best kamado grill

8 Best Kamado Grill Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2021

If you want to enjoy the best of grilling, it’s good when you have the right cooking resources, and its not often a charcoal grill. The other suitable option at this point would be one of the best kamado grill brands on the market. Thanks to its completely ceramic shell, these types of grills provide excellent heat circulation functions. Plus, they are dynamic – in many ways!

You can use these excellent grills to perform various tasks including roasting, smoking, baking and more. Plus, they are also often available with ceramic shells and rustproof stainless-steel structures which provide longevity. 

The goal of this buying guide is to help you choose the right grill for your next meal preparation projects. Plus, we have included a few grill recommendations you should consider including our top pick, the Cuisinart COS-118.

Comparison Chart: Editors Picks

Product 
Best For 
Features 

Meats, stake, fish, vegetables and more

  • Provides over 150 square inches of cooking are with cast iron grates
  • Has an easy dump ash pan for fast and easy clean up
  • The top and bottom air damper provide precise temperature control
  • Can hold more heat with less charcoal required

Meats, chicken, turkey and more

  • Insulated for energy efficiency
  • Cast iron cooking surface is reliable 
  • Made using 24-gauge steel material
  • The exterior finish is powder coated for longevity

Chicken and fish

  • Has a multi-level and half-moon design
  • Comes with a control tower top vent structure
  • Equipped with a convenient slide out drawer

Meats, stake, fish, vegetables and more

  • Comes with top and bottom vents
  • The porcelain enamel water bowl is durable
  • Provides over 500 square inches of cooking space

Meats, stake, fish, vegetables and more

  • Has an excellent 17-inch-thick ceramic body for longevity
  • Made using FDA stainless steel material
  • Offers even heating performance and excellent heat insulation
  • The adjustable bottom air damper makes the system simple to control

Top 8 Kamado Grill Reviews 2021

kamado grill

Char-Griller E06614 Charcoal Grill, Red

With the Char-Griller, EO6614 Charcoal Grill is an excellent addition to your modern kitchen. It’s a fully functional unit that makes it easy to prepare meats, vegetables and more.

Providing over 153 square inches of primary cooking space with cast-iron grates, cooking is easier than before. Furthermore, the unique design of this grill is also ideal for promoting the taste and flavour of your meals.

With this unit, you will find it easy to sear meat, with high heat and also enjoy a slow roast. Plus, the versatile design of this unit means that it’s built to last, and with a triple-walled 2-gauge steel structure. You are sure of a grill that can maintain a temperature of between 200-700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanks to the powder-coated exterior finish and porcelain-coated interior, you have a rugged grill that can last for many years.

The Good

  • Provides over 153 square inches of cooking area with cast iron grates
  • Has an easy dump ash pan for fast and easy cleanup
  • The top and bottom air damper provide precise temperature control
  • Can hold more heat with less charcoal required

The Bad

  • Heavy than most grills

Editors Choice

best kamado grill

Char-Griller E16620 Kamado Charcoal Grill

Add a taste of functionality and style to your modern kitchen when you have the Char-Griller E16620 Kamado Grill. With over 310 square inches of primary cooking space and a 103 square inch warming rack, preparing your meals is easier than ever.

Furthermore, the insulated design of the grill means that it can use a small amount of charcoal, and less airflow delivers juicy meat. Thanks to the folding shelves of this unit, you will find it easy to manage your utensils and food ingredients.

Thanks to the top and bottom adjustable dampers, you have a grill that can maintain optimal airflow as you cook or smoke meals. It’s also highly fuel-efficient, such that you use a small amount of charcoal when cooking. With the unique powder coated exterior finish, you have a grill that is easy to maintain.

The cart is also made using tubular steel and rubber wheels, which make it a heavy-duty unit. It also has a locking caster on the front, and the damper is indexed for your convenience. Plus, the grill is available with many components including double-wall insulation, heat gauge, folding metal shelves and more.

The Good

  • Has an insulated design for optimal energy usage
  • Comes with a cast iron cooking surface
  • Made using 22-gauge steel material
  • The exterior finish is powder-coated for longevity

The Bad

  • N/A

Also Remember

best kamado grill for the money

Kamado Joe KJ23RH Charcoal Grill

Divide and conquer your cooking projects when you have the Kamado Joe KJ23RH Charcoal Grill. With this unit, you have a humble grate, that you can convert in a powerful cooking tool for your needs. It’s a multi-level grill that has a half-moon design for preparing different types of meals.

