The Kamado Grill keeps growing in popularity, which is no wonder as it is an incredible cooking tool that is versatile and durable. However, there’s a little problem to many here, most of us associate kamado with nothing but an expensive egg, even though reality is completely different.
Currently, there are several manufacturers on the market that offer good kamado grills at different prices that are affordable even to those with a limited budget. The deciding factors that influence the price are size, quality of workmanship, type of materials and most of all, the brand.
We truly spent many hours analyzing the offers at stores and that’s how we found the best kamado grill at different categories and price ranges.
The hours spent testing different kamado grills got us convinced that it is possible to buy a good kamado grill for decent money, it is not required to spend a fortune ( at least $1,000 ).
Out of the entire offer we had an opportunity to see at stores, we picked one, the best in our eyes ceramic grill as well as several much cheaper kamado models that won’t put so much strain on your home budget.
What got us really surprises was the fact that there is a budget kamado grill that is actually good, doesn’t cost much and works great for those with a very limited budget. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the table and to read our reviews below.
The Best Kamado Grills of 2021 – Reviews
1. Best Ceramic Grill – Kamado Joe Classic II
First we present a solid and the best rated ceramic grill that in our view beats the popular Green Egg. It is made of high-quality materials ( mostly ceramics ) which is why the price is so high.
It is undoubtedly a suggestion for those who already have plenty of experience with the kamado style and know their needs and expect a high-quality grill that was made with attention to every detail.
Kamado Joe Classic II is a very well though-out grill that offers several innovative solutions you won’t find in the competitors. It was made to last for as long as possible and to provide positive experience during every cooking.
The quality of workmanship, innovative solutions (air lift hinge, which reduces the lid’s weight by about 96% ), the aluminum vent/rain cover provides 100% protection from corrosion, high-quality gasket and much, much more.
To put it in simplest terms, the best high-quality ceramic kamado grill, we recommend seeing the available videos where plenty of people speak in detail about this grill, you will see for yourself what a good choice that is.
For those beginning their journey with Kamado, the price might be a little shocking, but when we compare this model with the competitive, much more expensive kamado grills, it turns out that it is a perfect choice.
2. Mid-Range Pick – Char-Griller Akorn
We move on from the highest quality to the lower class, but still a good kamado. It is available at a price that is several times lower than that of Kamado Joe Classic II, which is why we shouldn’t compare them.
Char-Griller Akorn is a middle class big kamado grill which will be suitable for most people looking for a new kamado for many years, but not for eternity.
Compared to a high-quality kamado, this model comes with several downsides, but it makes up for all of that with its very good price that is usually several times lower than that of the highest-quality kamado grill.
Char-Giller Akorn Kamado is in our view a grill for those who are starting their journey with kamado and want a bigger grill for a decent price. It is not made of ceramics which is why its price is much lower compared to competitive models made of ceramics. It was made of stainless steel which has its downsides and upsides, just like any other material.
One downside is definitely the lower durability than in a decent long-lasting ceramic grill, whereas an upside here is its much lighter weight, warming up faster, and of course, a steel kamado grill will always be several times cheaper than a ceramic kamado grill.
At this kind of price, it has everything that a good kamado grill for this kind of money should have, of course it isn’t perfect, but it’s definitely worth your money. The food cooked on this grill won’t be any different from that made on a high-quality ceramic grill. The main difference is simply durability of the steel structure as well as of individual elements.
3. Budget Pick – Kamado Akorn Jr.
Something incredibly surprising to us, for such a low price you can buy a truly very good kamado grill, a huge advantage of which is low charcoal consumption. One has to admit that it is very small, but for 1-3 people it will surely be perfect if you don’t cook much.
It may not be a product of the highest quality, but for this kind of money the quality of workmanship is on a high, satisfying level.
We believe that it is a perfect small kamado grill for those who don’t cook a lot or have a very limited budget and want to learn about the kamado style without having to spend a fortune on a ceramic grill.
