Best Built-In Charcoal Grill Consumer Reports

Summer is around the corner, and nothing beats firing up the grill and enjoying some delicious BBQ with family and friends. If you’re planning to install a new outdoor kitchen or renovating an existing one, then a built-in charcoal grill can be a game-changer. Not only does it add value to your home, but also enhances your cooking experience by infusing smoky flavor into your meats and vegetables. However, with so many options available in the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. That’s why we have curated this article for you featuring the best-built-in charcoal grills based on Consumer Reports ratings along with essential factors to consider before making your purchase. So let’s dive in!

Top 10 Built-In Charcoal Grill 

*Note: Score is based on our AI score (Editor’s choice and rating).

What Is Built-In Charcoal Grill?

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A built-in charcoal grill is a permanent fixture that you install in your backyard or outdoor kitchen. It’s usually made of high-quality stainless steel, which makes it durable and long-lasting. Unlike portable grills, a built-in charcoal grill is stationary and cannot be moved around easily.

The design of a built-in charcoal grill typically features an open flame fueled by natural wood lump coals or briquettes. The heat generated from burning the charcoals radiates upwards to cook food placed on the grate above it. This method of cooking adds an unmistakable smoky flavor to your meats that other types of grilling can’t replicate.

Built-in charcoal grills come in different sizes, shapes, and styles depending on your needs. Some models have additional features such as adjustable dampers for temperature control, ash pans for easy cleanup, and rotisserie attachments for slow-roasting large cuts of meat.

One advantage of having a built-in charcoal grill is that you don’t need to worry about running out of propane gas or electricity when entertaining guests outdoors. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive compared to their gas-powered counterparts while giving better flavors.

If you’re looking for an authentic BBQ experience with unmatched flavor profiles at home without breaking the bank; then a built-in charcoal grill might be just what you need!

How Does Built-In Charcoal Grill Work?

Built-in charcoal grills use a simple but effective mechanism that allows you to cook your meals with the authentic flavor and smoky aroma. The grill is designed with an adjustable vent system, which helps regulate the airflow into the chamber where you place your charcoal or wood.

The charcoal or wood is then lit up using a starter such as lighter fluid, electric starters, or chimney starters. Once ignited, the coals heat up and start emitting smoke which infuses into your food giving it its unique taste.

The cooking surface of built-in charcoal grills features multiple grates made of cast iron, stainless steel or porcelain-coated material. These are placed over the firebox where you can adjust them based on how much heat intensity you need for any particular item that you’re cooking.

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As air flows through vents strategically positioned throughout the unit’s interior and exterior walls, it carries oxygen to keep burning fuel hot while preventing flare-ups caused by too much oxygen being introduced at once. This process ensures even heating across all surfaces without requiring constant adjustment from users during cooking sessions.

Built-in charcoal grills are an excellent choice for those who enjoy outdoor cooking experiences and value authentic flavors in their meals.

The Different Types of Built-In Charcoal Grill

There are a few different types of built-in charcoal grills that you can choose from, depending on your needs and preferences.

One common type is the kamado grill, which is known for its versatility and ability to maintain heat over long periods of time. These grills are often made from ceramic or other insulated materials, which helps them retain heat even in cold temperatures.

Another popular option is the barrel grill, which offers a more traditional look and feel. These grills feature a large cooking surface area and are typically made from durable steel.

For those who want something more compact, there are also tabletop charcoal grills available. These small but mighty grills can easily be transported to outdoor events or used in smaller spaces like balconies or patios.

There are hybrid models that combine both gas and charcoal capabilities. This type of grill allows for greater flexibility when it comes to cooking methods and temperatures.

No matter what type of built-in charcoal grill you choose, make sure to consider factors such as size, material quality, and ease of use before making your purchase decision.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Built-In Charcoal Grill

Before investing in a built-in charcoal grill, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, determine the size of the grill that will best suit your needs. Consider how much cooking space you require and whether you need additional features like side burners or warming racks.

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Another crucial factor is the material used for construction. Look for a durable and long-lasting material such as stainless steel or cast iron grates. Additionally, consider the ventilation system of the grill to ensure proper airflow and heat distribution.

The type of fuel source required is also essential when selecting a built-in charcoal grill. Charcoal grills can use either traditional lump charcoal or briquettes, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

It’s also important to evaluate your budget before making any purchase decisions. Built-in charcoal grills can range from affordable options to high-end models with advanced features.

Don’t forget about maintenance requirements when selecting a built-in charcoal grill. Consider ease of cleaning and upkeep before making your final decision.

By carefully considering these factors beforehand, you’ll be able to select a built-in charcoal grill that meets all your needs while staying within budget constraints.

Benefits of Using Built-In Charcoal Grill

One of the most significant benefits of using a built-in charcoal grill is that it infuses an unmatched smoky flavor into your food. Charcoal grilling adds a unique taste and aroma to your meat, vegetables, or any other item you cook on it.

