My Kamado market scan summary (update July 2013)

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magste
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Location: Perth, WA
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My Kamado market scan summary (update July 2013)

Post by magste » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:00 pm

Putting my money where my mouth is (in reference to a previous post of mine on the subject :) ) I spent a few hours writing down my overview of the various kamado type cookers that I know are, more or less readily, available in Australia.

First a caveat... The statements are my subjective opinions based on information I've gathered over the past year or so and should by no means be considered as the truth or a recommendation/non-recommendation for purchase. They only reflect my limited knowIedge & opinion at time of posting and are subject to change. I have no intention to offend any manufacturer or devotee of a particular product.

So here goes, in no particular order:

Beefeater Rock (http://www.beefeaterrock.com/)
Made in China.(looks the same as Vision, Bear Grills & Smoke King kamados).

Pros: Owners say quality is high. Compared to other China-kamados may have a few Beefeater quality tweaks? Has what looks like a very sturdy cart & lockable wheels (plastic).

Cons: Basic accessories are not included (deflector & second grill rack). Expensive in Australia (~$1495 list price). Question is how much Beefeater cares about it – I'm yet to see one in a store.

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Saffire (http://www.saffiregrills.com.au/),
Made in China.(looks similar to Royal Kamado)

Pros: Good web reviews, dedicated distributors, good quality. Has the extra chip feeder hatch.

Cons: Expensive ($1499 plus freight w deflector & second grill rack). Not readily available.

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Kamado Joe (BBQ Galore, http://www.kamadojoe.com/classicjoe.html)
Made in China.

Pros: Good web reviews. Up to 20yrs warranty, good quality. Good service from Kamado Joe. Middle priced ($999). Available in all BBQ Galore stores. Lockable wheels. Powdercoated frame.

Cons: Basic accessories are not included (deflector & second grill rack cost $180 together).

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Grill Dome Kamado (http://www.kamadocookers.com.au/)
Made in India.

Pros: Good web reviews, new dedicated distributor who carries lots of spare parts, good quality. Good looks. Seems to use different, thicker, ceramics than the chinese made kamados (=better?).

Cons: Expensive ($1499 plus freight) Basic accessories are not included (sold as pack for about $100). Stands on ground by default = ergonomically not so good.

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Bear Grills (http://bear-grills.com.au/)
Made in China. (looks similar to Vision & Beefeater kamados)

Pros: Dedicated distributor who also sells accessories such as felt seals to fit most kamados. Good price (~$750 plus freight). Also has a mini kamado for $350.

Cons: Long term durability for these cheaper Chinese kamados not known. This applies to Vision, Smoke Kings, & the Ali Baba imports as well.

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Smoke King Komado BBQ (Smoke King BBQs, http://www.smokekingbbq.com.au/)
Made in China. (looks similar to Beefeater & Bear Grills)

Pros: Good price, about $650 plus freight. Dedicated distributor, active on this forum. Also sells a bigger 29” kamado for $1299. Has large range of accessories and spare parts.

Cons: As per the other kamados in this price range, long term durability not known. However Smoke Kings offer 10 years warranty on the kamado shell, which is more than normal in this price range.

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Big Steel Keg / Broil King Keg (new version, not in Aus yet). (http://broilkingbbq.com / http://www.gasmate.com.au/SCats.asp?SCatID=62&CatID=1)
Made in China, distributed by Gasmate

Pros: Lighter than ceramic kamados. Excellent heat retention. Less risk of cracking. Easier to move around & transport (tow bar hitch an optional accessory). Built in bottle opener! Cool design. Comes with second grill rack. User forum with lots of tips, http://forum.bigsteelkeg.com/

Cons: Expensive in Australia ($1499-1699 excl. deflector, US RRP $849). Takes time to bring temp down if you overshoot target. Question how long Gasmate (distributor) will keep them – marketing is minimal. In WA only one store (plus Chris/Urbangriller..).

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Primo Oval XL & Junior (http://Primogrills.com.au)
Made in USA

Pros: Good reviews. Able to divide cooking – only use half the grill or half direct & half indirect. Dedicated Australian distributor. Versatility & USA made may justify price?

Cons: Quite expensive ($1749 XL, $1100 Jr).

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Primo Kamado (http://Primogrills.com.au)
Made in USA(?)