A kamado cooker this small can reach temperatures of 200 to 700 degrees F, similarly to expensive ceramic grills, at a very low charcoal consumption.
Due to its size, it doesn’t weight that much so you can freely move it around the backyard or bring it along when going on a trip, all the other standard kamado grills are characterized by their large weight.
Truly a very efficient grill that is perfect for beginners or for someone who only cooks for 1-3 people. When it comes to quality, it is satisfying, at this kind of price you can’t expect quality that is comparable to the best kamado grills, but we can confirm that it is a durable grill.
If you are new to the world of kamado and the high prices of standard models scare you away, you should definitely pick Kamado Akorn Jr.
Alternatively, if you spend a lot of time camping and love kamado grills, it is also a good choice for you, there is no other portable kamado grill as of now.
4. Pit Boss Ceramic BBQ Grill
Another ceramic kamado grill on our list, this time from Pit Boss. It is more than twice as expensive as the steel Char-Griller Akorn Kamado and few hundred dollars cheaper than Kamado Joe Classic II.
If you’re okay with this price range then you have a chance to buy a very good ceramic grill. According to our observations, there is no cheaper ceramic grill within this price range, so we decided that we would place it on our list.
The overall quality of this model is good, but if we take a look at less significant elements and details, we will get the answer to the question of why this grill is much cheaper than, for instance, Kamado Joe Classic II. There is a slight difference visible in the quality of workmanship for individual elements as well as no innovative solutions or gadgets.
It is simply a regular, well-made ceramic grill that will certainly serve you for a long time, but for a little more money you can buy something more interesting when it comes to extra features and gadgets. In our opinion, it wins against the popular BGE, but loses against Kamado Joe Classic II, which has interesting solutions and more perfected details.
In the end, it is a good ceramic grill for this kind of money, you probably won’t find a cheaper ceramic grill of this size and quality of workmanship.
Kamado Grills are less known than traditional charcoal, gas or pellet grills, however, they keep getting a little more attention every year. More interest attracts potential investors, who decide to make their own grill. For many years, Kamado was known thanks to BGE ( Big Green Egg ), today there’s a growing number of new manufacturers who offer really good competitive products ( Kamado Joe, Char-Griller, Pit Boss and many more ).
Every kamado from these manufacturers has its downsides and upsides, we don’t judge them by the brand. Our main goal is being able to buy a very good kamado for adequate money and that’s how we judge all kamado grills.
You might be wondering why our list doesn’t include the popular Big Green Egg? We have decided to cut down the list of good kamado grills to the minimum and only chose 4 models available at different price ranges that we think are worth their price.
When it comes to Big Green Egg, we have to admit that it is also a great ceramic grill, but compared to Kamado Joe Classic II, it loses in several categories ( mostly the price ), but also not having interesting features or less attention to individual elements. The kamado has an innovative air lift hinge, better lid gasket and much better upper air vent. When it comes to cooking, there is no difference, you will definitely be satisfied with both grills, but the above details and price have a significant impact on the final decision when buying a new ceramic grill.
This article was made to provide a diverse choice so that even a beginner could choose something for themselves. Which is why we chose several cheaper models, as most people don’t want to spend a huge sum on a kamado grill at first and choose something much cheaper to see how you even cook on this type of grill.
What to pay attention to when choosing a new Kamado Grill
- The Size
- The Price
Perfect Size – How big a kamado is has a lot of impact on the price, the bigger it is, the much more you have to pay for it. It is the best to carefully analyze what our actual needs are and buy a kamado of the right size.
If you don’t cook a lot, one of the smaller models will be enough, which is great for beginners and most important, doesn’t cost much at all. The bigger the grill, the more charcoal it will use, which also has to be taken into account.
The price – The price actually influences what grill you’re going to buy, the more it costs the better made it should be ( price doesn’t always match the quality ), but if you want a decent ceramic kamado grill then you have to get prepared to spend at least about a thousand dollars on such grill.
