grilled kebabs ready to eat with salad

Top 10 Portable Charcoal Grill Reviews 2022:

Last Updated on July 23, 2022

A portable charcoal grill is a must-have for people on the go.

Very few cooking methods can rival a portable charcoal grill.

The aroma of barbecue cooking drifts through the air, the sizzling sound of a juicy steak, and then tasting that unforgettable smoky charred flavor that lingers on your tongue. Deliciousness at its best.

Choosing any kind of portable charcoal grill can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming task especially if you’re a first-timer and not sure what to look for. Stress not, we have the solution.

Here at Awesome Backyard Living, we have created a quick and easy checklist together with a review of 10 portable charcoal grills to help solve your problem.

So let’s sit down together for the next few minutes and go through the 7 important things you need to know to make your choice of the best portable charcoal grill for you, based on your needs and what you can afford.

We know your time is precious, but we would like to suggest (if you can spare the time which we think you should) that you also read our full reviews for each charcoal grill to increase your knowledge and get a better insight, before making your choice.

We eventually narrowed them down, not just 1 portable charcoal grill but 10 portable charcoal grills across a range of price points and styles listed below that are available to you at the time of writing this review.

Product availability from the Manufacturers can fluctuate from time to time as they sell and replace their stock, we apologize for the inconvenience and know how frustrating it can be for you, but it’s beyond our control.

From tailgate grills, tabletop grills, and freestanding units for your backyard or patio, to space-saving grills, and go anywhere grills, ideal for camping, there’s something for everyone.

So what should you look out for when you’re comparing the different charcoal units for portable grilling? Focus on the 7 pointers in our buyer’s guide below and you won’t go far wrong.
Buyers Guide

#1 Portability:

If you want a portable charcoal grill you can take camping or tailgating, it needs to be lightweight and easy to carry.

#2) Compact size:

It should fit easily into the trunk of your car or RV. make sure you don’t sacrifice the size of the cooking area though to achieve a reduced footprint.

You may end up regretting this and having to purchase a larger one at a later date.

(A mistake Len and I made when we first started.)

On the other hand, you may not want a portable charcoal grill,  just a small one to use at home in your backyard, patio, or on your balcony, in this case, you should focus on stability and maneuverability.

#3) Easy to Assemble:

Your portable charcoal grill should not have too many parts that you need to carry assembly tools with you and spend valuable time putting it all together.

#4) Cooking Area:

The size of the cooking area is expressed in square inches.

All that counts here is ensuring you have enough space for your needs. Make sure the cooking grate offers you enough room to cook sufficient burgers, steaks, chicken breasts, or hot dogs for everyone.

This knowledge should help you choose one with an appropriately-sized cooking area.

#5) Grates:

Check that grates are well made, incorporate food-grade materials with no contaminants.

Ideally, the grates should slide in and out to simplify fueling.

#6) Easy Clean-up: 

Precious time should be spent having fun, not cleaning your grill,

A little tip from Len the grill master in our house;

Before grilling, lightly rub the grate with cooking oil, this helps stop food from sticking and makes the grate easier to clean afterward.

You can make things easier by placing an aluminum foil tray in the bottom of your grill then putting your briquettes in it.

When you have finished grilling let it cool down, lift the tray out and dispose of the tray and ashes. Easy Peasy.

#7) Durability:

You need to establish that any grill you’re considering is built well enough for your purpose.

If you only plan to whip out your grill once a month, you don’t need to prioritize the quality of the build or how long it will last.

However, if you intend to BBQ regularly you may want to spend a bit more to get a unit that is going to weather the storm.

Last but by no means least, any BBQ, even a portable one, needs a rock-solid base so you can cook with total confidence and safety.

Remember it can be windy out there if you’re in an exposed area, this can affect the stability of your portable charcoal grill, so be careful.

OK, with that groundwork in place, you can see why a small charcoal grill is something you may want to consider whether for travel, or for grilling on the balcony, patio, or deck, and what you should consider when looking to purchase.

Without further ado, we’ll dive down into our portable charcoal grill reviews so you can fully assess your options.

Top 10 Portable Charcoal Grills 

1    Beau Jardin Kettle BBQ

#Go-anywhere kettle bbq and smoker


The Beau Jardin BBQ comes in the traditional kettle design to promote efficiency, even cooking with charcoal.

While this qualifies as a mobile bbq, you won’t get shortchanged with cooking capacity.

Measuring 18 inches across and offering 255 square inches of space, you can feed the whole family or a handful of guests.

