Best Kamado Grill reviews: Everything you need to know

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Kamado grills are quickly becoming a popular option for backyard grilling. If you’re in the market for a Kamado grill, it’s important to do your research to find the best one for your needs.

In this blog post, we will give you the inside scoop on the best Kamado grills available, as well as what to look for when making your purchase. So, whether you’re a casual griller or an outdoor cooking enthusiast, read on for the know-how you need to buy the perfect Kamado grill!

Our Top Picks

$1,899.00
$1,999.00
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$744.04
$1,299.00
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$1,364.54
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$329.00
$374.99
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$167.45
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$1,085.57
$1,174.06
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$340.00
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
$499.00
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on October 26, 2022 8:39 am

What is Kamado grills and their benefits?

What is Kamado grills?

Kamado grills are also known as kamodo grills, egg shaped charcoal grills , charcoal Kamados or even just kamads. They are mostly rectangular with a dome-shaped lid and made of ceramics or other heatproof materials.

The modern “light bulb” shape was developed by the Japanese in 1980, and the kamado is also sometimes called a “bulb” grill in reference to its shape.

The kamado grills have been around for a long time in one form or another, but they started to gain more popularity when George Stephen invented the Big Green Egg charcoal grill that was introduced in 1974.   

The name “Kamado” is actually the name of a traditional Japanese oven, and not just any other ceramic cooker.

Benefits of a Kamado Grill

  • The Kamads are very efficient to cook on because they retain heat well, but you can also adjust their cooking temperature easily by raising or lowering the food grate or the vent holes at the top. You don’t need much charcoal to cook on a kamado grill, and that’s one of the reasons why they are eco-friendly as well.
  • If you have an open fire pit outside your home, then it’s even possible to cook on a kamado grill with wood only instead of charcoal. Kamados might not be for everybody though because they can be difficult to master.
  • You can probably get away with using a kamado grill during the winter months because of the insulation, but it’s not designed for cooking in extreme cold or intense heat . It can also be difficult to control the temperature on some units, and that’s why they are not recommended for people who want an instant grilling session.
  • The good thing about kamado grills is that they are very versatile, and you can use them for smoking as well as regular grilling. They also cook food evenly compared to other types of grills, so you won’t find hot spots or cold areas on the meat.
  • You might sometimes need a few tries to get it right the first time, but once you know how to use your kamado grill properly, you can easily cook foods like steak, chicken, meatballs or vegetables that come out juicy and full of flavor every time.
  • You need to buy a Kamado grill that is suitable for the size of your family because they are usually quite large. The smallest ones on the market might be suitable for 2-3 people, and they usually cost between $500 and $700.

What to consider before buying a Kamado grill

When you’re in the market for a new grill, it seems like there are thousands of options to choose from. The problem is that with so many choices, how do you know which one is right for your needs?

The Kamado grills are among the most popular ones on the market due to their durability and ability to maintain heat. But before you decide to pull the trigger, there are a few factors you need to consider and compare.

Fuel type

The Kamado’s ceramic shell is well-insulated, so it can maintain the heat using all types of fuel. Propane tanks, charcoal briquettes, and wood chunks are all viable options.

Type of material

As you know, the Kamado’s outer shell is made of ceramics; there are two main types: earthenware and stoneware. The former is more fragile and less heat-resistant than the latter. However, it is cheaper and easier to find. The latter is more expensive, harder to find in stores, and offers better insulation.

Size

To be able to cook enough food for your whole family, you need a Kamado with at least 200 square inches of cooking space. It’s also recommended that you purchase one that can hold up to 50 pounds when filled with charcoal. If the lid’s handle is in the way, you can hang it somewhere else (e.g., on the side).

Surface material

The cooking grate should be made of stainless steel because it won’t rust or react with your food when heated to high temperatures. There are also “ceramic” Kamados which will last much longer than those made of steel, but they are usually smaller.

