The Pellet Joe: A Review of the Kamado Joe Pellet Grill


After the patent for pellet grills expired, numerous brands have tried their hand at this approach to grilling. For about 20 years, everyone used a similar idea. By adding a hopper that puts fuel into a firebox, you could create food nirvana with the different smoke and heat combinations available to use.

Kamado Joe has developed a different approach to the pellet grill. With the Pellet Joe®, you can combine the benefits of using pellets while enjoying the advantages of ceramics.

The stainless steel hopper in the Pellet Joe can hold up to ten pounds of pellets. Kamado Joe includes other modern features, including wi-fi controls to monitor cooking, so that you can unlock the full potential of each ingredient.

Here are some of our first impressions of the Pellet Joe to see if this grill could be the right one for your needs.

What Are the Features of the Pellet Joe?

When you unpack the Pellet Joe, you’ll find that the grill comes with several features that make it an exciting addition to any backyard.

Here is the overview provided by Kamado Joe to get a closer look at what is included with your purchase.

  • Users receive a premium 18-inch ceramic pellet grill
  • You get 266 square inches of cooking space
  • It uses thermostatically controls to maintain the desired temperature
  • The Stainless-steel hopper holds 10 pounds of pellets for up to 14 hours of burn time
  • Full control and monitoring with wi-fi
  • The ceramic chamber allows for fewer pellets and a longer cooking time
  • The included Pellet Joe scoop allows users to pick up pellets and load them into the hopper quickly
  • Additional Features that include aluminum side shelves, an air lift hinge, a stainless steel latch, a fiberglass gasket that’s sealed to the hard surface of the Pellet Joe, a smoke tower, a drip bucket, along with two meat probes, and a single pit probe

The features are taken directly from the owner’s information provided by Kamado Joe.

Specs of the Pellet Joe

If you’re interested in getting a Pellet Joe, it helps to take a closer look at the product specs for this grill. Here is the information that comes from Kamado Joe.

Maximum Cooking Space266 square inches
Model NumberKJ15260020
Width47 Inches
Height49 Inches
Weight201 Pounds
Heat Range225°F to 600°F
Cooking Surface18-inch Diameter

Although the stainless steel hopper can provide up to 14 hours of cooking support, it is important to note that this time is based on smoking temperatures. If you increase the temperature beyond the bare minimum, you might need to reload the grill to continue your cooking.

 

What We Discovered When Using the Pellet Joe

If you’ve ever used a Kamado Joe, you’ll discover that the Pellet Joe provides a similar user experience. You receive the same fit and finish with this pellet grill, equal ceramic quality, and the traditional spring-loaded hinge for the top lid system.

It comes with a four-legged base that provides a sturdy and stable result while incorporating the manufacturer’s traditional stainless steel latch.

You’ll see the pellet grill additions right away. It has a small hole on the back of the lid where the ambient sensor attaches. There’s also a grease bucket and the wi-fi antenna next to an on/off switch at the back of the product.

The dimensions are nearly equal to the Classic 18 Kamado Joe, so you can enjoy all the perks of a ceramic grill while benefitting from the extra use of pellets.

Those pellets provide a unique benefit while creating a specific disadvantage for the overall user experience with the Kamado Joe. Instead of having an automatic feed from a hopper, the Pellet Joe requires users to scoop them into the firing chamber. If you maximize your effort, you can fill it up in two or three attempts.

The Pellet Joe reaches a hot temperature, but there isn’t a display for you to use to check on things. You’re forced to use the app to get this information.

All Kamado Joe grills are exceptionally efficient, but the Pellet Joe might be the best. When you add the advantages of pellets with that of a ceramic grill, the results are impressive. You get tender foods with extra flavor without requiring an extended cooking time.

You set the temperature, and Pellet Joe works to maintain that level until you’re ready to make some changes.

You Receive an Impressive Amount of Airflow

Whether you’re a veteran Kamado Joe owner or this is your first pellet grill, the airflow dynamic with the Pellet Joe is what sets it apart from other grills.

When you try to sear with pellets, the temperature settings often fall short. You can get those beautiful lines in the food, but the high temps aren’t always consistent across the entire cooking surface. That issue goes away when you’re using this grill.

If you had the same features in a standard box design, the heat would dehydrate your food quickly. Since the Pellet Joe is ceramic, more humidity is maintained in the environment to ensure your foods stay moist.

The smoke levels that the Pellet Joe produces are equally excellent. You can take the low and slow approach for almost anything without worrying about overcooking items. The depth of your smoke rings in the meat is something that you’ll notice immediately.

It uses a solid aluminum base, with the electronics kept safely under the grill. If you desire consistency and love to spend time outside grilling, the Pellet Joe will pay for itself in a single season.

The Issue with the Drip Pan

Pellet grills use a drip pan to ensure enough moisture is maintained in the environment. If there is one point of difficulty when using the Pellet Joe, this feature would be it. The combination of water and ash creates lye that can cause it to corrode within a few months if you’re not proactive in maintaining it.

You’ll need to be proactive about cleaning the Pellet Joe to prevent corrosion. Taking the drip pan in and out can be a bit of a headache, but the food quality is worth the effort.

Another element to consider is the rotisserie feature you can use with other Kamado Joe grills. It isn’t available with the Pellet Joe. If you want to use that option for your cooking needs, you’ll need to step away from this pellet grill.

Since the Pellet Joe maintains temperatures well, you can get it hot enough where pellets don’t need to be consumed to achieve the cooking environment. That means less smoke gets put into your food.

When you figure out the various work-arounds for the Pellet Joe based on your needs, you’ll find it to be an innovative product that produces incredible results. We found it to be worth the investment at the end of the day, and we think you will feel the same.


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