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The 5 Best Kamado Grills of 2020 – Review & Buying Guide

Best Kamado Grill

Cooking over wood brings with it a unique and magical sensation that comes with it. Wood is known for creating an intensely delicious flavor in every dish. This explains the reason why wood-burning Kamado grills have become so popular among many grilling enthusiasts. In this article, I will list down several Kamado grills that you would never go wrong with.

The 5 Best Kamado Grills

1. Kamado Joe Classic III

Best Overall: Kamado Joe Classic III

There are countless reasons why people are going for Kamado Grills compared to other grills in the market. If your main reason for switching to a Kamado Grill is because you are tired of the traditional barbecue experience, this will do. It introduces you to a life of slow-roasted brisket and ribs, which is such a great experience.

Kamado Joe Classic III has not only been rated as the overall best Kamado grill but also the best backyard charcoal grill. This grill has the ideal mix of versatility, innovative features, and practical cooking. All this comes at a pocket-friendly price....

Features

Below are some features that will explain why this grill has been rated as the top best.

1. Innovativeness

The Big Green Egg initially dominated this market. However, the introduction of Kamado Joe brought a total turn of events. Although this is not the original product, its innovativeness has changed the vision of other products being introduced in this market. Kamado Joe Classic III is the basis of Kamado Joe's company lineup inclusive of the Joe Jr Big Joe III 24".
When we talk about the innovativeness of Kamado Joe Classic III, we mean precisely that. Since version II, there has been a redesign of an even greater grill. VI and VII are an excellent deal but not as good as VIII.

2. Sturdy

Kamado Joe III is well constructed and made of high-fired ceramic and a porcelain glaze. The grill is relatively thick, making it possible for the outside to stay reasonably calm during cooking. This means it will be much easier to handle it even with bare hands when cooking.

3. An Air Lift Hinge Lid

Although the Kamado lids are pretty heavy, this has been compensated with the Air Lift Hinge. This is not only beautiful but also reduces damages and accidents when using the grill. You no longer have to fear slamming the lid shut accidentally. All you will need to do is to let go of the handle, and the top will remain where you place it.

4. A Pull-Out Ash Drawer

Cleaning Kamado Joe III is relatively easy and fun thanks to the pull out ash drawer located at the bottom of the grill. To ensure you don't leave out the middle when cleaning, a new self-activating stainless steel handle has been fixed. This is meant to secure the lid, ensuring the pressure is kept on the fiberglass seals placed between the bottom and the ceramics' top halves.

5. Unique Top Vent

A top vent is not unique by itself, but Kamado Joe has quite different from what you find on many competitor grills. The grill features a Kontrol Tower, which is a side venting chimney that provides more control. At the same time, it prevents rain from getting inside the grill.

6. Large Cooking Space

Kamado Joe Classic III measures 46.5"W*50.5"H*30"D and weighs approximately 262.6 lbs. The now 3-tier divide and conquer cooking system makes it possible to purchase additional sets of grates. The cooking space measures 510 square inches, but you can also increase it thanks to the 3-tier divide. It's cooking temperature ranges between 225 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. A Slo-Roller

The Slo-Roller aims to make this grill the world's most optimal smoker. It is capable of creating re-circulating waves of smoke and heat that surround your food. This results in evenly-subjected food to heat and smokey goodness without any hot or cold spots. Hence, you get an evenly cooked food that attains the best flavor.

Pros

  • Thick ceramic construction 
  • Red-catching red porcelain
  • Metal side shelves on the new design.
  • Versatile grill perfect for the moderate size. 
  • The new design concentrated more on the top vent and the new hinge.
  • It's easy to use thanks to its many accessories included. 
  • Great features like the sliding ashtray and the Slo-roller 

Cons

  • A bit expensive compared to other models of grill.

Why do We Recommend this Grill?

