The best Kamado grills are famous as they can prepare phenomenal food. Whether you want to grill a brisket or pizza, once you put it together on the Kamado, there is no turning back.
Kamado is Japanese for ‘stove,’ and that’s where the grill originated. It is an all-purpose griller; remarkably adaptable to all your outdoor cooking needs. Kamado grills deliver great-tasting food, are straight-forward to use, and even easier to clean up.
No more running to fancy restaurants for that overpriced piece of steak! Now you can whip up your own in the comfort of your home with the best kamado grill (reviews by Consumer Reports).
Click to jump straight to each topic
- What is a Kamado Grill?
- The 5 Best Kamado Grills for 2021
- Pros and Cons of Kamado Grills
- How Kamado Grills Work
- How to Use a Kamado Grill
What is a Kamado Grill?
Are you looking forward to roasting your next meal over an impossibly slow heat? This is what makes a Kamado grill famous.
The kamados date back to over 3000 years, slowly gaining popularity amongst barbeque lovers. For the longest time, the Big Green Egg had a monopoly in the market, but now many grill makers have brought out their own versions of the Kamado.
Keeping the distinct feature intact, its egg-shaped design, new kamado grills have several advanced features to make your experience even more convenient.
The ceramic body traps maximum heat and moisture inside, grilling the food without drying it up. No one likes an overly dry piece of meat, do you?
If you’re looking to slow cook for extended hours or searing a steak on high flame, the Kamado will not let you down. Owing to its efficient design, the griller can whip up mouth-watering burgers and steaks.
The 5 Best Kamado Grills for 2021
With so many options available in the market, it can’t be easy to make a choice. Let’s see what the best kamado grills for 2021 have to offer and which one best suits your needs.
1. Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal Grill
Kamado Joe was founded in 2009, and since then, it has continued to awe consumers with its state-of-the-art ceramic grills. It is truly one of the best grillers available. But what makes it top of the line? Let’s see how it has managed to win so many hearts.
The Kamado Joe Classic is engineered to perfection using conventional high-fired ceramic. The grill is manufactured using the age-old concept, coupled with contemporary materials and a dynamic design.
As a result, it provides a delightful cooking experience and mouth-watering food.
Crafted out of premium ceramic, the griller can lock in full smoke and heat. The barbequed food melts in the mouth, cooked to perfection. The outside of the grill, made out of porcelain, remains cool to touch regardless of the searing temperature inside. No more blisters!
One of the most prominent features of the Kamado Joe Classic is the unique airlift hinge.
Typically the cover of the Kamado grills is heavy to lift due to the material’s weight. But with the Classic Joe, you can lift the lid with the flick of your finger, and it will stay where you leave it.
Another revolutionary element of the Joe Classic is the fire mesh gasket. The gasket, made out of fiberglass, helps seal the Kamado efficiently to trap moisture and heat. Thanks to the high-grade materials, you won’t have to worry about replacing the seal anytime soon.
While most kamados are crafted out of a single-piece firebox, the Classic Joe features an unsurpassed multi-panel firebox.
The ceramic pieces have enough space to expand and contract depending on the heat. Thus, they eliminate the chance of cracked fireboxes leading to repeated repairs.
- All necessary accessories included
- Stainless steel latch
- Inbuilt thermometer
- Lifetime warranty on ceramic
- Very heavy to move
- It takes more time to cool down
2. Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill
Char-griller is famous for its premium quality grills and pocket-friendly prices. They pride themselves on their mission to make excellent quality available within everyone’s reach.
The Akorn Kamado Charcoal grill is crafted out of solid twenty-two gauge steel and can retain temperatures as high as 700 degrees. Ideal for slow and high cooking alike, the Akorn Kamado cooks food to perfection.
Compared to the massive ceramic charcoal grills, the Akorn Kamado only weighs 90 pounds. The large eight-inch front wheels mean you can quickly move your grill without hurting your back.
Owing to the triple-insulated body, you can cook your food without having to worry about fluctuating internal temperatures. The top and side air vents are vaguely simple to operate, so you can effortlessly change the airflow depending on your requirement.
The Akorn Kamado is a consumer favorite, thanks to easy cleanup. No one has the energy for tiring cleanups after a hearty meal. With the Akorn kamado charcoal grill, cleanup is a breeze.
