Best Charcoal Grills Under $500

Best Charcoal Grills Under $500

Are you among those people who are always attracted by the delicious aroma and mouthwatering taste of the meat? Then for you, there is no better alternative than the charcoal grills to cook meat. 

Along with the charcoal grill, you can prepare all kinds of delicious grilled or smoked foods. You also don’t need to spend a lot of money on an excellent charcoal grill as they are affordable. 

The main reason, why I like the charcoal grill is the smoky taste and flavor of the meat. They are capable of giving the rich taste and aroma to the meat that I love the most. From burgers to hot dogs, meat that is grilled from charcoal barbecues tastes great.

If you are deciding to buy a charcoal grill within your budget then consider this article. You will get all the best charcoal grills under $500 in this article. 

Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Here I am going to mention the first charcoal grill on my list that is Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker. This charcoal grill has been manufactured with a lot of exciting features such as ample cooking space, removable ash catcher, weather-proof material, and many more.

There is a rear smoker box that is included with the Royal Gourmet CC1830S charcoal grill. The smoker box assists in the formation of a special smoked flavor on the grill. With a smoker and a charcoal grill, you can enjoy dual-style BBQ.

It has a main grilling surface of 438 square inches and a heating tray of 179 square inches. There is also a 183-square-inch tilt smoker set up for cooking. It will give you a total cooking space of 800 square inches.

You can conveniently regulate the temperature by increasing or decreasing the flame pan. In this way, you can adjust the space between the charcoal and the meal using sliding controls. 

Along with the sliding air vent to stimulate flames, there is a side opening. It allows charcoal or clean waste to directly attach. The cooking grids are excellent to let the heat spread evenly. Also, they are porcelain-coated for added durability and ease of cleaning. Furthermore, it has an ash pan that makes ash removal simple and quick. 

Due to its side desk and mounting racks, this best charcoal grill under 500 provides enough space to cook food. It will also help you to keep utensils close at hand. It has a scaled-proof body that protects it from burning during cooking. 

For enhanced heat regulation, the grill also has a temperature sensor located on the top. Besides all its features, the grill is highly portable due to two sturdy rolling wheels.

  • Dual style BBQ
  • Very easy to clean and maintain
  • Built-in smoker box
  • Designed with two sturdy caster wheels
  • Highly durable and reliable item
  • A little hard to adjust

Kamado Joe Jr. Portable Charcoal Grill 

Kamado Joe Jr. Portable Charcoal Grill 

After that, I have a wonderful edition of Kamado Joe Jr. portable Charcoal Grill on my list of the best BBQ grill that is very easy to use. This amazing charcoal grill does not need too much money as it requires less charcoal to burn. 

The Kamado Joe Jr. is built of porcelain and is 1.25 inches thick and spongy. The grill’s porosity and density keep it at the same temp for an extended period. This is the reason; it will not require as much charcoal to consume. 

Furthermore, the ceramic outer has a heat-resistant coating that keeps the grill covered for a long period. You will get over 148 square inches of cooking surface. This cooking surface is enough to grill a variety of vegetables and meat for two people. 

If you’re having a party, I recommend you use the upgrade version of the Kamado Joe Classic according to my experience. It has 256 square inches of cooking space and can be extended to 660 square inches. You can do this with the use of a grill extender that allows you to comfortably seat 4 to 6 people.

The Joe Jr. has been made with high versatility and it will fit comfortably in your backyard or even your home. The grill includes two hooks on the sides that make moving it around a simple process. It is also a fantastic and the best gas grill for beach house and for traveling.

This wonderful grill has manufactured with steel material, so you can clean and maintain it very easily. All you have to do is use the waste brush to wipe off the excess food and ashes from the grill. 

Thus, the Kamado Jr. is an excellent grill for everyday barbeque. Not only that but also it is ideal for traveling and picnics.

  • Highly portable and durable
  • Perfect for picnics and parties
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Easy to change temperatures
  • Lightweight to carry easily
  • Average customer services

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill 

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill 

After that, I have this Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill on my list. There are many reasons, the Weber Original is a masterpiece on my list. Since 1952, their structure has not changed, but they’ve introduced essential attachments to improve your cooking experience.

