The 10 Best Portable Charcoal Grills
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Whether you have a particularly small patio or balcony, or simply can't live without your barbecue wherever you go, one of these portable charcoal grills may be the solution you have been looking for. Coming in compact and lightweight designs, with both stainless steel and cast-iron grates, these options are perfect for camping, tailgating, or heading out to the beach. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best portable charcoal grill on Amazon.
April 22, 2020:
For this update, we added the Char-Griller Kamado, a high-end ceramic option for people who want more heat control and a wider temperature range than simpler models can provide. At 37 pounds it's heavier than most, but the side-mounted handles are nice and sturdy and helps maintain its portability.
We removed the Cooligg Barbecue, a large tabletop model that lacked the sturdiness needed to grill safely. We replaced it with the Cuisinart Red, one of the most portable options on our list. Weighing only 2 pounds it can be easily carried out to the beach, to a campsite, or across a parking lot for a tailgate.
No matter how small these portable charcoal grills are, they should never be used indoors, even in a garage. The carbon monoxide they release is incredibly deadly, and if used in a non-ventilated area can result in injury or death.
Charcoal embers can stay hot for hours after you’ve finished cooking, which can result in a dangerous fire hazard if you attempt to dispose of them too soon. Always douse them with water to ensure they’re totally extinguished.
If you plan on grilling in a public space like a park, or parking lot, always check to make sure you aren’t violating any local laws or regulations.
If you’d prefer the convenience of a propane grill instead of charcoal, consider a portable gas grill. These are easier to light and don’t have the mess of charcoal briquettes, although some people feel that they negatively effect the taste of their food.