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Best Charcoal Grill Under $200 – Make Delicious Food On a Budget!

There’s something profoundly satisfying about cooking on a charcoal grill.  Sure, it’s much easier to ignite a gas or electric grill, but there’s no substitute for the robust, earthy flavor that comes off of charcoal.

Simply put, food cooked well on a charcoal grill beats food from other types of grills any day of the week.

So, if you’re like me and love the methodical process of getting that perfect heat off of the coals, a charcoal grill is the way to go.  These grills come in many different types and price ranges, but the truth is you can get one for a very reasonable price.

In this post, we’ll go over our picks for the best charcoal grill under $200.  For a couple hundred bucks, you can be well on your way to grilling the most delicious food.

In a Hurry?  Here’s Our Top Picks

  1. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill – Top Choice!
  2. Weber Original Kettle – Runner Up!
  3. Royal Gourmet BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker
  4. Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro
  5. Char Griller Table Top Charcoal Grill

Why Buy a Charcoal Grill?

We already touched on this a little bit, but the flavor profile you can create off of a charcoal grill is second to none.  The white-hot heat of charcoal will perfectly sear meat quickly, leaving that ideal caramelized, crispy exterior.

Additionally, when your meat cooks it will drip fat, oils, and sugars all over the piping hot coals.  When this happens, the drippings vaporize and rise back up to coat and absorb in the meat.  It’s a beautiful process that adds robustness and depth to the flavor of your food.  The flavor profile gains earthy and smoky notes that take most cuts of meat to the next level.

Best Charcoal Grill Under $200 Reviews

Here’s the thing: most charcoal grills are somewhat basic in design.  There are of course exceptions to this rule but for the most part, if you buy a grill with a proper shape and optimal air flow you’ll be in business.

And to be honest, many of us don’t have the budget to drop a few thousand dollars on a premium charcoal grill.

So with that in mind, we felt like $200 was a great threshold where you can get a fantastic grill while remaining just under that price point.  Let’s get into our reviews of the best charcoal grill under $200!

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch

Our top pick for the best charcoal grill under $200 goes to the Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, for a plethora of reasons.  With 363 square inches of cooking space, every single feature of this unit is designed to maximize your ability to grill perfect meats.

Most notably, the Weber Premium comes with an incredibly easy to use one touch cleaning system.  Often times, the biggest hassle with charcoal grills is cleaning up the ashes after you are done.  There’s no problem with that here.  A high-capacity ash catcher is built in that collects and makes disposing ashes super simple.

For temperature control, there’s a built-in lid thermometer and the lid itself is porcelain enamored.  This means that the lit will help quite a bit to retain the heat generated by your coals.  There are also adjustable dampers to control oxygen flow and temperature.

Additionally, the cooking surface grate has a hinge which allows you to easily add charcoal while grilling.  This is a huge convenience and lets you have complete control over your grill.

You can easily move the unit around on a pair of durable wheels, and also store a couple of utilities on built in hooks for easy access and organization of your cooking space.

Pros:

  • Adjustable dampers for oxygen flow allow for maximum control
  • Hinging grate lets you add coals during your cook
  • Ash catcher and 1 touch cleaning system
  • Built in lid thermometer
  • Hooks help with storage and organization

Cons:

  • This is very rare for us to say, but no cons to speak of!

 

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Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

The Weber Original Kettle is very similar to their 22-inch premium charcoal grill, with a few less features.  The tradeoff though, is that this model comes at a significantly discounted price.

What’s the difference between the Original Kettle 22 Inch Charcoal Grill and the Original Kettle Premium?  There are three major differences.  First, the non-premium model does not have a hinging grate for easily adding coals after your cook has already begun.  You can still add them, it’s just not quite as easy.

Second, the ash collection tray isn’t quite as nice on the non-premium iteration.  The tray is basically just an open bowl.  It gets the job done for sure, but it’s not ideal for a windy day where gusts could blow ashes over your porch or patio.

Finally, there aren’t any utility hooks on this model.

Aside from those minor differences, this unit is every bit as good as Weber’s premium charcoal grill.  You can still control oxygen flow with adjustable dampers, and the lid is designed for heat retention.  This grill is designed to get smoking hot and give you ultimate control over how you cook your food.

Pros:

  • Adjustable dampers for oxygen flow allow for maximum control
  • Ash catcher and 1 touch cleaning system
  • Built in lid thermometer
  • Wheels make transporting the grill super easy
  • Weighs only 33 pounds

Cons:

  • Ash catching system could be better
  • No utility hooks

 

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Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker

When you’re talking about the best charcoal grill under $200, it’s easy to assume that you’re going to have to settle for a bare bones grill.  That’s definitely not the case when it comes to the Royal Gourmet BBQ Offset Smoker.  This charcoal grill can handle all of your basic grilling needs and has the versatility to be a dual style barbecue.

It’s also a great option if you are the type of master griller who cooks for big groups of people or parties.  There’s a whopping 800 square inches of total cooking surface.  438 of those are the main cooking area, 183 are comprised of the side box, and finally there’s a swing away warming rack with 179 square inches of cooking space.

This is a perfect unit for slow cook BBQ brisket, chicken, and ribs.  The large main chamber lets you load up the coals and wood chips for the best flavoring.  When it’s time to clean up, there are built in ash pans that allow you to dump ashes in the trash easily.

