The Top 9 Most Compatible & Portable Charcoal Grills for 2023

By Sophia Chartrand Sophia Chartrand has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on April 19, 2023

Charcoal barbecues are relatively simple to set up and use, as they were the original versions of the home grill. Today, they are still popular, especially for home use, while portable versions are ideal for camping, road trips, travel, tailgating, beach parties, picnicking, and other trips. Those are perfect for the RV or even the trunk, making it so you can take on the great smokey taste with you wherever you go. There are definitely fewer moving parts on the low-tech end of the scale, so the assembly is usually minimal, as well as the ability to replace parts in the future.

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top 3 quick picks for the Best Portable Charcoal Grill:

Criteria for Choosing the Best Portable Charcoal Grill

When deciding between charcoal grills, one needs to look for certain features. The main features that need to be considered include an ash catcher, hinged grates, gas starter, chimney, and kettle construction. 

The ash catcher is a multi-tiered pot or bowl which is attached to the bottom of the kettle to channel ash residue into it. It can be opened by a lever in the drum, which is also a bottom vent. It is advantageous to have models with a hinged grate, which allows easy access to embers without needing to remove the grate. New models in the larger range will be able to be powered by an electronic ignition that is powered by a small propane tank that quickly lights the briquettes. The chimney starter can be used instead of lighter fluid in models that do not use it, so if you would rather not use electronic ignition, look for models that do not use lighter fluid. Whatever the firebox design, you want it to feature seamless construction so corrosion doesn’t develop.

A grill can have stainless steel, nickel or chrome-plated wire, cast iron, enameled steel, or cast-iron grates. It is wise for all models to have a tight-fitting lid, but smoking requires a solid seal – and a lid that latches for transporting is necessary. Before choosing the size of your grill surface, determine how much food you will cook. More food means you’ll need a bigger grill.  Materials used in the construction industry range from porcelain-coated steel to cold-rolled steel to cast aluminum and cast iron. In order for these models to burn efficiently, dampers must regulate airflow. Look for models with dual dampers, one for intake and another for exhaust. Last but not least, be sure to choose a grill or barbecue unit that has a sturdy base, stand, or legs to prevent it from tipping over.

Right now, Amazon has some sweet deals on some of the best portable charcoal grills. Our criteria for choosing the best grills include ones that put off the most heat while still providing that certain smoky taste. We also chose ones that sell for a good price and provide easy assembling. 

The 9 Best Portable Charcoal Grills

Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill

A little over 2 pounds in weight, the Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill fits neatly into the trunk of a compact car, which makes it easy to take wherever you go. It locks firmly to the bowl so it’s easy to transport no matter where you are. The small, portable Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill can be used for cooking small meals with a smaller group. With a large 140 square inch grate, you can feed four to six people easily at a time. You can hang around the Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill if you are single, a couple, or a small family. The grill takes up very little counter space and has plenty of power to cook dinner for 4 to 6 people simultaneously.

  • It is perfect for camping
  • The price is worth its value 
  • It is a little grill with big potential 
  • One customer reports that the grill is light and flimsy 

LYLY Grill Portable Charcoal Grill

Grilling on the go with this convenient charcoal grill is ideal for an outing on a weekend getaway or a spontaneous outing at the park. It is a compact design with added grilling experience with two convenient carry handles. This small grill comes with an aluminum cooking rack with a stainless steel cover. Its ceramic bowl and heat-resistant charcoal pan, made of steel thickness, allows for easy cleaning after cooking. This portable grill’s porcelain-enameled bowl and lid store heat efficiently, while the dampers adjust easily to allow for precise temperature control. As a result, heat can reach all parts of the grill efficiently and so food is cooked in an efficient manner. This barbecue grill is made of durable steel and has a high-temperature finish to protect the grill from rust. It features a tempered glass firebox for safety. Meanwhile, the legs extend to lock the grill lid in place.

  • It comes in a good size 
  • The price is worth its value
  • It is lightweight and durable
  • One customer reports that the grill is constructed out of cheap material

CUSIMAX Portable Charcoal Grill

A stylish and convenient dining grill, the CUSIMAX Portable Charcoal Grill has a large plastic handle on two sides, which can be placed both on the front and back of most cars. An ideal grill for outdoor camping, beach parties, picnics, or backyard barbecues with friends and families. It has a 17.5-inch cooking grid and a 15-inch warming rack. The spacious cooking area can be used for either grilling or smoking, making savory food equally delicious. With the warming rack, you can place the cooked foods to keep warm and not worry about burning them. The two adjustable ventilation holes of this camping grill allow for better air circulation and improve the cooking efficiency of charcoal, and the enamel-coated grill grills evenly and maintain proper food temperatures. It is ideal for grilling steaks, pork chops, hot dogs, vegetables, etc. The lid and bowl of the portable charcoal grill are made from quality enamel. The enamel is resistant to heat retention, 832°F high temperatures, and is durable. The food-grade heat-resistant grill can produce beautiful burn marks.

