The 5 Best Charcoal Grills Under 250 Dollars

I previously covered the best charcoal grill 100 dollars or below in a previous article.  But now let’s look at the charcoal grills out there for under 250 dollars.

You may be able to afford a little more.  You may want to splurge if you’ve been saving up or if you received a windfall of money.

It’s a very good investment.

You’ll get years of use out of these grills, along with added features and durability/

You may have had one of the 100 dollar grills as a starter grill.  Your grill game has gotten good and it’s time to step up your equipment.

This article is ideal for you.

These are grills that people like.  Different orientations, different brands, even a grill that you’ll look at and wonder what the heck I was thinking.

When you get to that point, JUST KEEP READING!

1.) Weber 14501001 Master-Touch Charcoal Grill

best charcoal grills under 250

It doesn’t get any more dependable and well-known than the trusted Weber brand does it?

This 22-inch grill gets you that Weber name and prestige at a relatively low price.

Where to buy: Amazon (click for price and availability)

Features:

  • Has a tuck-away lid holder on the side of the grill so you don’t have to hold onto the lid while flipping burgers, or worse, set it on the dirty ground.
  • A lid thermometer that goes up to 600° F, or 320° C.
  • A high-capacity ash catcher that allows you to easily dispose of debris.
  • A porcelain-enameled lid that allows better heat retention.
  • 363 inches of cooking space.

What buyers like about it:

  • The heat retention was impressive for cooking smaller items, with the ability to accurately vent the grill.
  • Assembly is easy and comes with tools that are actually made to assemble the product.
  • The curved warming rack that attaches to the main grill grate.

What buyers don’t like about it:

  • The three legs make it a little less sturdy than four legs would.
  • Some people don’t like the removable center grill grate, which is hard to clean and easily pops down.
  • The legs that are on it have sometimes been of uneven length, making the grill wobbly.

2.) The Original Po’ Man Charcoal Grill

best charcoal grills under 250

You’re probably thinking, wait a minute……you’re trying to sell me a friggin’ garbage can????!?!?!

Hear me out.

It’s a trashcan cooker.  That is a thing.

This contraption is made by Po’ Man Grill, Inc. and is made to simulate backyard improvised grilling products. Unlike most grills, this one comes with skewers for bigger pieces of meat.

As the company says, “Po’ Man makes meals fit for millionaires…”

As of this writing it has 54 out of 54 5-star reviews!

This is definitely a conversation piece that people will talk about well after your backyard cookout!

Where to buy: Amazon (click for price and availability)

Features:

  • A drip plate for slow cooks that catch the juices, further enhancing the flavor of the meat through the rising heat
  • Two skewers, which you don’t see too often with grills.
  • The two legs welded together at the bottom, hold the charcoal pan, drip pan, grate, and skewers.

What buyers like about it:

  • Strong, quality materials ranging from the pan and the lid, to the grates and legs.
  • The flavor and moisture of the food.
  • The ease of use.  No wonky legs and wheels that are a common problem on other models.
  • Great customer service.

What buyers don’t like about it:

  • The packing is too good.  It is secured with some plastic pieces that can be cumbersome to remove.
  • No easy way to reload charcoal.

3.) Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Kettleman Charcoal Grill

best charcoal grills under 250

Char-Broil is another trusted brand out there in the world of grilling.  Buyers love this one for a variety of reasons, but mainly for its value.

Where to buy: Amazon (click for price and availability)

Features:

  • A hinged lid, which doesn’t require you to remove it from the grill at all.
  • A 10-year warranty.  This is a believed-in product, as long as you treat it right.
  • A TRU-Infrared cooking system, which uses infrared technology to cut down on cold spots and flare-ups, creating a more even cook and reduced cooking times.

What buyers like about it:

  • The amount of space and quality of cook on the grates.
  • The TRU-Infrared system and the grate’s proximity to the coals allow for less lit charcoal.
  • Gets up to good cooking temperature quickly and maintains it for a long time.

What buyers don’t like about it:

  • The lack of a warming rack is a bit odd for this price point.
  • The ceramic on the grates can chip off quickly, can rust, and the grate can be hard to replace.
  • Cleaning can be difficult and time-consuming.

4.) Char-Griller E14822 Premium Red Kettle Charcoal Grill and Smoker

best charcoal grills under 250

I’ve written about Char-Griller’s products before.  They’re a tremendous bang for the buck.  Not a Weber, but still they make very good equipment.

This one acts as both a charcoal grill and a smoker.  Really, you can make a smoker out of most grills.  Is this one fully dual-purpose, or just a grill?

It looks like the Char-Griller AKORN, but it’s not quite the same material.  Not as well insulated.

Where to buy: Amazon (click for price and availability)

Features:

  • Like the Char-Broil model, the Char-Griller model has a locking, hinged, flip-up lid.  This one also has two flip-out side shelves.
  • A center pull-out grate allows for easy addition of hot charcoal.
  • A lower storage rack allows for your bag of charcoal or wood chips.  The added weight also can help with stability.

What buyers like about it:

  • Temperature retention is good and is good for some smoking.  It can go 9-10 hours with just one charcoal replenishment.
  • The easy-dump ash collection tray at the bottom makes for easy removal and cleanup.
  • Dual dampers control the temperature well, and accommodate cooking from searing steak to slow-cooking, to burgers and chicken.

What buyers don’t like about it:

  • It can be flimsy, given the three-leg design and the potential of the weight of food above those three legs.
  • The dampers don’t always seal well and can let valuable heat escape prematurely.
  • The parts can be difficult to assemble, but this could depend greatly on one’s mechanical ability.

5.) Kingsford GR1031-014984 Barrel Charcoal Grill

Finally, Kingsford arrives at the party.

You probably know Kingsford first and foremost for their charcoal.  I too was surprised when I discovered their line of grills.

This is a basic barrel grill, which is my personal favorite.

Where to buy: Amazon (click for price and availability)

Features:

  • A 793 square inch cooking area, the largest of the five on this list.
  • Dual dampers for optimal heat control.
  • Four legs and two wheels for extra sturdiness and portability.

What buyers like about it:

  • Large cooking area.
  • Heavy-duty cast-iron grates are a big hit.
  • Adjustable charcoal level, allowing the flames closer to the food when appropriate.

What buyers don’t like about it:

  • The ash pan rusts easily and the welds have been known to break.
  • Assembly can be tough due to the many parts that have to align perfectly.
  • Shipping has been careless at times and people have received dented or broken parts.

Conclusion

Five different brands, five different builds, all within the same price point.  All have their strengths and weaknesses.

With that said, there is one clear choice here for both value and versatility.

That would be the Original Po’ Man charcoal grill.

While the others had some clear weaknesses, the Po’ Man had no complaints from buyers.  Any problems that occurred were dealt with quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly by their customer service department.

Is the Po’ Man quirky?  Yes.  And no.

It’s the way many people have cooked for many years.  It’s just that Po’ Man blended old-school country methods with some of the features of an actual grill, such as the high-temperature paint.

This is the only grill where you can actually skewer a whole animal!  Slow cooking or just a quick grilling are both can’t-miss options with the Po’ Man.

By all means, read through all five.  And if you’re still undecided, go ahead and take the plunge on the Po’ Man!

Do you own any of these grills?  Are you about to buy one?  Please feel free to comment in the box below.


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