The Kamado Joe grills and the Big Green Egg are two of the best grills that can cook almost any food in the Kamado-style of cooking.
Kamado cooking originated in China thousands of years ago. It has now spread worldwide and many companies have developed their own versions of a grill that can cook with this style.
The Big Green Egg is the most on-demand Kamado grill in the market. This grill has an amazing and innovative way of cooking that most grills cannot match.
The Kamado Joe grills are not far behind. They have made their own innovations and not only did they keep the style of cooking they also made features that made it easier for their users.
Having a grill that can cook in Kamado-style is a pretty great addition to your cooking. These grills can go up to high temperatures and cook your food in no time.
They are also fuel-efficient so they can go all day when you want to cook at a slow temperature for a soft, more smoky flavor in your food.
Investing in Kamado grills is really worth it. It may look like too much but once you get the taste of cooking in one, you can never stop.
Here is our comparison between the two best Kamado grills in the market. Read on and see which one will do you best.
Set-Up and Assembly
This is probably the toughest task that you need to do when it comes to the Kamado grills. Yes, they help you ease the job in cooking but the setup is really tough.
Not because the instructions are hard to follow, but because these grills are super heavy weighing over a hundred pounds each. Setting them up will be next to impossible if you are working alone.
The one common technique when carrying the Big Green Egg and the Kamado Joe is to install their nests or the legs with wheels so you can roll them over the area for setting them up.
This might take a lot of effort since you still need to lift them. What most people do is remove as many ceramics as they can to make the grills lighter.
See, there are removable parts in these grills. For example, you can remove their heavy ceramic fireboxes and transfer them one by one.
Then, you will need to reassemble it once you have put the grill in place. The Kamado Joe grills are a little bit delicate and you cannot carry them on the handles or the waistband.
You are going to need help from one or two of your friends when lifting the Kamado Joe with some sort of mechanism to avoid damages on the said parts.
Now that you have set them up, let’s get to the features and design.
As obvious as it may already seem, the Big Green Egg has an egg shape for a specific reason. It allows good air circulation inside the grill so the smoky flavor gets in your food.
The Kamado Joe is also shaped like an egg and has features to improve the circulation of air inside so it does not rely solely on the shape of the grill.
When it comes to the shape, the egg-shaped grills are very ideal for slow cooking since they only have two openings for air to get in and for it to escape.
In line with the topic of airflow, the Kamado Joe has an amazing, innovative vent that is designed to both get the proper airway and protection from the rain.
The best Kamado Joe air vent is found in both the Classic 3 and the Big Joe 3. The roof of their vents are slightly slanted so water does not get in the grill.
The only problem with these vents is that they do not open completely. They only allow a maximum of opening with some parts still blocking it.
The vent from these grills can also control the temperature inside the grill by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for the Big Green Egg, they have a great vent that opens completely.
The Heavy Lids
One thing that you will surely notice with the grills from Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg is that their lids or covers are made out of thick and heavy ceramics.
However, they made up for it so that they can be easily opened or closed. The Big Green Egg has springs that pull while you lift the lid making them seem lighter.
You should also take note that the lids of the Big Green Eggs do not open fully. This is a counterbalance measure so that the lid will not tip the whole grill off.
As for the Kamado Joe Grills, their newer versions have new innovation called the Air-Lift Hinge. This is a spring-loaded hinge that removes up to 96% of the weight of the lid.
It is very effective and can even lift the lid by itself. Not all the way, but if you leave the lid unlatched, it will slightly open because of the air-lift hinge.
Both of these grills also have protective measures for when their hinges fail. The Kamado Joe has a fiberglass wire mesh to protect both the body and the lid from slamming into each other.
The Big Green Egg has a soft, spongy shock absorber for the same reason.
Block the Fire!
When it comes to cooking with these grills, you would not want the powerful flames from getting to your food, burning the outside while leaving the insides raw.
That is why both of these grills have a blocker that only allows radiant heat for cooking instead of raging fires to burn your food.
The Big Green Egg has a heat deflector made out of the same ceramic and used in the main body of the grill. This heats up pretty quick and cooks the food right above it.
