9 Best Kamado Grills Reviews and Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Good Kamado Grills?
If cooking is your hobby, you may find grilling somewhat interesting. Almost everyone loves the taste of freshly prepared barbecue, especially when it is done right, and the ingredients are just in the right quantities. You need to upgrade your cooking equipment at times, to get a better cooking experience. Grilling is an art – a form of cooking that has been around for about 3,000 years.
Through the years, there has always been this consensus that the grilling equipment impacts the taste of the grilled food. If you are thinking of buying a Kamado grill to upgrade your kitchen skills, it is a good idea.
However, getting a Kamado grill is not cheap. Therefore, you need to know what things you should consider so that you can get real value for your money. This article is aimed at helping you pick the best Kamado grills.
Unlike gas grills, charcoal grills, petter grills, pizza ovens, and smokers, Kamado grills have a tailored design. It also makes a special cooking method to bring an aromatic aroma to the food. Better than built-in grills, most Kamado grills are portable grills that enable users to move them easily. Also, compared to air fryers, Kamado grills are developed for grilling, which means they can produce tasty grilled food.
Here are top pick Kamado grills on the market that you can purchase:
- Our Favorite Choice – Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Grill
- Best Mini Kamado Joe – Kamado Joe Junior Ceramic Charcoal Grill
- Best Sturdy and Versatile Kamado Grill – Kamado Joe Classic I
- Most Innovative Kamado Grill – KamadoJoe Classic III ceramic grill
- Best “Egg” Kamado Charcoal Grill – Char-Griller Akorn
- Best Mobile Grill – Kamado Joe KJ15040320
- Best Portable Kamado Grill – Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr.
- Best Stand Alone Grill – Kamado Joe KJ23NRHC Classic II Stand-Alone Charcoal Grill
- Most Multifunction Griller – Lifesmart 133″ 6-In-1 Kamado
Best Kamado Grills Reviews
1. Our Favorite Choice – Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Grill
The Kamado Joe Classic II ceramic grill has a thick wall made of ceramic that is very heat resistant, helping it store heat and moisture. The ashes are caught in a patented drawer. This can be easily pulled out and cleaned without any problems.
A premium fiberglass mesh gasket ensures a guaranteed airtight seal and has 10 times the service life of a normal felt seal. The temperature inside can be regulated via the air setting and it helps to manage the airflow caused by opening and closing.
A premium hinge makes opening the lid very easy as it carries 96% of its weight. On the other hand, the grill is a little more expensive, but this is justified in terms of quality and possibilities.
2. Best Mini Kamado Joe – Kamado Joe Junior Ceramic Charcoal Grill
The Kamado Joe Junior is a unique charcoal grill straight from America. It is a grill made of ceramic. This is very heat-resistant so that you can easily prepare the grilled food at the desired temperatures. The hinge for the lid is made of iron that has been galvanized.
The grill frame itself is also made of iron, which has been finished with a layer of powder. This means that it will be able to withstand barbecues and the weather. The grill grate is made of stainless steel, as is the fire grate. The latter has a powder coating. The lid handle is made of plastic so that it does not heat up.
3. Best Sturdy and Versatile Kamado Grill – Kamado Joe Classic I
The Kamado Joe Classic I is made from high-quality and durable ceramic material with a thermometer. It has a Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System and can smoke foods from temperatures of 225 degrees up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
The walls of the fire pit are made of ceramic and there is a small stainless steel door to regulate the airflow. A thermometer shows which temperatures are being reached. However, it is not that made for everyone. This is because it is mostly tailored to the American market.
The Kamado is an 18-inch ceramic grill with ideal heat distribution. This makes it ideal for grilling, smoking, baking, and the slow garden. Ceramic, stainless steel, and cast iron are used as materials. That makes it very robust and durable.
4. Most Innovative Kamado Grill – KamadoJoe Classic III ceramic grill
The KamadoJoe Classic III is the latest innovation in the Kamado Joe Classics. With a powerful cyclonic airflow technology, the air flows are optimally used to regulate heat and smoke development. This means that slow cooking at 260 degrees is perfect so that the food gets the best taste and texture.
Higher temperatures are also possible without any problems. Heat deflectors and thick ceramic walls that store the heat help with this. The lid is equipped with a compressed air hinge and a counterweight so that it can be opened extremely easily. Precise air regulators enable precise control of the internal temperature.
Heat-resistant side shelves help with grilling and all related work. It takes a little practice and a few tries to get the hang of this grill and then the result will be wonderful.
