Kamado-style cooking has been around for thousands of years and with the development of grills such as the Primo Grill, the Big Green Egg, and the Kamado Joe.
It originated from China and it is a style of cooking that combines grilling, and convection heat like the one our home ovens produce.
This cooking style is very effective and has a lot of advantages compared to just an ordinary grill. That is why companies have made their Kamado Grills like the Kamado Joe, Big Green Egg, Char Akorn Grill.
The Big Green Egg (BGE) or the Egg is the most well-known Kamado grill in the market since it pioneered the development of ceramic grills.
The Kamado Joe series of grills is a competitor of the Big Green Egg, and rightfully so. It packs a lot of innovative features that even the BGE does not have.
The Primo Grills boast a rather uncommon design that allows optimal airflow that no other Kamado grill possesses.
Here, we will look at these three amazing Kamado-style grills pack to see which one is the best. If you are trying to invest in one, read on to see a better view of what you might get.
Setting up the grills
The first thing that we need to consider here when setting up the grills is the weight. These weigh over a hundred pounds so setting them up alone will be a tedious task.
However, there are a few techniques that you can do to lighten up the job. Aside from getting an extra hand, we give you these tips on how to set the grills up easily.
First, the grills come with a “Nest”. The nest is a stand with sturdy wheels for the grills to be put on and moved in flat surfaces.
Take note that there will still be some lifting especially if there are some inclined surfaces or ladders as the nests are not easy to push or pull.
The next tip is disassembling the grills. All of these grills have a pretty straightforward setup manual so if you disassemble them, you can easily put them together once you have delivered all parts in the setup area.
By disassembling some parts, you will be able to transport the grill easily. For example, the grills’ firebox can come off, which adds to the overall weight.
You can also tell the delivery guys to place the grill near the area to set them up. This way, you would not have to lift the grill to far distances.
One other thing is to consider the surroundings of where you are going to set the grills up. These grills produce a lot of heat so you might want to put them far from flammable objects.
Once you set them up, you can start firing them up and get cooking. Now for more information, read on as we move to the best features of the grills.
The Kamado Joe Grills and the Big Green Egg are pretty much the same in terms of design. As the name implies, the BGE is like an egg and so is the Kamado Joe.
The Primo Grills, however, has an unusual shape of an oval. We will talk about the reason behind this design later on.
The Kamado Joe has its trademark bright red color while the Big Green Egg is a green, large grill and an elegant black color drapes the Primo Grills.
The outer design of the Kamado Joe and the BGE has a design that makes them seem like they have a very rough surface but the truth is they are coated with paint and smoothened.
The purpose of the design aside from aesthetics is to make the grills easier to clean. The somewhat curved surfaces gather dirt so you can see it clearly and wipe them easily.
The Primo Grills have a rather smooth outer design. It does have some rough edges but overall, it is easier to clean by just wiping a cloth around it.
The Heavy Lids
Since these grills are made mostly of ceramics, the lids are pretty heavy. Lifting them with one hand would rather be hard and you cannot hold a tool on the other hand.
However, the companies of these grills made innovative designs for the lids. The BGE and the Primo Grills have springs to help lift the lid.
This way, the spring pulls up the lid so you can lift it with ease. The BGE has a weak spring but it does not need it since some designs have their lids not opening all the way.
The Kamado Joe has its new Air-Lift Hinge, a spring-loaded hinge that helps you lift the lid easily.
This amazing design is so effective that it essentially reduces the weight of the lid by 96%. That means that a mere six-year-old can lift the lid with one hand.
The lids of the grills also have their safety mechanisms. The lids do not close rapidly, in fact, they do not close unless they are pushed down and latched on.
This way, you will not hurt yourself by crushing them between the heavy lids and the grills’ main body.
It is one of the most important features of a Kamado-style Grill. The vent is what creates the proper airflow needed for the food to cook properly in them.
The Primo Grill has a cast-iron top vent that is very durable and you can control it. This way, you can manage the temperature properly.
The vents have an oval shape that slowly releases the air so that the convection and the smoke inside the oven is running properly.
The downside with Primo’s top grill is that it is not durable in the rains, therefore, it will have a hard time heating up if water gets in the way.
The Kamado Joe and the BGE have their rain protectors on the vents. The advantage of the BGE is that its vent can fully open for faster preheating and more airflow.
The Kamado Joe vent has marks for controlling the vents and each mark reduces or adds 25 degrees to the grill’s temperature.
It is the category where we will see what truly differentiates the three grills from each other. Each of them has a major feature that the other does not have so let’s dive in!
The Big Green Egg
The unique feature of the Big Green Egg is probably the design. Sure, it packs all the power and it has been the standard for all Kamado-style Grills but the dedication put in designing this grill is truly amazing.
