While tailgating or barbecuing, the right grill can really make or break your meal and your celebration with a bunch of friends. Of course, while tailgating, portability is of utmost importance so that you can conveniently pack your grill up in the back of your pickup truck and take it wherever the next game or concert may be. While a big impressive grilling setup might be suitable in your backyard, for tailgating you will definitely want something a bit smaller and something you can transport easily. For that purpose, we have collected a list of the best portable charcoal grill options for you to try out.
Though all grills can make some tasty foods, there is something about the flavor of charcoal that just cannot be beaten. And for that reason, we have decided to come up with a list of portable charcoal grill options—so that you can bring the taste of charcoal to your tailgate when you are cooking for your friends, loved ones, and maybe even a few strangers.
We know that it may seem hard to choose just one portable charcoal grill when there are so many good options out there, but that is why we have answered some questions about what to look out for when shopping for a portable charcoal grill. We also compare each product for you so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing your portable charcoal grill.
What Is Tailgating?
Tailgating is a popular and fun activity for anyone who just loves enjoying grilled food and good music outside with a group of people. When people tailgate, they usually gather around their vehicles and play music loudly. Usually, someone is cooking some barbecue meats and veggies on a grill they can transport in their vehicle. People often have tailgating parties before and after sporting events, but sometimes there are tailgating groups at concerts and other fun public events. To bring a portable charcoal grill to a tailgate, it definitely has to meet different requirements.
What Is a Portable Charcoal Grill?
A portable charcoal grill is ideal for any time you want to tailgate because it will be made to be transported around. Since it will be smaller and collapse or have wheels to roll on, you can bring it with you anywhere you want a freshly grilled burger patty. Going to the park but do not want to use the public grills that everyone has grilled who knows what on? With a portable charcoal grill, this will be an issue of the past.
What Should I Consider When Buying a Portable Charcoal Grill?
To know what to look out for when purchasing your next portable charcoal grill, a few factors must be considered. For instance, how many people will you typically be cooking for? How hot do you want your grill to get when heated up? Are there any other features you would like on your portable charcoal grill? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of what you want in your portable charcoal grill.
Where Can You Buy a Portable Charcoal Grill?
You can purchase a portable charcoal grill from a home appliance store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. You can also order your portable charcoal grill online from Amazon, or directly from the website of the brand of grill you prefer.
How We Reviewed
We searched far and wide all over the web to find countless lists of best of lists and user reviews as well as expert recommendations so that we could find the best portable charcoal grill options for you. We maintained an unbiased stance in reviewing these portable charcoal grills, providing the features, pros, cons, and price of each grill so that you could make an informed decision when purchasing your grill. Though all of the grills featured in this article are high quality and perfect for any tailgating needs, we will narrow it down and pick an all-time best for you.
Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)
The lower price range of these charcoal grills is around $ – $$, while the higher end is around $$-$$$ for a grill.
What We Reviewed
Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill
- While spending most days on your way to somewhere else, the Go-Anywhere portable charcoal...
- Holds up to six burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and base retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- The lid locks for easy portability and dampers allow you to easily control the temperature...
This go-anywhere grill is great anytime you want that charcoal flavor on the move. It’s small and compact but still maintains 160 square inches of grilling space for you to work with.
Lodge Cast Iron Sportsman’s Grill
- Lodge Logic Sportsmans Grill, 17-1/4" x 9" unit size, 19"L x 10-1/4"W x 8-1/4 H" grill...
- This rugged, charcoal hibachi-style grill is perfect for picnics, tailgating, camping, or...
- Cast Iron Grill Grate produces superior results.Door allows for coals to be added.Sliding...
- Sportsmans Grill Cover is constructed of heavy duty black polyester with PVC backing and...
- Made in USA.
For any lovers of cast iron, this would be the perfect portable charcoal grill for them. This grill is attractive to look at while still being functional. The hibachi style grill enables you to have a little fun cooking.
Weber 40020 Smokey Joe Premium 14-Inch Portable Grill
- Grab the handle of your Smokey Joe Premium portable charcoal grill and throw a BBQ,...
- Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
- Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
- Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
- The Tuck-N-Carry lid lock doubles as a lid holder to avoid placing lid on the ground
This 14-inch portable charcoal grill will work well for anyone who needs a standard, no fuss grill to cook their burgers on. While ideal for smaller groups, you can cook three steaks or five burgers on this grilling surface.