Price

The price should be your last consideration because the Kamado will give you great value for many years to come. Of course, an expensive one with all bells and whistles is preferable, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of a great discount if it’s available.

Grates for cooking

Cooking grates made of enameled steel, 304 stainless steel, or cast iron are all excellent choices. Ascertain that these are hinged to facilitate access to the area beneath.

Top vents

Double wheels on the top vents allow even more precise temperature adjustment.

With that straightforward framework in place, you should be well-positioned to investigate the best kamado grills available at various price points. Determine which of these versatile grills, if any, is the best fit for your patio, deck, or backyard.

Why you should buy a Kamado Grill?

Large heat range, a deep cooking area and excellent temperature control. These are three reasons why a Kamado grill is the best choice for people who love to smoke their food. The Kamado has been around since ancient times, from the days of early Japan up to imperial China. And as the kamado has evolved over the years, it continues to wow us with its excellent engineering and construction.

The first Kamado grill was designed by Mr. Daisuke Nakazawa in 19th century Japan. He made the first ceramic charcoal stove called “kamado” for cooking purposes during that time. Nowadays, there are many models of kamado grills available such as Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe. The Kamado grill typically comes with a large capacity, so it can cook enough food for several people at once.

The first cooker was made from fired clay and consisted of two parts, a lower section where the charcoal was placed and an upper section that was used to cook. The two parts were held together with one or more metal bands.

Some of the earliest kamados were made from clay, but in modern times they are typically made from ceramic materials such as Cordierite.

The original design has been adapted and kamados are now available in many different sizes and shapes.

The most notable feature of a Kamado is that it has a ‘sealed’ cooking environment with limited air flow, like an oven. This means that the food is surrounded by hot moist air and is cooked at relatively low temperatures (compared to other types of cooker). For this reason meat cooked in a Kamado will often end up with a ‘pulled’ texture.

The second notable feature of the Kamado is that it can reach a very high cooking temperature (600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit). This allows you to cook food really fast, perfect for searing steaks and burgers.

In addition to grilling and smoking, a Kamado can also be used to cook pizza and bread.

 

10 Best Kamado Grills for Slow-Cooked Excellence

If you’re in the market for a kamado grill, you may be wondering what the best option is. With so many different brands and models on the market, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best Kamado grills available today, and we’ll give you our thoughts on why each one might be a good fit for your needs.

We’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right kamado grill for your needs, and we’ll offer our recommendations on where to buy them. So if you’re ready to learn more about kamado grills, keep reading!

1. Best Overall: Kamado Classic Joe III 18-inch Charcoal Grill

Last updated on October 26, 2022 8:39 am

If you’re considering venturing beyond a gas grill, a kamado grill is one of the most considered backyard additions. Because they are charcoal fueled, they impart a rich, smoky flavor to your food that a traditional gas grill cannot match. They are versatile enough to sear steaks at an exceptionally high temperature or slow-cook brisket over an extended period. Like all other kamados, the Kamado Joe Classic III accomplishes these feats while being incredibly user-friendly. 

Compared to the Green Egg, the primary advantage of the Kamado Joe is that the company appears to be more committed to product innovation. Let’s face it, no grill is perfect, but the Kamado Joe Classic III has a few advantages over the Green Egg that make it, in my opinion, the superior option. 

Unlike the Green Egg, the gasket that seals the dome of the Kamado Joe Classic III to the bottom is made of fiberglass mesh rather than felt. This makes the seal more durable, especially in cold climates. We know Green Egg owners whose domes have frozen shut due to condensation accumulating on the felt gasket after cooking. The Kamado Joe Classic III’s fiberglass mesh gasket will prevent this from occurring. 

Die-cast aluminum prevents the Kamado Joe Classic III’s vent from rusting on the top of the dome. Unlike the Green Egg, its top vent is constructed of cast iron. Although there is no functional difference, you must remove the cast iron vent from the Green Egg after each cook and store it in a dry location to prevent rusting. This appears to be a simple oversight that the Kamado Joe Classic III corrects. 

