Best Portable Charcoal Grills For Camping to Cook Glorious Dishes in The Wild

When it comes to look for the best portable charcoal grills for camping that provide low heat smoking, high heat grilling and feature compact design, the Char-Griller E06614 comes to the field to show its exciting features. For the compatible and portable structure, porcelain interior and super easy mobility, you can count on this beautiful Kamado-style grill.

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There are hundreds of camping grills out there in the market with a bunch of price range, but considering the portability, durability, performance, and awesome look, it will be a great value for money.

  • Triple-walled structure and porcelain interior to retain heat
  • Large temperature control ranges from 200-700°F
  • Durable construction of steel for great shelf life
  • 153 sq. inches cooking grate for plenty of cooking area
  • Removable ash pan to make cleaning easy
  • Adjustable vents to control cooking temperature
  • Side handles for easy mobility

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Overview of The Char-Griller E06614 Portable Charcoal Grill For Camping

This 37 pounds lightweight and compact Kamado-style charcoal grill has a larger dimension and 153 square inches of primary cooking space that is made of ceramic material and an alloy steel sturdy frame. For its size, it is really easy to carry for camping or any other backyard/outdoor party.

The ceramic interior of this charcoal grill provides adequate heating to enhance flavor without costing much fuel in the wild. Also, it withstands high heat and holds heat, shams, and the internal cooking environment just like expensive clay ovens, so you can cook food like ribs, veggies, pizza, bread along with grilling up a steak. 

It has a built-in temperature gauge and an easy dump ash pan. It has a triple wall and porcelain interior that retains heat and maintains the temp from 200°F to 700°F. 

Who needs even more temp to grill on their camping trip? It’s cast iron space provides plenty of room to grill in the park, camping, backyard, or tailgating. 

The grill comes with adjustable vents on the top and bottom that maintain airflow, which helps control heat, so it is perfect for searing at a high temp or smoking at a low temp. Also, it has two handles for easy moving.

The grates are made of cast iron that distributes heat through the cooking surface evenly to ensure faster cooking. It has a tripod design provided by three sturdy legs that help the grill to stand still.

The taste and the flavor of cooking are just like those of a full-sized model. Its built-in temperature gauge will let you know about the whereabouts of your food so that you can know the cooking conditions inside the grill without removing the lid that is convenient, especially for smoking. 

Considering all the outstanding features mentioned above, the Char-Griller E06614 Portable Grill can be a very good charcoal grill for your camping adventure.

Some Special Features that Make Me Surprised

Besides the regular features, this grill has some unique characteristics that made me impressed, and I’m sure you will love this, too.

  • Being only 21.5 inches, this budget-friendly grill provides excellent performance with its compact and versatile body.
  • A triple insulated wall also helps to control the temperature as it prevents heat from escaping.
  • I can control the temperature from 200°F up to 700°F, which is really a big range.
  • The cleaning process is as simple as cleaning a tea kettle. 
  • This grill provides both direct and indirect heating systems so you can easily make different types of foods.

What to Look for Before You Buy a Charcoal Camping Grill

Material

The most popular material for a charcoal grill is ceramic or enameled steel. But you will find many metal models in the market. However, each material has its benefits and disadvantages. It is up to you which will fit your needs best.

Ceramic is more popular than the other materials for its rust-resistant quality and quick heating ability. But if you are more concerned with the portability, you can opt for a metal grill that you can move easily.

Size

Any grill machine comes with a variety of size ranges, from small to huge. For a portable grill, the moderate size is up to 300 square inches, which is enough for making food for 4-5 people at a time. 

There are many full-size grills that are 600 square inches or even more. But as you are looking for a portable grill, 300 squares is enough.

If you frequently have a lot of guests at your home, you will need a grill with enough work surface. If your case is not so and is just buying for your family, you can go with your preferred size. Some models also offer additional work surfaces with an extra trolley and table.

Weight

Most of the models of charcoal grills are heavy that makes it inconvenient to carry them. If you have to move it frequently around your home or backyard, you can choose the grill with wheels. 

