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Charcoal Barbecue Grills - A Guide To The Best Charcoal Grill

Updated on June 11, 2011

Barbecuing is one of the most popular ways to cook food in this day age. The process is quick and easy and, on most occasions, the end result is tasty and rewarding - so who wouldn't want to invest in a barbecue?

The answer is usually almost no one. Which brings up the next question - what kind of barbecue grill is for you?

There are two types of barbecue grills that rule the marketplace: gas grills and charcoal grills. Gas grills run via propane, while charcoal barbecue grills work using charcoal briquet's or an all-natural lump of charcoal. There does exist a propane charcoal grill but these hybrids aren't as popular as the original versions.

If you've reached this article then it's safe to assume that you are already a fan of the charcoal bbq grills and that you're now looking to buy a grill for your home.

And you've probably reached the question: What kind of charcoal grill is for me?

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Guide to the Best Charcoal Grills

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Hybrid Charcoal Grills

Recently there has been an increase of hybrid charcoal barbecues.  The idea is that it allows outdoor cooking - using propane - while keeping the cooking style and techniques of charcoal grilling. 

Many people like the idea of, if the charcoal burning suddenly stops, to quickly reignite it with a gas stove. 

Many barbecues you see on the streets are charcoal grills.
Many barbecues you see on the streets are charcoal grills. | Source

Types of Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills have evolved and changed over the last couple decades but the initial principal has remained the same. Using charcoal bricks, or a charcoal lamp, the rocks are heated up below a wire grate for the food. It's a simple process that works very well.

Although there are many different designs of the grills almost all have the same charcoal grill parts; they are all uniflamed charcoal grills which means the entire grill is heated to the same temperature which, unlike gas grills where some areas may receive more heat, is a very efficient way to cook food.

The following types of charcoal grills are:

  • The Brazier: Simplest form of charcoal grill. Metal wire and sheet metal placed above a charcoal pan. No lid or venting system - a great charcoal grill for camping.
  • Pellet Grill: Hardwood pellets are the fuel for this grill. The pellets are fed into a boz un the bottom of the grill where they are burned and turned into heat. Pellet grills have what is called a smoke mode.
  • Square Charcoal: Hybrid of the brazier and pellet grill.
  • Hibachi: Originally from China the Hibachi is like the Brazier but with a venting system.
  • Kettle: The classic charcoal grill design. It's designed in a way that is distributes heat much more sufficiently than other charcoal grills; it has a lid which prevents flare ups, as well as keep the heat in.
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Best Charcoal Grills

Each type of charcoal grill also varies in what it is made of, as well as what kind of features it includes. When buying a charcoal grill it's best to know what material is best; it's important to know which emphasizes longevity, which produces the best food, and which is the best for the environment.

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Stainless steel charcoal grills are great for the outdoors.
Stainless steel charcoal grills are great for the outdoors. | Source

Stainless Charcoal Grill

Stainless steel charcoal grills are the most expensive, but also one of the most popular barbecue grills on the market. They are so expensive because they are the strongest and most viable material for cooking food - which means they are much more expensive to build.

A stainless steel charcoal grill will be long lasting and will rarely receive any damage. If you want to have charcoal grill outside then it may be a good idea to invest in a stainless grill; stainless steel grills are able to withstand almost any weather, from heavy rain to a small hail storm.

One of the best aspects is that the charcoal grill parts will be the same as any other charcoal grills - even though its a stainless steel charcoal grill. Furthermore the warranty is almost always lifetime so once you buy one you wont have to worry about any future problems.

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Cast Iron Charcoal Grill

The next best material for a charcoal grill is cast iron. Cast iron is cheaper and although it's not as durable and long-lasting as stainless steel is, it's still works well with charcoal.

Cast iron charcoal grills work well when they are built in with another material. Many built in charcoal grills are made from cast iron; these type of grills are found in the kitchen, like a sink, built into one of the counters. Although with new advances in stainless steel technology there isn't as many built in charcoal grills inside, cast iron is still a great material for the table top.

In summary, the best types of cast iron charcoal grills are:

  • Table Top Charcoal Grills
  • Built-in Charcoal Grill
  • Patio Classic Charcoal Grill
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