The Kamado grill has become the hottest item in backyard barbecuing. The unique ceramic, egg shape design gives them versatility no other grill can match. Kamados can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and more. With proper maintenance, a kamado will serve you for decades.
In this guide, we’ll recommend the top kamado grill models and brands. We’ll compare offerings from leading companies like Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe. We’ll also dive into detailed reviews of specific grills. Tips for caring for your kamado will ensure you get the most cooking time possible. Whether you are new to kamado cooking or a seasoned pro, we’ll help you find your perfect grill.
Kamado grills specialize in thick ceramic walls that retain heat amazingly well. Popular brands include Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Primo Grills, and Blaze Grills. While prices and designs vary, all leverage ceramic’s heat properties. Keep reading for our top kamado recommendations.
Top Kamado Grills – Our Recommendations
Here are our can’t-miss picks for the best kamado grills:
– Kamado Joe Classic II/III – Affordable but high-quality, great for beginners.
– Big Green Egg – The most iconic and beloved kamado brand.
– Primo Oval XL – Huge cooking surface from premium ceramic.
– Blaze Kamado – Budget-friendly with stainless steel body.
– Kamado Joe Big Joe II/III – Massive grilling space for large cookouts.
– Rec Tec 700 – Pellet precision with smart technology.
– Weber Smokey Mountain – Classic charcoal bullet smoker.
Comparing Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg
They both sit atop the kamado grill world. How do they stack up?
Kamado Joe grills cost less than the equivalent Big Green Egg models. They also come with more accessories including standard. However, BGE still can’t be matched for brand prestige and cooking performance.
Kamado Joe offers great bang for your buck. But Big Green Egg remains the gold standard for kamado purists.
Kamado Joe grills occupy the mid-range price tier, while Primo Grills are premium, made in America kamados. Primo’s Oval design provides more cooking space than similar Kamado Joe models. However, Primo also commands a higher price. Kamado Joe gives you excellent quality for less cost.
Individual Kamado Model Reviews
Let’s look closer at some popular models:
– Kamado Joe Classic II – Mid-sized ceramic grill under $1,500. Great for most families.
– Big Green Egg Large – 452 sq. in. of famously thick ceramic cooking space.
– Primo Oval XL – Huge 800 sq. in. cooking area for grill masters.
– Blaze Kamado – Affordable stainless steel body at 20 inches wide.
– Kamado Joe Big Joe II – Over 1,000 sq. in. of cooking real estate. Built for big cookouts.
– Rec Tec 700 – High-end pellet grill with precise temp control.
– Weber Smokey Mountain – Classic and affordable charcoal smoker.
Tips on How To Use a Kamado Grill:
- Lighting – Start with one chimney of hot coals. Once they’re glowing, dump them into the fire bowl and spread them into an even layer. Let the grill come up to the desired temperature before cooking.
- Temperature control – Adjusting the top and bottom vents is key for regulating temperature. Close vents partially to lower temp, and open them wider to increase heat. Use a thermometer to monitor.
- Preheating – Always give your kamado at least 15-20 minutes to preheat fully before cooking. Kamados thrive at high temperatures.
- Direct vs. indirect heat – Position food directly over the coals for searing and direct heat cooking. Place food to the side of the coals for indirect cooking when using as an oven or smoker.
- Smoking – For smoking, try for temps between 225-275°F. Use wood chunks or chips for flavor. The ceramic retains moisture well for perfect low and slow smoking.
- Searing – Open the vents fully and remove the grill grates preheat just the heat deflector for 15-20 minutes to get ready for quick searing at 500°F+ temperatures.
- Cleaning – Let the ashes completely cool before removing them. Use a small shovel to clear ashes from the fire bowl after each use. Fully deep clean the grill occasionally.
- Protecting ceramic – Avoid sudden temperature shocks to the ceramic, such as pouring cold water on extremely hot surfaces. Let the grill cool naturally.
- Weatherproofing – Keep your kamado covered when not in use to protect the ceramic from damage. Some brands sell weatherproof covers.
Follow these tips to keep your kamado working its best:
– Thoroughly clean grill grates and fire bowl after each use.
– Deep clean all parts and surfaces periodically.
– Always preheat fully before cooking. Kamados love high heat.
– Use a multi-probe thermometer and temp regulator for perfect results every time.
From budget-friendly starters to high-end ceramic cookers, there’s a kamado for every barbecue enthusiast. Consider cooking space, materials, and features to pick the right one for you. Properly cared for, it will deliver a smoky flavor for years of cooking joy.