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2. Komodo Kamado

Komodo Kamado

Although the price of a grill is one of the main things one looks at when purchasing a grill, some don't. Are you so enthusiastic about grilling that you would spend a fortune to get a grill of your choice? Add Komodo Kamado to your next shopping list. The grill might be expensive for many, but it is worth the sacrifice.

Features

Below are a few features of Komodo Kamado.

1. Brilliantly Engineered

Are you looking for a brilliantly engineered and excellent looking product on the market? You can never go wrong with Komodo Kamado. The grill is incredibly unusual to look at. With its elegance and unique art, you will be proud to have it in your yard. When it comes to engineering in grills, Komodo Kamado is likely the very best in the world. It features good looks, builds quality and functionality.

Bearing in mind, it is the brainchild of Dennis Linkletter, who is the grandson of Art Linkletter (TV personality). He took over the management of a small Kamado manufacturing company located in Indonesia. Dennis came up with an innovative function and a breathtaking appearance.

2. Comes In Six Different Sizes

The 23" Ultimate was the initial and the original Kamado 12 years ago. However, with time, things have changed, and we now have different sizes to choose from (a total of six). The smallest is a 16 inches tabletop, and the biggest (known as the beast) is 42".

At the same time, they have a total of 40 color variations to choose from. Space-grade adhesive has been used to apply tiles to the outside of the grill. This is what has contributed to the availability of over 30 color variations.

3. Extensive Large Cooking Space

Choosing the 23" Ultimate offers you a main grilling space of 375 square inches. The upper grill offers you 274 square inches while the lower grill offers you 329 square inches. In total, that is a cooking surface of almost 1000 square inches.

Your guess is as good as mine. This unit is quite heavy as it weighs approximately 588 lbs. Therefore, lifting it will definitely need a big team effort. The main, upper and lower cooking spaces are all 3/8"/9 304 stainless steel. At the same time, you can use it in 4 cooking positions.

The charcoal basket measures ¼"/6.35 mm 304 stainless steel while the ash screen/heat shield is 3 m 304 stainless. Most of the fittings and fixtures on this grill are also 304 stainless. Finally, the body is multi-layered and incredibly insulated with a lid of approximately 120lbs. All this quality material considerably adds to the weight of the grill.

4. A Self-opening Hinge Design

Understanding how heavy the product was, they decided to make your life more bearable. Hence, they incorporated a self-opening hinge for the lid. The lid simply opens on its own once you flip the latch. The lead is also easy to close and therefore you should not be discouraged by the weight. Regardless of its strength and size, the grill is much easier to operate than you'd expect.

5. Great Quality

Komodo Kamado is an incredibly well-engineered unit that uses the best materials. Its extreme insulation and the quality of its said materials you can use a 16lb of charcoal for 85 hours at 235 degrees F. this means, the grill does not only promise you great services, it is also efficient in class of fuel.

At the same time, you will save a lot of money with this grill compared to other brands in the form of fuel conservation. When it comes to purchasing the grill, it costs $9, 000 and above but luckily, many allow monthly payment plans. Hence, you can pay the first installment and pay the rest in installments.

Pros

  • Food grade silicone seals.
  • A total of 40 colors to choose from.
  • The Rotisserie shaft system makes the grill rotisserie ready.
  • Build quality and incredible engineering materials used. 
  • Optional gas door assembly located at the rear
  • 'Temp controller' (BBQ guru/Roks Stokker) ready through the supplied faceplate.
  • Opening and closing the grill has been made much easier thanks to the self-opening hinge and lid that lessens the weight.
  • Comes standard with a charcoal basket, three cooking grates, heat deflector, side accessories and a drip pan all featuring very thick 304 stainless steel.

Cons

  • Ridiculously heavy
  • Very expensive.

Why do We Recommend this Grill?

For anyone with great desire of fulfilling a dream of having an ultimate grill in their yard and who has extra money to spend, go for Komodo Kamado. Although you can get this from online retailers, it is advisable to stick to the manufacturer's website. This makes it easier for you to ship the grill.

