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To find the best kamado grills, we recommend you look for a grill that features a ceramic or multi-walled cast iron or heavy gauge stainless steel construction and has a max cooking temperature of no less than 600 degrees, and features easily adjustable matched vents for maximum precision in temperature control. Additional features like removable ash collectors and ash pans, porcelain-coated surfaces to increase heat and moisture retention or offer nonstick grilling, additional warming racks, and folding side prep tables are all good to look for.
After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a multitude of products with varying price points and features, we’ve determined that the Blaze Freestanding Kamado Grill is the best kamado grill you can buy on the market today. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about choosing the best grills on the market.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A unique lightweight but highly durable aluminum construction with the exceptional heat retention and weatherproof seal of ceramic units and added mobility at an exceptional value for its performance.
The Blaze Freestanding Kamado Grill is a high-performance kamado-style grill with an unusual lightweight aluminum build. It features a 1” thick cast aluminum body, 304 stainless steel grill grates, 304 stainless steel hinges, and stainless steel legs with heavy-duty caster wheels for plenty of mobility. Its fairly generous 400 square inch cooking area is height-adjustable, allowing for varying amounts of food and charcoal depending on your needs.
A molded exhaust cap allows for precision heat control without the common issue of it slipping out of position, and an additional 18” steel cooking grate to supplement the standard 20” allows for heating closer to the charcoal for sears and broils. Its metal construction significantly reduces its weight compared to that of ceramic models, but does cause its outer surfaces to heat up far more during use. But for a high-performance, easy to use, and still highly durable and long-lasting kamado grilling option, it’s an exceptional value. Looking for an alternative to coal? You’ll want to check out the best infrared grills on the market.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A highly mobile design and build that’s extremely compact and space-efficient for its generous cooking capacity, made with high-tech ceramics for exceptional durability, long life, and safety.
The Primo 7500 is a mid-large-sized ceramic kamado grill built for creating large meals while still being compact and mobile enough for convenient use in smaller spaces. Convenience and performance features include a cast iron top vent for maximum heat control, an easy-to-read thermometer, porcelain coated reversible cooking grates for clean-burning, semi-nonstick cooking, and a durable stainless steel draft door. Foldable and generously sized side prep shelves, an ash compartment for easy cleanup, and an included ash tool & grate lifter make it even more user-friendly.
Professional assembly is available for an extra fee, which may be a good option for some as it’s somewhat more complicated to assemble than some similar models in its class. But with its top-quality, high-tech ceramic body giving it classic kamado-style performance, reliability, and long life, and its numerous convenience and mobility features, it’s a great choice for a model that can be used anywhere but is still capable of professional results for large groups. If you’re going to be smoking meats, the best pellet smokers can help take your barbeque game up a notch.
Award: BEST ADVANCED FEATURES
WHY WE LIKE IT: Multiple innovative features for ease of use and performance including push-button startup and cleaning systems, a porcelain-enameled lid for extra heat retention, and a dual-walled build for consistent temperature over hours of cooking.
The Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center is a kamado-style semi-mobile grilling unit featuring the ceramic and charcoal cooking system of traditional kamado grills combined with the advanced modern features of many mid to large size professional gas grills. Among its advanced ease of use, features are a gas-powered push-button ignition system that lights charcoal instantly for even quicker heat-up than traditional kamado grills, a patented One-Touch automatic cleaning system for far easier cleanup than most leading weber grill models, a porcelain-enameled lid and bowl for superior heat retention, and a double-walled construction that further ensures maximum heat retention and allows for consistent and precise temperatures for hours of cooking.
Its cart-like design also includes four heavy caster wheels, a generous prep table, a metal storage basket, additional undercarriage storage basket and space, and a tight-sealing vent for heat control, but it all adds considerable bulk compared to simpler traditional kamado grills. Still, for excellent performance, reliability, control, and ease of use, as well as a good degree of mobility, it’s a top-quality choice for kamado-style cooking. If mobility is not a concern for you, our best built-in grills guide offers some great solutions for your dream outdoor kitchen.
Award: BEST FOR BEGINNERS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Compact and highly mobile with a pared-down, user-friendly design but modern features like a patented air-lift lid hinge, it’s a space-saving, fuss-free option that offers plenty of performance for beginners.
The Kamado Joe Classic II is a smaller mid-sized ceramic and steel kamado-style charcoal grill with a pared-down design that nonetheless has some ingenious features that make it a versatile and easy-to-use option for beginners and users making smaller meals. Its 18” stainless steel grill features a patented 2-tier “Divide & Conquer” design that allows for cooking foods at two different distances to the coals simultaneously, allowing for more flexibility and faster preparation of multipart meals. Its patented Air Lift Hinge lid reduces dome weight by 96% and allows the grill’s dome to be lifted by a single finger, making it even more comfortable and easy to use.
Its Kontrol Tower Top Vent maintains consistent airflow for precise and constant temperature control from 225 to an impressive 750 degrees, while a removable ash catcher and heavy cast iron cart component with caster wheels add convenience and mobility. While its main total cooking area may be slightly smaller than other models in its class, its wide temperature range, innovative but simple design, and ease of use make it a high-performance grill that’s perfect for beginners and expert grillers alike. Another great choice for beginners is a standard propane grill. Check out our best propane grills buying guide for the best options.
