The problem with finding the best Kamado grill isn’t so much in picking the right features – they all have the same egg-like appearance and operate in the same manner, after all – but in getting a good value for your money.
The difference in prices, as you’re about to see, can be insane, so you need to know how to pick one that will live up to all your expectations – and today, I’m going to tell you all you need to know about it!
Let’s get straight to it!
Table of Contents
- What Is A Kamado Grill, Anyway?
- Top 3 Best Kamado Grills: A Comparison Chart
- Top 8 Kamado Grills Of 2019: Reviews & Recommendations
- #1. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill – Editor’s Pick
- #2. Pit Boss Kamado Ceramic Grill Cooker – Runner-Up
- #3. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Kamado Grill – Best Grill for Beginners
- #4. Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill – Best Budget-Friendly Pick
- #5. Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker – Best Mid-Range Pick
- #6. Vision Grills CF1F1 Pro Kamado BBQ Bundle – Best Bundle Deal
- #7. Broil King Keg 5000 Kamado Grill – Best Grill for Camping
- #8. Weber 18501001 Summit Charcoal Grilling Center – High-End Pick
- How to Pick the Best Kamado Grill: Detailed Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
What Is A Kamado Grill, Anyway?
A Kamado grill is nothing new – the only form of cooking humans came up with before this was probably sticking food directly into the fire. At the same time, though, Kamado grills are one of the latest innovations in barbequing.
While the western world only embraced the idea after the Second World War, Kamado-like “ovens,” which originated in China or Japan – a similar concept was seen in Indian tandoor ovens – have been around for approximately 3000 years or so.
Most models nowadays have a few signature features that make them stand out from standard grills – besides their distinctive egg-shaped design, that is.
The cooking vessel is typically placed on a stand, with the top section comprising of a domed lid. The lower half consists of the grill itself, and the bottom of the unit where the firebox is located.
Also, most models come with two vents – a top and a bottom one – to ensure airflow and regulate the temperature inside the grill.
Read more —
Top 3 Best Kamado Grills: A Comparison Chart
Top 8 Kamado Grills Of 2019: Reviews & Recommendations
Go through my reviews and take your pick – one of these may be the best Kamado grill for you!
The number one spot on my round-up of the best Kamado grills goes to the Classic II by Kamado Joe!
You can tell this is a well-constructed unit, made of porcelain-coated ceramic, with the addition of a cart with a locking wheel system for mobility. It feels sturdy and looks fantastic, too.
The easy-lift hinge was one of my favorite additions, though, as it makes lifting an otherwise heavy ceramic lid a breeze – and once you let go of it, it stays in position, rather than slamming shut.
Also, thanks to the introduction of multipurpose stainless steel racks, versatility is one of its strong features – the grill allows you to prepare different food in different heat zones, depending on what you need.
Plus, it all adds up to a total of 406 square inches of cooking space. It may not be the largest on my list, but it does the job, nonetheless.
And although it’s going to cost you, I do believe it’s more than worth it. Everything about it feels well-made and high-quality, down to the smallest of details.
I could go on and on, however, the bottom line is, this one gets my seal of approval!
The Pit Boss Kamado BBQ has one of the largest grilling surfaces on my list! The unit features dual-tier cooking grates – which, by the way, are made from stainless steel – and offers a combined total of 567 square inches of space.
That’s pretty impressive, right?
Due to its size, I’d highly recommend it to anyone who likes to host regular barbeque parties for a larger number of people – with that amount of space the grill’s perfectly capable of keeping up with your demands.
Plus, it comes with foldable bamboo side shelves, so that you can keep all your grilling tools and supplies within hand’s reach.
Now, you may think that the price tag is a bit hefty, but you have to remember that you’re looking at an insanely spacious Kamado grill with a heavy-duty ceramic body here – it doesn’t get much better than that construction-wise.
One of the things I didn’t like was the weight. It does come with a heavy-duty wheeled cart with a locking mechanism, rather than a regular stand, though, so I’m sure portability is not out of the picture – but you’ll have to put some muscle into it.
If the previous Char-Griller model caught your eye, but you can’t afford to spend that much on a Kamado grill, let me introduce you to its little cousin – the Char-Griller Akorn Jr.
The first thing that grabbed my attention here was how lightweight it felt. With the addition of handles, I’m sure portability won’t be an issue with this grill – even though it doesn’t come with a set of wheels.
