Best Portable Charcoal Grills for Summer BBQs

Grilling is a favorite pastime, especially during the summer months. While gas and electric grills have their advantages, many people enjoy the flavor that only a charcoal grill can provide. Charcoal grills give food a delicious, smoky taste that’s hard to beat. They’re great for those who love the traditional grilling experience.

Portable charcoal grills are perfect for people on the go. Whether you’re heading to the beach, going camping, or just having a picnic in the park, these grills are easy to transport and set up. They’re also compact, making them ideal for smaller spaces like balconies or patios. They bring the flavor and charm of charcoal grilling wherever you want to cook.

When choosing a portable charcoal grill, there are a few things to keep in mind. Size and weight are important since you would want something easy to carry. Also, consider how quickly it heats up and how evenly it cooks. Durability is key, too, as you’ll want a grill that can withstand regular use. We spent countless hours researching and testing different portable charcoal grills to find the ones that make grilling easy and enjoyable.

Best Portable Charcoal Grills

We’ve put together a list of the best portable charcoal grills to make your outdoor cooking fun and easy. Check out our top picks and find the perfect grill for your next adventure!

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black

A great pick for those who want a portable charcoal grill that delivers excellent cooking results whether at home or on the go.


  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Holds enough food for a small group
  • Durable construction with rust-resistant materials


  • Vents can be tricky to adjust when hot
  • Limited grilling area compared to larger models
  • Can produce harmful chemicals during combustion

We’ve found that the Weber Jumbo Joe is the ideal grill for our spontaneous adventures. Its compact size makes it super convenient to take to the beach or on a weekend camping trip. Plus, it holds enough burgers and hot dogs to feed your family and friends comfortably.

The durability of this grill is impressive. The porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat well and resist rust, ensuring the grill lasts many summer seasons. We also appreciate the Tuck-N-Carry lid lock that doubles as a lid holder, which keeps the lid off the ground and our cooking area clean.

One thing that bothers us is the vent adjustment. When the grill is hot, the vents can be hard to manage, sometimes leading to burnt fingers. Adding a handle for the vents is a small modification we made to make our grilling experience safer and more enjoyable. Despite this minor drawback, the Weber Jumbo Joe remains a solid choice for portable grilling.

Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill

This grill is an excellent choice for grilling on the go because it’s compact, durable, and easy to carry.


  • Locks the lid, making it easy to transport
  • Sturdy build, lasts a long time
  • Cleans up without much effort


  • Grilling area is a bit small
  • Can be tricky to control temperature
  • Not ideal for large gatherings

We recently tried out the Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill and were pretty impressed with its performance. The grill is lightweight and compact, fitting perfectly in the back of our car without any hassle. The locking lid and pivoting legs made it easy to carry around, making it a breeze to take it to the park or a tailgate party.

Using it was quite simple, and the heat distribution was even, allowing us to cook a few burgers and steaks to perfection. The porcelain-enameled lid and base did an excellent job of retaining heat, which is great for managing cooking times. The built-in lid hangers were a nice touch, helping us keep the lid off the ground and shield the grill from the wind.

Cleaning the grill was also straightforward. The triple-nickel-coated steel grate wiped clean without much effort. While it’s not the biggest grill out there, it definitely holds its own for small gatherings. For anyone in need of a portable, reliable, and easy-to-use grill, this one hits the mark.

Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

This grill is perfect for anyone who wants a reliable, portable option for grilling on the go.


  • Easy to carry
  • Heats quickly
  • Durable build


  • Limited cooking space
  • Not ideal for indirect heat
  • Requires regular cleaning

If you’re looking for a compact grill that delivers the classic charcoal flavor, the Weber Smokey Joe is a fantastic pick. We’ve used it for beach trips and it performs wonderfully. Its size makes it really convenient to pack in the car and carry to any spot you’d like to set up.

The cooking surface fits about five burgers comfortably. This makes it a great choice for small gatherings or tailgating parties. We loved how quickly it heated up, getting us ready to cook in no time.

Its durable porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat well and have resisted rust and peeling during our grilling sessions. While it’s not the best for cooking larger items or indirect heat, for its size and portability, it’s a solid option.

BBQ Dragon Electric Charcoal Starter Fan

This grilling tool is perfect for those who love a quick and easy charcoal start.


  • Efficient and safe ignition
  • Versatile for various grilling setups
  • Durable stainless steel construction


  • Needs 4 AA batteries not included
  • Can be noisy at high speeds
  • Requires careful placement for best results

Using the BBQ Dragon Electric Charcoal Starter Fan has been a game-changer for us. It gets our grill ready in just minutes, which is fantastic when we don’t want to wait around. The adjustable neck and clamp make it super easy to use with different grills and setups.

We love how it’s cordless, making it really convenient to move around without getting tangled up. It’s also quite sturdy and has a high-quality feel thanks to the stainless steel body. This fan is especially great for camping trips where we don’t have access to electrical outlets.

On the flip side, make sure to have those AA batteries ready since they’re not included. Also, it tends to get a bit loud when running at higher speeds. Lastly, it’s important to position the fan correctly to get the best airflow.

Overall, the BBQ Dragon Electric Charcoal Starter Fan makes our grilling experiences much more enjoyable and fuss-free. It’s worth considering if you want a reliable and quick way to light your charcoal grill.


This set offers everything we need for a complete and enjoyable barbecue experience.


