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That grilled smokey flavor of the meat is simply yum. You have to agree that there is something special about grilling meat and vegetables on a charcoal grill. The slow-burning coals bring out the best flavor from food that is hard to resist. And now you can make mouthwatering bbq anywhere with the best portable charcoal grill.

Charcoal grills can be quite hard to use especially when you have to lit the coals up before in a chimney starter. It takes a lot of patience to throw the burning coals into the grill for flawless smoking. However, some small charcoal grills come with a coal tray to let you lit the coals inside the grill itself.

The bit of hassle associated with charcoal bbq grill had made buyers shift towards the propane grill. But hey! a gas grill cannot smoke your food the way a charcoal unit does.

Best Portable Charcoal Grill Reviews

Best Portable Charcoal Grill

ProductsCooking AreaWeightPrice
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill160 sq. inch8.8 Pounds Check Price
Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill150 sq. inch2 Pounds Check Price
Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill180 sq. inch9.5 Pounds Check Price
ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill180 sq. inch6.9 Pounds Check Price
Fire Sense Notebook Charcoal Grill160 sq. inch9 Pounds Check Price
Oklahoma Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill218 sq. inchHeavy Check Price
Raptor Grilling Compact Charcoal Grill230 sq. inch12 Pounds Check Price

We’ve picked some of the best portable charcoal grills on the market. Using the small size grill, you can make a mouthwatering bbq anytime, anywhere as long as you’ve got coals.

1) Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill, Black

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

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Outdoor grilling can be troublesome if your home does not have a yard. And there are many properties on the urban side that offer no yard. But who needs yard when you can grill effortlessly in a small space with Weber Go-anywhere portable charcoal grill.

The highly portable design of the unit with plated steel legs is great for small decks, patios, apartment balconies, etc.

The steel legs double as a lid lock that keeps the unit together when not in use. Plus, the handle on top makes it easy for you to transport the unit. Select a flat base before opening up the legs to keep the grill steady through grilling.

Triple-nickel coated steel grate is both lightweight and easy to clean. The grate offers a total of 160 sq inches of cooking area that is good enough to fit up to 8 chicken legs. On the other hand, the porcelain-enamel lid and base retain heat for quick and effective cooking.

Our Verdict

What makes Weber Go-Anywhere 121020 worth the money?

  • Despite the compact size, it offers a good 160 sq. in. grilling space that can feed up to 4 people easily
  • Plated steel grate prevents food from sticking
  • Compact and lightweight unit
  • The steel legs double as lid lock to keep the lid securely in place while transportation
  • Best Weber charcoal grill for campsites, picnics, tailgating, etc
  • Convenient carry handles
  • Built-in lid hangers allow you to rest the lid on the side of the grill
  • Extremely easy to put together

2) Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill, 14-Inch

Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill

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Unlike an electric grill, there are no dials or buttons to control the temperature of burning charcoal. But you can get better control over temperature through vents. And Cuisinart portable charcoal grill features a dual venting system that provides good temperature control.

The dome-shaped grill with a lid comprises latches that lock the lid tightly to the bowl. This prevents the lid from wobbling when the temp or smoke is high inside the grill.

The round charcoal grill offers a 14-inch grate area that can fit up to 4 burger patties and still have space on the side to grill veggies. Besides, the chrome-plated cooking rack retains high heat to leave beautiful sear marks on patties, chicken breast, vegetables, etc.

Coals leave behind ash that needs proper disposal. And you do not have to worry about ash cleanup with Cuisinart portable charcoal grill as it already comprises a mess-free ash catcher. The tray sits beneath the grill bowl and a bit above the ground to catch the ash. While catching ashes is easy, cleaning them up is not as the tray is not removable.

Our Verdict

Why buy Cuisinart CCG190RB?

  • Decent 150 sq. in. cooking space is good to grill food for two
  • Dual venting system for better charcoal management
  • Durable enamel coated firebox
  • Convenient mess-free ash catcher
  • Best cheap charcoal grill under $50 for outdoor bbq
  • Weighs only 2 lbs which makes it an excellent solution for RVs, small balconies, beachside grilling, etc
  • The lid is secured by 3 durable locks for mess-free grilling
  • Comes in 2 colors, Black and Red

3) Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill, Black

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

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It is a fact that Weber grill has made a strong name in the industry by delivering quality products over the years. And if you want to go for the brand then the Weber Smokey Joe portable grill is perfect. The rounded base of the unit holds in a good amount of coals for long hours of slow smoking.

