Charcoal Grills: Ratings of Sources
Total of 22 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
The Charcoal Experiment
by Steve Mazzucchi
Our AssessmentAdam Perry Lang, author of the cookbook "Serious Barbeque" tests six charcoal grills and rates each on a scale of 1 to 10. He gives his highest rating to Big Green Egg, naming it his "expert's pick." The 26.75-inch Weber One-Touch Gold is named best value. The lowest ratings go to the Char-Broil Santa Fe and the Portable Kitchen Grill.
Top 10 Charcoal Grills
by Derrick Riches
Our AssessmentDerrick Riches is About.com's go-to guy for information on grills. His top-10 list, which has been updated for 2012, includes many brands and types not mentioned in other reviews, such as the Old Smokey Classic. He gives the highest rating (5 stars) to the Weber One-Touch Silver, Big Green Egg, the Old Smokey #22 and Weber Performer grills. Riches doesn't explain his rating criteria clearly, but he has more than 10 years of experience critiquing grills, so his reviews are worth consulting. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Top 10 Small Grills
by Derrick Riches
Our AssessmentDerrick Riches, About.com's guide to barbeques and grilling, focuses on small grills in this list. His descriptions are sometimes brief and his testing criteria aren't available, but he provides recent comprehensive reviews of many different models. Of the 10 grills covered here, only one -- the Lodge Logic Sportsman's Hibachi Grill -- uses charcoal; however, this model receives only brief (although positive) comments, instead of Riches' usual full-length review. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Charcoal Grill Reviews
by Derrick Riches
Our AssessmentIn addition to top-10 lists, Derrick Riches reviews a fair number of other charcoal grills. These reviews go into more detail than his top-10 lists and include a larger number of popular companies, such as Char-Broil. Along with a short but informative review, he gives a detailed list of each grill's features, as well as a breakdown of pros and cons. Reviews are undated, but Riches does a good job of staying on top of changes like discontinued models and new or updated ones. At the time of this writing, his is the only full-length review we've found of the Weber One-Touch Platinum. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Portable Charcoal Grills
by Editors of Cook's Country
Our AssessmentEditors from this sister publication of Cook's Illustrated evaluate six portable charcoal grills, judging them on factors including portability, durability and cooking performance. Two grills earn recommendations without reservations; one is not recommended at all, and the remaining three are recommended, but "with reservations." Testing criteria are indirectly explained in the introduction, although the actual process isn't clear.
Great Grills (Under $500!)
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentEditors at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute tested 12 grills that are available for less than $500; both gas and charcoal models were considered. Just one all-charcoal model, a Weber, makes it into the top picks. The editors also provide very brief details about how their tests were conducted.
Best Outdoor Grills
by Editors of Good Housekeeping
Our AssessmentStaff at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) test 14 grills -- both gas and charcoal, and a wide range of prices -- and recommend five. Each grill receives brief comments about what the GHRI editors liked; they don't mention any negatives, and they don't explain how the tests were conducted. Only one of the recommended models is a charcoal grill.
A Greener Way to Grill
by Brittany Leckey
Our AssessmentBrittany Leckey profiles the three most energy-efficient grills on the market: one charcoal, one gas and one electric. Big Green Egg is deemed the greenest charcoal grill because it requires less fuel -- in this case, charcoal -- due to its unique design. Big Green Egg's cooking versatility is also noted.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAmazon.com offers the largest number of user reviews for charcoal grills we found, including at least a few comments for almost every model sold. The comments here provide useful information on the longer-term performance and durability of the grills. Weber grills get the most reviews and the highest ratings. The Lodge Logic Sportsman hibachi grill also gets high ratings from a significant number of users.
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentMany of the grills sold have only a handful of reviews, but a few lower-priced models garner a significant amount of user feedback and high average ratings. They include several Weber grills, two Kingsford models, and a Uniflame grill. The Char-Griller Wrangler and Outlaw models get generally good, but not great, reviews here.
by Contributors to GrillsDirect.com
Our AssessmentAs a retailer that deals almost exclusively in grills (and a few other cooking-related items, like turkey fryers), GrillsDirect.com is a great source of user opinions about their grills. Close to half of the charcoal grills sold here have accumulated at least a few user reviews, but only the Weber Performer stands out with a near-perfect rating after more than 50 reviews.
