Kamado Style Grills-The Egg Shaped Grill

Last updated on February 15th, 2024 at 08:24 pm

Kamado grills have earned their reputation for being exceptional in both form and function. They’re the grill of choice for enthusiasts who crave precision in temperature control, appreciate long-lasting heat retention, and love the thrill of mastering various cooking styles on a single cooking powerhouse. The Kamado style grills and cookers have caught the attention of BBQ lovers in recent years with the Kamado Joe Classic and the Big Green Egg among the popular choices. But there are plenty more Kamado grills that you need to take a look at.

A kamado is a charcoal fired ceramic egg shaped barbecue of Japanese origin. It is becoming more and more popular among traditional barbecue users thanks to its versatility, ease of use and maintenance. With a kamado, you can grill, smoke, roast and cook all your food together or separately. The temperature control is very precise and the ceramic structure allows the heat to be efficiently retained for up to 12 hours. This barbecue grill also has another advantage you may not think of: it uses less charcoal.

Sale
Kamado Joe Jr. 13.5 inch Blaze Red Charcoal Grill + Cover Bundle
29 Reviews
Kamado Joe Jr. 13.5 inch Blaze Red Charcoal Grill + Cover Bundle
  • The Kamado Joe Jr. 13.5 inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill is a great size to take on your next outdoor adventure
  • Grill also comes with cast iron stand, grill gripper, and ash tool
  • Built-in temp gauge to help maximize the flavor of your recipe

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s everything you need to know about some of the best Kamado grills available. By going through this review, you can find out about the build quality, features, and performance of all of the best selling grills products. While the Big Green Egg is undoubtedly a legendary Kamado grill, it’s not the only player in the game. Today, we’ll introduce you to a lineup of exceptional alternative grills that can stand toe-to-toe with this grill giant. Whether you’re a seasoned griller or just stepping into the sizzling world of outdoor cooking, we’ve got the insights you need to make an informed choice. So without any delay, let’s dig in!

Kamado Grill Comparison Table

I put the popular Kamado Joe Classic 18″ and the Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill up against the Char-Griller Akorn. If you are on a budget but looking for something that will compare to the big boys, I think the Char Griller Akorn is a serious contender.

Kamado Grill
Our Choice
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ I Premium 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker in Red with Cart, Side Shelves,...
Popular
Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill, Black
Trending
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and Locking Lid with...
Model
Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic Joe I
Weber Summit Kamado E6
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn
Description
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ I Premium 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker in Red with Cart, Side Shelves,...
Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill, Black
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and Locking Lid with...
Dimensions
18 x 18.11 x 48 inches
30.6 x 36.8 x 29.3 inches
45 x 31 x 47 inches
Weight
188 Pounds
131.7 pounds
97 Pounds
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
-
Our Choice
Kamado Grill
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ I Premium 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker in Red with Cart, Side Shelves,...
Model
Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic Joe I
Description
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ I Premium 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker in Red with Cart, Side Shelves,...
Dimensions
18 x 18.11 x 48 inches
Weight
188 Pounds
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
More Details
Popular
Kamado Grill
Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill, Black
Model
Weber Summit Kamado E6
Description
Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill, Black
Dimensions
30.6 x 36.8 x 29.3 inches
Weight
131.7 pounds
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
More Details
Trending
Kamado Grill
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and Locking Lid with...
Model
Char-Griller E16620 Akorn
Description
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and Locking Lid with...
Dimensions
45 x 31 x 47 inches
Weight
97 Pounds
Prime Status
-
More Details

Last update on 2024-04-15  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

What Is A Kamado Style Grill?

The Kamado is a modern version of the classic clay pot that people have been cooking in for centuries. It’s far more versatile, efficient, and durable than the typical backyard charcoal grill. The regular charcoal grill we all know and love is usually a round or oval kettle-style grill or a barrel-shaped grill. They’re usually made from steel and some models will be coated with porcelain-enamel or cast aluminum.

What Makes a Kamado Grill Different?

Kamado style grills are a completely different way of doing grilling and smoking. They’re based on clay pots used for thousands of years in China, Japan, Korea and India. This cooking method evolved over time with Japanese households using the mushikamado charcoal fired cooker. Americans stationed in Japan during World War II used these devices and began looking for them when they came home. Entrepreneur Ed Fisher created one of the first domed clay cookers using the kamado style and called it The Big Green Egg.

