These uniquely designed grills can handle everything from smoking to searing, making them perfect for all your cooking needs. Plus, they come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you’re sure to find one that fits your personality. So get ready to cook up some delicious summer BBQs on your new Kamado Joe grill!
In this Kamado Joe review, I will have a good look at and compare Kamado Joe models and see how they perform to help you find the grill that fits your needs and style of cooking.
Kamado Joe Models
Throughout the years that Kamado Joe has been on the market, they have added several models. Every new model had features added that made some claim that they are the best Kamado grills. This does, however, not mean that the first models do not perform well.
Kamado Joe Junior
The Junior can also be called the portable kamado joe with its 68 pounds weight.
This makes it a perfect size for camping, RV-ing, or even tailgating. Let’s have a look at what this model has to offer.
With its affordable price and 13.5 inches, you can still cook enough food for at least two people.
- 13.5 inches diameter grill grate
- 148 square inches cooking space
- 19.77″ wide x 27″ high x 20.75″ deep including the stand.
- Range 225 – 750 degrees.
Kamado Joe Classic
The Kamado Joe Classic series takes it up a notch with the 18-inch grill grate. The weight of a little over 262 pounds also shows this is a stationary model that, however, can be moved around with its 4 wheels.
Kamado Joe Classic 1
If you are looking for an affordable ceramic charcoal grill the Classic 1 is the perfect model to have a look at.
Although 18 inches and a 245 square inches surface it is large enough for a small family to cook for.
The tier 2 cooking system will extend the surface to almost double and opens a lot of new options to use the Classis 1
You can smoke at 225 or grill at temperatures up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 18 inch diameter grill grate
- 254 square inches cooking space
- 46.5″ wide x 48.5″ high x 30.1: deep
- Range 225 – 750 degrees Fahrenheit
- 4 wheels
Kamado Joe Classic 2
There are some updates that the Classic 2 has compared to the Classic 2. The one I like most is the airlift hinge. Open the lid with one finger.
The few differences make it to one of the most sold models. The extra features are:
- Mold and water resistant top vent
- Air lift hinge
- Wire mesh fiberglass gasket seal
- Available with or without cart
- 407, 508 or 660 square cooking space
Kamado Joe Classic 3
The main difference between Kamado Joe’s classic 2 and classic 3 is that the 2 has:
- High quality steel cart
- Hyperbolic insert
- Stainless steel charcoal basket
This insert will help the airflow go around as in a cyclone and this will move the air around the food you are cooking compared to a forces air stove.
The 3 tier divider offers up to a 510 square total cooking space.
The Classic 3 is also available without a cart.
Kamado Joe Big Joe
The reason that this is called the Big Joe is the 24-inch diameter of the cooking grate that offers 452 square inches cooking area. With the 3 tier divider, you expand this to 864 square inches. Let’s have a look at the individual modes.
Big Joe 1
If you are cooking for large groups or like to cook a lot of food at the same time I suggest that you have a look at what Big Joe has to offer.
This is the largest model Kamado joe at this moment and comes with a lot of features you can also find on the Classic 3.
Standard, it comes with features that, in my opinion, justify the steep price of this top-of-the-line Ceramic Kamado Joe model.
See All the features below:
- Grill cart
- Air lift hinge
- Slide out ash drawer
- 2 tier divider cooking system
- Grip tool
- Half moon design
- Stainless steel latch
- Folding side tables
- Stainless steel grill grates
- Ash toil
Big Joe 2
There are some differences between Big Joe1 and Big Joe 2 and a few I will sum up here.
- Cast iron cart with locking wheels
- Wire mesh gasket
- Air lift hinge
- Finished folding shelves
- 2 sets of grates
- Expandable to 1056 square inches
- Better top vent
Big Joe 3
There are several things that make the Big Joe 3 stand out from the rest of the series. Here are the most important ones.
- Galvanized steel cart
- Sloroller Hypobolic smoke chamber
- 3 tier cooking system
- Stainless steel charcoal basket 304 2quality
- Cooking grate of 302 stainless steel
- Hyperbolic smoke chamber
The Kamado Joe kettle is in my opinion a nice in-between kettle grill smoker with its 22 inches grill surface.
It can be used as a regular grill with the 2 part divide and conquer that allows multiple ways of grilling at different levels and temperatures.
The extra comes from the included Sloroller or slow rollers as many call it. The word they use is hyperbolic which is in general an insert that makes the smoke roll better around the meat and keeps the heat away from right under the meat.
Let’s have a look at what the Kamado Joe Kettle grill has to offer and if it is worth the money. The features are:
- 22 inch surface
- Ceramic firebox
- Folding shelves
- Cart with 4 legs
- Slow roller included.
The Kamado kettle joe works just as well as the smaller 18 inch and larger 24-inch models. The added value comes from the included sloroller.
To use the sloroller you can adjust the height of the lid by using the adjustable hinges. The slow roller is used for smoking at a low temperature and I have seen people use it in the grill mode and that is not what it is for.
Kamado Joe Reviews – My Opinion
There are many things that I like about the Kamado Joe ceramic grills. But is it all pros and no cons? There is no perfect product so there are also cons to mention.
Air hinges. That makes it so much easier to open and close the lid of the Kamado Joe. It also prevents the lid from falling down and possibly breaking some parts. Out of the box it does not always is balanced I read and there are many videos out on how to adjust it.
Sloroller Hyperbolic smoke chamber. That is a mouth full. What it does is change the airflow in your cooking chamber. In short, it causes a whirl that spins the air around and this will distribute and recirculate the air in the chamber before it goes to the top vent.
There are 2 sizes. One that fits the classic 1 and 2. The second one only fits the Big joe.
Charcoal basket. I am a little disappointed that you have to buy a charcoal basket if you like to benefit from an easier way to clean your Kamado Joe.
Accessories. There are so many accessories available for the Kamado Joe grills that the only limitation could be your imagination. From rotisserie to pizza stone insert and everything in between. I will write a whole page about that soon.
Vents. The vents on any grill are very important. Bad vents mean bad temperature control. The vents on the Kamado are very well made. Th upgrade to the so-called control tower top vents makes it easier to control the temperature in my opinion.
Stand-alone model. Some of the models can also be purchased without the cart. I think that is great. I found doing my Kamado grill reviews that many have them built in a table with a workstation right next to it.
Tips. If you are thinking about buying a Kamado Joe it is good to have a look at the models. Do you really need the top model? Or is the way you cook fitted for the middle model? You can always buy the features to upgrade later.
Just make sure you buy the right size Kamado Joe that fits your family and way of cooking. Upgrades and accessories can always be added.
Jeffrey Brooks is an experienced backyard griller that uses a Kamado grill for most of all the cooking he is doing. With his experience, he will do reviews and answer every question you have about Kamado Grills. You can read more about Jeffrey Brooks