There are many ways that you can grill food at home. Kamado grills are one of the best practices, and here is a comparison of the Char-griller Akorn Vs. the Kamado Joe Classic 2.
Kamado cooking is one of the oldest methods of cooking around the world. It originated in China and got loved by so many cultures that companies are reinventing this method.
It involves cooking food in a clay pot. That way, the heat slowly seeps into the food while the clay protects the food’s surface not to get burned.
Companies may not have stuck to the clay method, but they have created another form of Kamado cooking that appeals to most users. They have kept the essential parts of the technique.
Most companies might have different materials to build their Kamado grills, but they make sure that the insulation is good. It is one of the essential parts of the process.
Kamado Joe is one of the pioneers of Kamado grills in the industry. Aside from cooking the food, it is one of the companies that produce many helpful accessories.
Their grills are excellent, and they stuck with the clay method somehow. The company uses ceramic to keep the grill’s interior insulated and the food cooked evenly inside it.
Char-griller is one of the lesser-known Kamado producers in the industry. However, they produce many products that match or even do better than most Kamado grills on the market.
So if you are trying to look for a Kamado grill that will help you make your food better, you should read on as we look at the two grills’ performance and features.
One of the many problems when it comes to setting up a Kamado grill is the weight. Kamado grills are made out of heavy materials such as ceramics, making them heavy for one person.
With the Char-griller Akorn Kamado grill, you will not have that problem as it is relatively lighter than most Kamado grills. It does come with a weight of 100 pounds, but that is not an issue.
The product comes disassembled, and it comes with a step-by-step guide.
So with the guide provided, you will set it up wherever you want it to quickly. The parts also have blistered marks that indicate where they should be connected or screwed.
The Kamado Joe Classic Joe II usually comes in assembled, so there is no need for too much assembly. However, the problem you get here is if you want to move it somewhere else.
The assembly is pretty easy and straightforward as there are no complicated parts. However, you go against gravity as the Classic Joe II weight is at least 200 pounds when empty.
So one way for you to move it around is to empty the chamber. You can remove the ceramic firebox and then transfer them one by one to the setup area for much lighter work in carrying.
There is also another tip that you should know, and that is to never grab or lift the Classic Joe II on the handles. It would be best to get to the rear hinge and the open bottom vent when you carry it.
There is a nest that comes with these two Kamado grills, which is a stand with wheels. That makes it easy for the user to move the heavy appliances on flat concrete surfaces.
When it comes to cooking with Kamado grills, the grill’s interior must be well-insulated; that way, the food gets cooked evenly.
Made out of Ceramic material, the Kamado Joe boasts outstanding insulation.
The Akorn Kamado grill is nothing alike when it comes to insulation as it is thin.
Stainless steel is used to make the Akorn grill instead of ceramics like the Kamado Joe. Albeit made with high insulation levels, it does not retain heat as much as ceramics.
What helps the thin lining of the Akorn retain heat is the porcelain coating of the stainless steel.ermThis makes it great for both the retention of heat inside and protection from the weather outside.
One way that the company did for heat retention is that they separated the firebox of the Akorn. The stainless steel firebox does not come into contact with the shell or the body of the grill.
Made with Ceramics, the Kamado Joe was able to retain heat longer inside. The thick paint coating outside the ceramics helps it resist sunlight and moisture from rain.
One thing that I liked about both of these Kamado grills is that they are easy to use.
There are two vents to control the temperature.
The first vent is underneath the firebox; this is a slightly larger compartment as it is an ash-catcher for the coals inside.
With this vent, you allow the air to come inside the firebox and then keep the fire going. This vent controls the higher temperature increments of the grills.
Then there is the vent on the lid that one can adjust with a small lever. This vent is the exit of the air from the bottom, so it controls the smaller temperature increments.
Both of these Kamado grills have those features for controlling the temperature, but I prefer the Kamado Joe. It is easier to control, and it has a more advanced approach and looks to it.
The Classic Joe II’s bottom vent allowed me to change the temperature by 100 degrees, while the top vent controls the temperature by 25-degree increments, which is pretty impressive.
The Akorn does have both vents, but it does not do as well as the Kamado Joe.
It did spend too much fuel in heating the chamber but did well once the entire interior got hot.
Which one cooks better?
When I used these Kamado grills, it was clear that I had my bet on the Kamado Joe since I used it before. However, the Char-griller Akorn grill surprised me with its fantastic performance too.