Find the best selling Kamado Style Grills at Amazon.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ I Premium 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker in Red with Cart, Side Shelves,...
389 Reviews
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ I Premium 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker in Red with Cart, Side Shelves,…
  • Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary…
  • Control Tower Top Vent lets you control air flow for precise temperature control. Perfect for smoking from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.
  • With a slide-out drawer, cleanup is easy. Unlike other Kamado style grills, you no longer must remove the inside components from the grill to clean…
SaleBestseller No. 3
Kamado Joe® Joe Jr Premium 13.5-inch Portable Ceramic Charcoal BBQ Grill and Smoker with Grill Stand, Stainless…
  • Premium 13.5″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Stand
  • Thick-walled, heat-resistant shell that locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature
  • Cast-iron air vent for temperature control
Bestseller No. 4
London Sunshine Ceramic Charcoal BBQ Kamado Grill Smoker – Portable Tabletop Cadet Series -Orange
  • INGENIOUS ENGINEERING – 0.8” thick and strong ceramic wall, Japanese dome shape design to maximize air flow while minimizing fuel input
  • MADE for Grill Kings & Queens – Wide cooking temperature range (180°F~750°F, 82°C~399°C) allows you to smoke, bake, grill, broil. The ceramic…
  • Portability – We have added robust bamboo handles and a steel stand for enhanced sturdiness. So you can carry and place it anywhere. Body 13”…

Last update on 2024-04-15  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Over time, clay has been replaced with porcelain glazes and ceramics, making them sturdy enough to last a lifetime. These grills function like a wood fired oven because the thick ceramic sides absorb heat. They also tend to be more efficient with their use of charcoal and cook food more evenly than grills made with plated steel.

Unlike regular charcoal grills, you’ll want to use a kamado grill with the lid closed, even if you’re cooking something like burgers or steaks. Open air can cause the coals to overheat and damage the ceramics. Always open the lid slowly while standing to the side. It’s always a good idea to wear fire resistant gloves too. When you’re done remember to close the vents fully to cut off the airflow. It takes a while for the grill to cool down and any excess coals can be used for the next time you grill.

Interest in Kamado grills really picked up after the debut of the Big Green Egg in the 1970s. Many other brands of kamados have emerged since then, including Weber, Primo, Vessils, Kamado Joe, and Pit Boss.

When it comes to prices, you’ll find that kamado grills are slightly more expensive than charcoal or gas grills. You can find a few models at the $300 range, but most start at $800. Most kamado grills arrive with few options. It’s just a grill and a lid. If you want a side table, a cover or a stand, look for a bundle deal which will cost you a little extra. Adding accessories can add up pretty quickly. However, you’ll see a return on your investment as these grills are built to last a long time and many of them have lifetime warranties.

The firebox and lid of a kamado grill are heavy-duty, but most interior components are made from unglazed ceramic and are fragile. If you’re taking a the grill apart for cleaning, be careful when working with the firebox and fire ring inside the grill. You can buy replacements if they do chip or crack and not under warranty.

They’re superb grillers, smokers and roasters, and they’re also used as backyard pizza and bread ovens. The sides and domes absorb heat and radiate it back like a brick oven, so the pizza and bread can cook properly. It’s no wonder that kamado style grills and smokers are a fast-growing BBQ category, with more models appearing every year.

So how does a Kamado style grill work?

Kamado style grills are insulated charcoal grills using the traditional Japanese method of cooking over coals in a ceramic pot. Their egg-shaped bodies allow warm air to move above and below the cooking grates and vents on the top and bottom control the temperature. The Big Green Egg was the first modern-day kamado grill manufactured in the United States in the early 1970s and since then many brands have entered the market with their own kamado style cooker. The most popular and usually the most expensive kamados are still made of ceramic.

Grilling With A Kamado Grill

A common mistake made by beginning grillers is trying to do too much too soon. There is a learning curve here especially when working with foods that have different cooking times. When cooking items like vegetable, fish or corn on the cob, don’t try to cook a pork butt at the same time. It can be done, but wait until you’ve got a few hours on the grill. And Kamado grills allow for additional racks and accessories that create temperature zones.

While still a charcoal grill, kamados offer incredible versatility over a traditional charcoal grill. It takes a bit of practice, but once you’re familiar with it, a kamado grill might just become your favorite charcoal grill. Once you learn how to properly control the airflow, it’s easy to set and maintain both high and low temperatures. This is what makes them pretty good to smoke meat too. Some people use them for low and slow BBQ and others like to crank up the heat and use a kamado as a pizza oven. Almost anything that can be cooked in a conventional oven can be cooked on a this style of grill.

Kamado Grill Facts

  • Shape and Construction: Kamado grills are shaped like an egg and made from ceramics.
  • Fuel: Kamado grills are fired by hardwood lump charcoal.
  • Heat Capabilities: Charcoal means a kamado grill might take longer to preheat.
  • Ceramic Shell: The ceramic shell effectively holds and reflects heat.
  • Cooking Flexibility: A kamado grill can hold a high and low temperature for hours.
  • Flavor: Kamado style grills give your food a traditional smoky flavor.

