Purchasing the right kamado grill can be a tough decision. The design, build, and grilling performance are important factors you should consider before ordering your ceramic smoker.
Because there are so many brands that offer similar features, comparing the differences can be a daunting task.
Thankfully, you don’t have to….
We’ve covered everything you need to know about these ancient yet ingenious egg-shaped grills. From the Kamado Joe to the Char-Griller Akorn, this review will make your purchasing process a stress-free experience.
Best Kamado Grill Comparison Chart
Just want to see and compare the best kamado grills quickly? Here'a an overview chart of our top picks from all the grills we review in this post:
Where to buy
Big Joe 24
Best Under $2000
Best Under $1000
Best Under $500
Big Joe III 24"
Barbecue Lab Favorite
Talk of the Town
Ceramic Kamado Grills
Kamado Joe Classic ii 18”
The Kamado Joe classic ii is the most popular grill from the Kamado Joe brand. The “classic” in the name is derived from the traditional ceramic egg-shape body. It’s bold red coating makes it a recognizable grill, providing a nice aesthetic touch.
The Joe Classic ii charcoal grill comes in two sizes: 18 and 24 in, with the 18 in being the most familiar among the two. It is made entirely out of kamado style ceramics, making it a fierce competitor when it comes to heat retention.
Pros: The Kamado Classic Joe ii comes with two vents: the lower vent for heating in larger increments (by 100 degrees) and the top vent for micro temperature management (by 25 degrees).
Some grills burn through lump charcoal like its nothing. With the Kamado Joe, you end up saving your charcoal - it doesn’t require a constant charcoal burn in order to get the right cooking temperatures.
Also known as the Joe KJ23RH Classic Joe grill, the Kamado Joe Classic ii is a great option for grilling in harsher climates. Say hello to winter cooks!
Cons: We like to call the set up of the Kamado Joe a “put-your-back-into-it” type of assembly. Rather than coming pre-assembled, most of the Classic ii barbecue grill and smoker parts come separate. It’s your job to attach the Joe Classic ii stand, side shelves, thermometer, top vent, and internal components to the grill.
Compared to the typical smoker/grill, the Classic Joe offers less surface area for large cooks. This could be a significant difference if you’re used to grilling on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill, Blaze Gas Grills, Broil King Gas Grills, or Lone Star Grillz.
For a smaller grill, the Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic Joe is extremely heavy, weighing close to 200lbs. When thinking about mobile purposes, it isn’t the best option if you’re wanting to take it camping or tailgating.
Lastly, the ceramic construction can be delicate so just be careful when you are moving the grill from one place to the other.
256 Sq. In.
Kamado Joe Classic iii 18”
Kamado Joe manufacturers came out with the Classic III Series, and grillers couldn’t be more excited. Its significant feature is the SloRoller Smoke Chamber insert. The grill also comes with a “3 tier divide and conquer” grilling space. You can cook different types of food that require various cooking temperatures at the SAME time.
Similar to the Grill Dome Infinity Series ceramic build, the Kamado Joe Classic iii 18” possesses thick ceramic walls so heat and moisture is contained throughout your cook. By capitalizing on the weaknesses of the classic ii, the newer Classic iii series has a lot to offer grilling experts.
Pros: The added feature of the new smoke chamber allows you to have more control over slower, lower temperature cooks (like brisket). Kamado has called it the “SloRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber.”
The SlowRoller is made with a new scientific design, made to distribute even heat and get rid of those “hot spots” in your meat. The rolling smoke is circulated through the meat so every part is evenly cooked. With the SloRoller smoke chamber, you’ll find a clean burn, wood-fired flavor, and even temperature throughout your meat.
Another feature is the air lift hinge. On kamado kooker charcoal barbecue grills, you usually find that the lid can easily slam closed. The air lift hinge makes the lid lighter to lift.
And...more space!! The Kamado Joe classic iii is made with 3 tiers of cooking. You can grill almost any variety of food at the same time. With side dishes included, you can grill a full meal all at once!
Lastly, the Kamado Joe Classic 18” is built with a sturdier base. This feature allows you to roll it smoothly on rougher concrete surfaces.
Cons: Even though the slow roller is an advanced feature, it is one more thing to clean. Since it comes with more parts, assembly can be a hassle. But once you’ve finished, you never have to go through the assembly stage again.
Like the Classic ii, the Kamado Joe Classic iii series is very heavy. Yes, the legs are thicker, but the casters could be larger for rolling purposes. Weighing almost 300 lbs, you won’t want to move it around a whole lot.
Lastly, you’ll want to decide if the Kamado Joe is within your price range. Kamado Joe grills are one of the best manufactured grills. Spending over 1,000 dollars could be worth the lifetime performance. Just remember that if you’re going with a newer, higher quality kamado, expect a pricier outcome.
