Kamado Joe vs. Big Green Egg: Which Kamado Grill is Better?

Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg are both ceramic grills. They both feature the Kamado design that has been available in the United States since the 1970s – and in Japan for generations before.

The Kamado grill features an oval-shaped cooking chamber to maximize temperature control. As the heat rises from the fuel, it surrounds your food with all-around cooking benefits similar to a convection oven.

Grilling Models Available from Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg

Kamado Joe provides consumers with six grilling options from which to choose, including a junior design that is only 13.5 inches in diameter. Three models, including the Pro Joe, the Big Joe II, and the Big Joe III, offer a 24-inch diameter.

You can also choose from the Classic line of products from Kamado Joe, which provides about 18 inches (or slightly more) for a grill diameter to use.

Big Green Egg provides three different “junior size” options to consider. The MiniMax and the Small are both 13 inches in diameter, while the Mini is a practical 10 inches for portable grilling needs.

You can also step up to the Big Green Egg 2XL to receive a grill with a 29-inch diameter. The Medium is 15 inches, while the Large is 18.25 inches, and the XL is 24 inches.

Since the price of the smallest ceramic grills is comparable to the largest propane models today, you may need to pre-order if you have a specific preference.

You may also need to purchase your new ceramic grill from Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg from an authorized retailer.

Kamado Joe works with several retailers to provide all available models.

Big Green Egg breaks their dealers into four different categories: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.

Bronze Dealers must provide at least three EGG sizes before receiving this designation. They must also offer branded charcoal and access to at least 60 popular accessories.

Silver Dealers must offer four EGG sizes, 95 popular accessories, and at least one cooking island, table, or modular nest system.

Gold Dealers must offer five sizes, branded sauces and seasonings, and 115 EGGcessories in addition to the previous requirements.

Platinum Dealers must offer six size options, 150 or more of the best accessories, and two cooking islands, modular nest systems, or tables.

Cooking with Kamado Joe

The core package includes the flexible rack system the company calls “Divide and Conquer”. It is a half-moon modular component that uses indirect heating, staggered grilling heights, and lots of versatility to make almost anything.

The Kamado features an air-lift hinge that holds the heavy lid in place while you check on what you’re grilling. An included wire-mesh gasket offers durability so that you won’t have the top drop on your fingers.

Here’s a complete overview of what you can expect to receive when choosing Kamado Joe over Big Green Egg for your grilling needs.

Features to Expect with a Kamado Joe Grill

  • The tower vent uses cast aluminum to provide consistent airflow, retain positioning, and temperature consistency.
  • The multi-level Divide and Conquer cooking system provides dozens of different ways to prepare your favorite foods.

Cooking with Big Green Egg: Guaranteed Quality

You can now find several packages available that include the base of the grill, a lifter, heat deflectors, and lump charcoal heating.


During the 2008 global recession, this brand established itself as an innovative ceramic grill that would change how you approached making food.

The most popular option was green. When Fisher started privately manufacturing his own grills in the 1990s, he kept the green color.

Kamado Joe Review: Stunning Heat Retention

The similarities of a Kamado Joe compared to the Big Green Egg end with the initial design. When you put the red from a Kamado Joe next to the green of the Egg, it looks like Santa Claus is coming to town.

The entire grill gets constructed of dense ceramic. That means the thick walls of the firebox retain heat all day for you if needed. You can use the bottom vent on the mushikamado to regulate temperatures on a macro scale (up to 100°F increments), while the top vent gives you more control.

Several different grates and plates are part of the half-moon design. You can turn your Kamado Joe into a griddle, a searing plate, or the pizza oven.

Ceramic heat deflectors magnify the results you can achieve. You can also place the grate in its lowest position to get an outstanding sear on all of your favorite cuts of meat.

Most people will find that the Classic II is the right size for the family with its 18-inch diameter.

The red color may be different than other grills in this category, but the Kamado Joe stands out in a good way. It’s like when you see a sports car pass you on the road – the event draws your attention.

The ash collector with this mushikamado uses a drawer design that slides in and out near the bottom vent. When the grill cools, remove it to dump out what remains instead of using a rake to take care of the work.

Although ceramic grills of almost any design can provide similar benefits, the stay-put lid that you receive with a Kamado Joe is a game-changing innovation.

Big Green Egg Review: Here’s What You Should Know

These ceramic grills use lump charcoal to produce the heat needed for cooking your favorite foods. That means you can avoid the impurities and soot that can develop around items when using briquettes.

The Big Green Egg can hold an even temperature for over 18 hours without needing to add more fuel to your fire. Heat levels can exceed 600°F in the unit, giving your foods a professional sear equal to what you’d receive at a three-star restaurant.

You can bake cookies, pies, and pizzas in the Big Green Egg if you want. The ceramic design’s insulative qualities make it a lot easier to smoke brisket, have ribs that melt off the bone, or impart stunning flavors to seafood without drying out the ingredients.

The flames like to burst from the lid when you open it. A “burping” technique helps to calm the fire enough so that you can work on your food. You’re going to start wanting to experiment with various recipes, spices, and rubs.

That weight is comparable to what you’d receive from a large smoker, traditional briquette charcoal, or a massive propane model.