Just slide out the ashtray and empty the contents. Occasionally season the cast-iron grates with oil, and you are good to go.
Equipped with foldable shelves and a bonus warming tray, you don’t have to spend extra on accessories.
- Pocket friendly
- Triple walled
- Easy cleanup
- Includes accessories
- The steel body can rust
- Practice required to manage temperatures
3. VISION Grills Ceramic Kamado
Vision Grills are not only famous for their premium ceramic kamado grills but also credible warranties and efficient after-sales service. They provide a lifelong guarantee for ceramic parts and a five-year warranty for all metal parts.
Even though the Kamado is based on the contemporary concept, this ceramic grill has many futuristic elements. With an integrated thermometer, you never have to come back to burnt food.
The Vision Grills Kamado elevates your cooking experience by simplifying the most tedious jobs. You can use an electric starter to light up the grill and efficiently manage the cooking temperature through the double-calibrated draft vents.
One of the main concerns when using a kamado grill is how much it can cook in one go.
With the Vision Grills Ceramic Kamado in large size, you will never have to worry about this again. It features a two-tiered stainless steel grate so that you can cook a significant amount simultaneously.
Thick ceramic walls prevent the outer shell from getting too hot, and the hinged lid makes it easy to lift the top cover without flexing your muscles.
The removable ashtray at the bottom makes cleanup convenient, and a large cover (already included in the box) ensures safety while not in use.
- The ceramic body can maintain high temperatures
- Convenient startup
- Uses less charcoal
- Prevents hot spots
- Heavier to move
- The ceramic body is easily breakable
4. Char-Griller E06614 Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller E06614 has made it to the best selling list because of its portability.
While most charcoal grills are impossible to move around, this grill weighs only 37 pounds.
Ideal for a camping trip with your buddies or a trip to the park with your family, this grill will become your next favorite travel partner. The design features two handles on the side, making it easy to lift the grill, whereas the small legs ensure stability.
Crafted out of ceramic and triple insulated with high-grade steel, this grill is truly a steal. If you are new to charcoal grilling and would like to start with a smaller version packed with all the great features, look no further.
Owing to its superior construction, the temperature variation is supreme. It can maintain temperatures ranging from 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit with ease. The top and bottom air vents conveniently manage the airflow according to your requirement.
You will achieve efficient fuel consumption, thereby decreasing the cost of charcoal and helping the planet stay eco-friendly.
- Highly portable
- Easy to clean
- Small grilling area
- Not very durable
5. Broil King Keg 5000 Kamado Grill
You will probably love the true barbeque aroma and flavor achieved by the broil King Keg grill. It not only elevates your cooking experience but also delivers rich, aromatic, and finger-licking food.
The revolutionary design features a versatile base that can easily attach your grill to your vehicle. So the next time you want to go camping in the woods, you can easily take your favorite grill with you.
The broil king keg is manufactured using a double steel wall to maximize performance and durability. The thick insulated walls trap moisture and smoke the food efficiently, using less fuel than other grills.
Unlike most ceramic grills, the heavy-duty steel body makes this one long-lasting and less prone to accidental breakage. Combined with the ability to retain heat using a convention-style insulation technique, the broil king’s functionality makes it exceptionally eco-friendly.
The exterior walls are powder coated, providing ultimate protection from harsh weather conditions and convenient to clean up. It also ensures that the grill’s functionality and heating power remains unaffected by extreme eternal temperatures.
The Keg features a built-in thermometer, making it easier to keep a constant check without opening the lid.
The unique Roto Draft vents are marked to maintain airflow that provides consistent results each time. It eliminates the need to fidget with the airflow every single time. Just remember the marking and use it properly to achieve accurate results.
- Ten-year warranty for the steel body
- Additional rack for easy preparation
- Cast iron grill
- Removable ashtrays
- The multifunctional tool makes handling convenient
- Less prone to breakage due to stainless steel body
- Packaging is not sturdy
- Difficult to sear food as the grill is far from the firebox
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Pros and Cons of Kamado Grills
The Kamado is an efficient griller constructed with heavy-duty materials, but it has certain limitations. Let us explore its strengths and weaknesses, so you can make an informed decision.
