Spring is here, and we all know what that means – it’s time to fire up the grill! Whether you will be tailgating at a Major League Baseball game, partying on the infield at a NASCAR race, or going camping, you’ll want to have a great reliable grill that can also travel with you wherever you go. While gas grills are great, portable charcoal grills are affordable, deliver high quality food, and are very convenient. Here are some to choose from that will fit every budget.
The MiniMax Big Green Egg is proof that great things come in small packages. This Egg is the first to arrive with its own transportation in the form of a sturdy, easy to grip carrier! The MiniMax is perfect for camping, poolside and tailgating at the ballgame. MiniMax is built to perform and is ready to travel to wherever your culinary interests take you! Its surface area is enough to grill for four people or smoke a rack of ribs. Because of its smaller size, the charcoal heats up faster, which is a great benefit for quick weeknight grilling.
The PKGO with FlipKit is unique in the world of portable charcoal grills, not only because the signature design and venting system enables dual-zone cooking, but the FlipKit can also be split apart and used as two hibachis. Just pop off the lid, flip it over into the extra base, and install the additional cooking grate. Ta Da! You just doubled your cooking capacity. Circling back to the two-zone grilling— separating by a stick of wood, you can avoid charred chicken and exploding hot dogs by slowly cooking over the moderate, indirect zone, then finishing foods off over the hot, direct zone for a crispy, brown finish.
Weber provides us with yet another affordable and compact cooker. The Jumbo Joe boasts an easy lockable lid, which prevents any spillage of grease or dust in your car while you head to the tailgate. Its 240 square inches of cooking space and 18-inch diameter are pretty standard sizing for a portable grill—decent enough to cook a few servings of meat and veggies with excellent heat retention, keeping consistent temperatures throughout the barbecue.
The Everdure Cube was designed with easy portability and convenience in mind. Made of lightweight steel and weighing under 20 pounds, it’s easy to bring down to the beach. But the main selling point for the Cube is how neatly the whole package comes together: a shallow storage tray stacks on top of the grilling area, suitable for food with an ice pack or for serving utensils, and a bamboo serving board fits on top of that, doubling as a lid. All three components latch together like a lock and key.
Setup and cleanup don’t get any simpler than the Quick Grill. Assembling the five-piece unit takes about 30 seconds, and it folds down compactly into a neat carrying case. The grill weighs just under five pounds—but as compact and lightweight as it may be, that doesn’t mean the grill is thin and cheaply made. (Sure, it may not hold a heavy cast iron pan, but it can sustain against a modest-sized Dutch oven.) With a funnel-shaped design resembling that of an inverted colander, the reflective metal intensifies heat output for hot coals.
No matter which of these portable charcoal grills you choose to purchase, rest assured that your friends, and your taste buds, will thank you after a wonderful meal of steak fajitas.