Having a barbecue cookout is one of the best things you can do to bond with your friends and family. And if you're anything like me, then you know there's nothing that beats the traditional way of grilling. For this, I find myself incredibly drawn to Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg grills.
However, I couldn't get both grills, so I had to choose the better grill for me of the two. But before testing both grills, it was tough to choose; as such, I've made life easier for you if you ever need to pick one over the other. In this article, we will be comparing the Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg.
Kamado grills (the grill I chose) are well known and are very popular in today's market. They produce some of the most versatile grills which can cook just about anything.
The Kamado grills have been around for a long time but came into the limelight after the Vietnam War. Back then, veterans brought it home, and it has been very popular to date. They are known for their distinctive egg-shaped grills. You will find that these grills are incredibly durable and easy to use, although they can be quite heavy.
This article will hopefully help you choose the best among these two amazing grills, which are the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg. If you're interested in other brands, feel free to check out all our reviews here.
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg Comparison
The Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg are some of the well-known grills from Kamado. They are one of the best traditional grills you will find to buy anywhere in the market. They both have several similar features, but you will also find a few differences between them. They have an almost identical build quality that makes it hard to distinguish and choose between the two. But after we're done with the comparison, you'll quickly be able to tell which one is better for you!
Overview of Kamado Joe
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Kamado Joe is one of my favorite grills. It comes with a ceramic plate inside with two stainless steel cooking grates. These grates can be adjusted to cook different types of food at a time. The air vent lid on the Kamado grill is made with aluminum, which prevents rust. So you can rest assured that this grill is exceptionally durable and will last you a long time.
It also comes packed with tons of features that users like myself love, such as a thermometer mounted on the hood of the grill.
The main downfall I found is that it is a little expensive, but it does offer all the necessary parts like the stand and the foldable tables, which make it very convenient to use.
You will love this grill since there are so many things to like about it. There are not a lot of bad things I can say about this grill except for its weight and a few other little things.
Overview of Big Green Egg
The Big Green Egg is made from the same ceramic plates and stainless steel grates. However, the Big Green Egg features a cast iron air vent that can develop rust over time if it's left uncovered outdoors. This grill has large wheels, which makes it easy to get over bumps. It also features a thermometer mounted on the hood like the Kamado Joe.
Overall, the Big Green Egg has a fantastic build and durability, which will serve you quite some time. Moreover, with one of their grills, you can make delicious food with accurate temperature using their thermometer. You will, however, have to buy all the accessories separately.
Now let's compare them feature by feature:
The Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg have an amazing build quality. It is made with a very durable steel body outside and a ceramic grill inside. The cooking grates are made with stainless steel.
Even though these grills are durable enough, you will still have to take good care of them. If you handle them roughly, the ceramic inside can easily crack.
Due to the heavy-duty materials used on this grill and its large size, they can be extremely heavy. It is not an easy task to move them around, even for two people.
The construction of both the grills differs in more ways than one. So to let you get a clearer picture, I'll break it down by each part:
The Wheels on the Big Green Egg are larger than the ones on the Kamado Joe. The larger wheels will make it easy to roll over larger bumps. But you will find that the wheel lock provided on the Joe is made of metal whereas it is plastic on the Big Green Egg. So we can say that the locks on the Joe are much more durable.
The Kamado Joe has a better seal compared to the Big Green Egg. It has a fiberglass seal, and the lid aligns with the body perfectly. On the other hand, the seal on the Big Green Egg is made of felt. Moreover, the alignment of the lid and the body is a little off by a quarter inch.
The Kamado Joe comes with a fully custom-made stand when you buy the grill. However, when you purchase the Big Green Egg, you will have to buy the stand separately.
Shelves and handle
The shelves and the handles on the Big Green Egg have a better aesthetic and feel more natural since they look and feel like wood, whereas the Kamado Joe's handle does not look as premium as the Big Green Egg. I've also found plastic stands up to the elements like rain and termites longer than wood.
The metal bands wrapped around the body of the grills are much thicker and wider in the Joe. Whereas, they are skinny on the Big Green Egg, which leaves a small gap.
