Best Overall: Kamado Joe Classic IIICheck Latest Price →
Why We Chose It:
- Heavy duty.
- Flexible cooking system.
- Made of stainless steel and ceramic.
- Weight of 316 pounds.
- Dimensions of 30 x 46.5 x 50.5 inches.
Kamado grills have been growing in popularity across the United States, both because of their unique ability to retain heat and because of their overall utility. These grills aren’t quite as widespread as their more typical American-style counterparts, though, and figuring out which of these grills is worth your money can be tough. If you’re going to jump into the world of Kamado-style grilling, you will almost certainly need some help finding the best Kamado grill.
Not only have we done the research to help you find the best Kamado grill, but we’ve also managed to locate the best places to buy these products. Whether it’s your first Kamado grill or a replacement for one that you’ve already loved, it’s important to know what’s out there. Read on to see the features of some of the best Kamado grills on the market today.
- Top Kamado Grills In 2021
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Kamado Grill Buying Guide
Top Kamado Grills In 2021
While all Kamado grills share the same basic design, there are enough differences between them that they are not interchangeable. Though each of the grills discussed here is a good candidate for the title of the best Kamado grill, it’s important to look at the features of each to determine which grill will be the best fit for you. Take some time to read up on each grill alone so that you can get the perfect Kamado grill for cooking needs.
Best Overall: Kamado Joe KJ23RHCI-A, Classic Joe III
- 18-inch ceramic grill
- Heavy-duty rolling cart
- 3 tier cooking system
- SLOROLLER Heating System
Kamado Joe is one of the most popular brands of Kamado-style grills in the United States, and for good reason. Not only has it done a great deal to help popularize this type of grill across the country, but it has done so in a way that really shows off the benefits of the design. While the brand name alone is probably going to ensure that others are going to recommend this particular grill to you, it’s worth looking at the Classic Joe III on its own merits. Removing the brand name still leaves behind an excellent grill.
This is, at its core, a solid Kamado grill that really helps to sell exactly why such grills have stood the test of time. The 18-inch ceramic grill is certainly a modern update on the class design but it still keeps the key features in place where they count. That means that you’re not only going to get the long-lasting benefits of the ceramic body but that you’re also going to get the kind of heat retention and evenness that has characterized the Kamado style of grills for centuries.
Though it’s a classic grill where it counts, there are also some modern updates that make this grill really stand out. The three-tiered cooking system, for example, gives users plenty of options when it comes to how close they want their food to the heat and the SLOROLLER heating system does an excellent job of eliminating cold spots. The Kamado Joe line really is a fantastic marriage of ancient sensibilities and newer designs, helping many consumers to embrace what makes this style of the grill so special while still getting access to some newer features that will certainly influence grill designs for many years to come.
Vision Pro Kamado Charcoal Grill with Cover
- 596 inches of cooking surface
- Ceramic construction
- Can reach temperatures of up to 700 degrees
- Designed for year-round grilling
The classic Kamado-style grill is made of ceramic materials. This was true when the grills were first invented centuries ago and it holds just as true for the better Kamado grills today. Though you can certainly find metal models that have their own selling points, the vast majority of users are going to point towards ceramic bodies as the key element that sets apart the Kamado grill from its western counterparts. If you’ve never had the pleasure of cooking on a higher-end Kamado grill before, this model from Vision Grills will definitely show the benefits of the ceramic body.
One of the big reasons that ceramic bodies were originally chosen for their ability to retain and conduct heat. Today’s ceramic bodies do that better than their ancient counterparts, with this particular model able to handle a level of heat that exceeds seven hundred degrees. Though it is fairly unlikely that most grillers are going to need such extreme heat, it’s nice to know that your grill has the capability to handle cooking at higher temperatures. Even better, the ceramic body also means that the grill can stand up to harsh weather and being left outside – definitely a plus for most outdoor cooks.
This grill also has a tremendous amount of cooking space available. With just under six hundred square inches of usable cooking space, you can comfortably cook for crowds as small as a family dinner and as large as a party. Given that the heat from the unit also tends to radiate fairly evenly across the board, this also allows you to feel comfortable that all the food you cook on the grill will be cooked through properly. This ancient design is really one that still works in the modern world, so don’t miss out on this great grill.
Broil King 911470 Keg 5000 Kamado, Grill
- Stainless steel body
- Removable ash catcher
- Rolling cart
- Great at retaining heat
Many modern Kamado grills have eschewed the traditional ceramic design for a more modern metal design. While the original design definitely has its high points, there are definitely benefits to using a metal design that just wasn’t available when the original ceramic design was invented. While those who are fans of Kamado grills will endlessly argue about which style of the grill is better, it’s always good to know why people tend to choose one over another. If you’re curious about why people would choose a metal body, you may want to take a few moments to look at Broil King’s Keg Kamado Grill.