  • It is sturdy 
  • It is easy to assemble 
  • It comes with folding legs 
  • It provides a large cooking space
  • One customer reports that they received a grill with a broken handle 

Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Hibachi-Style Portable Cast Iron Charcoal Rectangle BBQ Grill

Featuring an elegant design and bright color, the Bruntmor Pre-Seasted Hibachi-Style Portable Cast Iron Charcoal Rectangular BBQ Grill can be used every day. Combining your love of simplicity with a classic shape and color, this cast iron grill will inspire you to cook with your family and friends. They are also extremely durable for everyday use, ideal in the kitchen, and made of durable and easy-to-clean cast iron. These cast-iron sauté pans are great for all cooking surfaces, including outside and inside a kitchen. The flat rubber feet let it sit securely on any grill, bulky or portable.

  • It is easily cleanable
  • It is portable and sturdy
  • It is perfect for camping and other outdoor activities
  • There were no cons listed for this product

CUSIMAX Portable Grill Folding Barbecue

You can place all your grilling tools/ spices/ sauces within easy reach by using the foldable storage shelf on the side of the CUSIMAX charcoal grill. With an enamel-coated fire bowl as well as an enamel-coated cooking grate, the charcoal grill offers outstanding performance and durability. This enamel can keep the grill hot and operate at high temperatures of 800°C (1472°F). Two adjustable dampers on the fire bowl and one on the lid can be used to adjust grilling temperatures and the amount of oxygen available for cooking. With a capacity of up to 8-9 burgers or all your favorite grilled foods, the main cooking surface measures 268 square inches. Meanwhile, zinc allows for easy cleaning and rust resistance. You will be able to open and close the grill with ease because of the anti-scald handle. It has a locking lid, quick-fold legs, and wheels on the rear legs that make it easy to move it around your porch, patio, and deck. With the portable grill, you can go camping, travel, tailgating, picnicking, or just take on the go. You can put it in your RV or your trunk, so you can enjoy that smokey taste wherever you go.

  • It is convenient
  • The price is worth its value
  • It can withstand high temperatures 
  • There are no cons listed for this product

Freshore Portable Charcoal Outdoor BBQ Grill

The Freshore portable charcoal grill has been developed to make cooking on the go easier than ever. The grill plate is designed to distribute heat evenly and prevent scraping onto the heat source. When filled with water the pan is very easy to clean and greatly reduces smoke. Using the Freshore grill saves time and money with its small canister and its small amount of coals. The patented battery-powered fan works to ignite the charcoal, make it last longer, and control the temperature.

  • Comes in a nice design
  • Great cooking surface
  • Some quality control issues

AGM Portable Charcoal Grill

This portable charcoal grill is made of durable stainless steel and is both scratch resistant and undeformable. It is designed as a one-piece unit with a removable coal grill that cannot be disassembled, making it convenient to use and simple to install. Designed for efficient burning and good ventilation, the grill features 5 vent holes on both sides. Empty the ash and push the legs inward, this grill can be folded up within seconds. Often it is used in outdoor activities like picnics, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. You can grill hamburgers, steaks, vegetables, fish, chicken, meat, shrimp, sausages, and much more on it.

  • It is easy to clean
  • The price is worth its value
  • It is made out of premium material 
  • There are no cons listed for this product

TeqHome Portable Charcoal Grill

This grill is simple to set up, only two steps needed, and it is a great addition to any grilling party. Its four-corner foundation provides stability for use, while its removable grill allows for easy cleaning. This grill is made of paint-coated stainless steel with high heat resistance that gets rusty very little. When finished grilling, it folds into a flexible pack that’s easy to clean. The Portable BBQ Grill is ideal for outdoor cooking, tailgating parties, picnics, tailgating, and campouts. You can cook delicious food on the Portable BBQ grill like hot dogs, hamburgers, fish, vegetables, steak, corn, and more.

  • It is lightweight
  • It is easy to put together
  • The price is worth its value
  • One customer reports that the grill is flimsy

JJ Jujin BBQ Portable Charcoal Grill

Get together with friends and families and enjoy the excitement of outdoor grilling with the JJ Jujin portable lightweight BBQ grill. It’s the best way to discover and enjoy the most original taste. This portable charcoal grill offers you the chance to have a delicious barbecue for any outdoor activity – hiking, picnics, parties, beach days, as well as all kinds of entertaining. The grill does not require screws to assemble, can be removed, and has a mess-free ash catcher for easy cleaning. The barbecue grill features a mini smoke stack for precise air circulation control, so the charcoal burns efficiently and the food cooks faster.

  • It is easy to carry
  • It comes in a reasonable design 
  • Not easy to clean

In Conclusion 

We hope you found the best portable charcoal grill for your needs! With our hand-picked list of the best portable charcoal grills, the famous quote “Good things come in small packages” is never more true than with the outstanding grills in our list.

Other Products You May Need

We hope you enjoy these products! But keep in mind, Grit Daily might take a small commission on the items recommended here—but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in them. We only recommend products that we would buy or use ourselves, so don’t be wary of our suggestions. 

By Sophia Chartrand Sophia Chartrand has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Sophia Chartrand is an Events Columnist at Grit Daily.

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