Which Charcoal Grill Class Is Right for You?
Grilling is as American as apple pie, and nothing makes a summer gathering fun like grilling on your deck with friends and family. Today’s charcoal grills are true culinary masterpieces and range from a small, painted-steel tabletop model for one to built-in charcoal grills for outdoor kitchens that could rival any professional grillmaster’s pit. Today, we’re taking a closer look at each of the four categories to help you find the best grill for your needs.
What to Look For?
We evaluate our grills in four categories: Quality, Performance, Features, and Price.
varies between the four charcoal grill categories; a luxury class grill will be crafted with better materials and durability than an entry-level grill.
as it’s directly related to food quality. Grills that can withstand higher temperatures, have better materials, and deliver more even cooking temperatures will rank higher
the bells and whistles of each grill. Entry-level grills typically are minimalist, while luxury grills may have WiFi thermometers or electric starters and digital controls
consideration no matter what kind of grill you’re shopping for – we don’t just look at the dollar amount of each grill we evaluate, but whether it’s worth the price tag
Entry-Level Charcoal Grills
Entry-level grills are typically made from ceramic and cast iron or painted and porcelain-coated steel and won’t last as long as higher classes of grills.
Entry-level grills will get the job done but will need replacing after a few short years. They are typically made of thinner painted metal or enameled steel. This makes the grills weak and prone to corrosion. Even if it’s provided the best care possible its life span is limited and will need to be replaced quicker than others.
Kettle cookers' round shape allows heat to circulate within the grill, creating convection currents that create potent indirect heat. You may be able to create dual cooking zones on the grill by scooting the charcoal to one side. Branded charcoal baskets from the grill manufacturer can help arrange these dual zones.
There aren’t a lot of extra features for entry-level grills. Weber has a one-touch cleaning system on the bottom of the grill that separates the ask and deposits it into a removable catch basin. The portability of entry-level grills is one of the best features since you could take it camping or on vacation.
Weber Charcoal Grills
We like the Weber brand best for entry-level grills. They’re durable, have a long warranty, and hit a great price point.
Practical Charcoal Grills
The next step up for grilling aficionados is the Practical Class of grills. Most have a 10-year warranty, and with proper care and maintenance, can last the full 10 years. Fire Magic offers a couple of built-in options, but most are freestanding.
Practical grills are made of steel that is either porcelain-coated, powder-coated or painted. The grill can be expected to last up to ten years. Some models may feature stainless steel in certain components like in the carts and the rill heads, but the bodies are almost always a mix of metals.
These grills can create a potent indirect heat to any meal you cook up easily. Many of these grills have adjustable charcoal trays to provide a better temp for your cook, and some even offer grates that spin for more control of how to apply heat. All this allows for a great budget cook that gives way to more technique.
Practical charcoal grills don’t offer a lot of bells and whistles on the whole, but a few grills stand out. Weber offers an ash-catching basin making clean-up a breeze. Everdure’s Fusion Charcoal Grill has more features than its peers, with 2 rotisserie pillars or variable heights and an electric ignition coil, making lighting simple.
Napoleon Charcoal Grills
Out stand-out brand for Practical Call charcoal grills is Napoleon. Just like the famous general, it’s strong, and the models all have a 10-year warranty. They’re easy to use and at an accessible price point for just about everybody.
Premium Charcoal Grills
Premium charcoal grills are designed to last decades and are constructed of either aluminum or stainless steel. Many reputable brands such as Cajun Grill, Coyote, and Blaze offer lifetime warranties on their grills. The stronger materials help the grills withstand even the harshest outdoor weather.
The materials used for Premium grills – usually commercial grade stainless steel and cast aluminum – indicate the higher quality of these grills. Overall, most grills in this class have little problems with corrosion and weathering. Aesthetically, too, premium grills are a higher caliber than the other two classes.
Better quality materials also mean better quality cooking and more consistent results. Premium gills absorb and re-radiate heat easily, meaning foods cook evenly. Many are made wide enough for dual cooking zones, and some come with different ways to move the coals around during a cook without disturbing the food.
Hand-cranked charcoal trays are a standard feature on many premium grills, which will allow you to refine the temperature directly at the grade level instead of having to rely on imprecise air dampers that entry-level and practical class grills have. Everdure models lead the pack for features with hidden rotisserie poles.
Turbo Charcoal Grills
Our Turbo Grills are the top pick for premium class grills. There’s one for every cooking need and price point with several models and different features. The brand makes both freestanding and installation models for outdoor kitchen set-ups.
Luxury Charcoal Grills
Only the Luxury Class of grills will do for the passionate grilling enthusiast. Adjustable-height charcoal trays and split-tier, independently adjustable trays allow for flexible cooking with ease. The extra features, such as front-loading charcoal doors, digital controls, and electric starters, make it easier to operate the grills. Most brands, including Cajun Grill and Twin Eagles, offer lifetime warranties.
You can expect nothing but the best from Luxury models of charcoal grills. They are made with a minimum of 304-grade stainless steel or high-quality cast aluminum. Luxury grills are a great investment for anyone looking for a long-term fixture in their outdoor kitchen due to their durability and longevity.
Luxury charcoal grills' size and design elements make them unmatched for cooking versatility. The wider construction allows for the easy set-up of dual cooking zones, and adjustable charcoal baskets and grill trays allow you to move the food closer or further away from the coals for precision cooking no matter what’s on the grill.
All you need to know about the number of features is in the class name, luxury. These grills are packed full of features like internal lighting, a quick access port for charcoal, and a digital thermometer and control center which will allow you to remotely monitor your temperatures. These units are full of it.
Fire Magic Charcoal Grills
Our favorite luxury charcoal grill brand is Fire Magic. Super-premium materials and plenty of extra features, plus incredible aesthetics, make these grills stand out.