510 Sq. In.
3 tier divide
Kamado Joe Big Joe iii 24”
The Kamado Joe Big Joe is one step up from the classic iii with 6” more grilling surface. Like the classic iii series, the Big Joe comes with a SloRoller smoking chamber and 3 tier cooking.
You can cook almost anything you want with a slow even cooking temperatures. Grilling an XL pizza just got easier!
Pros: You guessed it- more cooking area! It comes with 6” in more of cooking surface. Surprisingly, it weighs less than the Kamdo classic iii 18in - 32 lbs lighter to be exact.
There isn’t much difference when comparing the pros between the Joe Classics and the Big Joes. The Big Joe still has amazing cooking capability, offering direct control when it comes to slower meat cooks.
Are you a tall griller? Overall height of the grill is 4” higher. Bending down every time you check your meat becomes more annoying than you think.
Cons: The Big Joe does not come with an ash pan / basket or heat deflector plates- you must buy them separately.
Secondly, including the word “BIG” to the name and heightened prices is naturally a package deal. The Big Joe costs over 2,000 dollars, and is 800 dollars more than the Kamado Joe classic iii 18.”
452 Sq. In.
Kamado Joe Big Joe 24”
The Kamadoe Joe Big Joe is exactly how it sounds: BIG. It delivers more cooking space from the classic ii. Kamado Joe manufacturers finally realized large cooks are a thing. This grill runs in the classic ii family, and is one step up from the Kamado Joe Classic ii 18.”
The difference between the Big Joe 24” and the classic ii 18” is a larger cooking surface. It possesses the same unbeatable qualities including the tower top vent, air lift hinge, and amp firebox.
Pros: The Big Joe 24 is almost double the overall sq. in cooking. The overall depth is three inches deeper than classic ii, so you get more options when it comes to resituating the grilling racks.
It offers a SloRoller smoking chamber for impressive cooks and a stainless steel Kontrol top vent for precise control over air flow.
Cons: The Big joe beats the classic ii in weight being 60 lbs heavier. This is something to consider if you’re wanting to move it from your front yard to the backyard patio.
For a larger cooking surface area and a deeper body, your purchase for this grill will be 700 dollars more expensive than the classic ii. It all depends if you are willing to spend close to $2,000 for the Kamado Joe Big Joe 24.
452 Sq. In.
Kamado Joe Joe Jr.
Finally... A Kamado Joe that’s transportable AND affordable! The Joe Jr. is the “baby” version of the Kamado Joe family. With an overall height of 22” and 68 lbs heavy, you can take it on your next camping trip!
Kamado Joe manufacturers made sure important qualities were not forgotten with the size difference. The Joe Jr Kamado kooker charcoal grill still possesses outstanding grilling capabilities: heat and moisture retention, complete temperature control, and a thick-walled body.
Pros: For its small size, this grill possesses an impressive cooking surface area of 148.5 in. It is very light weight and easy to move from place to place.
The stand also comes with built in handles. This comes in handy for your next family reunion or tailgating party. If you’re a rookie griller and looking for something transportable that leans on the cheaper end, go with the Joe Jr.
Regardless of its size, it still locks in the heat, ranging anywhere from 225 to 750 degrees in temperature.
Cons: Don’t expect to cook a large pork shoulder on the Joe Jr. This grill is very small- but that’s what you compromise for the ease of transportation.
It doesn’t include side shelves or locking casters. Rather than attaching to four legs, the Joe Jr. sits in a metal stand. Regardless, the handles make the grill easy to carry so there’s not much use for wheels anyway.
148.5 Sq. In.
2 level cooking grate
The pro Joe is a stand-alone grill for BBQers wanting to take it to the next level. Out of all the Kamado Joe models, this ones the diva grill. It is made for sitting on a countertop or outdoor table where you can easily sits at waist-level height.
It possesses all the bells and whistles of past models: 3 tier grates, sloroller hyperbolic smoke chamber, amp firebox, and control tower top vent.
Many grillers consider it the best thing Kamado Joe has to offer. If you’re looking for a grill that will last a lifetime, go for the Pro Joe. You won’t be disappointed.
Pros: You’ll feel like a “Pro” with the 864 sq. in. cooking area. It beats the other models with its massive build, possessing a height of 43” and depth of 35.”
For an egg-shaped ceramic kamado grill, you have an enormous amount of room to work with. The 24” main cooking diameter is the maximum amount of cooking space Kamado Joe has to offer.
If you live at the “party house,” grilling for multiple people won’t be a problem with the ProJoe.
