Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: January 6, 2023

Kamado grills are an ancient method of cooking and grilling that have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.

I had used these grills since before they were in vogue. But with the explosion of options on the market today, how do you choose the best kamado grill?

To help narrow down your choices, I have tested out the best kamado grills and written this review.

Let’s get into it.

Top 7 Kamado Grills

1

1 - Weber Summit Kamado S6 Charcoal Grill

Weber Summit Kamado S6 Charcoal Grill

The Weber Summit Kamado S6 is a great all-in-one grill designed to be used as a smoker, grill, and oven.

The design is more similar to Weber kettle grills than traditional Kamado grills, but it has modernized features. It has an adjustable charcoal grate for better temperature control while grilling and ventilation for smoking.

The dual walls hold heat well, allowing for rapid temperature change if desired. The top vent has an adjustable dampener for easy temperature control, and the air intake allows for better circulation.

The grill's design makes it easier to maintain with a one-touch ash tray for easy cleanup.

I find the Weber Summit's lid damper system to be one of its best parts. It rapidly boosts air through the kamado, meaning that it gets to high heat very quickly.

I save 10-15 minutes every grilling session between this feature and the integrated gas ignition system.

Pros
  • Stainless steel diffuser plate for low-temperature smoking
  • Rugged porcelain-enameled steel construction
  • Dual-position fuel grate
  • Insulated walls reduce charcoal usage
Cons
  • Storage area under cart is wire grate and not solid
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 452 sq in
  • Dimensions : (Lid Open) 62.2 x 56.6 x 35
  • Heat Range : 100°F – 550°F
2

2 - Pit Boss K22 Ceramic Charcoal Grill

Pit Boss K22 Ceramic Charcoal Grill

A high-grade ceramic grill, the Pit Boss K22 has a large, 573-square-inch cooking surface area and stainless steel grates that make it easy to use and maintain.

The cast-iron top vent design is adjustable and ensures better airflow throughout the chamber, while its ceramic sides hold and radiate heat from the coals.

This grill is mounted on a four-wheel cart with two folding side shelves. The side shelves are large and sturdy, so I had no trouble storing the necessary tools and ingredients while grilling or smoking.

A temperature gauge also ensures you stay within the appropriate grilling range.

One of my favorite features of this grill is its shock-absorbing plunger, which prevents the lid from slamming.

This allows me to open and close the grill without worrying about damaging the ceramic body. The body is solid and durable, but the plunger helps keep it safe.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty caster wheels swivel and lock
  • Polished black steel ash tool kit included
  • Easy temperature control
Cons
  • The side shelves are plastic
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 573 sq in
  • Dimensions : 45.9 x 29.1 x 52
  • Heat Range : 100°F – 600°F
3

3 - Kamado Joe Big Joe III 24-inch Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe Big Joe III 24-inch Charcoal Grill

The Kamado Joe Big Joe III is a large 24-inch ceramic charcoal grill with a hyperbolic smoke chamber.

Bigger than the Kamado Joe Classic III, its unique design distributes smoke and heat in waves, allowing for even cooking and intense flavor.

The grill is made from the highest-grade ceramic, coated with a protective glaze that preserves its integrity over time.

This Kamado Joe grill has a "divide & conquer" cooking system, which lets you cook different types of food simultaneously.

The split grill grate is adjustable so that you can place some items closer to the fire than others. It also has an adjustable air intake, allowing you to control the temperature while grilling from 225 degrees to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

I like how Kamado Joe has worked to make this heavy grill easy to use. They have an "airlift" hinge that takes the heavy lid and makes it light enough to lift with just my finger.

On top of that, the galvanized steel cart with locking wheels is easy to move and push around my patio.

