American Style Charcoal BBQ Grills Guide to Smoke-Infused Barbecue Bliss

American Style Charcoal BBQ Grills Guide to Smoke-Infused Barbecue Bliss

What is an American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill?

American style charcoal BBQ grills are typically large, freestanding grills designed for slow and smoky cooking. They often come equipped with features like:

  • Lid: A hinged lid helps retain heat and smoke, creating a more oven-like environment for even cooking and infusing food with smoky flavor.
  • Charcoal tray: This adjustable tray allows you to control the distance between the coals and the cooking grate, regulating the cooking temperature.
  • Dampers: Adjustable dampers on the lid and bottom of the grill control airflow, which is crucial for managing heat and smoke.
  • Cast iron grates: These heavy-duty grates retain heat well and sear beautifully, creating those classic grill marks.
  • Side shelves: Providing extra workspace for prepping food and holding utensils.
  • Wheels: For easy maneuverability around your grilling area.
American Style Charcoal BBQ

Benefits of Using an American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill:

  • Rich, smoky flavor: Charcoal grilling infuses food with a unique smoky taste that gas grills can't replicate.
  • Versatility: These grills can be used for direct grilling, indirect grilling for slow cooking, and even smoking.
  • Durability: American style grills are often built with sturdy materials like porcelain-coated steel or stainless steel for long-lasting use.
  • Sense of accomplishment: There's a certain satisfaction that comes from mastering the art of charcoal grilling.

Key Features to Look For in an American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill:

  • Size: Consider the amount of food you typically cook and available space.
  • Material: Porcelain-coated steel or stainless steel offer good durability and heat retention.
  • Cooking grate material: Cast iron is a popular choice for even heat distribution and searing.
  • Adjustability: Look for a height-adjustable charcoal tray and dampers for precise temperature control.
  • Extra features: Side shelves, wheels, a bottle opener, or a warming rack can add convenience.
  • Durability: Thicker gauge steel and quality welds indicate a longer lifespan.
  • Warranty: A good warranty provides peace of mind.

By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect American style charcoal BBQ grill for your grilling needs and preferences.

Product Reviews and Comparisons

  1. VonHaus XL American-Style Charcoal BBQ Grill Review

    This feature-packed smoker is perfect for feeding a crowd at your next backyard bash. Smoke meats like a pro or sear up delicious burgers and veggies – the extra-large cooking surface ensures there's enough space for everyone's favorites.

    Here's what makes this grill the king of the backyard:

    • 2-in-1 Functionality: Switch between traditional grilling and slow-smoking with ease, keeping all your guests happy.
    • Ample Storage: Fold-out side shelves, a lower shelf, and handy hanging hooks keep everything organized while you grill.
    • Built-in Bottle Opener: A must-have for any grill master! Stay refreshed with a cold beverage without ever leaving the cooking zone.
    • Adjustable Heat Control: Fine-tune the temperature for perfect results every time. Five height settings, a front access door for adding charcoal, and adjustable air vents give you complete control.
    • Easy-to-Read Temperature Gauge: Monitor the heat for optimal cooking conditions.
    • Durable Porcelain-Coated Cast Iron Grill: Enjoy unmatched heat retention for even cooking, along with a non-stick surface for effortless cleanup. Plus, a removable ash tray makes maintaining your grill a breeze.
    • Authentic Wood Smoking: Experience true BBQ flavor by adding wood chips and closing the vents for low and slow smoking.

    This smoker BBQ is built to last and will be your go-to for creating delicious grilled and smoked dishes all summer long.

    XL American Style Charcoal Grill Specifications

    Height (H)113cm
    Width (W)153cm
    Depth (D)54cm
    MaterialPowder coated steel body, porcelain coated cast iron grill, chrome plated steel warming rack
    Assembly requiredYes
    No. of grill heights5
    Cooking grill dimensions (W x D)80cm x 44cm
    Warming rack dimensions (W x D)74cm x 24cm
    Side shelf dimensions (W x D)31cm x 46cm
    Fuel typeWood or charcoal
  2. Best Charcoal BBQ in the UK

    Looking to elevate your outdoor cooking experience with charcoal grilling? Look no further! This guide features the 12 best charcoal BBQs of 2024, tested and reviewed to help you find your perfect match.

    Need more BBQ inspiration? We've got you covered! Check out our:

    • Barbecue recipe ideas to get you started.
    • Reviews section for more top picks, including portable, gas, and budget-friendly grills, as well as the best barbecue boxes and pizza ovens.

