place to another.

Made with thick stainless steel material, it’s build to last. Its superb abrasive resistance prevent the grill from rusting and other issues that compromise the durability factor. If you want a long lasting and big outdoor cooking solution, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Assembling the grill unit is fairly easy. It won’t take much time to set everything up for cooking time. Also, when you are done, you will find it easy and quite effortless to clean, thanks to its quality stainless steel housing.

There are air vents on both ends so you can control cooking temperature as per the dishes require to have the right taste and flavor.

For ease of cleaning, it got a built-in grid charcoal frame ash catcher that doesn’t let you bothered when it comes to clean ashes.

Pros

  • Ideal for family cooking needs
  • Both sides have air vents for temperature control
  • Rust-resistant
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Average quality construction
  • Foods near edges cook faster

10. Weber 441001 Grilling

Highlighted Features

  • Decent cooking space
  • One-touch cleaning system with ash catcher
  • Retainable porcelain-enameled lid and bowl
  • Adjustable dampers
  • Plated rust-resistant grate
  • Wheel system

With a space for holding up to 9 burgers, the last grill unit is from Weber again. If you want the best affordable charcoal grill considering a bit big space and less weight factor, this grill is worth investing the money in.

The plated grate inside under the lid is durably made of high quality steel. This makes the grate to withstand direct grilling along with indirect grilling.

You can also adjust the cooking temperature as per the foods require through the dampers. Simply lift the lid, and make necessary adjustments. Most grill unit are a bit versatile cooking system, and it’s not an exception to this.

The manufacturer used high quality porcelain-enamel to make the lid and bowl of the grill. Thus, it retains heat much better, resulting in consistent temperature for cooking. You can expect the housing to endure much less cracking, rusting, and peel as well.

When it comes to carrying the grill, it only weighs 3.31 pounds; thus, you won’t experience any trouble moving it from once place to another.

Its one-touch cleaning system takes all the cleaning hassle away from your shoulders. There is a rest-resistant ash catcher that does its job well.

For ease of mobility, the unit features wheels so that you can effortlessly pull it to move to the desired place.

Pros

  • Can hold up to nine burgers, so enough spacious
  • Compact, lightweight, and very portable unit
  • Temperature control dampers
  • Durable plated grate
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Ash catcher isn’t of good quality
  • Grate doesn’t seem to withstand rust when is exposed to a lot of water

Buying Guide of Best Charcoal Grill under $100

Best Charcoal Grill under $100

Best Charcoal Grill under $100 don’t seem to quite an overwhelming investment. Still you want to make sure the product serves the cooking requirements as well as checks convenient aspects. There are a few things that you must consider before finalizing the purchase.

Size

Best charcoal BBQ grills come with different sizes. Although these aren’t for cooking for huge number of people, still you can pick a decently larger size to cook meals for an entire family.

The cooking surface is measured in square inches. When it comes to cook for one or two people, a 150 square inches grill would be more than enough. 200-250 square inches ones are best for 3-5 persons cooking requirements.

You will also find some larger grill units of 300-400 square inches in size. Keep also in mind that larger ones cost more, and you will have to compromise regarding portability to some extent. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot carry a larger grill to the campsite. But the carrying convenience won’t be like a smaller grill.

Portability

People buy charcoal grills mostly focusing on how portable the unit is apart from the cooking performance. As you are looking for the best charcoal grill under $100, you probably also give preference portability to be able to carry the grill unit for camping, backpacking, tailgating, and similar outdoor tours.

An on-the-go cooking unit should weigh lightweight so you don’t experience any hazard during the trip. If you have an RV or similar traveling vehicle, then you can go for a bit bigger unit if you travel with your friends and family.

Style and Designs

While looking for the best value charcoal grill, you will come across grills of different shapes and designs. Style doesn’t have much to do with the cooking quality. It’s all about convenience.

Rounded models are the most common ones. There are some with a square shape, providing more cooking space. Some units feature storage shelves and racks as well.

If you can spend more than $100, I would recommend you to get a grill with firebox system. You can use it as an additional cooking surface or firebox to control the temperature.

Adjustable Temperature

You won’t cook the same food all the time. As different foods require different temperature to be cooked perfectly, don’t overlook this aspect as well. Make sure the grill comes with adjustable dampers to allow you to increase and decrease the cooking temperature.

Material Used

If this will be your on-the-go cooking solution, the unit should be made of durable materials to withstand elements. High quality charcoal grills are made high grade steel, stainless steel, and aluminum materials.

The external paint should also be durable so that it doesn’t peel off due to intensive heat.

Do also check the grate whether it got rust-resistance properties or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best grill gas or charcoal?

Gas grills are less portable but more convenient than charcoal grills. Although you can burn a charcoal grill hotter than a gas one, you won’t be able to control the temperature with precision

Are cheap grills worth it?

Good cheap grills are definitely worth spending the money if the requirement is just to prepare foods for two people, and you don’t need anything else. Cheaper ones also feel lightweight, which make them extremely portable.

Can you put charcoal in a gas grill?

Gas grills aren’t made for burning charcoal. These are specifically designed for burners. However you can anyhow put charcoal in older model gas grills. Newer model ones will be clogged due to ash and debris.

Is propane cheaper than charcoal?

Although gas grills are more expensive than charcoal grills, for cooking each time, it will cost you more money using charcoal than its counterpart.

Do gas BBQ taste like charcoal?

If taste and real BBQ flavor are your concern, then you won’t be satisfied with the taste of your BBQ prepared on a gas grill. Cooking on a charcoal grill tastes a lot better and it’s the real BBQ.

Is charcoal grill bad for your health?

Regular charcoal grill can lead to heterocyclic amines to form, which alters genes as well as increases the risk for colorectal and stomach cancers.

What makes a charcoal grill better than a gas grill?

In terms of taste, portability, and price, charcoal grills easily beat gas grill.

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend lots of money to get a charcoal grill be it for picnic, family hangout, camping, backpacking, and other outdoor funs. The best charcoal grill under $100 can still provide you great conveniences like ease of portability, great tasting foods, considerably large cooking surface, ease of cleaning, and whatnot.