Cons: Out of all the Kamado Joe models, this one’s the heaviest. You know this grill was made to stay seated on a table top with its 507 lb weight. Don’t worry, this grill isn’t going anywhere.
Because the Pro Kamado Joe is a stand-alone grill, all you get is the body. This model leaves out the legs, caisters, and side shelving.
However, side handles are attached so you can move it from countertop to countertop. You’ll find yourself playing the game “how many men does it take to move a Kamado Joe Pro Joe?”
The ProJoe lies on the more expensive end of the Kamado Joes with a price point of $3,699.00 dollars. When we said this one’s for serious grillers, we weren’t kidding.
864 Sq. In.
Vision Grills S-series Ceramic Kamado
The Vision grill S-series is a great option if you are a perfectionist when it comes to grilling. The S-series built in smoker and control knobs offer complete accuracy so you can maintain both low and high cooking temperatures throughout your cooks.
There is a top vent and a lower vent with calibrated control systems. Upon purchasing your vision grill, you will have a 5-year lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts. This is nice since ceramic tends to crack or certain parts are accidentally delivered broken.
Pros: The side shelves are now made of a thermoplastic material, and we’re big fans of the upgrade. The shelves are foldable and removable for maximum versatility.
The cart is really sturdy when compared to the kamado carts of other manufacturers.
The quick change system found in this model of the Vision Grills allows you to simply pull out the front of the grill and the attached ash drawer and dump it into the garbage once the ash is cool.
It comes standard with a very nice grill cover.
Cons: While there seems to be a huge focus on electric lighters with the inclusion of a door specific for this purpose, it was surprising to us that the electric starter did not come standard with the grill, but has to be purchased separately.
The grate hinge handle sometimes gets in the way, particularly when using secondary accessories like Grill Grates.
See and read our full review of this unit here.
604 Sq. In.
2 level cooking grate
Vision Grills B-series Ceramic Kamado
The Vision Grills B-series isn’t leaving out much. It’s favorable features include a heavy duty ceramic body, calibrated cast iron draft vent, and full-flavor cooking. Its cheap price and outstanding grilling qualities make it a win-win. You can read our more in-depth review of the Vision Diamond Cut B-Series ceramic kamado grill here.
Pros: The B-series Ceramic Kamado is 100 dollars cheaper than the C-series. If you are someone that values price differences, this could be the grill for you.
The B-series is much lighter. Only weighing 196lbs, this feature is attractive when comparing it to the 227lb weight of the sister Vision C-series. If you’re not a hardcore griller, the B-series is a great option.
Cons: For the cheaper price, you only 302 sq in of cooking area. However, its main cooking dimensions are still 18.”
Again, you need to keep in mind how the B-series can keep up with the frequency of your cooks. High heat and over-use could cause ceramic parts to crack. The good news is you get a limited lifetime warranty on ceramic parts and a 5-year warranty on all metal parts.
302 Sq. In.
2 level cooking grate
Vision Grills Cadet Series Ceramic Kamado
Are you a griller who loves smaller cooks? The Vision Cadet Series could be for you. Bring the grill to the party with this mini cadet kamado series.
Regardless of the size difference, the cadet series still offers the ultimate grilling experience. With temperature precision, portability, and heavy duty body, you’ll love cooking on this one.
Pros: the best feature of the Cadet Kamado series is its maneuverability. The light weight body of the Cadet Kamado makes tailgating and camping a stress-free experience. The grill is very affordable, sitting at a reasonable price point of $371.29.
Cons: The Cadet series is missing the side shelving that comes with most models. Also, there are no wheels. The cadet sits comfortably in a metal stand. At least you know the grill will stay in one location rather than rolling all over the place.
Also, the cadet series comes with only one grill grate instead of two.
137 Sq. In.
no 2 level cooking grate
Char-Griller Akorn Ceramic
The Akorn Ceramic grill is a more professional cooking option, and one step up from the Steel Akorn Kamado Kooker. From baking to searing, you can do almost anything on its versatile cooking space.
The Akorn Kamado charcoal grill includes folding side shelves, dual damper control, and 3 locking caster wheels.
Pros: Due to the ceramic material, you don’t have to worry as much about corrosion from frequent use. Its mobility and low-temperature cooking rates this Akorn kamado charcoal grill 5-stars almost every time.
It offers a large cooking space of 465 sq in and cooking diameter of 20.” A convenient additional rack is built in to the bottom of the grill and attached to the three legs. This is helpful if you are wanting to keep your grilling utensils in a safe place throughout your cook.
Lastly, it possess amazing depth - 55” to be exact.
Cons: This is one of the most expensive models Char-griller has to offer. With a price point of $649.00, you can tell the grill is high-performing and high-quality.