Ceramic grills have good weight, and they may fall and crack while moving. So, be careful when moving yours.

Compactness And Ease Of Assembling

As you are searching for a portable grill that must be small and compact so that you can take it in a car, RVs, or even your backpacks and move it here and there easily.

So, if it should have removable and sturdy legs and handles and can be folded down and packed quickly. Therefore, it should have a quick assembling/ disassembling feature so that you can easily pack it with you anywhere you go. 

The legs have to be sturdy enough to avoid the risk of falling while cooking. As you may want to carry it more often, the handles also have to be sturdy enough.

Easy to Clean or Not

In cooking, cleaning is another task that pulls you back at the last moment, and you drop the plan instead of your craving. So, choose a grill that will be easy to clean so that you won’t wait for the weekend to have a bar-b-que.

The weight of your grill, the depth of the charcoal bin, and the presence of ash drawers make things easier or a bit difficult while cleaning it.

Vents

You can control the temperature of your charcoal bar-b-que by positioning the vents. These adjustable vents can be controlled by simply spinning and allowing more or less airflow through it that will let you cook a big steak on a high heat keeping the inside juicy or grilling chicken, fish slowly. You will be left with just hot grilling if you buy a grill without vents.

Durability 

Though you will always try to choose a lightweight grill, you should make sure that it is solidly built. Lightweight and portable grills are not necessarily flimsy and not durable.

Basically, the grade of material used in it and the cleaning, seasoning processes mostly determine how long it will last.

Grill Grates

The material of grill grates are cast iron, stainless steel, porcelain-enameled, coated aluminum, etc. While it comes to distribute even heating throughout the whole surface, cast iron is the better option. The grates should be sturdy enough to hold weight on it.

Moreover, the grates should fit well on the grill, letting you put enough charcoal. You should make sure that the material of the grates should not rust easily and should be easy to clean as these parts directly come in contact with your food while cooking. 

Lid 

A snug-fitting lid is a must while cooking anything indirectly. Therefore, it will be better to have a locking system with the lid while cooking. It will also make the transportation easy with some necessary items inside the main chamber (like fuel, charcoal chimney, and other tools).

If the lid does not fit tightly, the fuel will get in contact with oxygen and burn hot, so you will not be able to maintain your desired temperatures for different dishes. Thus, only the sides of the food will be cooked. 

Ease of Storage 

As you won’t use your charcoal grill every now and then, you have to store it with care till the next use. So, if you have a space issue, you should consider how much space it will take in your shelf or cabinet.

Accessories or Bonuses

Some manufacturers provide free carry bags or some small accessories. Anyway, you can buy additional charcoal chimney, heat resistant gloves that will go with any grill. 

Try to collect the table and covers from the manufacturer that are specifically designed for the particular grill. Charcoal drawers, ash drawers, trays for grease make your cooking time easy and hassle-free.

What I love of This Camping Grill

  • Unbeatable Flavor

Kamado-style grills usually provide a fantastic flavor. Speaking about the Char-Griller E06614 grill, it gives you an intense, succulent taste along with the flavor. 

  • User-friendly Design

The grill has become popular for its efficiency and beginner-friendly structure. Those who are grilling the first time will love this product as it is very simple to operate. 

  • Size

The grilling grate is 14 inches in diameter that provides 153 sq. inches of cooking space by which you can easily cook up to eight hamburger patties. 

  • Ceramic Interior

A grill that does not insulate the heat properly is a waste of money because it will take more fuel and a longer time to cook food. 

But the Kamado grill has a ceramic interior that helps to denser the heat and cook the food at a very high temperature, and seals the flavor to make the food more delicious. 

  • Versatile Grill

It is not only used as a charcoal grill but also can be used as a smoker for its enclosed shell design. The solid lids with a well-built hinge retain heat. The grill produces convection heat that lends the unit to a variety of food applications. 

  • Temperature Gauge

Cooking with a temperature gauze is really a good experience. This grill comes with an internal temperature gauge that helps to keep an eye on the inside temperature of the machine. 