- Kamados can last for a very long time if you keep up with regular maintenance. The durability justifies their high price tags.
- They are incredibly versatile owing to the age-old design. Once you learn to control the airflow, you can slow cook a brisket for hours or bake a pizza without burning the crust.
- The even heat circulation means that you don’t have to worry about burn spots in your food. The convention style insulation ensures thorough distribution of heat in the chamber, preventing undercooked or overcooked food.
- After you are done with grilling, you can save the charcoal inside the grill by simply closing the air vents. The fire immediately dies out, so you can use the leftover charcoal the next time.
- Kamado-style grilling does not dry up the meat, unlike regular grills, because the sealed chamber traps moisture.
- If you are new to kamado grilling, you will require a lot of time, patience, trials, and errors before getting the hang of it. It is an individual learning experience that can be exhausting or frustrating for some people.
If you don’t enjoy a bit of learning through the cooking experience, you might lose interest in a kamado quickly.
- The cooking area in a kamado is smaller as compared to other barbeque grills. You will have to spend more time cooking food in batches if you have many people to attend.
- They are very heavy to move around. Most kamados are made of ceramic or heavy-duty steel. They weigh about 100 to 250 pounds, making it extremely difficult to lift or move them around.
As a result, the utility gets limited. If you are looking for portable grills, you will be disappointed.
- They require a long time to cool if you accidentally overheat them. Most kamados feature double and triple wall insulation and can warm up pretty quickly.
On the other hand, cooling down takes a considerable time. In case you have cranked up the heat more than required, you will have to take a break before it reaches a lower temperature.
How Kamado Grills Work
Kamado grills work by using charcoal to heat the enclosed chamber. Once you fill-up the base with lumps of coal or briquettes and light them up, the airflow through the vents keeps them ablaze.
The ceramic body ensures superior insulation and also reflects heat. Once you close the lid, the egg-shaped design creates a hot air movement, focusing on the food. You can grill, smoke, bake, or sear food on your Kamado by controlling the airflow and setting the right temperature.
How to Use a Kamado Grill
It is not difficult to use a charcoal kamado grill. Here we have discussed each step in detail so you confidently use your grill for the very first time.
Light up the Charcoal
To get the grill on, you need to fire up the charcoal. That leads us to the question, which is the best form of charcoal to be used in a kamado?
Professionals suggest that you must only use Hardwood Lump Charcoal, as it can reach higher temperatures very fast. It doesn’t contain any additional chemicals, and therefore, the food does not have any odor.
On the other hand, briquettes contain added chemicals and produce more ash. However, they burn much longer. Ironically, the extra ash produced by briquettes may clog the vents. Therefore, they can’t be left unsupervised for too long.
Another vital thing to remember is to steer clear from the lighter fluid. You will smell it in the food that is cooked on the grill.
So how do you light it up? The easiest way is to use an electric starter. Pour a few lumps of charcoal in the bottom chamber and place an electric starter over it.
Within fifteen minutes, the coals will start smoking. Remove the starter carefully, add more charcoal and close the lid. As long as you have a power socket nearby, this method is most convenient.
You can also use lighter cubes to set your coals on fire. Open up the vents and place a few coals inside the firebox. You will need two lighter cubes to turn on the fire. Once the coals begin to smoke, add more on the top and put the lid back on.
Set the Temperature
Once your coals are ablaze, it’s time to set your temperature. This is the most crucial part as it involves a learning curve. You must note that it is much faster to heat your Kamado but not as speedy to lower the heat.
If you want to slow cook a piece of meat for a long time, use less charcoal. Similarly, when cooking thinly cut steaks, open the vents wide, and use an enormous amount of coal.
You are ready to whip up epic food once your grill is at the right temperature.
The best kamado grill is more like an investment. You pay upfront for it, but it will serve you well for many years.
You can cook different types of foods easily. Yes, the first few times, you may find the process tricky, but once you two hit it off, it’s impossible to look back. Just make sure to follow the instructions.
We hope that you now have a fair idea of how kamado grills work and what makes them so unique. If you are ready to taste scrumptiously grilled food, go ahead and get one for your family. Enjoy blissful grilling!