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Best Charcoal Grills Reviewed & Rated for Quality

last updated Jul 01, 2019

Grilling is one of the best ways to prepare food and is a great way to entertain guests on those cool summer nights.  The smoke from burning coal or mesquite gives off smoke which flavors your food in a unique way that you will absolutely enjoy. There are plenty of choices when it comes to finding a grill.

Many are perfect for a backyard patio, but there are also portable grills that are great for anyone on the go. But whichever way you go charcoal grilling will make your food taste great once you master the different ways it can allow you to cook.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 221 hrs of research

icon
 PK Smoker Combo
91/100 our score
Accessories
92
Features
91
Ease of Use
90
Stability
88
Weather Resistance
94
PK Smoker Combo
Why is it better?

This item won the Consumers Digest Best Buy award in 2017.

It has a large cooking area that is big enough for a turkey.

You can take it with you when you go camping.

There are four air vents that allow you to control temperatures.

It is made of cast aluminum so it will avoid rusting.

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
 PK Smoker Combo
Test Winner: PK Smoker Combo
Amazon Link
Interviewed Experts
5
Interviewed Experts
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Total Readers
11k
Total Readers
Reviews Considered
12k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
221
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Katie Baxter
By Katie Baxter:

This article has been updated to ensure the reader is obtaining the newest information regarding charcoal grills. Information has been changed to reflect the newest information, and links have been updated to make sure customers are able to reach the original site for the grills.

Sorting Options
Accessories Features Ease of Use Stability Weather Resistance By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Accessories
92 %
Features
91 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Stability
88 %
Weather Resistance
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$369.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Accessories
94 %
Features
92 %
Ease of Use
84 %
Stability
91 %
Weather Resistance
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$165.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Accessories
91 %
Features
90 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Stability
92 %
Weather Resistance
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$149.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Accessories
93 %
Features
93 %
Ease of Use
84 %
Stability
91 %
Weather Resistance
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$439.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Accessories
84 %
Features
91 %
Ease of Use
92 %
Stability
88 %
Weather Resistance
81 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$119.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Accessories
81 %
Features
85 %
Ease of Use
82 %
Stability
94 %
Weather Resistance
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$167.22
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Accessories
81 %
Features
92 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Stability
90 %
Weather Resistance
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$87.56
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Accessories
89 %
Features
81 %
Ease of Use
82 %
Stability
90 %
Weather Resistance
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$66.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Accessories
88 %
Features
88 %
Ease of Use
81 %
Stability
82 %
Weather Resistance
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$175.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
Accessories
81 %
Features
80 %
Ease of Use
71 %
Stability
84 %
Weather Resistance
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (12.12.19)
Amazon Link
$78.81

Top 10 Picks

1. PK Smoker Combo

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
 PK Smoker Combo
Amazon Link
Accessories
92
Features
91
Ease of Use
90
Stability
88
Weather Resistance
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$369.99
Pros:

This item won the Consumers Digest Best Buy award in 2017.

It has a large cooking area that is big enough for a turkey.

You can take it with you when you go camping.

There are four air vents that allow you to control temperatures.

It is made of cast aluminum so it will avoid rusting.

Cons:

There are large gaps in the cover and the base.

There isn't an easy way to clean out the ashes.

Here is a great option for when you want to add additional smoke flavor to your food. It has a unique shape that offers multiple vents that so that you can cook your food on the high or low heat. This gives you the choice between cooking quickly or just slow cooking your food in a nice smokey chamber over the course of several hours.

Portable

The cooking part detaches from the stand easily so that you can take it with you when you are on the go. This makes it a great choice for patio or camping cooking.

Large Cooking Surface

The cooking surface has three hundred square inches so you have more than enough room to lay out your food and cook for an entire party of people or just for yourself.

Cost and Value

This product is sold at a price that is much higher than the average price. The higher price is due to it being a premium product that is long lasting.