A built-in ashtray at the base of the grill facilitates the disposal of ash after cooking. This is a better system than the Green Egg. That requires you to scrape the ash out of the bottom vent of the grill into whatever you want to dispose of it with. 

Additionally, it is more affordable than a green egg. The Kamado Joe Classic III retailed for $1,599 when this article was written, which included the divide and conquered system. On the other hand, the egg cost $1,799 and did not include their equivalent of the divided and conquered system. 

Key Features 
  • Premium 18″ ceramic grill with heavy-duty galvanized steel rolling cart with locking wheels. 
  • Patent pending SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber - The first of its kind, the revolutionary SlōRoller leverages Harvard science that transforms a Kamado Joe into one of the world’s most optimal smokers. By distributing smoke and heat in rolling, recirculating waves, the SlōRoller surrounds food in clouds of delicious smoke while evenly distributing heat—resulting in enhanced flavor and significantly reduced hot spots. 
  • 3-Tier Divide & Conquer - Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time. 
  • Kontrol Tower Top Vent – Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated cast aluminum, the patent pending dual-adjustment top vent is rain and mold-resistant and allows you to smoke from 225F all the way to searing at 750F. 
  • Air Lift Hinge – The air lift hinge significantly reduces dome weight. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there is. 
PROS
  • Ceramic body retains excellent heat
  • Smoke chamber is included
  • Three-tiered cooking system
  • Easy to install
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Changing temperatures takes time

2. Runner-Up: Kamado Joe Classic Joe II 18-inch Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II Charcoal Grill, 18 inch, Blaze Red

$1,299.00
$744.04
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
 

Kamado Joe has earned a reputation as a manufacturer of innovative, high-quality kamado grills. Even though the kamado grill concept has existed for millennia, this company remains committed to innovation and improvement. 

For this reason, even some Big Green Egg devotees (who are notoriously devoted) have been won over by Kamado Joe’s most recent products. The airlift hinge on the dome of the Kamado Joe Classic II 18″ Kamado reduces the dome’s weight by approximately 96%. 

Additionally, the Classic II features a redesigned double-thick wire mesh fiberglass gasket and a six-piece firebox design. Since then, Kamado Joe has released the Classic III, incorporating a few innovative features such as the SlowRoller hyperbolic insert to improve heat and smoke distribution. Refer to our Kamado Joe II vs. III guide for a comprehensive comparison. 

If you’re willing to pay any price to have the most recent version, it’s unquestionably a superior product. However, given the significant price increase, we believe the Classic II is a better value for most consumers. 

Additionally, the Kamado Joe Classic includes a multilevel “divide and conquer” cooking system, which allows you to cook different foods on different surfaces. This increases the unit’s versatility and doubles the cooking area. 

How does it work, you ask? Instead of a full grill rack, you receive two half racks at varying heights. This allows you to cook a variety of foods at varying temperatures simultaneously. 

This grill can maintain temperatures between 250- and 750-degrees Fahrenheit. The top vent is designed to be rust and water-resistant and is responsible for finer temperature adjustments. The Kamado Joe is our preferred grill/smoker combo due to its durability and adaptability. 

Key Features 
  • Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels – The Kamado Joe Classic II gives the perfect cooking size of 18 inches along with its Premium cart that comes with the purchase of your grill, including locking casters and wheels. 
  • 2-Tier Divide & Conquer – Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time 
  • Control Tower Top Vent – Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated cast aluminum, the patent pending dual-adjustment top vent is rain resistant and allows you to smoke from 225F all the way to searing at 750F. 
  • Air Lift Hinge – The air lift hinge significantly reduces dome weight. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there is. 
  • AMP (Advanced Multi-Panel) FireBox – The patent pending six-piece design eliminates breakage and increases grill efficiency. 
PROS
  • Eye-catching color and design
  • Incredible heat retention
  • Simple to operate
CONS
  • Heavy to move
  • Temperature reductions take time
  • Ceramic is breakable
  • Expensive

3. PIT BOSS 71220 Kamado BBQ Ceramic Grill Cooker

PIT BOSS 71220 Kamado BBQ Ceramic Grill Cooker, 22 inch

$1,364.54
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
 

If you cannot justify the price of the Kamado Joe, the Pit Boss Kamado Grill is an excellent alternative. You save a few dollars while receiving all the features of a premium kamado grill, including a durable ceramic construction and excellent temperature control. 

