One of the perennial debates in the barbecue world is Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg. Whether you’re cooking for a big crowd or just making dinner for your family, there’s nothing like the taste of grilled food.
If you’re in the market for a new grill, you might be wondering which is the best option: a Kamado Joe or a Big Green Egg? In this post, we’ll take a look at what each grill has to offer so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to buy.
What is a Kamado?
A kamado grill or cooker is an ancient style of outdoor oven that had its heyday in Japan centuries ago. They were engineered with heat-resistant mortar, later ceramic materials like rammed earth, and finally clay.
Nowadays there are two main types on the market: traditional egg-shaped models (like the Big Green Egg), and the more modern, boxy style (like the Kamado Joe).
What is Kamado Joe?
Kamado Joe is a line of kamado-style grills that are engineered for portability and ease of use. They have a modern design, with a tall dome and efficient insulation that makes them different from traditional charcoal or wood-burning ceramic grills.
The novelty does not stop there – Kamado Joe has been able to bring the worldwide sensation of In-N-Out Burger to the world of barbecuing via their ‘secret menu’ option. You can even personalize your grill by picking from numerous color combinations.
Kamado Joe offers a few unique features that make them stand out among the competition:
Fits in Your Car: Kamado Joe was designed for portability and ease of use, which means you can take it and go and set it up at the destination. This makes them perfect for tailgates or camping trips.
Fits in Your Kitchen: Unlike many kamados, Kamodo Joes are built to be compact enough to fit easily on your patio or deck with your other outdoor cooking equipment. That means they won’t hog all of your storage space.
Self-Sealing Lid: The top comes equipped with a sealant strip around the edge that will form an airtight seal when you close it. No more planning your cooking time around the weather – you can grill for as long as you want without worrying about losing heat.
Modern Design: If you’re looking to fit a kamado grill into your outdoor kitchen, Kamodo Joe will do just that with its modern design and available custom colors.
High Quality Build: Tongue and groove construction means there are no screws or bolts that would require maintenance over time, and premium powder coat materials keep it protected from the elements.
The Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II Charcoal Grill
The Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II Charcoal Grill is a top of the line grill that will give you the perfect cooking experience.
With its premium cart and locking wheels, it is easy to transport and move around. The 2-Tier Divide & Conquer system makes it possible to cook different foods at different temperatures simultaneously, making your grilling experience easier than ever before.
The Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II Charcoal Grill is our top-of-the-line grill, perfect for the most demanding outdoor cooking enthusiasts.
Made of durable stainless steel and ceramic, this grill is built to last and comes in a sleek blaze red color that will add style to any backyard. With 26.4 x 26.4 x 36 inches of cooking space, you’ll be able to cook anything you want on this bad boy – from steaks and burgers to whole chickens or turkeys.
And at 250 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest grills on the market, meaning it won’t move an inch when you’re cooking at full blast. So get ready to enjoy some amazing BBQs this summer with your new Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II Charcoal Grill.
– Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing.
– Smoke from 225F to 750F
– Increased airflow for better heat management.
– The patented air lift hinge reduces dome weight by 96% so you can now open and close the dome with ease.
– The AMP (Advanced Multi-Panel) FireBox allows for an even cooking temperature, eliminating breakage.
The temperature control is easy to use and accurate, staying consistent even on windy days.
The top of the grill has a felt ring around it that holds the cast iron damper cap in place, even when opening and closing the grill.
The Kamado Joe grill has a Divide and Conquer system that allows for cooking on one level or two levels.
The kamado oven can be lifted into its rolling cradle stand by two people, but it is difficult for one person to do so.
What is Big Green Egg?
Big Green Egg was started in 1974 in an old metal shop with 25 employees in South Miami, Florida. Starting off small but quickly becoming popular with caterers, BGE began producing egg-shaped ceramic grills that are now synonymous with outdoor cooking. The company grew quickly, selling 300,000 units by 1986 and moving into a new factory to accommodate demand.
While the Big Green Egg is famous for their unique shape, it’s not just a novelty. The insulation properties of the ceramic make it more efficient at retaining heat which means you can use less charcoal to get your cooking started. It also means your food will cook evenly without needing to be rotated or flipped around.
