It’s that time of year again, where we are firing up our grills. But today, we will be talking about two great grills brands, Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg. While the Big Green Egg has been around for over 40 years and pretty much the biggest provider of kamado grills, Kamado Joe has been taking the BBQ world by the storm with their innovation.
We’ve taken a closer look at both brands and compared their best-selling top-of-the-line grills and decided that we prefer Kamado Joe with mutual feelings. Why? Read on to see.
Hailing from outside Atlanta, the Kamado Joe was founded in 2009 by Bobby Brennan and Kerry Coker. The entire brand was built on innovation and modernizing classic grills. Kamado Joe does import its grills from Yixing, China but doesn’t worry their quality and workmanship are on par with the Big Green Egg.
Kamado Joe is most famous for its Divide & Conquer grilling system which means you can grill at two different heights at the same time, which in our opinion, is always a cool feature to have in a grill.
Big Green Egg
Big Green Egg was also found in Atlanta in 1974 by Ed Fisher. This brand is most known for the odd shape of the Kamado and used it to their advantage for marketing, which paid off well. Because of that, they’ve become one of the biggest kamado grill importers in the world. Their grills are vegan-friendly, 100% organic, and offer “culinary perfection every time”. This brand is so famous, they have a following called “Eggheads”. All of the BGE grills are manufactured in Mexico.
Kamado Joe Lineup – Which Kamado is best?
Kamado Joe has a lot more selection than BGE does, and we’re going to review some of the best ones from Kamado Joe.
We’re starting off with the first classic by Kamado Joe. It has a thick wall, heat resistant shell that locks in smoke and moisture at any temperature. To us, that’s always a plus because there’s nothing worse than uneven temperature or lack of moisture when you’re trying to grill that perfect meat. You can smoke at 225F, and what’s great is that there’s a thermometer on top of this grill so you can monitor the temperature. Also, there’s a cast-iron control tower top so you can vent or keep the smoke in. The temperatures go all the way up to 750F and yes, this has the divide and conquer grill system which makes this fun to grill or even smoke on.
- External diameter 23″ / 60cm
- Cooking surface diameter: 18” / 46 cm
- Weight: 187lbs / 85 kgs
- Height: 27” / 71cm
This is the smaller version than the classic we just did but it makes our list because even though it weighs in at 68 pounds, it’s super portable. You can bring this to any tailgating event or camping or just to the beach. The Joe Jr has a thick-walled, heat-resistant shell that will keep in all heat and smoke which is just how we like it. It has a 304 stainless steel grate, so even with higher temperatures like 700+F, it will not bend or melt. Like all the other Kamado Joe models, it has a thermometer on top so you can keep checking the temperature and a cast iron control tower top so you can control the flow of air. This grill comes with a cast iron stand so that it’s not completely on the ground or table when grilling. Our favorite part about the Joe Jr is the versatility… you can grill, smoke or bake, thanks to the construction and the fact you use charcoal so you can get that delicious smoky flavor that you are after.
- External diameter 11″ / 28cm
- Cooking surface diameter: 13” / 34 cm
- Weight: 68 lbs / 31 kgs
- Height: 20” / 53cm
The Kamado Joe Classic II made our list because not only is it a best seller it’s one of the best grills made by Kamado Joe. Like all the other grills mentioned, this also has a thick walled, heat resistant shell that will keep all the heat and smoke inside where it’s supposed to be. While this one is on the heavier side, it’s sure to give your food that delicious BBQ taste that you are seeking since you are using charcoal. Also like the other grills mentioned, it also has a thermometer on top and a cast iron control valve so you can control the venting. The Classic II has the divide and conquer system so you can literally be grilling at 2 different levels if you choose. An extra cool feature that we like is the stainless-steel latch that locks automatically when you close the grill, making sure that the grill is tightly sealed. All in all, we would recommend this grill for your backyard as it has enough space, and you can cook at two different heights.
- External diameter 23″ / 60cm
- Cooking surface diameter: 18” / 46 cm
- Weight: 282lbs / 128 kgs
- Height: 27” / 71cm
Big Green Egg Lineup
Big Green Egg doesn’t have as many grills that Kamado Joe does and is hard to find online, but we’ve found a few grills that were worthy of today’s lineup.
We’re starting off with the baby of the bunch, the Minimax Big Green Egg. It’s obviously portable and it’s easy to grip so you can carry it anywhere. You can bring this to camps, beaches, tailgating or another house if you want. What we like about the Minimax is it’s built out of high-quality ceramics (just like all the other BGE grills are) and it has a stainless-steel cook grid which is about 13 inches and the entire cooking space is 133 square inches.
