Kamado Joe vs. Primo Grills: Which is Best?

Dec 5, 2017 | Blog

Kamado grills are designed after ancient clay cooking pots found in the Far East. Modern versions combine the age-old cooking method with modern features, resulting in grills that are both versatile and economic. Even though it’s not strictly a kamado, the design and features of Primo Ceramic Charcoal Grill highly resemble those of other kamado grills. Both the Kamado Joe and the Primo are among the best grills in their price range.

Kamado Joe vs Primo


Rating[usr 3.8][usr 3.9]
Cooking Surface254 sq/inch210 sq/inch
Weight188 lbs95 lbs
Fuel SourceCharcoalCharcoal
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Kamado Joe vs Primo

Kamado Joe vs Primo: Features

Both of these grills feature a heavy ceramic shell which is one of the most effective materials when it comes to heat retention and temperature maintenance. Furthermore, ceramic is very porous, so it does a great job of keeping your food moist.

The exterior of the Primo grill is coated with scratch-resistant porcelain glaze that is very tough, lead-free and looks excellent. Kamado Joe looks fantastic too, with its red color and unique, kamado-style design.

The distinguishing feature of Kamado Joe is the Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System that allows for great freedom regarding cooking style. It allows you to cook food at multiple levels at the same time and achieve different temperatures.

The primary cooking space of Kamado Joe Classic Stand Alone Grill is 254 square inches. The Primo 774 model is a bit smaller, with 210 square inches, but you can get much more cooking space with both of these grills if you use rack extensions. These are medium-sized grills that can comfortably feed a family of 3 to 5 people. If you need more cooking space, both companies make larger versions of these grills.

The Kamado Joe comes with a stainless steel handle and a heat resistance shelf. Furthermore, all the accessories you might need are included in the price. You get two ceramic heat deflectors which are a great addition to kamado-style grills, a multi-position rack, and two halved grill grates. Both the rack and the grates are made of stainless steel.

A great thing about Primo is that it’s made in the USA and the manufacturers offer a 20-year warranty for all ceramic parts. The two-zone design allows for multiple cooking styles with excellent results. It comes with a cast-iron chimney went, a very precise thermometer and a reversible porcelain cooking grid which is super easy to clean.

One thing to keep in mind is that the cooking grates on the Kamado Joe are stainless steel, but those on the Primo are porcelain coated steel. Porcelain coated grates are great in the beginning, but if the coating wears off they will become vulnerable to rust.

Kamado Joe vs Primo: In Use

Both grills are quite easy to assemble after unboxing – you’ll be all set in 30 minutes. Being kamado-style grills, they because quite versatile because they can be used as a smoker grill combo or even as an oven. Furthermore, they are very easy to use, so great for beginners and easy to clean and maintain.

They are also very economical when it comes to fuel consumption. Thanks to very high heat retention that comes from the oval shape and ceramic bodies, these grills can surely burn for hours with one load of charcoal. The Kamado Joe can easily keep cooking at high temperature for 12 hours with one bag of charcoal and the Primo might last even longer, according to user reviews.

Because of the oval design, both of these grills have very high lids which are very useful if you are cooking large chunks of meat, or even a whole chicken or turkey. In addition, both of them can easily reach and maintain very high temperature, but they are also perfect for low and slow cooking.

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of BarbequeSmoked.com

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.


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