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The Kamado Joe vs. the Big Green Egg: Which Grill Is Right for You?

May 11th, 2023 | 6 min. read

By Chris Tavares

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Comparing the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg

Key Takeaways: The Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe are excellent, but the Kamado Joe is a bit better for cleaning and temperature control.

A Kamado ceramic grill is the most versatile outdoor cooking product on the market.

The Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe are the best you can buy, with only slight differences. In this article, you will learn a bit about both brands, and then we’ll compare them.


I have owned a Big Green Egg for 15 years, so I will give you my opinion on the pros and cons of owning a ceramic charcoal grill.

First, you want to understand whether you want a Kamado-style grill, then compare the two best models available.

Let's start with what a kamado grill is.

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What Is a Kamado-Style Grill?

Legend states that G.I. Joe brought the Kamado-style grill back from Japan after the war.

A kamado grill is a charcoal grill and smoker modeled after traditional Japanese earthenware cooking vessels called "Kamados."

Kamado grills are typically made of ceramic, which helps to retain heat and create an efficient cooking environment.

The main benefit is versatility. Kamado grills can grill, smoke, roast, and even bake. Your gas grill can only grill.

The temperature control is better than a regular charcoal grill as well.

When using regular charcoal grills, you frequently have inconsistent temperatures as a result of guessing the heat output. Kamado grills are also known for their fuel efficiency. They are so well insulated that they use less charcoal than a regular grill.

The inside of a Kamado Joe is ceramic and designed to handle high temperatures, extreme weather conditions, and the wear and tear of regular use.

Overall, a Kamado grill is worth considering if you're looking for a versatile, fuel-efficient, and long-lasting grill.

Author’s Note: Charcoal grills add texture and flavor that gas grills do not. You can also grill at higher temperatures or go low and slow. Pellet "grills" can smoke but can’t reach higher temperatures.

Kamado-Style Grill Issues


Kamado-style grills are more expensive than traditional grills, especially if you opt for a high-end model or add-on accessories. The price can be $1,000 to $3,000 more than your typical charcoal grill.

Author’s Note: If you are only planning to grill, then just buy a grill.


Kamado grills are typically made of heavy ceramic material. While most grills have wheels and are easy to move around, this is not the case for Kamado grills.

Learning Curve

It takes time to master a Kamado grill. Even as a good cook, it took me a while to learn the basics.

Limited Grilling Space

You have to assess how you entertain. If you're only grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, then buying a grill may be sufficient.

Author’s Note: You'll often see people owning both a regular grill and a Kamado grill because sometimes you want to grill quickly or cook a lot of food without the hassle of managing a Kamado grill.


While ceramics can withstand the elements, they can still be chipped. Therefore, you need to handle them with care.


To keep Kamado-style grills in good working order, they require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and re-gasketing.

So, while you can cook everything in every possible way, you must learn how to use a Kamado grill first.

The Kamado Joe

Kamado-Joe-Big-Joe-Grill---Series-IIIKamado Joe Big Joe Series III Grill


Kamado Joe is a relatively new brand of Kamado-style ceramic grills, with a history dating back to 2008.

The company was founded by Bobby Brennan and Kerry Coker, two friends who shared a passion for outdoor cooking and wanted to create a high-quality, affordable Kamado grill. Below are their best models.

Big Joe Grill, Series III - $2,999



  • 24" Ceramic grill
  • Includes heavy duty powder coated steel grill cart with locking wheels
  • Aluminum Side Shelves
  • 450 sq. in. cooking space
  • 3-Tier flexible cooking system
  • SloRoller hyperbolic insert
  • Top venting
  • Air lift hinge system
  • Double Thick wire Mesh Fiberglass Gasket
  • Stainless steel latch
  • AMP firebox
  • Stainless steel cooking grates
  • Stainless steel charcoal basket
  • Built-in Thermometer
  • Slide out ash drawer

Classic Joe Grill, Series III - $1,999



  • 18" Ceramic grill
  • 250 sq. in. of cooking surface
  • Air lift hinge
  • Slide out ash drawer
  • Thermometer
  • Top vent
  • 3-Tier Cooking rack
  • SloRoller hyperbolic insert
  • Stainless steel charcoal basket
  • Control Tower Top Vent, which allows smoking temps from 225F to 750F
  • Fully Kitted with cart and Aluminum side shelves
  • Add accessories available, Pizza oven attachment, Grill cover, Electric Starter, Smart Temp control and monitoring device, Rotisserie
  • Wire mesh fiberglass gasket

Classic Joe Grill, Series II - $1,299



  • 18" Ceramic grill
  • 250 sq. in. cooking space
  • 2-Tier flexible cooking system
  • Top vent
  • Air lift hinge system
  • Ash drawer
  • Fiberglass mesh gasket
  • AMP firebox
  • Stainless steel cooking grates
  • Built-in Thermometer

Feature Highlights

As I was writing this article, I learned there is a new "Konnected" Joe grill. Have a look by clicking here for the video review.

The Kamado Joe will give you everything out of the box. It has a flexible rack system for staggering grilling heights, indirect heating, and great versatility.

