The best charcoal grills are not necessarily the most expensive ones. While the more expensive grills are made of high quality materials and are finely crafted, there are many inexpensive models on the market that make excellent choices for the backyard grill master to be in your home. When you are shopping for a grill, check to see how easy it is to assemble. The more parts there are the more complicated it will be. Plan to spend about one to two hours assembling your new charcoal grill. Some of the more elaborate models may take a little more time, but the extra features are usually worth the effort.
The best charcoal grills seal tightly to keep in the heat, smoke and moisture. Inspect the hinges, gauges, handles and dampers to make sure they are durable and fit well. Make sure the lids or doors line up properly, making a tight seal with the body of the unit. See that the racks are well hung to prevent slipping. Make sure the smoke stack fits tightly against the body of the unit.
The best charcoal grills are thick to hold in heat. Steel that is too thin will allow more heat to escape, making it more difficult to maintain the temperature inside the grill. If you will be grilling in the rain or the cold, thick materials are especially important to keep in the heat. Every grill should have a quality, accurate thermometer. If one is not included in your model, it is worth the investment to buy one separately.