Pros
  • Charcoal basket divider sets up separate cooking zones
  • Integrated ceramic heat deflector
  • 450 square inches of dividable cooking area
Cons
  • An extremely heavy grill
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 864 sq in
  • Dimensions : 58.4 x 53.7 x 35.8
  • Heat Range : 225°F – 750°F
4

4 - Char-Griller E16620 AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill

The Char-Griller AKORN kamado is a highly affordable Kamado-style charcoal grill with insulated powder-coated steel construction.

Its triple-wall insulation keeps the heat in, making it ideal for low and slow cooking. It has 314 square inches of primary cooking space and a 133 square inch stainless steel warming rack to create two heat zones while you grill.

The Char-Griller AKORN has adjustable top and bottom vents that allow you to precisely control the temperature by maintaining an even airflow in and out of the grill.

And although it does not need much charcoal to heat up, the ash pan dumps easily for a rapid cleanup.

I appreciate that the Char-Griller AKORN lets me smoke, grill, bake, or sear, depending on what kind of meal I am in the mood for.

Brisket at 225 degrees, pizza at 375, or steak at 700 - this kamado can do it all.

Pros
  • Warming rack and stainless steel grates
  • Kamado cooking at a low price
  • Large locking wheels
Cons
  • The gasket seal is not as tight as others
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 447 sq in
  • Dimensions : 45 x 31 x 47
  • Heat Range : 200°F – 700°F
5

5 - Kamado Joe KJ13RH Joe Jr. 13.5-inch Portable Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe KJ13RH Joe Jr. 13.5-inch Portable Charcoal Grill

The Kamado Joe Jr. is a smaller, less expensive version of the Kamado Joe Classic III. However, a smaller size does not mean lower quality.

This good Kamado grill still has the same thick, heat-resistant ceramic body with a protective glaze as its larger cousin.

Its 150-square-inch cooking grate can hold up to seven burgers, two chickens, or a pork butt. And the ceramic Kamado Joe Jr. has a cast iron air vent to control the heat so that you can cook any of those at the proper internal temperature.

I found that it works best with charcoal, but you can also use wood chunks or chips.

I like that this Kamado Joe grill is more portable than most kamado style grills.

Although it is not light at 75 pounds, the grill has side handles on its cast-iron stand, so I can lift it and take it camping or tailgating.

Pros
  • Slide-out ash drawer
  • Integrated temperature gauge
  • Comes with cart and heat deflectors
Cons
  • Ceramic is more fragile than metal
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 150 sq in
  • Dimensions : 19.75 x 20.75 x 27
  • Heat Range : 225°F – 750°F
6

6 - Primo Grills Oval Junior Charcoal Smoker Grill

Primo Grills Oval Junior Charcoal Smoker Grill

The Primo Oval Junior is a ceramic charcoal kamado grill that boasts a unique oval shape.

It has a 210 square-inch main grate and another 150 square-inch grate to extend the cooking space, allowing it to smoke a whole turkey or pork butt.

This smoker has a porcelain glaze-coated ceramic body made with premium materials.

The company backs its ceramics with a 20-year warranty against manufacturer defects. Made in the USA, this gives the customer confidence in the quality of this grill.

I find that the Primo Oval Junior's lid system works very well. It raises and lowers without the effort some other kamado grills require, and the felt pad system prevents it from slamming shut. I have no concerns about my grill cracking because of lid use.

Pros
  • Many available accessories
  • Consistent temperature control
  • Even heat across the oval cooking surface
Cons
  • It may tip if not placed on a stand
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 360 sq in
  • Dimensions : 22 x 21.5 x 11
  • Heat Range : 151°F – 850°F
7

7 - SNS Grills Slow' N Sear Deluxe Kamado

SNS Grills Slow' N Sear Deluxe Kamado

The SNS Slow' N Sear Deluxe Kamado is one of the most innovative kamados on the market. Depending on your needs, this grill features a single- or dual-zone cooking system.

The first zone is a traditional grill grate over coals, while the second is a cooking chamber with the food placed inside. This means you get two different cooking environments in the same grilling session.