The Chargriller Akorn kamado grill weighs 224 lbs, so it is the heaviest of the Akorn kamado models. This is important to keep in mind if you relocate your grill frequently.
465 Sq. In.
Louisiana Grills K22
The Louisiana Grills K22 series is built with heavy duty ceramic material and is a great option for the serious charcoal griller.
Like the Vision Grills, the Louisiana K22 includes a built-in calibrated system for optimal control. This is the type of grill if you’re wanting it to last a lifetime.
Pros: Louisiana Grills stands out with their quality manufacturing. You don’t have to worry about corrosion or rust with the K22.
This grill can reach temperatures over 700 degrees and take the frequency of these types of cooks. Even though the grill is heavy, its well-built casters make transportation more convenient.
Cons: As mentioned earlier, the grill is heavy (like any ceramic grill). It might be hard moving the K22 around.
The main cooking space is fairly small with dimensions of 177 sq in. Some grillers who buy the K22 go with the K24 in the end, just because of the larger cooking area.
299 Sq. In.
Pit Boss Kamado 22” Ceramic Charcoal Grill
The Pit Boss Kamado 22” offers amazing versatility to the everyday cooker. Whether you're searing a steak or charring vegetables, the Kamado 22” can do it all.
This ceramic kamado charcoal smoker grill includes a heavy ceramic body for heat retention. It comes with a top tamper, allowing you to directly control the amount of air flow joining your cook. The 2-level cooking grate is a nice feature as well.
You can read our more in-depth review of the Pit Boss Kamado grill here.
Pros: You can grill on the bottom and bake on the top. It offers quite a bit of room for your cooks having main cooking space diameter of 300 sq in. Temperature control is excellent and it heats up quickly.
The grill comes with a shock-absorbent plunger in case of slamming the lid and strong hinges. The classic kamado style makes it a winner for parties and family get-togethers.
Cons: If you’re comparing this grill to the Kamado Joe, you may want to consider the evenness of your cooks. It heats up nicely, but without a smoking chamber you might have some burnt parts of your meat.
Because the grill has a delicate ceramic exterior, cracking is common. Just be careful when you’re handling it- you’ll probably need a few friends to help move it from place to place.
573 Sq. In.
Pit Boss K24 Ceramic Charcoal Grill
The K24 is the more “professional” version of the K22. The Pit Boss K24 Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill possesses the same qualities as its precedent model. The only difference is the larger cooking surface area of 24.”
This attractive grill possesses high heat cooking capabilities and the unforgettable thick heavy-duty ceramic walls contribute to this feature.
Pros: Like mentioned above, the K24 offers more space for your next grilling party with 30 more sq inches within the main cooking area. It can reach up to 770 degrees, so faster high-heat cooks aren’t a problem.
The grill also comes with high quality bamboo cooking shelves that can be adjustable depending on your preference. Lastly, for the amount of space it offers, the K24 is only $100 dollars more than the prior K22.
Cons: With a larger cooking area, you’re going to have heavier construction. The K24 weighs a total of 260 lbs, so moving it around requires more than 1 person.
Since this grill is made with the same material as the K22, you need to be careful when handling and moving the unit.
662 Sq. In.
Primo Oval XL 400
Other than Weber Summit charcoal grills, Primo is one of the few brands that actually manufactures oval shaped kamados. The Oval XL 400 is the few of its kind and the most popular Primo model. Made out of high quality ceramic material, the XL 400 is a table top grill.
Its biggest quality is 400 sq in of cooking area. For a ceramic kamado grill, this is an enormous amount of grilling space.
Fun Fact: Primo is the only grill brand that manufactures every part of their ceramic grills in America. Nothing is imported.
Pros: With this grill, you have an impressive amount of cooking room. Grilling multiple pieces of food won’t be a problem. To put it in perspective, the Primo XL 400 can grill up to 25 steaks at one time.
Also, you can easily perform dual zone cooking since the oval-shaped design gives you room for both direct and indirect heat.
Cons: Yes, the primo can easily handle dual zone cooking, but you’re required to buy the fire box divider separately if you want to use this feature.
The XL 400 does not come with shelving, locking casters, or lava stone bracket. You will solely get the body of the grill.
Lastly, this grill only possesses an overall depth of 21.” BUT the oval cooking space width makes up for it.
680 Sq. In.
Primo Oval LG 300
The Primo Oval LG 300 is a step down from the XL 400. As the name suggests, it offers 100 sq in less of cooking space. If you are griller who likes to cook a lot of food at once, this grill is still for you!
With a lower price, it still offers outstanding grilling performance and cooking versatility: bake, roast, grill, smoke and braise!