This charcoal grill is built of long-lasting materials such as porcelain-enameled metal, which is not heavy-duty. Porcelain-enameled metal is also used for the cover and base.

This 22-inch grill allows you to cook multiple pieces of meat at the same time. It is ideal for smaller occasions but the Weber grilling surface will not be sufficient for bigger groups. If you are going on a picnic, you can grill up to 13 burgers at once.

Furthermore, this best charcoal grill is very effective and time-saving. You can also grill a whole bird with the Weber Original Kettle. Weber has a compact structure and wheels on two of its legs. They allow the grill very easy to transport and adjust, which I like the most. 

Although the wheels are larger this is a minor flaw. Because of the ash catcher feature, maintaining the Weber is very easy and simple. Its wide bowl-like design allows the user to easily dump ash into the garbage without spilling anything. 

To cleanse the grates, light a fire, preheat the grill, and scrape the vents with a bristle-free brush. These are the best charcoal grills under $500 that are ideal for small groups of people or couples. It’s not best suited for large events, but it will suffice as a secondary grill. 

This luxury model gives its 70-year-old appearance. It now has a built-in thermostat on the cover that allows you to manage the grill’s temp according to your requirements. In this way, your meal will cook accurately without burning.

  • Best-performing charcoal grill
  • Suitable for picnics and camping
  • Budget-friendly
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Very easy to clean
  • A little large wheel

PK Grills PKO-SCAX-X Charcoal BBQ Grill and Smoker 

PK Grills PKO-SCAX-X Charcoal BBQ Grill and Smoker 

The upcoming item is PK grills PKO-SCAX-X Charcoal BBQ Grill. The PKO-SCAX-X has a nostalgic and attractive design with a compact shape that is similar to 1950s grills. It has made of light-cast aluminum that’s 0.25 inches thick. 

Not only this alloy is rust-resistant and long-lasting, but it also conducts heat better than steel-cast grills. The grill has a big cooking space of 300 square inches. And this will be more than enough for large and small groups. The cooking area enables you to grill a variety of vegetables and meat at the same time. 

This charcoal grill is capable of cooking practically any type of meat. You can grill everything from burgers to ribs to a Turkey dinner! After grilling, cleansing the PK grill is also very easy. You can quickly delete the charcoal plates and grill from the grill capsules and wipe them. 

With liquid detergent and a sponge, you can even wipe the grill capsule in your dishwasher. The mobility of the PKO is undoubtedly its best part. The basket has two wheels on one end which makes transporting it very easy. 

You can easily roll the grill into and out of its storage space. The pod is easily and quickly removed from the trolley which makes it ideal for a picnic or camping trip. It is also a great option for small households and outdoor cookouts.

Two storage arrays are included in the PK Grills. The first is a huge aluminum platform that rests below the capsule. And the second is a little aluminum side table that can contain a bowl or dish of grill-ready food. If there is any extra grilling gear, it can be stored here as well.

  • Very attractive and unique capsule shape
  • Portable for camping
  • Designed with a built-in side table
  • Easy to use as a smoker
  • Built-in storage system
  • Small but decent wheels

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill 

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill 

This char-griller AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill is another very high-quality and last item on my list. The inside of the Akorn Kamado is made of ceramic, while the outside is built of three layers of steel material.

With this item, heat is distributed evenly all across the grill due to the triple-layered construction. The insulating also prevents temperature variations inside the grill due to variations in the environment.

The basket is built on a steel frame with rubber tires on two of its legs.  And the grilling area is built of cast iron. The body of the grill has built of 22-gauge steel, with a powder-coated metal finishing on the outside.

The Akorn Kamado has a 314-square-inch cooking surface and a 133-square-inch heating tray. So, you will have a total cooking space of 447 square inches. You can cook pizzas, burgers, thick steaks, hot dogs, and other meats on the grill. You can also use it to slow grill ribs!

You will have complete control over the circulation with the Akorn Kamado, which is one of its best advantages. This means you can control the thermostat within the grill which ensures that the whole grill receives the same amount of heat.