Charcoal & Wood Grills
by Contributors to HomeDepot.com
Our AssessmentHome Depot sells a number of grills and, like most retail sites, allows their users to post their opinions about the products for sale. You can't see ratings in the general product listings, but it's worthwhile to click through and look at the product page for grills you're interested in; some models have accrued dozens of positive reviews.
by Contributors to Lowes.com
Our AssessmentLike its direct competitor HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com sells a number of charcoal grills in various brands and sizes. Consumers have clearly chosen the Char-Griller Super Pro Charcoal Grill as the best-rated model here, giving it a 4.6-star rating after about 170 reviews. Two Weber models come in as close seconds; even though they haven't amassed as many user reviews, they both get a 4.9-star average rating.
by Contributors to Sears.com
Our AssessmentSears.com sells a number of charcoal grills, but many of them haven't received user reviews. Of those that have, the Weber One-Touch Gold stands out with a 4.5-star rating and more than 60 reviews.
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentViewpoints.com isn't associated with any particular online retailer; instead, they collect user opinions about various products in survey-like reviews. Big Green Egg Extra-Large receives only about 15 user reviews, but gets the highest average score of 99 (out of 100). Just one other model stands out above the rest of the pack with a significant number of user reviews.
Reviews of Charcoal Grills
by Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn
Our AssessmentCraig Goldwyn is a barbeque enthusiast who offers many, many articles, reviews and recipes on his site. Here he reviews charcoal grills, including most major brands. Though he has not personally tested all of the grills he reviews, Goldwyn has tested those that win one of Meathead's medals to signal outstanding quality in a grill. Four lines of charcoal grills, including Hasty-Bake and Weber models, earn gold Meathead's medals. The Hasty-Bake model tested is the Gourmet.
Grills Buying Guide, for Any Budget
by Christine Quinlan
Our AssessmentChristine Quinlan, senior editor at Food and Wine magazine, visits CBS's "The Early Show" to discuss gas and charcoal grills. She gives positive reviews of two charcoal grills: the Weber 22.5-inch kettle grill (she doesn't specify a model) for those who want a classic grill, and the Lodge Logic Sportsman hibachi grill for, well, sportsmen. Her reviews list the pros and cons of both charcoal grills.
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated
Our AssessmentIn this report, Cook's Illustrated editors update a 2002 test of charcoal grills. Six grills are rated according to cooking space, adjustability, charcoal access and the "turkey test" where testers cook a 12-pound turkey. The article also provides a useful buyer's guide. The review is a little outdated, though, and contains models that are discontinued or hard to find.
Fired Up: Which Portable Grill Cranks Up the Heat?
by Jude Stewart
Our AssessmentIn this comprehensive and entertaining review, Jude Stewart gets a group of friends together to test seven portable grills rating them based on taste, convenience and performance. What sets this portable grill review apart is that Stewart makes it a point to include portable charcoal grills, and most other articles focus on gas and electric grills. The testers ultimately pick the charcoal-fueled Weber Smokey Joe as their top-rated portable grill.
Need to Buy a Grill? Check Out These Top Styles
by Lou Manfredini
Our AssessmentThis brief article is a general guide to buying grills. It's light on details and only mentions a few models. For charcoal grills, Lou Manfredini recommends the Weber Performer and Big Green Egg, though his description of the Performer consists of mentioning only its gas-lighting system and does not mention testing criteria. The site contains a segment from NBC's "Today" show where Manfredini discusses his recommended grills and their features.
BBQ Grill Videos & Reviews
by Editors of BBQGuys.com
Our AssessmentRetail site BBQGuys.com posts videos detailing top charcoal grill picks. Site editors issue ratings, but they don't explain what they mean or the criteria on which each brand is ranked. Their in-depth videos give information on each grill's components, heat distribution, adjustability and convenience. Although most reviews are generally positive (they are selling them, after all), the information can be very helpful. Grills featured include charcoal models by Cajun, Hasty-Bake, Portable Kitchen and Weber.
Charcoal Grill Reviews
by Contributors to Buzzillions.com
Our AssessmentBuzzillions.com collects user reviews from a number of online retailers, forming a fairly cohesive picture of consumers' opinions about various charcoal grills. We don't give this source much weight, simply because many of the reviews you'll find on Buzzillions.com come from other sources that we've already evaluated, including Amazon.com. However, this is still a useful site to visit if you want a quick snapshot of user opinion about any particular grill.