Best Charcoal Grill For Steaks

Closeup of charcoal burning under a barbecue grill

We researched online to find a charcoal grill to use for cooking steaks and found that the best is the Weber 10020 Smokey Joey. In addition to our number one pick you’ll notice that each of these grills are Weber, which is the prime rib of American grills and grill accessories, so you might be wondering, “Why the Smokey Joe!?” First of all: it’s portable, which means you can grill anywhere you might ever need; so forget about trying to lug around a giant grill like a pedicab driver pedaling uphill; the glass-reinforced, nylon handle makes removing the lid safe and easy; while the porcelain enameled coating prevents rust and fading, ensuring the Weber lasts longer than you! The other two options are also great, but let’s see why they didn’t take the crown.

Our Top Pick:

Weber 10020 Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill

Pros: Portable, hassle-free, durable, grill-guide

Cons: Small cooking space, low to the ground

The Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill is an unbeatable grill for the price (perfect for someone new to grilling who wants to test their chops or those of us who might be limited in space)! It’s incredibly effective, portable enough to fit in any car and durable enough to outlive that same car. The included grill-guide will allow the least experienced griller to impress their snobby, grill-connoisseur coworker (yes, Jeff, we’re talking about you). While it may be a bit smaller, you can always grill more steaks once the first round has been devoured insatiably by your hungry eaters (this is a convenient time to add more charcoal) and a durable (non-plastic) table can provide all of the height you might need to keep from bending over all day (try a stack of bricks or wood if you must).

While it might not have a bunch of fancy extras, it’s all you could ever need to grill up the most delicious food for the one-time cost of a steak dinner at a nice restaurant.

Runner Up:

Weber 14402001 Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Pros: Large cooking space, hinged cooking grate, easy-to-clean ash and debris catcher, convenient lid hook, tool hooks on handle, built-in thermometer, and available in three colors

Cons: Bulky, Expensive

If you aren’t new to grilling or you’re intending to be a dedicated grill-master in your back yard and you don’t mind something a bit bulkier and less portable, then the Weber 14402001 Original Kettle Premium Grill might be for you. While a tad on the expensive side, this could be the last grill you ever buy! Empty any post-grilling debris into the ash-catcher below and clean it with one touch; hook the lid on the side of the grill to keep it off the ground (and away from any dogs’ salivating tongues); easily add more fuel while cooking without having to remove the entire grate; hang any grilling tools right on the handle; and ensure the consistent temperature by keeping the grill closed with the built-in lid thermometer and easily adjust the airflow with the dampers located on the lid.

The reason this is number two on my list is because I can cook food just as tasty on the Smokey Joe at a fraction of the cost, but the convenient features of this grill might be exactly what some of you are looking for if you don’t mind splurging and sacrificing some mobility.

Worth Considering:

Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Pros: Large cooking space, convenient lid hook, decent price

Cons: Bulky, ash catcher isn’t super effective

The Weber 741001 grill is the non-premium model of previous grill mentioned; it is the same size and contains many of the same features, but lacks a couple that may be worth mentioning: the ash-catcher is a tad less reliable; there is no built-in lid thermometer; you can’t hang your tools on the handle for easy access; and you must remove the entire cooking grate to add more charcoal.

This is another great grill which would be perfect for those who want a larger cooking space, but are willing to sacrifice some amenities to save some cash.

Additional Information:

Things To Keep In Mind

How long should charcoal burn before grilling?

20 to 30 minutes is typically the ideal amount of time for the coals on your grill to burn prior to using. You want your coals to get good and hot so they will heat all parts of your grill evenly.

How do I keep charcoal burning?

You initially want to make sure that your coals are packed evenly and packed closely together. This should ensure that they remain burning together well. Add coals when needed to make sure that the coals keep burning as long as you need. The vent on the bottom will need to be open to ensure good airflow. The more open it is the hotter your coals will be and the faster they will burn.

How do you stop a charcoal grill?

The best way to extinguish the coals in your charcoal grill is to close the lid and close any vents. This will prevent more oxygen from getting to the coals and they should burn out.

Other Resources:

Helpful Links

Wrapping Up:

Best Charcoal Grill For Cooking Steaks

So you’ve probably come to the conclusion that Weber is the last stop for anyone in the market for a grill and while the options may be a littler overwhelming, there are those of us that don’t mind doing the leg work in making sure you find the best product you can.  No one can pass up a great deal, which is why the Smokey Joe will always rise to the top: the potential it offers is unbeatable at such a low cost. While the Original Kettle and its Premium counterpart is also a steal on the market (ripe for the picking), they may be a little costly for those of us who simply want to grill up some tasty treats!


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