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Kamado Joe II Classic 18-Inch Charcoal Grill Review

Kamado Joe Classic
Kamado Joe Classic

Kamado Joe II Classic

Derrick Riches

Construction Quality
Temperature Control
Smoking Capability
Features
Durability

Specifications

  • 18-inch diameter cooking surface (255 square inches)
  • Comes with stand (nest) and polyethylene side tables
  • Top vent cap is cast iron – bottom vent is stainless steel
  • Ceramic body with enameled steel parts
  • Stainless steel cooking grates
  • Spring loaded lid for easy lifting
  • Removable ash catcher drawer
  • Includes multi-level cooking grate system
  • Made in China for Kamado Joe

Full Review – Kamado Joe II Classic 18-Inch Charcoal Grill

PROS

  • Full Feature Kamado Grill
  • Excellent Temperature Control
  • Great Smoking Capabilities
  • Wide Range of Accessories

CONS

  • Generally Sold as a Package

When I saw the first prototype of the Kamado Joe grill I could still see the space where the ‘Big Green Egg’ logo had been smudged out of the mold that this unit had been made from. It was in every way a red-colored version of the ever-popular Egg. Since then, with some brilliant marketing and a business plan centered around providing a whole package for a good price, Kamado Joe has emerged as the innovator in the industry.

In a straightforward comparison, the Kamado Joe Classic II 18-inch charcoal grill is practically identical to its comparable Big Green Egg. The real difference is that the Joe comes with everything that Big Green Egg charges extra for. Originally, the prices were the same, but that wasn’t sustainable. This fully loaded Kamado costs about $330USD more than its competition but has the nest, tables, and other accessories so all in all, the prices are comparable. Kamado Joe has developed an impressive array of accessories which is what really makes them stand out these days (though Big Green Egg has recently announced their own versions of the same accessories).

When comparing the ceramic shells, the Big Green Egg is superior. It is heavier, smoother, and denser. This difference isn’t earth-shattering, however. Big Green Egg makes its ceramic shells in Mexico and Kamado Joe makes theirs in China. Most people will never notice the difference. Since Kamado Joe has made some modifications to their ceramics and they haven’t been around nearly as long, testing the long-term durability is difficult. My guess is, that the Big Green Egg does last longer.

One big reason to buy a Kamado Joe over the Big Green Egg is that Big Green Egg does not allow online sales. If you have difficulty getting an Egg, Kamado Joe grills can be bought and shipped most everywhere. This fact is also the reason why all online grill stores say that the Kamado Joe is superior. They can’t see the Egg, so of course, they cut it down in their ratings.

You are not making a mistake by picking the Kamado Joe over other ceramic Kamado grills. It is a great product from a good company that is tirelessly working to make improvements and add new accessories and features.

Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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Recipes

  • Skillet Gochujang Brussels Sprouts
    Easy, skillet brussels sprouts flavored with gochujang, honey, bacon, and a hit of smokiness from the grill.
  • Smoked Beef Back Ribs
    These fantastic smoked beef back ribs are tender, smoky, and spend a mere 3 1/2 hours on the grill.
  • Smoked Au Gratin Potatoes
    Smoked au gratin potatoes are the new and improved version of a comfort food classic. A delicious, easy recipe!
  • Smoked Venison Tenderloin
    Tender, marinated smoked venison tenderloin served with a delicious pineapple, ginger, and rum sauce.
  • Smoked Onions
    These delicious smoked onions, are easy to make, and have a fantastic smoky, caramelized flavor.