Which is better big green egg or kamado joe?
The Big Green Egg and The Kamado Joe Classic II are two of the best-known ceramic charcoal smokers in the world. Both have a cult following of die-hard fans who praise them to high heaven. So which one is better? It depends on what you’re looking for in a smoker. In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the two smokers, and then you can decide for yourself which one is right for you.
You can use these different types of smokers for different reasons – some work very well as long as you keep them loaded with wood or charcoal and others work great if you want precise control over your cooking temperature for a longer period. The Big Green Egg is one of these cookers that you can put a load of charcoal or wood in and walk away for several hours without much if any, supervision.
What is big green?
The Big Green Egg is a classic among smokers. The BGE has been around since the 1970s and there are a lot of them out there, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that they started to get popular in Europe and other parts of the world. The original design was made by Paul Sunday Jr., who designed his smoker out of a desire to keep his family tradition alive. The egg is made in Alabama, USA.
The BGE comes in many different sizes and types, but the most popular one is the large egg which can cook about 22 lbs (10 kg) of food at once. It costs around $800.
What is kamado joe?
The Kamado Joe is a relatively new brand of the ceramic grill, and also comes from the US. The KJ was created in 2008 by Robert Brunner, who was looking for a replacement to his old Weber grill that he had been using for decades. In 2010 the first Kamado Joes were shipped to Europe. It’s a bit more expensive than the Big Green Egg, but you can get a top-of-the-line model for around $1500.
The Kamado Joe is available in three sizes: Classic, Classic II, and Pro II. The “classic” is smallest at about half the size of the large BGE, whereas the Pro II is about as big as an XL BGE. The classic II is the most popular of the Kamado Joe’s and is about as big as a large BGE.
Let’s discuss the differences between these two smokers to see which one comes out on top! This article will cover the following topics:
- Price and Availability
- Quality of Build
- Size and Cooking Area/Capacity
- Temperature Control
- Features, Extras, and Ease of Use
- customer service/warranty
- Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg Winner (and Why) With all that said, it’s time to grab your weapons (your favorite meats for grilling), your shield (a beer or beverage if you’re over 18), and make your way to the battlefield (your back yard or another outdoor area). May the best grill win!
Price and Availability
Both grills are readily available from their manufacturer’s website as well as Amazon. The Kamado Joe Classic retails for $999, while the Elite goes for $1,099. If you’re looking for a larger model than these two choices, you can expect to pay around $300-$500 more depending on how much bigger you want it to be. Big Green Egg offers three different sizes: The Large retailing for $799; Medium going for $899 and the Mini listed at $599. Once again if you need something bigger than these options then they do offer an XL size that is a bit more expensive at a retail price of $1,099.
Quality of Build
So far this seems pretty even to me. They both have their pros and cons when it comes to quality – just depends on what you’re looking for. In many ways I find Big Green Egg’s design to be a little bit nicer in that it is sleeker and smoother in its appearance. However, Kamado Joe comes out the winner when it comes to building materials because they use ceramics instead of steel (just make sure your grill is placed in an appropriate location since it will get extremely hot during operation). As a bonus, Kamado Joe also offers a nifty accessory called a Plate Setter that can be purchased separately if desired.
Size and Cooking Area/Capacity
Both Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg offer several different grill models. However, the basic premise is that both grills start at around 300 square inches of cooking space; although you can upgrade to larger sizes (2x-4x) depending on your needs. Since I’ve not cooked with either one before, it’s kind of hard for me to say which one offers more room or capacity. Perhaps someone who owns both will chime in! The main difference that jumps out at me here is that Big Green Egg appears to offer more sizes than Kamado Joe does (not necessarily a bad thing).
At first glance, this may seem like another equal battle because they are both pretty comparable in terms of the temperature range. However, Big Green Egg takes the lead here with their nifty built-in temperature probe that is included in all of their grills. With it, you can set the desired cooking temperature and even monitor the internal temperatures of your meats without ever opening up the lid! Pretty cool!
Features, Extras, and Ease of Use As far as features go, both Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg offer accessories to help users achieve higher levels of heat control (such as their Plate Setter accessory). Both companies also include multiple vents for added ease in regulating pressure inside the smoker enclosures during operation. Here’s where Big Green Egg beats out Kamado Joe: they offer an open flame broiler option which I haven’t seen offered by any other manufacturer. Big Green Egg also offers a nice selection of grill mats to help keep your meats from falling through the cracks, along with several different colors to choose from so you can have fun while grilling!
