Charcoal grills may take a little getting used to but things become easy after the first or second cook. They can reach high temperatures that give your meat a good sear or cook food quickly.
The good news is you can get a charcoal grill at any budget. We have reviewed the 5 best under $100 so you too can enjoy a great family cookout without breaking the bank.
1. Weber 741001
2. Char-Griller E22424
3. Weber Jumbo Joe
4. Kingsford OGD2001901-KF
Weber is a household name and a familiar image any time grills back yard grills are mentioned and the Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-inch Charcoal Grill is no different.
This Weber comes fully assembled so that all you need to do is connect the bowl and lid to the frame and you are ready to start grilling. The dark enamel coating is easy to clean and withstands outdoor use.
This Weber has a primary cooking area of 363 square inches which cooks for up to 8 people. The low charcoal grate makes this grill an excellent choice for indirect or zonal grilling.
This Weber comes fully assembled so that all you need to do is connect the bowl and lid to the frame and you are ready to start grilling.
- Cooking Area: 363 sq in
- Weight: 33 pounds
- Portable: Yes
The adjustable dampers give you control over heat flow while the two large wheels make transporting the grill easy including over grass and gravel.
The main downside of this grill is the cooking grate is not height adjustable. This means that you use more charcoal for direct grilling that you would use if you could get the food closer to the fire.
- Two wheels for transport
- Adjustable air dampers
- Easy cleanup
- The cooking grate is not height adjustable
Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill is a versatile table-top grill that you can use for barbecue grilling or for low and slow smoking.
- Cooking Area: 250 sq in
- Weight: 40 pounds
- Portable: Yes
The Char-Griller E22424 Table Top Charcoal Grill is a versatile table-top grill that you can use for barbecue grilling or for low and slow smoking. This is a small grill but still offers 250 square-inches of primary cooking area so you can feed a small group without any problem.
This Char-Griller E22424 is made from heavy steel so it is durably constructed and will handle outdoor use. The removable ash catcher is a great feature that makes cleaning easy.
You get cast iron cooking grates which isn’t a common occurrence at this price range. Cast iron grates are preferable because they do not warp under high heat and distribute heat evenly. You can use this grill as a tabletop unit or hook it up to a larger grill as a side fire-box.
The main downside is this is a short grill standing at a mere 16 inches. It can be taxing to cook on and you will definitely need a table for this one. Otherwise, this is a solidly constructed, versatile grill at an unbelievably low price.
- Can be used as a side fire-box on a larger grill
- Cast iron cooking grates distribute heat evenly
- Removable ash catcher for easy cleaning
- The short grill can be inconvenient to cook on
Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch
The Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch is a little three-legged grill that you can take with you easily whether it is to a tailgating party or camping.
- Cooking Area: 240sq in
- Portable: Yes
- Weight: 18 Pounds
The Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch is a little three-legged grill that you can take with you easily whether it is to a tailgating party, camping, or anywhere you need to cook outdoors.
You still get 240 square-inches of cooking surface despite this being a small grill. There is enough room for indirect cooking so you will hardly notice that this isn’t a full kettle grill. Assembly takes only a few minutes which is a plus for people who don’t want to spend too much time putting a grill together.
The top and bottom dampers give you good heat control while the porcelain coating withstands outdoor use. This is a best seller and it is easy to see why.
The main downside is that the lid is a little too close to the grill so you won’t be able to fit a full chicken. This Weber Jumbo Joe is still a great choice for anyone looking for a portable grill that you can carry with you at a moments notice.
- Portable size
- Good temperature control
- Limited space under the grill
This grill is also porcelain-coated which isn’t common at this price range. The finish gives the grill extra weather resistance, perfect for outdoor use.
- Cooking Area: 354 sq in
- Warming Rack: 162sq in
- Weight:19.8 pounds
The Kingsford OGD2001901-KF Outdoor Charcoal Kettle Grill is a solid choice if you are looking for an affordable kettle grill. This grill offers 354-square inches cooking area which is quite big for a kettle grill.
This grill is also porcelain-coated which isn’t common at this price range. The finish gives the grill extra weather resistance, perfect for outdoor use. The storage rack at the bottom of the grill is convenient for storing your cooking accessories. Another thoughtful feature is the hinged lid so you don’t have to hold it when you open the grill.
The two wheels are decent-sized so you can roll your grill over grass and uneven ground.
The downside of this Kingsford OGD2001901 is the grill is it is made from thin sheet metal. This isn’t the kind of grill you want to leave outside all year round even with a cover. The cheap construction is however not surprising considering its price. Overall this Kingsford is a great kettle grill for anyone who wants to spend the bare minimum on a functional grill.
- 354 square-inches cooking area is generous for a kettle grill
- Durable porcelain coating
- Convenient bottom storage rack
- Two wheels for easy transport
- Thin sheet metal construction
Pizzacraft PC7001 PizzaQue Conversion Kit
Transform the kettle grill you already own into a pizza oven, achieves high temperature and smoky flavor of professional, wood-fired pizza ovens.
- Cooking Time: 3 – 5 mins
- Conversion Kit: 1Yes
- Weight: 13 Pounds
The Pizzacraft PC7001 PizzaQue Deluxe Kettle Grill Conversion Kit isn’t exactly a charcoal grill but rather a conversion kit that will turn your existing kettle grill into a pizza oven. All the same, it is a useful product worth featuring in this review.
The kit is easy to assemble right out of the box. Once assembled, simply put it over your kettle grill, insert the included pizza stone, and you are good to go.
The kit comes with all the accessories you will need to make pizza including a recipe book, a folding aluminum pizza peel, pizza pan, and pizza screen so the crust cooks evenly. There is even a stone brush included in your package for cleaning the pizza stone.
This conversion kit also allows your grill to get very hot and cooks your pizzas all the way through in just a few minutes.
The main downside is you will need a lot of coal to make pizzas on this unit. The charcoal partition is also flimsily built and may not last very long if you use this pizza conversion kit often.
Overall this is a great accessory to buy alongside a charcoal kettle grill. It is cheap and does a great job so you can include pizza to your barbecue menu.
- Cook pizza on your regular kettle grill
- Reaches high temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit
- Package includes all pizza making accessories
- Uses up a lot of charcoal
There are some great charcoal grills for under $100 which is good news for people who don’t want to spend too much on a grill. There are also versatile options including a conversion kit to turn your kettle grill into a pizza oven, a grill that also doubles as a side fire-box for a larger grill, tabletop grill, and full kettle grill.
Just because you are spending under $100 doesn’t mean you can’t find a good grill that perfectly matches your cooking preferences. Just be sure to store your grills in a covered area such as garage or patio when not in use or during inclement weather to enjoy your grill for many years to come.