The Best Charcoal Grills Under $500 And What You Must Know is reader-supported. When you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Read more

You want to grill and would like your foods to have a smokey flavor, don’t you? Don’t be worried because we are introducing to you the best charcoal grills under $500!

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Reviews of the best charcoal grills under $500

1. Cuisinart Portable Charcoal Grill

Cuisinart CCG190RB Inch BBQ, 14.5" x 14.5" x 15", Portable Charcoal Grill, 14" (Red)
 in stock
3 new from $21.99
4 used from $17.79
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • 150-SQUARE-INCH CHROME PLATED GRATE: The 150-square-inch chrome plated cooking rack gives a spacious cooking surface is able accommodate lots of food at one time while still distributing heat evenly and efficiently.
  • DUAL VENTING SYSTEM: Features a Dual venting system, giving you the ultimate charcoal management and temperature control.
  • THREE SECURE LID LOCKS: The grill features three secure lid locks for easy and safe transport.
  • COMPACT ENOUGH TO TAKE ANYWHERE: Measures 14 x 14 x 15 inches and weighs only 2 lbs. , making it easy for transport and ideal for decks, patios and balconies, camping, tailgating and more.
  • ENAMEL COATED FIREBOX AND ASH CATCHER: Features a durable enamel coated firebox and convenient mess-free ash catcher for safety and ease.


  • Pretty easy to assemble
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Cheap
  • The openings seal up very well, and the unused coals will go out for reuse next time


  • Flimsy metal

2. Kingsford Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter 

KINGSFORD Heavy Duty Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter | BBQ Chimney Starter for Charcoal Grill and Barbecues, Compact Easy to Use Chimney Starters and BBQ Grill
 in stock
10 new from $14.98
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • HOW LONG DOES YOUR GRILL TAKE TO HEAT? Use our Charcoal Chimney Starter as a grill quick starter to drastically cut the time it takes to get from match to m. Grill quick style starters light quickly and evenly and get charcoal ready to cook on faster
  • KEEP YOUR HANDS SAFE WHEN LIGHTING GRILLS - This quick BBQ starter is built with heat shield and a stay-cool handle so your hands will stay protected from the quick-lighting heat of this barbecue fast-starter
  • LARGE GRILL CHIMNEY STARTER - This large capacity charcoal chimney starter measures 10.74” x 6.8” x 11.25”so it works well for quick lighting large grills
  • HEAVY DUTY KINGSFORD CONSTRUCTION - This BBQ chimney charcoal starter is made with durable, rust-resistant zinc steel. This BBQ chimney starter will be by your side, barbecue after barbecue
  • BEGINNER GRILLERS TOOLS - No assembly required ; your Kingsford BBQ fire starter arrives assembled and ready to use at your next barbecue, tailgate, or camping tri, whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned grillmaster


  • Heats up fast
  • No lighter fluid
  • Works flawlessly
  • Makes barbecuing much safer
  • Great for the price


  • Rust out after a year or two

3. Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill

Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping
 in stock
2 new from $149.99
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
  • Ample Space: Front and side tables offer workspace for seasonings and grilling tools. The bottom shelf provides extra storage space and holds up to only 20 lb. accessories when they are evenly distributed.


  • Great deal for the price
  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent temperature control
  • Easy to clean


  • The holes in the smoker door are not finished

4. Mueller Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Mueller Portable Charcoal Grill and Smoker, Go-Anywhere Compact Foldable Grill for Travel, Outdoor Cooking and BBQ, Camping Grill Picnic Patio Backyard, 23-Inch, Black
 in stock
3 new from $34.96
4 used from $38.39
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • Unique Folding Design – Saves space and is super easy to set up! Forget screws and tools – simply unfold the legs on both sides, and you’ll have a stable, lightweight, and portable bbq grill ready, right in front of you. The ultimate cookout experience, anywhere and anytime!
  • Large Cooking Area – With a surface of over 166 sq. inches, you’ll easily be able to grill for a party of four or more, while still distributing heat evenly and efficiently! Grill your meat and your vegetables at the same time – plenty of room!
  • Sturdy Stainless Steel – Rest easy knowing you’re grilling on a food-grade stainless steel cooking grill. It’s durable, won’t rust, and can even be cleaned in the dishwasher. The grill plate is supported by a sturdy heat-resistant frame that also features side air vents to get your charcoal burning better.
  • Portable and Slim – This folding grill travels as well as it cooks! Its compact size makes it easy to carry just about anywhere – to the park, camping, tailgating, or out on the deck. Whether you are making burgers, chicken, or hotdogs, simply take out this small grill charcoal and make your meal with minimum effort!
  • Superior Quality With Mueller – We are here to offer you only the best quality products designed to make your life easier. If you need any help, please feel free to contact us. Our unparalleled 24/7 live telephone customer support is ready and waiting to assist with anything you need!


