Cooking outdoors is a unique experience where you can try new recipes, cook authentic BBQ, and entertain friends and family. Every home needs a quality grill but finding the right one can be more difficult than it sounds.
A grill needs to be made from high quality materials, it should have the features that allow you to cook the food that you love, and any new grill should be able to last for many seasons.
When it comes to grills you will have electric, gas, and charcoal options. Gas is the most popular but it’s not necessarily the best.
Charcoal grilling is the most traditional form of outdoor cooking, and it allows for a unique flavor that is simply not possible with gas or electric powered grills.
If you want to start cooking with charcoal, then you don’t need to spend a lot of money. There are several compelling options, even when you are shopping for the best charcoal grill under $200.
There’s no real ‘best’ grill for everyone, instead, there are a few different options that could be best depending on your unique needs.
To help you find the perfect solution for your home, we’ve put together some of the best charcoal grills under $200, along with some bonus gas grills that will extend your options.
Royal Gourmet CD1824A Charcoal Grill,BBQ Outdoor Picnic, Camping, Patio Backyard Cooking, Black
The Royal Gourmet CD1824A Grill is a top contender for the best charcoal grill under $200.
It provides the option to set up and start grilling perfect steaks anywhere, whether you’re on the campsite, in your backyard, or picnicking at a local park or nature spot.
With a 598 square inch cooking grate you’ll be able to cook quick meals for 8-10 people with ease. Being charcoal fired, you won’t have to worry about an external gas source, and you’ll get the authentic BBQ flavors you crave.
This grill is also suitable for adding flavored wood chips to charcoal, bringing a whole new element to your outdoor cooking.
There’s total control of heat with an adjustable vent and height adjustable charcoal pan. An integrated temperature gauge makes it easy to monitor and maintain the perfect cooking environment, no matter what it is that you’re cooking.
Coated stainless steel keeps the body durable, and porcelain enameled steel cooking grates are ideal for achieving the perfect sear without sticking.
Royal Gourmet has created some of the longest lasting cooking appliances in recent years, and this model is no exception.
Sturdy construction and an uncomplicated design will keep you grilling for seasons to come.
Whether you’re on a budget or simply need something small and relatively portable, this is one of the best charcoal grills under $200 on the market today.
Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill – A Best Seller
With the Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill you will see that with a small jump in price, you can get an authentic charcoal cooking experience and all of the smoky charcoal flavor that BBQ purists love so much.
The first thing to note about the Kamado Kooker is that it’s a small grill intended for family use.
If size is not a major concern, then this won’t be a problem. If you need something bigger, then you’ll find options elsewhere on this list.
The Akorn Jr. is based on a traditional Kamado design. It uses both charcoal heating and air convection to cook food inside.
Although you can grill with the lid open, most people will be using this grill closed to cook chicken, burgers, steak, and smaller BBQ cuts.
The surface area of this grill is 153 square inches, which is perfect for a family of 2 – 4 people.
You can still use this grill to cook for larger groups, just as long as you are prepared for a long cooking session to get everything done.
The advantage of having a smaller grill like this is that it will be more efficient when you are only cooking small meals or a few different ingredients.
This grill uses a double insulated steel design which helps it to reach temperatures of 700°F from just a charcoal fuel source.
It’s one of the hottest grills that you’ll find in this price range, which easily makes it one of the best charcoal grills under $200.
When size doesn’t matter, and you want a simple cooker for your family, the Kamado will be more than capable.
It’s also a great picnic grill or camping grill, and if you ever feel like you need something larger then there are bigger Kamado models available from Char-Griller.
Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill
The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill is a classic kettle grill with a simple design that is suited for outdoor cooking at any home.
The round grill helps to maximize the cooking surface size, without sacrificing convenience or portability.
The surface is 22 inches in diameter, which allows for small family cooking as well as large group cooking.
Even if you are entertaining guests on a holiday or sports night, you will find that the Char-Broil provides plenty of space for all your ingredients and favorite BBQ recipes.
The Charcoal chamber is easy to access, and there is a removable ash bowl which makes it easy to clean this grill after you’re done cooking.
Char-Broil has specifically designed this grill to be easy to clean, which will be appreciated by anybody who uses a grill often.
The lid is hinged, which makes it more convenient than a traditional kettle grill, and there is a temperature gauge incorporated into the top, making it simple to maintain the ideal temperature.
This grill could be considered the best charcoal grill under $200 because of one very special feature; it uses Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared technology to deliver searing heat that will reduce cooking times and improve the quality of your food.
The infrared system helps to raise overall temperatures and increase the radiant heat inside of the grill.
It’s particularly useful when you want to sear steaks, burgers, and other meat, and it functions passively as you are cooking.
The higher you have your coal fire, the higher the TRU-Infrared temperature will be.
