Kamado Joe grills are the fastest growing names in the Kamado industry, and rightfully so. The Kamado Big Joe 2 and the Kamado Big Joe 3 are the testimonies of that and hence in this post we would compare the Kamado Big Joe 3 vs. Kamado Big Joe 2.
The Kamado way of cooking developed over the years and has spread out throughout the world.
The classic versions of these two amazing grills are widely known to have exceptional performances that no other grills in the market can match.
To put it simply, the Big Joes are with the same design and features as their smaller, classic brothers that are both amazing in their ways.
They constantly develop to make grilling with them easier without compromising their performances.
The Kamado Joe grills are beautiful with a striking red color while allowing you to cook in them without fewer issues as you can get.
They have many features that are the same, but we certainly cannot ignore the features that put one grill above the other.
So if you are looking for a grill that can combine elegance with performance excellence, then read on this review and see which one is better: The Kamado Big Joe 2 or the Kamado Big Joe 3?
Setting Up The Grills
For the entire time that you will be cooking with these grills, this will be the hardest part of the process. It takes a lot of muscles and time to accomplish, so read to know how to do it.
The Kamado classic grills are already heavy with hundreds of pounds of ceramic and metal components. However, the Big Joe line is a lot heavier since they have bigger features.
You will need to have at least a friend with you to set up the grills. When they arrive from delivery, make sure that they place them near where you will set them up.
This way, you will not need to move these big grills after setting them up. They do have stands with rollers, but it is still hard to maneuver them on uneven surfaces.
It is also prohibited to lift the grills via their handles or middle bands found on the Big Joe’s body, so you need some sort of equipment to lift them.
One way to get through this tough part of the job is to disassemble the Big Joes. By removing the ceramic pieces, you will have a lighter grill to carry.
Take note that even without the firebox and ceramics, the Big Joe is still relatively heavy, so you will need a helping hand even if you have disassembled it.
You can bring the parts to the place where you will set up the grills and assemble them there. Be careful since ceramic breaks easily, especially when dropped.
The ceramic parts, especially the firebox, can be a little bit tricky to set up. The firebox has several individual parts that need installation before using them.
The firebox has a metal ring to stabilize the individual parts, so you will need help to lift them and place them properly to lock them in place.
Once you get through this process, it is very much a walk in the park since the Big Joes have many features to offer to make the cooking sessions easier.
Basics of the Grills
The interior of the grills is made mostly of ceramic for insulation and heat retaining features. With that said, the lid included is not light.
However, the thing about the lids is that they are manufactured to be lifted by a six-year-old with just one hand.
Imagine the lids weighing over 50 pounds, and a child can lift them with one hand. That could be pretty hard since you alone will have a hard time doing it.
However, with the new innovative Air-Lift Hinge, the lids can be opened easily as if the lids weigh like a plastic cover.
The thing about it is that it has a single hinge that is spring-loaded, so it helps lift the lid without you having to force your way to open or close it.
Since the lid’s interior is ceramics, you might want to close it gently so you can avoid breaking them. Well, the air-lift hinge comes into play again.
The spring behind the air-lift hinge allows a slow process to close the lids to avoid blunt force that might break the ceramic inside the lid.
The lids would not close entirely without you pushing them down and latching the lid to ensure that the grills are closed.
Adding a layer of protection, the lid and the grill’s surface that comes into contact with the lid are wrapped with wire mesh made out of fiberglass.
The wire mesh not only breaks the impact of the lid but also seals the inside of the grill so that the smoke will not leak out of it.
Both of the grills have a built-in thermometer to accurately track the temperature inside the grill and a firebox that can take a lot of charcoal for long hours of cooking.
These fireboxes have been improved and are now more efficient and less likely to break. The firebox has six individual pieces that interlock to reduce breakage.
Big Joe 2 has a vertical firebox divider that helps when you want the heat of the grill to fire up one side only.
As for Big Joe 3, it does not have a grate to hold up the fuel. Instead, the ash goes straight to the grill’s bottom, and you can pull out the tray when cleaning.
