The Best Kamado Grills

Are you looking for a versatile grill that can elevate your grilling experience? Fueled by pieces of charcoal, a kamado grill is a hybrid unit that has been changing the lives of barbecue enthusiasts for many years.

The 6 Best Kamado Grills
The Best Kamado Grills

The Best Kamado Grills

So, why is this grill everyone’s favourite? For starters, a kamado grill is usually made of ceramic and has thick walls that offer great insulation. Kamado grills typically come in an egg-like structure with a hinged top or lid. This smart structure helps create a lot of space around the cooking grates for adequate airflow. Ceramic grills are also great for retaining moisture at low and high temperatures. This feature makes kamado grills ideal for smoking, baking, and grilling.

Making wood-fired cooking a piece of cake, kamado grills were first manufactured in China, and today, they are available worldwide to enhance your backyard grilling experience.

Using a Kamado grill is relatively straightforward. To start the grill, simply add your fuel, like lump charcoal, to the cooking chamber. Next, adjust your racks and place your food on the grill grate and start cooking! To adjust the temperature, simply adjust the airflow using the dampers or vents. Some models come with integrated thermometers, making it easy to keep an eye on the internal temperature.

We are pretty sure that with one of these recommendations below, you will become a grilling and smoking pro quite easily. So, without further ado, let’s dig in.


Quick Overview


Weber Summit Kamado Charcoal Grill [Editors Pick]

Weber Summit Kamado Charcoal Grill
Weber Summit Kamado Charcoal Grill
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The Weber Summit Kamado Charcoal Grill is a great Kamado Style Grill that has a lighter weight than your usual Kamado grill. The 24″ grill grate gives you 452 square inches of cooking space, but weighs only 100 lbs! Its low weight is largely due to its construction material, made of porcelain-enamelled steel instead of ceramic like most Kamado Grills. But have no fear, though the steel models are known to retain less heat, this double-walled design gives it the same excellent heat retention you would see in any ceramic body.

The adjustable coal grate lets you choose between high and direct searing or low and slow cooking. Another bonus is the propane-powered igniter that makes lighting this unit a breeze, saving you time fooling around with chimney starters or starter cubes. This Kamado Grill is in the same price range as the well-known Big Green Egg but may offer more versatility in terms of cooking options.

PROS

  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable coal grate
  • Easy ignition

CONS

  • No workspace or side shelves
  • Top vent not capped

Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill [Best Overall]

Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill
Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill
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Some say Kamado Joe is the industry leader in terms of Best Kamado Grills, and most kamado users would agree. The Kamado Joe Classic II Charcoal Grill is an 18″ ceramic Kamado grill with cast iron grates and a unique tiered cooking system. The multi-level, half-moon design allows you to cook different foods at different temperatures, giving you freedom and control to cook various items at once. You’ll notice that the Kamado Joe Classic III goes even further with a three-tier system, so if more flexibility is what you want, they’ve got you covered! Another big difference between the Classic II and the Kamado Joe Classic III is the cooking area, which is larger than the Kamado Joe Classic III.

There are tons of great features that this grill offers, like the lid thermometer, easy-to-clean and removable ash pan, and top vent that helps you reach temperatures from 225F to 750F for smoking to searing. Furthermore, the Kamado Joe Air Lift Hinge makes opening and closing the heavy-duty lid easy. Lift it with a single finger and stop it wherever you want.

PROS

  • Tiered system for cooking
  • Vents allow airflow
  • Removable ash pan
  • Air-lift hinge
  • Flip up side tables

CONS

  • Heavy grill
  • Pricey

Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill [Best Small Budget]

Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill
Char-Griller AKORN Jr. Portable Kamado Charcoal Grill
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The Char Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Grill is the best Kamado Grill for those on a budget! This portable grill is great for both grilling at high temperatures and smoking at low temperatures. Plus, the convenient handles and compact frame make this one of the best Kamado grills for camping trips, tailgating, and pop-up BBQ parties!

