Best Kamado Grill – 2018 Reviews And Top Picks

The kamado grill makes use of an ancient Chinese grilling technique that gives you a juicy and smoky flavor that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.

I fell in love with the kamado grill the first time I used it. These best kamado grill reviews describe the best features of my kamado grill top picks.

Product overview

Before I delve into the review properly, let’s first have a summary of what I found out from research. Kamado Joe Classic II is one of the best choices out there as it satisfies the main criteria of a kamado grill. These criteria include the cooking surface, airflow control system, clean out system, right temperature, and quality craftsmanship. The cooking surface of the Pit Boss K22 Ceramic is equally impressive as it offers you a 567 square inches cooking surface.

Though each of this charcoal grill offers food an amazing taste, I think the Char-Griller AKORN JR. Kamado 06614 is my favorite. This is so because this unit gives food a kind of Clay Oven and Ceramic Oven taste which is not gotten on the other grill. Most importantly, these grills all have an ash cleanout system and a system for temperature control.

Equally impressive is the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill which takes care of ash from the top rather than the bottom. This prevents any form of ash leakage. Also, this grill can be shut down for ash to be removed.

Furthermore, these grills are sold for prices that are affordable and do not break the bank. The exception is the Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center which is quite expensive. However, its quality is actually very high.

Also, both the Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center and the Broil King Keg 5000 have a standout quality. This quality is that they both utilize double walled insulation in achieving the same heat retention as ceramic grills. The only difference being that they are somewhat lighter and tend to last more.

Reviews Of The Best Kamado Grills


This kamado joe grill is a major departure from the usual cookouts you have in your backyard and a significant upgrade from whatever grill you are using right now. The first impression you’ll get from this grill is that it is well packaged in a box and this is a good thing as ceramic is somehow fragile.

Have you ever purchased a grill or any other appliance that it takes time to get a handle on it? Well, if you have, you can be assured that the assembly of this is straightforward and you will be able to get it up and running in no time.

Best Kamado Grill - Kamado Joe Classic II Review

Kamado Joe Classic II is a medium sized grill in a family of three which comprise of the Junior, Classic and the Big Joe. The ‘Classic’ stands out in this family as a result of its many impressive features. Firstly, it is an attractive grill with an eye-catching glossy ceramic exterior. More also, its build is of excellent quality as all the connecting parts are attached solidly, the lids are easy to open, and they seal tightly. In fact, the whole unit is extremely user-friendly.

The overall size dimensions of this unit’s cooking area is an 18’ diameter cooking area which equals 256 square inches. It has two sets of grates of 508 square inches. The cooking area is totally the bomb as it provides enough space for you to cook 10-12 chicken breasts or fillets simultaneously.

For the exterior of this unit, the dimensions are 5”W x  48”H x 28”D. This unit also features a heat resistant and thick walled shell that is able to lock moisture and smoke in at any temperature. Furthermore, I must not fail to mention the temperature range of this product which is around 225F – 750F as this is important for a well-cooked food.

You might be wondering about how this unit is fueled, well, I can tell you that charcoal is its fuel source. This unit operates on a flexible divide and conquers grill system, and this is an amazing feature. From experience, I can say that using a grill with an 18” diameter can be limiting. However, this case of this unit is entirely different because the grill system allows you to set up grills at good heights. That is, it will enable you to prepare different meals on multi-levels and cooking surface area. It also enables the creation of distinct temperature zones with heat deflectors, and it allows for simultaneous direct and indirect grilling.

I know that you might be worried about the problem of cleaning out ashes which every owner of charcoal fueled grill have to deal with. But, you don’t have to worry as this unit has an area at its bottom for ash collection. The benefit of this is that it eases the stress of cleaning out ashes as all that you need to do is to slide the ash collection drawer out and dispose of its contents. As all ash might not cooperate with this system, there is an ash clean out tool which is handy for places that are hard to reach.

This kamado unit further boasts of a control tower top vent that is instrumental in controlling airflow. While using a kamado grill, I once forgot to use the vents properly, and as a result, my charcoal burnt out before I finished cooking and the heat soared so high that my food got burnt. This feature is beneficial to you as it allows you to regulate the inside temperature.

A few people claim that this is by far their favorite grill as it is also very affordable.  They claim that it offers food a flavor that is amazing and adds to the taste of the food. On several kamado grill reviews, this is most likely to be the first choice of a charcoal grill.

If you want a grill of enormous size, then this might not be the right fit for you. As users of this unit that need it for very large cookouts have complained of its medium size.

