HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


New Charcoal Grill Recommendations?

We are saying farewell to The Grand Experiment of having a Char-Broil gas grill.

Two years ago, we switched after our second charcoal grill died.

The Char-Broil is poorly made and a pain in the derriere to clean and maintain. Plus, it doesn't give that good grilled flavor to foods.

So I'm switching back. I'm looking for recommendations. I had a Weber kettle grill for more than 12 years, and it performed well. But I figured the experts on this board could broaden my horizons.

So what do I buy?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Gas grills are not smokers. They cannot and are not for adding smoked flavor to foods. Sure, you can add wood chips in boxes, or foil, but it really just ain't the same. That being said, I often use a gas grill for what it is for. It's an outdoor oven / broiler that can add grill marks to foods. I love using my weber kettle as a smoker set up as well, but that's for real bbq'ing, and not quick grilling. I'd also sworn off my gas grill, but I'd suggest you revisit the idea. The gas grill is EXCELLENT for what it's really for: QUICK grilling. I'll bet that if you cook outside a decent amount, you will want a gas grill again, because of the ease and speed of using it. Charcoal / wood smoke are definitely better for flavor WITHOUT QUESTION, but with a gas grill, you can have dinner done before your charcoal is ready to use.

    Hint: buy your gas grills after the season ends at big box retailers.
    I go through a new one every 2 to 3 years, but I get them at 50-75% off of retail prices, so I don't give a $%#@ when I have to throw one out. I don't clean or maintain them at ALL. My weber, however, gets treated like a baby. So, all in all, I'd suggest a weber bar b kettle, it's a tank, but I'd also suggest giving gas grilling a re-thought because once you settle in with the fact that it's really good for what it's for, you will be much happier with using it. I use both, and really like them both.

    1. check out the cookware board - there are numerous threads on gas and charcoal grills.

      1. weber weber and weber. We love charcoal as well and have two (one at the lake is huge) but a smaller one too. We just did a recent blind burger taste test on three different grills at our camp - I thought for sure the charcoal would win but it came in second over the Weber Genesis Silver Gas Grill. Either way, I will always stick with Weber.

        1. jmckee,
          I have 5 grills, 2 gas, 2 charcoal, 1 charcoal/wood (offset). Don't ask, I have 2 houses and a problem...
          I love my Weber sliver series b gas, I HATE my Char-broil gas, so I understand your post.
          If I wanted a new charcoal grill now the old standby Weber kettle really is hard to beat. However, I have a BBQ Grillware charcoal that I am very happy with - it's a big, rectangle shaped, rear hinged monster with lots of vents and a crank (raise/lower) charcoal grate so you are really in control. I bought it at a Lowe's (NC). I am sure you can see it online.
          I will be firing it up tonight!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tee

            You need to look into the Weber Performer. We absolutely LOVE it. It is a charcoal grill that uses a gas ignition. It uses those small camp-style propane bottles, they last forever and are very inexpensive. It takes five minutes to light your fire. You do not need lighter fluid or 1-2 chimneys, newspaper, lighters, etc.

            It is the large kettle grill, with a large side table, and a waterproof charcoal storage drawer. Oh, and a built-in thermometer.

            Another awesome addition is the one-touch ash removal system. you never get your hands dirty. I can't say enough about this grill.


          2. get another weber.they last forever,cook anything,a million options,they do it all.worth getting the delux model for ease of ash removal,the lid holder thing is pretty essential too.

            1. Another vote for Weber. We replace ours about every ten years or so, and we aren't very conscientious about covering it or bringing it in during the winter.

              Definitely agree with you about better flavor with charcoal. And if you aren't already thinking along these lines, I HIGHLY recommend a chimney starter instead of using lighter fluid. Cheaper, better taste, better for the environment.

              1 Reply
              1. re: coney with everything

                We LOVE the chimney starter too, can't imagine life without it. Soooo easy to start up the charcoal and no more lighter fluid tastes on the food.

              2. Stay with Weber, I've got three Weber grills 2 charcoal and 1 gas, they are the best. I have two kettles both the 22.5 inch variety, one is probably 25 years old and the other is a baby, I just got it for Fathers Day this year. It's the Performer model and it does have some nice features. The one touch system, is IHO a must have. In addition to making the grill much easier to clean, it also allows much easier adjustments of temperature control. I still use a chimney for charcoal lighting but the propane system makes using it easier. It does come with charcoal baskets for indirect cooking. which do work well but I really prefer charcoal rails. The rails spread the charcoal out a little more and seem to me to cook more evenly.

                1. Cooks Illustrated had the Bar-B-Chef Texas grill as their top rated...


                  But I've been pretty happy with my Weber One-Touch gold (and it was 1/4 the price of the Bar-B-Chef)

                  1. Well somebody has to mention the Big Green Egg, Ive got the large which I think is close to a Weber charcoal grill size and am very happy, very versatile for quick grilling or all day slow roasting. If the price tag of around $1000 doesn't scare you off, consider it. We have had several gas grills and charcoal grills which are ok for what they are, I like the taste of hardwood charcoal grilling and adding smoke with the egg is easy. We love the high heat pizza. Can set and hold a low temp for hours without adjusting or feeding charcoal.