The Best Charcoal Grill Under $500

If you regularly host guests in your home, then you must admit that preparing meals for a larger party is no easy task. 

The challenge here is not in cooking enough food for your guest but preparing sumptuous meals that your guest will enjoy.

Without the right cooking appliances and cooking method, you may end with unpalatable meals that may leave your guests wondering why they even visited you in the first place.

This will leave you with egg on your face as well as the title “The worst host ever” but you can avoid all this embarrassment by choosing to grill your dishes rather than cooking them the traditional way. 

Grills have a way of bringing out the natural flavor of food and this way you and your guest will yearn for more.

In my quest to find the best charcoal grill under $500 I settled on the PK Grills PKTX Outdoor Portable Aluminum Charcoal Grill and Smoker. 

Let’s take a look at some of the features that make this cooking device one of the best in the business.

Why are charcoal grills the best to have?

Charcoal grills are the best when it comes to preparing grilled dishes. 

Other types of grills such as gas and infrared may cook up your meals faster and provide better control of the cooking temperature through their control knobs but none comes close to a charcoal one when it comes to preparing the tastiest meals.

Fat from the meal being prepared drips to the burning coal and this produces a flavorful smoke that enhances the taste of the meal being prepared. 

This characteristic is unique only to charcoal grills as the other types use other materials for fuel.

When analyzing the different charcoal grills on the market, the PKTX grill and smoker emerged as the quality cooking device with great features. See why it deserves your attention.

PKTX Grill and Smoker

Did you know that pros use PK Grills? Johnny Joseph, Joe Stump, Bryan Rapollo, and Bryan McLarty are using their cooking devices for winning on the grilling competitions and spoiling the customers.

Today we will focus on a specific model and it is a PKTX grill and smoker.

Here are the winning features that you will enjoy if you choose it for spoiling your guests at the backyard party.

The grill’s design

The capsule shape of the cooking unit is unique to PK grills. It provides an airtight seal for maximizing the temperature control.

You will be able to have a steady temperature at any point between 180-750F. It has a handle for lifting the lid.

Side shelf and transport

The grill is very convenient to store or transport as it has aluminum leg construction that can be easily folded. It also have wheels so you can move it without any hassle.

The device has a side shelf to put your utensils and other accessories while cooking. There is a cup holder in the shelf so you will be preparing food without a thirst.

Perfect fitting of the lid and a grill

As it is made of cast aluminum, the lid fits on the bottom grill perfectly. You can’t achieve this with grills that have cheap metal.

This is a great feature of the model since you won’t lose the heat while cooking. There are 2 ash catchers underneath both bottom vents.

Heat controlling vents

The device has 4 patented vents, two at the bottom, and two on the lid. The lid has 2 vents that you can slide to control the temperature inside the grill.

They come handy when you want to increase the heat (opening the vents) or to cook on slow mode (closing the vents).

PKTX Grill Review

Grill grates

The upper stainless steel grill grate is close to the charcoal beneath so this means that you will have enough heat to cook whatever you wish for.

If you want to add some briquettes or to move them you can easily open half of the grate and do the job. PK offers also other types of grates that you can get for the cooking.

Aluminum grill construction

This unit is built from cast aluminum material that is known for rust-proof, durability, and lightweight. It conducts 4x more heat than other cooking devices that use steel so it makes it a great heat conductor.

Its dimensions are 48.00 x 19.20 x 38.00 inches and its weight 55.9 pounds. This PK model is 29 inches high.

Aluminum cooking advantages

Why can you prepare food on this PK grill easily and with satisfaction? Its material enables you to heat the unit fast, won’t rust, and won’t get scratched.

Aluminum is a lightweight material so transporting it to your backyard or anywhere else will be an ease.

It won’t let the food to stick to the grilling surface. It cools quickly after the usage so you won’t have to wait for it to cool to clean it.

Cooking area

This portable grill has 300 square inches of cooking area. This is enough to cook delicious stakes, hamburgers, or chicken pieces at one time for a small group of people.

You can even smoke a turkey for thanksgiving, how wonderful is that? A 500 square inches grill surface can cook 24 hamburgers at a time, just to understand how big this PK model is.

Perfect for 2-zone cooking

Its shape and a 4-point venting system enable 2-zone cooking or direct and indirect cooking method.

The direct method is hot and fast (grilling) while you can cook with the indirect method low and slow (smoking).

What is the difference between a grill and a smoker?

Grilling means preparing pieces of food on direct heat. Steaks, poultry, and fish are appropriate to grill. This cooking method uses high heat to cook the food.

When using this method, you open the vents under the charcoal and the upper vents. The food is cooked faster than in the indirect (smoke) method.

Smoking means cooking on the low heat for a long time. If you want to use this method you will take a large piece of meat like a whole chicken, a turkey, or a brisket and smoke it at from 225-250F for several hours to get that juicy and soft meat.

How do you smoke on a PK grill?

The indirect cooking method or smoking is appropriate to use for preparing larger pieces of meat and the foods that cook for a longer time like pork shoulders, whole chickens and turkeys, briskets, roasts, and ribs.

Are you ready to know how to smoke on a PK grill? With my instructions, you will be able to smoke your dishes like a pro.

Prepare your grill for cooking

Heat your charcoal briquettes and put them on one side of a grill. Take your piece of meat that you marinated and put it on the other side of the device (the food shouldn’t be on the same side as briquettes).

The cooking temperature should be around 225F so it will smoke on a low heat and slowly.

Open the vents

The next thing that is vital to do is to open the cylinder vent (the bottom vent) where the fuel is and the radial vent (upper vent) where the food is preparing.

The vents should be opened just a little so you will get that smoky flavor. After a few hours, you will be able to serve delicious, soft smoky meat that will melt in your mouth.

Are PK grills worth the money?

PK grills are the world’s most popular grills and smokers that you can get for your weekend party. Many cooking experts and chefs use them to prepare the most delicious meals that people love to eat.

Their products are made from cast aluminum which means that they conduct heat perfectly in the comparison of other grills that are made from cheaper materials. They are lightweight due to aluminum and easy to transport.

The company thought of a cook’s experience so they added temperature control vents, ashtrays, and side shelves to have utensils and other cooking accessories at hand.

You can easily add charcoal briquettes by lifting one side of the grates.

All these great features offer you the opportunity to cook professionally at your backyard or in nature so PK grills are worth the money for sure.

Grill & Smoke like a pro

Charcoal grills are amazing when it comes to preparing meals. They add flavor to the food as a result of smoke generated by the burning coal and produce beautiful sear marks on your steaks for a totally amazing experience. 

PK PKTX grill and smoker is all that you need to make perfectly seared stakes and tasteful dishes.

It is great for tailgating, camping, backyard party, or fishing as you can fold it and move around easily.

You can’t go wrong with this model if you love cooking on charcoal.

You will be able to grill on direct heat or smoke the food by using the indirect cooking method.

PKTX unit is built from aluminum that conducts heat better than steel or any other cheap material out there. It has a handle to lift the lid, side shelf for storing the accessories and vents for heat control.

If you want to surprise your guests you should get it and prepare a joyful gathering with a lot of tasteful smoky food.

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