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3 Best Affordable Charcoal Grills under $100 For Your Backyard Cooking

Finding affordable charcoal grills that are both with-in your budget and not going to fall apart after the first pork roast you cook on it, can be a little difficult. So we’ve field tested what we think are 3 of the most affordable and well-made charcoal grills currently on the market under $100.

The great thing about a charcoal grill is that its just not in summer months that you can use it, it really is year-round cooking out side that you can enjoy. Weather its on your lawn in your back yard or on a deck or patio. Used right they can create minimum mess and produce some of the best tasting meals around.

We are going to review 3 of the most affordable charcoal grills we found, but there are plenty of other charcoal grills on the market. Our reviews have been done with two things in mind. Affordability and value for money.

ModelBackyard RatingPriceBuy From
Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-inch portable grill
3/5 $29.99
Buy from amazon
18 inch Portable Charcoal grill
4/5 $49.99
Buy from amazon
22inch Jumbo kettle Charcoal Grill

3.5/5

$56.95

Buy from amazon

Affordable Charcoal Grills Buying Guide

Charcoal grills can typically cost anywhere from $25 to a $1000 or more. But there are some many different factors in those price points. From size of the Grill (Usually shown in inches ) to the attachments that can come with them, and general design of the grill (mobile on wheels, or a hard stand model)

Some models will also come with rotisseries, pizza oven capability, built in temperature gauges, grill covers and many more different features.

Selecting the Charcoal Grill

When looking for your charcoal grill you choice will depend on a few things :

  • Budget
  • The area you have to set it up
  • How big a grill do you really need
  • Where and how you will be using it

Buying a cheap charcoal grill for the sake of it, can just be throwing your money away at times. So, we advise being realistic and consider value for money and your needs

In this review we are specifically looking at charcoal grills, but you of course can get gas powered grills, typically they will weigh more and generally give a very different flavor to your meat. Getting the right affordable charcoal grills that will suit you, takes some considered thought, making sure you also consider the type of charcoal fuel you will be using on the grill.

Your best affordable charcoal grills for the money you spend, will be the right size, and the right design for your requirements ( Beach/park or patio grilling).

Have the right attachments and use the right type of charcoal fuel. Most brands of charcoal grills have a wide range of attachments, and will be the right weight. As you don’t want to struggle having to move a grill around, either.

Specs to look for in Charcoal Grills

When we evaluate a product, we take in to account the following values for our top picks. Which are:

  • Size / dimensions: These numbers take in to account the Height, diameter, and width of the grill.
  • Item weight: The weight is how heavy the unit is if you have to pick it up and move it.
  • Price: This is important to consider, we need to make sure its fits into our budget.
  • Material type: What it is made from, this can make a different to how long it will last.

Electric or gas Vs Affordable Charcoal Grills

Obviously there are gas powered or electric powered grills out there as well. We have focused purely on charcoal as a method for grilling. Charcoal Grills are generally lighter, easier to maintain, provides a different flavor to the food. And are generally more portable, charcoal grills being great if you want to go to the beach.

Electric or Gas powered units can maintain a higher heat for longer, are generally a heavy duty make but will weight a lot more. Also the fuel is a consideration generally storing gas can be problematic although won’t produce a lot of smoke when heating up as charcoal grills do.

A few things to consider about buying affordable charcoal grills

Grilling can get addictive, once you start with your first grill and taste that first amazing charcoal grilled cooked chicken or pork you will be hooked. You will naturally want to start to experiment more.

And that’s ok, but by buying affordable charcoal grills under $100, you can always look for the next grill or even what attachments you can add to the grill you bought.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money straight away. Start to practice on the grill you have. Just make sure you practice safety, as a charcoal grill can product smoke initially when lighting the charcoals. So make sure you always charcoal grill outside in a ventilated area.

Affordable Charcoal Grills Reviews

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14 inch Portable Grill

Backyard Rating – 3 / 5

The Weber 10020 Smokey joe 14 inch portable grill is a fantastic little charcoal grill, it made to the top 3 list for under $100 to spend on a charcoal grill due to its small size and portability.

The 14 inch Weber Smokey Joe comes in at a 14 1/5 inches cooking grill and is a great portable grill for those grillers that are on the go to cookouts with friends, tailgate parties or camping. Which was great for us, we took this model to the beach with friends and their kids, we roasted a small pork while we all played at the beach.

It’s made with a glass reinforced nylon handle which we found allowed us to remove the lid as needed even after cooking for 1 hour. It was great and comfortable with no heat in the handle.

We loved the triple nickel-plated cooking grate as well as the porcelain enameled coating which prevents rust and fading and it comes with a 10 year limited warranty, it’s a robust little bugger, which we certainly will be taking to the beach and camping often.

The 14 inch smokey Joe cooking grate measures at 14 1.2 inch in diameter and weighs in at 9.5 pounds or 4.3 kilos. Its pretty light and small so its easy to pack in the car and take with you anywhere.