5. Best “Egg” Kamado Charcoal Grill – Char-Griller Akorn
Designed like the Big Green Egg, with this Char-Griller model, grilling becomes an experience. With thick ceramic walls that are heat-resistant, hard-wearing, and durable, many delicious dishes can be conjured up in them. It is suitable for grilling chickens. Steaks, fish, bread, pizzas, and the good old grilled sausages.
The grill is based on the Japanese Kamado process. This allows the grilled food to be cooked gently, while it remains juicy and full of aroma at the same time. The grill is delivered with a grate, a watertight thermometer, spring support for the lid, and a ventilation slide made of stainless steel.
A printed manual for the operation is supplied. What is missing, however, are a pizza stone, a deflector stone, and a grill riser. However, you can order these separately and then prepare your meals accordingly.
6. Best Mobile Grill – Kamado Joe KJ15040320
This Kettle Joe is a Kamado charcoal grill with a visually appealing and absolutely helpful folding side shelf on both sides. The handle allows easy opening and at the same time protects against the heat. A thermometer shows the temperatures inside.
The ceramic walls store the heat very well and the air currents create a chimney effect through which the fuel is used efficiently. That means you need less of it to get the same heat. This allows cooking at up to 705 degrees Fahrenheit.
The grill has a base with 4 rollers. This means that it can easily be set up wherever you want to use it. Two of the rollers can be locked so that it has a secure footing. However, if you want a deflector stone, you have to purchase it separately, as it is not included in the delivery.
7. Best Portable Kamado Grill – Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr.
A classic among the Kamado grills, the AKORN Jr. is a classic kamado grill that weighs 33 pounds and has a thermometer in the lid.
The lid is lifted so that the food to be grilled can be placed on the grillage. Due to the ceramic used, the temperature inside can be kept constant.
The buyers’ reviews are very positive. Here, among other things, the users note that the AKORN Jr. can be used for the preparation of many different foods. The grill is used as a smoker, but also as a grill and smoker. The grill is very economical and a sack of charcoal is enough for a long time.
8. Best Stand Alone Grill – Kamado Joe KJ23NRHC Classic II Stand-Alone Charcoal Grill
What makes this different from the Classic II earlier reviewed is that this ceramic grill doesn’t come with a trolley. It’s a standalone model.
Side storage areas are also not included in the scope of delivery. You’ll find somewhere else to place your grilled food and grill tongs. The Kamado Joe – Classic II Stand-alone ceramic charcoal grill is however equipped with the Divide and Conquer system.
This is a cooking system that can be used flexibly. This allows food to be grilled at different temperatures at the same time. In addition, the manufacturer works with a Kontrol Tower Top Vent and a patented ash pull-out. This enables extensive airflow management.
9. Most Multifunction Griller – Lifesmart 133″ 6-In-1 Kamado
The Lifesmart Kamado Grill is a ceramic grill that can grill up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with an electric starter, a grill cover, and a cart with a set of wheels. The ceramic wall is thick and stores heat very well. This is held for hours and slowly released into the interior.
The lid closes airtight so that temperatures of up to 800 degrees can be reached with just a little charcoal. Practical folding shelves made of restaurant-style wood on both sides serve as a work surface and make work easier.
10 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Kamado Grill
#1 Body Build
At this point, you need to take your mind off price for a moment. By merely handling two or more different brands of Kamado grills, you can judge essential parameters such as strength and material grade. I suggest you don’t start by asking for the price at all. When you begin by comparing the quality of build, you are more likely to make a better choice and get a better deal on your Kamado grills.
If you get a strong and capable Kamado grill for a reasonable price, it may be worth so much more than buying a lower quality product at a lower price.
Cheap Kamado grills are usually characterized with thinner walls. They often have temperature fluctuation issues. You may need to look at the quality of finish and substandard metal fittings that are likely to get rust. A thin gasket that is not sealing tightly should ward you off buying that grill.
#2 Construction Materials
Kamado grills can be made of enamel-coated stainless steel or ceramic. Some recent models are made of cast aluminum. Each material has its merits and demerits. For example, the ceramic types have improved capacity for heat retention and are highly durable. Their downside lies mainly in their weight. If you need to move your Kamado grill around, the ceramic models may not be the best choice.
The coated steel models are lightweight, and you can easily move it around. However, they are prone to rust. It is also a bit difficult for newbies to identify good quality coated steel models. Both cast aluminum Kamado grills and coated steel models offer lightweight materials. However, the ability to resist temperature fluctuation is lower when compared with the ceramic models. For this reason, you need to watch out for special construction features in steel models that help to control heat.
Kamado grills come in small, medium, and large sizes. The size you should consider depends on how much capacity you need your grill to handle. A small sized grill should be perfect for a couple. If you are looking to feed your large family, a larger sized Kamodo grill should do.