Beginners Guide To Kamado Cookers by Smoky Ribs BBQ

Kamado Grill Pros and Cons

Of course there are a few pros and cons I need to mention about Kamado style grills.

Pros:

  • Ceramics grills are well insulated and the interior absorbs and radiates heat very evenly.
  • They are very good at holding temperature. Once it’s at the correct temperature there’s little to do until the meat is ready.
  • Kamados are especially handy if you live in a cold climate and want to cook outdoors in the winter.
  • Your food is exposed to less air. Less air means juicier meat.
  • It’s easy to clean. Let it cool and clean out the ashes.
  • Great flavor. Say goodby to the nasty taste of lighter fluid. Kamados give you classic charcoal BBQ flavors.
  • Heat range. Kamado style grills provide a wider range of temperatures than conventional grills. As low as 180 degree to around 650 degrees as needed.

Cons:

  • The downside is that those ceramic walls take longer to warm up.
  • They aren’t as light as a charcoal kettle grill.
  • There is a learning curve to get the temperature just right.
  • Longer cool down time. These grills taking longer than tradional charcoal grills to cool down.

My biggest concern with Kamado grills is that they are very heavy. Even a light weight grill is over 100 pounds. Though the style is sturdy and durable, moving it can be quite a hassle. And the ceramic can easily crack when if its dropped or falls over. But when taken care of, they’ll last forever.

Popular Alternatives to The Big Green Egg.

The Big Green Egg is the most well known example of a kamado grill and it’s well deserved. Rival kamado manufacturers such as Kamado Joe, Vessils, Char-Griller, Vision, Weber Summit Kamado and Char-Broil offer some pretty good competition.

Kamado Joe 22 inch and 18 inch Charcoal Grills.

A high-quality ceramic kamado grill that has everything you need.

It’s nearly impossible to write about Kamado style grills without mentioning the Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe. Both are high-quality ceramic kamado grills and both have a large and loyal following. After using both of them, it’s hard to tell the difference. So that leaves me with only price as the remaining factor. Since there is almost no difference in performance, my vote goes to Kamado Joe. Both can handle BBQ tasks well, but you can generally save $200-$300 by purchasing the Kamado Joe.

Kamado Joe Kettle Joe 22-inch Kettle Charcoal Grill with Hinged Lit, Cart, Side Shelves and SloRoller Hyperbolic…
  • The Kettle Joe has a 22” surface for a total of 363 square inches
  • Efficient ceramic firebox allows for longer cooking times using less charcoal
  • The grill has an adjustable hinge which allows you to keep the lid attached instead of having to fully remove and handle the lid
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ Series II 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker, in Red, with Cart, Side Shelves,...
888 Reviews
Kamado Joe® Classic Joe™ Series II 18-inch Ceramic Charcoal Grill and Smoker, in Red, with Cart, Side Shelves,…
  • Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels – The Kamado Joe Classic II gives the perfect cooking size of 18 inches along with…
  • 2-Tier Divide & Conquer – Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your…
  • Kontrol Tower Top Vent – Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated…

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Char-Griller Akorn.

If you are a beginner here is a compact steel kamado grill with an entry-level price tag. Char-Griller’s Akorn kamado is not the best grill I tried for this review, but it’s a good option for anyone who wants to test the waters. For a kamado grill under $400, the Akorn does a pretty good job. The Akorn is lightweight at 98 pounds compared to the other kamados I’ve tried so that makes it a little easier to move and set in place on your patio. It’s a slightly smaller grill, but the grilling area is actually an inch bigger than the grate on the Classic Joe and Large Big Green Egg.

Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and Locking Lid with...
2,149 Reviews
Char-Griller® AKORN® Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker with Cast Iron Grates, Warming Rack and Locking Lid with…
  • KAMADO CHARCOAL GRILL – Kamado style BBQ Grill & Smoker perfect for both high heat grilling and low and slow cooking
  • LARGE COOKING AREA – 20 inch Cooking Diameter with 447 square inch total Cooking Area can cook up to 27 burgers at once
  • BEST IN CLASS FEATURES – Triple-Walled Steel Insulated Design, Cast Iron Grates, Locking Lid, 8″ Locking Caster Wheels, Removable Warming Rack, Bottom…

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

VESSILS Kamado Charcoal BBQ Grill.

