Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler Charcoal Grill / Smoker Review
Char-Griller has been around for a little over two decades. They are based out of Atlanta, Georgia with distribution throughout the united states. One of the things that help them produce value priced grills with the durability to last, is by tapping into similar design features. Indeed, many of the grills in their line are some type of barrel body.
You see this with the Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler, which in many ways looks a lot like an abbreviated version of their much larger Outlaw. It’s made from a similar thick gauge stamped steel, with a heat resistant black powder coat layer. The bottom of the firebox is double thick, which helps prevent long-term firebox burnout. The lid also has a built-in temperature gauge.
There is a charcoal drawer that is also an easy to dump ash pan. The grill grates are adjustable with three different height settings. There is a warming rack positioned high enough above the primary grill grate to let you grill taller food items.
These features make the Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler a good option for people with a small deck to grill on. This grill has a small footprint, with an above-average amount of primary grilling grate.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
The double-thick bottom and the thick gauge steel with heat resistant black powder coat give the Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler long-term value. As long as you make sure to keep water from getting into the firebox this grill will last for quite some time.
Assembly is, unfortunately, quite a chore. The box it comes in is astonishingly small, which right away means you’re going to have a lot of fasteners to tighten. Fortunately, it’s lighter than some of the other heavyweight grills in the Char-Griller line, so you don’t necessarily need to dragoon a friend into helping you. This is the sort of thing that you just hunker down and let it kill a lazy Saturday afternoon.
One minor complaint is the weight of the lid. If your hands are full and you just try to nudge the lid closed, it’s heavy enough to slam down.
The 435 square inch primary grill grate is pretty big considering the Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler’s small overall footprint. It also has three grate settings, which is a nice touch on paper.
Setting the grate as low as possible lets you put the meat right on top of the heat. This is ideal for things like skirt Steak fajitas. Then you can raise it up for chicken or all the way to the highest setting for bone-in cuts of meat and things like stuffed pork chops. This highest setting is ideal for things that take a while to cook through to a safe temperature, without burning the exterior.
The grate height setting is done manually, which means you need to set it up where you want it in advance. Changing the height is very awkward one you light the charcoal.
The warming rack is something that’s up for debate. For starters, there isn’t much in the way of a front lip, which means things like hot dogs can and cobs of corn can sometimes roll-off. It’s also positioned very high up. Which is great for times when you want to grill tall foods on the primary grate. It just also means that the warmer grates can get in the way of the lid when they are fully loaded. Unless you are planning to grill for a lot of people and hold over items that get done early, you can just remove the rack.
Once the rack is gone, you will find that there is a lot of vertical room available for very tall foods. In fact, it even puts things like “Beer Can Chicken” into the realm of possibilities. You could even grill a crown rack of lamb under the domed lid.
With a grill, this small heat control and flareups can sometimes be an issue. Especially from things like skin-on chicken. If you need to get the airflow under control, the smokestack can be closed to nearly suffocating the airflow within minutes. With a little practice, you can adjust it for more accurate temperature control.
The primary grill grate on the Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler measures in at a nice 435 square inches. The tall warming rack provides another 200 square inches for a total of 635 square inches. Which is impressive for a grill with such a small overall footprint.
The adjustable grill grate is nice for the times when you have one level of intensity that you want to dial in. It can be a problem if you a reduced relationship between meat and flame, for something like a bone-in piece of meat, then you want to switch over to a high heat application for a finishing sear.
The manual adjustment is so awkward that in a scenario like this it might be better to simply remove the food to a platter for a minute, then adjust the grate down, and return the meat to the flame.
Ease to Clean
The pull-out charcoal drawer makes this grill easier to clean than many of the competitors in this price range. The grates have a non-stick coating that makes them easy to scrape down.
The Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler comes with an impressive five-year warranty, which is head and shoulders above many of the competitors in this price range.
If you want a charcoal grill with a small footprint yet has enough grate space to grill for a family of four, then the Char-Griller E2123 Wrangler deserves to be on your list. Just take your time putting it together and think about the height of the grates before you fire it up.
- Small footprint for limited deck space
- 3 grate height adjustment settings
- Superior 5-year warranty
- Double thick bottom to prevent firebox burnout
- Tall interior grilling space
- Warming rack can get in the way
- The lid can sometimes slam down hard
- The grill grate is awkward to adjust