The rounded shape of the egg makes them ideal for cooking ribs or whole chickens where access on all sides is needed to rotate and baste. They are best known among grillers as being excellent for smoking meat, thanks to how well they capture smoke flavor during low and slow barbecue recipes.
Big Green Egg comes in three main sizes: Junior, Large, Extra Large. Each size has it – the larger models have more space and cooking surface, but all of them share the same features.
You can read our full review on Big Green Egg here.
The Big Green Egg 18″ Large:
The Big Green Egg 18″ Large is a professional-grade grill that is perfect for family cookouts and gatherings of friends. It can accommodate all EGGcessories for baking, roasting, or smoking, making it versatile enough for any occasion. The large size is efficient enough for an impromptu meatloaf for two, or 20-pound turkeys.
The Big Green Egg 18″ Large is the perfect size for larger families and groups. With a cooking area of 262 sq in, it can easily accommodate a dozen burgers or six racks of ribs. At 162 lbs, this egg is sturdy enough to handle even your heaviest dishes. And with its easy-to-use controls, you’ll be able to create mouth-watering meals every time.
– Artisan-crafted with the highest quality materials for unparalleled strength, durability, and functionality.
– Cast Stainless Steel Grate
– Sturdy Construction. Stands up to high heat cooking methods like searing, grilling, and frying.
– Cast Iron Cooking Grates are ideal for slow cooking foods that require lower heat over longer periods of time, like smoking grilling and baking.
– The ceramic body is simple to clean, just wipe it down with a damp towel after cooking.
– Temperature control is very accurate and consistent. You can go from 200F to 700F in less than five minutes.
– Never loses heat during the duration of cooking time.
– Can be used as either a grill or an oven.
– Products are made in the USA.
– The price tag is relatively expensive ($900+) for a grill, especially one that’s not very portable.
What are the similarities?
While they don’t have quite as many features, both grills are extremely portable. Kamado Joe is slightly easier to transport thanks to its tall design while BGE has a more traditional shape that allows you to slide it sideways into your car.
Both offer ceramic insulation properties, requiring less charcoal than metal smokers. They are also known for being efficient with heat distribution during cooking due to their domed shape which makes it easy to cook meat evenly across the whole grill without rotating.
Both brands offer high quality build materials including ceramic insulation and stainless steel or cast iron components. The lids are designed for better heat retention and create an airtight seal when closed. They also both provide the grill master with unparalleled control of cooking temperatures due to their wide range of available controls.
While Big Green Egg offers a larger model, Kamado Joe is somewhat more portable thanks to its tall shape which makes it easier to put in your trunk or bed of a truck without having to take the lid off, making them ideal for tailgates or camping trips.
It’s worth noting that Kamado Joes are also available in colors other than basic black if you want something that matches your outdoor kitchen setup.
What are the differences?
The most obvious difference between Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg is their size – BGE takes up quite a bit more space than Kamado Joe. The depth difference is only about 2” but BGE is almost twice as tall, which can make it difficult to transport.
Kamado Joe offers an option for natural gas or propane fuel while the large version of the Big Green Egg doesn’t have this option at all – you can only use charcoal briquettes. This could be a major factor if you don’t like constantly tending your grill during cooking and prefer having consistent heat with an electric or gas setup.
The smallest models of both grills are very similarly sized, coming in at less than $200 without any features aside from their basic design. However, once you start adding on additional features to the BGE, the price goes up to about $1000 which is considerably more expensive than Kamado Joe.
Both models are available in three different sizes but the BGE Large at almost 70 pounds heavier than its competitors. It’s important to keep in mind this weight difference when transporting your grill or if you plan on using it for an extended period of time without assistance.
Despite Big Green Egg offering larger grills, Kamado Joes actually have a higher cooking area (350-400 square inches) compared to their competitors (280-340 square inches).
Why Do People Love Them?
Both kamados and smokers share some of the same features: they’re dome-shaped with an insulated body. They’re capable of maintaining a perfect temperature for hours on end, holding in moisture and not losing heat. In addition, they’re known for producing the best tasting food you’ll ever cook on a grill.