Made from porcelain-enameled steel, you get a product that’s built to last without needing to spend a fortune.

The grate is thickened to withstand high temperatures and the overall build quality feels quite robust.

We would draw attention to the legs of this BBQ. Described by the manufacturer as “sturdy”, we must disagree.

As with any lightweight bbq, you need to decide if you’re prepared to accept this lack of stability to achieve a small barbecue.

This kettle is tailor-made for when you’re camping, The wheels mean you won’t need to strain yourself shifting it around.

Both handles are designed to stay cool to the touch, too.

Weighing less than 20 pounds, you can comfortably pop the kettle in the trunk of your car when you’re ready to hit the road.


Manipulating the holes in the ash catcher will regulate airflow. This allows you to tweak the temperature with precision and without needing to open the lid.

Cleaning couldn’t be easier. Remove and wash the plates. Do the same with the removable ash catcher. That’s the extent of upkeep with this.

If you have a small family and you’re looking for a lightweight unit ideal for use at home, on the campsite, or out in the RV, we’d strongly recommend this 18-inch gem from Beau Jardin.

What Buyers Liked

  • 255 square inches of cooking surface lets you rustle up 10 burgers
  • Wheeled for ease of transportation
  • Handles are thickened and highly insulated
  • Removable ash disposal
  • Adjustable heat control

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Legs feel rather flimsy and unstable
  • Not easy to put together
  • Some parts missing on arrival
  • One-year warranty (seller states free replacement if defective within 12 months.) 

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price: 

 Beau Jardin Kettle BBQ

2    Raptor Tabletop

#Best For Tailgating

raptor portable charcoal grill for tabletop use

This BBQ from Raptor is one of the best tailgate portable charcoal grills in a crowded market. How does it differentiate itself from the competition, then?

The design of the Raptor is impeccable. This also serves a functional purpose, though.

The fierce-looking handles make a striking statement, but also allow you to cook without coming into any contact with the fuel. This is ideal if you’re tailgating with friends.

The last thing you want is ash and soot all over your clothes when you’re trying to relax.

Made from rugged 20-gauge steel, the overall dimensions are 23 x 14 x 6 inches.

Despite such a small footprint, the cooking rack spans 18 x 13 inches giving you a total cooking area of 230 square inches.

The manufacturer claims this translates to 16 burgers, but we feel this is a little ambitious.

You should easily accommodate 10 or more large burgers sufficient even if you’re cooking for a crowd.

raptor small charcoal grill with a large cooking area

So, you have the portability you need but how about cooling down? It takes only an hour to get from cooking temperature down to room temperature.

By the time you’ve polished off your final hot dog and downed the last beer, the Raptor is good to pop back in the trunk.

While this is certainly not the cheapest portable charcoal grill, however, the charcoal-saving technology means ongoing running costs are minimal.

If you want rock-solid construction, ease of use, and portability without sacrificing that authentic charcoal grilled taste, go with the Raptor.

What Buyers Liked

  • Clean hands technology
  • Charcoal saving feature.
  • Easy to regulate temperature thanks to tight tolerance air valves
  • Cools down quickly so makes a great lightweight charcoal bbq for camping
  • Spacious 230-square inch cooking area considering its compact size

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • A few reported issues with quality control so check the contents of your package closely upon receipt for any damage.

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:   Raptor Portable Charcoal BBQ

3   Folding Portable BBQ Charcoal Grill

#Best for Campers

Uten bbq grill and smoker

 If you fancy a portable charcoal grill you can break down after use, this neat  BBQ is well worth popping on your shortlist.

Many consumers have reservations about buying a portable charcoal grill. Will it be sturdy enough? Can something this small be sturdy enough?

With this portable charcoal BBQ, you benefit from a small footprint without sacrificing safety or stability. This also comes keenly priced despite such impressive overall performance.

Controlling the temperature is a cinch. You get an airway with 12 holes allowing you to fine-tune airflow. This means you can tweak the temperature without compromising the cooking environment.

The manufacturer suggests this is good for 3 to 5 people. We’d suggest this is fairly accurate and for a small family, there should be enough room on the chrome grate for everyone to stay satisfied.

The folding, lightweight nature of this BBQ makes it the perfect camping companion. It would also make a great RV BBQ. Store it in a small space then whip it out when you want to BBQ on the road.

Uten multi images showing what is possible with this small portable grill

The build is pretty impressive considering the very reasonable cost. Both heat-resistant and scratch-resistant, you should get plenty of faithful service from this little grill.

