The popularity of Kamado grilling has taken off in recent years.
With higher heat potential, excellent heat management, and the ability to smoke and grill,
Kamado grills have captured the attention of home cooks everywhere.
Cooking with a Kamado grill is a rewarding experience and a step up from a standard charcoal grill.
With the popularity has also come a surge of new grills on the market.
Some are fantastic, while others leave a lot to be desired.
If you want to get into Kamado cooking, you will need a reliable grill.
Here’s what you need to know to choose a Kamado grill.
Ceramic or Metal? Think About the Weight
Traditional Kamado grills are made from ceramic.
This material is heavy and without a frame and legs, you won’t be moving a large Kamado grill on your own.
Innovations in material technology mean that we now also see Kamado grills made from steel.
Which is the best material? The answer is that it depends…
- A ceramic Kamado grill will have the highest heat potential, getting slightly hotter than one made from metal. But the difference is usually as low as 50°F. Choosing ceramic is less about the temperature and more about the durability. If you treat it right, a ceramic Kamado grill could last a lifetime.
- A metal Kamado grill will be much cheaper than a ceramic model, thanks to the efficiency and less hands-on labor in the manufacturing process. A metal grill will get almost as hot as a ceramic one, and it will be much less fragile. In terms of longevity, a metal Kamado won’t last as long, but you need to weigh this with the actual cost.
Our Pick: If cost is no concern, choose ceramic.
It can last longer and have the best performance.
If you have a tighter budget, you can get a similar cooking experience with a metal Kamado grill.
How Big Does Your Kamado Grill Need to Be?
Size is the next most important factor to consider.
You can look at the size of a Kamado grill like you would a Weber Kettle.
Kamado grills are rounded so they’re measured in diameter rather than square inches.
Burger patties are a popular ingredient for grills, and almost everyone has cooked them.
We’re going to take a look at three common sizes and see how many ¼-pound burgers you could fit on the grill…
- An 18” Kamado Grill could fit up to 9 burger patties on the surface. It’s equivalent to 240 square inches on a rectangular grill.
- A 22” Kamado Grill could fit up to 13 burger patties on the surface. It’s comparable to 360 square inches on a rectangular grill, which is about average for most home cooks.
- A 26” Kamado Grill could fit up to 19 burger patties on the surface. It’s equivalent to around 500 square inches on a rectangular grill. This is considered a large grill.
You know your needs better than anyone, so the size typically comes down to preference.
Keep in mind that the more space you have, the more versatility you’ll have to cook different ingredients, including large cuts of meat, brisket, whole birds, and more.
Our Pick: When it comes to size, there’s no right or wrong answer.
An 18” grill is suited to most people but if you want more space, you can always go bigger.
Does Brand Matter?
Because Kamado grills are relatively new in the market, there are only a few brands that have stood out from the rest.
Kamado Joe is seen by most people as the best brand available, with a high commitment to quality and excellent cooking performance.
Char-Griller is another popular option, offering metal Kamado grills that perform similarly to ceramic.
Other brands like Big Green Egg are also popular but aren’t as readily available if you aren’t shopping in big box stores.
There are also plenty of newly emerged brands where the quality and reliability are yet to be proven.
Our Pick: Stick to the names that have proven their commitment to the industry.
Kamado Joe and Char-Griller are two of the most trusted options.
The Best Kamado Grills to Consider Today
Of course, the price also matters.
You should look for a grill that suits your budget.
Keep in mind that Kamado grills cost more than standard charcoal grills, so you’ll pay a premium for the high cooking performance.
- If you want the ultimate in quality and performance, choose a Kamado Joe. The Kamado Joe Classic Joe II is a beautiful 18” grill made with real ceramic. It can reach temperatures up to 750°F and many home grillers swear by this brand.
- If you want great cooking performance at a price that’s easier on your wallet, consider the Char-Griller Akorn line. The Akorn E16620 is slightly bigger than a Classic Joe II, measuring 20” in diameter. It has up to 447 square inches of cooking area when you include the secondary rack inside the grill. It’s made from triple-layered steel to create insulative properties like a ceramic grill.
Kamado cooking gives you more control and better results when compared to a typical charcoal grill.
Knowing what to look for, it will be easier to choose your first Kamado grill.