Do you want a grill that will make you the envy of all your neighbors? Consider a ceramic grill like Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg. These grills are shaped like large oval eggs and are made of ceramic. They retain heat and distribute it more evenly for a consistent result every time.
Let’s compare the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg and see what we can conclude.
Kamado Joe Classic II versus Big Green Egg
Although these two grills are made by different companies, they have a lot in common. It’s always difficult to know which grill will work the best for you unless you know a lot about their individual features. We want to share with you some detailed information about each grill. Then you can decide on your own which one you prefer the most! We will start with some common features first.
What Is A Kamado Grill?
A kamado grill is a charcoal fueled grill that has the shape of an ancient urn or a giant egg. It is a modern version of the Japanese kamado which is an earthenware cooking urn. They are usually made of ceramics, cement, or terra cotta which are all good insulators and hold in heat well. If you really take care of your kamado grill, it can last you a lifetime.
Both of these kamado grills are made of ceramic. The overall base construction is the same on both grills. The available upgrades and accessories are what sets each grill apart.
Each grill has an air vent on top of the lid. The Big Green Egg’s vent is made of cast- iron which is not resistant to rust. On the other hand, the Kamado Joe has an aluminum air vent which is 100% resistant to rust.
Both of these kamado grills have a thermometer built in to the top side of the lid. They are very accurate and easy to read. The Kamado Joe thermometer is about twice the size of the Big Green Egg thermometer.
The Big Green Egg is well-known for its bright green egg-shaped appearance. This sets it distinctly apart from all other grills. Although the Kamado Joe may have a similar shape, it cannot be confused with the Big Green Egg. The Kamado Joe has a stylish bright red color often referred to as Blaze red. It cannot be confused with any other kamado-style ceramic grill.
These grills both come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. This covers all the ceramic parts for the grill. The smaller metal components are covered by a limited warranty.
It is obvious that these companies stand behind their products. The lifetime warranty gives you confidence that these grills are rugged and made to last for a long time.
The Kamado Joe grill comes with a stand that has wheels making it easier to move around your patio or deck. The wheels can be locked in place when you need the grill to be stationary.
There are many stands and carts available for the Big Green Egg. You can pick from a variety of stationary stands, integrated tables and even nest “handlers” with wheels. There are many choices, but you typically have to pay extra for a stand for this grill.
Unboxing and Assembly
The Kamado Joe is very easy to assemble and will take an average-skilled individual about 30-minutes to put everything together. The Kamado is typically delivered in a well-secured box which minimizes damage to the product.
The Big Green Egg is more complex to assemble than you might expect. It could take you anywhere from 1.5-hours up to 2-hours to assemble the Big Green Egg fully so it is in ready-to-use condition. If you choose to, you can hire someone to assemble the grill for you which will free up your time but might hurt your pocketbook!
Kamado Joe Features
What sets the Kamado Joe apart from the Big Green Egg? Let’s explore some features that Kamado Joe offers.
The lid hinge on the Kamado Joe is designed as a fully counterbalanced hinge. This innovative design means the lid is extremely lightweight to lift and it also will not suddenly drop if you happen to take your hand off of it. A mechanism takes over to lower the lid all the way down slowly.
One of the most important features of a grill is the gasket which keeps smoke inside of the grill. Kamado Joe uses a wire mesh fiberglass gasket which is much more durable than standard gaskets. It also has the ability to resist extremely high temperatures and will not wear out or get damaged quickly.
The Kamado Joe manages debris extremely well. Since the grill is charcoal fueled, this means you will produce a considerable amount of charcoal ash. Behind the bottom air vent on the Kamado Joe, there is an easy to remove and carry ash drawer. This drawer can be removed at any time while you are grilling so you can throw the ash away quickly and easily.
Grates and Cooking Area
The Kamado Joe has a dual rack system which allows you to set the racks at different heights depending on what you are grilling. It also comes with a hot rack grabbing tool that can be used to move hot grates quickly when needed.
Summary of Features:
- Counterbalanced lid hinge
- Wire mesh fiberglass lid gasket
- Easy to remove ash drawer
- Dual grilling rack system
- Hot rack grabbing tool
Big Green Egg Features
The Big Green Egg is a lightweight ceramic kamado grill. This kamado allows you to grill foods and sear the perfect steak, pork chop or burger. There are two dampers for accurate temperature control. The insulating ceramics of the Big Green Egg lets you precisely control the temperature of your grill even at a low heat. You can achieve a low temperature of only 200-degrees which will result in succulent lamb or turkey!
The biggest difference this grill has from the Kamado Joe is all the accessories it has available. The Big Green Egg typically provides add-ons for an extra cost. This means you may end up paying more for the grill than you originally expected.
The Big Green Egg does offer a lot of accessories that can complement your grilling experience. One of our favorite accessories is the Mates shelves.
The Big Green Egg has ash debris located on the bottom of the grill. You have to clean up the ash manually using an ash rake. You definitely want to ensure you aren’t stirring up a lot of ash while you are grilling.
Grates and Cooking Area
The grates on the Big Green Egg are standard height. You can move the grates down a little but you have to remove the ceramic plate in order to lower the height of the grill grates.
The Big Green Egg has many extra “EGGcessories” you can buy to add on to your grill. There is a variety of cast-iron plates, grates and even expander racks. One of our favorite accessories is the Mates shelving system. They are suitable for any outdoor conditions and are highly resistant to sunlight or fading.
The shelves feature a non-slip textured surface, wider side profile and subtle wood-grain detailing. They even contain the Big Green Egg logo! You can choose to raise one shelf and use it or both shelves for more space. The composite material ensures these shelves will last you a long time!
Summary of Features:
- Durable lid hinge
- Easy to remove ash debris
- Standard height grates
- Many accessories available including composite Mates shelving system
The Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg are extremely high-quality grills that will last a lifetime. The Kamado Joe includes many built in features and accessories whereas the Big Green Egg provides you with the base product you must add on to with additional accessories. The Kamado Joe gives you the most function for the price. The Big Green Egg allows you to customize your grill like no other.