Best Kamado Grills

The 8 Best Kamado Grills for the Ultimate Outdoor Experience

Whether you are entertaining guests in your backyard or your family simply loves consuming juicy and tender meat quite regularly or every once in a while, kamado grills are a great way to cook food. The wood-fired flavor does not only makes the meat succulent, but also allows for versatility in cooking. If you are a vegan or a seafood lover, do not consider the kamado grill off limits: kamado grills can still become your best friend and make you fall in love with and rediscover the wonderful, mouthwatering taste of barbequed veggies all over again.

You have the choice of grilling, smoking, searing, roasting, braising, or baking your food with the kamado grill. This means that you can even bake dessert with the kamado grill. Further adding to the kamado grill’s manifold attractions is the great outdoor experience: you get a bit of the sun, the fresh air, plenty of great delicious smells, and we simply must not forget the great company.

The Kamado style grilling combines traditional, possibly the oldest form of outdoor cooking with the latest strides made in technology when it comes to barbecuing. In this article, we review some of the best kamado grills that are on sale for all the meat lovers out there who are also looking for the best outdoor experience.

Best Pick

Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill

Our best pick is the powder coated steel Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Kooker that can handle a wide range of temperatures and produces juicy cooked meat.

Budget Pick

Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr

Our budget pick is the portable and durable Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr that allows you to sear meat at high temperatures or slow cook your roast and uses up less charcoal.


1. Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill ​

Highlighted Features

  • Cast iron cooking surface
  • Body made of gauge steel
  • Powder coated steel exterior finish
  • Porcelain coated steel interior finish
  • Locking lid

Designed with insulation in mind, the Char-Griller E56720 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill and Smoker is a high performance grill and smoker that cooks using less charcoal. The reduction in airflow, as a result of the insulated heat, will produce juicy cooked meat; on the other hand, you have the option to slowly cook your roasted meat.

The cooking surface is made of cast iron; it is built to last and offers great versatility when it comes to how you want to cook your food. The body of the kamado grill is made of 22 gauge steel that can handle temperatures between 200-700 degrees Fahrenheit. While the exterior of the kamado grill is made of powder coated steel, the interior of the Char-Griller E56720 AKORN

Kamado Charcoal Grill is constructed using porcelain coated steel. The cart is designed with tubular steel and has rubber wheels. Other features include an easy dump ash tray, double insulation wall and a heat gauge.

Pros

  • Affordable
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    Easy to assemble
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    Very well insulated
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    Wide range of temperatures
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    Versatile
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    Allows you to save charcoal for the next time
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    Bottom ash pan detaches for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Hard to reduce the temperature
  • Susceptible to rust
  • Stand is not very sturdy

2. Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr

Highlighted Features

  • Dual air-flow dampers
  • Hinged locking lid
  • Heat gauge
  • Built in temperature gauge
  • Cast iron grates
  • Porcelain coated steel interior finish

Perfect for a small party, this kamado style grill packs the power of a full-sized AKORN in the small yet versatile Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. This kamado grill gives you the option to sear meat at high temperatures or slow cook your roast. The even heat within the kamado grill will make for tasty meals.

You have the option to cook your meal between the range of 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The adjustable dual dampers in the top and bottom are designed to maintain air flow while the highly insulated triple steel wall delivers one of the grilling adventures. Apart from also doubling as a smoker, this kamado grill is quite easy to assemble and just as easy to clean.

The durable handles on the Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker makes for portability. The hinged locking lid is a nifty feature on this kamado grill as it gives you easy access to the contents of the grill, in addition to keeping the lid tightly in place when in use. Finally, the Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr is fuel efficient, in that it uses less charcoal to grill more food like the more expensive ceramic varieties. 

The grill also comes with an easy dump ash pan that ensures that you can quickly clean up after you are done with your cooking. Its high portability due to its handles and lightweight makes it ideal for camping, tailgating, RVs and picnics on the roof-top or remote areas.

Pros

  • Affordable
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    Durable
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    Easy to assemble
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    Weighs lighter than ceramic grills
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    Holds the heat well
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    Doubles as a smoker
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    Cast iron cooking grates keep flare-ups low
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    Able to easily maintain desired temperature
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    Fuel efficient
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    Dump ash pan for easy cleanup
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    Portable for tailgating and camping

Cons

  • Does not cool as fast as other grillers
  • Tends to rust
  • Plastic handle to adjust the metal damper gets hot

3. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

Highlighted Features

  • Ceramic grill
  • Built in thermometer
  • Divide and conquer cooking system
  • Thick ceramic interior
  • Stainless steel rack
  • Stainless steel halved grill grates
  • Locking wheels

Whether you want to smoke, sear, bake, or roast, the Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill will do it all. You have the option of choosing a range of surfaces to suit your taste buds. The modern Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System will allow you to cook on one level or half the grill on the upper level and half on the lower level, reducing your total overall cooking duration for the multiple food arrangements that you have planned.