  • Lightweight

The weight of this product is about 37 pounds that is really lightweight, making the grill easy to transport.  

  • Easy to Assemble

The grill comes assembled just apart from the lid, stands, and handles that won’t take more than 15 minutes.

Durability and Construction Materials

The outside of the grill is made of thick steel that represents the traditional ceramic egg-shaped grill design. The inside is covered by patented ceramic material, which is created by the Char-Griller.

This grill is made up of twenty-two gauge steel, and the external finish is made of powder-coated steel, and the interior is made of porcelain-coated steel. So it is considered a solid steel construction.

What I Don’t Like

Does Not Have Wheels: Unfortunately, this grill has no wheels that would make the grill more portable. If you want to take this for hiking, you may be disappointed at this time. But, it has a couple of handles by which you can easily move the grill from point A to point B. 

Lack Of Non-Stick Porcelain Glaze: The grill grates are made of cast iron that retains heat and helps to sear food. I felt a need for a non-stick porcelain glaze that is often seen in the other grill. You can use cooking gloves to avoid burning. 

Flimsy Handle: The carrying handles are not sturdy enough so you should carry it carefully.

Essential Accessories for Char-Griller E06614

If you want to get the best from your charcoal grill, you should keep the following accessories in stock.

Heat Detectors

Heat detectors are essentially some plates that work as a barrier between the charcoal’s heat and the food. Thus they are great to provide indirect heat to your foods. 

Indirect heating is necessary when you want to smoke something like ribs, whole chicken or turkey, tender brisket, etc., or set up the grill for baking.

Extended Cooking Racks

Won’t it be great if you could cook more than one dish at a time? The extended cooking racks are made to make this possible. 

When you need extra space to cook more food at the same time, you can just insert these racks over the main grilling grate. Thus you will be able to finish the other dishes with your main dish.  These come in handy when you are in haste, or you have limited fuel. 

Sear Grates

This charcoal grill provides a very high temperature that you will need for searing. If you are particular about perfectly seared steaks, sear grates will bring you professional results with those deep-brown seared marks. 

Rib Racks

Since this charcoal grill is great for smoking as well, you can grab some rib racks to smoke ribs perfectly. You can take advantage of fitting several racks to cook a lot of ribs at a time. So, if your group is quite large, don’t forget to take some rib racks in your camping backpacks.

Pizza Stones

This type of kamado grills will also be great for baking pizza for its insulated structure and very high heating capacity. A pizza stone in your stock will let you cook delicious wood-fired pizza like a chef. 

So if you want to arrange a pizza party on the next camping trip, collect these handy pizza stones for crisp-crust pizzas on your own. 

Grate Lifter

A grate lifter is a highly recommended tool for any Kamado grill user. These little tools come in handy while lifting and handling extremely hot grates. 

Since you won’t want the least risk of barbequing your hands, always keep this little tool nearby. However, if your grill is moderately heated, a grate lifter will be great to keep your hand clean while setting it up.

Charcoal Ash

A charcoal ash tool is another highly recommended tool for any charcoal grill user. While preheating the charcoal, this little tool is convenient to stir charcoal and distribute even heating everywhere. You will need it while removing the ashes from the grill.

Forced Air Temperature Controller

In such a Kamado-style grill, the temperature will vary depending on the amount of air passing through it. When you want to set the temperature of this Kamado grill on autopilot, a forced air temperature controller comes in handy.

Chimney Starter

A chimney starter is a great option for easy ignition and a quickfire without any added chemicals. Lighter fluid is also a popular way to ignite the charcoal, but the smelly fumes coming from it will be absorbed in the flavor of your dishes. That is why you will get the chimney starter more efficiently in this job.

Wood Chunk

If you love to try different dishes, you would better keep a variety of smoking wood chunks in stock. Different wood chunks go with different foods.

To enhance the flavor or create a blended flavor profile of your dishes, you can also combine varieties of smoking woods and experiment.

Natural Lump Charcoal

Natural lump charcoal comes of pure carbon (without any presence of additives). Charcoal briquettes are also very popular. But they contain fire igniting additives that may add a chemical taste to your dishes. 

