One of the essential elements of good backyard barbecue is having a good grill. Of course, there are grills on the market that take a substantial investment but that is not necessary to have great grilled and smoked meats. Naturally, it depends on personal preference and consideration as to which is better, charcoal or gas but there is little doubt that charcoal provides a great flavor and excellent smoke.
Charcoal over Gas
One of the key points in the debate over charcoal or gas is the extra flavor provided by charcoal. Charcoal has been used as a cooking fuel for centuries and over the years different innovations have been applied to charcoal to make it easy to use for the backyard barbecue. One of these innovations has been the introduction of fast light chemicals to the charcoal to make it faster lighting and hotter burning.
However for the traditionalist, there is still the natural lump charcoal that burns well and provides a natural smoky flavor to the meat. There is also no chemical residue on the food that could potentially alter the flavor. Therefore, the recommendation is to use natural, lump charcoal as it provides a better more thorough flavor and texture and burns well and complete.
It also is usually cheaper. It does not light as fast as the innovative charcoals so a starting fluid is almost always needed. However, the wonderful solid coals are worth the extra trouble. With this concept in mind, here are five excellent charcoal grills in the sub 500 range.
Top Portable Charcoal Grill
Weber is a leading brand of grilling equipment and accessories and the Weber Model #121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is an excellent model for camping or tailgating parties. This compact grill has folding and locking legs and twin vents for great heat control. It has a 160 square inches of cooking space on the nickle grates.
Users love the small and compact nature of the grill as it is great for just about anywhere. It is also perfect for apartment patios and folds and cleans up quickly and easily.
Best Charcoal Grill to Buy
Char-Griller is another leading company of barbecue equipment and the patio pro grills is designed for those who have limited space but enjoy the cooking style of a barrel grill. The Char-Griller Model #1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill has a slide in ash pan for easy cleaning and it offers 250 square inches of cooking space on cast iron grates.
It has keep cool handles and a small accessory shelf to hold accessories for easy use. It is also wheeled for mobility and is compact enough to use for camping or tailgate parties.
Users love the compact but still big enough cooking area and how easy it is to clean and use again. This grill is excellent for patios and apartments.
Top Charcoal Grill on the Market
Char-Broil is a great manufacturer of barbecue grills and this barrel style grill is the epitome of backyard cooking. The Char-Broil Series 800 Charcoal Grill has a top vented chimney for exhaust and side dampeners for excellent heat control. It is wheeled and has a side accessory shelf for storage and a bottom shelf for further storage space. It also has a temperature gauge for accurate cooking and is easy to clean.
Users love the 850 square inches of cooking space on the cast iron grates. This is the standard, barrel type, barbecue pit and it is excellent at handling any grilling experience desired.
Best Charcoal Grill for the Money
This stainless steel grill is great for outdoor grilling and for those who use the two zone grilling method. The two zone method uses two zones of different heat to properly prepare the meat or to cook different types of meat at the same time. The Dyna-Glo Model #DGN576SNC-D Dual Zone Charcoal Grill has multiple handles for precise temperature and food control and double doors to handle both zones with easy.
Users love the versatility of this grill, even if they do not use the two zone methodology. They love the fact they can prepare beef and chicken at the same time with different levels of heat.
Best Outdoor Grill under $500
The Weber Model #15402001 Copper Premium Charcoal Grill is a premium grilling station in a copper color. The all porcelain coated steel vessel resists rust and provides a radiant temperature to fully cook almost any kind of meat. It has a easy to remove ash pan and a one touch cleaning system for super easy cleanup. It has a full side shelf for preparation and accessories and a charcoal storage station for easy storage.
The grill has both top and bottom adjustable vents and is fully wheeled with a lower shelf. Users love the design and look of this grill and the easy cleanup after cooking. This is a perfect backyard cooking station for grilled meats.
As with any product with a heat source, be sure to read and follow the operating instructions to ensure safe and reliable operations. Never allow flammable materials within 5 feet of a hot or cooling grill. Make sure to operate the grill only on level ground to prevent accidental tipping that could allow hot coals to scatter. Backyard grills is a fun and safe activity as long as all safety precautions are taken.