The heavy-gauge powder-coated steel body with triple-walled insulation and a locking lid that traps smoke, heat, and moisture maintains the target temperature like any expensive ceramic kamado grill would. With a cast iron grill grate of 155 square inches, we’re confident that this charcoal grill will reach all your expectations. It’s also easy to clean and the removable ash pan makes removing accumulated ash quite convenient.

PROS

  • Portable and lightweight grill
  • Has an adequate cooking area for a small family
  • Allow you to shift between temperatures
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • Steel can rust
  • Small in size

Broil King Keg Kamado Grill [Best Luxury]

Broil King Keg Kamado Grill
Broil King Keg Kamado Grill
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The Broil King Keg Kamado Grill the best Kamado Grill for those with a higher budget. Broil King has outdone itself with this unit, providing you with authentic BBQ flavour with a truly innovative design. The unique shape of this grill creates convection-style cooking while the durable double steel wall design retains heat and maximizes fuel efficiency.

With a combined cooking area of 480 square inches across two cooking grates, you’ll have more than enough space to feed your friends and family. Both cooking grates are removable, adjustable, and offer a different temperature range. The lower, heavy-duty cast iron cooking grate is great for high heat searing, while the top, chrome-plated steel cooking grate allows for low and slow smoking. The upper cooking grate rotates out of the way for easy access to the lower grate making the whole process pain-free.

Complete with a lid thermometer, removable side shelves to keep basic accessories, sturdy legs, and dampers to control airflow, this unit has every griller in mind. It’s even adaptable to hook onto the hitch of your vehicle, making transport and grilling on the go a total dream.

PROS

  • Durable
  • High heat retention
  • Two adjustable cooking grates
  • Accessories

CONS

  • No diffuser plate
  • Hitch adapter kit purchased separately

Primo Oval Charcoal Grill [Best For Beginners]

Primo Oval Charcoal Grill
Primo Oval Charcoal Grill
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The Primo Oval Charcoal Grill is a great starter grill for beginners. With little to no assembly or setup time, all you’ll have to do is add your lump charcoal, light it, and start grilling! The oval shape gives you a wide cooking area and is perfect for cooking a rack of ribs or a large amount of food at once.

This Primo oval-shaped ceramic kamado grill features a cast iron top vent for excellent temperature control, an easy-to-read temperature gauge, and a stainless steel draft door. The porcelain-coated cooking grates are reversible to double the lifespan, and there is a limited lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts! An overall great, simple kamado grill, complete with side shelves and a handy grill lifter.

PROS

  • The oval shaped grill offers more grilling surface area
  • No assembly required
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Heavy ceramic unit
  • Accessories purchased separately

The Verdict


Things to consider when buying a Kamado Grill

A Kamado Grill is a great investment, though there are a few factors to keep in mind when purchasing the best kamado grill for you.

Shape

Most Kamado grills look like an egg, which is where the well-known Big Green Egg got its name! An egg shape offers a healthy airflow, a substantial cooking surface, and amazing heat retention. Many Kamado Grills will also have two adjustable cooking grates, one lower, and one upper, to create a sort of two-zone cooking mechanism, made easy with the tall egg shape.

There are also oval-shaped Kamado Grills like the Primo Oval Charcoal Grill, which has the advantage of more cooking area and ease of grilling long items like ribs.

Grill Grate

The material of your grill gate can make or break your cooking experience. Most high-quality units have cast iron, enamelled steel, or stainless steel grates. These materials are perfect for retaining heat and conducting even heat throughout the entire surface area.

If indirect cooking and smoking is more your style, look for a grill that has its grates at a far enough distance away from the charcoal box.

Vents

Like any other grill in the market, a kamado grill also requires vents to maintain a uniform airflow within the unit. Good ventilation will help maintain the temperature and facilitate the entire grilling experience.

Most Kamado Joe grills are known for their high-quality and easy-to-use vents. Some of the higher-end grills even have automatic vent and temperature controls so that you can skip the learning curve associated with this crucial step. Integrated lid-thermometers can also help you when you’re trying to find the perfect airflow control.