As with any quality Kamado grill, the Pit Boss excels at low and slow cooking and high and fast cooking, reaching temperatures of up to 700°F for searing. The temperature is controlled by adjusting the tamper made of cast iron atop the grill. 

You must purchase a heat deflector if you intend to smoke or cook indirectly. There are two foldable bamboo side shelves included with the grill. Strong swiveling casters make it simple to position and secure the Pit Boss. You have 662 square inches of cooking space with two-tiered stainless steel grill racks. 

Key Features 
  • Featuring a heavy ceramic body the kamado is the ideal environment for efficiently burning charcoal 
  • The cast iron top tamper gives you full control over air flow allowing you to set the perfect cooking temperature 
  • The solid bamboo side shelves are sturdy and fold down for easy storage 
  • Dual tier cooking grates provide even more space to make the most of the encapsulated heat 
PROS
  • Attractive design
  • Ceramic bowl is rust-proof
  • Side shelves offer space for prep or storage
  • Great ventilation system
CONS
  • Not suitable for wood chips or pellets
  • Ceramic is prone to breakage

4. Best Budget: Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill, Graphite

$374.99
$329.00
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
 

Typically, kamado grills are considerably more expensive than standard charcoal grills. The Char-Griller Akorn is a very affordable option, mainly if this is your first kamado grill and you are unwilling to spend a substantial amount of money without first trying a kamado. 

Char-Griller focuses on producing inexpensive barbecues for budget-conscious consumers. As expected, their products may not be “top-of-the-line,” but the company’s mission is to provide dependable and affordable grills. 

The body of Akorn is made of 22-gauge steel and has grill grates made of cast iron. The unit’s exterior is powder-coated, while the interior is coated with porcelain. 

The shelves can be collapsed out of the way, but the material is flimsy. The charcoal grate’s removable ring is a feature we appreciate. This makes adding charcoal during the cooking process simple. 

Even though this is a basic model, it has some excellent features, such as an ashtray that is simple to empty and a temperature gauge. The Akorn features dual walls for insulation. The lid also has a locking mechanism to prevent heat loss through the door seal. In addition to the primary cooking space of 314 square inches, the warming rack measures 133 square inches. 

Key Features 
  • Triple-walled insulation retains heat 
  • Durable steel construction built to last 
  • Adjustable top and bottom dampers 
  • Easy dump ash pan for quick and easy clean ups 
  • Removable Stainless Steel Grill warming rack 
  • Stainless Steel BBQ heat gauge 
  • Cast iron cooking grates 
  • Maintains temperatures from 200°- 700° F 
PROS
  • Low price
  • Exterior stays surprisingly cool
  • Lighter in weight than ceramic kamados
CONS
  • Smoking accessories not included
  • Heat control takes practice

5. Best Portable: Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill, Red

$167.45
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
 

The Char-Griller E06614 Akorn, like many other Kamado-style grills, maximizes heat retention for maximum efficiency and consistency and allows you to cook with direct heat. This is partly due to its triple-walled insulation and lid with a gasket ring that seals tightly. 

The top and bottom dampers are listed so the airflow can be precisely adjusted for maximum heat control and smoke retention. The owner’s manual also includes a temperature guide that allows you to maintain an internal temperature between 200 and 250 degrees. This permits smoking and hybrid grilling. 

With the wide open dampers, the temperature can reach over 450 degrees for direct-heat searing of thick-cut steaks. Char-Griller even claims that the E06614 Akorn can reach temperatures as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit, typically reserved for steakhouse broilers and infrared grills. 