The charcoal grill allows you to cook your meat at a range of 225 to 750 degrees. It also has a built in thermometer, which conveniently lets you check the running temperature and make any upward or downward adjustments accordingly. You can also cook on half of the grill in direct heat and the other half in indirect heat.

This grill includes a patented slide out ash drawer as well as locking wheels that ensures safety. Additionally, the range of accessories you can invest in are guaranteed to enhance your eating experience.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
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    Easy to use
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    Sturdy
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    Tastes better than cooking with gas
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    Not as expensive as other grills
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    Multi-level cooking options
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    Fuel efficient
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    Maintains heat very well
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    Removable ash tray

Cons

  • Not ideal for a large party

4. Pit Boss 71220 Kamado BBQ Ceramic Grill Cooker

Highlighted Features

  • Ceramic grill
  • Two-tiered stainless steel grates
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Bamboo side shelves
  • Dual tier cooking grates

With the Pit Boss 71220 Kamado BBQ Ceramic Grill Cooker, the two tiered stainless grates mean that there will always be plenty of space to grill your food. The cast iron top damper gives you the opportunity to control and set the cooking temperature inside your grill as per your convenience. The temperatures can be set as high as over 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, the heavy ceramic walls of the kamado holds a well suited environment to lock in the moisture and enhance flavors while also benefiting you with the efficient use of each piece of charcoal you use. Anything ranging from ribs, steaks, burgers, pizzas and vegetables can be accommodated in the kamado, making it ideal for hosting friends and family gatherings.

This grill is equipped with two side shelves made of bamboo that are strong and can be closed to fit into a smaller space. Its wood handle makes the lid easy to handle while the fire proof edge and shock absorber on the lid gives good protection and safe to use. While being modern and versatile, allowing you to cook to perfection, it is also priced reasonably.

Pros

  • Sturdy
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    Affordable
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    Easy to control the temperature
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    Does not rust
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    Can easily add charcoal without removing the grates
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    Locking wheels
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    Ash can be easily removed
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    Bamboo shelves fold down easily for storage

Cons

  • Air vent on the bottom does not close well enough
  • Does not come with a heat deflector

5. Char-Griller 6520 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill

Highlighted Features

  • Dual adjustable dampers
  • Cast iron cooking grates
  • Large locking wheels

The triple walls of the Akorn Kamado Kooker are designed to retain heat and maintain temperatures between 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, all the while using less charcoal with its well-insulated design. You can thus easily roast your meat gradually or sear your meat at high temperatures. The adjustable dampers that are at the top and bottom will maintain air flow into and out of the grill both when you are cooking or smoking.

The flavors of the food being cooked are further enhanced while heat is evenly distributed throughout with the help of the cast iron cooking grates. This kamado grill has been constructed with porcelain coated steel interior finishing and a powder coated exterior finishing, making it durable.

It also features an easy dump ash pan, a cart tubular steel food prep area, a built in temperature gauge as well as two large-sized locking wheels, making it easy to move around. The lower storage rack comes in handy for storing briquettes, chimney starters and other accessories as and when required.

Pros

  • Durable steel construction built to last
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    Well insulated and maintains the temperature
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    One big side shelf for food preparations
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    Cheaper than other models
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    Lower storage rack to keep things you might need while grilling
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    Easy dump ash pan
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    Fuel efficient

Cons

  • A bit tricky to assemble
  • Hard to bring the temperature down
  • Tends to rust

6. Grill Dome Infinity Series Ceramic Kamado Grill

Highlighted Features

  • Premium Terapex ceramics
  • Heavy duty stainless hardware
  • Featherlite hinge system
  • Temperature gauge
  • Lifetime warranty

The Infinity Series Ceramic Kamado Charcoal Smoker Grill by Grill Dome allows you to cook your meat in any manner that you wish. You can barbeque, grill, smoke, or sear with this grill. The grill can produce temperatures between 225 to 750+ degrees Fahrenheit, which can be set accurately using the temperature gauge. Constructed of Terapex ceramics, this grill will also retain more heat, making the meat a lot more juicer.

The grill is made of heavy duty stainless steel, which prevents rusting and hence increases its durability, lasting much longer than the conventional ones that can only be used for 3 to 4 years on average. Its thick walls, measuring 1.25”, ensures heat optimizes heat retention and thus speeds up the cooking process.  Also, its Featherlite hinge system allows you to comfortably lift the lid and also makes for easy cleaning once you are done cooking.

While the dial top allows for maintaining smoke more accurately, the adjustable knob locks in the setting. Moreover, the door is designed in such a way that ensures that airflow occurs in a consistent manner. The large size of the grill makes it a convenient choice for big parties and get-togethers.