What I like

  • Impressive and high-quality features.
  • Quality build and an attractive exterior
  • Extremely easy to use and it’s versatile.
  • Fantastic divide and conquer system

What I don't like

  • Of medium size
  • A bit hefty
  • Might still be expensive for you to buy
  • Made of fragile ceramic

Rather than art, Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill is a complete kamado style grill that draws on the principles of kamado grill to turn charcoal barbecuing into a science. Considering how affordable the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill is, you might be tempted to regard it as the “poor man’s Big Green Egg”. This should not be so as I have been smoking, grilling, roasting and baking on this unit for about three months and I’m convinced that it is one of the most sensible kamado-style grills on the market.

The construction of this grill is very striking. You will notice that it is constructed from double-walled and insulated steel rather than ceramic. This is also worth noticing as it enables food to heat up evenly and quickly and the insulation makes it great ovens for smoking and roasting outdoors.

Best Kamado Grill - Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill Review

Of course, the Kamander still has the egg-style shape, but its design has some notable differences especially its dampers. These dampers can easily be accessed, and they work in controlling temperature. It also has a cooking surface diameter of 20 inches which is large enough to hold a large brisket or a 20-pound turkey.

The air vents take in air, and it offers an innovative and convenient air control system which maintains temperature. Different temperatures ranging from high to low are available on this grill for any kind of cooking. What this implies is that this unit is able to hit the necessary high temperatures needed for searing steaks. More also, it can hold a low and slow temperature needed for smoking briskets for a long period of time.

Char-Broil really considered a major issue with using charcoal grills, and that is the cleaning out of ash. I was delighted when I saw that this unit has an ash pan that removes ash from the top of the unit and stores it until its user is ready for cleaning. Cleanup is made easy as you remove the ash from the top of the grill without the need for openings at the bottom of the unit.

One thing which I noticed about this unit that has also been registered by other customers is the marketing sticker on the side of the table. This marketing sticker is very hard to remove. Also, the vent, the bottom mounting cap, and the duct are made from plastic that is quite cheap, and that can easily be melted.

What I like

  • It has an excellent system for temperature control
  • It works as a smoker, roasting oven and grill which means that it can be used for cooking, baking, smoking, roasting, and grilling.
  • Made with insulated steel that allows for efficient cooking, seeing as it can hold heat for a long duration
  • The grill can be shut for charcoal residue to be snuffed out
  • The cleanout ash pan works from the top rather than the bottom

What I don't like

  • It has a lot of plastic components which makes it not to be durable
  • The materials used are prone to corrosion
  • Marketing sticker that is hard to remove.

This grill from a reputable brand that I picked out as one of my charcoal smoker top picks has the popular round and flat egg shape that characterizes kamado-style grill smokers. This smoker has the capacity to both grill and smoke food, offering you a multipurpose approach as the solution to all your needs.

If you are familiar with using charcoal smokers, you will know all that’s involved in determining the perfect smoker for your intended purposes. However, if you are using it for the first time, it is normal for you to have trepidations over choosing the best charcoal smoker. That is why I am here to take you through the details of this smoker which is one of our top picks.

Cheapest Kamado Grill - Char-Griller AKORN JR. Kamado 06614 Review

The question of whether this grill is worth purchasing is a very important one, and the answer depends on your tastes. This kamado-style grill is one of the most cost-effective of our top picks. It is understandable that you would want a grill that you can utilize to the fullest regardless of its price. This grill is a long lasting and very durable ‘Kooker’ as a result of its triple walled construction with 22 gauge steel. This construction assures you of the length of life of the grill.

Apart from the triple-walled construction of this grill, it features a steel interior finish that is porcelain coated and an exterior finish that is coated with powder.  The exact dimension of this grill is 20.5 x 21.5 x 25.3 inches and a 37 pounds weight

If you need a smoker for cooking simultaneously for large amounts of people, then this grill may not be the best choice for you. Its 14 inches diameter cooking space (153 square inches) makes it a perfect fit for small-sized families. Its size provides plenty of space for grilling in your backyard, park, tailgating or camping.

On this grill, you can get a cooking temperature ranging from 200-700 Fahrenheit as well as adjustable dampers on the top and bottom. These dampers help maintain the air that flows in and out of the grill while you are smoking or cooking. Also, this will be beneficial to you because it also enables you to burn lesser charcoal while you are cooking. To further make this unit user-friendly, there is a built-in temperature gauge to access the exact temperature being used.