At only 4 feet tall, and considering all of the cooking surface, the Royal Gourmet is a great option for camping or tailgating.  The unit itself weighs about 55 pounds so you might need some help lugging it around if you can’t roll it.

Pros:

  • 800 square inches of cooking space
  • Offset smoker adds versatility as a smoker grill combo
  • Temperature gauge and scald-proof handle built in
  • Excellent price point considering all of the included features
  • Great for camping and tailgating

Cons:

  • Some customers have complained that their units don’t hold temperature well. This is likely a faulty parts issue that should be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.  If this happens it’s a hassle to deal with.

 

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Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill

If you’re looking for the best charcoal grill under $200 that can fit into a tight space, the Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro is really hard to beat.  As the namesake suggests, it can fit into a tight patio space and is a nice option for apartments or small spaces.

The tradeoff is that there’s only 250 square inches of cooking space.  That’s not as much as some of the other grills on this list, but it’s plenty of space to handle the needs of 4-6 people.  For reference, you could fit 6 to 8 regular sized burgers on a space that big.

One side of the grill is a drawer that slides out for your coals.  It’s a super convenient and easy way to manage your fuel.  The other side of the grill has a shelf to help you organize during your cook.

Adjustable dampers allow you to control oxygen flow and by extension, how hot your coals get.  The ash pan is removable so it’s super easy to clean up after you’re done.

Pros:

  • The placement of shelves and drawers are extremely intuitive
  • Ash catcher works great and makes cleanup easy
  • Adjustable dampers for airflow management
  • Perfect for small decks or patios
  • Built in wheels are durable and easy to use

Cons:

  • Only 250 square inches of cooking space

 

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Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill and Side Fire Box

If you aren’t necessarily in need of a full-sized grill, the Char Griller Table Top is an incredibly versatile option and worthy of a place on our list of the best charcoal grill under $200.  Even though it weighs about 40 pounds, it’s actually quite easy to transport relative to that weight.  Mostly because the dimensions of the entire grill are 18.5″ x 17″ x 16″.

This unit will actually attach to other Char-Griller units to serve as a horizontal Texas style smoker, but it works great as a stand-alone table top grill.

It features 250 square inches of primary cooking space, which is plenty of room to cook for about 6 people.  You really can get just about anything done with this small profile tabletop grill.

As you’d expect from a quality charcoal grill, there’s a removable ash tray for easy clean up.  A sliding drawer makes coal management a breeze too.

Pros:

  • Small profile makes it very easy to transport
  • Versatile; great for camping and works as a compliment to larger grills.
  • Sliding drawer for easy coal management
  • Cast iron cooking grates and heavy-duty steel construction
  • Removable ash pan for easy cleanup

Cons:

  • Only 250 square inches of cooking space

 

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Best Charcoal Grill Under $200 – Things to Consider

At Own The Grill, we believe that well cooked food brings people together like nothing else.  We take the buying process for grills seriously, and we believe everybody else should too!  Here are a few things to keep in mind while you shop

Quality of Build

If you’re searching for the best charcoal grill under $200, that means you’re on a budget.  Just like anything else, it’s easy to get wide eyed at all of the features of super expensive grills.  But at the end of the day, you can make OUTSTANDING food on a budget friendly grill.

Most importantly, the build quality needs to be high.  That means a design that retains heat, allows for simple charcoal management, and bonus points for a solid ash removal system.  If the grill you purchase has those things, you’re going to be in business.

Cooking Area and Grill Size

Cooking area frankly is an important factor for any type of grill.  How many people are you grilling for?  Which cuts of meat are you going to try to cook?  250 square inches of cooking area will get the job done for a family of four 99% of the time.  If you plan on cooking for larger groups of people, make sure you get something that has enough cooking space.

On a similar note, consider how much space you have for your grill.  Also think about the setting you plan to grill in.  Are you buying for a small patio?  A large outdoor kitchen?  Or do you need something transportable for camping trips and tailgating?

Temperature Control

For beginners, we always recommend grills that have as many temperature control features as possible to make things easier.  Even for intermediate to advanced grill masters, these features can help you a tremendous amount.

Things like built in temperature gauges, sliding charcoal trays, and adjustable dampers for oxygen flow management can be the difference in taming the flame or losing control of your cook.

Ease of Use

Grilling to us is part art and part science.  To unlock the mastery within, you don’t want to have to devote focus and time to things that aren’t that important.  That’s why it’s important to think about the ease of use of your grill.  Is it intuitively designed?  Will the storage features and trays help you stay organized?

Cleaning and Upkeep

It goes without saying, but one of the least appealing components of charcoal grilling is the cleanup.  All of the coal and wood that loads up your food with flavor eventually turns to ash, and it’s irresponsible to not clean it out of the bottom of your grill.

While it’s no fun, the process can be made much easier if the grill has been designed properly.  Most of the best charcoal grills under $200 will have some form of easy clean features.  At a minimum, there should be a removable ash tray.

Wrap Up

I hope our reviews of the best charcoal grill under $200 has been helpful to you in your search for the perfect grill!  If you want more of our help or advice, please get in touch with us and we will gladly assist you.

Want to check out other types of grills?  Check out all of our outdoor cooking reviews right here!