  • Fits easily in a car for an on-the-go trip
  • Nice and compact
  • Nicely built
  • Solid
  • Amazing for wood-fired grilling and smoking


  • The instructions seem a little off

5. Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black
 in stock
14 new from $217.00
1 used from $133.38
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press; Built-in lid thermometer. Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
  • One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Cooking grate is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling


  • Clean-up is easy
  • Green cooking machine
  • An ash catcher is included
  • Easy to put together
  • The charcoal is quick to be ready


  • The legs are very tough to install

6. Weber Charcoal Kettle Grill Cover

Weber 22 Inch Charcoal Kettle Grill Cover
 in stock
6 new from $21.99
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • Fits 22 inch charcoal grills
  • Premium heavy duty polyester fabric
  • UV and water resistant
  • Material is breathable and can withstand the elements
  • Straps help fasten the cover to the grill if windy


  • it is cheap; almost disposable value
  • Simple to use
  • Lightweight but because of the Velcro strap at the bottom it stays in place very well
  • Not rusted even in a long time


  • Not very secured

7. Barbecue Charcoal Grill 

Barbecue Charcoal Grill Stainless Steel Folding Portable BBQ Tool Kits for Outdoor Cooking Camping Hiking Picnics Tailgating Backpacking or Any Outdoor Event (Large)
 in stock
3 new from $48.99
4 used from $47.03
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • If you love a smoky grilled flavor in meats, vegetables, etc., this simple lightweight BBQ charcoal grill will allow you to savor delicious foods ANYWHERE & ANYTIME!! Get together with friends and/or family for outdoor smoker cooking, BBQs, picnics, tailgating, camping or a night on the patio, parties, park, beach, etc.
  • Foldable and portable. The BBQ Grills folding legs are designed for easy transportation and storage. Its comfortable lifting handles allow you to carry with ease.
  • Made of 430 rust-resistant stainless steel. Heat-resistant and not deformable. Its air ventilation vent design on both ends of the grill is to maintain an even distribution of heat and airflow. Non-slip rubber feet make the grill stable Included with the grill is a set of tongs, plus small and large barbecue wire mesh panels.
  • The Grill comes with an easy-to-follow instruction guide for stress-free assembly without tools.
  • 1-year Money-back Guarantee because we commit ourselves to creating and catering high quality and great design products.


  • Inexpensive
  • Perfect for camping and cooking kabob
  • Super light and easy to transport
  • Well-ventilated and efficient
  • Legs are sturdy enough


  • The grates are not good

8. Weber Jumbo Charcoal Grill

Weber Jumbo Joe Charcoal Grill 18 Inch Black
 in stock
4 new from $89.00
2 used from $69.07
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • Travel with taste, or grill up a quick meal on your patio with the Jumbo Joe portable charcoal grill. The compact size with larger grilling area and convenient carry handle is perfect for any weekend getaway or spontaneous day at the beach. Combustion by-products produced when using this product contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.
  • Holds up to eight burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • The Tuck-N-Carry lid lock doubles as a lid holder to avoid placing the lid on the ground


  • So well-made
  • Perfect for our tailgating and camping trips
  • 90% as good as the full-sized
  • The latching mechanism keeps the lid tightly locked when not in use


  • The top vent is so stiff 

9. Weber Smokey Joe Portable Grill

Weber Smokey Joe 14-Inch Portable Grill, Black
 in stock
9 new from $2.77
2 used from $38.63
Free shipping
as of September 28, 2022 7:35 am


  • Load up the car and hit the road with your Smokey Joe portable charcoal grill. Its durable, lightweight, compact design is perfect for grilling on the go - whether walking to the beach or taking a road trip. Make your holiday at the beach even more enjoyable with this Weber 14" Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill.
  • Holds up to five burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • Compact and lightweight for grilling on the go
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill


  • Have no rust even in the harsh weather
  • High-quality materials and finishes
  • Easy to put together
  • Small enough to be portable
  • Economical use of charcoal


  • Hard to open/close the lower vent disc

Buying Guides

If you have never bought a charcoal grill before and have a tight budget on it, have a look at the instructions below to go for the best charcoal grills under $500.


When you go shopping for a charcoal grill, seek out its specifications to check what it is made of. Is its material stainless steel, cast aluminum, or iron? If the instruction is not clear, there will likely be rust after a certain time. 


Keep in mind that you should never choose a grill with a too short parts warranty. Some even come with a lifetime parts warranty.

Delivery and Assembly

Some charcoal grills are fully assembled and directly delivered to your door. Some just don’t and you will need to spend the whole day setting it up.

Build quality

Other than materials, you should see carefully at the design and how the device is built. If it is good, it may stand up to intensive use over time.

Size and Cooking area

Think about the cooking and storage area you have before picking a charcoal grill.

If you regularly cook for a large number of people and you only have a small–sized grill, you may have to struggle sometimes. By contrast, if you have a too big grill, you will use more fuel.


Do I need to preheat a charcoal grill?

Absolutely yes! Just like any other type of grill, charcoal grills should be preheated, so food doesn’t stick to the grates or overcook. 

How do you control the temperature on a charcoal grill? 

You can control the heat in two ways: adjusting the amount of coal or adjusting airflow using the grills’ vents.

How far from my home should I place my charcoal grill?

As charcoal grills release embers, you should keep a safe distance between them and any other structure. The ideal distance is at least 10 feet.

Final Thoughts

If you want to cook things on a charcoal grill so that your foods bring a taste of nostalgia, we hope our article will help you find out the best charcoal grill for under $500.

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