Grilling fans are familiar with the classic charcoal and propane grills, but what about kamado grills? Made of ceramic, these grills are easy to use, durable and versatile. People all over the world have been using ceramic cooking vessels for centuries for these very reasons.
My Favorite Kamado Grills:
|My Favorites||Brand||My Opinion|
|Kamado Joe KJ23RH||Kamado Joe||THE Kamado grill. Highly recommended.|
|Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker||Char-Griller||Good quality and price.|
|Pit Boss 71220||Pit Boss||Been using it for a long time, without any complaints.|
The Benefits of Using a Kamado Grill
Modern kamado grills are typically made from a combination of materials, including refractory materials, ceramics, terra cotta, crushed lava rock and portland cement. Because of their durable construction, these grills rarely crack. With the right care, these grills can last years – or decades.
Most models are fueled by charcoal, and can be used to cook just about anything, from pizza to bread, meats and vegetables. Temperatures can reach as high as 750 degrees, but their smart ventilation system allows these grills to be used just like a wood-fired oven.
There are many kamado grills on the market today, but there are three that stand out as my favorites.
The Best Kamado Grill: Kamado Joe Grill Review
Kamado Joe’s ‘Classic Joe’ grill is versatile, easy to use and exceptionally durable. This 18″ grill features a thick, heat-resistant shell seals in moisture and smoke no matter the cooking temperature.
The easy-open dome opens up to a large, 254 sq. in. cooking surface, which is constructed with 304 stainless steel. The interior of the grill is large enough to cook 10-12 chicken breasts with ease.
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The cooking surface can also be expanded to allow for more space.
- Grill expander: 406 sq. in.
- Two grate sets: 508 sq. in.
- Twp grates and expander: 660 sq. in.
The built-in thermometer allows you to view the grill’s internal temperature at a glance, while the easy slide-out ash compartment makes clean-up a breeze.
With a temperature range of 225F to 750F, you can cook long and slow, or quick and hot. From baking to grilling, smoking and searing, the Classic Joe can do it all.
The Classic Joe sits on a durable cast iron cart with locking wheels, so you can easily move the grill wherever you please. Folding side shelves and handle allow for a more compact footprint when the grill is not in use.
Along with the grill itself, the Classic Joe also comes with the Divide & Conquer cooking system, an ash tool and a grill gripper.
Features at a Glance
- 18″ grill
- Cart with locking wheels
- Slide-out ash compartment
- Grate gripper and ash tool included
- Comes with “Divide and Conquer” cooking system
- Can cook at high or low temperatures – you have control
- Easy to use
- Highly durable
- Big and heavy
Kamada grills are notoriously heavy and large by nature, so this is no surprise. At 188 pounds, you may need help putting this grill together.
Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Review
The Akorn Kamado Kooker from Char-Griller is a great option for buyers who are on a tighter budget. This grill comes at less than half the price of the Kamado Joe, and while similar in performance, there are some clear differences between the two.
The Akorn provides a generous 314 sq. in. primary cooking surface and a 133 sq. in. warming rack. In total, the grill offers 447 sq. in. of interior space.
Featuring an insulated design, the Akorn allows you to cook foods using less charcoal. The shell’s design also seals in moisture, so your meats come out juicy every time.
The cooking surface is made of cast iron, which heats up quickly and retains heat for even cooking.
The construction of the shell is the primary difference between this model and other kamado cookers. Unlike the Kamado Joe, the Akorn does not have a ceramic body. Instead, 22-gauge steel is used for the body. The exterior features a powder-coated steel surface, and the interior finish is made of porcelain coated steel.
The end results are very similar to other kamado grills, but the steel prevents this model from reaching ultra-high temperatures – although it comes close. The temperature range is 200F – 700F.
One major benefit to the shell’s construction is that it makes the grill lighter in weight. The Akorn weighs just 90 pounds compared to Kamado Joe Classic’s weight of 188 pounds.
The car is made of tubular steel, and features locking wheels on the front for easy transport. I also like that this model has a numbered indexed damper, so you make note of the damper’s position.
The Akorn has a locking lid, and comes with two folding metal shelves. A heat gauge is built-in as well as an easy-dump ash compartment.
- 314 sq. in. primary cooking space; 133 sq. in. warming rack; 447 sq. in. total cooking space
- Cast iron cooking surface
- 22-gauge steel body with porcelain coated steel interior
- Locking caster wheels; tubular steel cart
- Two folding metal shelves
- Locking lid
- Heat gauge
- Easy-empty ash compartment
- Easy to use
- Adjustable dampers for temperature control
- Lighter in weight than other kamado cookers
- Not a ceramic body
The only real complaint with this grill is that the body is not made of ceramic, which is what traditional kamado grills are made of.
With that said, this grill is more affordable than its ceramic counterparts, cooks nearly as well, and is far lighter in weight.
Pit Boss Kamado BBQ Review
With a large 22″ body, the Pit Boss Kamado BBQ provides you with plenty of space to cook. Its heavy-duty ceramic body also makes it highly efficient at burning coal.
The top tamper, made of cast iron, gives you complete control over the air flow, so you can cook at just the right temperature. The easy-to-read temperature gauge sits just below the damper, so you can keep a close eye on the temperature.
Dual-tier cooking grates allow you to maximize the grill’s vertical interior space. With the two cooking grates in use, this grill offers 570 sq. in. of cooking space.
A set of folding bamboo side shelves are included, which help save on space in between uses and provide you with a surface for serving or preparing food.
Built-in springs and a wooden handle make it easy to lift and hold the heavy lid, while a fireproof felt edge and shock absorber help protect the dome.
With a wide temperature range, Pit Boss’s kamado grill allows you to smoke, bake, roast, grill, braise, sear, bbq and char-grill with one simple grill.
- 22″ heavy ceramic body
- Cast iron top tamper
- Bamboo side shelves
- Dual-tier cooking grates
- Built-in thermometer
- 570 sq. in. cooking surface
- Highly durable
- Easy to use
- Large cooking area
- Made of ceramic
- Damper and airflow vent allow for excellent temperature control
Like with the Kamado Joe grill, the only real complaint with this model is that it’s quite heavy: 178 pounds. If you plan on having this grill delivered, make sure you have an extra pair of hands to help you move the box.
Wrap-Up: Choosing The Right Kamado
There are many Kamado grills on the market today, but these there are my top three picks. Each one is durable, versatile and easy to use, which means they offer good value for the money.