    Top 12 Charcoal BBQs at a Glance:

    Best OverallKamado Joe Konnected Joe£1,795
    Best WeberWeber Master Touch£285
    Best SmokerBig Green Egg Large£1,760
    Best LargeVonHaus XL American£239.99
    Best for FamiliesChar-Broil Kettleman£212.99
    Best PortableLotus Grill£175
    Best for Social GatheringsChar-Broil Charcoal L£287.99
    Best for Small SpacesBig Green Egg MiniMax£820
    Best for TravelEverdure Cube£222.80
    User-Friendly KettleNapoleon 22" Charcoal£245.99
    Best Under £200VonHaus Compact£119.99
    Best Classic KettleWeber Classic£204.99
  3. Where to Buy American Style Charcoal BBQ Grills
    • American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill UK
      • Appliances Direct offers a variety of American Style Charcoal BBQ Grills. Their selection includes brands like Landmann and Char-Broil. Prices typically range from £100 to £500.
      • VonHaus sells their own brand of American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill. It is a compact and affordable option, priced at around £120.
      • ManoMano is a marketplace where you can find a variety of American Style Charcoal BBQ Grills from different retailers. Prices and brands will vary.
      • Sweeek offers an American-style charcoal smoker barbecue. This option is good for those who want to smoke meats as well as grill. It is priced at around £285.

      When choosing an American Style Charcoal BBQ Grill, consider the size of your patio or garden, how many people you typically cook for, and your budget. You should also think about the features that are important to you, such as a side shelf, a warming rack, or a built-in thermometer.

    • American Style Charcoal BBQ at Tesco
    • American Style Charcoal BBQ at Asda
    • American Style Charcoal BBQ at Argos
  4. Accessories and Maintenance
    • Argos Home American Style Charcoal BBQ Instructions


      • Charcoal Chimney Starter: A charcoal chimney starter makes it easier and safer to light charcoal. It allows you to quickly heat charcoal without using lighter fluid, which can impart an unpleasant taste to your food.

      • Grill Brush: A sturdy grill brush is essential for cleaning the cooking grates after each use. A combination brush with a scraper is ideal for removing stubborn food particles and grease.

      • Grill Cover: A protective grill cover will help to extend the life of your VonHaus BBQ grill. It shields it from rain, snow, and other elements, preventing rust and corrosion.

      • Grill Gloves: A pair of heat-resistant gloves is essential for handling hot grill grates and managing charcoal.

      • Grill Tools: A set of grill tools, including tongs, a spatula, and a fork, will make it easier to flip, move, and serve your food.

      • Meat Thermometer: A digital meat thermometer is a must-have for ensuring your food is cooked to the perfect internal temperature.

      • Charcoal Baskets: Charcoal baskets help manage the charcoal and make it easier to distribute the heat evenly. They also make it easier to remove the ashes after grilling.


      • Clean the Grill After Each Use: Clean the cooking grates with a grill brush while they are still warm. This will make it easier to remove food debris and grease.

      • Empty the Ash Catcher: Regularly empty the ash catcher to prevent buildup and ensure proper airflow.

      • Clean the Exterior: Wipe down the exterior of the grill with a damp cloth to remove any food splatters or debris.

      • Apply Protective Coating: If your VonHaus BBQ grill has a porcelain-coated surface, apply a protective coating as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent rust and corrosion.

      • Store Properly: During the off-season, store your grill in a dry, covered area.

      Argos Home American Style Charcoal BBQ Instructions:

      The Argos Home American Style Charcoal BBQ is a similar product, but with slightly different features and instructions. You can find the specific instructions for your model online, usually on the Argos website or in the instruction manual that came with the grill.

      General Instructions:

      1. Assembly: Carefully follow the instructions included with your grill to assemble it correctly.

      2. Charcoal Preparation: Fill the charcoal tray with charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. Use a chimney starter to light the charcoal evenly.

      3. Preheating: Allow the grill to preheat for 15-20 minutes to ensure even heat distribution.

      4. Cooking: Place your food on the grill grates and cook to your desired doneness. Adjust the dampers and the height of the charcoal tray to control the temperature.

      5. Cleanup: Once you're finished grilling, clean the grill grates, empty the ash catcher, and store it in a dry place.

      Remember to always follow the specific instructions provided with your grill for safe and proper operation.

      • Size: Make sure the cover is large enough to fully enclose your grill. You'll want a little extra room to account for side shelves or a warming rack.
      • Material: Look for a cover made from a durable, weather-resistant material like polyester or vinyl. These materials will protect your grill from rain, snow, sun damage, and dust.
      • Features: Some covers offer additional features like vents to prevent moisture build-up, straps to secure the cover in windy conditions, and storage pockets for BBQ tools.Argos Home American Style Charcoal BBQ Cover

        Argos BBQ covers

        Here are some things to consider when choosing a BBQ cover for your American style charcoal grill:

Charcoal and BBQ Techniques

  1. Types of Charcoal and Their Uses

    What Are the Different Types of Charcoal for BBQ?