Additionally, the Char-Griller E06614 Akorn is highly portable. It weighs only 37 pounds and features exceptionally durable side handles. This means that you can bring it camping, tailgating, or to the beach. Keep in mind that the handles can become extremely hot. Char-Griller suggests using oven mitts to move a hot grill, but I recommend investing in a pair of welding gloves instead. 

Key Features 
  • Perfect for tailgating, camping, beach trips, and more! 
  • Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill uses less charcoal thanks to its insulated design and lockable lid. 
  • Pairs with the Char-Griller 6211 Smokin’ Stone Jr. for slow and low cooking (sold separately). 
  • Pairs with the Char-Griller 6659 AKORN Jr. Black Grill Cover (sold separately). 
PROS
  • Very versatile Kamando-style grill
  • Can smoke slow-and-low
  • Can grill high and hot
  • Easy to clean
  • Priced competitively
  • Efficient and precise heat control
CONS
  • It can get very hot
  • A stray ember might escape bottom damper
  • No non-stick coating on grill grates
  • Center removable grates is small

6. Best With Table: VISION Grills Ceramic Kamado

VISION Grills Ceramic Kamado (Large, Chili Red)

$1,174.06
$1,085.57
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
 

The Kamado Pro Ceramic Charcoal Grill from Vision Grills offers the highest grill versatility. It mimics wood oven cooking, allowing you to grill, sear, and smoke meats and vegetables and bakes pizzas and bread. A port for an electric starter makes lighting the grill easy.  

Dual calibrated draft vents allow precise temperature regulation, and a removable ash drawer facilitates cleaning. This premium ceramic grill has 604 square inches of cooking space and two levels of stainless-steel flip grates. Additional features include a calibrated top vent made of cast iron, two solid-surface drop-down shelves, and a durable vinyl cover extending the unit’s length. 

Though most kamado grills come with stands, this one elevates the design by including a quality acacia wood table that holds and surrounds the grill. Next to the grill, the table provides plenty of storage for items such as plates, tools, and condiments, and a shelf beneath the table offers even more space.  

The table’s slats allow any excess water to flow off, and its wheels make it simple to move it to the ideal location. This grill’s primary cooking area, spread across a bi-level grate, measures 604 square inches. Larger grills are available from Duluth Forge but do not come with a table. 

Key Features 
  • 604 sq. in. of cooking surface in 2-tier, 304 stainless steel cooking grates 
  • Dual calibrated draft vent dials for superior temperature control 
  • 2 solid-surface drop-down shelves provide handy prep space 
  • Removable ash drawer for easy clean-out and Full-length, heavy-duty vinyl cover included 
  • Cast iron top vent and powder-coated cart are built for durability and Electric starter port for lighting ease 
PROS
  • Ceramic shell holds heat for even cooking
  • Excellent ventilation gives you great heat control
  • Works great as a smoker
  • Can be shut down to snuff out remaining charcoal
CONS
  • Sacrifices a level of quality for lots of gimmicks

7. Char-Griller E6520 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill Cart

Char-Griller E6520 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill Cart, Ash

$340.00
Amazon.com
as of October 26, 2022 8:39 am
 

If you’re looking for storage space, you’ll find a lot to like about the E6520. This cart-style grill has a long shelf and a lower wire rack for preparing and storing side dishes, condiments, tools, and additional charcoal. It is just as well-insulated as the E16620, with a sealed lid and adjustable dampers to maintain the ideal temperature. 

This model provides a total of 447 square inches of cooking space, comprised of 314 square inches on the main grate and 133 square inches on the warming rack. Like the E16620, it has cooking grates made of cast iron for even heat distribution. The firebox and cover are also made from 22-gauge steel. While this material does not retain heat as well as ceramic, the double-walled construction helps to compensate for this shortcoming. Be warned, however, that the exterior of a kamado grill gets hotter than you might anticipate. 