2. Weber 14401001

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
 Weber 14401001
Amazon Link
Accessories
94
Features
92
Ease of Use
84
Stability
91
Weather Resistance
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$165.00
Pros:

The cooking bowl has been enameled with porcelain for even temperatures.

It has a cooking surface of 363 square inches.

The steel is coated with aluminum so its easy to clean.

There is a catcher on the bottom that collects the ashes.

The handles are made of nylon so that they stay cool.

Cons:

Many users have found it difficult to assemble when they get it.

The lid doesn't always form a tight seal allowing heat and smoke to escape.

Weber is a name that has long been associated with premium outdoor cooking. This round grill lives up to expectations. It has a large cooking area that allows for you to cook for an entire group of people plus it has been designed to avoid rusting should it get exposed to the rain. You will also love how easy it is to clean.

Ash Catcher

There is a container located at the bottom where the ashes can fall into which makes it really easy to empty out the ashes when you have finished using it.

Nylon Handles

The handles are made of fiberglass reinforced nylon that will stay cool while you are cooking allowing you to open the cover without having to worry about burning your hands.

Cost and Value

You will find this item sold at a price that is considered to be average. The average price makes it into an excellent value since you get a great unit without overspending on it.

3. Lodge L410

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
 Lodge L410
Amazon Link
Accessories
91
Features
90
Ease of Use
88
Stability
92
Weather Resistance
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$149.00
Pros:

Users can control cooking temperatures thanks to the draft door. 

The grill can also be placed in two different positions for better cooking. 

This product is considerably cost-friendly. 

Small and lightweight. 

Cons:

This grill is small and not optimal for large gatherings. 

Sometimes you just need something small that it is easy to carry to a campsite. The Lodge L410 is a great option for meeting such a need since it is small and lightweight at the same time. You can adjust the grates to two different heights so that you can control your temperatures easily and it also has a draft door for temperature control as well.

Draft Door

There is a draft door that you can adjust so that you can control your cooking temperatures. This helps you keep your food from getting burned while you are cooking it.

Adjustable Height

You can put the grates in two different positions. The higher position will allow for cooler cooking temperatures while the lower position is for cooking at higher temperatures so this lets you control your cooking temperatures.

Cost and Value

You will find the Lodge L410 sold at a price that is much lower than the average price due to the fact that it is a small and portable unit.

4. Weber 15501001

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
 Weber 15501001
Amazon Link
Accessories
93
Features
93
Ease of Use
84
Stability
91
Weather Resistance
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$439.00
Pros:

There is a Touch-N-Go system that does the work of lighting to coals.

It has a cooking timer that is removable for timing your food.

There is a stand on the side for resting food and utensils.

It is easy to remove ashes from the ash catcher.

It has a large cooking area that is 22 inches in diameter.

Cons:

There is a removable grate in the center so it's hard to clean.

Some users have had problems with the ignition system in this grill.

Sometimes it can be a pain to light the coals which is why Weber has your back with this unit. One of the best features is the electronic ignition system that uses electricity to get your coals started. This makes it as convenient to use as a gas grill and is a dream come true for many people who love to cook with coal.

Electronic Touch and Go

The unit has an electronic system that uses electricity to light gas which ignites the coals. This makes it really easy for you to light the coals when you are ready to cook.

LCD Cook Timer

There is a cooking timer that is built into the stand which allows you to set your food on a timer. This makes it really easy to put your food on and check on it later.

Cost and Value

You will notice that the Performer Deluxe is sold at a price that is much higher than the average price due to the fact that it is a premium product.

5. Char-Broil TRU-Infrared

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
 Char-Broil TRU-Infrared
Amazon Link
Accessories
84
Features
91
Ease of Use
92
Stability
88
Weather Resistance
81
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$119.00
Pros:

It has a large cooking area that is 22 inches in diameter.

The lid is hinged so you can easily open it.

