Best Kamado Grill – Top 10 Kamado Grills of 2019

When the outdoor thermometer moves past 60 degrees, do you start getting excited for grilling season? How about when a grill fills the atmosphere with its aromatic smoke clouds, tickling your nose and teasing your taste buds? Does that sound like you? If so, a Kamado grill can provide you with all these while allowing you the unique ability to experience how cooking was done and what it felt like during ancient times.

Top 5 Kamado Grills

For your convenience, we have done all the work for you by compiling a list of the five best Kamado grills available in the market today. All the mentioned grills have been tested by us and then compared in terms of features, durability, customer feedback and manufacturer's reputation.

Short on time? Heres a quick roundup of our top 3 picks and why you need them!

Product

Photo

Cost

Pros

Link

*Best Overall

$$$$

​​A powerful grill with super impressive performance, features and lifetime warranty

*Best Smoker

$$

An affordable grill and an excellent smoker with sturdy built

*Best Budget

$

An efficient grill with all the required features at a stunningly low price and lightweight structure

1. Kamado Joe Classic II

The King of All Kamado Grills

Unparalleled performance, durability and strength, this is an excellent grill with top-notch features, and a lifetime warranty

Quick Summary

  • The best choice for anyone who is able to afford this beast
  • 406 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $$$$

The Kamado Joe Classic II is the king of all ceramic grills. With a large cooking space of 406 sq in, the grill can be an excellent addition to your cooking appliances. It is built out of stainless steel and has a super sturdy structure with a height of just 18 inches, excluding its stand.

Excellent temperature control system: the Joe Classic II is capable of reaching high temperatures of 750 degrees or lows of 225, in between which you can easily maintain the heat in accordance with your cooking style.

Ease of heat maintenance and storage space: there is an integrated thermometer which makes it easy to read the temperature, a vent that can assist in the regulation of heat and air and some side shelves which have enough space to allow cooking accessories.

Cook more at the same time: this grill also has a flexible cooking system, Divide and Conquer, that enables you to cook several food items at distinct temperatures. It is also easy to switch or rearrange the grates by using the grate gripper tool that comes along. Other accessories include stainless steel rack, two grill grates and two ceramic heat deflectors.

The overall weight of this grill is a precise 188 pounds, making it one of the heaviest in our list, but still worthy in every way.

Pros

  • Easy to cook with Divide and Conquer system
  • Capable of reaching incredibly high temperatures
  • Large cooking surface area allows more cooking

Cons

  • Very heavy in size

2. Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

A Barbecue Grill With Excellent Smoking Capabilities

The Hamilton Beach's Electric Indoor Searing Grill is an extremely budget-efficient model, excellent for indoor usage with super convenient size

Quick Summary

  • Great choice for those who are looking for a grill which is also excellent as a smoker
  • 314 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $$

The Char-Griller Akorn Kamado is a high quality grill with 314 sq inches of cooking space with cast iron grates. It comes with an additional upper rack that has another 133 sq inches of cooking space. The latter can be used for steaming, boiling or similar small tasks. The Akorn Kamado is capable of reaching 700 degrees and can easily maintain between its high and the low of 200 degrees.

Sturdy and durable body: this grill is strongly built from 22-gauge steel and it has three coatings of this on its walls. The exterior is coated with powder and the interior is coated with porcelain.

Large foldable shelves for storage purposes: there are two metal shelves that can be used for keeping sauces, spoons and spices. They can be folded away when not in use.

Easy to move around: The Akorn comes with a cart of tubular steel with 8-inch rubber wheels. This can be used to move it around with convenience. The weight of this grill is 100 pounds.

Pros

  • Large cooking space
  • A beginner-friendly grill with affordable price
  • Very strongly built with triple coatings of steel 

Cons

  • The warranty is limited, lasting from 1-5 years

3. Char-Griller Akorn Jr.  

A Super Lightweight Grill With the Cheapest Possible Price

The Akorn Jr. is a portable grill with good performance at an affordable cost, easy to clean and convenient to take along on a trip

Quick Summary

  • Excellent for those who are budget-conscious and are still looking to make a good investment
  • 153 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $

The Char-Griller Akorn Jr is the ideal choice for the budget-conscious. It gives excellent performance at a low price, its sturdy built and weighing at just 37 pounds. Its side handles make it easy to carry it around and its small size make it portable enough to take it along on a camping trip.

