Charcoal Grill Buying Guide – Your Passion is the Key

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You can become a Pitmaster by following their example. I will show you how using these grill/smokers can help you become a Pitmaster as well. Your passion will be the key to becoming a Pitmaster. This charcoal grill buying guide will show you some of the grills to start out with for awesome flavor. The learning curve with these grills is straightforward and easy to accomplish.

The differences between grills and smokers will often determine how long it will be before you claim the title Pitmaster. Once you have the knowledge of the grill or smoker a Pitmaster uses then you can start your journey of claiming the title Pitmaster

Let’s Look at Grills for Becoming a Pitmaster

There are a large variety of grills out there to help you become a Pitmaster. You may prefer charcoal, pellet, gas or electric. I will help walk you through recognizing the difference between pellet and charcoal in this review.

I will give you information that will help you understand the differences and similarities as well.

ImageDescription$$$Buy Now
Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal GrillRoyal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover$$$Buy Now
Sophia & William 28-Inch Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker, Outdoor BBQ GrillSophia & William 28-Inch Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker, Outdoor BBQ Grill$$Buy Now
Outsunny Charcoal GrillOutsunny 48″ Steel Portable Backyard Charcoal BBQ Grill and Offset Smoker Combo with Wheels$Buy Now

The Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover

Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill
Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker

We will start our review with the Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker. This grill/smoker has a tremendous amount of room for grilling or smoking. Having the amount of room this grill offers should make it easier to become a Pitmaster with just a little time and practice.

Knowing how to set your grill up to get the most heat from your charcoal or wood is one of the keys to becoming a Pitmaster. There are many factors involved in getting the most from your grill. One of the things I do is to use a charcoal starter and chimney to start the process of getting the right temperature.

The dimension of the Royal Gourmet CC1830SC grill and offset smoker are as follows:

Model NameCC1830SC
Power SourceCharcoal
Item Weight54.3 Pounds
Item Dimensions LxWxH53.39 x 27.95 x 48.82 inches

Getting the temperature just right may take a little practice. It does not take long to learn how to arrange your charcoal for the best temperature for grilling.

One little trick is to hold your palm about 6 inches above the grill to tell how hot the grill is. If you can only hold your hand there 2 or 3 seconds then the grill is too hot. Holding your hand there 5 or 6 seconds then the coals are not hot enough. If you can hold your hand there 3 or 4 seconds then you have a nice medium-high heat, just right for grilling.

Learning to Use 811 Square Inches of Cooking Area

If you are planning to do some serious grilling or smoking then this is the grill you would want to use.

You have the main grill area the where you can grill almost anything. You can grill enough about 18 hamburgers at one time. So if you were grilling for 24 people at one time there would not be a problem. The patties would come off quickly enough to do more so everyone could have 2 hamburgers without having to wait.

Steaks are treated about the same way. Make sure that you have enough coals going at one time to be hot enough to grill your steaks. You could even have one end setup to grill some onions and mushrooms to go with the steak.

I use the upper rack with corn and other vegetables that can cook while I am getting the rest of the meal prepped. If you put the corn on the rack allow a bit more time than if you were to put it on the grill. This gives your corn time to cook thoroughly and be ready with the rest of the meal.

Using the Firebox

Most people use the firebox for smoking large pieces of meat. For example ribs, turkeys , chickens, pork butt or brisket, these items take longer to cook and take more time.

Having your heat at the right temperature is critical when smoking one of these items. Personally, I like to go low and slow. This allows all that smoke flavor to penetrate deeply into the meat and give that great smoke flavor.

11 Secrets to Great Grilled Foods

Sophia & William 28-Inch Charcoal Barrel Grill Enhances Flavor

The Sophia & William 28-Inch Charcoal Barrel Grill Enhances Flavor by being large enough to grill or smoke evenly. Having the ability to grill or smoke is important for most people who are looking for versatility.

Managing Your Heat

When choosing this grill, you give yourself several options on how you grill. It is not difficult to grill steaks or burgers on this grill. If you are grilling burgers for a group then you could easily grill about 15 burgers at a time.