There is a thermometer built into the lid so you can monitor temperatures.

The ash bowl can be removed and emptied easily for cleanup.

It has been designed to use less coal than other grills.

Cons:

The grill surface gets dirty and can be hard to clean.

The paint can chip off and get into the food.

Char-Broil makes a simple unit that turns grilling into a breeze. You will be able to cook for an entire group of people in the large cooking area. There is a thermometer in the lid which helps you monitor and control the temperature. All of the ashes collect in a bowl on the bottom so it's nice and easy to clean up when you are finished.

Thermometer

The lid has a thermometer built into it so that you can watch the internal temperatures of the grill while you are cooking. This helps you cook your food to the proper temperature.

Porcelain Coated Grate

The cooking grates have been coated with porcelain so that food stays on top of them. The grates also help to prevent grill flare-ups that can burn your food.

Cost and Value

You will find this item sold at a price that is slightly below the average price. The lower selling price turns it into an excellent value since you get a great unit without having to spend much.

6. Titan Attachments

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
 Titan Attachments
Amazon Link
Accessories
81
Features
85
Ease of Use
82
Stability
94
Weather Resistance
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$167.22
Pros:

It is a park grill that you can set up in your yard.

The grate has four different cooking heights for temperature control.

It's easy to clean the coals out when you are finished.

The unit is mounted on a swivel and turns 360 degrees.

The grill post has a height of 39 inches and mounts in the ground.

Cons:

The post isn't tall enough to cement it into the ground.

Some users have had the grate fall down on them.

This is a replica of the type of grills that you tend to see at public parks. You can mount it directly into the ground and it is heavy duty so you won't need to worry about it rusting in the rain. The cooking unit swivels in all directions which allows you to get the right angle when you are setting it up.

Adjuable Gates

There are four different positions for the grate so that you can get the right cooking temperatures. This lets you cook your food to perfect so that you can have the best taste.

39 Inch Post

The post is 39 inches tall which will put the unit at the proper height for easy cooking. You can also mount the post directly into the ground so that it can't be stolen.

Cost and Value

You will find this product sold at a price that is higher than the average price. The higher price is due to it being made of heavy-duty metal that is durable in the weather.

7. Old Smokey Charcoal #22

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
 Old Smokey Charcoal #22
Amazon Link
Accessories
81
Features
92
Ease of Use
88
Stability
90
Weather Resistance
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$87.56
Pros:

It is made of aluminum coated steel so that it resists rust.

The fire is low on the unit which helps maintain temperatures.

You can put it together easily and start using it.

The unit is lightweight so that you can carry it.

You can also use it as a meat smoker as well.

Cons:

The lid doesn't always stay tight on the unit allowing heat to escape.

There are only three legs so it will blow over in a strong wind.

You can turn to Old Smokey for when you need something that is portable. This grill is perfect to have at your campsite or even when you just want to cook out on your patio. It resists weather and rain since it is made of steel that has been coated with aluminum so you won't need to worry about it developing rust due to a spring rain.

Lightweight

The entire unit only weighs 22 pounds so you will not have any issues when you need to carry it from one location to another. This makes it great for tailgating.

Low Fire

The fire is low which helps you cook your food at a consistent temperature. This will help keep you from overcooking or even burning your food so it will taste great.

Cost and Value

You will find the Old Smokey sold at a price that is lower than the average price due to the fact that it is a small and portable unit that costs less to make.

8. Char-Griller 2-2424

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
 Char-Griller 2-2424
Amazon Link
Accessories
89
Features
81
Ease of Use
82
Stability
90
Weather Resistance
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$66.00
Pros:

You can convert it to a side firebox to be used with smokers.

The ash pan can be removed and dumped out when you are finished.

It is made of heavy-duty steel so it's long lasting.

The unit is small enough to put on a table.

The cooking grates are made of cast iron so they last longer.

Cons:

Converting it to a firebox is a permanent change.