If you’re looking for something smaller and cheaper, however, you can get something good for much less. Alternatively, you can buy the cheapest kamado grill that will truly cost a little ( slightly below $200 ) and it will be a great choice for someone who’s buying their first kamado grill.
Once you learn how to cook on a kamado and come to love this style, then we recommend thinking about buying something better.
What it is made of – This also depends on the price, a real kamado is made of ceramics, but if you want to buy something much cheaper, you can choose a steel kamado grill. Both types have their upsides and downsides.
Ceramic Kamado – Their price is definitely higher, but they are very durable which makes it an investment for a really long time. They are corrosion resistant, take longer to warm up, hold temperature much better, weight a lot and are prone to falling ( cracking ceramics ).
Steel Kamado – Their price is several times lower, are less durable than ceramics in a long run, are prone to corrosion, weight much less and perform poorer at holding temperature.
In our view, steel kamados are great for starting the journey with this type of grill, their price is attractive which means that for a decent price you can become an owner of a steel kamado grill and see for yourself if it is the right type of grill for your or not. It would be a shame to buy an expensive ceramic grill for more than a thousand dollars and find out that it’s not the type of grill for you.
If you grow to love kamado, however, we wholeheartedly recommend to buy a ceramic kamado grill in the future – you will certainly not regret it. Its greatest upside is that the ceramics are rust-resistant, and the grill itself is durable which makes it a good investment for very long ( manufacturers of the best kamados very often offer a lifetime warranty for the ceramics ).
Mobility – It is actually hard to talk about mobility when we refer to kamado grills ( especially the ceramic ones ).
These are very heavy grills, which are hard to move to a different place, which is why they usually just stand in the same spot. But if you need a mobile portable kamado then the only chance are kamado made of steel. They are much lighter and cheaper, the risk of cracking is non-existent unlike with ceramics, which is another advantage.
We have found one model that should be suitable for people who travel and those who spend time camping, we’re talking about Char-Griller Akorn Jr.
Why a Kamado Grill?
Versatility – a Kamado Grill is great for cooking, for grilling steaks or hamburgers at high temperatures as well as for slow meat or veggie searing at low temperatures.
Taste of food – a Kamado grill is air-tight and it keeps a lot of smoke inside, which gets absorbed by the food. Hardwood lump charcoal is the fuel, which is the highest quality charcoal, and it generates the most smoke. The flavor of food is more intense than that in traditional charcoal grills because the cover in a kamado holds the smoke inside very well.
Temperature – a Kamado Grill is capable of reaching 200 all the way up to 700 degrees F. It all depends on how much charcoal you use and how you’re going to manipulate the air vents. A Kamado grill offers one of the best temperature control when it comes to charcoal grills. All you have to do is just properly manipulate the two air vents ( the bottom hole lets air inside the grill, whereas the top hole lets the air out ) the more air the faster and hotter the charcoal burns and analogously the opposite, the less air the slower the burning process and lower temperatures.
Easy to use and to keep clean – All you have to do is get the right amount of charcoal burning, close the lid and manipulate the air vents adequately in order to maintain a particular temperature. On the bottom of the grill, there is a fire box with hot charcoal inside, and below it is the fire grate with vents for the ash to fall through into a special ash container. Every once in a while, you just have to empty the ash container to provide a proper air flow ( too much ash clogs the holes in the fire grate which lowers the air flow ).
Durability – No other type of grill is as durable as kamado. Manufacturers of high-quality ceramic grills offer a lifetime warranty for the ceramics and a very long warranty for individual elements. It is a very durable grill, when it comes to ceramics it is corrosion resistant, but prone to cracks upon impact, which is why you should be careful when transporting your kamado.
Lots of upsides, now is the time for the downsides
The weight – All kamado grills are very heavy, which is why they usually stand in the same spot in the backyard. They are not suitable for transporting, the exception is a very small version of kamado that we described above.
Cooking area – compared to other types of grills, a regular kamado has a slightly small cooking area. The exception are high-quality large ceramic grills, the prices of which are sadly very high ( usually several thousand dollars ).