Priced right around $400, this Vessils Kamado is a great entry level grill. The Vessils MY15TT004RED is perfect for smaller backyards or patios.  Made with heavy-duty ceramic and stainless steel finish. Use this grill to barbecue, smoke, bake, sear, and roast! this grill features a built-in thermometer, stainless steel cooking grid and cast iron charcoal plate

VESSILS 13 Inch Stand Style Kamado Barbecue Ceramic Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill w/Built In Thermometer, Iron Top...
95 Reviews
VESSILS 13 Inch Stand Style Kamado Barbecue Ceramic Stainless Steel Charcoal Grill w/Built In Thermometer, Iron Top...
  • HEAVY-DUTY REFRACTORY CERAMIC built as an egg-shaped shell radiates heat evenly around meats and foods, resulting in steady temperatures and fuel...
  • 9.8-in W COOKING GRID made of stainless steel offers plenty of room for burgers, brats, kebobs and hotdogs. This small but mighty kamado grill smoker...
  • SIMPLE TALL STAND and a light but durable weight make this 13 inch grill the ultimate portable grill for tailgating, camping or a picnic at the park.

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill.

This Kamado grill crosses the $500 price tag but has some features and benefits like the higher-priced kamados. The Char Broil Kamander model 17302051 has primary and secondary cooking surfaces with 327 square inches of cooking area. A top-mounted temperature gauge allows close temperature monitoring and the sturdy wheels make it easy to move around. The removable ash pan makes cleanup quick and easy.

Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill
91 Reviews
Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill
  • 327 Square inch cooking area with 142 Square inch secondary cooking area
  • Ultimate versatility- smoke, roaster or grill all on one unit
  • Unique intake channel and top damper provide easier heat and cooking control

Last update on 2024-04-14  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

Find related products and accessories.

TUFFDURA Grill Cover for Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe and Char-Griller Akorn - Fade Resistant Waterproof Fabric
TUFFDURA Grill Cover for Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe and Char-Griller Akorn - Fade Resistant Waterproof Fabric
FEATURES: durable top handle for easy removal and tightening clips for a secure fit; DIMENSIONS: 35.5” Diameter and 48” tall
Amazon Prime

Last update on 2024-04-15  Using Amazon Product Advertising API

What I Love About the Kamado Grill

It is hard to say if a Kamado grill is your best option as it depends upon your preferences and budget. This decision is also dependent upon the type of person who will be cooking on either of these grills.

I’ve cooked on dozens of gas, charcoal, pellet, electric and portable grill models. Before I used a Kamado style grill, I would probably have told you that it was just too expensive. They do come with a hefty price tag. And you can easily buy a really good charcoal grill for less than $300. So why pay $1200 and up for a kamado grill?

It turns out that while these grills are charcoal fired, they’re really in a league of their own. They simply cook differently and I think better, than a regular charcoal grill. They feature thick, insulated ceramic that absorb more heat than a regular grill. And the vents allow these grills to work like an oven, surrounding the food with hot air. Using one is slightly more complicated than a regular grill, but once you get the hang of it, you might become hooked.

If you’re someone who enjoys the art of BBQ and you want to experience a more traditional style of cooking, then the Kamado grill is for you.

Ok, maybe Kamado grills are a little pricey

One thing I think you should know about this grill is that they can be more that $2000. That’s on the high end of affordability for most people. My advice is to start out with a beginner style Kamado grill priced around $300-$500. Grill with it for one complete season and then decide if you want to switch back to a different style grill.

What if you really don’t cook anything but meat?

I talk a lot about the benefits of cooking meat on a grill. However, that’s certainly not all there is you can cook on grill. And a Kamado is one of those grills that can be used for a variety of food. But if you are mainly a steak and burger guy or gal, this grill is probably not for you.

It’s just a cool way to BBQ

If you’re ready to try something new with your barbecue game, try your burgers, steaks, kabobs, pizza, and veggies and smoked meats on a kamado grill. These grills have a long history and for good reason. The food tastes really good! They turn out delicious food and are efficient and versatile cookers.

Overall, I think it has one of the coolest designs and its worth the price tag. It’s egg shaped! You can buy these from the manufactures sites, or Amazon. I have not seen many Kamado style grills at Walmart, but other big box retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s have started to stock them in the last couple of years.

There a number of kamado grill manufacturers and most of the grills are available in a range of different colors. Some kamados are small enough to take along on camping trips while others are best left at home on the patio where you can probably roast a whole pig if you like. These grills are designed to last for years and most good quality Kamados can range in price from $750 to $1500.

I am confident this grill could be a long term solution for you. You will probably have people asking you what it’s called and where you bought it. In my experience I would say its the best style of charcoal grill you can buy.

Your possibilities are endless so it’s time to grill and chill.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.