Charcoal grilling has been a staple of summer activities for generations and even with all the innovations brought by modern technology, the delicious results from charcoal grilling will keep on appealing. However to get the best grilled results, it takes a great great grill and with the variety on the market it is hard to get the right one.
To get the right grills, three things have to come into focus, heat production, heat retention and heat distribution.
It’s All About the Heat
All grills require heat production, heat retention and heat distribution characteristics but some are better than others. For heat production, the material construction is less important than having good intake air flow. The only caveat for this is on Kamado or ceramic basin grills where the ceramic plays a significant role in the heat production cycle by reflecting residual heat back into the combustion chamber and thus running slightly hotter than a normal grill.
Where the material aspects of construction come into play is in the upper cooking chamber where the lid is. The lid is the part that directly concerns heat retention. While the combustion chamber and sides all play a role, the most heat loss is in the lid. Double walled lids are preferred to prevent heat loss. The more heat that is lost and the faster it is lost, the less cooking time is available because the distribution curve has shortened.
Heat distribution, is the directional focus of the heat and or the physical concerns of the heat. The distribution focus must be correct or hot and cold spots can result in the food. One construction material that plays a excellent role in distributing the heat to the right areas is cast iron, porcelain coated, cast iron cooking grates are the optimal cooling construction as it disperses the heat in the correct patterns to get the best results and to reduce hot and cold spots.
Five Top Class Charcoal Grills in the Sub $2,000 Market
Best Charcoal Kettle Grill
The Weber Model #60020 Kettle Grill is a large kettle style grill with a generous cooking space of over 1,100 square inches. It is great for home grilling or grilling for the baseball team, it has an easy to clean ash catcher and is mobile with two large wheels and lockable casters.
It uses a porcelain coated steel bowl for heat retention and production and the wide stainless steel grates offers good heat distribution. This is a great grill for church picnics, events and even cooking for family.
Best Charcoal Barbecue Grill/Smoker
Brought from Asia, Kamado style grilling has been around for over 3,000 years. The ceramic inset and the unique shape of the Kamado Joe Kamado Cooker/Grill offers excellent heating characteristics in all categories. The lower inlet air vents coupled with the top graduated vents offer unparalleled control of the heat from the charcoal.
Producing temperatures that range from 200- 700 degrees, this grill can do it all, smoke, roast and even bake. For those with the flair for the unusual but who still want superb grilling results, the Kamado Joe is a great choice.
High End Charcoal Grill on the Market
This charcoal grilling station – Napoleon Model #PRO605CSS Grilling Station offers over 800 square inches of grilling space including a rotisserie for that awesome flavor. The all stainless steel construction helps offer great heating characteristics and there is a front firebox access door so a person does not have to lift the lid to check on the charcoal.
This grill also offers two side shelves and the lower deck is fully enclosed with a cabinet style door. This is a great looking and great producing grill that would fit any size or style home.
Best Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill
The Primo Ceramic Kamado Style Grill is all ceramic which means it has excellent heating characteristics. The porcelain glaze only enhances those same characteristics and when coupled with the upper air vent and the lower inlet vent, the control of the heat is astounding. This grill can cook anything.
Smoke it, roast it, bake it, grill it and the lid is among the highest on the market making it easy to cook even large meats like turkeys. This grill has a lower cart that has two side shelves and is on four casters for mobility. This is an excellent Kamado style grill for every day use.
Best Charcoal Stainless Steel Grill with Cart
Sometimes traditional is the way to go. The Bull Outdoor Products Model #67531 Mobile Grilling Station is all 18 gauge stainless steel with the lid being double walled for better heat characteristics. The lower firebox has a full access door to access the fire without having to life the lid. This door has adjustable venting for heat control and the grates are stainless steel to prevent rusting and provide great heat distribution.
For the best results and the longevity of the grill make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. When not in use, make sure the grill is covered to protect it from the elements and never operate a grill on an uneven surface. In addition, never allow flammable material within five feet of a hot or cooling grill.