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Author Topic: Considering a Kamado  (Read 1670 times)

stillgriller

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 665
Considering a Kamado
« on: January 17, 2022, 07:39:14 AM »
Iím thinking about going to the dark side and getting a ceramic Kamado, namely a Kamado Joe.
My reasons are the following:
Efficiency, using less charcoal
Easier to maintain temp/humidity than both my WSM and kettles, which do not have seals.
More resilient to winter cold for heat retention.

Anyone have one and want to chime in? Experience, recommendations, size/version, customer support/warranty etc?
Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.

stubblebum

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 280
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2022, 03:56:02 AM »
There have been a few emails lately stating that Kamado Joe prices are going up, so it might be worth it to make up your mind soon. I didnt look into how much the increase will be but I think the email was from atbbq.com

Kneab

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3469
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2022, 05:00:19 AM »
I have never used a Kamado joe or any other ceramic kamado. But I do have a Summit grilling center and love it. I don't think that I have used my wsm since getting it. Anything from smoking at 225į to blazing over 800į for pizzas it handles it just fine. No risk of cracking ceramic and light enough for my wife and i to carry it up from the patio to the deck for winter use.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Weber Kettle Club mobile app

ISO Brown Go Anywhere

michaelmilitello

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3818
Considering a Kamado
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2022, 08:28:45 AM »
I donít own a kamado but I have been researching then in detail, pondering a purchase, as well.   I do think KJ is superior to BGE.  KJ is more flexible in cooking configuration and has more out of the box than BGE.  I have heard bad things about KJ service lately.   I like the gasket and lid hinge on the KJ.   KJ is a better value than BGE.   

That said, I agree with Kneab.  The Weber Kamado can do everything the ceramics can without all of the problems with ceramics.  Itís lighter and more portable.   It has no firebox to break.   It is more forgiving if you overshoot temps.  You have the option of briquettes or lump.   The Weber ash clean out system is way better the KJ or BGE.   On the downside, Weber doesnít have the scope of accessories that KJ and BGE haveÖyet.   

When I can find gently used summit at the right price, thatís how Iíd go, and not necessarily because Iím a Weber guy.  I really think Weber got the formula and price right when the Kamado.   Too bad, the economy has forced the prices higher. 

Personally, an 18 kamado is too small.   Might be doable for a family of four but for larger groups itís too small.   

Also, donít order a KJ from Walmart.   Iíve seen a million Facebook posts of broken ceramic ordered through them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: January 18, 2022, 11:05:13 AM by michaelmilitello »

stillgriller

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 665
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2022, 11:00:34 AM »
Costco has the Joe Jr. for $329, about $70 off. Itís on the small side, but I wonder if itís a good intro kamado. It has lots of fans on YouTube.
Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.

SixZeroFour

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  • Posts: 5833
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2022, 11:47:20 AM »
Kamado Joe ceramics are great grills for the right person/application!

Probably the best value for the money in a ceramic as they include most accessories like hanging racks, deflector plates etc etc so you aren't spending another $500 on top of your base purchase to gear up. And like you said; excellent efficiency, holds temp beautifully, loads of accessories...

There are a few potential downsides IMO...

- Not fantastic if you plan to move it around a lot. Obviously they are very heavy and can be prone to cracking/chipping if banged at all - even on the stand. This goes for any ceramic.
- Not much room for expansion above and beyond the main cooking grate. Yes you can get an expansion rack but you just don't get the same versatility and usability of the wide open kettle type design IMO. Make sure you pick the right size for YOUR cooking needs. For instance if you want to lay full racks of ribs flat (or a full packer brisket), your only choice is the big joe as the classic is just a bit too small as I find you need to trim a bit or coil the racks and stand on end.
- Steer clear of the Joe Jr. unless you only plan to cook a small chicken or a single rack of ribs once or twice a year - its so small that the capacity is VERY limited.
- Ceramics hold temp for a very long time - usually a good thing but sometimes not. I find the weber (Summit especially) is much better a moving from smoking > grilling or vice versa QUICKLY. The Kamado is sorta a one-trick pony once its all set up and running at temp. Moving grates, adding charcoal etc is a lot more involved process on a ceramic where as the summit can be fairly easily switched mid cook and adding fuel is easy-peasy.
- Only lump charcoal should really be used in a ceramic. Most if not all briquettes should be avoided as they can use petroleum and normally contain fillers etc that could potentially absorb into the ceramic. Not a big deal for most of us but could come into play in a pinch.
- Cleaning. Rough interior surfaces can be a pain.

That being said...

The Kamado Joe is a beautiful grill and quality in our experience has been excellent across the board - just make sure its the right fit for your grilling style.

Best of luck with the decision!

- Six

(I am trained on and sell both Weber and Kamado Joe)
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stillgriller

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 665
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2022, 12:10:55 PM »
Kamado Joe ceramics are great grills for the right person/application!

Probably the best value for the money in a ceramic as they include most accessories like hanging racks, deflector plates etc etc so you aren't spending another $500 on top of your base purchase to gear up. And like you said; excellent efficiency, holds temp beautifully, loads of accessories...