These grills can last for decades without seeing a reduction in quality with appropriate maintenance.

What makes the Big Green Egg such an attractive option is that it is more than a grill.

You can find thousands of like-minded enthusiasts who can help you to learn how to use your new grill. There are meetups, recipe exchanges, spice ideas, cookbooks, and much more to discover when you start using an Egg for your favorite foods.

People in this community call themselves “Eggheads.” They look out for each other. Ribs and chicken are essential, but it is also about the brotherhood or sisterhood you develop with others.

Pros and Cons of Using Ceramic Grills

Several societies used this method of grilling over the years, although the Japanese culture is responsible for taking this technology to the next level. The use of ceramics to create heat retention is one of the most practical ways to improve the quality of cooking while using fewer materials.

If you are thinking about a mushikamado right now, here are a few pros and cons to consider when deciding if a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg is suitable for your home.

List of the Advantages of Using a Ceramic Grill

1. You are not stuck with one cooking temperature.

The ceramic grill design can function at whatever temperature levels you prefer for cooking your favorite items. You can even cold-smoke foods with this technology! It is possible to make jerky, fry eggs on a griddle, or slow-cook a brisket until it is tender, moist, and flavorful. There are no limits to the creativity you can express when grilling this way.

2. It is an efficient method of smoking food.

You won’t find another smoker operating at this high of an efficiency level in the marketplace right now. You can smoke an entire brisket on a single lump charcoal application. Since you receive all-day support for your temperature, you can grill simultaneously to create impressive results that no other grill offers.

3. Seals on the grill retain more moisture.

The under-rated secret to success when using a ceramic grill is its seals. When combined with the heavy-duty ceramic insulation, virtually no moisture escapes from a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg. That means your meat loses less weight because it can retain its texture better. Other smokers and grills can make your proteins dehydrated and tough to chew without trying to make jerky.

4. You can choke off a fire rapidly with this technology.

Once you have finished working with your food, the design of a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg allows you to close the dampers immediately. The fire chokes off from the lack of oxygen since the seals prevent air from escaping or entering. This benefit reduces the amount of fuel you need for each session, reducing your overall cost. It won’t make up for the added price of a ceramic grill, but it is still an excellent benefit to consider.

5. Ceramic grills operate at any temperature.

You could smoke a beautiful snake in brutal Antarctica without a problem thanks to the heavy-duty ceramic incorporated into the design.

6. Plenty of accessories are available for ceramic grills.

Ceramic grills are a versatile way to prepare food. You can find griddle plates, rotisseries, and char-grillers to expand your methods. These options can help you to even out a hot spot, alter how smoke comes around your meat, and function at high temperatures. Rib racks are a fantastic choice for this technology because you can space out the items appropriately while having room to smoke with your favorite baste.

7. It takes less time to clean a ceramic grill.

You really don’t need to clean a ceramic grill that often. Most owners take care of this chore about once per year, and some don’t even do it that often. You can find people who love their Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg who have never given it a thorough cleaning!

List of the Disadvantages of Using a Ceramic Grill

1. The cost of a ceramic grill is something to consider.

Unless you can settle for one of the miniature models of a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg, you could be spending over $2,000 to get one with enough room to feed your family. When the choice is between a fantastic grill or groceries in the refrigerator, most people will choose the second option.

2. Ceramic grills are remarkably heavy.

When someone tells you that a heavy-duty ceramic grill can retain heat, it is because the insulative qualities require a significant amount of product. The bigger models from both manufacturers are well over 200 pounds. Even the miniature models are much heavier than a portable charcoal or propane grill. That means you won’t get the portability you want if your goal is to have grilled food when camping.

3. It takes time to learn how to use a ceramic grill.

Expect it to take at least a couple of months of practice before you are ready to host social events with items made with a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg.

4. You don’t get much versatility once you start cooking.

Although the Kamado Joe reduces this disadvantage somewhat with its unique interior design for grates and griddles, ceramic grills are a one-trick pony. Once you start doing something that day with it, you cannot transition to another task without significant risk. Red-hot ceramic requires welding gloves to manage, and exposure to moisture at those heat levels from the environment can cause the charcoal to spit. It only takes one time trying to swap the deflector plate while hot to change your mind!

5. Cooling processes take forever with a ceramic grill.

You can choke out the fire in a ceramic grill without much difficulty. Opening the lid works well for immediate temperature regulation. When you over-stoke your fire, trying to get it back to your preferred grilling temps can take a surprisingly long time. Although some models offer regulators that can adjust levels by 25 to 100 degrees with each adjustment, the response time is still muted compared to other grilling opportunities.

6. Ceramic grills need more time to cook standard fare.

You can expect a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg to take about 45 minutes to reach the appropriate temperature for small meats.

Kamado Joe vs. Big Green Egg: Which Is Better?

Ceramic grills are a surprisingly excellent addition to any porch, patio, deck, or backyard.

The professional series retails for $3,699 direct from the manufacturer. Some retailers may provide a better deal if you do some searching online for the best price. The Joe Jr. ® model is priced at $400.

The Mini model retails for about $400. If you decide to step up to the XXL model to enjoy a premium experience, you can expect to pay about $3,900 for it.

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