Pros: The Primo Oval LG 300 offers great space if you’re hosting a grilling party. There is a damper built in to the top of the grill, giving you complete control over airflow and temperature.
The Primo Oval LG 300 is 85 lbs lighter than the 400, weighing a total of 145 lbs. With impressive cooking space, this grill can cook up to 20 steaks at once.
Cons: Again, the Oval LG 300 doesn’t come with many accessories. If you want to buy the primo grilling cart for mobility purposes, you would need to spend $2,000 dollars more.
This grill isn’t very mobile friendly, but If you’re into table top grills this one could be for you.
495 Sq. In.
Primo Oval JR 200
The “baby” of the Primo Family. Though smaller, the Primo Oval JR is still a fierce competitor to other ceramic kamado grills. With 200 sq in of cooking area, you can grill, sear, smoke, and bake to your heart’s content.
Pros: It's still considered one of the “smaller” models, but compared to other kamados, the JR 200 is quite impressive. Grilling up to 15 steaks at once, it offers space for multiple cooks.
If you’re a Primo Fan, this is the cheapest of all the models. The oval-shaped unit costs a total of $870 dollars. Like the other Primo models, the JR 200 offers a 2-level cast iron cooking grate for direct and indirect cooking.
Cons: The JR 200 is 200 sq inches smaller than the XL 400. Depending on your grilling kamado style, and how much food you like to cook at once, the smaller space could be a problem for you.
If you are looking for something that’s easier for relocating purpose but high performing, go for the JR 200.
360 Sq. In.
Primo Kamado All-in-One
The primo Kamado All-in-One has all the bells and whistles. If you are interested in the traditional egg-shaped ceramic kamado grill, the All-in-One’s got your covered.
Contrary to its precedent models, the All-in-one comes with side shelves, legs, and wheels. With a solid build and coal efficiency, Primo brags that this is the “bigger bang for your buck.” If unit cost is important to you, then the All-in-one is an outstanding option.
Pros: The all-in-one is manufactured for your ease of use. It comes fully assembled so you can be grilling in no time.
Even with an 18.5” diameter, the heavy duty ceramic insulation is a team player. For its additional features, the grill is the cheapest out of all Primo models. The unit costs $797.00 dollars.
Cons: You don’t get the larger oval-shaped cooking space like other Primo Models, and the All-in-one fails to include a 2-level cooking grate. Even though its considered all-in-one, lava / pizza stones not included. It must be purchased separately, adding to the overall cost of the grill.
280 Sq. In.
Metal Kamado Grills
The Char-Griller Akorn is an insulated egg-shaped kamado made for high temperature grilling. This lightweight grill is built with a double wall. It comes attached to a sturdy, three-legged cart at the bottom.
Like its competitor, the Charbroil Kamander charcoal grill, Char-griller strays away from the typical ceramic build. It’s main feature is its metal body, making it a cheaper option.
Pros: For the price of the Akorn, the grilling performance is quite impressive. It still has the capability of grilling high temperature and low temperature slow cooks.
It offers a 2 level cooking grate with a 20” cooking diameter which is great for grilling large amounts of food. The Akorn only weighs 97 lbs and comes with side shelving, locking casters, and built in temperature gauge.
You won’t have any problem with mobility and relocating this grill. With these features, $329 doesn’t sound like a bad price.
Cons: Longevity of the Akorn kamado kooker charcoal barbecue grill has been a problem for grillers in the past. They might not last as long as the kamado, but the pricing is amazing for its performance.
Corrosion and rusting is also possible if you use this grill very frequently. With that being said, you might want to pay special attention to maintenance and upkeep.
447 Sq. In.
2 level cooking grate
Char-Griller Akorn Jr.
The Char-Griller Akorn Jr. is the Char-grillers version of the Kamado Joes Cadet series. Like any cadet kamado, the Chargriller Akorn Jr kamado kooker offers limited grilling space but unbelievable cooking ability.
Its body is made of insulated triple wall steel so you can still get in those high temperature cooks. This “tiny but mighty” grill is perfect for the road-trippers.
Pros: Putting size aside, the akorn jr kamado kooker charcoal grill can raise temperature no problem. Hi-heat cooks are definitely achievable for this little guy. The grill is very light-weight and makes transportation a breeze- only 40 lbs!!
Other brands that offer cadet models manufacture a separate stand that the grill sits in. With the Akorn Jr., 4 legs are attached to the bottom for support and sturdiness.
Lastly, the price is unbeatable. This is one of the cheapest, if not THE cheapest kamado grill you’ll find.
Cons: Assembly can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you're doing. With a little patience and grit, you’ll get it done in no time. Side shelves are not included with the Akorn Jr, and corrosion on the inside could be a problem due to the metal lining.
