Finding the best kamado grill and matching your budget is not an easy task. It’s a fairly unique type of grill which most people haven’t used before. So it may be challenging for you to pick the right option. Well before that, you must know all the details about it, if you don’t know. Keep reading!
What is a Kamado Grill?
Kamado is a Japanese meaning word stove. So a kamado grill is just another type of grill and we’re basically talking about a ceramic, egg-shaped, big grill. They are made of thick-walled ceramic which retain heat and control airflow very well. It has a long history (and a Wikipedia page!)
Previously most of the kamado grills came with an 18” grate size which was small for a full rack of ribs or larger pieces of meat. But now most ceramic grill companies make the standard size or bigger like Weber and they are pricey.
They are all-in-one units because they are perfect for baking, smoking, and grilling. We have read 100’s of kamado grill reviews while selecting our top 6 picks so that you don’t need to do hard work.
10 Best Kamado Grills 2021 – Reviews & Top Pick
- Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill
- 254 sq in
- 46.5 x 28.0 x 48.0 in
- Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill
- 153 sq in
- 20.5 x 21.5 x 25.3 in
- Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill
- 447 sq in
- 45.2 x 31.3 x 47.4 in
If you are searching for a kamado cooker that’s in the budget, Char-Griller E06614 will be a great choice. It has a primary cooking area of 153 square inches and it cooks uniformly to enhance the flavor of your food with temperatures ranges from 200°- 700° F.
Top and bottom air dampers are also included for easy temperature control.
It is the lightest option on our top 6. This makes it an ideal choice for those in need of a high-quality kamado-style grill they can use for different outdoor activities such as camping and tailgating. In order to make it easy to carry, it has convenient and comfortable handles.
Another thing we loved about it is the fact that you won’t need to use a lot of charcoal since it holds heat like any other kamado. Other features include a triple wall, hinged locking lid, and heat gauge.
For easy cleaning, it has an easy to remove dump ash pan. It also boasts a durable steel construction which means that it will last for many years. It has a warranty of 5 years.
KamadoJoe KJ23RHC is absolutely an exceptional choice for anyone in need of a kamado grill who only wants the best. It is a bit pricey and this means that it is probably only a good fit for those who don’t mind spending a few bucks for a long lasting and a top-notch grill.
You can open the grill using just 2 fingers with its lid assist mechanism and moreover the lid will stay where you wants.
We loved that it is made of thick-walled and heat-resistant ceramic material that lock moisture and smoke at any temperature. This material is so strong that it can withstand harsh climatic conditions since it is rustproof. It also has a six-multi panel AMP firebox which protects it from breaking.
The Kontrol tower top helps to maintain a consistent air setting and this promotes good airflow within the unit. In addition, it comes with a powerful and lightweight airlift hinge which allows you to close and open the lid easily.
For easier heat and temperature control, a large easy to read thermometer is also included. We also found out that it has a wire mesh fiberglass gasket which offers a strong smoke retaining seal.
It has a removable ashtray which is a great feature in any grill, with those side tables. Its hardware is made of stainless steel which gives us confidence that it will last long for years. It comes with Lifetime Warranty on ceramic parts and a 5-year warranty on metal parts.
You will not regret buying this grill for sure!
Char-griller E56720 has a total surface area 447 square inches which is enough for preparing hearty meals for a bigger group. The kind of flavor imparted by cooking over charcoal can not be matched on a gas grill.
The incredible efficiency of this grill lets you use this grill for 3-4 times a week on one charcoal fill.
Since it has a triple-wall insulated design, it is able to retain more heat which means that you won’t need a lot of charcoal. This is proof that it is among the most economical kamado grills you can find today.
In terms of heat retention, you will be impressed to note that it is able to maintain temperatures of 200-700 degrees. This means that you can choose suitable temperatures when preparing different types of foods to get the best taste.
As part of the design, additional side shelves are also included to provide space where you can keep different items.
Its body is made of 22-gauge steel while the cooking surface is made of an iron cast material. The external part is coated with steel powder while the internal part has porcelain coated steel to enhance durability.
The cart is made of tubular steel and the 8 wheels are made from sturdy rubber to make them durable.
For easier cleaning, a dump ash pan is also included. Also, note that you can easily adjust the top and bottom dampers. It has only a 1-year warranty.