Cuisinart Grate Lifter
- Ultra-portable grill featuring unique lift system to access charcoal bed without touching...
- Precision air flow system allows accurate temperature management; Convenient lid-mounted...
- 240-square-inch cooking surface; Durable porcelain enamel cover
- Large ash collection bin for easy cleaning; Sturdy base offers stability while grilling
- World famous Cuisinart quality; Comes with 3-year warranty
This charcoal grill has a huge grilling surface for you and any event you’re cooking for. With up to 240 square inches of grilling surface, there’s also a unique design for safety to prevent you from burning yourself when opening the grill.
Old Smokey Charcoal Grill
This charcoal grill has character and definitely gains some respect. A true Southern creation, this grill smokes your food to perfection. Though users thought the metal felt flimsy, they quickly realized it cooked perfectly, and the metal lasts years.
Masterbuilt 20040111 Elite Kettle Grill
- 139 sq. inches of cooking space
- Chrome wire cooking grate
- Two adjustable air dampers for improved temperature control
- Porcelain-coated lid and bottom bowl with removable ash can
- Extra-sturdy leg design
This kettle grill has a sleek and shiny design that will make people turn to see what you’re cooking. While it comes in larger sizes too, this grill already has 139 square inches of grilling space so that you can feed your whole family at your next tailgate.
Char-Griller 2-2424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box
- Removable ash pan for easy coal clean up
- Offset for Texas style smoking
- Attaches to all Char-Griller barrel grills (#2123, #2828, #2137 and the #5050 Duo Gas and...
- Use as a table top grill or horizontal Texas style smoker
- You can go from a grill to a side fire box, once done you cannot go back to the grill
This grill is certainly a beautiful Texas grill to look at. It can be used both as a charcoal grill and on its side as a Texas smoker so that you have options with cooking your meat. With a nice cast iron exterior, this grill looks impressive and has a whopping 250 square inches of grilling surface too.
Son of Hibachi Combo with Snuff out Pouch
This hibachi grill is a classic, with the original model from the 1980s. You can use this grill to feed a ton of people, with up to ten pieces of chicken fitting on top. As an added bonus, you can also reuse your charcoal and save some more money.
Original Folding Charcoal BBQ Grill, Stainless Steel – By Fox Outfitters
- Easy to use folding grill set. Folds down for convenient storage and portability....
- Assembled Size: Approx. 12.5in x 12.5in x 8.6in Folded Size: Approx. 13in x 7.8in x1.9in.
- Safety & Health: Non toxic, FDA approved, no twist.
- Unique Humanization Design: Funnel-shaped grill, with excellent wind-resistance, can...
- Durable & Portable Advantage: Stainless steel material, solid and excellent abrasive...
This easy charcoal grill made of stainless steel folds out for you to have a large grilling surface to work with. The design is easy to work with and the grill cooks everything from meat to vegetables to perfection.
Char-Broil Portable CB500X Charcoal Grill
- Adjustable fire grate:- Control the heat level at the cooking grate by placing your...
- Charcoal:- Powered by charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
- Lid-Mounted Temperature Gauge:- Keep track of pre-heat status and monitor the inside...
- Damper:- Control the grill temperature by opening and closing the dampers. To burn hotter...
- Removable Ash Pan:- Convenient pull-out drawer catches ash for simple clean-ups when...
This charcoal grill has plenty of space for your cooking needs, with up to 240 square inches of grilling surface for you to work with. There is a temperature gauge built into the lid so you don’t have to worry about thermometers or not knowing when the grill is ready for your food.
Though all of these portable charcoal grills will ensure you have a tailgate with amazing food, we have reviewed all of the pros and cons and determined that the best portable charcoal grill is the Old Smokey Charcoal Grill. While it’s a little pricier at $80, it is definitely worth every penny. The design holds up and keeps the charcoal perfectly hot so that you can grill or smoke fall-off-the-bone meat. It is also a super large design, so no matter how many mouths you have to feed at your next barbecue event, you will have room to cook for everyone.
We understand that everyone has different grilling needs, so you may find a different pick that suits your grilling needs. The good news is that after this article, we feel confident you’ll be able to make an informed decision on your next portable charcoal grill purchase.
Featured Image via Pixabay