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg: Pros and Cons
Now that we know what kamados and smokers have to offer, let’s look at how these two heavyweights stack up against each other:
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg – Round 1: Dimensions
The first important factor to consider is the size of the grill. If you’re concerned about how much space you have available for your new toy, here are the basic dimensions that each model offers:
Kamado Joe Classic II Kamado Dimension Height 29″ Width 24″ Depth 22″ Capacity 500 lbs Weight 88 lbs Big Green Egg Dimension Height 18.5″ Width 23.25″ Depth 19.25″ Capacity 60 lbs Weight 110 lbs
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg – Round 2: Cooking Space
Having a smaller grill can be a good thing depending on what you’re cooking for. While both units are able to accommodate large amounts of food, the Big Green Egg has a couple of advantages over the Kamado Joe.
First, it’s easier to raise and lower your grill with the Big Green Egg because it has an integrated hinge system that you can operate with one hand. The hinge is located at the bottom so you don’t end up kicking the coals as you climb on and off.
Second, it has an optional grill grate that can raise your cooking space by almost afoot. If you need extra space, this is definitely the way to go.
The Kamado Joe has similar options for increasing or decreasing your cooking height but they aren’t quite as convenient.
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg – Round 3: Temperature Controls
The next thing to consider is how easy it is to turn down the heat once you’ve reached your desired temperature. As we mentioned before, kamados can maintain their heat for hours at a time so you don’t have to rush.
The Big Green Egg has a convenient built-in temperature gauge that you can read from the outside of the grill. If you want to turn down the heat, simply open one of the intake flaps on the bottom for a little extra oxygen flow and close it again when you’re done.
The Kamado Joe also has a built-in thermometer but there aren’t any vents on the bottom to adjust airflow. Instead, you need to completely remove your cooking grate and propane door in order to access two screws that control airflow into your charcoal/wood compartment.
This isn’t as simple as just lifting up a flap but it doesn’t require much effort either – just be sure not to lose the screws!
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg – Round 4: Cooking Grates
One factor that’s often overlooked is what you’ll be cooking on. The better your grill grates are, the better your food will cook so it’s important to find something high quality if it isn’t included with your purchase.
The Kamado Joe has very little space between its ceramic walls and its removable stainless steel grate (1/2″ gap). This can pose a problem for some foods like burgers because they might fall through the cracks while cooking. You can always use pans or aluminum foil but then you aren’t able to sear directly over coals since there’s nothing separating them from your food.
The Big Green Egg has a stainless steel grate with a 1″ gap between the ceramic dome and the cooking surface. This size difference doesn’t seem like much but it can make a big difference in some recipes.
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg – Round 5: Price & Warranty
When it comes to price, you definitely get what you pay for in terms of features, quality, and durability. The Kamado Joe Classic II costs $499 while the Heavy Duty model goes for $599, both plus shipping charges from their official website.
Alternatively, you might be able to find them on sale through Amazon or other retailers so it’s worth doing some comparison shopping. If you go this route though, just make sure that the seller backs their product with a warranty.
The Big Green Egg is more expensive than the other two grills in this comparison, starting at $749 for just the basic model. You can find these online or through your local dealer so if you’re serious about buying one, it’s definitely worth visiting a showroom to see what kind of deals they have on hand.
The Big Green Egg has an impressive 10-year warranty protecting against any cracks or defects which goes to show how much confidence they have in their product quality.
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg – Round 6: Personal Opinion
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the main factors to consider when choosing between these grills, it’s time to share our opinions. We love both of these companies because they’re still relatively small and family-owned (they’ve been in business for three generations).
They produce top quality products that are made in the USA and their customer service is exceptional when you do need help with something.
If you can afford it, we recommend getting one of each! The Big Green Egg is ideal for cooking burgers, steaks, pizzas or anything else that requires high heat (600°F+) while the Kamado Joe would be perfect for smoking ribs or briskets (300°F+) over indirect heat for many hours.
At the end of the day though, choosing between them really comes down to personal preference so pick one that appeals to you most and give it a try!
Which one should I buy?