There are a few potential downsides IMO...

- Not fantastic if you plan to move it around a lot. Obviously they are very heavy and can be prone to cracking/chipping if banged at all - even on the stand. This goes for any ceramic.
- Not much room for expansion above and beyond the main cooking grate. Yes you can get an expansion rack but you just don't get the same versatility and usability of the wide open kettle type design IMO. Make sure you pick the right size for YOUR cooking needs. For instance if you want to lay full racks of ribs flat (or a full packer brisket), your only choice is the big joe as the classic is just a bit too small as I find you need to trim a bit or coil the racks and stand on end.
- Steer clear of the Joe Jr. unless you only plan to cook a small chicken or a single rack of ribs once or twice a year - its so small that the capacity is VERY limited.
- Ceramics hold temp for a very long time - usually a good thing but sometimes not. I find the weber (Summit especially) is much better a moving from smoking > grilling or vice versa QUICKLY. The Kamado is sorta a one-trick pony once its all set up and running at temp. Moving grates, adding charcoal etc is a lot more involved process on a ceramic where as the summit can be fairly easily switched mid cook and adding fuel is easy-peasy.
- Only lump charcoal should really be used in a ceramic. Most if not all briquettes should be avoided as they can use petroleum and normally contain fillers etc that could potentially absorb into the ceramic. Not a big deal for most of us but could come into play in a pinch.
- Cleaning. Rough interior surfaces can be a pain.

That being said...

The Kamado Joe is a beautiful grill and quality in our experience has been excellent across the board - just make sure its the right fit for your grilling style.

Best of luck with the decision!

- Six

(I am trained on and sell both Weber and Kamado Joe)

Interesting, thanks Six.
Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.

MoparProud

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Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2022, 06:04:33 PM »
Are you set on ceramic? I would 100% put my Summit Charcoal up against any ceramic on the market, it is an AMAZING cooker. It was spendy at 1500 but itís the best thing Iíve cooked on.

I cannot say enough good things about it. And the current Kamado is the same bowl and lid as my Summit, with different cart and no propane ignition (unless you get the side table cart). Saves 400 from the Summit.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club

stillgriller

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  • Posts: 665
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2022, 08:10:15 PM »
Are you set on ceramic? I would 100% put my Summit Charcoal up against any ceramic on the market, it is an AMAZING cooker. It was spendy at 1500 but itís the best thing Iíve cooked on.

I cannot say enough good things about it. And the current Kamado is the same bowl and lid as my Summit, with different cart and no propane ignition (unless you get the side table cart). Saves 400 from the Summit.


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club
I am not sure I want ceramic and I like the idea of the relatively lightweight Steel Kamado so I can move it easily. I see some real advantages, including cleanup with the one-touch system, no limitations of ceramic, ie- weight, risk of cracking, longer initial startup time.
How does it perform in winter weather compared to a regular kettle?
How well does it seal for smoking?


Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.

SixZeroFour

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Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2022, 10:07:53 AM »
Have to agree with MoparProud - the Summit Charcoal/Kamado is a bad ass grill. I've had one since launch and love it - gas asssist and all :). Not quite as efficient as a true ceramic but significantly better than a standard kettle. I figure about 20% more efficient, and the small tradeoff for moveability and durability is worth it IMO. Notable difference in cold weather performance as well, and it does seal up nicely for smoking but you do need to choke down your air vents pretty good to hit super low temps.
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stillgriller

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Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2022, 10:18:17 AM »
Have to agree with MoparProud - the Summit Charcoal/Kamado is a bad ass grill. I've had one since launch and love it - gas asssist and all :). Not quite as efficient as a true ceramic but significantly better than a standard kettle. I figure about 20% more efficient, and the small tradeoff for moveability and durability is worth it IMO. Notable difference in cold weather performance as well, and it does seal up nicely for smoking but you do need to choke down your air vents pretty good to hit super low temps.

Are you saying it is 20% more efficient than a regular kettle?
Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.

SixZeroFour

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Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2022, 10:51:08 AM »
In my experience, yes. Hot and Fast you wont see as much of a difference, but low and slow was noticeable for sure. On a full load I've run 12+ hour cooks without a refuel and still had a bit left over.
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stillgriller

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  • Posts: 665
Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2022, 11:09:57 AM »
I wonder how the Weber kamado compares to a Kamado Joe for winter cooking.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 12:47:49 PM by stillgriller »
Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.

Kneab

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Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2022, 12:48:48 PM »
These are pictures of fuel left in my Summit after a 15hr brisket cook. It could have easily gone 30hrs. At least half was left from a full load of Weber charcoal and oak blocks for smoke.
I have not weighed fuel before and after cooks, but someday I will. I have never run short on fuel and I am always amazed by how long the Summit can run.

Both pictures are from the same cook. The first photo is before I pushed it all to one side.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Weber Kettle Club mobile app
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 12:50:24 PM by Kneab »
ISO Brown Go Anywhere

stillgriller

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Re: Considering a Kamado
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2022, 01:00:13 PM »
Thanks Karl, thatís good to know.
Is itís performance diminished in the winter months?
Happiness is found under the lid of a charcoal grill.