The paint has been known to chip off after use.

The Char-Griller is a small and portable unit that you can put on top of a table or you can even use it has a Texas-style smoker. You will love how easy it is to clean when you are done since it has an ash pan that can be removed from the unit. It is also durable and made of heavy duty steel.

Convertible

You can use it as a grill or you permanently convert it into a firebox on the side so that it can be used as a smoker instead of a grill.

Cast Iron Grates

The cooking grates are made of cast iron. Cast iron distributes heat well and it is long lasting which allows you to cook your food for years at a time.

Cost and Value

You will find the Char-Griller 2-2424 sold at a price that is lower than the average price. The low price is due to the small size of the unit which costs less to make.

9. Char-Griller 2828

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
 Char-Griller 2828
Amazon Link
Accessories
88
Features
88
Ease of Use
81
Stability
82
Weather Resistance
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$175.00
Pros:

There is 270 square in warming rack for keeping food warm.

The main cooking surface is large and has 580 square inches.

You can remove the ashes easily by using the ash pan.

It has a thermometer built into the lid for temperature monitoring.

There is a side shelf that also has utensil hooks.

Cons:

It can be hard to assemble the unit on your own.

The wheels are cheap and have been known to fall off.

This is a great choice for something to use on your patio. The rack on the unit is large and has 580 square inches which let you cook for an entire party of people. You can easily dump out the ashes when you are finished so it's easy to clean up when you have finished cooking your food on it.

Wheel Stand

The stand is made of tubular metal and has a pair of wheels on it. This makes it easy to roll out the unit when you are ready to start cooking.

Temperature Guage

There is a thermometer that is built into the lid. You will have no trouble keeping an eye on your temperatures while you are cooking with this grill thanks to the thermometer.

Cost and Value

You will find this item sold at a price that is well below the average price. The lower price turns it into a bargain buy since you won't overspend on it.

10. Kingsford OGD2001901

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79
 Kingsford OGD2001901
Amazon Link
Accessories
81
Features
80
Ease of Use
71
Stability
84
Weather Resistance
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$78.81
Pros:

The cooking area has 354 square inches of cooking surface.

It has been coated in porcelain so that it lasts longer.

There is a rack that is used for warming food.

The bottom of the stand has a storage rack on it.

There are also air vents in it for controlling temperatures.

Cons:

Some users have had the ash catcher fall off when moving it.

The cooking grates have been known to warp after using.

Sometimes you only need the basics and that is what you will find with this Kettle Grill by Kingsford. It has a large cooking area so that you can cook a large meal for yourself or even cook for a group of people. There is a rack on the bottom where you can store your utensils when you are not using it.

Warming Rack

It comes with a warming rack so that you can keep finished food warm while you are cooking the rest of the food. It's also great for toasting buns or bread.

Air Vents

You can use the air vents to control your temperatures. The air vents are a great way to keep your food from getting over cooking since you can keep your temperatures down.

Cost and Value

You will find this item sold at a price that is much lower than the average price. The low price turns it into a bargain buy since you won't have to spend much on it.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Brand

Type

There are three different types of grills that you will find when you are shopping. One kind is the kettle grill, followed by the barrel grill, and finally the ceramic grills.

Kettle grills are normally the least expensive option out of the three. They are highly portable so you can move them around your yard or bring them with you if you are planning on tailgating or camping. These units are also an excellent choice for when you are cooking meats that don't have a long cooking time such as hamburgers. The kettle grill is perfect for cooking for a small group and when you need something that is inexpensive.

A barrel grill is a better quality grill than the kettle grill.  These units are much larger and are perfect when you need to cook for a larger party of people. Many of these units also double smokers, so you also have the option to cook your food slowing using this type of grill. This makes them into a great option for cooking beef brisket or pork loins. Just because this grill is good at cooking larger food items does not mean it will not still cook the same food that kettle grills do, like hamburgers!

