No matter what type, food always tastes better when grilled. This is especially true when food is grilled over a bed of white hot charcoal. The aroma of the smoke, the sizzle of the meat, the flavor of the results, all combine to create a mouth watering experience. This is perhaps why, grilling is such a favorite pastime for many.
In order to get the best results, it takes a good grill to get the right mix of heat production, heat retention and heat distribution to get the food grilled to perfection. To get great results does not require a massive investment. There are plenty of great, charcoal grills that are affordable and easy to use.
With the right charcoal and when lit correctly, charcoal produces a near perfect heat distribution curve. The heat production begins slowly and rises to the correct cooking temperature and then slowly declines to cool. This curve and the time it takes is what makes charcoal a good fuel of choice for grilling. Still, there is much more to it than just the heat it produces.
Charcoal enhances the flavor of the food by the fact that the combustion process is inefficient. Thus, carbon particles will deposit on the food giving it that characteristic smoky flavor. This is also the reason why it is better to use all natural lump charcoal than charcoal briquettes as there is no chemical fillers that can get to the meat.
The carbon from charcoal is all natural and is a basic building block of life but the chemical fillers and additives in fast lighting charcoal can be harmful in a sizeable enough quantity. Therefore, it is best to use natural charcoal and a charcoal chimney to facilitate fast lighting and the grill food will come out tasting wonderful and with no worries of added chemicals.
Five Great Charcoal Grills for the Value
Best Folding Charcoal Grill to Buy
The Marsh Allen Model #717HH-1 Round Charcoal Grill is the traditional round charcoal grill with foldable legs and a round, steel grate. While these small grills have been surpassed by larger, more expensive grills, these still are very effective and produce great grilled results.
The cooking grate is height adjustable and the folding legs make this grill very portable. Best of all, they are very inexpensive and still produce great tasting grilled foods.
Best Value Kettle Charcoal Grill
This table top version of the kettle style grill by Weber will produce great grilled results. Weber is a leading manufacturer of grills and grilling accessories and this grill is designed to produce the right focus of heat for grilled food. The top vents of the Weber Model #1211001 Charcoal Grill give some control over the heat production and grill has over 200 square inches of cooking space.
It also has a bottom mounted, aluminum ash catcher and the entire body is porcelain coated to get the heat just right. This grill is great for camping, tailgating, apartment, bistros and even homes.
Best Kettle Grill to Buy
What helps make kettle style grills effective at grilling is the shape that focuses the heat upwards to help reduce hot and cold spots in the grilled food. This kettle style grill – Weber Model #741001 Charcoal Grill is much larger than the 1211001 above and has a steeper kettle shape for better results. It has over 300 square inches of cooking space and it uses a one touch cleaning system to remove ashes.
The body and lid is coated in a porcelain that will assist in both heat production and retention. It has a top mounted vent for heat control and it has dual wheels mobility. This is a great grill that will handle a wide variety of food and will last year after year.
Best Charcoal Grill in the Market
The Char-Broil American Gourmet Series Model #800 Grill is a traditional barrel style grill, that is a staple of grills in many locations. With over 500 square inches of cooking space, this grill has plenty of room for a wide range of foods or a number of foods. The cast iron cooking grates offer superb heat distribution to the food and will produce the expected sear marks.
This grill has a side shelf on the cart and dual wheels for mobility. The grill has a built in temperature gauge on the lid and a side chimney and the dampeners located on the side. This is an excellent charcoal grill for any occasion or location.
Best Value Charcoal BBQ Grills
This charcoal grill is among the top of charcoal grills and it is very affordable and won’t break the bank. This grill – Char-Broil Santa Fe Grill hosts several features such as a front access door to the fire area so there is no heat loss when checking the fire. The cooking grates are porcelain coated, cast iron for superior heat distribution and are fully adjustable from the exterior of the grill.
This lid has side vents and the fire box has adjustable dampeners for unparalleled heat control, all of which can be monitored from the temperature gauge in the lid. This grill has over 500 square inches of primary cooking space and more on the warming racks.
The lower cart has a side shelf and dual wheels for mobility. This is a superb grill for any home and it will provide excellent grilled food, time and time again.
To protect your grill, be sure to cover when not in use to reduce the exposure to the elements. Also, make sure to read and follow the cleaning instructions for your grill. Never operate a grill on an uneven surface as tipping could result and never allow flammable materials within five feet of a hot or cooling grill.