Pros

  • Dial top controls smoke precisely
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    Adjustable knob to lock in the setting
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    Easy to use once you get the hang of it
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    Tall lid allows you to cook larger chunks of meat
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    Less likely to rust
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    Will last longer than grills made of metal
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    Easy to remove the ash

Cons

  • Slightly on the pricier side
  • Paint bubbles near the vent letting moisture into the ceramic

7. Broil King 911470 Keg 5000 Kamado Grill

Highlighted Features

  • Insulated steel design
  • Cast iron top damper
  • Aluminum lower damper
  • Heavy duty gasket
  • 10-year warranty on the grill body
  • 2-year warranty on the remaining body parts

The double wall steel body of the Keg 5000 Kamado Grill is designed to retain high heat and moisture more efficiently than regular ceramic grills. It is highly durable and fuel efficient, which means that you will end up using less charcoal than other grills with its steel design, heavy duty gasket and cast iron damper - consuming two times less fuel than traditional grills. This way you can spend less on buying charcoal and more on quality food to cook on your kamado grills.

This grill comes with a cooking grid that has a large surface area alongside a secondary rack that can be used to cook plenty of food at once. The metered markings on the damper lets you easily keep note of your damper settings so that you can use the same settings again as and when required.

Unlike other grills that require you to further invest in more accessories, this grill already comes with a chrome swing-away secondary rack, detachable resin side shelves, twin bottle openers on top of the lid handle, a multi-purpose tool to clean and adjust the grill and a base that has removable wheels and handy for moving the grill in trailer areas.

This means that you once you purchase this kamado grill, it is ready to use right away once you done unboxing and assembling it. Excess ash from the grill is well taken care of with the removable steel ash catcher compared to other grills where you need to scrape them out. This way, it is easier and faster to clean up after.

Pros

  • Already comes with accessories
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    Heats up quite quickly
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    Great for slow cooking
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    Large overhead for cooking whole chicken
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    Fuel efficient
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    Tray keeps the ash contained
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    Removable ash catcher makes it easy to clean out the ash
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    Rolling cart is sturdy

Cons

  • Cannot quickly change temperatures
  • Difficult to lower the temperature once it heats up

8. Blaze Cast Aluminum Kamado Grill, BLZ-20-KAMADO

Highlighted Features

  • Thick cast aluminum body
  • Stainless steel grill grates
  • Stainless steel hinges
  • Tongue and groove design
  • Molded exhaust cap

The unique design of this premium cast aluminum grill will allow you to grill, roast, bake and braise. The tongue and groove design means that there will be almost no heat loss with the Blaze Cast Aluminium Kamado Grill. Moreover, with the 1” thick aluminium body, the grill provides both high durability and exceptional performance.

Heat can be adjusted conveniently as the molded exhaust cap ensures that it does not slip out of its position. Heat in the grill can be well supervised with the integrated temperature gauge. It features a secondary cooking grate so that the food can be cooked at a closer distance to the fire.

The hinge is made of stainless steel and offers a lid assist, allowing you to easily lift the grill without much discomfort. Also, the hinges on both sides allows for charcoal to be added effortlessly. The base is made to stand stable with the aluminium feet that comes with the grill.

Pros

  • Durable and long-lasting
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    Great temperature control
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    Easy to lift the grill hood
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    Easy to add more charcoal

Cons

  • Best not to leave it exposed to the elements
  • Aluminum does oxidize

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Kamado Grill

Make 

One of the first things you will have to consider when deciding to invest in a kamado grill is the type of material the kamado grill was constructed with. Kamado grills are made using ceramic or metals like stainless steel. The type of grill you choose will ultimately depend on how you want your meat to taste.

Ceramic grills heat up faster and are perfect if you have time constraints. Additionally, the ability of ceramic grills to retain the temperature means that you can open the lid add sauce or cheese to the meat without worrying about losing the heat.

Food 

Another important factor you should take into account when determining the type of kamado grill to invest in is the question of what you will be cooking in it. Are you going to slowly cook large pieces of meat or grill crispy pizzas? Do you like searing your seafood? Of course, there’s a possibility that your answer is yes to all of the above.

In the end, what you will eventually cook will determine the size of the kamado grill itself. Just make sure that your kamado grill has ample space and will be able to accommodate enough food for the number of people you expect to regularly cook for.

Accessories

Some kamado grills will come with all the accessories that you will need for a fully equipped and functional kitchen. These kamado grills are good to start using once you have taken the time to assemble them. Other kamado grills, on the other hand, will require you to invest in further accessories that you will have to separately place orders for.

It is wise to do the research and be in the know as to what accessories will be included with the purchase and what optional items you will have to buy to make full use of your kamado grill.