They also offer accessories like the "Joetisserie" and the Dojoe pizza oven attachment.

The Airlift hinge allows you to open the lid with one finger.

The Kamado also has a wire mesh gasket to help seal in the heat for more even temperatures, and you don't have to worry about it wearing out.

The ash box makes it easy to clean. The box gathers the ash during cooking and is removable for easy cleaning.


  • Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System - A multi-level, half-moon cooking rack that simultaneously cooks different foods at different temperatures and levels.
  • SloRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber - A unique smoking accessory to distribute smoke evenly throughout the cooking chamber, resulting in more flavorful and evenly cooked food.
  • iKamand - A smart temperature controller to remotely control your grill's temperature remotely using your smartphone.
  • Joetisserie - Their rotisserie accessory
  • Cast Iron Cooking Grate - The cast iron grate allows you to leave sear marks on your food.

The Big Green Egg

Big-Green-Egg-SmokingThe Big Green Egg


The Big Green Egg is a Kamado-style ceramic grill brand that has been around since the early 1970s.

The company was founded by Ed Fisher, an entrepreneur and cooking enthusiast who discovered the Kamado-style grill while living in Japan.

XLarge Big Green Egg - $1,399



  • Grid Diameter: 24 in
  • Cooking Area: 452 sq in
  • Weight: 219 lbs

XLarge EGG can cook:

  • two 20-pound turkeys
  • 24 burgers
  • 11 whole chickens
  • 12 steaks
  • 12 racks of ribs vertically

Large Big Green Egg - $999



  • Cooking Area: 262 sq in
  • Weight: 162 lbs
  • Grid Diameter: 18.25 in

The Large EGG can cook:

  • 20-pound turkeys
  • 12 burgers
  • six chickens vertically
  • eight steaks
  • seven racks of ribs vertically

Medium Big Green Egg - $749



  • Grid Diameter: 15 in
  • Cooking Area: 177 sq in
  • Weight: 114 lbs

The Medium EGG can cook:

  • 18-pound turkey
  • six burgers
  • three chickens vertically
  • four steaks
  • four racks of ribs vertically

Most Popular EGGcessories:

  • ConvEGGtor®
  • Large EGGspander
  • Large intEGGrated Nest+Handler
  • 49 in. Custom Cooking Island
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Modular Nest System
  • Pizza & Baking Stones
  • Rib and Roast Racks

Feature Highlights

The Big Green Egg sells different packages to add the kamado base and a few extras like the side tables and charcoal.

The grill is equipped with the basic features of the full moon heat deflector and the basic felt gasket, which does wear down over time.

A rain vent cap needs to be included. It has a spring-assisted dome hinge which helps lift the heavy lid. The Green Egg is known for its variety of accessories.


  • ConvEGGtor - A heat deflector accessory allows you to cook low and slow by creating a barrier between the fire and your food, resulting in indirect cooking.
  • EGGspander - A multi-level cooking system that allows you to cook different foods at different temperatures and levels simultaneously (similar to Kamado Joe's Divide and Conquer system)
  • Plate Setter - A heat deflector accessory underneath the cooking grate, creating indirect heat for low and slow cooking.
  • Vertical Poultry Roaster - A unique accessory for vertically cooking a whole chicken, resulting in evenly cooked and juicy meat.
  • Cast Iron Cooking Grid - A durable cast iron grate, similar to Kamado Joe's cast iron cooking grate.

The Kamado Joe vs. the Big Green Egg


Both use high-quality ceramics for their interior. I don't see much difference between the Kamado Joe and my Egg.


Kamado Joe grills are more contemporary looking—especially the new smart Konnected Kamado Joe in red, while the Egg is more traditional in green.


Unlike any other grill, you can barbecue or cook low and slow with either brand. Charcoal cooking is tough to adjust the temperature in general.

However, both brands have top vents to control the temperature variance easier than a charcoal grill.

Kamado-Joe-Kontrol-Tower-Top-VentKamado Joe "Kontrol" Tower Top Vent


Still, the "Kontrol" Tower Top Vent of the Kamado Joe is constructed to help protect from the rain, which is a huge advantage.


Big-Green-Egg-cookingThe Big Green Egg Pizza Stone


Both brands offer a range of other accessories, such as pizza stones, grill covers, and tool sets, among others.

Ultimately, choosing accessories will depend on personal preference, cooking style, and your specific needs.


The air hinge on the Kamado Joe is easier to lift and close than my Big Green Egg grill.


The ash box of the Kamado Joe is simple to clean, while the Big Green Egg has a complicated metal contraption.

It is a pain to clean. You have to scrape the ashes into a bag or another container.


The Kamado Joe is five years limited, while the Big Green Egg is one.

Which Grill Is Right for You?

Both the Kamado Joe and the Big Green Egg are good grills. I love my Egg, but I have to give the edge to the Kamado Joe for temperature control and ease of cleaning. However, consider how you cook before buying either.

Additional Resources

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Chris Tavares

Chris Tavares is an Appliance Sales Associate at Yale Appliance and has been with Yale for over 17 years. When not helping clients, Chris is a huge Patriots fan and enjoys cooking.

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