You will be pleased with the unique control tower top vent, which makes it easy to control the flow of air. It’s an excellent tool for smoking from 225F to searing at 750F – perfect for different types of meals. The KJ23RH smoker also features two cooking grates, which you can use to prepare several items at once. With the adjustable dampers, you will also find it easy to adjust the heating procedures of your grill.

Thanks to the convenient slide-out drawer, cleanup is a convenient and straightforward process. Unlike most grills, you no longer have to remove the components in the interior structure. Thus, you will find the grill easy to wash and maintain at all times. 

The slide-out drawer is easy to clean up. It’s unique, unlike most grills because you won’t have to remove the internal components, which means the grill is easy to clean.

The Good

  • Has a multi-level and half-moon design
  • Comes with a control tower top vent structure
  • Equipped with a convenient slide-out drawer

The Bad

  • Could use an anti slip carry handle
best kamado smokers

Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18" Charcoal Smoker

Cuisinart is an industry leader when it comes to making some of the best cooking resources on the market. Thus, this what the Cuisinart COS-118 charcoal smoker, would make up for a reliable addition to your cooking regimen.

It comes with two stainless steel racks, that provide over 500 square inches of cooking space. Plus, the porcelain enamel water bowl is durable and makes it easy to customize the cooking process. With the COS-118 Charcoal Smoker, you have more than enough room to smoke different meals. These can include vegetables, fishes and even an entire chicken.

The dual air vents on this unit make it easier than ever to regulate the amount of heat and smoke in your charcoal grill. Plus, the dual vents are easy to open or close, to manage the heat and smoke levels in the chamber. You can also lift the lid, to provide easy access to your meals as you smoke them. The good thing is the grills are easy to maintain and make clean up a simple process.

Equipped with two steel wire racks, you can stack the COS-118 inside the 3.46 smoking chamber. The grill will provide sufficient room to smoke different types of meals.

The Good

  • Comes with top and bottom vents
  • The porcelain enamel water bowl is durable
  • Provides over 510 square inches of cooking space

The Bad

  • Removing the grate for cleaning is not easy
best kamado grills

Chefood 16" Ceramic Kamado Charcoal Grill

The Chefood 16-inch ceramic Kamado Style Grill also makes up for an excellent addition to this list. The grill features an exceptional 16 inches of the thick ceramic body, for the best cooking results.

Plus, the grill also has 138 square inches of cooking area, to make it perfect for different types of meals.

With its excellent heating and insulation performance, cooking with this grill is always a “super-efficient” process. The good thing is that the Kamado grill is available with a 300D waterproof grill cover – perfect for storing your grill with style.

The Good

  • Has an excellent 16-inch-thick ceramic body for longevity
  • Made using FDA stainless steel material
  • Offers even heating performance and excellent heat insulation
  • The adjustable bottom air damper makes the system simple to control

The Bad

  • N/A
what is the best kamado grill

Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill

The Cuisinart CCG190RB Portable Charcoal Grill is a powerful addition to your modern kitchen. It provides over 150 square inches of space, which is spacious and able to accommodate large amounts of food.

It does so without any compromise on the heat distribution of the grill. With such a large amount of space, you will find it easy to prepare three burgers, hot dogs and more.

Thanks to the dual venting system, you will enjoy excellent temperature and charcoal management benefits. The grill also has three secure lid locks, that make it easy to transport and safe. Designed to be compact and easy to move around, you can take this grill everywhere you go. It weighs only 2lbs, which means you can use it in patios, decks, balconies and more. 

The CCG190RB grill also has an enamel coated firebox and ash catcher. The durable enamel coated firebox will provide a mess-free experience for optimal safety. 

The Good

  • Provides over 150 square inches of space
  • The chrome-plated grate is durable
  • Has three secure lid locks for easy and safe transport
  • Compact enough to take anywhere (weighs 2lbs)

The Bad

  • The ash tray is somewhat small
best egg grill

Broil King 911470 Keg 5000 Kamado Grill

You can make your kitchen fully functional with the Broil King 911470 5000 Kamado Grill. The grill features a double insulated steel body that will provide high levels of heat retention.

Its highly efficient than most ceramic grills, and it won’t absorb any moisture during the cooking process.

The Grill also has an insulated steel structure, for longevity and ease of use. The cast iron top damper also delivers excellent air ventilation performances. With the heavy-duty gasket, this unit uses up to two times less charcoal than the conventional grill. Thus, you save lots of cash on extra fuel costs.