Strongly built out of steel: with a 153 sq inches of cooking area, you can easily cook for your family or a party of three. The Akorn Jr, just like its senior counterpart, is made out 22-gauge steel, triple walled, while the interior is coated with enamel.

Good balance and easy to move around: the grill is permanently attached to a set of three robust steel legs that enable it to stand perfectly balanced on even the most jagged surfaces without any risk of being knocked away due to heavy winds. 

Capable of reaching high temperatures and easy to clean: the Akorn Jr, despite its small size, is capable of performing exactly like the larger grills as it can easily blast up to 700 degrees of heat, to a low of 200 degrees and being able to maintain between the two. Along with this, there are vents located at the top and bottom of the grill and an ashtray which makes it super easy to clean after cooking. It does need to be unscrewed though.

Overall, it's a highly affordable grill with commendable performance, small size and with all the features that you commonly look for in a larger grill.

Pros

  • Super lightweight body makes it very easy to carry and move around
  • Easy to clean because of a removable ashtray
  • Strong body with triple-walled steel

Cons

  • The cooking surface is small
  • More prone to rusting 

4. ​Pit Boss Ceramic BBQ Grill

A good grill with appealing appearance, stylish design and modern features to meet your cooking requirements

Quick Summary

  • An ideal option for those who are conscious about the beauty of their kitchen appliances
  • 158 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $$$

The next on our list is the boss itself, the Pit Boss Ceramic BBQ Grill, which is entirely made out of ceramics and has one of the most appealing appearances as a Kamado grill.

Heat-resistant outer shells: due to its ceramic body, its outer shells are super heat-resistant so you don't need to worry about getting burned up in case of an accidental touch. The grill also utilizes its charcoal consumption and uses much less than its rivals of the same size and price.

Enormous cooking surface area: the Pit Boss has an absolutely massive cooking area of 567 sq inches. You can comfortably cook for large parties and all your family in a single instance. Its grates are made out of high quality cast iron while there are wooden side-shelves where you can keep your cooking accessories while the BBQ session is under progress. They can be folded when not in use and their hinges are made out of stainless steel so durability is not at all an issue.

Easy to move around: the grill also comes with a stand that is convenient and easy to move around. The overall weight of this grill is a precise 178 pounds, making it quiet a heavy addition in our list. However, considering that you don't need to lift it up since it has a moving stand, we believe it's worth every penny.

Pros

  • Made entirely out of ceramics, so completely resistant to rust
  • Enormous cooking space allows you to cook for many at once
  • Has a non-sticking titanium coasting and ceramic grilling surface

Cons

  • Very heavy to handle
  • Not the best quality in comparison with its rivals of similar price

5. Char-Broil Kamander Kamado-Style Charcoal Grill

A sturdy grill with versatile features and a unique version of the standard Kamado grills 

Quick Summary

  • Ideal for those who want a Kamado grill but a modernized version of it
  • 327 sq in cooking surface
  • Price: $$

The Char-Broil Kamander is a modern version of the Kamado-style cooking grill. Though it is considered as a best Kamado grill, it is neither made out of steel nor ceramic. But rather, it is a completely metal-made grill which makes it one of the most affordable grills in its own category.

Allows multi-tasking with a warming rack: its primary cooking surface is of 327 sq inches while it also has an additional warming rack with an area of 113 sq inches. These two can be used together for multi-tasking in any way you want. The latter is most popularly utilized for steaming and boiling purposes.

Insulated body with good temperature control system: the entire grill is insulated with dual layers of metal, it has porcelain-coated body with number of vents located on its top to assist in temperature control. The Kamander also has a foldable metallic side-table on its right side. It offers enough space for keeping essential cooking accessories such as sauces and spices.

