When the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Kamaoo Grill was first introduced it was one of the least expensive full-sized kamado grills on the market. But it had problems. Fixing those problems drove up the price. Today, this innovative grill is comparable in price to many kamado grills on the market. The question is, does this Char-Broil grill still stand up to the competition.
Specifications – Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Kamado Grill
- 20-inch diameter cooking surface (327 square inches)
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
- 113 square inches of additional cooking space (warming rack)
- Cast iron vents
- Vents are numbered for a visual cue
- Insulated, dual-layer metal body
- Porcelain-enameled body and deflector/drip pan
- Spring loaded lid for easy lifting
- Removable ash catcher
- Fold away side table
- Mounted on two wheels and one leg
- Made in China by Char-Broil LLC
Full Review – Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Kamado Grill
When Char-Broil first introduced their version of the Kamado Grill I have to admit that I was not enthusiastic. The test model I received had some assembly issues (parts not lining up properly) and a large number of plastic parts was discouraging. Kamado grills are known for holding low temperatures as well as hitting very high temperatures. As I tested the grill I found that it could do both of these things. However, there were issues. Let me discuss the design before I get into all that.
Like any good kamado grill, the Kamander has a highly insulated body. It holds the heat inside and requires less charcoal to cook with than regular grills. Temperature is controlled by letting air in at the bottom and releasing it through the top. Char-Broil has cleverly attached an air duct to the bottom vent so that its adjustment is built into the side table. You can easily adjust both vents at the same time and without having to bend over.
Aside from this arrangement, this is a kamado grill and built very much like similar metal units. Yes, this is not a ceramic grill. While many love the classic ceramic
kamado, they are fragile, hard to move, and very heavy. This grill is not only none of those things, but it also comes mounted on wheels that make it easy to move. The Kamader comes with everything you need for most styles of Kamado cooking from low and slow barbecue to high-temperature grilling.
On the model I tested, the duct that connects the bottom vent to the side table was plastic. It melted at high temperatures. This was a problem that many people have encountered. Char-Broil has fixed this problem by replacing the duct and the vents with steel and cast iron parts. If you happen to have one of the older models, contact Char-Broil, and they will replace them (provided you bothered to register the grill when you bought it). These changes make it possible for this grill to hit the highest temperatures without basically ruining the grill. This is a good thing.
On the low end, this grill is a little limited in the area of temperature control. A lack of tight-fitting parts means that the grill leaks air. This is particularly true for the connections that make that duct fit properly. Also, the top and ‘bottom’ vents don’t fit tight enough to completely limit airflow. To hold precise low temperatures the grill needs more monitoring than most kamado grills. Ultimately, this is not the kind of kamado that allows for exact cooking capabilities that most kamado grill owners expect. It’s good. Just not great. But then, you do get what you pay for, and considering the size and promises of this grill, it is downright cheap.
Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Kamado
- Lightweight alternative to ceramic
- Well insulated body
- Convenient vent design
- Shuts down quickly
- Limited Construction Quality
- Temperature control is not as good as other Kamado Grills
- Lightweight parts
- Frequent assembly issues
At $300USD, the price this grill was originally listed for, it was a great value. Even with its problems. At well over $700USD, there isn’t anything else to make this kamado grill stand out. The snorkel vent design means you don’t have to bend over, but it’s a complicated addition that adds no real value. The vents are intuitive but similar to most of the competition. When you consider the lightweight construction and size, I can’t recommend this grill and suggest you look to other kamado grills.