Some customers of this unit have claimed that despite the issues they have with the size, the taste it gives is good beyond expectations. It mimics and gives off the taste of Clay Oven and Ceramic Oven Food. On the other hand, some feel that the small size is actually convenient as it is more comfortable for traveling, camping or tailgating.

Most certainly, it is kind of normal to view anything sold for a low price with suspicion, but this is not the case of this grill. The impressive features and durability of this unit will make you forget the price you got it for.

What I like

  • An ash pan for easy clean out
  • Very easy assembly
  • Offers great taste
  • Perfect for those with limited outdoor space

What I don't like

  • It’s actually not so pleasing to the eyes
  • As a result of its weight, wheels are needed and there are none
  • Relatively limited capacity
  • Cannot prepare large quantities of food simultaneously

This grill is highly impressive, and it is the perfect gift for an aspiring chef or one who has a taste for delicious barbecue. I once bought an appliance, and I knew that it would be useful for the purpose which I bought it for. That could be your case with this grill as it combines both versatility and quality to deliver the most delicious barbecue. It is not in any way restricted to barbecue as it can cook almost anything you decide to cook on it.

The first impression you get of this grill is its classy design and portability. It was constructed with a heavy-duty ceramic exterior of one inch. The glossy black finish and metal trim of this product, as well as its wooden finishing, actually make it stand out. I found this grill to be portable as it has dual foldable shelves, one placed on each side of the grill. These shelves provide compact storage where salt and pepper shakers, glass cups e.t.c can be kept for easy access.

Best Kamado Grill - Pit Boss K22 Ceramic Review

The cooking space of this grill is quite impressive. In all, this grill offers you 567 square inches of cooking area. Also, the cooking grates are two-tiered and made of stainless steel. Irrespective of the cooking configuration you desire, this grill can accommodate you as the upper grate can be removed.

You don’t need to worry about not being able to cook low and slow on this grill. It’s made with thick ceramic walls that help in maintaining the best internal temperature. It radiates heat directly into your food, thereby locking in moisture and intensifying flavor.

Another thing that I know most charcoal grill users worry about is how to control the temperature for optimal output adequately. Well, this grill simplifies the process with a cast iron and calibrated damper system that is also beginner friendly. Through this system, you can set the temperature at your desired pace. This can be done in order to grill burgers, slowly smoke meats, or sear a steak, even bake a cake. Moreover, there is a large exterior thermometer that functions as a monitor through which you can gauge the temperature of your food. You should also know that this grill can reach temperatures of up to 700 Fahrenheit.

For the price it is being sold, this Pit Boss grill is a quality model that has all the amazing features of more expensive grills. Furthermore, I can tell you that the assembly of this unit is very simple and takes very little time, thanks to an included instruction manual. The life of this grill is extended significantly as a result of the added plunger feature. This feature further protects your unit from bumps and slams.

If you are thinking of getting a kamado grill that is a little more than entry level, then this unit is a must consider. It is packaged quite well, and it is very sturdy with two locking wheels for easy movement. It is charcoal fueled, and it can accommodate lump charcoal. Your food is cooked evenly with all its juices retained. This is because the thick ceramic walls trap heat inside the cooking chamber and spread it evenly across the chamber.

The general consensus on this product even on other kamado grill reviews is that it works really great. However, some users have complained that it is actually harder to keep a low temperature and that the vents are loose. Moreover, it is somewhat heavy, and you might need to ask for the assistance of one other person in carrying it.

What I like

  • Highly portable
  • Accurate temp control
  • Two-tiered layers of cooking space
  • Classy Design

What I don't like

  • The dampers aren’t that much of good quality
  • It is somewhat heavy

Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center is a high-end grill that does a fantastic job of searing, smoking and even baking. What I can tell you is that if grilling is a lifestyle choice for you and the kamado grills are your option, then you might be interested in considering this summit. This unit is the Weber’s entry product into the world of kamado grills.

Though it is sold at a ridiculous price, this Summit has the bells and whistles attached with good quality. It combines the Weber Smokey Mountain’s smoking power with the grilling capacities of a kettle grill. The Summit is a kamado styled grill and smoker that is constructed in metal, and it was designed with the intention of making backyard smoking and grilling very convenient and comfortable. With this grill, your backyard will have no idea of what hit it.

Best Kamado Grill - Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center Review

I once bought a chicken ham at a restaurant, and when I asked if it was any good, the chef said it was the best I’d ever eat. He said this because the ham was prepared on a charcoal grill. The Summit is charcoal fueled, and you get that exact charcoal flavor even with the speed offered by a gas grill.