Finally, there are the ceramic grills, which is the highest quality of the three. This grill is shaped to look like an egg. They are based on a Japanese design that uses heat efficiently. They have thick walls and seal perfectly so that heat and smoke do not escape from the cooker. You can cook just about any kind of food in this style of grill due to its design.  However, due to this cooker have additional features the other two styles do not have, this grill usually comes at a higher price.

Accessories

Cooking Surface

When you are planning to cook outdoors on the grill, you are going to need to think about the size. The size matters because it will determine how much food you can cook and if you will be easily able to transport the grill from one place to another. A larger unit will naturally cook more food than a smaller one. If you are planning on cooking for a larger group of people, then you are going to need a bigger unit. On the other hand, if you only plan on cooking for yourself and doing a lot of traveling, then you are going to want to own a unit that is smaller in size and weighs less.

When you are considering the size, you are going to want to think about the overall cooking surface. The cooking surface is going to determine how much food you can cook at a time. Additionally, the cooking surface is going to matter if you are cooking over indirect heat. Sometimes you want to do this since it will reduce the number of flare-ups that your food will get exposed to while you are cooking. If your cooking surface is small, then you are unlikely to be able to cook your food indirectly.

When you are planning on cooking for large groups of people or need to cook over indirect heat, then you are going to want to have a larger cooking surface. If you need something that is portable and you only plan on cooking for a small group of people, then it's fine to have a smaller cooking surface. Most manufacturers give the cooking surface in square inches which will give you an idea of how much you can cook at a time.

Advanced Features

Temperature Control

It's not always easy to control your temperatures when you are cooking over coal. Unlike gas, once coals are lit there is no way to increase or decrease the combustion which means you are usually stuck at a temperature that remains constant. Well-designed charcoal grills will provide you with some temperature control options but it is going to take practice in order to get the proper cooking temperatures, regardless of how many features are built into the grill.

One of the first things that you will want to look for if you need temperature control is a temperature gauge that tells you how warm it is inside of the unit. You can't manage what you can't measure so if you don't know how hot it is inside then it's going to be challenging to get the proper cooking temperatures. Many premium units have a thermometer built into the lid. If the grill you decide to purchase does not come with one, there is the option to buy a thermometer separately as well.

In terms of managing the temperature, you are also going to want to look for adjustable grates and vents. Vents open walls on the grill, allowing more oxygen into the cooking area.  More oxygen will cause the fire to burn hotter.  You can use the vents to control the rate of combustion and ultimately control the temperature. Adjustable grates let you move the food towards or away from the fire. As the food gets closer to the coals, you will expose it to more heat while moving the food away from the coals will take it away from the heat. You should always look for these two features if you require temperature control in your charcoal grill.

Water Resistance

Cleanup

Burning coal creates ash which you are going to have to remove every time you use your grill. Additionally, you are going to need to clean the grates between uses in order to remove any grease or leftovers from the food that got stuck on them. The amount of effort that you will need in order to clean up your grill after use will be a factor in deciding what unit you should ultimately purchase. Ideally, you are going to want to look for something that is easy to clean as to waste less time washing the unit after you are done using it.

Removing the ashes can be a chore in some units. A well-designed grill will have an ash basket or a try that is removable so that you can empty it. These are normally located on the bottom of the unit so that all of the ashes fall into it when the coals have fully burned out. Not only should the grill have an ash catching system, but it also needs to be easy to use. You do not want it to be loose and fall out when you move the grill and it also should be easy to remove and empty when you have finished.

The grates are the other piece that needs to get cleaned between uses. Once again, you will want to make sure that they can be removed and cleaned easily. There should not be any complicated locking mechanisms that hold the grates in place and they should not be so heavy that they are difficult to take out. Additionally, the grates should be non-stick so that you only need to wipe them off with a little effort when you go to clean them.