The grill’s body is constructed out of steel, with the interior being porcelain-coated, and comes with cast-iron grates. It’s this choice of material that gives the unit that signature lightweight design.
Plus, it’s simple to use and maintain, so it’s perfect for a newcomer!
However, the cooking surface is on the smaller side, so don’t expect to be able to cook for more than two or three people at a time. Due to the compact size, it lacks a warming area, too.
Another thing worth noting is the matter of durability – although the unit is far from poorly made, I can’t help but wonder how long its steel construction is going to last before it starts showing signs of rust.
The thing that stands out about this grill is its price tag – it includes all the right features, and offers the same level of functionality that a high-end model would, but at a fraction of the price. In short, it’s a steal!
Its double-walled steel construction is pretty standard in this price range, but here’s the exciting part
Instead of the air intake damper being placed at the bottom, here, it’s located at cooking-grate-level, which not only makes it unique but easy to use, too. Coupled with the integrated thermometer, it allows for fast and easy temperature control – perfect for beginners!
It boasts plenty of cooking space, too – the grill features two cooking areas, a primary and a secondary one, for a total of 469 square inches. Moreover, the foldable side shelf with integrated tool hooks makes for an excellent prep area!
Oh, and one more thing – it comes with a drip tray, too, so it catches all the fat and juices that would otherwise drip straight to the flames.
I did find it to be a bit heavy, though. That said, since it comes with wheels, I’m sure portability won’t be an issue.
The first thing I'd like to address here is the build quality. The unit is constructed out of triple-walled steel which is powder-coated on the outside and porcelain-coated on the inside of the grill. More importantly, it feels sturdy.
The top and bottom dampers (and the added built-in temperature gauge) make temperature control a breeze, and the insulated design lets you maintain the cooking temperature anywhere between 200 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cooking area is another aspect that makes this model so fantastic – besides the already substantial primary grill of 314 square inches, it’s equipped with a removable 133-square-inch warming rack, too. I’m pretty sure you won’t run out of space with this one.
It features two foldable shelves, too, along with integrated hooks that let you keep all your grilling tools within arm’s reach.
The temperature control comes with a bit of a learning curve, but with a little experimentation, you'll get the hang of it fast.
Also, I should probably point out that I have doubts about its longevity – although it feels sturdy and well-made, I can tell that this won’t be a “lifetime purchase.”
Next one up is more than a Kamado grill – it’s an entire barbeque bundle that's bound to make you the star of the show!
First off, it comes with an insanely large cooking surface of nearly 600 square inches. And while it doesn’t have a dedicated warming rack, I won’t hold it against it – with a cooking area as big as this one there’s little room for complaints.
The ceramic body of this Vision Grills model ensures several things – durability, minimal risk of contact burns, and superior heat retention. Starting it up is super easy, as well, since the accessories bundle includes an electric starter, among other things.
Temperature control is another area this unit excels in – with the addition of draft vent dials, the ease of controlling the temperature and maintaining it in a range of 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit is outstanding.
The only downside worth noting is the price tag. There are far more expensive models out there – you’ll see what I mean by the end of this round-up – but this one isn’t exactly budget-friendly, either.
Considering that you’re getting an entire bundle full of handy accessories, I’d say it’s worth every penny, though!
Right off the bat, it’s clear that this keg-shaped unit is all about portability, so if you’re someone who tends to go camping quite often and you’d like the option of bringing your Kamado grill along with you, this is a model worth considering.
It features a double-walled steel body, and for a grill on the go, that makes a tremendous difference in durability – it won’t crack open in case of accidental drops. Also, the stand comes equipped with a set of wheels for added mobility, and for a camper, that’s always a plus.
And I don’t know who needs to read this, but the lid handle features built-in bottle openers. Perfect for starting a fun weekend getaway in nature!
It doesn’t come without any issues, though, and the thing I struggled with the most was the two-zone cooking. The grill offers an insane amount of space thanks to its dual rack design, but figuring out how to cook food on it properly may be tricky.
Also, the cast iron grids might not be the most durable out there – they’re prone to cracking, and while replacing them is relatively easy, it’s still an additional expense.
Did you think that I was going to wrap this round-up up without including a brand as iconic as Weber in it? Come on, we both know that I would never do that!