The removable ash catcher makes it easy to clean out any excess levels of ash from the grill. You won’t have to scrape them out, because the unique ashtray design helps keep them contained. The grill is not all about unique features, but also additional accessories. These include a detachable resin side shelves, mobility cart and multi-tool.

The Good

  • Comes with a double insulated steel grill body
  • Uses 2x less charcoal than the conventional grill
  • Equipped with a chrome sing away rack

The Bad

  • Warms up significantly when used for long durations
green egg grill

Kamado Joe Jr. KJ13RH Charcoal Grill 13.5 inch Blaze Red

The Kamado Joe JR KJ13RH is also another serious entrant in this list of products. The grill comes with a ceramic design, and premium cast iron stand to make it easy to set up.

The thick-walled design and heat resistant structure will retain moisture and smoke at any temperature. Even more, the cast iron air vent makes temperature control a simple process.

Thanks to the 304 stainless steel cooking grates, you have a grill that provides excellent heat insulation and cooking performances. Plus, the in-built temperature gauge makes it easy to control the temperature levels of the meat preparation process. Whether its tailgating or just cooking out in the lake, the high-quality KJ13RH grill makes everything possible.

It weighs only 68 pounds, and the cast iron stand provides the ideal height for carrying your items. On top of that, the grill has a cast iron vent, that makes it easy to regulate the temperature levels.

The Good

  • Ceramic grill with a cast iron stand
  • Made using 304 stainless steel material
  • Has a heat resistant shell that locks in smoke

The Bad

  • Could use a much more durable exterior

How to Buy the Best Kamado Grill

Best Kamado Grill – Buying Tips

Any time you want to make a significant addition to your kitchen, ensure you evaluate the key features of your chosen product. We thought we would outline the key features to look out for before investing in a suitable grill:

Construction – Ceramic Vs. Steel

Before buying a grill, consider whether you need a steel or ceramic grill. Ceramic is an excellent choice because it’s a material that dates back to the history of the first grills. It’s excellent because it provides high levels of heat retention and insulation. With the right care, a ceramic grill will provide longevity. The only issue with ceramic grills is that they are costly and heavy – a reasonable tradeoff for super juicy meats.

Steel grills, on the contrary, have the benefit of being cheap and lightweight. The heavy-duty structures of these units mean they are durable, especially against high impact falls. The same will not apply if you have a ceramic grill. The drawback of steel grills is that they won’t last as long as the ceramic types and not good insulators. 

Cost of The Grill

On a similar vein, consider the price of a kamado grill before investing. If you plan on spending $600 or less, you should probably go for a small ceramic or steel kamado type.

For the “average” sized grills, expect the prices to start at about $800, and only increase from there. 

Size

The size of a grill is crucial because you have to determine the amount of food you have to prepare each time. The size of the grill is directly proportional to the amount of meat or vegetables you can prepare.

Some types have diameters that range between 8” and 32”. That’s a significant difference in regards to the surface area of your chosen kamado grill. Try and identify the types of meals you will be preparing on your grill. 

Removable Ash Tray

Where will all the waste from charcoal burning go? To the ashtray, and this is why its an essential accessory. The removable types are the best because they are simple to clean and maintain. 

Some grills don’t have convenient ash management systems, and this can be a hassle the next time you want to prepare meat. 

Airflow Systems

The two most important aspects of a right grill are the symbolic “egg shape” design and the air dampeners for ventilation purposes. The flow of air is vital because it helps regulate the fuel-burning process in the grill.

Therefore, check for features such as air dampeners, vents, and more before choosing a grill. You can take things further by studying the science behind the ventilation systems in the grill.

Design of the Cooking Grates 

Cooking grates are the sections of the grill that most people forget about, but it’s crucial if you want to sear juicy meats. 

It’s the section where the meat comes in contact with the meats. Usually, the best material would be cast iron, enameled steel or stainless steel for optimal functionality.

Aside from the material construction of grates, consider the types that have hinged structures. These types make it easy to access the undersection of the grates, and also add fuel without compromising the food. 