The ceramic then add more flavor by searing the grease that drips onto it. The Kamado Joe grills have emerged on top with their new heat deflector.
It is the SloRoller Hyperbolic Insert which is a parabola-like accessory found in the Classic 3 and the Big Joe 3.
This feature not only blocks the flame, but it improves the airflow inside the grill making the smoke go over your food at least twice before going out of the vent giving more flavor to your food.
Measure the Heat
These grills can go up to high temperatures and it is only right that they have something to tell you the temperature that they are in.
Grills from both the Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe have their own built-in thermometers that sit right on top of their lids.
These thermometers penetrate the ceramic insulation of the grills to give you the exact temperature inside the grills while they are cooking.
Powering the Grills
Fueling the grills is pretty easy. All you need is to set up their fireboxes first before loading them with charcoal.
The Kamado Joe grills have a firebox that has multiple parts to make up for the heat produced by the grill. This is to make sure that they do not break when the ceramics expand.
It also has a metal ring to secure the parts in place. The same goes for the Big Green Egg grills, you need to properly set up the firebox and then load it with charcoal.
Refueling is as easy as removing the grates and pouring another load of charcoal into the firebox, returning the grates, and then continuing cooking.
With one full load, the grills usually take hours before burning out all the charcoal.
These grills use charcoal which means that they do not emit too many flames but they do have the ability to produce a lot of heat with the amazing insulation and air circulation.
The Kamado Joe grills can get up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit while the Big Green Egg can go 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Kamado Joe Classic 3 and Big Joe 3 have this innovative vent where there are markers to indicate the temperature. Each mark can make the grill heat up or down by 25 degrees.
The advantage of the Big Green Egg is that the vents can open fully so it gives more path for the air. This makes the grills quicker to preheat.
All of the grills from the Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe have some sort of heat deflector. This allows the heat alone, and not the fire, to cook your food.
Since the deflectors block the fire, the smoke gets past it and adds more flavor to the food like steaks, chicken, ribs, and even pizzas.
The plates that come with the Big Green Egg grills and Kamado Joe are fine but really, none of them beats the SloRoller Hyperbolic Insert.
This is a patented heat deflector and smoke rollers made with Harvard Science. This is in the Kamado Joe Classic 3 and you won’t find it in older grills.
It gives more of that delicious smoky flavor by getting the smoke to repeatedly pass through your food. So even if the airway has a small opening, the smoke is still utilized properly.
How much can you cook?
The Big Green Egg boasts its BGE 2XL where there are over 670 square inches of cooking space, enough for a whole pig to fit in and be slow-cooked.
The Kamado Joe does not have a same-sized grill but again, they use innovations to create a large area as the BGE 2XL by putting racks in a leveled way.
The Kamado Joe Classic 3 and the Big Joe 3 have updated racks. Their previous models have a two-tiered rack that you can redesign as half-moons.
With the newer versions, you get a three-tiered set of racks. This gives the Kamado Joe grills the versatility that they have.
You can also divide the firebox so you can concentrate on the area where the heat should be. The racks can cook vegetables on the top, while steak is searing at the bottom.
Other versions of the Big Green Egg have a feature called the EGGspander where you can install their racks with another smaller rack to cook another set of recipes.
Although this is not available to all of the grills. Especially the BGE 2XL since it has a very large single rack and not much expander is needed.
If you really want to up your cooking game, then you should consider buying a Kamado grill to expand your recipes as well as the amount of food you cook.
The Big Green Egg is common in the market since it has a lower price range. You can buy a small BGE Mini at just under $400 and the most expensive, BGE 2XL, at $3,000.
The Kamado Joe grills are great. They have the most advanced and useful innovations among Kamado grills but they do cost a lot of money.
The cheapest in the line is the Kamado Joe Junior at only $350 while the most expensive can be bought at $5,910 with the Kamado Joe Big Bad 32-inch Grill.
If taken care of, Kamado Grills can last a lifetime so investing and maintaining them is totally worth it and they give back the prie for their performance.
Make sure to check out these two amazing lines of grills and see which one is better for you and your needs.
So which one among the two would be your pick, let us know in the comments below!
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