One of the bigger benefits of using a metal grill is that they’re significantly lighter than ceramic grills. This may not seem like a huge benefit to every user, but it’s something that really matters if you plan on moving the grill around. This particular model has a fantastic rolling cart attached to the body of the grill, making it even easier to move when necessary. This is one of those small qualities of life touches that may not matter much until you’re forced to try to move a heavier grill. If you need mobility, it just makes sense to go with a metal model.
This particular grill is also great at retaining heat. There’s definitely some argument about whether metal or ceramic is better at this over the long run but it’s hard to argue against the fact that this grill does a fantastic job of standing up to heat. It also has an ash catcher in the bottom, which allows you to clean out the grill without taking out all of the other parts – a huge benefit compared to most traditional models. If you prefer a metal Kamado grill to the traditional ceramic design, this is definitely the kind of grill at which you ought to look.
Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic I Charcoal Grill
- Multi-level design
- Ceramic body
- Control top vent
- Slide-out ash drawer
If you’re looking at ceramic Kamado grills, there’s a very good chance that you’ve had someone recommend the Kamado Joe line to you. In fact, we’ve even shown you one of these grills already. If you’re looking for a model that’s an absolutely proven success, though, there’s something to be said for going all the way back to the original. The Kamado Joe Classic I is the epitome of the line for many grillers, showing not only what the Kamado Joe name has come to mean in the world of outdoor cooking but making a fairly strong case for Kamado grills themselves.
If you liked the other model from Kamado Joe, you’ll quickly see that most of its key features came here. This grill not only features an excellent ceramic body that does an outstanding job of holding in heat, but it has a tiered cooking system that gives users plenty of options when it comes to choosing how to cook their various grilled foods. Though it may not seem like a huge step up from the traditional method of cooking, just the incorporation of this small feature has made a huge difference in how many users interact with their grills.
The grill also features the same patented ash box that the other Kamado Joe grill features, a nice addition that makes it far simpler to use this grill than many of its more-traditional counterparts. Though by this point many of the company’s competitors have iterated on the same basic design feature, the fact that you can use this Kamado grill and clean it out without having to disassemble the entire interior was a huge step up at the time. If you are in the market for a classic grill, this one might be the best fit for you.
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
- 314 square inches of primary cooking space
- Metal body
- Cast iron cooking surface
- Tubular steel cart
There are many different ways to determine exactly what makes a given Kamado grill special. Some people go for heat retention, while others are all about the cooking space. If you get to the core of the issue, though, most grillers are going to admit that the thing that makes a grill stand out is whether or not it suits their specific needs. If you are in the market for a new Kamado grill and you need something that’s light and easy to move, it makes sense to look at this excellent model from Char-Griller.
Char-Griller’s Akorn doesn’t have much cooking space when compared to many of its peers, but at 314 square inches, it’s still got enough space to rival many bigger traditional grills. The smaller size makes it much easier to keep in smaller spaces, though, with plenty of room to cook without taking up a huge amount of space. This also makes it ideal for those who want to take their grill on the go, as this metal grill really is much more portable than some of the heavier ceramic models. If keeping the size of the grill down is a priority for you, this grill is one at which you must look.
Perhaps the best part about this grill is that it manages to keep a fairly high level of quality despite being smaller than many of its counterparts. It’s lighter than a ceramic grill but the metal construction is still quite capable of keeping in a higher level of heat, allowing you more options as you cook. It’s also attached to a great rolling cart, which makes it easier to move. If you’re a fan of having something that’s lighter and a little more portable, this might be the grill for you.
Char-Griller E6520 Akorn Kamado Cart
- 314 square inches of cooking space
- Insulated design
- Attached cart and prep space
- Cast iron cooking grates
Sometimes a small addition can change the way that you look at a grill. While the Akorn grill described above is a fantastic grill in its own right, it may not be the right fit for every consumer. If you have concerns about prep space, for example, you might be tempted to look for something a little more substantial. If you like the features of the other grill, though, you are in luck – there is a great version of the Akron that’s attached to a prep cart.
One of the more frustrating parts of cooking outside is not having the right spaces in which to prep. For many, this means either commandeering an otherwise usable outside table for their prep work or forcing themselves to do all the work inside and hoping that they don’t miss tending the grill in the meantime. This grill solves the problem with an entire attached prep cart, giving users both the necessary space to get their prep work done and a space to put finished food after it is done on the grill.
While the cart is an excellent addition to this product, the grill itself does still stand up even without the cart. Since it has all of the other features that defined the mainline Akron, users can feel comfortable in the knowledge that they’re getting a durable grill that’s also lightweight and easy to move. This is a great choice for those who want a metal Kamado grill that will let them do their prep work next to their cooking spaces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Kamado grill worth it?
