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
- Top 10 Kamado Grills of 2021
- #1. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill – Editor’s Pick
- #2. Pit Boss Kamado Ceramic Grill Cooker – Runner-Up
- #3. Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill – Best Budget-Friendly Pick
- #4. Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker – Best Mid-Range Pick
- #5. Vision Grills CF1F1 Pro Kamado BBQ Bundle – Best Bundle Deal
- #6. Broil King Keg 5000 Kamado Grill – Best Grill for Camping
- #7. Char-Griller E6520 Akorn Kamado Cart - Best for Heat Retention
- #8. Lifesmart 133" 6-In-1 Kamado Style - Best Ceramic-Built Grill
- #9. Kamado Joe KJ15040320 Kettle Joe 22 inch Charcoal Grill - Best Design
- #10. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. Kamado Grill – Best Grill for Beginners
- How to Pick the Best Kamado Grill: Detailed Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
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 10 Kamado Grills of 2021
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 KJ23RHC 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.
The thing that stands out about this Char-Broil Kamander 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 Char-Griller Akorn 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°F.
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°F 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 Broil King Keg 5000 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.
Our review would not be complete without one more Char-Griller Kamado cart. Can you blame us? The brand never ceases to amaze its customers with terrific quality and performance. So, if you are wondering whether this model is worth the investment, it's time we check it out.
The Char-Griller E6520 allows you to enjoy the benefits of the low-and-slow function that delivers the most tender meat for starters! Or, if you are in a big rush, you can also sear meat at a high temperature and get the job done faster.
This Kamado grill has a 314 square inches cast iron cooking surface and a dump pan for quick clean-up.
This versatile Char-Griller is built to last! You won't see decay or rust anytime soon as the grill is made out of a double-walled 22 gauge steel body! Talk about quality!
The double-walled exterior also makes it easy to maintain internal temperatures that range from 200 to 700°F.
Now that we mentioned temperature control, you have to know more about this function. The Kamado grill has both top and bottom adjustable dampers that maintain an even airflow both in and out of the grill while cooking.
That being said, the model is relatively fuel-efficient as you don't have to use as much charcoal as you would with other models.
Next up, we will review the magnificent Lifesmart Kamado-style grill with versatile functions you will enjoy.
Do you know when you go to a restaurant and you wonder just how they achieve that perfectly grilled steak? The secret is talent, but that would not be possible with the right equipment. However, this is precisely what you can achieve with the Lifesmart grill! Restaurant-like wood-oven cooking!
It's time you take your cooking skills to the next level since the Lifesmart grill has everything you need! Starting from the built quality, the body is made out of high-grade performance ceramic insulation.
You will be pretty impressed with the design as these materials are made to retain the heat and deliver an even cooking process. Plus, the ceramic built means you get to use less charcoal and stay fuel-efficient while creating culinary wonders.
A unique feature of this Kamado-style grill is that it uses only natural lump charcoal instead of chemically-made briquettes. Not only is it a better alternative, but it also burns longer and allows you to grill and smoke for at least 8 hours on a low setting.
That being said, we have to mention the versatile use many of the customer's love! With the Lifesmart grill, you will be able to braise, roast, grill, smoke sear, and even bake. Yes, you heard that right! You no longer have to save up to buy a separate cooking unit when you have everything you need in Lifesmart Grill.
How can you resist a sleek red charcoal grill that has a fantastic budget-friendly price? Our next pick comes from the official Kamado Joe store, and they represent a unique charcoal grill with some of the most tempting qualities and features. So let's see what it can offer you.
Firstly, the Kamado Joe KJ15040320 grill has a 22" inch surface and a total of 363 square inches of phenomenal cooking space! So it's suitable for more considerable crowd preparations as well as for small family get-togethers.
This grill features one of the unique builds as it has a ceramic firebox. This kind of firebox is excellent if you are looking to be fuel-efficient. It also performs well under unstable weather conditions since the ceramic works as a heat insulator.
For your convenience, the design has an adjustable hinge that can keep the lid attached. This means you don't have to remove the top each time you want to open it, which is super convenient.
This Kamado Joe KJ15040320 grill includes a unique patented Sloroller Hyperbolic Chamber, which allows for an even and consistent temperature. For example, you can adjust the hinge, insert the Sloroller, and set the temperature to 500°F. Or, remove it, put the hinge to a lower setting, and you will get a 700°F temperature!
You will also appreciate the extra preparation space from the two side shelves! They can also be folded for storage and allow for versatile installation.
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.
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.
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.
Is a Kamado grill worth it?
For grilling enthusiasts, Kamado grills are worth it! Their high price matches the quality you will get, so you can never make a mistake by choosing one of the Kamado grills.
If you value versatility the most, then these grills are for you! They have an unbeatable performance that will make you feel like one of the professional chefs! In addition, every single of the Kamado grills is built with high-quality materials so that they will last you around 5 to 10 years.
Is Big Green Egg better than Kamado Joe?
Although both brands offer fantastic quality and performance, we would have to give a leading hand to the Kamado Joe, simply because it's a better deal.
You have to consider these grills a significant investment since they are not cheap pieces of grilling equipment. But, Kamado Joe offers a wide range of features the Big Green Egg lacks. Plus, they have a ceramic-built body that retains heat better than BGE, so it's fuel-efficient as well.
How long will a Kamado Joe last?
Kamado Joe's grills are no joke! They have some of the best designs you can face in the market, so they are built to last. Most of the newer models will last for around ten years, which is fantastic!
Since they are relatively expensive, it's good to know that you are investing in something that will last you for a long time.
How to smoke a turkey on a Kamado Grill?
To smoke a turkey on a Kamado grill, you first need to set it for indirect cooking. This is done by placing heat reflector stones if your Kamado grill does not have an indirect cooking option.
Next, set the temperature between 170°C and smoke the turkey for around 10 to 12 minutes. Always allow the turkey to rest for several hours to absorb all the delicious juices before serving correctly.
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!
Have you cooked on a Kamado grill before? Would you agree with my choice? Drop us a line below!
- Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels – The Kamado Joe Classic II gives the perfect cooking size of 18 inches along with its Premium cart that comes with the purchase of...
- 2-Tier Divide & Conquer - Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon...
- Kontrol Tower Top Vent - Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated cast aluminum, the patent pending dual-adjustment...
- Patented Air Lift Hinge – Reduce dome weight by 96% with the Patented Air Lift Hinge. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there...
- AMP (Advanced Multi-Panel) FireBox – The patent pending six-piece design eliminates breakage and increases grill efficiency.