153 Sq. In.
1 level cooking grate
The Best Kamado Grills: Buyers Guide
Best Kamado Grills Under $2,000
$1,899.00: Kamado Joe Big Joe 24”
With a large cooking space, you’re getting more bang for your buck. Kamado Joe has been a trusted brand for almost 20 years, and you could be their next loyal customer after buying this grill.
With excellent customer service, heavy duty construction, and lifetime warranty, you won't be disappointed with this purchase.
$1,599.99: Kamado Joe Classic iii 18”
If you don’t require a lot of cooking space, going a step down in the Kamado Joes for a cheaper price is a great idea. The Joe Classic iii 18” is still durable, and will last you a lifetime for the price. It still possesses the same SloRoller cooker and unbelievable ceramic heat retention.
$1,468.00: Primo XL 400
This a great price for the enormous space and genius oval-shaped construction. With dual zone cooking, 2-level grates and sturdy build you won’t regret purchasing the Primo XL 400. You won’t get the side shelves, or mobile friendly wheels, but you’ll get powerful cooking performance nonetheless.
$1,199.00: Kamado Joe classic ii 18”
You can never go wrong with one of the original Kamado Joe models. The Kamado Joe classic ii 18” doesn’t have the sloroller cooking design like the classic iii series, but still possesses unbelievable heat retention. It weighs less, so you don’t have to worry about moving it around as much.
$1,166.00: Primo Oval LG 300
This is less cooking space compared to the newer XL 400. However, the LG 300 still offers great cooking dimensions when compared to the vision or kamado joe brands. It may not come with side shelving or locking casters, but this tabletop grill is a reliable, trustworthy option.
Best Kamado Grills Under $1,000
$899.00: Pit Boss K24 Ceramic
The Pit Boss K24 offers an attractive kamado style and excellent cooking surface. This is a grill you’ll want to leave out on the porch for everyone to see. It is at a great price range for the 24” main cooking surface. It can do both low and high temperature- holding up to 770 degree temperatures.
$870: Primo Oval Jr. 200
This small but mighty grill is an outstanding choice for the price. It is a heavy duty table top grill offering 200 sq in of cooking space. You might not get the mobile friendly features like a locking casters and leg attachments, but this grill has great heat retention and ceramic construction, cooking up to 15 steaks at once.
$799.00: Pit Boss K22 Ceramic
This Ceramic Kamado is a step down from its new model, K24. For only a 2” difference in cooking area, there is a $100 dollar price drop. It still has a snazzy design, coming with locking casters and side shelving. It can cook with high heat no problem, so no need to worry about its ability to retain both low and high temperatures during your cooks.
$799.00: Louisiana Grills K22
Possessing a built-in calibrated system, the Louisiana K22 will last a lifetime. It possesses a quality build and a classy kamado style. IF you’re a frequent griller, this kamado will hold up just fine. It only offers 177 sq in of cooking space, but this just depends on how much you like to grill at once.
$699.00: Vision Grills C-series
The Vision Grills C-series is the complete package for the professional griller. With control knobs, calibrated control system, grill light, electric starter, and side shelving, it’s hard to beat this one. The only downside is its ability to keep up with frequent cooks. You’ll get a total of 604 sq inches of cooking area so you can grill for more friends at your grilling party!
Best Kamado Grills Under $500
$499: Kamado Joe Joe Jr.
Are you a frequent camper? The kamado Joe Jr. is a tinier grill, but it will hold up nicely with high heats and multiple cooks throughout the week. Only weighing 68 lbs, the Kamado Jr. is very mobile friendly. The only downside is the 13.5” diameter of the main cooking area, BUT it comes with a 2-level grate so you still have versatile cooking options.
The Vision B-series is a step down from the newer C-models due to the smaller sq in cooking dimensions. If you’re trying to watch expenses this is still a high-performing option. Only weighing 196lbs, this feature is attractive when comparing it to the 227lb weight of the sister Vision C-series. This model’s construction might be lower quality, but if you don’t cook frequently, it’s a great option. Thankfully, it comes with 2-level cooking grates.
The Vision Cadet series might be for you if you are only grilling for a few people at a time. It only comes with one cooking grate, but it is extremely light compared to other ceramic grills. This makes relocating a breeze if you are moving from place to place. It might not perform at the same level as the Kamado Joe Jr, but it still gets the job done perfectly.
$329.00: Char-Griller Akorn
You might want to consider the lower quality of this one with the price point. Like the Broil King Keg grill, the Char-Griller Akorn is built with a steel interior. The downside to this material is the higher risk of corrosion and rust. However, it offers a 2 level cooking grate with a 20” cooking diameter which is great for grilling large amounts of food. The Akorn only weighs 97 lbs so you can move it no problem. It also comes with side shelving, locking casters, and built in temperature gauge.