Key Features 
  • Triple-walled steel insulation 
  • Temperature Gauge 
  • Adjustable Dual Dampers 
  • Easy Dump Ash Pan 
  • Cast Iron Cooking Grates 
  • Bottom Storage Rack 
  • Grill Cart Design 
PROS
  • Heats quickly and efficiently
  • Very heavy double-walled construction
  • Versatile across a wide range of cooking applications
  • Plenty of prep and storage space
CONS
  • Some shipping issues reported
  • Cart is relatively flimsy for the grill’s weight
  • Exterior gets hotter than most kamado grills

8. Kamado Joe KJ15040320 Kettle Joe 22 inch Charcoal Grill

Last updated on October 26, 2022 8:39 am

The exterior of the striking Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal grill is a brilliant shade of vermilion red. It is a large barbecue with ample space for lots of food. This smoker is a true winner if you intend to host parties or cook and smoke large portions of meat. This model includes an additional accessory that converts the grill into a smoker. This barbecue’s instructions are clear, so assembly was simple. However, due to the weight of the components, assembly is a two-person job; attempting it alone will result in frustration. 

As a result of the ceramic tiles in the firebox, it cooks exceptionally well and attains extreme temperatures. Once it got going, the Kettle Joe reached cooking temperature rapidly and maintained it for hours; the coals remained hot even as we tested other grills and packed up for the day. It produced delicious halloumi kebabs. We adored the well-defined grill lines and the expansive grilling area, which is ideal for catering to large groups. 

With a five-year warranty, the Kettle Joe has a long product life; you won’t use it for a single summer and then must throw it away the following year. However, it did arrive wrapped in a substantial amount of plastic and polystyrene, which could be improved. 

The Kettle Joe combines the advantages of a ceramic kamado egg grill and a more conventional kettle grill. Considering how costly kamado barbecues can be, this is a good deal, but only if you enjoy smoking in addition to grilling. Consider a cheaper, more basic barbecue if you only intend to cook a few burgers and sausages. 

Key Features 
  • The Kettle Joe has a 22” surface for a total of 363 square inches 
  • Efficient ceramic firebox allows for longer cooking times using less charcoal 
  • The grill has an adjustable hinge which allows you to keep the lid attached instead of having to fully remove and handle the lid 
  • Adjust the hinge to its highest setting and insert the SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber to smoke at temperatures up to 500°F 
  • Remove the SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber and lower the hinge to grill at temperatures up to 700°F 
  • Folding side shelves allow for a larger prep area while in use and when folded, the versatile side shelves allow for easy storage 
  • Ash drawer allows you to clean the ashes without removing the inside components which results in a quick and easy cleanup 
  • Includes a four-legged cart with 2 locking casters for easy mobility 
PROS
  • Everything feels very sturdy and incredibly safe
  • Cooks very well
  • Relatively low cost
  • Good instructions
  • Very efficient and quick to heat
CONS
  • Height - sits very low
  • Tricky to assemble
  • A little tricky to light

9. Kamado Joe KJ13RH Joe Portable Charcoal Grill

In a world of black, bronze, and, if you’re fortunate, stainless steel, Joe Jr.’s fiery red is a sight for sore eyes. Purchasing one of these in its striking red color indicates that you own a high-quality grill and want people to notice that you own a high-quality grill. 

The Kamado Joe Junior resembles a miniature version of a standard ceramic grill. The stand is only 27 inches tall! Isn’t that essentially what it is? The black accents and stainless-steel vent badge set off the classic design. 

Can something appear both diminutive and robust at the same time? Undoubtedly, this is a small grill, but it seems sturdy. Even the stand, which consists of nothing, but metal rods, appears to be tip-proof. 

Time to get up close and personal with the Kamado Joe Junior and discover what makes it tick. It is remarkable how closely Kamado Joe has replicated the full-size kamado experience in a portable unit. 

Functionally identical, including the sliding lower vent and rotating top vent. Additionally, you can slow-smoke, roast, bake, grill, and sear. It is the Swiss army knife of portable cookers; it can do everything. 