Assembly Process of This Char-Griller Kamado-Style Grill

Assembling the grill is not that complicated. You may feel that it is more than putting a simple kettle grill, but you can assemble it easily with a little basic mechanical knowledge. You will just need some tools that you may already have in your house. It should take an hour or one and a half to set the machine. 

You will get a user manual with the charcoal grill. It has mentioned all the tools that you will need and all the directions with figures so you can assemble it without any hassle. 

The hardware package comes with twenty-four items. You will need a 7/16″ nut driver, but this tool is not included in the packaging. It will help to attach the parts with one another by the screws. 

Step–1: Unbox the grill, remove all the packages and stickers from the parts of the machine. 

Step–2: You will need to install the side handles. The nut driver will help to install the handles with the screws and help them to remain attached to the body.

Step–3: Now install three sets of the leg-to-leg sockets. Then assemble the legs to the Firebox. 

Step–4: Attach the lid with the base and lock it using the screws.

Step–5: Install the hood handle with the hood. Now install the damper.

Step–6: Match the left and right latches and also install the bottom piece. 

Step–7: To install the ash pan, firstly, push it up from beneath the body. Make sure that the hanger tab can go over the hanger wire, having the pan out through the front side of the grill slightly. Now place the ash pan center by pushing it inward. Always keep the ash-pan hanger tab over the hanger wire.  

Step–8: Lastly, you can easily Install the fire grate, cooking grates, and the fire bowl.

That’s it! Once you have completed all the steps mentioned above, the grill is ready to cook your desired food. 

Guide for Safe Use

Before starting to use the grill, you must season the cooking grates. This process will burn off the coating used for protecting the machine from sudden hits during shipping. It also protects the cast iron from rusting when you prepare it for use.

  • Wash the cooking grates thoroughly with warm soapy water.
  • Rinse them and dry completely using a towel
  • Do not let them air dry
  • Do not put the grates or other parts of the machine into the dishwasher
  • When the grates become dry, thoroughly coat both sides of the grate with shortening or vegetable oil
  • Now use the fire grate and build a medium-sized fire. The ideal place to put charcoal is the top of the fire grate
  • Never put charcoal directly in the bottom of your grill
  • Once the coals ash is over, spread the coals and close the lid. Now heat at about 400°F for an hour. It will burn off the residues (if any) left from manufacturing and shipping and also will season the cast iron cooking grates.
  • You should season the grill periodically to increase the shelf life of the cooking grates.

Important Cooking Instructions

It is recommended to use lump charcoal instead of charcoal briquettes as the lump charcoal contains no fillers or additives. So it creates more efficient burning, better tasting food, and a minimum amount of ash. 

To initiate charcoal fire, you will need 3lbs of Lump charcoal (50-60 briquettes) stacked into a pyramidal structure into the center of the fire grate. 

Now, light the coals at different places so fire starters can be helpful to this step. Do not use kerosene, gasoline, alcohol, or any other similar products for lightening charcoal. These products may cause expulsion and may lead to severe damage and injury. 

Keep the lid open till coals are ignited and white smoke comes out without flame. After lightening the coals and before turning white, you can start to regulate internal dome temperature with the dampers, or you can start grilling. 

You will need 200-225°F for smoking, 300°F for chicken tenders, ribs, and grilling burgers, 325°F for turkey and poultry breast, 350°F for lamb and beef roast, 450+ for searing steaks. Also, if you install a cold smoke generator with this grill, you can easily do cold smoking as well. 

Don’t let the temp. Go above your desired temp., as it is not easy to bring the temp. Low than to go a higher temp. You can control the heat with dual dampers, types and amount of fuel, and with an adjustable fire grate. The more air flows, the more heat will be produced. To get a smoked flavor, you can add soaked hardwood chips. 

Grilling and Smoking With Low Temperature (200-350°F): You will need about 1 pound of large-sized pieces of lump charcoal to create fire in the center of the fire grate. 

Now build a fire. Once the coals are ignited, close the lid and regulate temp. Using dampers and getting the desired setting. 