While there are other kamado grills out there, we feel that the Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg are the best. They have very loyal fan bases who swear by their amazing cooking abilities so it’s worth considering them if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
The Kamado Joe has a lower price tag but is more difficult to use with its manual airflow system requiring you to remove components just to adjust airflow.
It also lacks extra features that are included with similar models from Big Green Egg such as automatic charcoal ignition or front access door for adding coals mid-cooking session.
The tempered glass lid makes it easy to monitor your food while grilling since there aren’t any hot spots on the cooking surface.
The Big Green Egg is constructed with high quality ceramics and cast aluminum components that can stand up to years of heavy use.
The tempered glass lid helps you keep an eye on your food but you might need to remove it while cooking on the lower rack or grilling with indirect heat (over a pan) since there isn’t any heat shielding.
While Kamado Joe only has one size option, the Big Green Egg comes in three different sizes: Mini, Medium and XXL, each of which can accommodate up to 20 lbs of food!
FAQs on Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg:
What are the differences between Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg?
Kamado Joe grills have a simple design with no air vents, just a single adjustable damper to control airflow. The green egg has an advanced airflow system that allows you to have precise control over how much heat your grill generates.
It also comes with automatic butane or electric ignition systems for added convenience while cooking outdoors.
Do I need any accessories to use my kamado grill?
All three of these grills come complete with tool hooks and removable ash trays for collecting ashes while grilling or smoking.
You can purchase various other add-ons such as insulating mats, thermometers, cajun bandits which close off the top vent to keep the heat in while cooking. Kamado Joe also sells a rotisserie attachment for roasting chickens and pigs!
How long can I expect my kamado grill to last?
Since both of these brands make premium grills, you should get many years of use out of them if they’re taken care of properly. You’ll need to replace the gaskets and airlocks every few years but some people have been using their Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe for over 10 years with no issues!
Where do I find replacement parts for my kamado grill?
While many small appliances today come from China, both companies build their products in America which means that spare parts shouldn’t be too hard to obtain. Their websites are the cheapest place to order parts from but you can also find them on Amazon.
How do I get rid of food odors after using my grill?
First, let your Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg cool down completely before cleaning it. Scrape off any old pieces of charcoal and ash with a hand broom before wiping the interior with a damp rag.
Finally, season your grill by heating up some vegetable oil until it smokes before spreading it around with a paper towel. Allow this mixture to sit for at least an hour before turning your kamado back on.
This helps prevent food particles from sticking to the cooking grate which makes cleanup easier next time!
Who has better customer service, big green egg or kamado joe?
We were unable to find any customer reviews online which talked about their experience with either company’s customer service. From what we’ve heard, the Big Green Egg seems to have more satisfied customers compared to Kamado Joe since it comes with a better warranty and doesn’t require as much maintenance.
However, you shouldn’t need to use your warranty often if you’re just using your grill for normal backyard barbecue activities.
Who makes a better kamado grill, big green egg or kamado joe?
Both Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg make high quality grills that can last a lifetime if taken care of properly. If you ask us, there isn’t much difference between these two brands except for price (Kamado Joe is a bit cheaper) and warranty (Big Green Egg has a better warranty).
Also, both companies have been in business for decades which means that their customer service should be reliable if you need to contact them about any issues.
Can you use Kamado Joe in the rain?
Kamado Joe is weatherproof and it’s been tested to be able to withstand even the most extreme conditions.
You can use your grill in light rain as long as you make sure that all vents are closed properly. However, after heavy rainfall, we suggest bringing your Kamado Joe inside because too much water can damage its ceramic components.
Can I use Kamado Joe indoors?
No! While you’re free to remove the cooking grate from a Kamado Joe and place it on a table or another flat surface, you should NEVER set any part of this grill directly onto a wooden floor.
This is because wood tends to expand and contract under heat which will crack your ceramic parts if there’s no gap between them. Don’t worry though because you can still enjoy using a Kamado Joe during the cold winter months by simply setting it on a backyard patio or driveway.
Do I have to use charcoal with kamado joe?
No, you don’t have to! A lot of people prefer using lump wood charcoal because it produces less ash compared to regular cooking briquettes. However, you should never use lighter fluid since this is highly flammable and may also damage your emitters.