3. Primo Oval Ceramic Grill

Primo Oval Ceramic Grill

For cooks who are fond of wide grills like a gas bbq, using a typical round-shaped Kamado grills might be quite challenging. The grill might be limited in size and achieving different heat zones might also be a challenge. At the same time, it might also be difficult to accommodate large cuts of meat. If you have had these thoughts in your mind, Primo Oval will never disappoint.

Features

Below are a few features of this great grill.

1. Great width

Just as the name suggests Primo Oval is oval in shape and not circular. Hence, it has an extra width that makes it possible to accommodate a rack of ribs. If need be, you can create two distinct heat zones by dividing up the charcoal in the firebox.
This will give you high indirect heat on one side while the other one will have high direct heat above the charcoal. This is a perfect deal for searing food then cooking indirect until ready

2. Cast-iron Top Vent

Primo Oval is an American-made grill and it's a ceramic monster weighing 250 pounds. However it offers you 300 square inches of cooking space and a cast-iron top vent included in that weight. The 300 square inches might not be enough for many people. Hence they have made it possible to expand this space to 495 square inches using a rack system.

3. Comes In Two Different Versions

When it comes to our needs of cooking space we are all different. Therefore, there are two versions of Primo Oval. One offers you 400 square inch Oval XL which includes a Jack Daniel's special edition that looks pretty in the backyard. The second one is a bit smaller measuring 210 square inches with a customary 18.5" round ceramic grill.

4. Long Life Expectancy

One of the qualities of a good grill is its durability. With Primo Oval Ceramic Grill, you get nothing less than the best. This reversible grill has a long life expectancy and features spring-loaded hinge that makes it easy to lift the hefty lid. Visiting their website offers you great tips on using the grill for beginners. You can as well order Primo-branded gear to shine-in while using the grill.

5. Lacks Many Accessories in The Package

Looking at the grill, you would fall in love with it as it boasts of a high-quality appearance. Unfortunately, it lacks most of the cool accessories associated with it. Actually, if you don't go for the "All-in-One" package, you will only receive the grill without a single accessory. However, the "All-in-One" package comes with fold-down side tables, a grate lifter, a cart and cradle and an ash tool.
The expandable grill is sold separately as well as the fibox divider. If you are comfortable buying a la carte, this might not be a big deal. However it is important to compare different brands if you are conscious about your budget.

Pros

  • Dividable firebox
  • Heavy-duty ceramic
  • Increased life-span thanks to the dual-sided grills.
  • Oval-shaped grill provides increased cooking surface.

Cons

  • Really heavy
  • Can be considered expensive.
  • The normal package doesn't include basic accessories. Hence have to cough more cash and order for them separately or go for the upgrade package.

Why do We Recommend this Grill?

Primo Oval LG 300 is among the best Kamado grills in the market today. It is a perfect choice for most outdoor chefs and especially for people who love cooking ribs and many other big cuts of meat. If you are not into colors, the subtle black enamel finish will do!

4. Weber Summit Charcoal Grill

Weber Summit Charcoal Grill

Many chefs feel uncomfortable using charcoal grills due to the laborious process of getting it started. Although chimney starters work great in speeding up the lighting process of coals, it's not as convenient as a gas grill. Many gas grills only require you to push a button and you will be good to go. Weber Summit is here to make your life much easier.

Features

By the end of the list of features of Weber Summit Charcoal Grill, you will agree that they deserve an upload.

1. Convenient

Weber understands how much you crave for convenience when grilling your favorite foods. Therefore, when they recently decided to join the Kamado Arena, they came with new techniques that include a gas-fired igniter.
We always talk about pressing a button on gas-grilled units but this time round, it is made available on your charcoal grill. Once you press the button, the propane-powered igniter is sparked to life and within a few minutes, your charcoal should be roaring. With Weber Summit Charcoal Grill, there will be no need of a chimney, starter cubes or an electric lighter. 