Award: BEST MID-SIZED DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: A mid-large-sized entry in their standard line, features all the high-temperature versatility, performance, and ease of use, with a generous 24” cooking area and convenience features like large side prep tables.
The Kamado Joe Big Joe II is the larger version of the Kamado Joe Classic II with the same user-friendly but very modern design but a larger 24” cooking area allowing for preparing meals for large groups. Standard features include the patented Divide & Conquer multitiered flexible cooking system, a heavy-duty cast iron cart with caster wheels for mobility, a precision ventilation dial for precise temperature control, and a patented slide-out ash drawer for easy cleaning.
It all comes at a somewhat higher price point than many in its class, and it’s definitely a bulkier model than some similar models, with its extra-thick heat-retaining shell and large pull-out dual prep tables. But for Kamado Joe’s innovative features and robust but fairly simple and user-friendly design, it’s a high-performance option for creating large meals, and considering the long life and durability it has to offer, it remains a good investment. You might also be interested in the best rotisserie grills for a different option for slow-cooking, roasted meat.
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: Even-cooking semi-non stick cast iron cooking grates, a compact but heavy-duty design, excellent temperature range, and high performance at an exceptional value.
The Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Grill is a small, budget-minded but high-performance kamado grill with a ceramic and triple-walled porcelain-coated stainless steel construction for maximum heat retention at temperatures ranging from 200-700 degrees. Top and bottom adjustable dampers allow for even and precise airflow for hours of consistent cooking at all temperatures. Convenience features include a removable ash container for easy cleanup and a built-in, precise temperature gauge.
Its 134” total cooking area is significantly smaller than many kamado grills on the market, and it lacks some mobility features like caster wheels. However, its high-quality build, including its triple-walled ceramic and steel body and cast iron cooking grates offers exceptional performance with precise control and consistent results, making for an amazing value at its very modest price point. For additional budget-friendly (and highly portable) options, you might also consider one of the best camping grills.
Award: BEST VERSATILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A next-generation mid-small-sized model in the line with the same mobility features and performance but even more advanced features like a 3-tier grill system, a motorized rotisserie system, and galvanized steel construction.
The Kamado Joe Classic Joe III is the next-generation version of Kamado Joe’s Classic grill line in a small-mid-sized package, with all the performance and normal features of its “II” line with even more advanced, modern features. Newer features include a motorized rotisserie system, a steel basket divider for separating different foods being cooked simultaneously, a patented “Slōroller” hyperbolic smoke chamber for exceptional smoke absorption during smoking functions, a heavy-duty galvanized steel rolling cart, an extended 3-tier version of Kamado Joe’s “Divide & Conquer” flexible cooking system, and full mobile device connectivity for remote control.
The generous offering of modern and high-tech features and top build quality comes at a fairly high price point for its class. But for its exceptional versatility, longevity-minded heavy-duty build quality, a bevy of convenience features, and mobility, it’s a go-to choice for traditional kamado grilling for nearly any kind of meal type. Want a propane option? Our best natural gas grills buying guide has some great options.
Award: BEST EASE OF USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: A generous main cooking area, large warming rack, insulating porcelain-coated interior, easy-cleaning features, and heavy-duty rubber wheels for mobility among other convenience features make it a user-friendly option for large meals.
The Char-Griller Akorn is a cast iron and ceramic large kamado grill that offers excellent performance for large meals with a user-friendly design at an excellent value. Its generous 314 square inch grilling area is cast iron for clean, consistent cooking, and an additional large warming rack makes for 447 square inches of total grilling surface. Its triple-walled body and porcelain-coated interior allow for superior heat retention for efficiency and consistent temperatures even over hours of cooking. Convenience features include large side prep shelves, four tool hooks, heavy-duty steel legs with large rubber wheels, and a push-cart design for easy mobility even over bumpy and uneven surfaces.
Its two-leg design means it’s slightly less stable than many models with three or four-leg designs, though its low center mass means it’s not significantly more prone to tip over with normal use. Other features like an easy-clean removable ash compartment, easy temperature control venting, and more make it one of the more user-friendly models in its class, especially for its performance, and its modest price point makes it a great value for kamado grilling for large groups. Don’t have any outdoor space? You’ll need one of the best indoor grills.
Award: BEST NON-CERAMIC DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: An insulated steel grill body design for heat and moisture retention rivaling ceramic models and the crack-proof, odor-free performance of metal, with clever convenience features for easy cleanup and precision control.
The Broil King Keg 5000 is an all-metal kamado-style mid-large sized charcoal grill designed to offer ceramic-style performance with the added crack-proof durability and odor-free cooking of steel construction. Its insulated double-walled steel design includes a cast iron top damper, aluminum lower damper, and heavy-duty gasket for exceptional fuel efficiency, using up to 2 times less charcoal than standard charcoal models. Other features include a chrome swing-away secondary rack, detachable resin side shelves, a heavy-duty mobility cart, a removable steel ash catcher, and a multi-tool for cleaning and adjusting the grill.