As with any offset grill or smoker, managing your heat will be the key to having a good grilling experience. I use a charcoal chimney to start my charcoal. This way I get the maximum use of my charcoal or wood.

I have listed the dimensions of the Sophia & William 28-Inch Charcoal Barrel Grill below.

Manufacturer‎Sophia & William
Part Number‎E02GR006
Item Weight‎66 pounds
Product Dimensions
‎49 x 26 x 47.5 inches
Color‎Grill with Offset Smoker
Material‎Porcelain, Iron
Power Source‎Charcoal

Finding Your Flavor Profile

If you are new to grilling this tip will help you find the right temperature setting for grilling. This method will save you time and charcoal.

If you can hold your hand about 6 inches above the grill for 2 to 3 seconds above the grate then your heat is too hot just wait a couple of minutes for it to cool. However if you hold your hand 5-6 seconds above the grill then the heat is too cold, you will either have to add more charcoal or wait for the charcoal to heat up. Now for the last bear, this will be just right, if you can hold your hand for 3-4 seconds before moving it then you have nailed it.

Once you get the hang of having the right temperature you will be ready to make a decision about which to use charcoal or wood. Using wood gives you more options as to the flavor profile you want. There are various different woods that have different flavors.

If you prefer a sweeter flavor then you would want to use cherry, apple, peach or pecan. Some people prefer a more smoky flavor so they use mesquite, hickory or post oak. Each of these flavors that you can use can affect the flavor of the spices or herbs that you prefer.

Making the Best Use of 512 Square Inches for Grilling

Making the Best Use of 512 Square Inches for Grilling is easy to learn. For smoking large amounts of meat you would probably want to use the firebox that is offset. One of the main reasons for this is to allow the smoke to penetrate the meat thoroughly. The advantage of doing this is to allow your meat to cook evenly.

If you are grilling your meat then setting up the charcoal for med-high or high heat will be the way to go. You will want to discover for yourself what the best temperature is for you. Time and experience will give you better ideas on what the best temperatures for you are.

Now that you have your temperature at the desired level you can begin to grill. With this grill you can grill 12 to 15 hamburgers at one time with no problems. Since hamburgers and hot dogs cook quickly, you would be able to grill more than enough for your grilling event.

This would also allow you to grill some vegetables for those who do not eat meat. There are several vegetables that are grilled most often. Some of the include asparagus, zucchini, squash, potatoes, chili peppers(sweet or hot), eggplant and romaine lettuce.

Some of the most desirable desserts are grilled fruits. These fruits are among the most grilled watermelon, peaches, apple, avocado, banana, pineapple and cantaloupe. It only takes a couple of minutes to grill any of these for a great tasting healthy dessert. You can find recipes for this in most grilling recipe books.

How to Grill Fruits for the Best Flavor

My Thoughts on The Sophia & William 28-Inch Charcoal Barrel Grill

This grill is a well-designed piece of equipment for all your grilling needs. You can cook almost anything with it. It heats up and cooks evenly. Following the directions makes it was easy to put together. I feel the portability of the grill is an advantage over other grills. I feel that you get quality and economy for your money.

The Outsunny Charcoal Grill

Welcome to the Outsunny Charcoal Grill. This is a small but powerful grill for the money. You have the ability to grill or smoke on this grill with no problems. Using the firebox gives you the luxury to smoke various different meats for longer periods of time.

Outsunny Charcoal Grill
Outsunny Charcoal Grill


Overall Dimensions48.75″ L x 20.75″ W x 41″ H
BBQ Interior24.25″ L x 12″ W
Firebox Exterior24.1″ L x 11.8″ H
Firebox Interior11.75″ L x 12″ W
Side Shelf11.75″ L x 10.5″ W
Front Shelf23.75″ L x 8.75″ W
Front Shelf to Ground Height28.5″
Working Temperature100-1000℉
Net Weight37.5 lbs
Shelf Weight Capacity22 lbs
Power SourceCharcoal

Assembling Your Outsunny Grill

The assembly of this grill is similar to other grills of this type. You can either use the instructions provided or download the assembly instructions. The first thing you will need to do is lay all of the parts out for inspection. Compare the hardware to the instruction manual to verify that all of the parts are there.