The grill’s body is constructed out of porcelain-enameled stainless steel, rather than ceramic, but thanks to the double-walled, air-insulated design, it still delivers in the heat retention department.
There are quite a few “unconventional” features here – things you wouldn’t typically find in a Kamado grill – like the Snap-Jet™ gas ignition for quick and easy lighting, and the Rapidfire™ lid damper that makes temperature control a breeze.
The cooking area of 452 square inches is no small matter, too – it’s more than enough space for cooking for your family.
It landed this low on my list because of the price tag. I’m not afraid to pay more for the best Kamado grill, but with a price tag of nearly $2000, I knew not a lot of grilling enthusiast would be able to afford it, no matter how outstanding it may be.
So, I settled on making this one my icing on the cake – it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to give it a try!
How to Pick the Best Kamado Grill: Detailed Buyer’s Guide
I’d like to take a moment to guide you through the basics of picking the best unit for your needs.
Here’s how to pick the best Kamado grill for your backyard!
1. Construction Material and Build Quality
When it comes to materials, my vote will always go to ceramic with a porcelain glaze, as it retains heat a bit better, and there’s no risk of rust.
However, know that enamel-coated steel is an option, too – and a more affordable one, for that matter.
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The final choice is all yours, but you’ll have to consider the build quality of the unit, as it will determine the overall performance and durability.
It’s understandable if a low price tag grabs your attention, but if it’s followed by compromised quality and poor cooking experience, is it worth it?
2. Size and Cooking Area
While the average Kamado grill does have a slightly smaller cooking surface than a typical grill, you still have plenty of options size-wise.
The main question here is:
How big of a crowd will you be cooking for on your Kamado grill?
There’s no right or wrong here; it all comes down to finding a model that meets your needs.
If you are cooking for two or three people at a time, chances are you won’t need that much extra space, and a more compact unit will probably be enough to satisfy your needs.
However, if you’re known for hosting large barbecue parties in your backyard, aim for a larger model that will be able to keep up with your demands.
If you do need a larger cooking surface, but getting a larger grill isn’t an option, you should look into models that come with two-tiered racks.
3. Accessories and Additions
Versatility is part of what makes cooking on Kamado grills so enjoyable – so, don’t miss out on it by opting for a model that doesn’t include at least the most basic of additions and accessories.
Here are a couple of handy examples of what to look for:
Before you settle for a specific model, remember to check which of these extras are included in the offer, and which ones you’ll have to buy separately.
A well-made Kamado grill will cost a whole lot, and as with any other major purchase, you have to be sure that your investment is protected.
In short, you have to pay attention to the warranty.
Before you get caught up in all the features and accessories, don’t forget to check what kind of warranty the brand offers. Some will provide lifetime coverage, while others won’t give you more than a couple of years.
|Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill, Blaze Red*||$1,199.00 from $399.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Pit Boss 71220 Kamado BBQ Ceramic Grill Cooker, 22"*||$799.00 from $761.08||Buy on Amazon|
|Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr, Red Charcoal kamado Grill*||$168.00 from $145.61||Buy on Amazon|
|Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill*||from $379.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black*||$338.00 from $328.00||Buy on Amazon|
|Vision Grills CF1F1 Pro Kamado BBQ Bundle*||$1,012.00 from $896.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Broil King 911470 Keg 5000 Kamado Grill, 18.5-IN Diameter, Metallic Charcoal*||$899.00 from $698.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Weber 18501001 Summit Charcoal Grilling Center, Black*||$1,999.00||Buy on Amazon|
If you started reading this article not sure if a Kamado grill is worth investing in, I hope you found your answers here.
They can be a unique and versatile addition to any backyard and an outdoor cook’s favorite means of preparing mouth-watering food.
And while all the models you’ve seen today will get the job done, there’s one that stood out as the best Kamado grill out of the bunch – the Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill.
It’s everything a Kamado grill should be (possibly even more) both regarding construction and durability, as well as features and size – and it’s worth every penny!
- 406 sq. in total cooking surface; With Two Sets of Grates: 508 sq. in.
- Built in thermometer.
- 225 to 750 Degree cooking range
- Primary Cooking Space:23 sq.in
Have you cooked on a Kamado grill before? Would you agree with my choice? Drop us a line below!