Though it competes in terms of performance with many ceramic models, its metal design means it heats up significantly more during use, making it slightly less safe. But for a highly durable and heavy-duty, but still relatively lightweight top charcoal grill that adds fuel efficiency and easy cleaning to traditional kamado grilling, it’s a great choice. If you’re an apartment dweller or have a small outdoor space that doesn’t allow for charcoal grilling, our best electric grills buying guide has great options for you.
Award: BEST FOR LARGE MEALS
WHY WE LIKE IT: A push-button electric ignition, huge total cooking area, dual calibrated vents for precise control, and a heavy-duty build make it a great performer for large meals.
The Vision Grills Kamado Pro Ceramic Charcoal Grill is a ceramic kamado-style large grill designed to replicate wood oven cooking, offering baking functionality in addition to professional-grade grilling, searing, and other standard charcoal grill functions. A huge 604 square inches of cooking space on 2-tiered stainless steel slip grates allow for mixing and matching food types and distance from hot coals for creating an exceptional variety of meals for large groups. Advanced features include dual calibrated air vents for precise temperature control, an electric push-button starter for easy, quick, reliable startup, a cast-iron calibrated top vent, two solid-surface drop-down shelves, and a durable full-length vinyl cover for protection when not in use. Compare Vision Grills vs Kamado Joe to see just how good each of these grills are.
Even for its large cooking area, it’s a fairly bulky model in its class, and combined with its heavy-duty but smaller-than-average caster wheels, it’s a little less mobile and a little less practical for small spaces than other similar-sized grills. But for preparing a versatile array of large meals with maximum precision and reliability, it’s an excellent value at its fairly modest price point. If you’re looking for something that can handle large volumes of pancakes, eggs, hamburgers, and other food that can be cooked in a skillet, check out our best flat-top grills options.
We preferred ceramic or double and triple-walled steel and cast iron kamado-style grills that were capable of maximum heat of no less than 600 degrees. We liked grills with two vent controls for the most temperature control possible, multi-tiered cooking grates for cooking a variety of food types simultaneously, and porcelain-coated interiors on steel or iron models to facilitate better heat retention.
We liked kamado grills with convenience features like removable ash compartments for easier cleanup or push-button automatic cleaning systems, and porcelain coating on cooking grates for cleaner cooking. We also liked features like external temperature gauges, marked vents for user-friendly temperature control, steel separators for keeping different food types away from each other, and lipped sealing lids for exceptional heat, moisture, and smoke retention.
Finally, we liked grills with advanced or high-tech features like push-button gas or electric ignition for easy startup and proprietary lid design such as air hinges for comfortable use. We also appreciated grills with mobility features like heavy-duty caster wheels, cart-like design, streamlined designs for lighter weights, warming racks and fold-out prep tables, and tool hooks for easy access during cooking.
Kamado grills traditionally have an oval-shaped ceramic body. Ceramics have superior heat-retaining qualities to traditional metal charcoal grills and are based on thousands of years of development to that end. Even when not ceramic, their enclosed and ultra-tight-sealing design contains smoke and moisture inside the grill better than conventional charcoal models, allowing them to penetrate deeper into food for better flavor. Additionally, their startup is considerably shorter- quality kamados are ready for cooking and at an optimal temperature within 15 minutes. Lastly, ceramics are weatherproof and rustproof, and their surfaces stay cooler at high temperatures than metal grills, making them safer to use.
It’s recommended that you use an electric charcoal starter to start a kamado grill. These are inexpensive and easy to use- simply fill the grill with charcoal at the top and newspaper or some other kindling at the bottom and light- your grill should be ready to cook within 15 minutes. Using lighter fluid or grill starter fluid isn’t recommended, first of all, because it’s far less safe and can cause sudden large flames when starting. Secondly, ceramics are semi-porous and any such fluid will soak into the body and frame and usually create an odor that will affect the taste of your food for the worst. A purpose-made tool such as an electric starter, then, is the way to go, and won’t require a bigger budget.
For the most part, kamado grills are safer than conventional charcoal grills for a number of reasons, though there are some things to keep in mind. One of the things that makes them safer is that ceramics stay far cooler than metals when exposed to heat and flame, meaning the outer surface of your kamado grill will be safer to the touch during cooking than a conventional metal charcoal grill. However, one very uncommon but nevertheless possible occurrence with kamado grills is that of “kamado flashback.” Kamado grills, when closed, are incredibly good at heat and moisture retention, however, they can also keep so much oxygen out that when opened up, the sudden rush of oxygen to the flame can cause a dangerous flare-up. Again, this is very uncommon, but it’s something to be cautious of nonetheless.
The best kamado grill will feature ceramic or multi-walled cast iron or heavy gauge stainless steel construction and have a max cooking temperature of no less than 600 degrees and feature easily adjustable matched vents for maximum precision in temperature control. Additional features like removable ash collectors, porcelain-coated surfaces to increase heat and moisture retention or offer nonstick grilling, additional warming racks, and folding side prep tables are all good to look for.