Charcoal grills are one of the two most popular types of grills in today’s society. Known for their ability to give a far better smokiness to the food you grill on it, charcoal grills are incredibly versatile without the need for many accessories. Though they may take longer to start and can be a bit harder to use for beginners, these grills make up for their disadvantages by allowing you to use all sorts of different wood types to add even more flavour.

If you love barbecuing for its delicious food, you’ll more than likely be looking to get a charcoal grill instead of a propane one. So to help you find the best charcoal grill for the next time you host a cookout, we’ve put together what you need to consider first. Then you can check out this catalogue to learn more about some of the best grills and buy the one that’s perfect for you.

Consider the grill’s structure first

Among the many things you should ideally consider before buying any charcoal grill, the most important is how it’s built. Many of these factors play into how easy it is to store and use, allowing you to actually enjoy the grilling process along with the resulting food. 

The number of vents

The vents are likely one of the most important parts of your grill. In order to maintain a proper temperature, your charcoal needs to be able to burn at a specific temperature. However, your charcoal and its flames also need proper oxygen flow to keep burning effectively. That’s where your grill’s vents come into play.

Since the vents are typically in the grill’s lid and sides that can be closed as needed, many barbecuers use them to better control the heat of the flames inside. The more open a vent is, the more oxygen your charcoal’s fire has to burn with. And the more vents your ideal grill has, the higher level of control you have with your charcoal grill.

The materials used to construct the grill

What the grill is made of is an equally important factor in how good the grill is. Thicker metal and ceramic is the best choice since it often means that your grill will be able to keep the heat inside it far better. Ceramics are an especially great material due to how they can be even thicker than most metals used for charcoal grills. The overall better heat retention of both materials often means that your food will also cook at a faster rate than other thinner ones. 

In addition to heat retention, thicker materials naturally protect your grill from getting blown or knocked over. With how much smoke and fire charcoal grills create, keeping it away from your home and other flammable items is important. Having a sturdy and thick construction for your grill ensures that it won’t tip over on extremely windy days. 

How do you add more coals?

Different types and models of charcoal grills allow you to add coal in different ways as well. It’s incredibly important to know how your ideal grill does just that.

The most common options available are hinged grates or a door designed specifically to help add more coal mid-session. Hinged grates are likely to be found on more budget-friendly charcoal grills but will require careful manoeuvring. Many grills will come with one hinged grate so carefully place your food to avoid the need to add more coal or wood chips mid-session. 


Doors or drawers in your charcoal grill are the best choices here. Though they may cost more, the dedicated use allows you to easily change up wood chips or add a little more coal if you need to. If you prefer convenience, this will be more than useful for you.

What kind of charcoal is right for you?

Though they’re called charcoal grills, there are many more variations of the fuel source that you can use than just charcoal lumps. Each one has its own benefits and is even made to light up and burn differently. So, picking which suits your grilling style is a great idea.

Lump charcoal

As the most popular type of charcoal for barbecue masters, lump charcoal is essentially just pieces of hardwood that have been turned into carbon in an airtight area. Lump charcoal is especially loved since it quickly lights and burns at high temperatures, allowing you to reach the higher temperatures you might need to grill meat. However, they do burn quickly as well, so you’ll need to add more in the middle of grilling if you aren’t careful.

Charcoal Briquettes

Also called pressed briquettes, these are likely the type that many people think of whenever charcoal is mentioned. Since these briquettes are made out of sawdust and a few additives to allow chunks to keep their shapes, they can easily be mass-produced and sold. Charcoal briquettes burn much longer than lump charcoal but don’t burn as hot due to the additives. The longer burn time, though, does make low-and-slow grilling much easier to do.

Instant Briquettes

These kinds of briquettes are one of the lesser-known types of charcoal. As the name might suggest, instant briquettes have a near-instant light capability that allows much shorter cooking sessions. They also have the same long burn capacity as normal charcoal briquettes, making them the best choice for grillers who want the smokiness of charcoal but with fewer steps involved.


With these factors in mind, consider what you want in a charcoal grill and the fuel it uses. Any kind of charcoal can work with any grill, but if you want to grill quickly and at high heat, you’ll want to use lump charcoal with a grill that has many vents. Slower grilling with smokier flavours can be done with a ceramic Kamado grill and charcoal briquettes instead. The right charcoal grill can make a big impact on how you grill and how easy it is to use, so carefully consider your options first. When you’re ready, visit for a great new grill.

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