Additional Features

  • Top Vent – Its an important structure, which you can use to adjust the temperature levels of your grill. Usually, the large and standard grills come with different types of top cent structures. They might include the rain, mould and rust-resistant designs that are easy to use outdoors. Plus, please these types provide excellent control over the temperature and airflow functions.
  • Airlift Hinge – Since these grills types are often made using ceramic, they tend to be massive. Thus, you may notice that they tend to shut quickly. Therefore, if you want to make it easy to manage the lid, consider the types that have an airlift hinge. It’s a structure that helps reduce the weight of the lid by over 90%, thus ensuring it does not slam shut when in use.
  • Cart – Most grills on the market classify under the freestanding category, meaning that you can set them up to sit on floor surfaces independently. The weight of a grill makes it challenging to move around, meaning you may benefit when you have the wheeled types. If not, consider the types that are available with a cart or shelves which you can use to prepare meals. 
  • Temperature Control – You need a mechanism which you can use to regulate the temperature of your meals, without letting any heat escape from the grill. The grill should also come with dampeners that you can use to control the flow of air, to the grill when smoking or cooking. It’s also highly fuel-efficient, such that you won’t have to use large amounts of charcoal when preparing your meats.
  • Charcoal Basket – A high-quality stainless-steel grill comes with a charcoal basket, which makes it easy to clean once you are through with the grilling process. Plus, a basket also offers efficiency, whereby the unburned coals won’t make it to the ash.
  • Ash Drawer – You need this mechanism to make it easy to empty your grill once you are done with the grilling process. Most grills feature an ash drawer, which you can use to collect the ash mesh, and is also easy to clean.
  • Accessories – These grill types are available with different accessories which you can use for dynamic cooking applications. Not every grill type can accommodate each accessory, so ensure you choose the kind that is compatible with the accessories you need. For instance, the Kamado Joe Grill comes with a “Joetisserie”, which you can use to cook on your grill.

Usability Factors for Kamado Grills

Ceramics are excellent materials when it comes to insulation, and they can absorb and radiate heat with high levels of efficiency. Plus, they also provide excellent temperature regulation benefits. You can invest in a kamado grill and let it warm up. The good thing is that you won’t need to touch it until your meat is prepped. Plus, these grills can be useful if you have to cook in frigid temperatures during the night or winter season.

The only issue is that the thick walls might require a long duration to warm up when compared to most cooker types. Plus, once they get to optimal heat levels, it might take a few minutes for them to lose the heat. These grills are not similar to charcoal, which you can customize by improving the flow of air. For this reason, you have to be precise when it comes to temperature control with your kamado grill.

One more factor to consider, Kamado cookers tend to have massive structures and are prone to high impact falls. However, with the right care, these grills can last you for many years. Some novel brands feature fiber insulation which is encased with a steel structure for longevity.

Kamado Grill Pros and Cons

Just as you would expect with most modern cooking resources, a kamado grill has its benefits and disadvantages. Based on our research, the benefits of this unit are more significant than the downsides. That said, a kamado grill is an excellent resource for every aspiring cooking enthusiast.

Kamado Grill Pros

  • With the right care, a kamado grill can last for many years. It’s the kind of resource you can pass down to your little ones because it’s a unique cooking resource.
  • These are dynamic units. You can use them for heat control and air ventilation purposes. Plus, most of them have temperature ranges of between 200-750°F. These are temperatures you can use for various purposes including baking, searing, roasting and more.
  • High-class insulation means that you will find it easy to achieve the right results even if you use the grill in cold conditions. Maintaining consistent heat is challenging, especially when you use charcoal or gas grills.
  • Due to their exceptional insulation functions, Kamado grills are fuel-efficient in many ways. You will notice it uses a relatively small amount of charcoal to fire up the grill.
  • The results after meat cooking procedures are often unique than most other grills. Why? Because the unique flow of air ensures a small amount of moisture will escape from the grill.
  • Starting a fire is easy when you have a kamado grill. It’s a process that is different from most grills, but it becomes simple once you master the steps involved.
  • A significant number of Kamado grills feature accessories and attachments that you can use to cook meals in unique ways. These include resources such as baking stones, wok pans, and several other accessories for enhancing grill usability. 
  • Temperature control is convenient when you have a Kamado Grill because you use a simple knob.

Kamado Grill Cons

  • You need the right budget if you want an excellent kamado grill. A genuine kamado grill averages between $500 to $1000. Remember the steel options are affordable, but won’t offer the same quality as the ceramic types.
  • Several brands have additional costs for accessories that are not often available with the standard purchase. It’s sometimes inconvenient to pay lots of cash for a grill, then have to buy accessories.
  • Managing heat zones in grills is not often easy, and requires experience before you can get it right. As long as you practice using the proper techniques, you will find it easy to regulate the heat and airflow.
  • Since kamado grills are powerful cooking machines, they are not often easy to carry around. The ceramic material is massive, and you may need help.