Cooking in these grills was not a hard thing to do because they are both powerful. I could make pizzas in them and create a nice char on the crust while it came out pretty crispy.
The Akorn Kamado grill was able to get up to temperatures of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that I could sear meat and cook burgers perfectly with excellent grill marks on them.
The Kamado Joe grill had a much higher temperature than the Akorn grill as it can get up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. That made it more versatile in terms of the foods that it can cook.
The temperature control is effortless, and you will observe the temperature change within a few minutes; this makes them great for parties and gatherings.
Something that impressed me about the Akorn Kamado grill is that it has one of the most amazing insulations for a Kamado grill made with stainless steel, and it retained heat perfectly.
It was a given for the Classic Joe II because it’s with ceramics, but the stainless steel build of the Akorn was imposing in retaining heat and can cook for hours on end.
Both Kamado grills maintained 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which made it great for smoking meat. When the temperature is a bit high, smoking meat was easy to do after a small adjustment.
Honestly, the meat cooked in Char Akorn grill tasted slightly better than the Kamado Joe Grill and my entire family thought the same. But, opinions can vary.
How much can you cook at a time on these grills?
The cooking area is one of my favorite parts of the process since it is responsible for holding the food.
These two Kamado grills have different cooking grates, but both are amazing.
The Akorn Kamado grill comes with a cast-iron main cooking grate and an extra stainless steel rack.
These two make for 314 square inches of cooking area, which is a large space.
That means that you can cook a dozen burgers at a time in this cooking space. The Classic Joe II has a smaller cooking area on the main grill, but it has a secret accessory that helps here.
Instead of just a single rack for cooking, the Classic Joe II also has two sets of racks.
It is pretty common but what makes it unique is that it has the trademark Divide-and-Conquer feature; this is where you can remove half of the grill grate to make way for the other rack.
This way, you can cook different recipes simultaneously and make the cooking process easier and shorter.
Something about the Using the Grills…
The Lid of the Kamado Grill, made with ceramic, is heavy, and since it weighs a lot, which can be a recipe for disaster as you might get your hand stuck in between.
It is also hard to lift the lid if it is too heavy, and luckily, you do not have this problem with the stainless steel lid of the Akorn grill. It is pretty light, and you can lift it with one hand.
Now, to make the Classic Joe safe when opening or closing the lid, the company made a special hinge called the AirLift Hinge, which is a small and simple mechanism for lifting the lid.
This feature allows you to open the lid easily as it helps in pulling the heavy ceramic cup. It essentially removes about 95% of the lid’s weight so you can lift it with one finger.
It also allows the lid to stay in place wherever you position it. That means that even if you put the lid halfway open, the lid will stay there until you push it down or open it up.
The Akorn grill does not need this as the lid is pretty light. I could fully open it with one hand while holding a spatula with my other hand, which made it easy to cook the food safely.
Is Cleaning the grills easy?
Since both of these grills can get up to high temperatures, there is not much need to clean them with water. You can fire them up after cooking and burn off the residuals inside them.
What I liked most is the Akorn being safe to wash with water.
Made with stainless steel, there are no issues when cleaning the Char Akorn Grill with water or any type of liquid soap.
Classic Joe II, on the other hand, needs to be carefully cleaned. You need to make sure that no water is involved in cleaning the interior as it might cause the ceramics to crack or break.
When it comes to cooking food, you will need to buy an appliance powerful enough to make the best results. Versatility is important because it is budget-friendly in a way.
You do not need to invest in many appliances for a single recipe. That is one of the many advantages you can get from a Kamado grill as they are very powerful and versatile.
The Char-Grill is an affordable option, and honestly, if not for all the temperature variations and inconsistencies, the overall result from this grill is AMAZING.
I think this probably has a better feature/ price balance than the Kamado.
Although if you want everything to be perfect and CANNOT tolerate any inconsistencies, get the Kamado.
If amazing tasting food is your top priority, then the Char Grill is the best, in my opinion.
It is sometimes even better than the Kamado Grill, and hence this one would be something I recommend. The Char-Grill is definitely worth the money, and I highly recommend you check out this grill.
So if you want to cook more food at a time with the perfect heat and retaining capabilities, you should get one of the two and choose between the Kamado Joe Classic II and the Char-griller Akorn!