Ceramic grills have become more and more popular ever since Big Green Egg came out with their large egg-shaped grills. Plenty of grilling enthusiasts have begun to recognize the benefits of these ceramic grills and are now complementing their outdoor grilling equipment with one of these.

Ceramic grills, unlike traditional grills, are completely covered and are shaped like an oval egg. Because of the enclosing dome-shaped design, they usually have much better temperature control than traditional grills. They are much more efficient too. All the smoke released from the burnt charcoal gets used and reused inside the elliptical chamber, thus you get to save a lot on charcoal usage.

But the biggest reason, people buy ceramic grills is because it offers much more uniform cooking. The smoke from the fire underneath goes over and above your food and completely covers it, thus equally distributing heat so that you don’t get burn spots.

What makes Kamado Joe Grills so special? 

Kamado Joe is based outside of Atlanta, GA and was formed by a group of friends who loved grilling above everything else. They learned about the ancient Asian Kamado style of grilling and wanted to bring that to the modern world in an innovative and tasty fashion.

Teaming up with some Harvard Researchers, they designed the internal heat chamber mechanism which uses constantly changing internal pressure to create a cyclonic airflow with the grill. The smoke gets tossed around the food about 20 times more than traditional grills. This mechanism maximizes the smoky flavor and optimizes heat distribution. 

They also continuously try to improve their products by adding in innovative and highly effective accessories, like a built-in thermometer, a multi-tier cooking surface, etc. Their mission is not just to make the most creative grill, it’s to make the most scientifically efficient one. 

Here are our reviews for some of the best selling grills. 

Best Kamado Joe Grill Reviews 

1. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe’s flagship model – the classic Kamado Joe Grill comes with an 18-inch diameter and is supported by a cart with wheels that can lock in place. This makes it very easy to move around and it also stays at a comfortable height above the ground, just like an old-fashioned charcoal griller.

The cyclonic smoke circulation within the cooker and the even distribution of heat lets you use this grill for a variety of cooking purposes – slow-roast, smoke, sear, or bake. Instead of using the grill bars, you can use other accessories like a flat top for a pizza or a stick for marshmallows.

Why Do I Like It? 

1. Double Tier Cooking

The two-tier cooking surface is arguably the best feature in this grill. The cooking area consists of two half-circle grill bars, one situated higher away from the flame and one lower closer to the fire. 

This system lets you cook vegetables, etc at a lower heat setting on the top level and meat on the lower level which gets more direct heat from the smoke. An external thermometer lets you know what the temperature is inside. 

2. Heat Resilient Ceramic

The heat resistant shell has super thick walls made of powder-coated cast aluminum. These high temperature – resistant walls trap heat and moisture to ensure uniform cooking and they can withstand temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. Air Lift Hinge

Kamado Joe has reduced the top dome weight by an astounding 96% with their patented airlift hinge system. If you want to get rid of some of the smoke inside and bring the temperature down, simply lift the air hinge.

The air hinge is super convenient and can be lifted with only one finger. It will expel all the smoke in one go because of the change in air pressure. 

4. Ash Drawer

Unlike traditional grills where you have to take out all the internal contents to clean it, this grill comes with a slide-out ash drawer at the bottom. 

Simply pull it out, dump all the ash and put it back in to continue grilling.

What Could Have Been Better?

This price tag on this new model is almost 25% higher than previous models. That seems like a very large jump for only small improvements and modifications in the construction. Make sure you buy it from Amazon and not directly, as that will charge you even more.

Pros & Cons

Uniform distribution of smoke and heat

Locking wheels for added mobility

Double tier cooking surfaces for different temperature settings

Heat containing ceramic construction

Convenient airlift hinge to expel smoke

Removable ash drawer

Heavy and hard to move

Expensive relative to other models on the market

2. Kamado Joe KJ23NRHC Classic II Stand-Alone Grill

 

Kamado Joe brings all of its unique characteristics and innovations into this stand-alone grill. It’s almost exactly like its cousin with a stand and wheels – in that it has an 18-inch cooking rack which is enough for cooking 10-12 chicken breast filets at the same time.

The ceramic and walls are made out of the same material. The only difference is that it stands on three small legs instead of the cart with wheels. Thus you would need to place it on a high table or purchase a stand for it to bring it up to your height.

Why Do I Like It? 

