Big Green Egg vs. Kamado Joe: Which One is Best for You?


If you’re interested in outdoor cooking, then you already know that buying a BBQ ceramic grill is an excellent investment. Ceramic grills are versatile, practical, easy to clean, offer better temperature control, and help you prepare delicious food even if you’re not a master chef.  

But because they’re pricey, you need to do some research before buying your next grill. We’ve done the research on your behalf in our Big Green Egg vs. Kamado Joe standoff. What are the pros and cons of each model? Which one will work for you? Keep reading to find out. 

Big Green Egg vs. Kamado Joe Overview

Ceramic grill fans celebrate them across the country with cooking festivals dedicated solely to these outdoor cooking appliances. And two names seem to pop as two of the most sought-after brands, Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe. 

Big Green Egg

Big Green Egg is a popular ceramic grill that also functions as a smoker and oven. The brand was founded in 1974 and, over the years, has gained a loyal following of outdoor cooking and grilling enthusiasts, becoming America’s original ceramic grill. 

The BGE is made of thick glazed green ceramic with a porcelain finish for better insulation, and its design is based on Japanese Kamado clay cookers. It features a stainless steel grid, a built-in temperature control, two vents,  and a flow draft door. It comes in seven sizes, from 10 to 29 inches, to suit all cooking needs. 

Kamado Joe

Kamado Joe is a Chinese-manufactured red-glazed egg-shaped high-fire ceramic grill for outdoor cooking. The brand was founded in 2009 to offer the traditional cooking experience of ceramic grills with a twist to make it more appealing to newbie grilling enthusiasts. 

This grill comes in three different models. Classic I is the basic version which doesn’t come with many accessories yet is designed to offer a satisfying cooking experience. The Classic II and Classic III models are more versatile and expensive. These models are available in three different sizes, from 16 to 24 inches. 

Big Green Egg Features

Despite its intimidating look, the Big Green Egg is one of the easiest to use ceramic grills on the market. It requires only a small amount of preparation, and it does most of the work. All you have to do is adjust the airflows to maintain the ideal cooking temperature. 

Using a natural fire starter with your Big Green Egg is always recommended because lighter fluid can change the taste of your food. Here are some of its features. 

Versatile Cooking

Using the Big Green Egg, you’re able to grill, sear, bake, roast, and smoke different types of food, all using the same appliance. You can use it for cooking large quantities of food, especially when you choose a larger size. Use either the fast grilling option or make use of the ceramic heat retention property for long slow cooking. 

However, to use this grill to the fullest, you need to buy several accessories, like the stand, pizza stone, tiered grill grates, heat deflector, waterproof cover, or ash tool. These might come as part of the purchase package, or you might have to buy them separately. Using tiered grates, for example, you can have up to three cooking levels, allowing you to utilize all the cooking space. 

Straightforward Use

If you’re switching from a metal charcoal grill to the BGE, you’ll definitely notice how easy it is to use. As a doomed cooked with bottom and top vents, this outdoor grill is just like a metal charcoal grill but provides you with tastier food. 

As a result, it’s an excellent choice for beginner cooks because setting it up, heating, prepping, and using it is an easy task. 

Easy Cleaning

Cleaning the grill is essential every five to ten uses. This grill is fuel-efficient, so it doesn’t use a lot of charcoal. However, you must frequently remove the ash for the best cooking experience. 

Pros

  • More affordable. 
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty for the ceramic elements and a limited warranty for the metal parts. 
  • It can be used as a multi-tiered cooking appliance. 
  • Available in seven different sizes. 
  • High-quality cooking efficiency.
  • Easy to prep and clean, as long as you buy the ash drawer. 

Cons

  • The Big Green Egg comes in a basic package that doesn’t include any of the necessary accessories. All these items need to be bought separately. 
  • There’s a learning curve to using it successfully. 
  • A bit hard to assemble on your own, so you might need to pay extra for professional assembly. 
  • Not easy to move around. 
  • Only sold in the store. 

Kamado Joe Features

The Kamado Joe is an American ceramic grill with a traditional red finish. It’s designed according to the original design of Kamado grills that you usually see on the streets of Asian countries. The brand appeared in 2009 and since then has attracted the attention of outdoor cooking enthusiasts because it’s easy to set up and use. 

It’s one of the most flexible cooking appliances on the market because you get to use multiple levels and racks to seal the hot air, grill, and slow cook your food, depending on your needs. It uses charcoal as the main fuel, and the top-level vent allows you to control temperature precisely. In addition, this grill has a lot of cool features that make it stand out. 

Amazing Accessories

The Kamado Joe is a little pricey, but it comes with all the essential accessories you need for an unmatched cooking experience. With no further purchases, you can use it right out of the box, even if you don’t have much experience with grills.

It comes in three different models, which allow you to use multiple cooking levels. In addition, you can divide and manipulate the cooking surface just the way you want. 

Smart Design

Compared to other grills, the airlift hinge on the Kamado Joe sets it apart from other grills on the market. It reduces the weight of the grill dome, facilitating the process of monitoring your food and cooking to perfection. 

The top vent allows you to control the airflow to maintain adequate cooking temperature. Moreover, it prevents the rain from getting into the grill if it starts raining while you’re grilling. Finally, despite its weight, the grill comes with built-in wheels that allow you to move it around. 

Easy Assembly

If this is your first time using a charcoal grill, then you should definitely consider the Kamado Joe. It comes with all the needed instructions, and you can assemble it in about 20 minutes with no professional assistance. 

Pros

  • All essential accessories come included in the package. 
  • Multiple cooking levels for cooking different proteins at different temperatures. 
  • Thanks to the airlift hinge, you can open the lid and close it with one finger. 
  • The top vent facilitates cooking for a beginner. 
  • Easier to assemble and move around. 

Cons

  • More expensive. 
  • It can’t be used to smoke, grill, and BBQ at the same time. 
  • You might have to pay for accessories that you won’t use. 
  • Fewer available sizes and less versatility. 

The Big Green Egg vs. Kamado Joe: The Final Verdict

Both grills offer a fantastic cooking experience and have gained a lot of fans over the years. If you’re interested in a classic-style grill, then you should consider the Big Green Egg. It offers a basic design at an affordable price, so you’ll have to pick the accessories you really want and buy them from the store depending on your needs. 

The Kamado Joe offers a seamless cooking experience right out of the box. It’s easier to assemble and comes with everything you need to start grilling your food to perfection. 

The Big Green Egg comes in more size options, but the grills are typically heavier and more difficult to assemble. The Kamado Joe will be your go-to option if you’re not cooking for a big gang. The airlift hinge makes it super easy to use.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.