Now that you have made sure that you have everything needed, look to be sure you have the right tools for the job. Following the steps should only take about an hour for you to have your grill ready for its first burn.

Preparing for Your First Grilling Experience

Before you can begin grilling, I STRONGLY ADVISE that you do a first burn. You may wonder what the first burn is? The first burn is what you do to check for gaps in your lid and to burn off any residue left over from the manufacturing process. Your first burn should have a temperature between 300F – 400F to find the gaps and burn off the residue.

Once you have completed the first burn and noted where your leaks are it is time to plug those leaks. There are a variety of materials available to use for stopping leaks. The one I have found to be the easiest to use is LavaLoc gasket and sealant.

Lavaloc is easy to use, just measure out the amount of gasket, cut it, take the tape off the back and apply to the edge where it is needed. For leaks on the side of the main body put the tape below where the lid meets the bottom. This should take care of any leaks there, if not apply more to the area where the leak is.

The fire box area is one place where I would just use the LavaLoc sealant. You will want to do this before putting the firebox on. This will save the time of having to take the firebox off and then putting it back on. Also, once you have it sealed there is no need to do anything else.

Fire Up the Grill

Now that you have completed your first burn and made any adjustments for leaks, it is time to grill. You will have to make your decision as to what you want to grill first. Most people the first time or two in the United States will do something simple like hamburgers or steaks. The following video shows just how easy it is to grill hamburgers.

Grilling Hamburgers on an Offset Smoker/Grill

The important thing to remember is to let your heat do the work. If you are doing burgers and the patties are thin you will want your temperature to be around 350F -375F. The higher the temperature means that your burger will cook quickly and you will have to flip them after about two minutes. You will probably only flip them once and then they are done. A thicker burger will require more time. One thing that I do when grilling burgers is to watch the edge of the patty, when you can see the color of the patty turn an off-white or grayish color halfway up then turn the burger.

You will find that burgers will have flareups fairly often. When that occurs, try to move the burgers to a different position so the fat can burn off. This way you will have good moist burgers that aren’t burned. Toasting your hamburger buns gives you a great crunch for your burger but actually enhances the flavor of your burger.

Moving Your Grill For Airflow

Moving your grill for better airflow is one thing that may not always be apparent to you. The wind will shift during the spring and fall months without warning. You need you grill to have the best airflow possible. The dampers can only help so much before they aren’t doing their job.

With the wheels that are attached to your grill, you have the option of changing the position of your grill for better airflow. Strong winds or very stiff breezes can make your grilling a nightmare unless you change the position of your grill. It may only be a couple of inches change but it would be enough of a change to get the best airflow for your grill. This will allow you to have a much better grilling experience.

The Cleanup, Not a Chore

Cleaning Brush for the Grill
Cleaning Brush for the Grill

Cleanup on the Outsunny grill is no chore at all. When you bought your grill, you should have purchased a brush for cleaning the grates with. Either when you are grilling or when you have just finished grilling use your wire brush to clean the grates while they are still hot.

Cleaning your grates while they are still hot knocks all the food debris off so that the next time you grill you won’t have to clean. Another plus with cleaning as you finish grilling is it helps to keep your grates from eroding or in other words becoming damaged.

Cleaning your grill grates protects your grates and will also help protect the inside of your grill as well. It helps keep some of the residue that is burned off from building up on your grill door.

The Outsunny 48 in Charcoal Grill

The Outsunny 48 in Charcoal Grill is a great grill if you are new to grilling. You will have the ability to hone your grilling skills. It may be smaller than similar grills but you can use that to your advantage.

This gives you the opportunity to practice on your grilling techniques for better results. You have the advantage of learning how to use the firebox to your advantage to get the best results without literally burning up your money. Learning to control your heat will be one of the keys for great grilling experiences.

Having a smaller cooking chamber is an advantage for you to learn how much room you will need for what types of food. It does not matter if it is something you grill or smoke, the practice will cause you to get better as time goes along.

Now that you have your Outsunny grill you will be able to learn and master different techniques easily. You have taken the first step to becoming a Pitmaster. With continued practice you will be able to form your own recipes and your own style for tasty deliciousness.

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