Aesthetics and Accessories

From Kamado grills, standard charcoal grills, and even electric grills, we love when they come with beautiful aesthetics and bonus accessories! If you’re looking at a higher-priced grill, consider all of the bonus accessories it comes with and use that to justify your decision. Things like grill covers, side tables, and utility tools can account for a large portion of the price.

BBQ Hero Tip: When preheating your Kamado grill, ensure all air vents are wide open to let the maximum amount of oxygen inside while the lid is closed. This will save you time and effort!

Features to consider when choosing a Kamado Grill

Here are a few more essential features to consider when choosing the best Kamado grill.

Construction Materials

A traditional Kamado Grill is made of heavy-duty ceramic with a sturdy base to handle the weight of the unit. A pro ceramic charcoal grill with thick walls will retain heat exceptionally well. One thing to keep in mind when handling ceramic Kamado grills is that if the unit is knocked over it will cause great damage to the body.

If you’re looking for a lighter version of kamado grills, there are some that are made of stainless steel like the Weber Summit Kamado Charcoal Grill. While steel is lightweight and doesn’t shatter easily when dropped, it doesn’t offer the same heat retention that ceramic units would.

Dimensions

Take into consideration the number of people you generally grill for when hosting BBQ parties or casual dinners on the patio. If you often find yourself preparing food for 10-20 people at a time, it’s a good idea to invest in a decent-sized ceramic grill with a cooking area of at least 400 square inches.

However, if you want a grill to accompany you on your camping trips or tailgating parties, a portable kamado grill like the Char Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Grill will serve you right. The good news is that you will easily find a wide variety of these sizes in the market.

Also to keep in mind is the differing fuel source between small and large grills. Large grills will require more charcoal to maintain a steady temperature because the overall space is much larger.

Warranty

When you make a big purchase like this one, it’s important to consider what kind of warranty you’re protected by. Even when properly maintained, things can go wrong and you might have no control over the outcome. There may be faulty parts, or maybe you’re just not happy with your decision. This is where a warranty comes in handy. Also, when a company offers a free lifetime warranty like the one on the Kamado Grill, you know it’s a good product that the company trusts will do its job.


Safety Tips for Kamado Grills

Charcoal grills of any kind should be handled with care and caution, especially small grills that you can move around. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when handling your Kamado grill.

Outdoor Use Only

Kamado grills typically give off a fair bit of smoke therefore it is not recommended to use these grills indoors or in any enclosed or partially enclosed environment that lacks air circulation.

Don’t Touch Anywhere Except Handles

A ceramic grill body will get hot while grilling. To avoid burning yourself, it’s recommended to steer clear of all external surfaces except designated parts like handles and side tables.

Do Not Add Lighter Fluid To Lit Coals

Although it might seem like a good idea to speed up the preheating time, adding lighter fluid or any flammable fluid to already lit coals can result in disaster. It’s best to practice patience and give your coals a solid 15 minutes to fully ignite before adding your meat to the grill, there’s just no way around it!

BBQ Hero Tip: open the lid a few inches for a few seconds before opening all the way to reduce flare ups from incoming oxygen

Kamado Grills FAQs

How long have Kamado Grills been around?

The original concept behind a Kamado grill traces back to about 3,000 years ago when the Chinese developed a ceramic cooking device. Over time, the use of ceramic took off because of its ability to retain moisture and create an excellent cooking environment. In the 1970s the Big Green Egg was born and since then, Kamado Grills have just been getting better and better.


Are ceramic Kamado grills best?

Kamado grills started out as ceramic cooking environments, and today, ceramic is still the best way to go! Ceramic bodies offer thick walls with amazing insulation that can hold variable temperatures from 200F all the way to 700F or higher. These versatile grills are great for grilling, searing, and smoking.


What is a divide and conquer cooking system?

Kamado Joe developed and patented the well-known Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System, which is a multi-level, multi-rack design that lets you cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures, all at the same time. This process saves you an abundance of time by allowing you to cook all portions of your meal at once.


Can I reignite leftover coals?

If you have coals left over from your previous cook, it’s more than acceptable to reuse them on your next cook. As long as they haven’t turned to ash, they can be reignited and used again.