The 5 Best Kamado Grills of 2018: Worth the Money?

Oct 16, 2018 | Grills, Reviews

We’ve always wondered how the food tasted in ancient times. One of the most recent answers to that question came in the form of a Kamado grill. For those who didn’t know, kamado was an ancient Japanese style of cooking. Its main component was an earthenware cooking urn, and some sources claim that the original design is probably more than 3,000 years old. Kamado grills replicate that successfully, but you’ve probably wondered which one would give you the most delicious taste and the best results overall.

In these reviews we look at whether or not the price-tag of the Kamado can be justified by the grilling quality they produce. Unlike other styles of smokers, these can reach temperatures up to 750 degrees!

Top 3 Ceramic Grills

1. Best Overall

KamadoJoe Classic II

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First of all, beneath the easy-open lid, you’ll find a large cooking surface that is enough to fit 10-12 fillets or chicken breasts. Also, if that’s not enough, KamadoJoe offers multi-level grilling. How? Well, with its half-rack design that doubles the cooking space. That means that you can actually cook different foods on different levels and on different surfaces!

Above all, the heat-resistant shell is probably the heart of the system. It will lock in all of the smoke and moisture at any temperature. A wire mesh fiberglass gasket is there to provide superior smoke retention. Though the dome is thick-walled and made from the finest ceramic, you shouldn’t worry about it falling or slamming. Namely, the special hinges reduce the weight of the dome by 96%. Basically, you can lift it with a finger and stop it wherever you want.

And when it comes to cleaning up, KamadoJoe sports a slide-out ash drawer, so you’ll be able to get rid of the mess in an instant.

Pros and cons

  • Large cooking surface and multi-level grates
  • Slide out ash drawer
  • Well-known brand
  • Heat-resistant ceramic shell
  • Effortless opening and closing.
  • Expensive
  • Minor improvements over the older models

2. Best Value

Primo Grills and Smokers 773

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If you are a simple person that doesn’t have a lot of spare time, then Primo Grills and Smokers 773 is a product for you. With this Kamado, you can just put in the coal, light it up and start grilling in an instant. It doesn’t include unnecessary parts that only just add up to the price. With Primo Grills, your cooking will be quick, efficient, and will also deliver tasty results.

Primo does wonders, as you can cook almost anything you like with it. It works like a grill, an oven, a roaster, and a smoker. Thus, all you’ll have to do is to choose a cooking configuration that will meet your needs. You will be able to serve everything from steaks to bread on your table.

The combination of ceramic shell and natural lump charcoal will give you juicier food. And the flavor? Well, if you like to taste the good old wood-fired meals, Primo Grills will bring exactly that to your menu.

Pros and cons

  • The patented oval shape allows for grilling and roasting at the same time
  • Easy to use, beginner friendly
  • Made of premium-grade ceramics
  • Large cooking surface
  • Quite heavy
  • Shipping problematic for some customers

3. Best on a Budget

Char-Griller Akorn

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What if you are on a tight budget, but you simply can’t survive without occasional grilling? That’s where the Char-Griller comes in. It’s one of the most efficient, budget and value-per-dollar Kamado grills out there. We sought for the best, and we found them for your convenience.

The Char-Griller features an insulated design. This means is that this grill uses less charcoal to produce more heat. Furthermore, you’ll have less airflow which gives insulated heat to enhance the juiciness of your food. You can prepare anything from burgers to fish and rib, and even pizza.

The cooking surface is made of quality cast iron while the body is made of 22 gauge steel. The interior is made of porcelain-coated steel for a true Kamado effect. That means that Char-Griller is extremely durable and can be your best cooking buddy for many years to come.

Pros and cons

  • Insulated design means more heat and less charcoal
  • Durable materials like steel and cast-iron
  • Two folding shelves for extra space
  • May rust if not cared for properly

What to Look for in a Kamado Grill

Consider the Quality, Not Only the Price

When it comes to buying a Kamado grill, one must consider that a low price usually means cheaper materials, less functionality, and outdated technology. Hence, this can be a problem in the long run. You don’t want your product to fall apart after a few months. So be sure to check all reviews and features before you grab your wallet to get something that’s on discount. Keep in mind that there is a lot of craftsmanship that goes into ceramic grills. You can expect to pay a higher price regardless of manufacturer.

Always Check the Materials Used

When it comes to Kamado, ceramics are a must. It’s not just about the shape or other assets. Ceramics, alongside good coal, are what give that special flavor to your food. Furthermore, the overall seal that the dome makes is what differentiates this oven from other styles of grill.

Sizing

While most ceramic grills are rather large in size, some can turn out to be quite small. If you’re looking to feed an entire family, take this factor into consideration and buy a bigger grill. On average, a Kamado will have less grilling space than a charcoal, gas, or pellet grill.

With that said, the bigger the dome, the more you can expect to pay. Ceramic and craftsmanship aren’t cheap in the grand scheme of things, so it’s truly a trade-off.

Conclusion

Sure, there are a lot of Kamado grills on the market these days. But be aware that not all of them offer a traditional kamado style of cooking. We tried to show you some that we consider the best. But if you want the most authentic experience, we must note that KamadoJoe should be considered. It is definitely a bit more expensive but will survive the test of time. If it’s not for you, then Primo or Char-Griller are great options as well.

Happy Grillin’!

References

Billy Stewart

Chef and Reviewer for Barbequesmoked.com

Barbeque Smoked

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