How to Choose a Folding Charcoal Grill

A is exactly what it sounds like: a barbecue that folds up so that it's portable. Obviously these types of grills aren't as versatile as a regular BBQ, but it does make it easier to bring along to picnics or take on vacations, and the small size means it takes up less space on the patio or deck.

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  • Easy set up: look for a folding BBQ that has only a few simple steps and can be assembled easily in mere seconds or minutes, without tools.

  • Compact size, when folded: some grills will fold up smaller and flatter than others. If you have a tiny car or a motorcycle (or a bicycle!) and don't have a whole lot of room, the smaller the package, the easier it will be to bring along. Likewise, smaller sizes are handy for homes with limited storage.

  • Stability / durability: Folding charcoal grills tend to be fairly cheap, and for the price you won't get something that lasts forever. But when the barbecue is set up, it should feel solid. You should feel confident that it's not going to tip over or break while you're grilling.

  • Sturdy handles: there should be handles to allow you to move the grill, and they should remain cool even while the BBQ is in use.

  • Optional cover or lid: a cover is great if you intend to slow-cook your food. If you're probably not, then it's no big deal.

  • Carrying case: to make it easier to transport.

  • Size of the cooking surface: look for a portable grill that has enough space to cook all or most of what you'd normally need, in one shot.

  • Stainless steel cooking grate: tough to find in a folding grill, but great if you can get it.

  • Chimney start: some folding grills have a chimney starter system to make lighting the charcoal faster and easier.

  • Air / vent holes? some people like holes in the bottom of the grill, some don't. The hole in the bottom helps air to circulate to help keep the coals hot. On the other hand, if hot ashes drop out of these holes and onto grass, you could have a problem.

  • Ash removal: an easy ash removal feature is a big plus, at least in our eyes - we hate the messiness of cleaning out and disposing of ashes!

A folding charcoal grill is small, convenient, and affordably-priced. They're a great option if you have limited space or you like to be able to bring a BBQ with you when traveling (what would summer holidays be without a barbecue?!). Check out our library of other BBQ tips.



This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!