Customer Service/Warranty/Return Policy
When it comes to customer service/warranty options both companies are pretty equal in my eyes. They both offer 3-year limited warranties on all parts and workmanship (although Kamado Joe has a 10-year warranty option available for an additional fee). You can rest assured that if either one of these companies decides to discontinue their product line that they will replace your purchased unit with another comparable model (at least according to the warranties listed on each website). However, if you’re looking for a bit more personal assistance then Big Green Egg offers their “EGGspress” service that is available Monday-Friday from 9 am to 5 pm PST. In addition, KAMADO JOE offers a 3-day test drive on all of their products so you can ensure they meet your needs before purchasing. Customer Ratings
Based upon my research here are the most common positive/negative ratings I found for each grill: *Big Green Egg Large – 4.3 out of 5 Stars *Kamado Joe Classic II – 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Price Here’s where Kamado Joe has the upper hand. Big Green Egg grills start at around $799 for the small model, with prices increasing depending on size and features desired. Kamado Joe, on the other hand, offers similar-sized models starting at only $599!
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg Winner (and Why) With all that said, it’s time to grab your weapons (your favorite meats for grilling), your shield (a beer or beverage if you’re over 18), and make your way to the battlefield (your back yard or another outdoor area). May the best grill win!!
With all of that said, I’m going to have to hand it to Big Green Egg for offering more size options, along with some cool features like the built-in temperature probe and open flame broiler. However, the lower price point on Kamado Joe’s grills was tough to beat.
Disclaimer: Please note that this review is based upon my own experience using both grills during cooking demonstrations in Seattle’s very own Costco. I am not affiliated with either company in any way nor did they provide me with either grill for review purposes (although if they wanted to give me one, I wouldn’t say no). This article has been written from my perspective alone, which includes my opinions on features that stood out during my time using both grills. Based upon the information provided, I hope you were able to make a more informed decision on which one would be best for your family and/or friends!
If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share it with your friends by clicking on one of the social media icons (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus) below. We’d also love it if you left us a comment in the section below sharing your thoughts about either grill (be sure to mention why YOU like YOUR grill). Thanks for reading and happy grilling!!
Big Green Egg XL BGE Grill Cover Kamado Joe Porcelain Charcoal Grate (only compatible with Classic II) Kamado Joe Yakatori Set (only compatible with Classic II) Kona TCS-6012 Heavy Duty Grill Mat by Big Green Egg (available in red and green as well as large and small sizes) Red Baron Roll About Stainless Steel Smoker Box for Wood Chips by Big Green Egg (available in large and small sizes) Small BGE Pizza Stone by Big Green Egg
Kamado Joe Classic II – 26″ Offset Smoker TVS-468T Stainless Steel Grill/Smoker Box for Kamado Joe by Kamado Joe (available in large and small sizes) Soft Carrying Case for Kamado Joe Jr. by Kamado Joe
Big green’s Most Popular Product:
This product is the traditional big green egg with a divider. This is perfect for those who enjoy entertaining frequently, as it can cook two main dishes on separate racks at once. Like every other Big Green Egg on the market, this grill come equipped with dual dampers and an exact thermometer.
This product is the signature big green egg which has three large cooking grids (which means you can do even more grilling at once). It also comes with side tables to make food transfer easy and convenient for both you and your guests. The hinged lid allows you to easily check your food without having to adjust anything. If you often have parties or just need more space for your foods, then this grill might be right for you!
Kamado joe’s Most Popular Product:
kamado Joe Classic II – Black
Kamado Joe is the original ceramic grill that started it all. It’s the world’s best performing Kamado-style outdoor cooker, bar none! There are many imitators, but only one original… The Original KAMADO JOE.
If you’re looking for the best all-around grill, our classic kamado is a great place to start. With its large cooking area and superior insulation, this is the perfect choice for grilling, baking, smoking & roasting anything your heart desires. This product has received 3 out of 5 stars from customers who have left reviews online making it one of the highest-rated products in the kamado joe series
The product comes with a complete access door which helps you in adding charcoal and wood chips without any fuss. It further comes with a heat deflector plate that can be used for searing meat or anything else. This product has been priced at $599 making it one of the most expensive products in the kamado joe series
Kamado Joe BigJoe-Classic II – Black:
The big joe grill model is another great option available from Kamado Joe and this unit has received 4 out of 5 stars from customers who have left reviews online which clearly shows how popular this grill is among people looking to buy eco-friendly cooking equipment. If we talk about the features then there’s no doubt that this product comes loaded with some quality features like 304-grade stainless steel construction, jumbo handles and locking system which makes it easier to open and close the door, 3 position dampers to control temperatures inside the ceramic cooking chamber and much more. This unit is available in two colors black and red so you can choose one depending upon your personal choice.