The sole negative is a handful of users complaining of rust setting in over time.

So, if you were hoping for a portable charcoal grill that would last for a decade, you’re out of luck.
However when you consider the price…..well!

Here’s another tip from Len.

After cleaning the plates and ash pan dry them off thoroughly and use any household oil to wipe on the grates.

The rest of the unit can be wiped with WD 40 oil. It is great at preventing rust from forming especially in the joints.

If you’re happy with a very affordable bbq from a highly reputable brand, this makes a smart choice.

What Buyers Liked

  • Low-slung and space-saving grill
  • Folds away to streamline storage and transportation
  • Durable rolled iron body with chrome grilling surface

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Several users complained about rust developing over time

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:
Folding Portable BBQ Charcoal Grill


4    Cuisinart CCG190RB

#Best Small Grill for First-Timers

cusinart ccg190 14" portable charcoal grill

This small cooker from Cuisinart is one of the most space-saving models on our list today weighing a scant 2 pounds.

The 15-square inch grilling grate gives you a surprising amount of room for maneuver considering the dinky form of this grill.

Despite this capacity, your food will cook evenly when you’re barbecuing with the Cuisinart.

What does the grill area mean in real-world terms?

Well, expect to rustle up a couple of burgers and some chicken breasts at the same time. Alternatively, cook up to 6 burgers in one shot.

So, whether you’re out in the RV, hitting the campsite, or hiking then tailgating, this is the optimum travel grilling solution on a budget.

Fuel management and temperature regulation are streamlined thanks to the dual-venting system. This brings this grill within the reach of absolute beginners.

If you’ve never tried grilling with a traditional tabletop portable charcoal grill, this is the perfect entry-level model.

We can’t help but be surprised by the low cost of this tabletop grill, surprising when you consider the solid build and impressive performance.


If you are on a tight budget this could be the portable charcoal grill for you.

When you’re taking this grill on the road, you’ll appreciate the triple-locking lid minimizing the chance of any kind of charcoal spillage en route.

The safety theme extends through to the onboard firebox and ash catcher. This is the ideal portable grill set-up at a scarcely believable price.

All that remains is to choose which model, the classic black grill, or a vibrant red alternative to brighten up those camping trips this summer.

What Buyers Liked

  • Ultra-compact measuring 14.5 x 14.5 x 15 inches and weighing just 2 pounds
  • Three independent locks on the lid for total security in transit
  • Safety uppermost with integrated ash catcher and firebox

What Some Buyers Didn’t like

  • Flimsy construction, and generally unstable due to its extreme lightweight (Bear in mind this doesn’t perform like a $100 grill)

Check Out Today’s Price Now:   Cuisinart CCG190 

5    Fire Sense Folding BBQ

#Best Space Saving Grill

fire sense a truly folding portable grill

As we hit the midpoint of our portable charcoal grill reviews, it’s time for something totally different: a folding portable charcoal grill.

Is this just a novelty or does the foldable nature of the Fire Sense grill justify a place on your shortlist?

Short answer? It depends.

When you’re shopping for a portable charcoal grill, all that counts is getting the right one for you. Your friend’s choice of grill might be nothing like your own.

Take advice from others, but always personalize your decision. So, if you need a set-and-forget grill for the patio at home, this is likely not for you.

However, if you regularly barbeque food when you’re camping or on an RV trip, read on…

Enjoy a simple two-step setup so you’re cooking in an instant. You can also snap down and fold up this grill in seconds.

Standing fully 13 inches tall when you’re cooking, the Notebook is less than 1-inch tall when folded down. There’s no better small grill if space-saving is of the essence.

fire sense grill folded up

228 square inches of cooking area means you’re not shortchanged in pursuit of portability. You should easily cater for 2 to 4 people as long as you’re not expecting to pile on 24 burgers or a whole chicken at once.

The single noteworthy drawback of this charcoal grill is the woeful packaging. This is flimsy and could result in a damaged grill.

Check the contents of your package closely.

Considering the powerful performance, eye-catching design, and respectable build, you’ll hardly believe your luck when you see how cheap this is compared to some portable charcoal grills.

We’d strongly suggest campers and travelers looking for authentic barbecued food try their hand with the Fire Sense Notebook.

