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Best Charcoal Grills Under $100

Aug 8, 2008
So you've just moved into your new Chicago condo and have a great patio, balcony or terrace just waiting to be used. As long as your building permits it, the summer tradition of barbecuing may be high on your list of things to do this summer. A lot of Chicago real estate, including some of the lofts listed here http://www.bestchicagocondos.com/lofts/index.html already have rooftop building space designated for grilling. Other units may have gas hook-ups already in place and waiting for you to install a gas grill. But some traditionalists and hard core barbeque fans will say that charcoal is the way to go.

With that in mind, along with the fact that many may be on a budget, shopping for a good and reasonably priced charcoal grill is a priority. You could easily spend a couple of hundred for a gourmet grill, but as long as the basic structural details are met and the materials used aren't cheap, you can save your money for some great cuts of meat instead. For less than $100 you can buy a charcoal grill that you can use for more than one season on your condo balcony or back patio, provided to take care of it and don't leave it uncovered in the weather.

There are a few basic styles of charcoal grill. Kettle grills are probably the most common and they actually do resemble a large kettle. Round in shape with normally three or four legs, they are the great for grilling almost any typical meal. The four legged ones often have wheels on two of the legs so that you can easily roll them to another spot. They also often have a small fold down wooden side rack that is handy for sitting plates of food or utensils.

There are also variations on the kettle grill often called portable grills. This style is smaller in size with a more round, flat shape, shorter legs and often no closeable lid or top. They are great for a quick burger or hot dog and are usually very inexpensive, although sometimes don't last as long structurally.

There are rectangular shaped charcoal grills that look a lot like typical gas grills. These grills are often made from heavier metals, sometimes cast iron, and have more grilling surface and greater control over cooking temperature, etc.

With those basic styles in mind, here are a few specific charcoal grill examples with the average price that they are selling for in 2008.

The Weber One Touch Silver kettle grill is a really nice grill for both beginning grill chefs and experienced BBQ masters. The actually grill measures 22.5 inches and will hold about six steaks, a dozen hamburgers or two dozen hot dogs. As with all good kettle grills, the rounded shape reflects heat back inward fairly evenly for great cooking. This grill is made from steel and is porcelain covered to prevent rust and paint peeling. It has three legs with wheels, aluminum vents and ash tray plus nylon handles. The ashes sift into a tray that is easily pulled out and emptied. Prices on this grill run from about $65 to $100.

Another great Webber grill is the Go Anywhere Charcoal Grill. This smaller charcoal grill is constructed from steel and coated with porcelain and has three nylon handles. The grate is made from heavy duty plated steel and the legs pivot and lock to make carrying easy. You can fit a lot of food on the 160 square inches of grilling surface. The Go Anywhere is priced at about $45.

The Old Smokey Barbeque Grill comes in three sizes, but all are made with the same high standards. These grills have shorter legs so you can sit and grill if you get tired of standing and is deeper so that the charcoal fire isn't as close to the meat. This allows meat to cook through without burning on the outside. The body of the Smokey grill is made from aluminized steel to help prevent rust.

The Small Smokey is great for someone to take on trips or for someone who is only grilling for two or three people. It is very inexpensive at about $35.

The Classic Smokey is a good size for cooking for four to six people. It measures about 27 inches tall with an 18 inch diameter. The Classic runs about $47 to $50.

And for a big appetite or crowd on your patio, the Jumbo Old Smokey can handle it. The Jumbo will cost you around $70.

There are dozens of other brands and models of charcoal grills, but these examples should give you an idea of what you need to get started on your grilling adventure. So slide open those balcony doors, step out onto the patio or porch and get all fired up.
About the Author
Paula Cherrist writes articles about Chicago real estate, home trends and housing related topics for About Chicago Real Estate.
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