History of the Kamado

The origins of Kamado grills are believed to be in China, dating as far back as 3,000 years ago. Around this time, China made this technology, and transported int to Japan, where they got the famous name “Kamados.” The name has transcended all across the world today, with many using the grills at home. 

How did the Kamados become famous in places such as the U.S.A? Well, after World War II, thousands of Westerners in Japan came across this technique and found it useful. On their travels back home, they came along with the Kamados, and it became an essential aspect of their culture. 

A common proponent of this method of cooking would be Ed Fisher, who noticed the potential behind these types of grills. Early in the nineteen seventies, he started a shop in Atlanta, where he began the “Big Green Egg” brand.

Oval vs Round Kamados

Most cooking enthusiasts are proponents of the two-zone system for grilling for its various benefits for meal preparation. The main technique is to put the coals on one side of the grill and leave the remaining section empty. However, a gas grill requires that you switch on the burners on one section, while leaving the other empty. Using dual zones makes it easy to adjust the temperature and heating functions of your chosen grill. 

The oval-shaped grills such as those that are made by Komodo Kamado come with heat zones that are easy to set up. The good thing about the oval shape is that they are easy to separate on either side.

Plus, the heat in the round models tends to dissipate much faster. A significant number of the round grill enthusiasts concede that positioning food the right way is vital in the grilling process. You can use various accessories such as rack systems, and deflectors for the best results.

Can You Grill on A Kamado?

Due to the excessive temperatures these grills can produce, they tend to get hot. When you crank up a large grill, it might produce a “shot” of fire, similar to the temperatures of a large furnace. This type of fire is only suitable for preparing thin streaks of meats that you want to get ready fast.

That said, the Kamado grills tend to get excessively hot and might require a long duration before they are cool enough to handle. Furthermore, the challenge in making a two-zone set up makes Kamados suitable for use as ovens or smokers, and not as grills. 

Taking your grilling to the next level would require to learn how to use the two-zone cooking feature in grills. Its cooking technique, unlike most you have come around in the grilling market. 

Can I use Regular Briquettes on my Kamado Grill?

Most Kamado grill brands recommend the use of lump charcoal, instead of briquettes for various reasons. For instance, the mention that briquettes produce large amounts of ash when compared to lump. Plus, a lump can also compromise the flow of air, and it accumulates significantly as you prepare meals. Remember to check the ingredients of your chosen grill, before investing as many brands have varying products. 

Go for briquettes that will provide the best value for your money and grill performance. We have come across reviews from consumers complaining of pulverized charcoal dust, low-quality chunks and more. Some have even come across, such as plastic, and more – which are all factors you have to consider when investing in briquettes.

Best Kamado Grill FAQ

What can I prepare on Kamado Joe Grill?

Grills are dynamic, and you can use them to prepare different meal types. These include hot dogs, steak, fish, burgers and more. Plus, you can also use it to smoke meals such as ribs and briquettes. However, you need to master the two-zone cooking system.

What are some of the safety issues when using a kamado grill?

Kamado grills tend to get excessively hot, which might easily burn your hands during the cooking process. Ensure you use the handles on the grill when you want to move it around, or check the temperature of the food. 

What are some of the best kamado grill brands?

The list of kamado grill brands is extensive and long. It may include a host of brand names including Cuisinart, Kamado Joe, Char-Griller and more.

How Does a Kamado Grill Work?

The technique behind the functionality of a kamado grill is basic, which explains its immense popularity over the past few decades. 

Simply put, a kamado grill involves the use of charcoal in the cooking chamber, and functions as a critical source of heat. Once you light the fuel, you will place racks and cooking grates on the grill.

A right grill features dense walls which function to retain moisture and heat. Thus, air makes its way through an intake section that sits at the bottom section of the grill. You can adjust the air dampeners on the side or top section of the grill for optimal airflow.

It’s likely that you won’t notice any fluctuations in the temperature when you first set up the vents. For novices, you might have to repeat the process a few times before you can master the techniques involved.

If you are preparing your meat through indirect heat, consider getting a component referred to as the heat deflector plate. It’s a tool that you place between the coals and grate to help in regulating the flow of heat.

Best Kamado Grill: Final Thoughts

Grilling is one of the most innovative techniques for preparing meats, and it’s easy when you have the right information. We have identified some of the best Kamado Grill brands on the market, along with some useful information for product selection. When you have the right grill, preparing your meats becomes an easy process. Plus, you will even enjoy a safe cooking experience, and with customized design features for the best results.