Also, bearing in mind that our needs may fluctuate from time to time, one can stay safe and choose medium-sized grills. The advantage of getting a medium-sized grill is that you will often find it suitable on many occasions. Tilting to the extremes of small or large size can impose a lot of limitations on how you use your grills.
Small grillers come with a compact cooking area measuring below 20 inches. The cooking area for medium-sized grillers is between 21 and 39 inches. The large grills offer you a cooking area of 40 inches and above. They can be used for commercial purposes or during special events that call for a crowd.
#4 Wear and Rust Resistance
Since most grills usually stay outside all year round, it is also important to choose grills that will withstand the elements of weather. Taking note of the finish on the grill may help you determine if it will stay firm for a long time. The good idea is to construct a cover for your grills so that you can prevent it from rain or other means from entering through the top vent.
It is advisable to buy a grill that gives you extra space where you can place your seasonings or vegetables when getting the barbeque ready. In case you can’t find a model having such space, look out for manufacturers who offer custom made tables and carts where the grill fits perfectly.
Talking of space, you also need to consider the space outside your house where you decide to keep the Kamado grill. It often takes much space like a smoker. And if your Kamado grill comes with a cart, you will require more floor space to keep it than when you are only mounting the grill on its stands.
Many brands of grills come with various essential accessories such as rakes, ash baskets, and some more. Since some manufacturers include more accessories than others, you can compare add ons to see what you will save if you purchase these accessories separately.
Grills come with many accessories and features to aid multiple cooking modes. You only need to choose the one that would cater more to your needs. You can expect to find warming racks, porcelain-coated grates, and grills. Some models have an in-built grill thermometer to monitor the food and control temperature.
Most times, you will find that grills come with more accessories, which will save you money in the long run as you won’t need to buy the accessories separately.
#7 Parts Replacement
You can also consider what the company policy is on the replacement of worn-out parts. Once you are clear on this, you will be able to decide if you can maintain the grill you are about to purchase.
On this note, you may need to go for well-established brands as their parts are relatively easier and often cheaper to get than parts of new brands. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to purchase old models. You can get new models of good old brands. It is more likely some parts of the old models will fit with the latest models from the same brand. And where this is not possible, one can easily find vendors that can quickly offer suitable alternatives.
#8 Learning Curve
Due to the differences in make, constitution, and user experience, you may find cooking at a fixed temperature quite tricky with many new Kamado grills. Unlike gas grills and charcoal grills, Often you will have to cook with the grill several times and pay attention to the heating system before you can master how to cook at a fixed temperature.
For this reason, if you used a particular model in the past and are already used to it, you may purchase the same kind if you need a new one. Your experience with the old one should help you scale the learning curve faster.
#9 New vs. Old Models
You may prefer the old models probably because you have used them previously and understand their intricacies. However, if you like to explore new and improved cooking possibilities, you should go for the new models of brands with a good reputation. One obvious drawback is just that you may need to cook with the new model for a while before you can understand how best to use it for cooking at different temperatures.
#10 Design and Color
Most Kamado grills come round-shaped or oval-shaped, it is quite different from other grills, like pellet grills. For at least two reasons, egg or oval-shaped grillers are preferred above the round ones. The first reason is that oval-shaped Kamado grills make the heating of food very efficient. The heat and smoke are effectively channeled so that they can give an even cook to your food.
You can get Kamado grills in black, red, golden yellow, and green colors. You can go artistic with the Kamado grill color you choose. Black is kind of easy to maintain than the other colors. Since your grill will be staying outdoor, you may also choose a color that matches your wall or floor type.
Wrapping It Up
The ceramic smoker grill, also known as the kamado grill, has one of the best flavors you can have while grilling. With the right grill, you can give meat, vegetables, or other dishes a perfect smoked taste that makes the taste as pleasant as you can imagine.
These grills are similarly designed. They are mostly made of ceramic and use charcoal. If you want the best value for money, we’d recommend the Lifesmart 133″ 6-In-1 Kamado to you. Meanwhile, our favorite model is the Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Ceramic Grill. Its premium fiberglass mesh gasket that ensures a guaranteed airtight seal is one of the key features that won us over.
Choosing a good Kamado grill will give you peace of mind for a very long time. You can grill your food with confidence that it will taste nice. One other point to consider about Kamado grills is maintenance. You should determine how best you want to keep your grill in good condition. Using covers and racks will help keep out water. General cleaning after each use is also essential. This will not only make your grill last longer but also keep the taste of your food nice.
Premium Kamado grills may seem quite expensive, but consider it as a longterm investment in your cooking items. Once you get the right one, it can serve you for more than a decade.
We hope that you’ll be able to find the best Kamado grill to cook those tasty meals you crave.