  • Comprehensive selection of tools
  • High-quality stainless steel
  • Compact and portable with a storage bag


  • Some pieces might not match the pictures
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Durability could be better for some items

We used the ROMANTICIST BBQ Tool Set for a weekend barbecue, and it has everything you could possibly need. The variety of tools included is impressive, making it convenient for different grilling tasks. From the sturdy spatula to the useful skewers, it really does cover all bases.

The stainless steel material is commendable. It feels durable and looks stylish, and the ergonomic design of the handles provides a good grip. We found the integrated hanging loops particularly handy for organizing our grilling area.

Transporting this set is a breeze because of the lightweight fabric bag. It keeps everything neat and easy to find. If you’re planning an outdoor cookout, this toolkit ensures you have all the necessary equipment in one place. While some of the tools felt less robust than expected, the overall convenience still makes it a solid choice for outdoor grilling.

Ash & Ember Park Style Charcoal Grill

This grill is perfect for big gatherings and offers a lot of cooking space for delicious barbecue.


  • Lots of room for grilling
  • Easy to adjust grates
  • Built to last


  • Heavy and hard to move
  • Setting it up takes effort
  • Grates can’t tilt up

This Ash & Ember Park Style Charcoal Grill turned out to be fantastic for our backyard cookouts. Its huge 942 sq. inch cooking area means we can grill up a feast for friends and family without any hassle. The dual adjustable grates really helped us manage different foods at once, letting us cook burgers on one side and veggies on the other, with each side getting just the right heat.

One downside we noticed is its weight. At 169 pounds, this grill isn’t something you can easily move around. If you plan to place it somewhere, make sure that spot is permanent. The installation was a bit of a workout, but once it’s set up, it’s incredibly sturdy and secure. The high-temp black paint and heavy-duty steel make it feel like it will last forever.

What we found particularly handy was the spacious side shelf. It kept all our grilling tools and ingredients within arm’s reach, making the whole cooking process smoother and more enjoyable. Just keep in mind that the grates don’t tilt up, which can make starting the fire a bit tricky. Despite that, we think it’s a great choice for serious grill enthusiasts.

Ash & Ember Park-Style Grill

This grill is perfect for backyard or campsite chefs who need a reliable, sturdy, and spacious cooking companion.


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to adjust cooking height
  • Ample cooking space


  • Can be heavy to move
  • Installation requires some effort
  • Grill grate not removable for cleaning

Our experience with the Ash & Ember Park-Style Grill has been excellent. The grill is built with tough, durable steel that feels like it can withstand years of use. We’ve enjoyed its adjustable grate, which lets us control the heat easily. Having a 15″ x 15″ cooking space is awesome, especially for larger cookouts.

Moving this grill can be a bit challenging due to its weight. It’s definitely not something you casually relocate around the yard. Setting it up took a bit of time too, especially anchoring it down with the concrete base. However, it does provide added stability, so it’s worth the effort.

Cleaning could be more convenient. We wish the grill grate was removable, but we made do with other cleaning tools. Overall, this park-style grill feels substantial and reliable, making it a solid choice for anyone who likes outdoor grilling.

Everdure Round Cast Iron Grill

We strongly believe this grill is a must-have for outdoor cooking enthusiasts due to its durability and portability.


  • Excellent heat retention
  • Easy to clean
  • Portable and sturdy


  • No lid included
  • Can be heavy to carry
  • Needs a flat, heat-resistant surface

The Everdure Round Cast Iron Grill is a fantastic option for those who love to grill on the go. Its cast iron construction ensures it can handle high heat and retain that heat for consistent cooking. We’ve taken it to the park and were impressed by how well it kept our food evenly cooked.

This grill is also quite versatile. With 4 interchangeable grates, it’s easy to switch from grilling steaks to cooking vegetables. We especially enjoyed watching our food cook without needing to lift a lid constantly, allowing for easy heat adjustments.

Clean-up and storage are straightforward. After letting it cool down, we found it easy to disassemble and clean the grates. The included weather-resistant cover helps keep it in good condition, making this grill a reliable option for frequent use.

In conclusion, the Everdure Round Cast Iron Grill is a durable, portable, and user-friendly choice for anyone looking to enjoy charcoal grilling wherever they go.

Buying Guide

When looking for the best portable charcoal grill, there are a few key things to consider.

Size and Weight

We need to think about how big and heavy the grill is. Portable grills should be light enough to carry easily but still large enough to cook for our group.

Feature Ideal Specification
Weight Under 20 pounds
Cooking Surface At least 150 sq. inches

Ease of Use

Setting up and using the grill should be simple. We want to get grilling quickly!

  • Setup Time: Look for grills that can be set up in under 10 minutes.
  • Cleaning: Removable ash catchers make cleaning easier.

Heat Control

Good heat control is important for cooking food evenly. Features to look for:

  • Adjustable Vents: These help manage airflow and temperature.
  • Dampers: Look for multiple dampers to better control heat.


We want a grill that lasts. Check for:

  • Material: Stainless steel or cast iron are durable options.
  • Build Quality: Sturdy legs and handles make a big difference.


It’s important to get good value for our money. Compare features within our budget.

Price Range Features to Expect
Under $50 Basic grill, small size
$50-$100 Better build, more features
Over $100 Premium quality, large size

Special Features

Some grills come with extra features that might be helpful:

  • Built-in Thermometers: Keep an eye on the cooking temperature without lifting the lid.
  • Foldable Legs: Easy to store and transport.

Choosing the right portable charcoal grill means considering all these factors to find the one that best fits our needs.

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