The Kamado Joe grills come with an air vent at the top, which plays a vital role. It helps in controlling the temperature inside the grill and is properly sealed. This vent serves an additional purpose of stopping the fire inside the grill once it is sealed completely.
With the Big Green Egg, you get a lid that is made of cast-iron, which can rust when exposed to the rain. It's seal also slides around once you open the cover of the grill.
So all in all, the air vent on the Joe is much more durable as it is made of aluminum, and it will not rust. It also does not slide around when you open it.
The thermometer on both the grills does an excellent job. But on the aesthetics point of view, the Kamado Joe has a better-looking thermometer, which is also easier to read since it is larger.
I would say that the hinge mechanism is where you will love the Kamado Joe over the Big Green Egg. In the Joe, when you open the lid halfway and let it go, it just retains that same position and stays there. However, on the Big Green Egg, once you let go midway, it will slam down quite hard.
The Kamado Joe has a dual rack system that is split in the middle. You can arrange the height of the racks to cook different types of food. While on the Big Green Egg, you will find a single standard rack which you can adjust by adjusting the ceramic plates.
Ease of cleaning
When it comes to cleaning, the Kamado Joe is much easier since they come with a steel ashtray at the bottom of the grill. Once you are done cooking, you can simply remove the tray and empty it. But in the Big Green Egg, you will have to use an ash rake to remove the ash manually.
Pros of Big Green Egg
Cons of Big Green Egg
What are the main differences between Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg?
The main differences between the Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg are found in the build and construction of the grills. The air vent on the Joe is much more durable since it is made of aluminum. The hinge mechanism is also much better on the Kamado Joe.
There is also a difference between the wheels of the two products where Big Green Egg has a much larger wheel compared to Joe. The presence of ashtray in Joe is also one of the main differences between the two products.
There is no doubt that both the grills are amazing. You can just go and buy any one of the two products without a second thought. However, if I had to recommend one over the other to you, it would be the Kamado Joe Grill. Although it is slightly more expensive than the Big Green Egg, it does come with all the accessories and has a fantastic build.
What makes Kamado Joe grills different from other kamado style grills?
From personal observation, Kamado Joe grills are unique due to features like the air lift hinge, stainless steel charcoal basket and the conquer flexible cooking system. This design offers an impressive blend of versatility and performance.
Yes, definitely! The stainless steel charcoal basket in a Kamado Joe grill has made indirect cooking easier for me. It provides better temperature control and even heat distribution.
How does the Big Green Egg compare to other kamado grills?
From my experience, the Big Green Egg is a high-quality kamado grill but it lacks some features that other kamado style grills have. It’s comparable in terms of heat retention and versatility, but falls short on add-on features like those found on the Kamado Joe Classic III.
Could you explain what makes the green egg stand out amongst other big green egg grills?
The Green Egg stands out due to its unique design and efficient cooking system. Its iconic green color is certainly eye-catching but it’s really its performance that sets it apart from other big green egg grills.
What are some essential accessories for a Kamado Joe Grill?
Some must-have Kamado Joe accessories include a stainless steel charcoal basket for better fuel efficiency, as well as tools that enhance indirect cooking. The conquer flexible cooking system also adds great value to your barbecuing experience!
Can you talk about Bobby Brennan’s influence on Kamado Joe Grills feature designs?
Bobby Brennan is one of those behind-the-scenes masterminds at Kamado Joe whose relentless focus on innovation leads to groundbreaking features. His vision has helped shape today’s advanced designs seen in their latest models like the Kamado Joe Classic III.
How does indirect cooking work with kamado joe grills?
Indirect cooking with kamado joe grills works by creating different heat zones within your grill using accessories like dividers or heat deflectors allowing simultaneous direct and indirect heating which provides versatility in preparation methods.
How would you compare big green vs. kamodo joe in terms of flexibility?
Comparatively speaking based on personal use, while both Big Green Egg and Kamodo Joe offer excellent performance, I find that the latter offers more flexibility through its Conquer Flexible Cooking System which allows for varied setup configurations depending upon what I am preparing.