Cleaning the grill is also very simple and easy. All you have to do to cleanse the grill is preheat it to 700°F and leave it blazing for thirty minutes. You have to discard the ash, fireplace, and grid after the grill has cooled fully.

You can effortlessly travel with this best charcoal grill due to the set of tires under its legs. After you’ve finished grilling, you can wheel it into the yard or garage. This grill is ideal for small families or couples who like to cook at home.

  • Durable steel construction
  • Cast iron cooking surface
  • Very easy to clean and maintain
  • Lighter than ceramic grills
  • Easy to adjust the temperature
  • Steel is not good to retain heat

Buying Guide 

It is not a smart option to purchase a charcoal grill without evaluating important considerations. Before purchasing the best charcoal grill under $500, you should consider the following main factors. These factors will assist you in selecting the best item for your requirements.

Let’s have a look at them!

Grilling Space 

The cooking area is the most crucial thing to consider when purchasing a charcoal grill. You can determine the size of the area by the amount of food that you can cook at one time. 

Keep in mind that larger charcoal grills are more expensive as they use more coal. This article includes grills with cooking areas ranging from 130 square inches to more than 800 square inches. Thus, the best option is to invest in a medium-sized charcoal grill that can accommodate both small and large groups.

Cooking Grates 

Before you choose the best charcoal grill, don’t forget to look at the cooking grates. The meal closest to the coals will cook quickly on the outside. But the inside will not be fully cooked and will be moist. 

You have to search for a grill that has adjustable grilling grates that can be adjusted to the desired height. It will help you to manage the temperature and control the flame. The grilling grates must be excellent heat resistors to cook your food properly.

Thus, stainless steel and cast-iron grates are always the best options. They last a long time and can withstand high-temperature strains.

Ash Removing 

Cleaning grills after a barbeque party is a task that no one enjoys. When using a charcoal barbecue, it is critical to clear the ash and any residual food debris. 

If the ash isn’t cleaned, it will work as an insulator and prolong the time it takes to heat up. In this way, the meal will take longer to grill. So, if you’re in the market to buy a new charcoal grill, don’t neglect the ash removal system.

Other Features 

A thermometer in your grill helps keep track of the temperature in real-time. In this way, it will be easy for you to determine whether to eliminate or add additional coal. You must always prefer a grill that has a built-in thermometer.

A charcoal grill with a damping mechanism that helps with vent and intake gases is also recommended. A shutter allows you to manage the temperatures of the grill by lighting or burning the coals as needed. Also, if you are buying a larger charcoal grill, you must consider the caster wheels with that.


Mainly, I have written this article to provide you with the options of the best charcoal grills under $500. I have shortlisted all the best quality and full of feature items on my list. You can easily decide which one is preferable for you. 

Moreover, I’ll suggest you look for Royal Gourmet BBQ Charcoal Grill and Smoker as it is the best combination for grilled and smoky food. Also, it is very easy to use and clean as well. Try this item and share your feedback with me!

Hope you have a wonderful grilling party! 


How big of a charcoal grill do I need? 

If you are going to use the grill for the first time, then you must use a kettle grill. These types of grills are small in size having a diameter of around 22-inches. Along with these grills, you can prepare 13 to 15 burgers at once and they are easy to clean as well.

Is a charcoal grill better or a gas grill? 

As compared to the gas grill, a charcoal grill is more conventional. The wood chips provide a smokey flavor that is more distinct. On the other hand, gas grills provide flavors that are comparable to pork. Gas grills have the benefit of providing more moisture to the meat while avoiding the smokey flavor of charcoal grills. In short, it’s all up to you! 

Is propane cheaper than charcoal?

It will be more costly to fill your gas grill with propane but it will last longer than charcoal grills. Charcoal grills appear less expensive at first but they are not usable for a long period. So, if you are used to grill frequently then choose the propane gas grill as it is a cost-effective option.

Can I put wood chips directly on the charcoal? 

You can only place wood chunks directly on the charcoal as they are small and thinner. You cannot put the wood chips on the charcoal because they are large and heavy in size. They will not help you to get the smoky and rich flavor of the meat.

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