In addition to the deep round shape of the bowl, Weber 10020 features no-rust aluminum vents for airflow control. The best part is you can shut the vents and reuse charcoal up to 4 times. This feature makes the unit one best energy-efficient charcoal grills in the market.

Weber 10020 requires some assembly. You need to put the legs, ashpan, and handle together which is pretty much easy. While the ashpan and legs require no tools, a screwdriver is needed to attach the plastic cover to the handle. The assembly takes no more than 15 minutes.

3 aluminum legs keep holds the unit a bit above the ground. And in between the legs is a metal ashtray that collects the ashes falling from the bowl. Collecting ashes from this tray is pretty much easy than the one surrounded by metal legs. In short, it is easy to dispose of the ashes after use.

Our Verdict

Highlights of Weber 10020 Smokey Joe:

  • Dampers allow for easy temperature control
  • Durable plated steel cooking grate that retains high heat as well as prevents sticking of food
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl won’t rust or peel even if you grill at the highest temperature
  • Three aluminum legs keep the unit steady
  • 14-inch diameter holds up to 5 burgers made with Weber burger press
  • Best rated charcoal grill for camping
  • Backed by an impressive 10-year limited warranty
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handle to lift the hot lid easily

4) ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill with Folding Lid

ISUMER Portable Charcoal Grill with Lid Folding

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Do not let the small outdoor space stop you from making mouthwatering bbq. Isumer tabletop charcoal grill with folding legs is great for outdoor bbq. The rectangle unit sits easily on a tabletop or other flat surface to let you grill smokey meat/veggies comfortably.

Thanks to the rectangle cooking space of Isumer that offers a large primary grilling area of 180 sq inch. You can grill up to 6 large burger patties at once which is ideal for families, or small group tailgating.

The high-quality steel construction of the unit tolerates high heat for the perfect searing of steak. Besides, the high-temperature finish resists rust and corrosion for years of seamless grilling.

Sturdy steel legs are one of the great features of this foldable charcoal grill. They serve a dual purpose of stand and lid lock. Pull the legs up to lock the lid securely when not in use. Folding legs turns the unit into a compact suitcase that stores easily inside the car trunk.

Our Verdict

What makes Isumer Tabletop bbq grill worth buying?

  • Wide cooking space to fit multiple hotdogs, vegetables, or patties at once
  • Ideal for small group camping or tailgating event
  • Durable steel construction
  • Dampers to control inside temperature easily
  • Foldable legs that also turn into lid lock
  • Adjustable air vent for better flavoring of meats
  • Heat-resistant handles to open the hot grill safely
  • An industrial-grade stay-cool valve is easy to adjust with hand

5) Fire Sense Black Notebook Charcoal Grill, Foldable

Fire Sense Black Notebook Charcoal Grill

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Small space is not an issue anymore with the Fire Sense Black notebook charcoal grill. The unique design of the product makes it a perfect outdoor bbq unit for all bbq lovers. The design of the grill is very much similar to that of a mini folding chair but this one has a space to add charcoals in it.

While it takes 5-10 minutes to set up a regular charcoal grill, thanks to a simple two-step set up of Fire Sense that only takes seconds. Just look for flat ground to keep the unit for stable grilling.

Despite the ultra-slim design, Fire Sense Notebook outdoor portable bbq grill offers plenty of room to grill large chunks of meat. It comes with a charcoal rack that retains high-heat to leave appetizing sear marks on the food surface. However, you need to use a chimney starter to get the coals ready before you add them to the grilling chamber. Also, the use of charcoal is recommended over wood chips for even grilling.

Our Verdict

Why go for Fire Sense 60508?

  • It is one slimmest portable grill in the market that goes 13-inch from flat 1-inch
  • 228 sq in of cooking area
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Chrome plates grill rack
  • The racks fit nicely inside the small grill for quick and easy cleanup after use
  • No assembly required
  • Folds open in seconds

6) Oklahoma Joe’s Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill, Black

Oklahoma Joe's 19402088 Rambler Portable Charcoal Grill

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If you take the grilling job seriously then Oklahoma Joe’s portable outdoor grill is just perfect for you. Its height-adjustable charcoal tray is what makes it different from others. You can raise or lower the tray across 3 fixed settings using the side handles. This helps with perfect low heat smoking or high heat steak searing.

Large air dampers on the side allow for maximum airflow. The dampers remove excess smoke and help to maintain the ideal temperature inside the grill.

You will not need an external temperature gauge as Oklahoma Joe’s outdoor charcoal grill already comprises one on the lid. In addition to a professional temperature gauge, there’s a lid-mounted smoke stack that aids airflow. You can close the stack if not needed.