Which grill offers the most for the lowest cost? The Vision and Pit Boss brands are tied. First qualifier is the Vision Grills C-series, priced at only $699.00. From cooking surface area to side shelving, it comes with everything you need to take your grilling to the next level. You don’t have to worry about buying accessories because it comes with just about everything you’ll need.
Second, the Pit Boss is a little pricier, but gives you a more reliable grilling experience. Its heavy duty build and 24” of cooking area makes big cooks a piece of cake (or is it ‘piece of brisket?”). It can hold up to 770 degrees of heat, including a 2-level cooking grate, locking casters, and bamboo shelving.
Which is the Best Kamado Grill?
Depending on your cooking techniques, kamado style, and preferred qualities, the ideal kamado differs from griller to griller. We have given you the top picks of 2019 Best Kamado Grills....see what you think.
Kamado Joe Big Joe III 24” - $2,399.00
This high-performing grill will last you a lifetime. You can trust the Big Joe III 24 with its side shelving, sturdy base, thick ceramic walls, and SloRoller cooking abilities. Kamado Joe is a respectable brand, and we can see this reflected in the Big Joe III 24” model. You get a 24” inch grilling surface so you can get more in your cooks. The Big Joe III 24” also comes with 3 grilling rack extensions, allowing for easier 2-zone cooking. The thick legs at the base make relocating simple, with a nice rack attached to the bottom. The Big Joe III 24” is the gold winner.
Primo XL 400 - $1,468.00
The Primo XL 400 ties with the Big Joe due to its large 400” sq in. oval-shaped cooking surface. With its impressive amount of cooking room, it can grill up to 25 steaks at a time isn’t a problem. It is made out of high quality ceramic material, making this grill last a lifetime. The Primo XL 400 is a great tabletop grill that can keep up with your high-heat, frequent cooks. You’ll enjoy it’s versatile grilling abilities and 2-level grate cooking.
Talk of the Town- Komodo Kamado
Hello? There’s a new competitor in town. The Komodo Kamado has added an entirely new twist to kamado grilling.
Weighing up to one half ton, the size of these kamado charcoal smokers will make you look twice. If you’ve ever seen one, you know what we’re talking about. Komodo Kamado grills possess a stainless steel hinge, hefty wheels, and an unmistakable exterior.
Grilling just got fancier with its laid-in tiles coating the exterior of the grill. The dome thermometer offers complete accuracy when compared to most kamado brands.
Your mouth will drop at the “Big Bad 32” model.
It gets better ...there's a Big Bad 42. These grills are serious, starting at a price of 3,500 and climbing upwards of $9,000 dollars.
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What are Kamado Grills?
Kamado grills are grills that require a charcoal fuel source. Kamado grills and smokers are known for their distinct egg-shaped body and hinged sealable lid. Unlike most gas grills or wood pellet grills, a kamado grill is usually made out of ceramic material.
The kamado bbq ceramic grill cooker originated from Japan and was manufactured with the intent of cooking rice. During World War II, soldiers stationed in Japan brought the kamado over to the U.S. where it was repurposed for grilling
Can you grill on a Kamado?
You can grill almost anything on the versatile kamado cooking surface. One of the grill’s applauded features is its ability to evenly cook meat.
The built in vents allow you to adjust the airflow to control the kamado cooking temperatures- this is why most grillers never go back after trying a kamado style grill.
A kamado charcoal grill can make recipes that require constant monitoring like pizza or bread much easier. The reflected heat doesn’t cook one part of the food over the other. From grilled chicken to smoked bologna, you can count on the kamado grill as a team player!
How much does a Kamado grill cost?
A ceramic kamado grill can range anywhere from $400 to $2,000 dollars. It can be the more expensive option if you’re looking for a new grill. However, most kamado grillers claim that these barbecue grills last a lifetime.
If you are looking at the lower end of this price range, it’s important to consider the ease of temperature control, cooking space, and overall sturdiness of the grill body. You don’t want to compromise the quality for a lower price- you want your grill to last.
It’s certainly possible to find a kamado charcoal barbecue grill for $300-$900 dollars as long as you’re mindful of the manufacturing quality.
Is the Big Green Egg the best grill?
If you’re somewhat familiar with grilling, you’ve heard of the Big Green Egg at least a few times in conversation or through surprise pop up ads. Some swear by the Big Green Egg while others prefer a less expensive option.
For the longest time, the Big Green Egg was the only grill of its type in the market. Over the years, other brands have copied its manufacturing and other features to offer cheaper, more affordable, kamado smokers.
