Should I buy a Kamado Joe?

The Kamado Joe It is the Swiss army knife of grills.  It can do many different things from smoking a Boston Butt for 12 hours to grilling that New York strip that you just picked up from Costco.  The price tag comes with a great warranty.  See this Link for the Kamado Joe warranty.  Currently there are three different version the Joe Jr, The classic II and the Big Joe.

While I have always been the type to say bigger is better when it comes to the Joe I’m not so sure.  The bigger joe takes longer to heat up and takes more lump charcoal.  If you are a family of 3-4 you can get a lot surface out of the classic, but if you are cooking for the neighborhood often you may want to opt for the Big Joe.  I have owned a classic II now for 5 years and I would buy it again in a heartbeat. One of my favorite things to cook is a smoked Costco tri tip

Here are a few Kamado Joe grilling and smoking FAQ

  1.  How long does it take to heat up?
    1. About 30-40 minutes It is a skill that you learn as you cook more to get it up to temp
  2. How much charcoal do you usually use?
    1. I will rarely burn up all the lump charcoal when I’m doing a boston butt or a brisket for 8-10 hours.  I will usually have enough to get it hot enough to grill some burgers the next day
  3. Can you use regular charcoal?
    1. It is not recommended
  4. What type of charcoal do you use?
    1. Usually I use the kamado joe brand lump charcoal, but I have used B&B and cowboy.  I find that the Kamado brand works the best because it doesn’t crack like B&B, but I have used it before in a jam
  5. Does the flavor come out really smokey?
    1. It depends. How many wood chunks you use and what you are cooking. If you put a boat load of hickory chunks while cooking chicken you will get a strong not so good flavor.
  6. Is it hard to add more chunks while smoking?
    1. It is not hard but it is kind of awkward.  The Kamado comes with some tools to help remove the deflector plates   
  7. What is your favorite wood to use? 
    1. I enjoy cherry chunks on most things.  My one tip would be never to use too much hickory chunks on chicken.  It will give it a strange taste.
  8. How does it compare to the Primo or the green egg?
    1. The green egg and the primo are both excellent grill’s and I really don’t think you can make a bad decision on getting one, but I feel like Kamado Joe has made some improvements that Big Green Egg has not integrated yet. On the other hand the Primo does have some of the features the Kamado Joe does, but with a higher price tag.

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