Now that you’ve already gone through the 15 Best Charcoal Grills above, it’s important that we also give you some tips to assist you in identifying the suitable unit for both your need and budget.
You must ensure that the grill you pick has got all the features that will enable you to have an efficient grilling experience. However, if you aren’t familiar with the features, then you might get confused or overwhelmed by all the many different brands of charcoal grills.
Since we don’t want that to happen to you, we have prepared a precise buying guide that you’ll find useful. Go through it to know which features you should be looking for on the grill you hope to invest your money in.
Grilling Area & 2-Zone
Using a charcoal grill isn’t for everyone. It’s a skill by its own right. However, if you’ve not used one before, don’t worry. As long as you’re a grilling and BBQ lover and want to learn how to do it like a Pro, well, it’s not rocket science. Charcoal grills are easy to use.
One of the skills that you’ll require to achieve the best grilling results is to learn how to create a 2-zone setup. This is one of the best charcoal grilling skills. That will allow you to move your meat or food from the hot flame to a cool flame area.
By so doing, your food will use the indirect heat of the hot flame area to roast. That makes it very taste crispy. But, if your area of grilling is too small, then you won’t be able to come up with the 2-zone setup.
Therefore, you should choose a grill that gives you generous space to place your hot charcoal on one side while the low hot charcoal goes to the other side to create a perfect 2-zone setup.
Cooking grates are the net-like cooking surfaces on which you’re going grill your food. These grates are exposed to high temperatures for a long time. For that reason, they are supposed to be durable.
That means, before you purchase your grill, you should ensure that the cooking grates of the unit are strong enough. You also should make sure that the cooking grates can radiate heat evenly in all directions to allow your food is grilled uniformly from all areas.
Stainless steel and Cast iron grates are the main types of cooking grills available. While stainless steel is rust-resistant and perfect in radiating heat, cast iron is considered to be more durable because it can withstand high temperatures for a long time.
Easy to Remove or Add Charcoal
A suitable charcoal grill is one that allows you easy access to charcoal. Generally, you’ll need to add or remove charcoal to your grill during your cooking process. For example, you don’t want the temperature of the grill to go down when the food isn’t yet cooked. In that case, you’ll need to add some charcoal to maintain the optimal temperature. The opposite is true.
Thus, the grill you’re going to buy should be designed in a way that makes it easy to add or remove the charcoal. The 15 units listed above features different kinds of charcoal access.
Luckily, most of the contemporary grills include a simple to open-and-close door through which you’ll be adding or removing charcoal from the grill. And easy access to the charcoal lets you control the temperature of your grill effectively.
One feature of temperature control in a charcoal grill is the ease of adding or moving charcoal. There are several other heat control features that you should pay attention to as well. As we may have mentioned already, having better control of the temperature of your grill is extremely important to achieve the best results in your cooking.
For that, always ensure that the grill you’re about to buy has all the heat control features needed. Check to see that it has adjustable dampers and side handles to help you adjust the space between the charcoal and food.
Make sure too that it has a lid with proper air vents to provide efficient control of the grill temperature. Choose the unit with the features you’re sure are the easiest for your handling.
The Lid of the Grill
The lid is also an important feature. It’s the top-covering of the grill that traps the food within it. The lid captures heat when it closes the grill to enhance the cooking process.
Check and ensure that it’s tightly fit on your potential grill to allow heat to remain inside for longer. See that the grill has a nice locking system that makes the lid fit tightly to the grill.
Dampers help with the gas intake and exhaust from a grill. Most grills will come with at least 2 dampers to help to make the mentioned processes efficient. Having dampers also means that you can control the temperature of the grill by igniting the charcoal or extinguishing it from the intake or exhaust dampers respectively.
What’s more, a charcoal grill that’s equipped with dampers experiences better intake or exhaust of gases. Therefore, ensure that the unit you choose comes with at least 2 dampers to facilitate these processes.
A grill that comes with an integrated temperature gauge allows you to eliminate the guesswork when it comes to the temperature control of the grill. It will help you know exactly when to add or remove charcoal because it gives you the real-time temperature. Though it’s not necessary, you’re better off with a grill that comes with a built-in thermometer.
Since you’re using charcoal to grill your food, it means that you’ll eventually need to dispose of some ash. Failure to do so, the ash will interfere with the proper lighting of the charcoal, which will increase the time taken by your grill to heat up. That will, of course, increase the time you’ll take to have your food cooked.
Most of the contemporary charcoal grills come with removable ashtrays to allow for quick and convenient ash disposal. So, keep that in mind.