- Grid Diameter: 13 in / 33 cm
- Cooking Area: 133 sq in / 856 sq cm
- Height: 19.5 in / 50 cm
- 76 pounds/35 kgs
This is the most popular size from BGE as people usually need a grill to cook for friends and family. What we like about the Large one, is it can accommodate all accessories from BGE for baking, grilling and smoking. One day you’ll want to grill steaks. The next you may want to attempt to smoke a brisket. It can even handle a 20lb turkey if you’re looking for authentic BBQ flavor.
- Grid Diameter: 18.25 in / 46 cm
- Cooking Area: 262 sq in / 1688 sq cm
- Weight: 162lbs / 73 kgs
2XL Big Green Egg
We chose the biggest one from BGE so that you can get an idea what you can actually cook on it. Just like all BGE grills, it’s made out of high-quality ceramics. With this grill you can cook a whole pig, that’s how big it is. So, if you’re a caterer, a restaurant or just cooking for a large crowd, this grill is suited to your needs and then some.
- Grid Diameter: 29 in / 74 cm
- Cooking Area: 672 sq in / 4336 sq cm
- Weight: 375lbs / 170 kg
Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg Comparison
We are going to talk about the comparison between the two brands of grills so that you can understand the similarities and differences.
Both brands use high-quality ceramic which means it can produce high fire and glaze. This ensures efficient cooking.
As you already know, they use high quality ceramic so high heat will never break them. But like all good brands, they provide a warranty in case something is wrong. What’s ever better with both of these brands, they both offer a lifetime warranty. The warranty alone is attractive and makes it worth investing in their grills.
Cooking grates & fire grid
Luckily, both brands use the same type of cooking grates, which is usually made out of high-quality stainless steel. Both brands fire grids are made out of cast iron, and you know that cast iron is nearly impossible to melt under high heat, so you got that durability factor going there.
The thermometer on top of grill
Both brands got the hood mounted thermometer on it. It’s always great to have that because monitoring your temperature while grilling is an important aspect of grilling and getting that perfect meat cooked.
Both brands got an app where you can monitor your temperature. Kamado Joe has an app called iKamand. Big Green Egg has an app called EGG Genius.
Both brands use charcoal and sometimes uses smoking chips if you so wish to use it for smoking.
Who’s more famous?
Big Green Egg has been around since 1974 and is the number one brand when it comes to kamado grills. However, Kamado Joe, even though they’re the new kid on the block since 2009, they grew in popularity with their innovation.
Both brands have accessories but Kamado Joe probably has a lot more. Kamado Joe offers things like half-moon deflectors, ash tool, cast iron cart and Stroller hyperbolic smoke chamber that actually comes with the grill. Big Green Egg has accessories too, but you’ll have to buy them separately.
Both brands are within close range as far as prices. But you get a lot more for your money with Kamado Joe than you do with Big Green Egg. Big Green Egg, you have to buy accessories separately making it more expensive.
It’s clear that these two brands have their own distinct colors. The Kamado Joe is known for their red while the Big Green Egg is known for their dark green.
It’s clear who wins here. The Kamado Joe divide and conquer system is appealing because you can have two different levels to cook one. The Big Green Egg just has a flat surface.
Place of Origin
Big Green Egg makes all of their grills in Mexico while Kamado Joe makes theirs in China. Don’t let that deter you though, it’s still made out of high-quality material, which is the most important thing.
Big Green Egg is known for their egg-shaped grills but they also have the two draft doors to keep heat inside. The Kamado Joe has a similar style, but they have an airlift hinge, stainless steel latch, amp fire box, slide out ash drawer and a smoke chamber called the Sloroller hyperbolic.
Kamado Joe’s air bent is made out of cast iron aluminum, which means it will never rust. The Big Green Egg air vent will move around but their regulator vent cap comes with an adjustment tab and you can purchase an iron rain cap accessory to keep the vent from getting wet and rusted.
Kamado Joe has a patented slide out ash drawer that is easy to just take out and dump. The Big Green Egg has a self-cleaning oven effect which means less ashes to clean up.
Both brands are loved by grilling enthusiasts. They both have features and accessories and sizes that can accommodate any BBQing needs. While BGE is more famous, Kamado Joe is coming in fast with popularity so you can’t really go wrong with either.
If you choose Kamado Joe, you get more for your money. You get the accessories without having to buy separate accessories. Big Green Egg isn’t bad either as it also offers a lot, but if you want more for your money, we highly suggest Kamado Joe. If you have enjoyed reading about these brands today, please let us know below!