2. Plenty of Available Cooking Space

Up to this date, Weber has never referred to this as a Kamado grill. Instead, they refer to it as a multi-function charcoal grill. This is hence looked at as a natural evolution of Weber's famous kettles. Compared to other ceramic charcoal grills, this looks more of a traditional charcoal barbecue.
It features a 24" diameter grill offering you quite a big surface area for cooking measure 452 square inches to be precise. This however doesn't mean the grill is crazily heavy. Although its total weight is not provided on their website, the shipping weight is 111 pounds. This is magical considering its pretty large capacity.

3. Surprisingly Light-weight

One of the most confusing things about Weber Summit is its large capacity and light weight. But this is not the traditional Kamado. The grill is of porcelain-enameled steel with no trace of ceramic. Its dual-walled kettle design is air insulated which highly contributes to its lightweight. This also makes it an efficient holder of heat. Other parts are either aluminum or stainless steel-made.

4. Easy To Clean

To make things easier for you as far as cleaning the grill is concerned, they have incorporated a nice mess-resistant touch ash drawer. You can put up the fuel grate for high temperature cooking, or you can drop it down for low-and-slow cooking. Dividing up your fuel is also possible if you need to create dual temperature zones. This is the heart of good grilling.

5. Fairly Priced

Although this grill is new in the market and remarkably versatile and backed by the Weber expertise, it's fairly priced. It is the best option for charcoal devotees who want to upgrade and still keep familiar options.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Diffuser plate.
  • Heavy-duty hinge.
  • Large cooking area.
  • Removable ash catcher.
  • Trusted band in charcoal grills.
  • Easy to Light thanks to the gas-fired igniter.

Cons

  • Moderately pricey. 
  • Learning dampers may need an adjustment period for current Kamado-users. 
  • Since this grill is pretty new in the Kamado-style grills the quality is unproven.

Why do We Recommend this Grill?

The appearance and construction of Weber Summit and especially the gas ignition are some of its top features. The unit even features a measuring cup for briquettes. Although it's priced just like the Big Green Egg, it offers you more cooking options.

5. Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg

Diving into unknown waters is never easy. Whether we are talking about plunging into foreign water or trying something new, it can be unnerving. Trying a new thing takes strong will. But since not all of us are risk takers, choose to go for well-known and most popular options.

Features

Big Green Egg is one of the most famous brands in Kamado grills and here is why:

1. Quality Product

There are many products that have become very popular in the market due to clever marketing but with inferior quality. However this is not the case with Big Green Egg as it is a great quality unit. It features a top-of-the-line ceramic with carefully crafted top and bottom vents for precision control of temperatures.

Keeping the stainless steel grid fresh takes very minimal care while the porcelain exterior remains green and shiny for years. At the same time, the user is offered with a total of seven different sizes to choose from. These are; Mini MiniMax, Small, Medium Large, XLarge and XXLarge. No matter how precise your needs are, you will definitely find one that suits you.

2. Large Cooking Surface

Looking at all the seven sizes extensively might take time, hence, we will look at the XXLarge. This would be a perfect option for any human octopus planning to cook around 35-40 burgers at once. This bad boy has become obvious in many commercial applications. This grill can handle over 10 whole chickens and a total of 20 racks of ribs, 20 steaks or an entire suckling pig.

This might however be too big for most of us. Hence for many families, they prefer going for the large-sized or small grills depending on the size of your family.

3. Easy To Repair

The last thing we normally want to think about when buying any product is what happens in case it breaks down. Looking at the many complaints people have about certain products you would put this into consideration. When it comes to Big Egg grill, gasket breakdown has been the most replaceable part of any best Kamado grill.
Replacing the gasket is quite easy. If you take proper care of this grill, it is possible to maintain its entire look for many years.