What Buyers Liked

  • Striking design belies the low cost
  • Folds down in a flash so the perfect portable charcoal BBQ
  • Grill rack and charcoal rack included

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Complaints of shipping damage
  • Comes poorly packaged so check yours carefully for any damage or missing parts

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:   Fire Sense Folding Charcoal Grill

6    OPW Grill N Go

#Suitable for Singles and Couples                                                                        (Slot Together No Tools Needed)

opw portable grill out on a trail

Next up, we have a most striking portable charcoal grill. The OPW hibachi grill is the ideal tailgating BBQ.

Now, right off the bat, you should be aware that this is quite a compact charcoal grill.

If you want to whip up hot dogs and burgers for the whole family, you’ll be stretching the capacity of this grill.

So, we would suggest the OPW works best for 1 or 2 people looking to eat authentic barbecue in fine style.

Assembling this portable charcoal grill is as simple as sliding the components together.

You won’t need any tools and you won’t need any DIY skills either. The intelligent design simplifies storage and cleaning, too.

Pop a couple of dozen coals in this small but powerful hibachi portable grill and enjoy perfectly charred chicken and succulent burgers whether you’re camping or just out for the day hiking.

Despite the rugged steel construction, this grill only weighs 11 pounds, again great for travel purposes.

opw grill n go showing handle

There is a larger version available, again it’s portable but heavier and much more expensive.

You should wash the grill occasionally using some hot soapy water. From time to time, wipe it down with some vegetable oil. This will keep it seasoned and at its best for years to come.

It was a struggle to find any meaningful criticism of this grill aside from its limited capacity. If you’re content with a smaller charcoal grill, you’ll find few better models.

What Buyers Liked

  • US-made from high-grade steel and built to stay the distance
  • The multipurpose handle also agitates charcoal and serves as a bottle opener
  • Easy assembly with absolutely no tools required

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Limited capacity so best for singles or couples

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:  OPW Grill N Go  

7    Kuuma Premium Stainless Steel BBQ

#Best Marine BBQ for Boaters.


The Kuuma stainless steel portable charcoal grill is intended for use in a marine setting.

Whether you want to take it on the boat, or you prefer to take the Kuuma camping or tailgating, you get a solidly-built cooking unit that is ideal for many purposes.

We should slip in here that the Kuuma is by no means the cheapest of all the portable charcoal grills.

If you’re shopping based on the bottom line, check out some of the pocket-friendly grills we reviewed. If, however, you have a fluid budget and discerning tastes, read on…

The aesthetics of this portable charcoal grill are faultless. We know, though, you’re not buying a grill to look at. The marine-grade steel does more than look, pretty.

You get a charcoal grill designed to deliver a contained cooking environment where you can blast your charcoal to very high temperatures with no heat discoloration or adverse effects.

Kuuma grill on the beach

You can use this portable charcoal grill set up on the legs it comes with. These legs fold down if you prefer to use the Kuuma as a tabletop grill.

The liner slides out for ease of cleaning and the lid latches into place to keep things safe and sound in the trunk of your car.

Weighing 16 pounds, this is not the lightest of portable grills, but you’ll get great overall performance in return for that extra weight.

As with all portable charcoal grills, you should be realistic about the cooking area. At 160 square inches, the Kuuma is better for singles and couples than for families.

What Buyers Liked

  • Commanding appearance constructed from marine-grade steel
  • Specifically designed for use on boats so will cope with all kinds of harsh environments
  • Foldaway legs allow you to slide this grill onto any surface

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Limited 160-square inch cooking area

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price:  Kuuma Premium Stainless Steel

8    Megamaster 

This grill has now been removed from service

#Best For Durability


The next on our list comes from Megamaster so what sets it apart from the other grills?

The first thing that strikes us forcefully about this grill is the way it’s built to stay the distance.

Rather than endlessly buying and replacing a cheap, sub-par portable charcoal grill, why not do yourself a favor and invest in a grill that lasts?

The classic kettle style is hard to beat. While there are many variations on this styling, the traditional shape promotes efficient, consistent cooking while also looking great.

The cooking area nudges 350 square inches. This is sufficient for a small family to chow down without anyone going hungry or waiting too long for burgers.

An onboard thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking meat through properly.

No more worries about pink chicken, no more tinkering around to check if food is cooked.

Under-cooked food used to be one of my main concerns when barbecuing.

We always use a thermometer now. Thank goodness for technology
megamaster charcoal grill showing thermometer built into the lid

As you would expect with any portable charcoal grill at the larger end of this category, wheels promote ease of transportation.