Easy to move around and well-balanced: the Kamander is movable with a two leg stand and balanced with a blunt leg. The latter's purpose is to ensure stability on the surface while standing.

Pros

  • Made entirely out of metal with modern features
  • Sturdy build with porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
  • Easy to move around with convenient stand and a blunt leg to keep it stable and balanced

Cons

  • There is only a single shelf for keeping cooking accessories

Brief Background of Kamado Grills

Ceramic barbecue grills/smokers, sometimes referred to as "kamado" grills have gained great popularity over the past decade in both the competition and backyard-enthusiast communities. For the uninitiated, the ceramic grills sold today are based on designs that have been around for centuries.

Many cultures around the world have employed clay cooking vessels that are similar in shape to today’s ceramic smokers. One such cooker, the mushikamado, used by the Japanese as a rice steamer, was the impetus for the grills used by thousands of modern cooks for traditional barbecue, grilling for parties, and everyday meals.

The kamado began to appear in the United States after World War II when servicemen returning from the South Pacific recognized their usefulness in American cooking. Today, there are upwards of ten companies that produce a kamado (or variants), and many design and engineering improvements have been made to the original clay vessel.

Why Choose A Kamado Grill?

For anyone who has tended a fire for hours on-end, or even overnight, to prepare traditional barbecue, smokers are a different experience with similar results. The efficiency of fuel usage, the consistency of fire control, and the flexibility of the types of foods one can cook, and cook well, make the ceramic smoker a popular choice.

A low-and-slow fire for cooking a pork shoulder can be maintained for well over 20 hours using only a couple pounds of lump charcoal. On the other end of the cooking spectrum, a searing fire of 500-plus degrees can be achieved safely for a perfect steak. A competition cook can win a national barbecue contest, and a single backyard cook can feed his or her family or the entire neighborhood with a kamado grill.

Why Are They So Expensive?

For many who have experience with commercial metal charcoal grills or the gas grills available at any home improvement center, the price tag for a Kamado grill might be a shocker. Most of them are priced between 500 and 1000 dollars, depending on the company and the size of the smoker. The quality of the grill, and more importantly, the lifetime warranty that most of these carry, render the grill an excellent investment. If the versatility of the smoker is ignored, simply replacing components (or sometimes replacing the whole unit) when gas grills are considered, Kamado grills will easily save money over a period of several years.

What About The Safety?

This is a common concern when looking for a grill that’s right for you and your family, and the ceramic grill has it all covered. Unlike a larger wood-burning barbecue smoker, the fire is small and contained. Also, the ceramic material does not conduct heat as well as metal, and therefore the surface of the smoker is not as hot to the touch. While ceramic smokers could burn your skin under the right conditions, an accidental touch usually will not cause injury. In addition, unlike the gas grill, there is no chance of a gas leak in a ceramic grill.

Whether your intentions lie in the utility of an occasional excellent meal, or if you are or want to become an "an outdoor cooking hobbyist," Kamado grills are certainly worth a look. With a design that’s existed for centuries, its efficiency and versatility, and its safety factors, these grills are absolutely worth a try.

Summing Up What You Learned

In this guide, we have looked at the five most popular Kamado grills, ranging from the best smokers, the most affordable ones to the modernized versions of Kamado cooking-style.

All the mentioned grills are good in their own way and the right selection depends on the preferences of the buyer. It is no doubt though that Kamado Joe Classic II is difficult, if not impossible, to beat by any of its rivals. The combination of features, style, design, efficiency, performance and what not; it is unparalleled in everything.

The primary objective of this post was to making the decision process easy for you. We are sure you will be able to find what you need to make your next BBQ session a memorable and exquisite one.

Happy grilling!

Our Top Pick Again

1. ​Kamado Joe Classic II

The King of All Kamado Grills

Unparalleled with performance, durability and strength, this is an excellent grill with top-notch features, and lifetime warranty


About the Author Albert Thompson

Albert hails from Kentucky where grilling is a lifestyle. He brings with him his years of experience in the cooking sector and the product sector, but dont let that fool you, he practices what he preaches and enjoys a big rack of ribs every weekend.

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