The Slow 'N Sear Deluxe is made from thick Cordierite for durability and thermal retention. It is a solid piece that comes rated to withstand high heat. You can cook items at very high temperatures without fear of melting or burning the grill.

In my view, the number of included accessories really sets this grill apart. In addition to the chamber, my grill came with a griddle, stainless steel warming rack, diffuser ceramic plate, two side shelves, a cradle, and an ash removal tool.

Pros
  • Tight seal for smoking
  • Easy access to coals
  • A wealth of accessories
Cons
  • Runs a bit hotter than other kamados
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Quick Facts:

  • Cooking area : 360 sq in
  • Dimensions : 30 x 55 x 48
  • Heat Range : 250°F – 700°F

"A Kamado isn't just a grill. It's a lifestyle."
- Bobby Brennan, Founder of Kamado Joe

Buyer's Guide

An image of a man who is looking for the best kamado grill online

When purchasing a kamado-style grill, there are several factors to consider. Here are some of the most important:

1. Size and Capacity

Consider the size of your outdoor space and how many people you typically entertain when choosing a kamado grill.

A larger kamado will allow you to cook more food at once and even double as an outdoor oven for roasting or baking.

They are great for entertaining and larger grills can be expanded with additional accessories like shelves, stands, or extra racks.

2. Heat Retention and Fuel Efficiency

Thicker walls on a kamado grill will make it better at retaining heat. This will result in needing less fuel to maintain an even cooking temperature for long periods.

This makes them ideal for low-and-slow cooking over an extended time without worrying about running out of charcoal quickly or needing frequent refueling.

Purists note that a ceramic kamado grill will have the best insulation, but insulated metal grills are also becoming increasingly popular and have good heat retention.

3. Temperature Management

An image of a person cooking meat using a kamado grill

Temperature management is vital in kamado grilling - the ability to easily adjust the temperature will ensure that you can cook your food as desired.

Look for a ceramic kamado grill with adjustable air vents, dampers, and built-in thermometers for better temperature management and accuracy inside the cooking chamber.

Note that the heat retention of ceramic grills means that they heat up faster than they cool down.

4. Cooking Versatility

Ensure you choose a kamado charcoal grill that advertises a wide temperature range. 

This way, you can use it as a traditional grill, pizza oven, or smoker. Look for a model that offers multiple cooking functions to get the most out of your investment.

5. Fuel Source

A close up image of charcoal as fuel source of kamado grills

Most kamado grills use either charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal as their fuel source.

Lump charcoal requires less frequent refueling than briquettes, but briquettes are easier to control, making them better suited to longer cooks that need more consistent heat output over time.

Some kamados are able to use wood as a fuel source, but typical kamado grills do not.

6. Accessories

Many accessories exist that allow you to get even more out of your kamado grill.

These include racks for indirect cooking, griddles and skillets for cooking on top of the grates, firebox dividers for separating coals from food during smoking sessions, and a pizza stone to cook pizza like in a professional brick oven.

Some grills may come with a chimney starter, removable warming rack, or an electric starter for added convenience and versatility.

7. Cleanup

Choosing a kamado with easy cleanup is important. Look for grills with removable ash pans and built-in drip trays to help make cleanup easier.

Some models even come with integrated ash removal systems that simplify emptying the ashes after each cookout. That said, the ceramic walls can make cleaning a kamado less complicated than other grills.

8. Quality

A close up image of kamado grill made with good quality materials

Kamados come in different sizes and styles, but you want to choose one with quality materials that won't crack under high temperatures or everyday wear and tear.

Metal is less likely to fracture than ceramic but is also less efficient at retaining heat.

You want a grill made from high-quality materials that are built to make it through many seasons of use outdoors in any weather condition.

9. Warranty

Most high-end ceramic kamado grills come with manufacturer warranties that cover defects in material or workmanship over a specified period of time.

You want to read through this information before buying your grill to know what type of coverage you're getting. Generally, a more extended warranty implies higher quality.