The dents on the outer parts of the BGE are handcrafted. Yes, the small concave designs all around the grill are made with stencils and tools to scratch the outer layer.
The grill is made out of pure ceramic and is painted green to make it look like it has another material covering the ceramics.
It is where the shape of the Primo Grills takes place. This oval grill is for two-zone cooking experience.
See, the Primo Grills have perfected the way of two-zone cooking and firebox divider by making a proper design for the air to flow in a certain direction for cooking at different temperatures.
Primo Grills have a firebox divider so the heat is on one side.
Due to the grill’s oval shape, smoke flows onto the food to give it a smoky flavour.
The Kamado Joe probably has the most unique feature of them all. The Classic 3 and the Big Joe 3 have what we call the SloRoller Hyperbolic Insert.
The SloRoller Hyperbolic Insert is a heat deflector that optimizes the airflow inside the oven to create a smoky flavor in your food.
This design creates a parabola of smoke so it passes through your food at least twice before eventually getting released on the vent.
The SloRoller incorporates Harvard Science to make the perfect smoky flavor in any food that you are cooking. It also comes as a heat deflector to cook your food with convection heat instead of direct fire.
These three grills use charcoal as a fuel. Charcoal does not create raging flames but it can still get up to high temperatures, it also produces a smoky flavor like the one we get from wood-fired ovens.
The Kamado Joe grills are very powerful and are at the top of this list when it comes to maximum temperatures. It can reach an astounding 700-750 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Big Green Egg can go up to 700 degrees as well and it preheats a little faster if the top vent open for maximum airflow.
The Primo Grills are the masters of slow-cooking. They can get up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and cook at 250 degrees for a whole day even under freezing temperatures.
Perhaps the most important thing when buying a Kamado-style grill is the capacity. The grates of the Kamado-style grills are guaranteed to be durable so you need to consider the size.
If you are looking for a single, large Kamado grill then the Big Green Egg is the obvious choice. Not only does it boast its size on the name but also on the size.
The BGE 2XL model has a total cooking area of 672 square inches. While this might not sound too big, the amazing thing is that it only has a single grate.
It means that the grill grate of the BGE has an entire diameter of 29 inches. This grate can let you cook dozens of steaks and can handle a single pig in one cooking.
When it comes to a compact size and large cooking space, the Kamado Joe takes over with its innovative racks of grates.
The Kamado Joe Big Joe 3 has a total of 864 square inches of cooking space. The main grate only has over 400 square inches of booking space, but the secret in this grill’s large capacity is the three-tiered system.
The Kamado Joe has a three-tiered rack to occupy more food and each grate converts into a half-moon makeing it versatile.
Speaking of versatility, the Primo Grill takes on this category. The grill grates of the Primo Grills are reversible so you can cook anything on them.
The oval shape of the Primo Grill is made for versatility so you can cook two different recipes simultaneously.
The thing is, it produces two areas with two different temperatures so you can sear a steak directly on the heat while you grill some vegetables on the side.
Cooking with the grills
All the grills felt almost the same when it comes to cooking but the one that I would say that I liked has to be the Kamado Joe grill.
I felt the smokiness and the pork’s tenderness that I cooked inside the grill was almost perfect. It was more suited for my taste and if I look at all three grills from the purchase point of view, you would not be disappointed with any of them.
It is my personal choice and you might like it too. If you are really into juicy meat with that nice moisture and smoky flavor, you would go with Kamado.
I think I would rate them as the Kamado Joe, Big Green Egg, and then Primo. I rated Primo least because there are some temperature fluctuations that you can experience with this grill.
It is not the case with other grills like the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg, making them the better choice. Cooking is so much easier with the other two and when it comes to taste, I would pick the Kamado Joe.
The Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg can simply clean themselves via a process called pyrolyzing. It is when the extreme heat of the grills just burns the leftover foods in it.
Since they have a lower temperature, the Primo grills can clean themselves, but it takes longer to remove the grease and thick leftovers.
The grills also have their ash catchers so you can easily remove their bottom vents and dispose of the ashes from the charcoal fuel.
The Kamado Joe is an obvious choice if you are fond of the smoky flavor in your food. With the SloRoller insert, it produces a nice finish on your food unlike any other.
If you want a grill that can accommodate a large group of people, then you might as well invest in the Big Green Egg and get an experience of the standard of Kamado-style Grills.
As for versatility, Primo Grills take over to offer you a unique design that brings you different temperatures while using a single grill to let you cook various foods at the same time.
These grills are impressive and can bring something beyond our expectations. The thing about Kamado Grills is they produce food in a different but good way.
Therefore, investing in one will not be a huge loss. These grills might be pricey but they are guaranteed to last a lifetime with minimal maintenance required.
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