Temperature control is simple (after an initial learning curve), and temperature stability is easily maintained. The drop-in cast iron stand makes setup easy regardless of where you’re cooking, and the built-in handles make transporting the Kamado Joe Jr. much easier. 

Key Features 
  • Premium 13.5″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Stand 
  • Thick-walled, heat-resistant shell that locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature 
  • Cast-iron air vent for temperature control 
  • 304 Stainless Steel Cooking Grate 
  • Built-In Temp Gauge 
PROS
  • An excellent portable smoker, capable of reproducing what the bigger kamados can do
  • Highly versatile, you Can smoke, grill, sear, roast and bake
  • Excellent build quality, so will last a long time
  • Well insulated, so holds a steady temperature for consistent results
  • Fuel efficient for reduced running costs
  • Easy to clean by simply brushing ashes out of the lower vent
  • Cast iron stand with built in handles keeps it off the ground for safe use, and makes it easy to carry
  • Lifetime warranty on the ceramics
CONS
  • Somewhat expensive compared to competing ceramic grills (but you are paying for higher quality!)
  • Heavy for a portable grill, but is due to the great build quality
  • No slide out ash drawer included, which is a feature of the larger models

10. Kamado Joe BJ24RHC Big Joe II 24-inch Charcoal Grill

The egg-shaped, bright red ceramic cooking chamber of the Kamado Joe Big Joe II is undoubtedly its most distinguishing characteristic. There is no better insulator than the ceramics used to construct this grill’s shell. 

Ventilation is the secret ingredient for high performance in any charcoal grill. A proper ventilation system permits precise and predictable temperature regulation. Whether grilling a ribeye steak or smoking a barbecue brisket, temperature control and accuracy are essential for achieving delicious results. 

The Big Joe II’s top-mounted vent makes it simple to regulate airflow, smoke levels, and temperature. It is user-friendly and intuitive, with excellent visual indicators that indicate precisely where to position the vents to achieve desired temperatures. 

The Big Joe II is designed to consistently maintain temperatures between 225°F and 750°F consistently. This allows you to smoke meats low and slow, sear, grill, roast, and even bake Neapolitan-style pizza on the same grill. 

The Divide and Conquer cooking system is one of the unique features found on all full-sized Kamado Joe grills, including the Kamado Joe Classic. Essentially, they’ve designed a double-layered circular cooking grate on which your food rests as it cooks within the egg-shaped chamber. Each of these circular cooking areas is divided into removable half-moon-shaped grates. 

This two-tiered, detachable grate system has several ramifications. First, it lets you set up multiple heat zones in your grill, allowing you to simultaneously cook some foods with direct heat and others with indirect heat on the various layers. 

A rolling cart, folding side tables, and heat deflector plates are included in the base price of a Kamado Joe grill. The Big Joe II includes a multi-panel firebox, a fiberglass gasket with wire mesh, folding side tables, and stainless-steel latches. Each feature contributes to Big Joe II’s overall usability and excellent user experience. 

Key Features 
  • Air Lift Hinge – The air lift hinge significantly reduces dome weight. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there is. 
  • Exclusive divide & conquer flexible cooking system multilevel, half-rack design doubles cooking space and frees you to cook different foods on different levels and on different cooking surfaces 
  • Patented, All-Aluminum, no-rust, rain-proof control tower top vent maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management 
  • All-new, double-thick wire mesh fiberglass gasket offers superior air-tight seal and 10 times the life of normal industry gaskets 
  • New advanced multi-panel firebox six-piece design eliminates breakage 
PROS
  • The rack has 2 parts, so you can prepare different dishes in different ways at the same time.
  • Thanks to the specially designed hinge, you can lift the lid without too much effort.
  • You can barbecue for up to 13 people on the grill surface.
CONS
  • This barbecue doesn't have an underframe, so you must build it in to be able to safely use it.