For Smoking: Follow the lower temp. Cooking instructions (200-350°F). Do not forget to pre-soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes. Soak the chunks for about one and a half hours until the chunks are completely saturated. 

Once you get the desired temperature, sprinkle some soaked chunks or wood chips above the lit charcoal. Now close the lid and let the chips smoke. You can start cooking after a few moments. You may need to add more soaked chips or chunks later if necessary. 

Searing and Grilling With High Temperature (350-650°F)

Take 2-3 pounds of smaller pieces (golf ball-sized) of lump charcoal. It is more than normal for a fire building in the fire grate center. Now build a fire as mentioned above. Close the lid when coals are ignited and regulate temp. Using the dampers. 

If this product gets too hot, it can take a long time to cool down because of its amazing insulation property. So, monitor the temperature while it heats up and carefully adjust the vents. 

Note: The cooking times on a ceramic grill and a traditional grill are not the same. Continue doing an experiment with the cooking time and adjustable vents to explore how much time and temperature you need for cooking different dishes.

Where to Use

When talking about the using place, all I can say, it is the best portable charcoal grills for camping, picnic, and outing as it is specially designed for outdoor and well-ventilated areas. In a nutshell, it is a great choice for tailgating, park, or camping. 

You should always use the grill at least 15 feet away from any inflammable materials, like trees, fences, decks, buildings, bushes, etc. If you want to grill food in your apartment, you will need to buy a grill that is suitable for indoor grilling. 

How to Take Care

As it is an outdoor charcoal grill, you need to take good care of this product and maintain some precautions; otherwise, accidents can occur within a few seconds. 

Firstly, make sure that the grill is properly assembled and be careful when assembling and operating the grill to prevent cuts or scrapes from the sharp edges. 

Don’t use lighter liquids to already lit coals. Keep the children and pets away from the machine. Don’t leave the machine unattached while using and keep supervising it. To prevent straining, move the grill carefully. Also, extreme circumspection should be maintained while adding charcoal or wood. 

Always place the grill in a leveled position, and while using or while containing hot coals or ashes, never move the grill. Don’t forget to latch the lid while it is closed. 

Keep the machine away from any flammable products, liquids, gases, or flammable vapor. When you open the grill, open it slightly and slowly so that a small amount of air can go inside for a few seconds. 

It will prevent a large amount of oxygen from making the coals suffocated that may cause harmful flashbacks. 

When fresh air comes in contact with fire suddenly, the flame can flare up, so be careful about it. While opening the lid, keep your face, hands, and body safe from the flare-up and steam. You can remove excess fat before you start cooking to prevent flare-ups. Also, keeping the grill clean may help to reduce flareups. 

You should always put the charcoal on the top of the fire grate instead of putting it directly to the bottom of the machine. Do not increase the temperature to 700°F; it is not safe. 

Don’t put the charcoal and/or wood to the grill wall for resting, it will greatly reduce the shelf life of the grill. While opening the lid, make sure to push it back so it will rest against the support bracket of the lid. The hood can fall back while closed in position and cause severe injury, so take proper precautions. 

Keep the lid and the dampers to suffocate the flame. While opening the lid, always hold the handle as it prevents unexpected closing of the lid. 

Do not keep ashes or coals unattached; remove them before un-attaching the grill. Put the remaining coals and ashes carefully in a noninflammatory metal container and saturate with water and allow them in the container for about 24 hours before disposing of them. 

If the ashes are left in the grill for a long time, they will hold moisture and may rust the thickness of the steel.

Self-starting charcoal usually creates unusual flavors, so it is better to avoid this. Before closing the lid, make sure to burn all the lighter fluid. Coat the interior grate with some vegetable oil after each use in order to prevent rust. 

To prevent bacterial growth that may cause illness, keep the meat in a refrigerator. Also, you should keep the other foods separate from raw meats and cook the meat thoroughly. 

Use a calibrated food thermometer and follow the USDA guidelines to ensure the minimum safe internal temp. of poultry, meat, seafood, and other cooked foods.