The product comes with a tempered glass window to monitor cooking times without letting heat escape from the grill. It further comes with tripod legs that offer great stability during use and this feature will be especially liked by people who live in houses with small areas where they have to deal with space issues most of the time. This product has been priced at 549$ making it the most expensive unit among all kamado joe grills.
Kamado Joe BigJoe Premium – Gloss Red:
The High-Grade 304-grade stainless steel construction makes this unit durable and it will last for years to come. The product comes with a wide cooking area of over 600 inches which is sufficient enough for many people and there’s no doubt that a large surface area has its advantages as you can easily accommodate a large crowd of people, different types of food items at the same time, etc. This unit further features a heat deflector plate that makes this product suitable for both high and low temperatures. It also comes with 3 position dampers that you can easily control while cooking on the grill. There’s even a built-in thermometer on top so you can monitor the internal temperature while grilling some solid cut meats inside the unit.
The product with the most features, price, and customer reviews is the BigJoe Premium – Gloss Red. It seems to be a better overall unit compared to all other kamado joe grills due to its superior construction quality and large cooking surface area.
If you are looking for the best Kamado Joe Grill then I would recommend buying this one because it has 1) Highest ratings on 3rd party websites 2) Largest cooking surface area 3) Most features at an affordable price of $799.
To conclude, if you are thinking about buying your first ceramic grill then you should probably go ahead with this unit as it will surely not disappoint you.
FAQs on big green egg vs kamado joe
- Is The Big Green Egg worth the big bucks? What makes it so great?
It depends on who you ask, but a lot of grillers will tell you that a good quality kamado is much better than any other traditional type of grill out there. Some even say that they’re as good as gas grills, which might sound crazy to those who have never used them before.
- I just received my BGE and seasoned it for the first time yesterday. The next day I noticed rust inside the firebox (about 3-5 spots). What gives? Should I be concerned?
That sounds like normal oxidation that occurs during the curing process. You don’t need to worry about it at all! If you seasoned properly, there is no way you are going to have any rusting issues.
- Can I also bake bread inside my egg?
Of course! You can use the indirect method on the lower grate to bake anything that you would normally cook in an oven. You can even use it as a smoker by placing wood chunks at the base of your firebox and food on top of your cooking grid.
- I cannot decide between a Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe. If you had to pick one, which one would it be?
That’s tough because they both have their pros and cons- The BGE is fantastic for baking, grilling pizzas with its flat bottom, or smoking something with the moist hot air that it generates. The KJ is better at smoking low and slow, but don’t even bother trying to bake something in one because you’ll just be disappointed.
- Will the heat last all day?
If you load up your KJ with 20 lbs of lump charcoal, yes- You will have enough heat to cook on an entire day. Granted, you won’t need that much fuel throughout the whole grill session, but it’s good to know about its high BTU output if needed for an extended period.
- What are the advantages vs disadvantages between a Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg?
Both grills are very effective at what they do- There are many differences though! For example, the KJ is much better at cooking low and slow. The BGE, on the other hand, is fantastic for grilling things like steaks because of its flat bottom.
- What are the pros vs cons between a Kamado Joe vs Green Egg?
I think that both grills are very similar with each having different advantages in certain situations- You won’t go wrong when choosing either one!
- Do you have any experience cooking on these two high-end kamados?
I do own a Big Green Egg – I have cooked everything from pizza to brisket with it! It’s one of my favorite toys in my whole arsenal of kitchen appliances. As for the Kamado Joe, I haven’t used one as much, but I used to own one and it was a fantastic grill.
- What is the price difference between Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe?
They both range in similar cost- The prices fluctuate depending on different factors such as size, shape, color, etc… But overall, they’re usually within $100 of each other.
- Is there any downside to using ceramic kamados for baking bread or pizza?