FAQs about Kamado Grill

There are many types of kamado grills; they are lumped together by their bulging shape.

The Kamado grill is a traditional-style charcoal grill that uses an insulated, double-walled body and gasketed lid to achieve stable, consistent cooking temperatures. Its shape makes it ideal for roasting large cuts of meat at low temperatures, and its airtight construction locks in moisture to produce tender, succulent results every time.

The biggest benefit is food cooked on this grill just tastes better! I have owned my kamado style grill for 4 years, have cooked everything from turkey on thanksgiving to pizza-zas on the weekends. I’m still learning new ways to cook on it every time I fire it up.

There are so many benefits of cooking on a kamado grill its ridiculous. You can even do some cold smoking on some of them if you have a separate attachment.

I have personally only ever had one other charcoal grill, and it was a kamado. There is just something about that style of cooking that makes grilled food taste better.

From smoking to roasting, the Kamado is the only grill you will ever need. The insulated design and thick ceramic walls retain heat so well that grilling is a snap even when it’s cold outside.

And cooking at low temperatures with the lid closed seals in moisture and melts fats and oils to preserve and enhance flavors

Some of the things my family has cooked on our grill are pizza, ribs, wings, whole chickens and big slabs of beef plus all types of vegetables!

The most common problem is that it takes longer to heat up compared to other grills, and sometimes the handle or lid can get quite hot. The kamado grill also requires more charcoal and it costs a bit of money to maintain one, but these are minor problems which you can easily cope with. 

The price of a kamado grill can range from $300 to over $1000. However, the high prices are only relative to other models in its class. The higher price should reflect better materials used in constructing the Kamado grill and it should come with more features compared to the cheaper ones. 

While kamado grills may appear intimidating, they are simple to use and reach temperatures of up to 750F, making them ideal for searing like a pro, even if you are a complete beginner. To turn down the heat, you’ll need to hone your temperature control skills. If you’re willing to accept a short learning curve, you’ll soon be smoking, slow cooking, grilling, and searing on your kamado like a chef. 

Begin by cleaning the firebox. Decide whether to use lump charcoal or briquettes. Stack the coals directly onto the fire grate. This should keep any smaller pieces from falling and obstructing airflow. Top with the smaller lumps. If you have any extra coal, you may add them. It is unnecessary to fill the firebox.

Charcoal should be added by the length of the cook you have planned. When you first begin, be prepared to experiment until you achieve the desired quantity. 

Ensure that both the top and bottom vents are opened first. Fill the well with a fire starter. Continue lighting it until it is entirely ablaze. Once this has started to burn, add some larger chunks of charcoal. Wait for a few of these to begin to glow. When the coals are glowing, add the racks and accessories. 

Close the lid of your kamado grill while maintaining an open position for the vents. Keep a close eye on the thermometer. When the temperature falls 100 degrees Fahrenheit below your target, you can close the vents. This should be accomplished by partially closing the lower vent. As with all aspects of using a kamado grill, be prepared to experiment initially until you’ve mastered the technique. Adjust the top vent as you approach your desired temperature. 

The majority of kamados are made of ceramic. This provides them with superior heat retention compared to most standard charcoal grills. The enclosed design contributes to the retention of smoke and moisture. When you taste food prepared on a kamado grill, you’ll appreciate these benefits. Kamados also significantly reduce startup times. You can be cooking in less than 15 minutes, which you rarely achieve with a standard charcoal grill. 

When the charcoal in the grill is depleted of oxygen, a kamado flashback occurs. When the lid is opened, a phenomenon known as kamado flashback occurs. Although this is extremely rare, it is worth taking precautions by burping your kamado. Kamado flashbacks are extremely dangerous. 

Conclusion

To sum up, the best Kamado grills are made with the highest quality materials and provide an excellent cooking experience. They also come at a relatively high price point which may be off-putting to some people.

However, if you’re looking for long lasting durability that is built to last then this article should have provided enough information on what you need in order to make your decision!

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