Value

Quality

The more that you plan on spending on your grill, the more you will want to insist on quality. The overall quality of the grill can also play a key role in safety. You always want to look for signs of quality when you are shopping for a grill in order to make sure that you get a unit that is well designed and will last a long time.

One of the biggest safety issues is the risk of the grill tipping over when it is lit. If the grill falls over, there is a chance that the burning coals can spill out and cause a fire. For this reason, you need to make sure that the legs are durable. They need to be sturdy and the entire grill should have a low center of gravity so that it does not fall over. If you see legs that are loose or disproportionate, then you should not purchase the grill.

The paint is another common quality issue that many people experience and is worth mentioning. Paint is used to protect the metal parts from corrosion and rust. However, as it is exposed to heat, it can dry out and start to chip. This can lead to paint chips getting into your food which can lead to you eating contaminated food. High-quality units will either not use paint or they will use a paint that is designed to be exposed to high temperatures. This will help to keep harmful paint chips out of your food and also help the grill to last for a longer period of time.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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expert tips icon
So Many Options

There are so many things you could think about before you go for a charcoal grill but here's a bit of advice from us, keep it simple and ask a few key questions: Do you grill all the time primarily for your family? If the answer is yes then you want to concentrate on ease of use and don't necessarily need a giant grill face to cook 20 steaks at a time. Are you just a meat cooker or are you an experimental cooker, then think about grills that allow you to play with the kinds of wood or coals that you can put in the grill, there are options that will allow you to use a combination of coal and say mesquite. Finally, are you a camp cooker? Then size does matter and portability is your key component. Don't get a giant grill if you are not going to use a giant grill, and conversely don't get a small face grill if you're cooking for the baseball team. There are so many options out there you can get exactly what you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is the best way to start the coals?

a:

Starting the coals can be a difficult job and will take some practice until you get used to doing it. The first piece of advice is to use high-quality coals since these tend to light easier than low-quality coals. You can use lighter fluid to help get the lit but you will need to make sure to stack the coals in a pyramid shape and wait until they are white until you spread them around.

q: How do I put the coals out when I am finished?

a:

The best thing to do is to wait for them to burn out on their own. If you try and put them out with water, then you will spread ash around the grill and make it hard to clean. You can try and spread the coals out to help them burn down quicker but do not try and soak them with water or other extinguishers since it will only leave you with a large mess to clean up.

q: How much coal should I use?

a:

This is another thing that will require practice. The best advise is to try and read the directions that are provided with your grill since the manufacturer will typically recommend how much coal to use for a particular purpose. As a rule of thumb, you will use less coal for less cooking time and some grills will have features that let you add coal later on if you need more time to cook your food.

q: Is charcoal better than gas?

a:

This is a matter of discussion that has been around for as long as gas grills have existed. Charcoal gives a smokey flavor that many people like and it is harder to get this flavor when you are using gas. Gas is generally easier to use and to light which is why many people prefer to use gas over charcoal. You will have to use both kinds and decide for yourself which type you prefer.

q: Can I use wood rather than coal?

a:

There are certain models of grills that allow you to cook with a wood fire rather than a coal fire. You are going to need to do your research if you intended to use wood and charcoal to make sure that your grill has been designed for it. Adding wood to the fire is a great way to improve the smoke flavor so it tends to be a popular thing to do if you like to have more smoke.

q: How long do I need to let the coals burn before I can start cooking?

a:

Normally, it is good to light the coals and allow them to burn for approximately 20 to 30 minutes prior to placing food on the grill.  As the coals burn, they will turn an ashy white color. This color indicates the coals are ready to be used for cooking.

Sources

  1. Living Direct, How to Choose the Best Charcoal Grill, Website
  2. US News, How to Choose the Best Grill For You, Website
  3. Wikipedia, Barbecue Grill, Website
  4. Men's Health, Pick the Perfect Grill, Website
  5. Consumer Reports, How to Cook on a Charcoal Grill, Website