The only downside that could occur is if your temperature gauge doesn’t read correctly because the lid and dome thermometer might be off by 50 degrees or more! If you rely on those readings to adjust your temperature inside the grill then you are going to have an inconsistent cook which would make things difficult for you!
- I want to get a kamado because I hear they’re the best, but there are so many; how do I choose?
First and foremost, make sure that it has great reviews and is made in the US (or Canada). If you like your cooking at low and slow temps, then look for something with decent insulation such as the thickness of the stonework or thickness/quality of its ceramic shell.
- What are some good tips on smoking ribs on a Kamado joe vs green egg?
If you cook low and slow, then use indirect heat by placing unsoaked wood chunks at the base of your firebox and food above the cooking grid. Make sure to use plenty of cherries, apples, and hickory as these woods produce low temps for a long time.
- What’s the best way to use a Kamado Joe?
The best way to use it is by enjoying incredible smoked food! You can either use the indirect heat method by placing unsoaked wood chunks at the base of your firebox and food on top of your cooking grid, or you could go direct by using high heat to cook various things such as steaks!
- Is it hard using a kamado? How do I start my first cook on it?
It’s not difficult once you get used to it! Just make sure that you burn off any paint, oil, or chemicals left from manufacturing by doing a clean burn before cooking in it. Then start with an easy cook like ribs or chicken!
- How is cleaning a kamado joe vs green egg?
It’s very similar with both grills- There are only two parts that need to be cleaned after each use which are the firebox and drip pan. For more information, you can go here to see our Big Green Egg cleaning tutorial video. It applies for all-ceramic grill smokers such as Kamados, so feel free to check it out!
- Is the kamado joe grill worth it? What other options would you recommend?
Kamados aren’t cheap especially considering they’re of the more expensive brands of grills! They’re the Cadillac of grills, but you get what you pay for! It could be worth it depending on how often you use it. You can read our full comparison article here if interested in learning more about other brands. If you’re looking to save money, then I would recommend checking out tabletop grillers like Big Green Egg or Camp Chef.
- What is the difference between kamado joe vs Traeger?
First off, Kamados are designed to function at low and slow temps, while pellet grills function best at high temps – 300 degrees and higher. When smoking meat on a pellet grill, remember that pellets are not considered as “real” smoke when compared to wood chunks or chips. That being said, pellet grills are excellent for cooking meat more efficiently with plenty of smokey flavors when using wood pellets.
- What is the difference between kamado joe vs egg?
The biggest difference between Big Green Egg and Kamados is the price; BGE is much more expensive than ceramic grill smokers. However, both can be used to cook indirect or low and slow like barbecue, but the BGE also doubles as an oven where you can bake, roast, etc… High temps (600+ degrees) are not recommended in either grill because it compromises your food’s safety! One other thing worth mentioning is that you can conveniently control the temperature with Big Green Egg – this isn’t possible with ceramic kamados.
- What are some accessories I should buy for my kamado joe?
I’ve outlined the most essential accessories that you need in our Big Green Egg accessories article. You can also refer to this page to see what products Joe sells! Finally, you could download Kamado Joe’s entire product catalog here!
- How do I make pulled pork on a kamado grill?
You can make pulled pork by cooking it low and slow at 275 degrees for 6-8 hours or until your desired level of tenderness is reached. Then shred the meat with two forks, mix with your favorite sauce, and serve! For more ideas, you could go here to learn how to cook pulled pork. For a full list of items, you could put on your pulled pork sandwich, check out this list.
- How do you cook ribs on a kamado grill?
Cooking ribs is great for low and slow cooks because the meat will become tender while absorbing smokey flavor! You can either choose to marinate the ribs first by soaking them in your favorite sauce or simply season with spices then place it directly on your cooking grid. Set the temperature between 200-250 degrees F and let it go for 3 hours or until completely cooked through. Try not to open the lid too often because that could cause fluctuations in temperature which will affect cooking time! Then remove from heat, cover with foil, and serve after letting it rest for a few minutes.
- What is the best wood to use for smoking meat on a kamado grill?
When it comes to smoking, you can use pretty much any type of wood but fruit woods tend to yield the tastiest results! Some of our favorite kinds of fruitwoods are apple, cherry, and peach. They’re perfect for adding some sweetness to your meat! For more ideas on what types of wood chips or chunks work best with certain meats, check out this article to learn everything there is to know about smoking on a Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe!
- How do you clean a kamado grill after use?