Being small and portable, with a study construction, and its very easy to clean and with great economical use of charcoal coals it will still handle a whole chicken or a rack of ribs year round.

We found it to be a great option, for those grillers that want to take a grill with them to cook on Ideally for campers at parks and beaches.

The affordable price tag, coupled with the standard 10 year warranty and solid build, makes this an attractive product to add to your list of affordable charcoal grills if you are looking in the small diameter cooking range.

The wash up

We only had a few minor cons which are outnumbered by the useful features, robust design, price tag and portability that this model provides.

Things we liked

  • Study design
  • Overall size of unit
  • Right price
  • Portability

Things we didn’t like

  • Size limited what we could cook on the grill at the same time and how much

$29.99

18 inch Portable charcoal gril

Backyard Rating – 4 / 5

The Beau Jardin charcoal grill fits into the top affordable charcoal grills under $100 with a classic design. This one made the list due to the quality build but also the legs with wheels that come with it.

This charcoal grill is slightly bigger then the Weber Smoker Joe model with an 18-inch cooking plate. Still very portable so you can take to cookouts, tailgate parties or camping as much as you like, but slightly bigger then the 14 inch model, making packing into your car a little more challenging.

We found one of the highlights with this model with the two wheels the legs sit on. It makes it easy to wheel from place to place meaning you don;t have to pick it up and carry it.

Designed and made to be long lasting with its porcelain enameled lid and bowl which allows for heat retention for longer, once touch clean system with ash leak and ash catcher and rust resistant aluminium legs with two-wheels makes it easy to roll around and manoeuvre, it slid into the top 3.

Its packaged pretty efficiently as well , we were able to assemble the grill in about 25 minutes. Thank god it included a handy tool and easy to follow assemble instructions, that made the whole process faster and easy to assemble it and get cooking.

It definitely fits into our requirement of value for money, the materials do not feel cheap and nasty so the quality of build and materials where good. We also found that the larger surface allowed us to grill up a large quantity of food at a small price.

With an affordable price tag, coupled with the quality build. Its size fits nicely in the we need it to be portable and the left in the corner of the patio for week end cooking.

The wash up

We only had a few minor cons which are outnumbered by the useful features, robust design, price tag and portability that this model provides.

Things we liked

  • Study design
  • Bigger cooking plate allowed more food.
  • Right price
  • Added legs that gave it height.

Things we didn’t like

  • A little bit more room was taken up in the car when packing.

$44.99

22 Inch Jumbo Grill

Backyard Rating – 3.5 / 5

This 22 inch Jumbo original kettle charcoal grill, is a touch bigger at 22 inches then the previous two models at 14 .5 inch and 18 inch cooking diameters. But still fits into our portable category and is a very well-made design.

The 22 inch diameter cooking grill space allows for plenty of food to be grilled at the same time, so it’s great for those people that tend to cater more for slightly bigger gatherings, and its still portable so your able to take to cookouts, tailgating or camping.

Again one of the highlights with this model was the two wheels the legs sit on. It makes it very easy to wheel from place to place. One thing we loved about it, was that it stood at 38′ / 96.52 cm’s so your not having to hunch of or bend down to attend to the grill, (yes was know its lazy, but we liked that).

Its made with a clean black porcelain enamel finish which helps to make it easy to clean. Its designed with a BBQ wire grate and a small base storage shelf with ash catcher. So you are able to store cooking tools on the storage shelf when you are not using it.

The side vents make it easy to control temperature when cooking as well. This is a really hard thing to achieve with some grills, and it can make grilling the perfect pork roast really difficult.

Being a little bigger then the Smokey Joe and the Beau Jardin models, makes it a little bit more difficult to carry around. So while portable its not as easy to pack away in your car for transport, meaning you will struggle if you have a small car to transport the grill.

As we said above the 22 inch diameter cooking plate really allows for plenty of food to cook, so if you entertain a lot of friends or family at the same time, this grill is a perfect size.
Overall it works well as an outside charcoal grill in your backyard.

The manufacturer also makes smaller diameter models, same design and materials are used, just smaller. We only had access to the 22 inch model when we reviewed.
So while we put size as a thing we didn’t like, we could of tried to get a smaller model.

The wash up

We only had a few minor cons which are outnumbered by the useful features, robust design, price tag and portability that this model provides.

Things we liked

  • Study design and right price
  • Bigger cooking plate allowed more food.
  • Added legs that gave it height.

Things we didn’t like

  • Was a pain when packing, we have a small car.

$56.96

So there you go, out review on the 3 best affordable charcoal grills on the market. Sure there are plenty of them out there, but when you go for price and quality you can’t go wrong with these three models. We hope you enjoy and can use our review.

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About the Author

About the Author: Living Out The Back, was started as a way to share the best of what life has to offer outside your house.Its the backyard that so many people don't enjoy that we want to help you with. Its there for everyone to enjoy. .

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