The components of the Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center are made from durable materials. The body of this grill is coated with porcelain. On the other hand, the vents, cooking grates, and heat diffuser are made of stainless steel. This attributes of the Summit increase not only its durability and quality but also the appearance. I must not fail to mention that this unit was constructed with a body that is “air-insulated”. This implies that there are two bodies; the inner and the outer body and a sealed space separates them, providing the needed heat retention. Because of this, this grill responds faster to adjustments of temperature than grills made from ceramic.

This unit has a design that is highly efficient and a cooking area of 452 square inches and an equally high smoking capability. One added attribute of this unit is that with it, you won’t have to spend much money on charcoal. This is because the grill can hold 10 hours and even more for cooking temperatures that are low and slow without the need to refuel. Even, depending on the charcoal you use and the build of your fire, the grill can last longer without refueling.

However, you might have a problem with grill because you can’t make a rotisserie kit. One factor that causes this is the spring loaded and hinged lid of the Summit. The Weber cooking grates is a Gourmet BBQ system which is made of stainless steel. A removable center section is attached to this hinged cooking grate, and this allows you to replace it with several other accessories of your choice. You can replace it with a pizza stone or an Ebelskiver pan or a host of other accessories for versatility.

There's also another version of this grill, it was built without a work table and a charcoal storage. Although that version is less expensive (about $500), it's still considered to be a choice.

What I like

  • Excellent grill and smoker
  • Ash removal pan for easy cleanout
  • A charcoal ignition system that is powered by gas which enables the grill to be ready to cook on time
  • Perfect airflow control as a result of the three bottom vents

What I don't like

  • It is a very expensive charcoal grill

This is a top-notch quality kamado cooker which can be utilized at home in your backyard or while it’s hitched to your vehicle. This cooker is excellent for baking, roasting and even searing thin meats. It comes fully equipped with shelves, stands, an extender rack and a ‘Multi-tool’. This ‘Multi-tool’ enables you to handle the dampers and the grate, and it also doubles as a rake for cleaning out ashes.

You can cook for yourself and your whole family on this grill. I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to cook as this grill has a total cooking area surface of 480 square inches. There is a secondary cooking surface of 200 square inches and a cooking grate made of cast iron of 280 square inches. This 280 sq. Inches is the primary cooking area.

Best Kamado Grill - Broil King Keg 5000 Review

With this Broil King grill, you burn lesser charcoal because of its design of fiberglass insulated steel. This design also produces a juicy and delicious output every time. Broil King does not stop impressing you at that. The primary cooking area surface is made of heavy duty cooking grid made of reversible cast iron. While the secondary cooking surface is made of steel grid that is chrome plated. This does not prevent you from easily accessing the primary cooking area as the secondary cooking surface is made to rotate out of the way.

There is a Diffuser kit with a special drip pan which is coated with porcelain. This drip pan is situated inside a cradle placed underneath the grate. It helps catch gravy droppings and also produce heat indirectly. You can also place this pan on the back side of the primary grate with a pizza stone placed on top of it. You will definitely find this feature useful while preparing pizza as it moderates the heat on pizza crusts. This means that your pizza toppings are browner.

If you need more cooking capacity, you can get it from the plated extended rack rod feature. This feature is made of steel that is placed on an equal steel post. However, there is a little issue with the cast iron grates as it sometimes brands the meat with undesired brown stripes. This is as a result of conduction heat (direct contact with the grill’s iron), and it causes an uneven brown crust.

Also, I’ve noticed that you have to be careful while activating this keg grill to Mach 10 to prepare steaks. This is because the sharp edges can be like red-hot blades in searing the surface of your meat. However, you might not necessarily consider this to be a bad thing. If you do and you want to prevent it, you can continuously flip the meat for the first few minutes until crusts start showing up.

Another useful feature is the top damper. This damper is actually a heavy coating cast iron with few settings. This is also one of the few dampers to be found on a grill that doesn’t move when the lid is opened. Furthermore, the lower damper doubles as a tray for ash disposal, and it is similar to Weber’s One-touch system. This is because it controls the intake of air and still removes ash.

Customers who are able to get this cooker are really impressed by it as they consider it to be a killer grill and smoker in all departments. However, some have complained that it takes a little time to get used to it

What I like

  • Made with impressive and durable materials
  • Comes with a Multi-tool
  • Has effective and quality top and bottom dampers
  • An ash disposal system

What I don't like

  • Relatively expensive
  • Takes some time to get used to
  • Medium sized for very large cookouts

Buyer’s Guide

How Does Kamado Grills Work?