The steel build means this is no lightweight, but the wheels mean this is not a drawback but an advantage: you’ll enjoy a solid and stable base to cook from with confidence.

What Buyers Liked

  • Steel build with a porcelain coating
  • Thermometer built into the lid
  • Just under 350 square inches of cooking space

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Quite weighty at 28 pounds

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price: Megamaster

9    LeFroom 18-inch

#Best Value for Money


Here we have next to the last portable charcoal grill from our collection for your consideration today from the LeFroom Family.

This brand has a hard-won reputation for producing top-tier appliances that don’t blow the budget. How about the quality and overall performance, though?

The sizing, weight, and large wheels ensure this grill qualifies as a portable model despite its freestanding nature. There’s a choice of 14 inches and 18 inches so think which one would be the best fit for your family.

Unlike many grills, assembly instructions are clear and concise. You should be up and cooking almost straight out of the box even if you’re not a huge DIY fan.

Cleaning this portable charcoal grill couldn’t be easier. The one-touch cleaning system lets you keep your hands clean while ensuring your grill is properly maintained.

Although this model is low priced, the build is impressive. You should get years of delicious grilled food if you treat yourself to the LeFroom.

lefroom uses a 3d air flow cooking system as shown in the diagram

As with all grills styled like this kettle, adjusting the airflow is super simple. Stay in full control even if you’re not the most experienced chef.

While you might not get any bells or whistles with this, what you will get is first-class and consistently barbecued food at an incredibly low cost. What are you waiting for?

What Buyers Liked

  • Outstanding price/performance ratio
  • Super-simple to clean so makes a great camping grill
  • Choice of two sizes

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Lacks some essential assembly tools

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price: LeFroom 18-inch Charcoal Grill

10  Starwide Go Bus-ShapedBBQ

#Kids Go Crazy for This “Have Bus Will Travel”

VW bus style portable charcoal grill

We’ve saved the most arresting grill for last. The Starwide portable charcoal grill comes in the form of a vintage VW camper bus for a touch of quirkiness to liven up your summer at home or anywhere for that matter.

This is a BUS everyone will want to cook on.

So, let’s hit the road, Jack.

This makes a great choice if the ongoing pandemic has you frustrated at postponed travel plans. Fire up the grill and take a road trip from the comfort of your garden instead.

While it might look overwhelming, the set-up couldn’t be much easier. All you need to do is attach the legs and you’re cooking with charcoal. From 0 to start-up in less than a minute and you’re good to go. Wow! You can’t get better than that.

This portable charcoal grill comes with all the accessories you need to get going right out of the box.

Along with the grates, you benefit from a 3-piece cooking set and an ash drawer that’s a snap to clean. You even get a couple of pans thrown in.

Sliding grates make cooking a pleasure. You can add fuel without interrupting your flow.

starwide bus charcoal grill easy storage for transporting to beach etc

This Bus folds down into a compact hunk you can sling in the trunk of your car with ease. There’s a red waterproof cover thrown in to protect your investment when you’re camping.

A small slide-out table completes an impeccably designed package that should be on your wish list for the final stretch of summer.

This would make a wonderful novel gift for any bbq enthusiastic and it’s practical too.

What Buyers Liked

  • Everyone wants to share in the cooking including teenagers. (Really)
  • The design makes a real conversation piece
  • Complete tool-set provided
  • Sliding cooking grates makes it a dream to use and clean

What Some Buyers Didn’t Like

  • You’ll need to dig down into your pockets for the privilege of owning this portable charcoal grill

Check Out Availability &Today’s Price: Starwide Go Bus-Shaped


Well, we trust this great list of barbecues has given you ample food for thought.

Ultimately, there’s no such thing as the BESTEveryone has such different needs, all that counts is finding the most effective portable charcoal grill for your needs.

If you opt for any of the products above, you’re in safe hands. We’ve given you our honest opinion on these products so you can buy with your eyes wide open.

For anyone deciding on a different BBQ, bear the simple buying guidance above in mind when you’re searching for a grill, whether you buy from our website or somewhere else.

It is an honor and a privilege to be able to help you make the best choice for you.

If you have any questions, need further help, or just want to tell us your story if we helped you choose the portable charcoal grill you wanted then contact us we always listen.

Before you go;

don’t forget to bookmark our site. We’ve got an amazing content calendar lined up for the coming months, so pop back soon for more impartial buying guides.

For further information, you might like to check out our other popular articles on BBQ’s:

Clicking on the appropriate links will take you there.

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