It’s not an anomaly to see Big Green Egg prices upwards of $1,000. This begs the question, “Is it really worth it?” You’ve heard the saying “you get what you pay for” and the Big Green Egg 100% supports this way of thinking.
Regardless of the price, the Big Green Egg has a lot to offer to BBQ lovers. It drowns out its competitors mainly with its familiar name and brand loyalty. Putting this aside, we see its unbelievable kamado cooking ability. Maintaining the grill’s temperature is amazingly simple.
On most grills, you have to control the grill domes dampers and adjust the amount of coal/wood to get that “sweet spot” during cooks. With the Big Green Egg, all you have to do is dial in your cooking temperatures and the grill maintains heat itself.
Ranging from 200 to 600 degrees, the BGE can hold both high and low cooking temperatures. Most grills can only offer one or the other.
The Big Green Egg offers A LOT of space for your cooks. The most popular Green Egg is the large unit, possessing a cooking area of 262 square inches and grid diameter of 18 inches. To put it in perspective, the grill can hold up to 8 steaks at one time.
So if you are a person that likes to grill for large dinner parties, this one’s for you. Lastly, the Big Green Egg has a lifetime warranty on any ceramic parts of the grill. This includes the dome, fire box, fire ring, base, and damper top.
Overall convenience of the Big Green Egg grill can become a burden and other brands have chosen to capitalize on this weakness.
The wood shelving can be a struggle to adjust and remove when they get in the way of cooking. Since the grill is made with heavy material, it can be clunky to move around. Rolling it through your backyard to your patio isn’t exactly ideal.
What to look for in a Kamado Grill
Weight plays a huge part in transportability. How hard is it to move your grill? It can be a hassle clunking around an enormously heavy grill. On the lower end, some kamado smoker grills weigh only 85 lbs. Others can weigh up to 300lbs.
If your grill permanently sits on your back porch throughout the year, then go for a heavier grill. If you live in harsh weather conditions, purchasing a heavier grill might be a good idea. Afterall, you don’t want strong winds interfering with your cook.
Whether its ceramic or metal, the construction of your grill determines its longevity and overall kamado cooking efficiency. There are many types of materials kamado grills are typically made of: terra cotta, cement, lava rock, cast aluminum, metal, and ceramics.
Most kamado bbq grillers prefer ceramic over other materials due to its compatibility with high cooking temperatures. A ceramic cooker body can retain heat at a high level, but cheaper ceramic material can be known to crack or rust.
How small do you want your kamado grill? Grillers that love to travel and camp have fallen in love with the Cadet Kamado or Jr. Kamado. This design is much smaller, but allows for easy transportation.
Rather than the grill being attached to four legs, it sits in a snug metal stand. Yes, there is less kamado cooking space, but the construction is much lighter for transportability sake. It all depends on your grilling lifestyle.
The biggest bummer is realizing you need to buy more parts after your new kamado arrives at your doorstep. You want to be sure your grill comes with all the necessary parts. If not, your purchase could end up being pricier than originally expected.
For example, some grill manufacturers require that you buy a deflector plate separately from the grill. Without a deflector plate, it’s impossible to start your first kamado cook without searing your food. Some models don’t include this important accessory.
Brands like the Big Green Egg will only sell the body of the grill. You’re required to buy the stacked grills, side wood tables, ash tool, and deflector plates separately. Words of the wise- double check before you click “purchase” in that shopping cart!
Bottom line: size matters! You’ll never regret buying a grill with a larger kamado cooking area. This is the great thing about kamado charcoal grills because most come with two-level cooking grates. Depending how much you grill at once, kamado kookers offer anywhere from 100 to 600 sq in. of cooking surface area.
There are usually two different types of surface areas on a kamado kooker charcoal grill: oval Shaped and round shaped. Oval ceramic grills offer a larger “oval-shaped” cooking surface so you can easily manage 2 zone cooking.
2 zone kamado cooking simply means rearranging your grilling racks so one is placed directly above the heat source while the other is cooked on indirect heat. This form of grilling gives you more options and control over your cooks.
The traditional round (egg shaped) kamado charcoal smoker grill doesn’t offer as much versatility in cooking styles. The benefit of a round cooking surface is the thicker insulated walls. Some see this more important than less cooking space- it really depends on what features you want in a grill.
Some claim the “oval” beats “round” every time. Both oval-shaped and egg-shaped ceramic kamado grills have the capability of each cooking type: direct cooking, indirect cooking, and smoking.
The difference is that oval-shaped kamados can do direct and indirect cooking at the SAME time. Cool right?
Now, Let's Grill!
We hope your searching has come to an end with this Kamado grill review. Now it’s time to start grilling! Win your weekend one kamado grill at a time with The Barbecue Lab!
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