Kamado grills are definitely a great choice for many consumers. Though they can seem pricey, they’re actually very efficient and they can provide many people with great cooking experiences. The better models also tend to last for quite some time, so this is really a grill that’s going to end up paying for itself over time. If you’re not sure about whether or not one of these grills is worth it, try cooking on one to see if the experience is one that’s suited to your grilling style.
Is the Big Green Egg grill worth it?
The Big Green Egg is one of the more popular Kamado-style grills and it’s definitely a favorite of many grillers. Whether or not it is worth it, though, is really going to be up to the needs of the individual buyer. It’s definitely a good grill by which you can judge some of the others on the market, though, and it’s not a bad place to start if you have never used this style of the grill before. If you do like Kamado-style grilling, you will probably end up like the Big Green Egg but it’s definitely not going to convert anyone who doesn’t like this style of grill.
How long will a Kamado grill last?
This one really depends on the specific model of the Kamado grill that you buy. If you pick a metal model, you can usually expect somewhere in the area of about ten years. If you choose a high-end ceramic model, there’s really not an upper limit for how long it lasts, especially if you take care of it and use an interior firebox. With the right touch, you can expect a good, ceramic Kamado-style grill to keep working efficiently for at least a few decades.
Is Kamado Joe better than Big Green Egg?
This question is impossible to answer because the two grills definitely have their own benefits and drawbacks. Kamado Joe has become very popular in recent years and it’s definitely got the edge in a few of the factors that matter, but the Big Green Egg is likewise a very good grill. Definitely take a look at the features of both to figure out which one is better for you.
Kamado Grill Buying Guide
Choosing a Kamado-style grill is usually a great way to get a more efficient grilling experience. It is, however, also a process that’s going to require more thought than you might imagine. Even the best Kamado grill on the market today isn’t going to be right for every buyer, so make sure that you are specifically looking for a grill that’s going to be the right fit for you. So, how do you find the right grill? The easiest way is by knowing the major factors that separate good Kamado grills from the rest of the pack. Below are a few of the most important of those factors.
Material and Construction
The biggest thing you’re going to need to be aware of when looking at a given Kamado-style grill is the material out of which the grill is made. Classic grills are made of ceramic and most of the top-end grills are likewise made of roughly the same substance. Some of the cheaper grills, on the other hand, are made out of metal. Ceramic is definitely the material of choice for most buyers, but try to be aware of the fact that metal does have some very real benefits.
No matter what material the grill is made out of, you need to make sure that it’s made well. That means taking some time to look at the base, the hinges, the grate, and even the top to figure out if it’s going to stand up to regular use. The last thing that you want from any grill is for it to fall apart while you are doing some regular or slow cooking, so try to find a grill that’s going to at least be able to stand up to the regular level of use that you’d expect from a typical grill.
How long are you planning for this grill to last? One of the great things about ceramic Kamados grills is that they can stand up to years and years of use, usually far longer than their metal counterparts. They’re less likely to succumb to the elements or any kind of damage from heat, but you’re going to end up paying for that when you see the price of the grill. A metal unit might not necessarily be as durable, but you might want to think about how it could hold up if you were able to get a durable cover for the grill.
One feature that you’re going to look at to determine durability is always going to be the thickness of the grill’s body. Thick grills not only hold heat better but they tend to be harder to damage. Thicker grills mean heavier grills, though, so they’re going to be harder to move around and easier to damage in transport. Take a moment to think about how you are going to use the grill and ultimately how often you are going to need to move it around before you decide on a specific model.
This is really a two-part factor. The first has to do with the amount of cooking space on the grill itself. One of the great things about the circular design of the Kamado is that you can cook a lot more on a grill that has a smaller footprint, but bigger grills are always going to end up costing you more than their smaller counterparts. Think about the maximum number of people for whom you might be cooking to determine the maximum area of the grill you need to buy. As a rule, going bigger is better but going too big can be ridiculous.
The other way that space plays a factor has to do with the space that you have available. Though Kamado grills do tend to have a smaller footprint than their more common cousins, you’ve still only got so much space for your grill. If you want a big grill, you’re either going to have to carve out more space for it or you’re going to have to get a model that you can easily move. Given that weight and size tend to correlate to the lifespan of the grill, you’re definitely going to have to make some tough calls here.
Finally, start looking at your budget. Yes, it can be hard to set a price for a grill given all the options (electric-powered options, smoke-free options, etc.) out there but you definitely know what is realistic for you to spend. It’s better not to buy a grill at all than to buy one that’s not going to last, though, so try to think about how much you’re really willing to spend before you start shopping.
Try to remember that the grill itself isn’t the only thing for which you’ll have to pay. A cover, cooking tools, and cleaning tools should all be part of your budget when shopping for a grill. The good thing is that the other items are all one-time expenditures, so you may already have them on hand if you have purchased any other kind of grill in the past. Only you know your budget, though, so make sure that you’re able to stick to it as well as you can.