Patience and learning – It take a lot of time to warm up and a lot of time to cool down. It is not a grill for those who want to cook their food very fast. On top of that, a kamado tends to be a little difficult for beginners. It takes a little time to learn how to properly control the air vents in order to maintain the right temperature.
We believe that it’s a great choice for those who love food from a standard charcoal grill. Kamado is a whole new level not only when it comes to the quality of workmanship, but also in terms of the whole cooking process or even cleaning up.
It can certainly be a very interesting experience for those bored with a regular charcoal grill plus of course an investment for years to come if it’s a very good ceramic kamado we’re talking about.
How did we test?
We are experienced when it comes to all kinds of product tests ( mostly products related to BBQ ) and it is a pretty simple thing to us. As always, we start by the initial analysis of popular kamado grills in order to eliminate the inferior majority.
Then, once we already had a list of what we think are good kamado, we saw them at stores when possible and bought them in order to move on to practical tests.
Once we had all the grills, we started the long and tedious process of testing the grills. First we assembled each of the grills while evaluating the usefulness of the manual, then we moved on to practical tests in order to evaluate how each of the grills works in practice.
Right before the tests, we took a look at individual elements, evaluating their quality of workmanship. Then we started getting the charcoal burning, we tried to begin this task in every grill at the same time in order to see which of the grills would warm up the fastest to the temperature we chose ( 300 degrees F ), all that was left was to set the timer and measure the time. Of course the best faring were the models made of steel, because ceramics take a little more time to warm up. However, during cooking it turned out that, just like we expected, the temperature control was easier in ceramic grills. Ceramics, once they warm up, hold the heat definitely longer than, for instance, a steel grill, which is why they aren’t so prone to sudden drops of temperatures.
After reaching the desired temperature, we began the next stage, which was cooking. We simply put the same type of food on each grill ( chicken wings, hamburgers, sausages, steaks, and during a later stage we prepared smoke ribs ).
It was a demanding task to control the food on several grills at the same time, but the results were great. Of course there’s no big difference when it comes to the flavor of food because the grills were operated by experienced individuals. However, the point of this entire stage was to evaluate the convenience and functionality of each of those grills. That way we could easily tell how the temperature control in each of the grills worked, how each grill handled maintaining a fixed temperature, how much fuel they consumed and whom a particular type of kamado was the best for, and if it was worth its money.
So as you can see, it is a time-consuming and expensive method to choose a kamado grill worth your money at different price ranges. Only this way we were able to see how each of the kamados worked and we used the knowledge obtained from this experience to write for you a review of the kamado grills that took a part in those tests.
Oh, we almost forgot – at the end of the cooking we obviously started cleaning up and here’s where we could see how all of the solutions worked that manufacturers put in their models to make cleaning the grill easier ( mostly of ash ).
Why trust us?
Our website is mostly dedicated to the topics related to BBQ and cooking. We’re not a place with masses of posts about everything, here you will find not only reviews of all types of grills, but also advice related to cooking on a grill as well as plenty of helpful guides, like how to clean a kamado grill etc.
We love cooking on a grill just like you and we try to keep expanding our knowledge in this area by trying new things. That way we get a chance to test many different interesting grills as well as useful cooking accessories. The experience we gain allows us to precisely determine which grill is worth the price and that way we create useful guides and reviews that will certainly come in handy not only for the beginning fans of grilling, but also for the advanced ones.
Our goal is to deliver as many different suggestions as possible so that each of you can choose something right for themselves. Are you interested in a high-end grill? Or maybe you actually have a limited budget and want something cheaper – here you go, we can always pick something good from different price ranges.
When it comes to Kamado Grills, there aren’t quite as many manufacturers as with gas grills or pellet grills, which made our tests much easier and less time-consuming than our standard reviews. However, for an average person running such tests is still an expensive process in terms of time and money. That’s why we’re here and we hope that we helped you make the right choice, saving your time and money.
Looking for a different type of grill? You should definitely check out our other reviews and guides where you will learn a lot about the type of grill you find interesting.