1. Air Circulation

The base of the grill is lifted above the ground by the legs. This prevents the egg from burning your grass or leaving burn marks on your table or porch. The gap below it also allows cool air to move below the base. Just be careful to not accidentally touch the base of the grill with your naked feet.

2. Uniform Cooking and Heat Resistant Walls

This grill can easily take temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and the walls ensure the smoke and moisture keeps circulating and evenly coating your food for that perfect juicy and smoky taste. 

The two-tier grill lets you cook different items at separate temperatures leading to more variety in your cooking. You aren’t just restricted to steaks anymore.

3. Accessories

When you get a grill, you also need to get a ton of accessories with it which is again where this grill scores high as everything comes included in the packaging. You get the patented airlift hinge and top vent along with the thermometer on the exterior and the ash drawer at the bottom to easily dump the ash.

You’ll also get a grill gripper, mitts, to ensure you never burn your fingers. Along with that, you also get a wire mesh fiberglass gasket and a firebox to keep the fire from going out of control 

4. Lifetime Warranty

A sign of a reputable company is that they are willing to give you a lifetime warranty on their products. It’s not just a guarantee of quality but it also shows that the company cares enough about you to make sure you have a good time.

Even though the construction is pretty robust itself, the outdoors isn’t always the safest place and the lifetime warranty ensures this grill lasts you a long, long time.

What Could Have Been Better?

Weighing in at around 200 pounds, it is super heavy and not easy at all to move around. Even if you do take it with you on a vacation, the lack of a stand means, you’ll have to find a strong table or platform to place it.

Pros & Cons

Cyclonic heat and smoke circulation

Heat and moisture-retaining walls

Double tier cooking surfaces

Top vent hinge

Easy-to-dispose-of ash drawer

Lifetime warranty

Large number of accessories included

Heavy and hard to move around

No stand

3. Kamado Joe KJ13RH Joe Jr Charcoal Grill

The Joe Jr charcoal grill is for people who like ceramic grills and want one of Kamado Joe’s products but they don’t want one which is as heavy and large as the Stand-alone, Classic or Big Joe grills. This one is much lighter than its counterparts at only 75 pounds which makes it easy to move around.

This one is smaller than it’s cousins with a grill which is 13 inches in diameter, which should be enough for cooking for 2-3 people, or the average size of a family. Because of the decreased size, it also comes with a much more modest price tag. 

Why Do I Like It?

1. Compact and Space-Saving

Most casual grilling enthusiasts will only take their grills a few times a month and for them, a small and compact but reliable grill is exactly what they need. This ceramic grill takes up much less space than a traditional charcoal grill, yet it delivers the same results at a smaller scale.

The 13.5-inch diameter cooking grate provides a total 148.5 sq. inches of cooking surface which is enough for a couple of steaks, some sausages, and vegetables, one chicken, a 12″ pizza, etc. 

2. Reliable Construction Quality

The ceramic and the thick walls are made entirely of cast aluminum and will easily stand up to 700 degrees of heat, just like all the other Kamado Joe models. You can see how high the heat goes with the external thermometer.

The stainless steel dual-layered cooking grate is also totally non-stick and will not warp under any temperatures. Rest assured, this grill will last you a good number of years.

3. Patented Technologies of Kamado Joe

All of Kamado Joe’s products are outfitted with their most popular technologies such as the finger-operated smoke vent on top, the cyclonic air convection system, and most importantly, the dual-layered cooking surfaces. 

What Could Have Been Better?

There isn’t any major disadvantage if you consider checking the size requirements before you purchase this piece. The cooking surface can be a little small if you’re preparing a meal for too many people. And this model can be slightly expensive when compared to the other average grills of this size.

Pros & Cons

Small and easy to move around

Perfect for a small family

Highly affordable

Superb heat and smoke retention

Thick, solid aluminum walls

Stainless steel cooking grates

Smoke removal hinge at the top

Not suitable for large parties

Accessories often aren’t included in the packaging

Final Thoughts

Egg-shaped ceramic grills have been around for some time now, but Kamado Joe is currently leading the pack with their science-backed technology. All of their products feature the same patented features and the same hardy, reliable construction quality. They only differ in size and accessories like the stand, etc. Hopefully, our reviews will clear up which one is most suitable for you.

Until next time, folks!