Instead, just open up both bottom vents once your grill reaches smoking temperature and place a few sheets of crumpled up paper under the cooking grate before lighting your charcoal. Allow everything to burn until your emitter turns completely white and then close off all vents before cooking anything.
Can you fit a brisket on a Kamado Joe Classic?
Yes, but it will be difficult to fit a whole brisket on your Kamado Joe since this is one of the largest cuts of beef you can find. To make things easier for yourself, we recommend slicing your brisket in half and laying each piece flat on either side of the cooking grate.
If you use an aluminum pan under your food, you’ll be able to easily lift it off once it’s cooked and cut into individual portions
Why does my kamado joe not hold temperature?
We’ve found that most problems with maintaining consistent cooking temps can usually be traced back to three common issues: draft control, ash buildup, and fuel management.
Since these problems cover such a wide range of possible causes, we suggest checking out this article on our website to learn more about how you can fix them on your own.
Will Big Green Egg crack in cold weather?
Yes, and that’s because the Big Green Egg becomes more like a traditional ceramic oven rather than an actual grill when it gets cold outside.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend placing your Big Green Egg in a garage or enclosed area during the winter months so you can cook with it as soon as spring rolls around.
Why does my Kamado Joe have hot spots?
One reason for this is if your vents are partially blocked which restricts airflow inside your grill. If you suspect that this could be causing uneven cooking temperatures on either side of your cooking grate, try removing any debris blocking the opening of one of your bottom vents before firing up your grill.
Also, make sure that all parts of your ceramic cooker reach their optimal temperature before starting to cook anything.
Will a Kamado Joe grill rust?
No, your ceramic grill will not rust as long as it’s been properly maintained and cared for overtime. However, we do recommend removing any excess grease or food particles from inside the lid and firebox every few months to prevent them from staining your ceramic coating.
Also make sure that you keep water out of your dome and charcoal bowl by brushing the interior with a wire brush whenever necessary. For further info about what type of maintenance needs to be done on both parts of your grill, please check out this article.
Can you use kamado joe at high altitudes?
Yes! There is no need to worry about changing the way you use such a great product simply because you live a few thousand feet above sea level. As long as you keep your vents slightly open, one of our favorite grills will work just fine in places that are 5k or higher in elevation
Can you burn wood in a kamado?
Yes, you can burn wood in your Kamado Joe during the smoking process. However, we suggest using it sparingly since this will produce a lot of ash that may accumulate inside your firebox and potentially block the vent holes necessary for clearing out excess heat.
Instead of throwing full pieces of wood into your grill, try adding smaller chunks to your charcoal to increase flavor without causing problems with airflow
Do I need ceramic briquettes to cook on kamado joe?
No, our favorite ceramic grills are designed so they can be used even without ceramics! In fact, most people use lump wood charcoal as their fuel source when cooking on a Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe which is also what fuels those two brands’ grills.
Lump wood charcoal is made from natural and renewable sources and creates less ash than traditional briquettes so there’s no need to worry about the flavor of your food being polluted by leftover waste.
In the end, your choice between Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg really comes down to personal preference! Both brands make equally durable grills with plenty of add-ons available so it’s up to you whether you want a grill with more features or one that costs less.
Both the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg are great grills, but they offer different features that might appeal to you depending on your needs.
The Kamado Joe is a bit smaller and more portable than the Big Green Egg, making it a good option if you don’t have a lot of space or if you want to take your grill with you on camping trips or tailgating parties.
The Big Green Egg is larger and can accommodate bigger pieces of meat, so it’s a better choice if you plan to cook for large groups. Ultimately, the best grill for you depends on what you want to use it for.
Do some research online and read reviews from other customers to help make your decision. When you’ve decided on a grill, pick up some accessories so you can get the most out of your purchase over time.
However, we recommend going with the Big Green Egg since it comes with a better warranty and there are already many accessories available online whereas Kamado Joe accessories might take longer to ship. If price isn’t an issue, go with whichever brand offers the best overall value for your money!
We hope that this article helped you learn more about these two excellent brands and how they compare to each other. If we missed anything or you have any further questions, please leave us a comment and we’ll try to help. If you want to share your experience with either of these kamado grills, feel free to do so in the comment section as well!