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Kamado Joe KJ23RH Classic Joe Grill, 18", Red
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- Premium 18" Ceramic Grill with Sturdy Cart, Locking Wheels
- Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System Included
- Patented Slide-Out Ash Drawer
- Ash Tool and Grate Gripper Included
- Best Built, Most Versatile, Best Warranty
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BEST BUILT, Flat out the best ceramic grill on the planet! That may be a bold statement, but we invite you to look under the hood and see for yourself! If you compare Kamado Joe Ceramic Grill with other ceramic grills on the market, you'll soon recognize that Kamado Joe's the best built grill on the market and that fit and finish are second to none! But there's a lot more to a Kamado Joe grill than meets the eye. MOST VERSATILE. We may call Kamado Joe a grill, but it's really that and a whole lot more. A key advantage of Kamado Joe's ceramic vessel is its ability to insulate. Not only does this require less total heat for cooking, it also lets you cook at significantly higher temperatures or at very low temperatures for a significantly longer time. Combine this with the ability to not only control, but fine-tune temperature, and you get a grill that is extremely versatile. Grill, Smoke, Sear, Bake. BEST WARRANTY. We back them like we build them. Boldly and better than anyone else! Kamado Joe comes with a Lifetime Warranty on ceramic parts and free shipping on all warranty parts.
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The ceramic vessel is nearly identical in size, shape, and thickness to the Big Green Egg. Therefore you can expect it to cook just as well.
For this $1,000 Kamado Joe, you get the ceramic vessel, the heat diffuser plate, a multi-tier grill, the side-shelves, the rolling base, a poker, and a grill gripper. Furthermore, when I received this item it was completely assembled. All I had to do was put the vessel onto the stand. The same equipment, plus delivery, plus assembly for a local BGE dealer would have cost me $1,500 to $1,600. The Kamado Joe also has a better quality thermometer and a very convenient ash collection tray. I own a big green egg minimax and I have grilled with both Kamado Joe and BGE and I can attest that the grilling results are comparable. As a final touch, the Kamado Joe comes with a well written and concise instruction booklet with simple and comprehensible diagrams; whereas the last big green egg I bought came with some brochures to buy more accessories ...
I was really torn over getting the large big green egg or this item. I read several online reviews that conclude the performance of the Kamado Joe is identical to the BGE, with some minor preference for the Kamado Joe because the steel bands holding the dome lid and the felt gasket materials are slightly better quality. I am glad I followed the guidance of the review (buy the cheaper grill). All the pros to the Kamado Joe I mentioned above have reassured me that I made the right choice.
I am truly grateful to the Kamado Joe company staff for creating this product that gives me so much more value. I still feel dirty from my encounters with sleazy BGE retailers who don't even post the prices of the BGE grills on the floor of their stores. It seems like depending on the day, time, and even weather their price fluctuates up and down by plus or minus $60 with the total price coming in $500 higher than this Kamado Joe. Furthermore, the dealer disorients me with a barrage of all the add-ons: more money for the shelves, the poker, the grill gripper, the stand. Oh, and by the way, they are happy to sell me some of their own patio furniture for an extra thousand dollars. On the other hand, Kamado Joe, will sell you three simple ceramic feet pices for a nominal cost so you can simply set your grill on the ground or your existing patio equipment. I think the BGE is stuck in a 20th century mentality of screwing the consumer with "authorized retailer" markup.
Finally, it is kind of nice how Kamado Joe is named after the original Japanese style Kamado ovens, giving credit to those who came before and made important contributions to the grilling craft.
A few of practical points:
1. This is a very heavy package. It was packed in very durable heavy duty cardboard. Nevertheless my grill did move around inside its package. I carefully inspected the item and I could not find any damage or cracks. Ordering through Amazon, gave me confidence that I would be handled fairly if I receive an item damaged because of shipping.
2. The metal insert for the ash collection has a small lip that I needed to bend with pliers to get it to fit optimally in the base of my Kamado oven.
3. You will need two strong people to lift the vessel into its rolling cradle stand. It will be very difficult for one person to lift it, but it can be done by putting one of your hands in the base ash tray opening and carefully stabilizing the kamado with your other hand on the hinge. While holding the Kamado oven in this position one of the metal shelf supports will be dangerously close to your testicles.
I loved my Big Green Egg, so I was a little worried that the Kamado Joe wouldn't have the same quality and temperature control abilities. No need to have worried. This is a well built product that has actually made some improvements over the Green Egg design. I'll compare the two since my dilemma was to buy this or The Big Green Egg:
1. The temperature control is as easy, accurate, and consistent as my Big Green Egg. Once the charcoal is lit, you can adjust the dampers to achieve your desired temperature, and it stays right there even on windy days.
2. The top has a felt ring around it that holds the cast iron damper cap in place even when opening and closing the grill. This is an improvement over the Big Green Egg which just had the cap sitting on the ceramic. I would have to remove the cap when opening the lid to keep it from falling off of the Egg.
3. With the Big Green Egg, you needed a bucket and ash tool, that was not included, to clean out the ash after cooking. The Kamado Joe has a slide in drawer that catches the ashes. The drawer holds enough ash to burn down a full load of charcoal, then you just pull it out, empty it, and put it back in. It would be a good idea to occasionally remove the fire box, etc. and clean around it (also true of The Big Green Egg), but this tray makes it much easier to empty the ash out during every day use.
4. You could only cook on the upper or lower level at one time on The Big Green Egg. The Kamado Joe comes with the Divide and Conquer system that allows you to cook all on one level or half the grill on the upper level and half on the lower level (closer to the coals). It also allows you to make half of the grill indirect heat while cooking with direct heat on the other half. This was great for reverse-searing steaks. I could cook them to medium rare with indirect heat then move them to the lower grate with direct heat to quickly sear them.
5. The only thing I can think of that the Big Green Egg has over the Kamado Joe is the ceramic cap that you can put in place after using to shut off airflow and put out the coals. Closing the damper on top of the Kamado Joe has the same effect, but maybe a little less efficiently than the ceramic cap.
I don't want to take anything away from the Big Green Egg, because it is a quality product and mine is still in use performing like-new after 4 years. I have only had the Kamado Joe for a few months now, so while I can't say how durable it is, I can say that it feels as solid as the Egg and I would expect it to also be performing like a champ in 5 years. Overall, I am very happy with my Kamado Joe, and keeping in mind that I have 5 years experience with the Big Green Egg and only 3 months with the Kamado Joe, so far I would recommend the Kamado Joe to anyone who is on the fence like I was between this and The Big Green Egg.