4. No Accessories Included In The Packaging

One of the biggest challenges of BGE is that it only comes as a single unit. The stacked grills, deflectors, side tables, carts, and other great accessories aren't included in the packaging. Considering they are mostly included with many other Kamados, it's really disappointing with Kamados.

Pros

  • Very well made.
  • 7 sizes to choose from
  • Active community online.
  • Most famous names in the industry.
  • Lots of additional accessories available. 

Cons

  • Anecdotally inferior fittings. 
  • Comes with minimal accessories. 
  • Pushes the affordability envelope.
  • Although it has been there for long, there is no much notable innovation. 

Why do We Recommend this Grill?

Big Green Egg was the first practical unit among the Kamado grills. This is actually what brought Kamado to the mainstream and it has remained in the market to date because of its quality.

Buying Guide For Buying The Best Kamado Grill

The moment you choose to make a big purchase like buying a Kamando Grill, you should never do it in a hurry. You should be clear on your preferences and what you are looking for. If it is your first time to use a Kamado grill, it might be quite challenging to know what to expect. Hence, below are a few things you should look for in a Kamado grill.

1.

Size

One of the most important features you should consider is the size of the grill. This will highly depend on the number of people you plan to cook for with the grill. If you regularly cook for 6-10 people, you should utilize the two-zone cooking method. Therefore, your aim should be to get a large-sized Kamado as it will be perfect for your needs.


Even if you are a beginner and don't have much to do with a grill, sooner than you think, you'll be an expert. You should look for a grill that will offer you more accessories. Although these accessories might be a bit expensive, they will make it easier for you to cook different types of dishes.

2.

Ash Trays

Without a good ashtray, it is possible to have a crazy ash buildup which can be very hectic with Kamado grills. Therefore for things to work out well for you, make sure that you check out where the ash goes and the easiness of cleaning it. This will give you great relief in the long run.

3.

Warranty

It is easy to get caught up at the amazing looks and great features of the grill and forget the warranty. There are some brands that offer a lifetime warranty or a very long one, go for these grills. If the warranty is not clear, ask from the dealer to be sure of what you are dealing with. Kamados to last for a lifetime and companies should be confident of their products.

4.

Design Features

Due to durability and/or aesthetics, it is possible to have a preference for either powder coated or stainless steel hinges and lid bands. The hinges and bands are generally uniform therefore if you prefer one material over the other, make sure you confirm it before purchasing the grill. Some models only have a single material while others allow you to choose what you want.

5.

Cooking Grates

Apart from the size of the cooking grates, make sure you check the materials they are made of. At the same time, it is important to ensure they have hinged access. The grills are generally made of enameled steel. However there are some that are made of 304 stainless steel.


If the cooking grates have hinges it is a plus. Hinges make it possible to access the area under your cooking grates. This allows you to add more wood to the grill as you cook. It will therefore not be necessary to remove the whole grate when cooking is in progress.

6.

Construction Material

Most Kamados feature ceramic with a porcelain glaze. Most recently, they have started offering some in steel as well. Steel units are more durable than ceramic as they don't break when dropped, hence they are worth considering. At the same time, they are much lighter compared to their traditional counterparts.


However, when it comes to their power of resisting rust, ceramic kamados are more advantaged than those made of steel. This is best reflected in their price tag making them a great choice for a beginner.

7.

Top Vents

One of the things you need to confirm about vents its whether it has a double or single wheel. Although both are okay, the double wheels are more precise as far as temperature control is concerned. So if possible, go for one with double wheels.

8.

Color Of The Grill

Although this is not a technical aspect, you can still consider it. Unfortunately, many manufacturers often offer their models in one color. Therefore, the option you are left with is to weigh between the color and the quality of the unit. Definitely, the quality is more important than the looks​​​​

Conclusion

With the above information, you are as good as an expert as far as buying a Kamado grill is concerned. Although your budget is important, you have different brands to choose from regardless of your budget. It is time to enjoy your holiday season by hosting a grilling party with your family and friends with your new grill!