The system helps to maximize the usage that you get from your charcoal, so you’ll actually end up using less than you would on similar kettle grills.
Being a charcoal grill, you can easily add smoker chips right on the grilling surface, allowing you to infuse your food with authentic smoke flavor.
If you love the classic aesthetic of a kettle grill, but want something more modern and convenient, then the Char-Broil Kettleman is the best option for you.
Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill
Now it’s time to take a look at a large charcoal grill, which would be perfect if you love smoking and grilling and want to be able to cook for large groups at home.
Is the Char-Griller 2828 Pro Deluxe Charcoal Grill the best charcoal grill under $200?
If you have extensive cooking needs, then it could be!
This is a large grill with 580 square inches of cooking space. That’s more than the average family would ever need, and it allows necessary space when you are cooking for guests.
The large size also makes this an excellent charcoal smoker, and it could be used for cooking whole turkeys and large BBQ cuts like loin or even pork butt.
The grill features a barrel design with a tubular steel frame. It’s basic and functional, but it also has a unique aesthetic which implies that this grill means business.
While not as fancy as some premium grills, it is still impressive to look at, and it wouldn’t be out of place outside any modern home.
You may even prefer this look over a more modern aesthetic.
Construction materials are high quality with powder coated steel used on most parts. There are also some wooden accents on the lid handle and the side tray.
The large surface area of this grill is one of its biggest advantages. The large and long cooking area means that you can have separate coal fires burning to give you control over two temperature zones.
You could cook burgers and steaks on one side, while cooking vegetables or even fish on the other side at a slightly lower temperature.
The large size also means that this is great for smoking, and you will be able to load your favorite cuts of meat, sausages, or vegetables for a low and slow session.
You can add wood chips and wood pellets directly onto this grill, or, you could use a smoker tray if you want a slower burning smoking experience.
Based on functionality alone, this grill is easily one of the best charcoal grills under $200.
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black – A Classic
Weber is one of the strongest names in outdoor grilling, with a long history of quality products that are loved around the world.
The Weber Original Kettle Premium Grill is an innovation on the classic kettle design.
It’s one of the best options if you’re looking for the best charcoal grill under $200.
Familiarity is one of the biggest advantages of this product. If you’ve used a Weber in the past, then you’re going to feel right at home with this grill.
Quality steel construction and a small footprint make this the perfect option for camping, caravanning, cooking in your back yard, or heading to the park for a picnic.
Being a charcoal grill, you won’t have to worry about lugging around a gas bottle for your next event.
Weber’s one touch cleaning system incorporates a high-capacity ash catcher to keep maintenance to a minimum.
The construction quality here is impressive, with quality stainless steel grates that will allow you to achieve the perfect sear.
The kettle design creates a natural heat convection to ensure that all your food is thoroughly cooked.
This is one of the simplest ways to grill, and one of the most effective. Vents are included for precision heat control, and you can simply add more charcoal if you need a high sear for steaks and other ingredients.
You can fit up to 13 burgers on the 363 square inch cooking surface making this grill perfect for solo, family, and party grilling sessions.
Dyna-Glo DGD381BNC-D Compact Charcoal Grill
Dyna-Glo has gone all out on styling with the DGD381BNC-D Compact Grill. This could easily be considered the best charcoal grill under $200, thanks to some impressive features and outstanding craftsmanship.
For a compact grill, you get plenty of cooking space here. There’s 381 square inches on the primary cooking surface, complemented by a 165 square inch secondary surface/warming tray.
This grill comes with a full hood, so it could be used as a smoker in a pinch, or, you could slow cook larger cuts of meat or even medium sized poultry for your next party or family meal.
Charcoal is a fantastic way to cook. It’s cost effective, provides high heat for searing temperatures, and you’ll get authentic BBQ flavor that just isn’t available with a gas grill.
For a compact and affordable model, the Dyna-Glo impresses by including a single side tray for preparation and an undercarriage tray for storage.
Cleanup is a breeze with a large removable ash-catch tray. Heat can be adjusted with both a vent and an adjustable charcoal tray. There’s also an integrated temperature gauge so you can maintain the perfect conditions for smoking or grilling large cuts.
This grill looks the part with its rounded design and classic smokestack.
If you need something that looks as good as it performs, then consider this as one of the best charcoal grills under $200.
Weber Original Kettle 18 Inch Charcoal Grill Black
Want to get back to basics with your outdoor cooking? There’s nothing that’s quite as traditional as the Weber Original Kettle 18” Grill.
This is one of the best charcoal grills under $200, especially considering its simplicity, design, and excellent cooking results.
The secret to a Weber grill is all in the shape. The kettle design creates a natural convection which moves air around your food. This allows for a perfect sear on the cooking surface, and thorough cooking from all around.