Just like a majority of portable charcoal grills, this unit also features sturdy side handles. The handles allow for easy transportation. However, the heavyweight of the unit is not ideal to take it campsite or beachside. But it is perfect for the small backyard bbq party.

Our Verdict

Highlights of Oklahoma Joe’s 19402088:

  • Height-adjustable charcoal tray for excellent low heat and high heat searing
  • Large air dampers
  • Full-size removable ash pan does not require frequent emptying
  • Thick cast-iron grates
  • Large 218 sq inch cooking surface can grill 10 burgers at once
  • Built-in temperature gauge with glow-in-dark accents for convenient night grilling
  • Stay-cool rubber handles

7) Raptor Grilling – Optimized Portable Charcoal Grill Smoker

Raptor Grilling - Optimized Portable Charcoal Grill Smoker

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Flimsy legs of a product are not only dangerous but also unreliable. And no one should work with those cheap products ever. But you do not have to worry about a flimsy base anymore with Raptor Grilling portable barbecue charcoal grill. The thick, heavy-duty 20 gauge stainless steel legs last for years.

Raptor’s exclusive stay-cool valve enables users to adjust the temperature of the grill easily. Simply rotate the lever with your hands to adjust airflow and temperature inside the grilling chamber.

Rectangular shape and offset lid vent are perfect combos for slow-smoking ribs. It brings out the maximum flavor by infusing the mouthwatering flavor of coal smoke in the ribs.

Tight tolerance flat air valves save fuel. You can reuse the same charcoal a few times before they are no longer lit anymore. And reusing fuel is a great help especially when you are camping, trekking, or grilling at the beachside with limited fuel.

Our Verdict

What makes Raptor Grilling Tabletop BBQ Cooker worth buying?

  • The exclusive charcoal saving design uses less fuel as well as lets you reuse coals
  • Charcoal basket for easy and safe lifting of coals
  • Best outdoor portable grill for small patio, camping, tailgating, and other such outdoor events
  • 18 x 13-inch unit provides large 230 sq inches of grilling area
  • High-temperature lid seal, plus, tight tolerance flat air valves
  • The unit’s cool-hand technology allows you light, cook, and clean the grill without getting your hand all messy
  • Patented integrated lid stand, plus, patented charcoal transfer port

Consider These Features Before Buying Portable Charcoal Grill

Cooking Area

It is quite obvious that a portable grill offers limited cooking space. But then, space should not be so small that it cannot accommodate multiple chicken breasts. And thankfully, there are many small charcoal grills that offer a good cooking area despite the compact design.

Grilling Grate Quality

The food comes in direct contact with grate. So there are multiple things to keep in mind before hitting the buy now button. The grilling grates should be made with high-quality material, food-grade safe, and should be easy to clean.

Surface Material

Charcoal grills are mostly metal and the metal construction can either be aluminum, steel, or cast iron. Generally, small portable grills are made using lightweight metal like aluminum or steel for easy transportation. Also, you need not have to worry about its durability as long as the aluminum or steel is of high-grade quality.


Portability is the main reason for going small. And thankfully, many small grills folds into suitcase size unit that can be easily loaded in the back of a car’s trunk. Besides, many of them offer a durable carry handle, plus, wheels to move and set the unit easily.


After reading the reviews above you might have known by now that compact charcoal grills are not heavy on your pocket. You can get a good quality construction under $100 and the one with extra perks is easy to get under $200. In short, you will not have to break bank just to get yourself a good grilling unit.

Benefits of Having a Charcoal Grill

Each type of grill holds its benefits and below are some distinct advantages of owning a charcoal grill.

Taste: The appetizing smokey flavor of the meat grilled using charcoals is absolute love. We simply cannot resist having a few more bites especially when there’s smokey meat on the plate. And a charcoal grill, no matter what size, always infuses that heavenly smokey flavor to foods grilling on the grate.

Affordability: Unlike gas grills, you do not have different heat zones or burners with a charcoal unit. This cuts down the manufacturing cost of the product and thus, you can get a good charcoal bbq grill under budget.

High Temperature: Certain meat like steak, chicken, pork chops, etc require maximum temperature possible for better tenderization and flavor. And high heat coming off the burning charcoal can reach a temperature as high as 600ºF-800ºF for the ultimate grilling experience.

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Show off your bbq skills at the campsite, beachside, or on the small balcony of your apartment by buying the best portable charcoal grill. These easy-to-carry charcoal grills are easy to use and maintain. Plus, they do not require much assembly. You can set a small grill easily with the help of some basic tools. And once the assembling is done, all you need is some coals for the grilling session to begin. Then enjoy smokey bbq with your friends or family.


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