It is suggested to have a fire extinguisher and maintain & check it frequently. It may save you from severe injury to your body or other properties. Do not forget to wear oven mitts, it will protect your hands from burning when you adjust the dampers. Do not touch hot surfaces.

When you are done with cooking, shut the grill down by closing the dampers and allow the fire to suffocate and keep patience as this process may take about one hour or more.

These are some of the general methods you will need to follow to keep your grill workable and last longer. These steps will also help you to protect yourself from unexpected accidents. 

How to Clean

You should clean the grill properly after every use to keep it workable. The grill is comparatively easier to clean than other grills, so you don’t need to provide much effort. 

The things that will help you to clean the grill are— dishwashing liquid, soapy water, spray oil or normal oil, a grill brush, paper towel. 

  • Remove the cooking grates and soak them in soapy water for a few moments. 
  • Now remove the leftover charcoal and dust off the pan using a brush. As a result, all the dust and ashes are deposited into the ashpan. 
  • The grill grates are constructed with cast iron; there is no protective coating. As a result, food tends to stick and needs some extra attention. Clean them with a wire grill brush. 
  • Cleaning The Ashes: Knock the fire grate so that the stacked ashes (if any) can fall into the ash pan. If any partially burned charcoal remains in the fire grate, you can save it for later cause they are still workable.
  • The bottom ash can be detached easily. Knock both sides of the fire bowl and lose the ashes that are stuck on the sides. 
  • Now detach the ash pan from beneath the grill, slide it out towards the frontside. Tap the ash pan to loosen any stuck ash.  
  • Finally, through the ashes into a metal container and pour water to make sure there are no burning coals, and dispose of the ashes.
  • Clean the grates with a wire grill brush, place them back to their position within the grill.
  • Now go back to the cooking grates and clean them with the same brush. Then wash it and dry it with a paper towel. 
  • Once the grates become dry, spray some oil and lightly coat the grates with a little bit of shortening. Or, you can grease the grates lightly, it will help easy cleaning. 

Re-seasoning

Hit the grill from 275°F up to 300°F for one to one and a half hours. After every use, the grates may need to be reseasoned. Coat the grates with vegetable oil, close the lid and leave the cast iron grates until it cools down. 

Avoid using the burn-off method after cooking if you are going to clean the cast iron grates. If rust appears on the cast iron grates, it indicates improper reseasoning. These grates are not warranted against rust. 

FAQs You May Need To Know

  • How does the grill handle steak?

As the grill provides better temperature control, it becomes easy to cook thick cuts of steak. Also, cooking a thin cut of steaks is not recommended as we do with most of the charcoal grill. You should use steaks that are one and a half inches thick.

  • How many steaks can this model grill at a time?

It will vary from the size and cut of the steak. This grill can handle 3 medium-sized ribeyes. If you want to handle a large family gathering, it probably will not help you. 

  • If it is used indoors, will the smoke alarm start ringing? 

It will be unwise if you use this grill indoors as it is structurally and functionality made for outdoor use. Aso, the amount of heat and smoke is not safe for indoor use. 

It can bring any kind of accident within the blink of your eyes. So, definitely, the smoke alarm will go off, but initially, you won’t hear the sound. Besides, you will be attacked by carbon monoxide. 

  • Can I use it on a plastic table? 

It is recommended by Char-Griller to place the grill on a concrete or metal surface and keep the grill away from any flammable product. But many people use it over plastic tables without any issues. If you want to use the plastic table, make sure that the quality of the plastic is good enough to hold heat. 

  • How to find a waterproof cover for this grill?

It is really a difficult task. This grill doesn’t come with a cover. You will need something that matches the size and shape of the grill. Some people use a garbage bag to cover it, and it works pretty well.

Conclusion 

The best thing I can say about the Char-Griller E06614 is that you will get a mouth-watering flavor of smoking, grilling, and baking, the function is just like a traditional Kamado grill with so many exciting features at a comparatively lower cost. If you are in search of an outdoor grill you can choose it undoubtedly as it is one of the best portable charcoal grills for camping, picnic, or outside parties.

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