If you are slow cooking BBQ cuts, poultry, fish, or even vegetables, then this grill will impart a unique charcoal flavor and aroma. This simply isn’t possible with a conventional propane grill.
This Weber is made from sturdy steel and has a small footprint. It would be ideal for camping or backyard use.
It’s also a good option for a patio grill at a small home where you don’t have a lot of space for a large grilling station.
Even with its compact footprint, you still get plenty of cooking space. The grilling surface is 240 square inches and you can cook up to nine standard sized burgers in one go.
The lid offers five inches of clearance, so a small or medium sized chicken could easily be slow cooked on this grill.
You’d even have room on the sides for smaller cuts of meat or grilled vegetables.
The one touch cleaning system keeps maintenance simple, making this an excellent addition to your backyard or patio.
Heavy Duty Park Style Charcoal Grill
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense grilling appliance that does one thing and does it well, the Heavy Duty Park Style Charcoal Grill from Titan Attachments is worth a closer look.
This isn’t the grill for you if you’re looking for additional features and design elements.
However, if you simply want a charcoal grill that cooks well, will last for years, and is cost effective, then this could be the one.
This is a park style grill with a single post that can be staked into the ground or permanently installed in concrete or even a custom stand. Exactly how you mount it is up to you.
The most important thing to understand is that it is not freestanding on its own. You’ll need a base (such as a heavy duty outdoor umbrella stand), or a suitable spot to stake it.
As far as cooking goes, this grill is simple to use and performs well. The cooking grate is height adjustable, so you can control temperature with ease. It’s an open top grill so it’s not suitable for low-and-slow cooking.
All the classic grilled foods will do well on this model. Anything that needs to be cooked with convection under the hood would be better suited to another model.
You can use both charcoal and wood in this grill, making it a versatile option for impromptu home cooking.
The cooking surface is 256 square inches, offering enough space for 8 – 12 burgers in one session.
9-gauge steel construction will keep this grill protected throughout the seasons.
It’s a great long-term investment and one of the best charcoal grills under $200 if you demand simplicity and quality over everything else.
Royal Gourmet CC1830F Charcoal Grill with Offset Smoker, Black
Even the best charcoal grill under $200 can come with some interesting and useful features. The Royal Gourmet CC1830F Grill is the perfect example of a fully featured product that still falls within the affordable price range.
In addition to providing 438 square inches of main grilling surface, this model also includes an offset smoker.
If you need something cost effective for home grilling and smoking, then this is a model that will impress you.
Royal Gourmet has gone for a simple barrel design, tubular stand, and a smaller barrel smoker on the side. There’s a front facing preparation area which is a good compromise for the omission of a side tray.
The main grilling surface is made from porcelain enameled steel, allowing you to get classic char marks without sticking.
Having an offset smoker will allow you to slow smoke your food without a direct heat source. This is perfect if you want to make specialty meats, sausages, classic BBQ, or even smoked poultry and fish.
The large grilling area is perfect for when you need to prepare big meals in a hurry, so you’ll love this grill if you have a large family.
The price to quality ratio is seriously impressive in this model, as are the features.
Royal Gourmet has proven that you can get a large and fully featured charcoal grill/smoker, even on a relatively tight budget.
Portable Charcoal Grill 18 inch Grill
Compact, practical, affordable, and easy to use. The Portable Charcoal Grill from Beau Jardin is a Weber-inspired model that is designed for fuss-free cooking.
Constructed from steel and with a compact footprint, this is an ideal grill for picnicking, camping, or backyard entertaining.
It is equally at home in a large yard as it is on a small patio, making it versatile for every home. Being charcoal fueled, there’s no need to worry about a gas source.
The relatively compact size allows the grill to get up to searing temperatures quickly, so it’s perfect for casual family cooking on any day of the week.
The steel used is porcelain coated, so it will resist heat damage and corrosion.
Tubular legs are lightweight and can easily be replaced, as can the wheels.
Every component is made well, and the unit can be fully assembled in under 30 minutes. When stored in a shed or under a cover, this grill will withstand the elements for years.
For the price, construction is excellent. It lacks some of the features (like a closed ash tray) that an original Weber grill offers, but the tradeoff is worth it.
If you simply need a grill for the lowest possible price, but you want something that will last for many seasons, then this is the best charcoal grill under $200.
The Choice is Ultimately Up to You
We’ve presented three compelling charcoal options along with two gas alternatives that might be more suitable for you, depending on your needs.
If you insist on charcoal for flavor, or if gas is simply not convenient for you, then the Akorn, Kettleman, or Pro Deluxe will be the best choices.
Each is under the $200 price point, and the models cover small, medium, and large, so that you can pick the one that best suits your needs.