10. Portability

If you plan on taking your grill camping or tailgating, look for a lighter-weight model that is easy to transport yet still rugged enough for outdoor cooking.

Metal grills are lighter than ceramic cookers with thick walls, and metal is a more durable material. This may make it easier to carry; however, you lose some insulation with this type of kamado.

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11. Extra Features

An image of kamado grill with extra features

Some models include additional features such as side shelves where you can store utensils or ingredients while cooking, wheels for easy transportation around your backyard or patio, and even storage compartments for keeping charcoal or wood chips within easy reach when needed.

Others have ash removal systems for easy cleanup, lid locks/hinges, interchangeable cooking surfaces, digital thermometers, searing grids, and pizza stones.

12. Grill Grates

The type of grates used can significantly affect the performance of your kamado.

You should look for grills that have durable parts, such as stainless steel or cast iron grate, that are designed to hold onto heat and provide even heating across the surface.

Also, search for models with a heat deflector and removable cooking grates that are easy to clean with a grill brush and sponge.

Who Should Buy a Kamado Grill?

An image of a person cooking using a kamado grill

People who want a truly versatile grill that can slow-roast, smoke, sear, and bake should buy a kamado grill. Its highly insulated construction retains heat better over time, making it more energy efficient than traditional gas grills or other charcoal grills.

It can cook any style of cuisine – from Argentinian Asado to Texas-style barbeque and Tandoori cooking.

With the ability to hit high temperatures, kamados also open up the world of low-and-slow smoking and can even be used as an oven.

Who Should Not Buy a Kamado Grill?

People who prefer a "set it and forget it" style of cooking should not buy a kamado grill. These grills are for those who crave the ritual of tending to their hot coals and take pride in mastering the art of cooking with heat.

A kamado grill is not an appliance you can just throw some food on, heat up, and forget about, like with a gas grill. There's an element of creativity and finesse that needs to be brought out when handling it.

FAQs

Is It Worth It to Get a Kamado Grill?

Yes, it is worth it to get a kamado grill. These grills have excellent fuel efficiency and cooking power and are designed to last for years. They can accommodate a variety of cooking styles, such as searing, grilling, smoking, and baking.

How Long Will a Kamado Last?

A kamado grill can easily last for almost 20 years. A ceramic grill does not have the corrosion that metal grills experience, and with proper care, you can extend its life even further.

Does Food Taste Better on a Kamado?

Many grill masters believe that food tastes better on a kamado. Because the temperature is well-maintained, meat is juicier and more tender when cooked on this type of grill.

Will a Kamado Crack in the Rain?

No, a kamado will not crack in the rain. Its ceramic construction allows it to maintain its shape and structure even with exposure to moisture. However, the metal parts can rust, so you should store your kamado under a cover or in a sheltered area when not in use.

Can You Leave a Kamado Outside in Winter?

Yes, you can leave a kamado outside in winter if it is stored in a proper cover. A protective cover will help protect moisture from accumulating in the grill, which could expand when frozen and crack the kamado.

Does a Kamado Need to Be Seasoned?

No, a kamado does not need to be seasoned. A ceramic cooker is ready to use right out of the box. However, you should still clean it properly before and after each cooking session.

What Is the Best Kamado Grill for You?

After reviewing the features and benefits of all the best kamado grills on the list, I recommend the Weber Summit Kamado S6 as my top pick.

Its heavy construction and insulated metal walls help to retain heat efficiently, while its adjustable draft system makes temperature management easy for impressive performance.

Plus, users rave about this grill online and love how well it holds up no matter what they are cooking. From slow-cooked ribs to juicy burgers, this grill is designed for anyone looking for an excellent kamado grill.

Weber Summit Kamado S6 Charcoal Grill

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Stainless steel diffuser plate for low-temperature smoking
  • Rugged porcelain-enameled steel construction
  • Dual-position fuel grate
  • Insulated walls reduce charcoal usage
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of January
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