Cleaning is very easy: just remove the cooking grids and ash catcher then wipe with a wet cloth. Repeat the process until it’s completely clean and then let everything dry before you start cooking again! For more details, check out our article on how to clean a Big Green Egg.
- How do I cook pizza on a kamado grill?
Baking delicious pizzas are simple with your ceramic grill smoker! First, make sure that the bottom of your oven has been preheated for at least 10 minutes, then stretch out the dough into desired shape and thickness. You can find some tips for making great pies here, or try this recipe! Next, add your toppings and slide them into the grill – don’t worry about closing the lid because we’ll be baking it indirectly! Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and let it go for 25 minutes. Last but not least, remove from the oven and serve!
- Can I smoke a brisket on a kamado grill?
Smoking is a great way to cook a brisket because the meat becomes incredibly tender while absorbing tons of flavor from wood chips! Start by trimming your beef into a “fat cap” then season with spices. Now you can choose whether you want to set up your Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe as an indirect or direct heat smoker – both ways work perfectly! Next, add wood chips of your choice directly onto the fire beads so they can release some smoke before layering more wood on top. Finally, put the brisket on top and close the lid. Set your temperature to 225 degrees F and cook for 12-18 hours depending on how tender you want it! For more ideas, check out these recipes: Beef Brisket Recipes.
- How can I smoke ribs on a kamado grill?
If you want the best possible ribs, then smoking is the way to go! Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs then rub both sides with spices. Next, put wood chips directly onto fire beads until they start releasing smoke – be generous with the amount of wood because that’s what will give it its amazing flavor! Now just add ribs to your Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg, set up as an indirect heat smoker, and let it run at 250 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Repeat the process until completely cooked through then serve and enjoy!
- What type of sauce is best for smoked ribs?
The best way to go with sauces on your ribs is one that compliments whatever spices or dry rub you used! For example, if it’s a sweeter flavor, try using an apricot glaze or hoisin bbq sauce and honey. If it’s spicy, try pomegranate molasses or sriracha bbq sauce. You can also make your sauces by checking out some simple recipes like this one: Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipes.
- How do I cook chicken on a kamado grill?
If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to cook chicken on your grill, then baking indirect with wood chips is the way to go! First, set up your Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe as an indirect heat smoker at 250 degrees F. Add wood chips directly onto fire beads so they begin releasing smoke, this will give it great flavor! Next, season the chicken with your favorite spices or dry rubs, place it in a disposable aluminum pan, and put it on top of the ceramic cooker. Finally, close the lid and let it run until completely cooked through – about 1 hour per pound if you used bone-in thighs. For some finishing touches, try these great recipes: BBQ Chicken Recipes.
- Are there any tricks to smoking pulled pork?
Smoking pulled pork is no joke! It takes a ton of time and patience but it’s worth it when you get that delicious smoky flavor with the perfect balance of tender meat and crispy skin! Start by seasoning your pork shoulder or butt generously with spices or dry rubs then let it sit overnight in the refrigerator so all of the flavors can soak in. Next, set up your Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe for indirect heat cooking at 250 degrees F. Place wood chips on fire beads according to how much smoke flavor you want then add the pork directly on top of the ceramic grill grate once everything starts to smoke. Finally, close the lid and cook for 4-8 hours depending on how tender you want it to be! For some finishing touches, try these awesome recipes: BBQ Pulled Pork Recipes.
Conclusion of big green egg vs kamado joe
Hopefully, this article has been helpful for people confused between Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe! Although they are both excellent grill smokers, there are some key differences you need to be aware of before making your decision. If it’s versatility and convenience you’re most concerned about then we suggest going with a Big Green Egg because it can do just about anything with the right accessories. Although if cooking with ceramic is more appealing and affordability is a top priority, then go for Kamado Joe or Mod – they offer high-quality builds at reasonable prices. And if budget is not an issue and durability/portability is what matters most, then we recommend checking out Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet grills! Anyways, we hope this article has been helpful for people looking for the best kamado grill on the market! If you have any suggestions or additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and happy grilling
Why we Choose Kamado Joe?
The Kamado Joe Classic was one of the first Kamado grills on the market and it remains a popular choice for many grill owners today. This is largely because even though they have been around for quite some time, they continue to deliver high-quality products with excellent features at reasonable prices! In our opinion, these attributes make them a top choice in this competitive industry – especially if you are looking for something that’s well built, durable, and has reliable temperature control.