    When it comes to BBQs, charcoal choice can significantly impact the flavor and success of your cookout. Here's a breakdown of the different types and their uses:

    1. Lump Charcoal:

    • The King of Sear: Lump charcoal burns hotter and faster than other options, making it ideal for searing steaks, burgers, and vegetables.
    • Smoke Signals: Since it's pure hardwood, lump charcoal delivers a robust smoky flavor that infuses your food.
    • The Downside: It burns out quicker than briquettes, requiring more frequent refilling. You might also find it a bit more expensive.

    1. Briquettes:

    • The Long Burner: Briquettes are formed by compressing charcoal dust and binding agents, resulting in a longer burning time compared to lump charcoal. This makes them perfect for low and slow cooking, like smoking meats and maintaining a steady temperature.
    • Consistent Heat: Briquettes are known for their consistent heat output, making them a reliable choice for longer cooks.
    • Flavor Trade-off: While convenient, briquettes often lack the intense smoky flavor of lump charcoal. They may also contain fillers that can affect the taste.

    1. Hardwood Briquettes:

      Hardwood Briquettes

    • The Smoky Briquette: Similar to regular briquettes, hardwood briquettes offer extended burn time. However, they're made from compressed hardwood scraps, delivering a more pronounced smoky flavor compared to standard briquettes.
    • Price Point: Expect to pay slightly more for hardwood briquettes compared to regular briquettes.

    1. Bincho-tan Charcoal:

      Bincho-tan Charcoal

    • The Connoisseur's Choice: This rare and expensive charcoal comes from white oak and burns exceptionally hot with minimal smoke. It's ideal for delicate grilling of seafood or vegetables, where smoke isn't desired.
    • Luxury Price Tag: Be prepared for a hefty price tag, as bincho-tan is not widely available and considered a premium product.

    1. Coconut Shell Charcoal:

      Coconut Shell Charcoal

    • Eco-Friendly Option: Made from recycled coconut shells, this charcoal burns hot and clean with a slightly sweet flavor. It's a sustainable choice for environmentally conscious grillers.
    • Availability: You might not find coconut shell charcoal readily everywhere. It can also be more expensive than regular briquettes.

    Choosing Your Perfect Charcoal:

    The best charcoal boils down to what you're cooking and the desired flavor profile:

    • High Heat & Smoky Flavor (Steaks, Burgers): Go for lump charcoal.
    • Low & Slow Cooking (Smoking): Briquettes or hardwood briquettes are your best bet.
    • Delicate Grilling (Seafood, Vegetables): Bincho-tan is ideal, but consider coconut shell charcoal for a more accessible option.
    • Eco-Conscious Choice: Coconut shell charcoal is a great sustainable alternative.

    Bonus Tip: Experiment with mixing lump charcoal and briquettes to find the perfect balance between heat control and smoky flavor for your grilling style!

  2. American BBQ Styles and TechniquesWhat Are the Four Types of American BBQ?

    A Taste of Tradition: Regional BBQ Styles Across the USA

    Texas BBQ: Where Beef is King

    Texas BBQ is a bold statement, much like the state itself. Here, slow-smoked brisket reigns supreme, boasting a perfect balance of sweet and smoky flavors that melt in your mouth.

    Carolina BBQ: A Pork Paradise

    Venture to the Carolinas and you'll be greeted by the unmistakable aroma of slow-roasted, pulled pork perfection. Tangy vinegar and mustard-based sauces are a staple, and a side of Brunswick stew, a hearty vegetable and meat stew, is a must-try. Lexington, North Carolina, holds a special place in the hearts of BBQ enthusiasts – a visit there will show you why.

    Memphis BBQ: Smoke & Spice Symphony

    Memphis BBQ is a symphony of smoke and spice. Paprika takes center stage, adding a unique kick to their smoked meats. Hardwood charcoal is the fuel of choice, and BBQ nachos are a local favorite – a testament to their love for all things smoky and delicious.

    Kansas City BBQ: A Celebration of Sauce

    Kansas City BBQ is a celebration of sauce! Here, slow-cooked meats take a backseat to the star – a thick, sweet and tangy sauce that takes the flavor profile to another level. While other regions might discard burnt ends (crispy, caramelized meat pieces from the end of a brisket), Kansas City has elevated them to an art form, a testament to their commitment to maximizing BBQ enjoyment.