Weight

Kamado grills tend to be heavy. In most other instances, they can also be fragile. What this means is that it is unwise to constantly bring your kamado grill in and out of storage. But then again, how often you use the kamado grill will determine whether you will always have it ready and available in your backyard or whether it will be spending most of its lifetime in the storage.

It is ideal in any case to be able to store the kamado grill exactly where you will be cooking with it. This again will depend on the type of space you have. However, if you will be lugging the kamado grill around then perhaps it is wise to invest in metal one as it will likely be a lightweight model.

Fuel 

When it comes to kamado grills, you have the option of choosing gas or charcoal to cook your food. Those who have changed from gas to charcoal have claimed that the smoky flavor reintroduced them to the taste of food. Also, it is argued that the kamado grill works best with lump wood charcoal, which burns more cleanly and produces less fire-smothering ash.

Charcoal briquettes, on the other hand, may contaminate the flavor and set into the ceramic interior. You can alternatively also use wood as fuel.

Price

Of course, a good quality kamado grill that will also be long lasting can be expected to be a bit on the pricier side. Usually, these kamado grills will also come with thicker walls and most of the accessories that you will need to fully derive all the benefits you are seeking.

While you may feel that these pricier models of kamado grills are expensive, you will realise that they are also made to ensure better heat retention. This means that you will be saving up a great deal of fuel cost in the long run.

History

That’s right, the word is kamado and not komodo as we are not referring to the flesh-eating lizard!

The kamado grill is said to originate in China where a type of clay cooking vessel was used. Once it made its way to Japan, the vessel was adapted first into a rice cooker called the ‘mushikamado’. Kamado means ‘oven’ or ‘cooking range’ in the Japanese language.

Fast forward to the 1940s American soldiers who were deployed to Japan during the Second World War brought home the kamado among other Japanese novelties. Upon their return they used it for grilling purposes rather than for cooking rice. More tweaking led to the addition of a lid and hinges as well as means to control airflow. Further, ceramic was used instead of clay to construct the kamado.

There is no mistaking the best charcoal griller in the world as the Kamado grill is distinctly shaped like an egg. A stand is provided to hold up the kamado grill. A good kamado will come with a lid that seals tightly. Plus, the interior of the grill is designed so that it will heat up evenly. While ceramic is now the more commonly used material, metal options are also available.

A good kamado grill will give you the option to be used as an oven and a smoker.

Different Types of Kamado Grills

Ceramic

Ceramic kamado grills are the most commonly used type of kamado grills. They cook from all sides, unlike traditional grills which will cook only from the bottom. Ceramic grills will additionally offer you the ability to grill, bake, and smoke so you are in essence buying one product instead of three if you like variety in your food choice.

Ceramic grills are also on the heavier side. Indeed, the thicker the ceramic - or rather the heavier the grill - the better the machine is in retaining heat.

Metal

Metal kamado grills are a relatively new invention in recent times compared to ones made of ceramic. Metal kamado grills are lighter than ceramic ones. While both the ceramic and the metal kamado grill can cook for long uninterrupted hours without requiring you to add more charcoal, the former still has the upper hand.

Metal kamado grills will however outlast ceramic ones.

Advantages of Using Kamado Grills

Kamado grills are relatively easy to use compared to other types of barbeques once you get the hang of controlling the temperature. They offer great versatility as you can just about do anything with them, which includes grilling, smoking, searing, baking and roasting.

The kamado grill is able to retain more heat in an efficient manner due to its thicker walls compared to other grills, making them more fuel efficient. It is able to cook evenly because of the reflected heat, making it ideal for making pizza without worrying about burning the sides. These grills come with temperature controls that allows you to adjust the heat in the same way that you do on your stove or oven in the kitchen.

This makes this particular type of grill of one the most popularly used appliances.

Also, kamado grills offer the delicious barbeque flavors and are relatively easy to use once you get used to them. It is also comparatively easy to clean and requires minimal maintenance. They are ideal for cooking in winter or cold climates without too much hassle, perfect for every season.

Kamado grills are an investment that is quite likely to last for years if they are well cared for. They tend to be highly durable and require low maintenance. They usually come with a warranty period ranging from around two years for the budget ones and as high as five years for the ones that are more on the pricier end, based on the materials used to make the kamado.

Also, once you taste your grilled food, there’s no looking back or returning to the pre-kamado grill period of your life!

Conclusion

You can probably agree now that kamado grills are the way to go if you want an equipment that will let you cook your meat, vegetables, seafood, or dessert in a variety of ways. Kamado grills will let you serve homemade fresh and well cooked food instead of opting for restaurant orders.

We hope this article will help you to invest in the best kamado grill that is well suited to your specific needs and the type and number of people that you intend to use the grill to cook for. A kamado grill has the capacity to become an overnight sensation if you invest in the right one. It will not only enhance your outdoor experience but will be a great hit with both your family and guests.

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