Inside the kamado, the two-thirds of the bottom are reserved as the fire chamber. What you need to do is to dump charcoal into this chamber. Arrange the charcoal into a peak, and light it up. You can then let the fire burn for a little while probably between 15-30 minutes before you start. The coals sit in a small grate, and the ash falls to collect below the fire chamber. Above the grill is a lid that should be tightly sealed. This is so that heat can be retained. Then, you need to adjust the temperature to either open or close the vents. The vents are located at the top and base of the kamado.

Factors That Make For The Best Grill

Kamados are not all created equal. But the question is how do you distinguish the very good from the mediocre?

Here are some features you may wish to have in your choice grill:

Purpose

One fundamental factor that you must put into consideration when getting a grill is the purpose for which you are getting it. Your choice based on your needs is the perfect grill for you. Are you a professional chef that needs a grill for work? Do you need a grill for a large cookout or a small one? Do you need a grill for a small family hangout?

Quality

The whole point of kamado is heat retention, and this feature in a kamado grill can be attributed to its build. You should watch for fit and finish that can rust easily especially low-grade metal fitting. Also, you should watch for gaskets and lids that do not seal properly. You should always do the appropriate research to make sure that your choice grill was constructed from materials that are durable and will last for long.

Considering the fact that grills generally tend to stay outside under the elements all year long, you need a rust-resistant fit and finish. This will prolong the lifespan of your grill.

Workspace

Although this is not all that necessary, you might want to get a kamado grill that provides space for you to work. This is to say that, you might want to look out for a grill where you can set your sauces, utensils, and seasonings. In fact, during summer it becomes expedient as you can place your frosty beverage on the available workspace.

Construction material

Most kamados are made from either stainless steel or ceramic. So, what you choose is totally up to you. Each of this construction material has its pros and cons. I personally lean towards the ceramic as it’s a material that seems to have an added ability to hold heat. And, with the ceramic, there is no chance of rust.

Size

There are various sizes of kamado grill in the market today from a small pint size to an almighty grill size. However, compared to the average gas barbeque, the average charcoal grill has less cooking surface. It is now up to you to choose a grill with enough space to suit your needs adequately.

If you need your grill to cater for large racks of ribs or feed a big family, then you definitely need a big model. But if your need for the grill is just for maybe your small family or few of your close pals, then a smaller sized grill should be adequate.

Ease of use

This is another main factor that you ought to consider before purchasing any grill. You need to check exactly how easy it is to set up and operate. Some grills require lesser time than others to be assembled and are quite easy to operate. While some can take a long time to work. You should ask yourself the question of if you’d be able to cope with a grill that’s difficult to set up and operate. If not, then you must be careful in making sure that your desired grill does not take too much time.

Versatility

Part of the fun you enjoy on a kamado is its versatility. Imagine how amazing it would be to have a grill on which you can bake, roast, cook, and sear thin meats, smoke, and grill. With just one grill, you can get your cakes, rotisseries, pizza, roasted or seared meat. Before settling for a grill, check to see how versatile it is.

Budget

Yes, the significant budget! It is good to have an exact figure in mind that you are comfortable with spending on a grill. There are both affordable and expensive grills on the market today. One of the essential things to do is that you have to peruse those that are cheap to make sure you don’t buy low quality.

Previous Buyer’s Opinions

If you have friends with kamados, you can discuss with them to know their experiences and expectations from a kamado. Check with those who have purchased your choice grill. This is so that you know from the comment of an experienced user if the grill is ideal for you. To fully ascertain that your choice grill should genuinely be your choice, you can check out Kamado Grill Reviews.

Conclusion

Best Kamado Grill - Kamado Joe Classic II Review

In this review, I have discussed six of my best kamado grill. These charcoal grills are one of the most impressive on the 2018 market for grills. However, in all, my favorite is the Kamado Joe Classic II, and I believe it to be one the best grills in the market. Though it is made of thick-walled ceramic, it is very well packaged. The craftsmanship of this unit presents a striking first impression, and it is aesthetically stunning. Immediately you see, without even knowing its full potential, you’ll desire to have it.

More also, this kamado unit is the only one with a flexible divide and conquer system that allows you to cook different meals on different levels and cooking surface areas. Also, it is only this unit that has the control tower top vent feature which helps in maintaining an air setting that is consistent. This further allows for very accurate airflow management.


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