Powering the Kamado Grills
Both grills can go up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit enough to cook pizzas and other recipes in a short amount of time.
Using charcoal as fuel is pretty hard to control since it retains a lot of heat but does not put up too much fire. However, with the Kamado’s vent and interior insulation, charcoal becomes easy to use.
All you need to do is remove the steel grids and racks to reload the firebox and keep on cooking. Make sure to use gloves to prevent burns.
The air that comes in from the bottom of the firebox heats the charcoal upwards, and the vent helps to keep the air circulating inside.
Going up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit will take about 20 minutes for both Big Joes to reach that. A fully opened vent will help you to get to that temperature faster.
Big Joe 3 has a redesigned vent which still keeps the function but protects the fire from damages brought up by natural elements.
The vent of Big Joe 3 has a sloping roof, so even if it is raining, the water does not go in and put the fire out inside the grill.
Each twist of the vent allows you to control the heat and go up or down 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It makes up for the fact that the grills can cook whatever you want to cook in them.
Big Joe 3 also has the new SloRoller Hyperbolic Insert installed in the Kamado Classic 3.
The SloRoller incorporates Harvard science with the grill, which allows the smoke inside the grill to circulate better and induce the smoky flavor inside your food.
Big Joe 2 has kept the steel plates from the Classic 2, which blocks direct flames from getting into your food and burning it.
The steel plate heat deflectors make the food you cook in the Big Joe 2 taste a little bit smoky that you get from wood-fired ovens and grills.
The “Divide & Conquer” feature of Kamado grills is notorious for giving you versatility in cooking whatever you want at the same time.
These are the racks included in their grills. Big Joe 2 has a two-tier rack that allows you to separate the types of food you want while cooking them in the same heat.
The Divide & Conquer feature of the Big Joe 3is much better and offers a lot more space with its three-tier racks that split into six half-moons.
Either way, you can cook different foods on different racks to make the cooking process even. For example, you can put vegetables on the higher racks and sear a steak on the bottom.
Do not worry about burning since Big Joe 2 has heat deflectors, and Big Joe 3 has the SloRoller that also acts as a heat deflector and prevents direct flames from coming into contact with the food.
Cooking inside the Grills
The Kamado Big Joe 2 is a great way to spend some time cooking steaks and grilling other recipes.
However, there is no denying that the Kamado Big Joe 3 is better in this category. It has more room for cooking while using the same amount of fuel.
It means that you can cook many more foods with as few charcoals as you use with the smaller Big Joe 2.
The heat deflectors of the Big Joe 2 come in handy when you are cooking something that only requires radiant heat for cooking. The smoky flavor gets into the food.
However, the SloRoller in Big Joe 3 can put more of the smoky flavor into your food because of the innovative parabola shape of the device, which makes the smoke inside circulate better.
You can cook various foods in both grills since they can go up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
They also have various steel racks that can handle pots and other cookware if your recipe requires one.
They are both fuel-efficient so cooking in them brings only a few issues if ever there is one. So cook away and see what these two amazing grills offer.
If you want a smaller grill to accommodate just the small gathering that your family makes, then the Kamado Big Joe 2 is the better choice for you. Though, to be fair, it is not as small as you think.
It packs a lot of power while using only a few charcoals to fire up. It has a divider, so if you want to cook just a few foods, you can focus the grill’s heat on just one side.
The Kamado Big Joe 3, on the other hand, caters to a lot more guests. Since it uses the same efficiency that the other grill has, it can heat up in no time.
As they say, you cannot use the space you do not have, I would recommend the Big Joe 3 for a larger space and better cooking, but if you have your budget as a constraint, you would not be disappointed with the cooking results from the Joe 2.
Both the grills are of great quality materials, and they cook pretty well, but the Big Joe 3 just comes with a few more added features.
It also has more racks for you to cook a variety of recipes at the same time. The SloRoller puts many smoky flavors into your food which makes barbecues and steaks taste even better.
Check out these two amazing grills, and let us know which one is better for you!
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