Moreover, charcoal grills generate higher temperatures than gas grills, making them ideal for searing steaks and achieving crispy skin on poultry. Additionally, they provide excellent heat control allowing you to adjust the temperature according to what you’re cooking.

Another benefit of using a built-in charcoal grill is its versatility. You can use it as both a smoker and a roaster by adding wood chips or chunks to create smoke and indirect heat.

Charcoal grilling also gives you greater mobility since no electricity or fuel line is required. This feature makes them ideal for backyard parties, camping trips or tailgating events where power sources are not readily available.

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Furthermore, built-in charcoal grills are durable and long-lasting with minimal maintenance needed compared to gas models that require regular cleaning and replacement parts such as burners.

If you’re looking for an outdoor cooking experience that delivers exceptional flavor while being versatile enough to handle all types of food items – from burgers and hot dogs to smoked brisket – then invest in a quality-built charcoal grill today!

The Pros and Cons of Built-In Charcoal Grill

Built-in charcoal grills have their own unique advantages and disadvantages compared to other types of grills. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if a built-in charcoal grill is right for you.

One of the main advantages of a built-in charcoal grill is its ability to provide an authentic smoky flavor that cannot be replicated by gas or electric grills. Charcoal also burns hotter than gas, allowing for better searing and browning of meats.
Another advantage is the versatility in cooking styles it offers – from smoking meat low-and-slow, roasting whole chickens or turkeys, or even baking pizza. Built-in charcoal grills can handle it all.
In terms of aesthetics, built-ins tend to look more elegant and natural in outdoor kitchen settings than freestanding models.

The most significant disadvantage with a built-in charcoal grill is the amount of time required to set up and heat up coals before cooking can begin – this process could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your preferred temperature range.
Another con is that they require frequent cleaning after each use due to ash buildup which can be messy. This might not appeal too much since taking care of them requires quite some effort compared with other types like electric or propane-powered ones.
There’s always potential safety hazards associated with any type of fire-based cooking method. With proper precautions such as adequate ventilation systems installed while installing these units will help mitigate the risk.

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If you’re willing to invest time into perfecting your technique for using one efficiently then a built-in charcoal grill could be ideal for creating restaurant-quality meals at home!

Tips For Setting Up Your Built-In Charcoal Grill

Setting up your built-in charcoal grill can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re new to grilling. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Make sure that your grill is installed in a safe and secure location. It should not be surrounded by combustible materials or located near anything flammable.

Next, clean the cooking surface of the grill before using it for the first time. This will remove any debris or leftover manufacturing residue that could affect the taste of your food.

When lighting the charcoal, use natural lighter fluid or fire starters instead of petroleum-based products. These can leave an unpleasant taste on your food and may also pose health risks.

Once the coals have been lit, arrange them in a way that creates different temperature zones on the cooking surface. This will allow you to cook different foods at varying levels of heat without burning anything.

Invest in good quality tools like tongs and spatulas to ensure that you can handle hot items safely while grilling. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to mastering your built-in charcoal grill!


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) provide answers to common questions that people have about a specific topic. When it comes to built-in charcoal grills, there are a few questions that people may frequently ask.

One common question is “How do I clean my built-in charcoal grill?” It’s important to clean your grill after each use by removing the ashes and wiping down the grates with a wire brush. You can also wash the grates with soap and water as needed.

Another question might be “What type of fuel should I use in my built-in charcoal grill?” The most commonly used fuel for these types of grills is natural hardwood lump charcoal or briquettes. Avoid using lighter fluid as it can leave an unpleasant taste on your food.

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People may also wonder how long it takes to cook certain foods on a built-in charcoal grill. The cooking time will depend on what you’re cooking and how hot your grill is. A general rule of thumb is to preheat your grill for 10-15 minutes before adding your food, and then cook until the internal temperature reaches safe levels.

Some individuals may want to know if they need any special tools or equipment to install their built-in charcoal grill. Yes, you’ll need some basic construction tools such as a drill, level, screws, and mounting brackets for installation.

Knowing the answers to these FAQs will help ensure that you get optimal performance from your built-in charcoal grill while also enjoying deliciously cooked meals!


A built-in charcoal grill is an excellent addition to any outdoor kitchen. It provides the perfect smoky flavor to your grilled food and allows you to cook with precision and control. When shopping for a built-in charcoal grill, keep in mind the different types available, your cooking needs, and the space you have.

We hope this article has helped you understand what a built-in charcoal grill is and how it works. We’ve also discussed the benefits of using one, as well as some tips on setting it up properly.

Remember that investing in a high-quality built-in charcoal grill will provide you with years of delicious meals and enjoyable grilling experiences. With our list of consumer reports for best-built in charcoal grills to guide you, we’re sure that you’ll find one that meets all your requirements!

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