The most notable thing about this Made in USA grill is the 20 years warranty. Even without digging deeper into the features, that detail alone tells you that it is a top quality product.
To start with, it is made of high-quality ceramic to boost durability and reliability. With some hard lump charcoal, it is ready to cook in 10 minutes.
Due to its unique oval design, it provides more versatile and flexible grilling as compared to other models. It also has a nicely sized surface area of 210 square inches and up to 360 square inches when you use rack extensions.
The exterior part is made of a premium grade ceramic which is combined with a protective lead coating. A scratch-resistant porcelain glaze is also added to enhance durability.
Other features include easy lift hinge lock system, easy to clean porcelain cooking grid, cast-iron chimney vent, user manual, recipe book, and a soft-close felt gasket.
The temperature gauge is good but not the best so you can use a digital thermometer for serious smoking that monitor the meat temperature.
The most notable thing about this Kamado smoker is the unique Ffeatherlite hinge system which enables you to lift the lid easily.
It is purely designed for those who are searching for a long-lasting kamado style grill since it is made of a 304 stainless steel which will remain free from rust.
We find it difficult to carry this, first since it doesn’t come with a stand and second since it is the heaviest grill. It’s base stand will cost you about another $50.
Also, its ceramic construction isn’t the most high-quality ceramic which means it can break more easily. Although the company offers a lifertime warranty but their support isn’t great.
With this kamado cooker, you can prepare your meals using different temperatures which range from 225°F – 750°F. A patented temperature gauge is also included to ensure that you are using the correct temperatures.
We were also surprised to find that it uses terapex ceramics which retains more heat as compared to other materials. As a result, you won’t need a lot of charcoal when cooking. The walls have a thickness of 1.25 inches for maximum heat retention.
Additionally, it has a fire-ring and firebox design for even heat dispersion.
The other thing is that it allows you to control the smoke using the adjustable knob at the top. It has a dial door that provides consistent airflow through the enumerated door design.
This grill offers a unique blend of the heat retention and cooking power of a kamado style grill, but with some of the added convenience features of a traditional gas grill such as a work surface.
While Weber gas grills are the better-known product from this company, this is a great option for those who want a brand they’ve heard of and trust, but are ready to try a new style of grill.
You’ll find this to be a truly versatile grill since you can use it for smoking, grilling, and baking by using the adjustable grate system.
With a dual-walled porcelain-coated steel construction with air insulation, this grill holds a consistent temperature for about as long as you need it to, whether it’s for a quick grilling or all-day smoking.
It features a gas ignition to make lighting the charcoals an absolute breeze. You’ll also find the one-touch cleaning system to make maintenance considerably easier.
You can also count on the usual excellent Weber warranty, with a 10-year warranty on the main bowl and construction.
This is great grill for those just diving into kamado style grilling, with the optional electric starter for the coals. With two separate control systems for temperature management, you’ll get the perfect cooking environment set in no time.
With a glazed ceramic body, you’ll get great heat and moisture retention for perfectly cooked, moist foods, but obviously with a risk of breaking (which you won’t have with a metal-body grill, obviously).
What makes THIS particular kamado grill pretty nifty is how they really thought of everything — if charcoal isn’t for you they offer an optional gas insert to convert it to essentially a traditional gas grill. One fixture on your back deck to handle EVERY type of outdoor cooking you could want? Now THAT is cool.
You’ll find a solid 596 sq in of cooking area on this awesome beast, as well as a built-in temperature gauge.
They offer a lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts. Unfortunately, all the other components are only under warranty for 5 years or well under.
Made of thick, enamel-coated ceramic, you’ll find comparable and excellent heat and moisture retention like the other ceramic options on our list.
A very cool feature of this grill, as with others, is the multi-level cooking. This helps you increase total space for the cooking area. In addition, this isn’t just a grill but also doubles as a smoker, something many but not all kamado grills do well!
A top-of-the-line feature that sets this ceramic kamado grill apart from the others is its digital temperature gauge. Most of the rest are analog, so you can expect superior temperature regulation from this particular model versus other options.
Consider it to be your own outdoor oven, complete with a “food ready” audible alert. That’s just plain next level.
They also claim superior fuel efficiency compared to competitors — “cook low and slow for up to 24 hours with just 5.5-6.5 lbs of charcoal.” If their claim of using up to 50% less charcoal is valid, then this grill is pretty quickly going to earn its keep in your backyard.
The last awesome feature worth noting is a wood chip feeder system that lets you add the chips without needing to open the grill, so you won’t risk the consistent temp inside the dome. They really have thought of everything!
Char-Broil has put together a solid option for a kamado-style grill but at a much more entry-level price. This grill is significantly lower priced than most everything else on this list.
They’ve also reconfigured the airflow compared to most kamado grills, putting the intake at cooking level instead of on the bottom. This is a nice convenience feature to let you adjust the damper without bending over. A minor feature, but worth noting and considering before making your choice.
This grill is somewhat smaller than others on this list at 372 sq in cooking area, but the secondary 142 sq in cooking area boosts that to a respectable 514 total sq inches in cooking area.
Additionally, this is another unit that can be used for multiple cooking styles — smoking, roasting, and grilling all on one fixture.
With double-walled steel construction, you can expect solid durability from this grill. The large folding side shelf with tool hooks provides ample workspace for a great cooking experience.
Lastly, this grill is definitely easier to maneuver than some others on our list, with two 6-inch wheels and one fixed foot.
In terms of both size and price, this Duluth 18-inch kamado grill offers a great entry point into the “kamado grill world,” if that’s even a thing.
The construction is 1.25 inch thick ceramic walls with great heat retention and circulation.
Despite its small size, it still offers an impressive 214 sq in of cooking area, which obviously increases if you opt for one of the larger sizes of this grill — it is also available in 21 and 24 inch sizes.
With bi-level cooking and an easy-read temperature gauge, you’ll be able to configure this entry-level kamado grill to suit your grilling needs quite easily!
Kamado Grill Buying Guide
Finding the top pick is not easy especially if you have never used a kamado grill before. If you are searching for a unit that won’t disappoint you, below are some of the key things you should check.
You should not invest in the unit before checking the materials. Most of the Komodos are made of stainless steel while others are made of ceramic. The good thing about ceramic is that it has better heat retention than stainless steel and it can’t rust.
They are available in many different sizes. An average Komodo has a lesser cooking area of 150 square inches as compared to the charcoal or gas barbeque grills.
If you are searching for a unit that can serve your extended family, you will need a large one with an area of 300-500 square inches. However, if you do not have a large family, then you should go for a small unit.
Since most of the ceramic grills are meant to be used outside, you need to look for a strong unit that can withstand even harsh climatic conditions. A good kamado should be rustproof and should also have a cover to prevent water from getting inside.
This is among the primary factors that can guide you on the quality of the kamado. You do not need a unit that will fail to function after some time and in case that happens, you need to have an assurance that you can get it fixed at no additional costs or even get a replacement.
Since Ceramic grills are a bit expensive, the best unit should have a lifetime warranty or a warranty that is not less than 5 years. This will give you some assurance that you have invested in a quality product.
It is important to set a budget and then look for a reliable product that is within that price range. If you are searching for the best option in ceramic grill, you should never go for a cheap product. Most of those will be made of lower-quality materials and may not last.
They may also lack some of the key features you may need when grilling. Replacing a low-quality unit every now and then will cost you a lot more money than you would have spent to buy a high-end model that will last for many decades.
Kamado Grills Frequently Asked Questions
Why are ceramic aka kamado grills better?
The best thing about the ceramic grill is that they are made of quite reliable materials that allow them to retain more heat as compared to the traditional grills. Apart from that, they are very economical since they don’t consume a lot of charcoal. You will also find that they are more versatile and have a large cooking area that is comparable to other types of grills.
Why are kamado grills so expensive?
They are a bit expensive as they are made of high-quality materials. They also often have a larger cooking area and are also versatile as compared to the regular grills. This means that they provide a better performance and are more reliable than ordinary gas and charcoal grills.
We hope that now you have a clear picture of what kamado-style grills are and why they are great. In a nutshell, we can say that they are more versatile than conventional grills or ovens.
Their prices tend to be a bit higher because they are made of high-quality materials and have better heat retention and distribution as compared to other types of grills.
Problems come when you are searching for the best kamado grill especially in a world where every model claims to be the best. We understand this and that’s why we recommend the Char-Griller E06614 AKORN has the best kamado grill for the money.
With awesome features like quality material, lifetime warranty and include all accessories, this grill has you pretty much covered on all accounts.