Pros: Good web reviews, dedicated distributor who carries lots of spare parts, good quality. Good looks. Has wagon (not sure if included in price)

Cons: Somewhat expensive ($1100) Basic accessories are not included.

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Costco Vision Kamado (Costco, http://www.visiongrills.com/)
Made in China. (looks similar to Beefeater & Bear Grills)

Pros: Cheap ($600). Good reviews.

Cons: Availability. Stock seems intermittent. Questionable how long Costco will sell them. Long term durability not known.

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Chargriller Akorn (Bunnings, http://www.chargriller.com)
Made in China, similar insulated steel construction to Big Steel keg.

Pros: Great price, $499 with basic accessories. Should cook as good as the Big Steel Keg. Good online reviews from owners. Bunnings has good customer service (although may lack knowledge about the product itself)

Cons: Seems to be less ridged than the BSK. May not be as long-lived? However, at half the price this may not be relevant.

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Komodo Kamado (http://www.komodokamado.com/)
Made in Indonesia
As much a work of art as a cooking appliance. If you can afford the $3300 price tag & don’t mind the 250kg weight, it’s the answer for you.

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Direct import from China (Alibaba). Several producers (Auplex, Hangzhou Fanyue, Yixing Kairun) selling 1pcs samples for about $400 plus freight (FOB Australia about $150, DDP unknown). All look similar to Vision, Bear Grills, Smoke Kings & Beefeater Rock.

Pros: Can be cheapest option excluding shipping. Quality probably same as most of the above Chinese made kamados. Plenty of accessories available.

Cons: No post sale warranty. Freight costs & logistics – these guys are bulk exporters not customer door to door shippers. People who have tried this import method have revealed final freight, landing, inspection costs to be as much or more than the product cost.
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DISCONTINUED KAMADOS

Kamados often mentioned in the forum but no longer available for sale:

Royal Kamado
Made in China. (looks similar to Saffire)
A popular kamado priced around $700. No longer imported to Australia.

Dragon Fire Kamado
Made in China
A chinese kamado similar to the Vision and Bear Grills. Available on eBay in 2010-11 for $700. No longer advertised.

Big Green Egg (http://www.biggreenegg.com/)
Has cult status in the USA. Used to be imported by BBQ Galore, who now carries Kamado Joe. Many people don't realise the Egg is just a kamado. Everything it can do you can do on the kamados in this guide. Because of its loyal/fanatical following there are many websites with tips and tricks on kamado cooking, Eggheads http://eggheadforum.com/ being the most famous.

GENERAL COMMENTS

Is there any quality between a cheap kamado and a more expensive kamado that both look the same and are made in the same country?
For example the Beefeater Rock looks similar to the Vision, Bear Grills & Smoke Kings kamados. The Saffire is similar to the discontinued Royal. All are made in China.

I haven't been able to compare side by side so I can't say. People who have compared the Royal & Saffire note the Saffire finish is nicer and inner ceramics more solid. Whether that is reflected in better food outcome and/or longer kamado life is to be seen. One might suspect that some of the bigger names would have some quality additions made to their products, even if produced in the same factories as the cheaper. But you never know. In general you do get better warranty with the more expensive products, which may or may not be important. Cooking-wise I'm yet to hear of a dissatisfied kamado owner, be it of a cheap or expensive product.

As far as I can tell, all Kamados above have exposed metal parts made of stainless steel. If noted by the seller it's 304 steel but most just say stainless.

Accessories
When it comes to accessories, basic ones for me are a diffuser/deflector for indirect cooks (some call it platesetter) and a second level cooking grate. Then there are many specialized things like chook holders and such. A pizza stone is useful but doesn't have to be kamado specific. In general, most of the kamados above are in the 21" outer & 18.5" inner diameter range and accessories seem to be interchangeable. Even the BSK can use many ceramic kamado accessories.

Well, that it folks. Hope you found it useful :)
Cheers
Magnus

Update 26/11/2011 - Added weblinks & minor detail changes, incl note on stainless steel & accessories
Update 4/12/2011 - Changes Rock description & removed availability issue on Royal Kamado - now back in stock
Update 8/08/2012 - Added Bear Grills & Grill Dome new distributor, set Royal as discontinued, various smaller edits.
Update 26/07/2013 – New kamados –Smoke Kings and Chargrilled Akorn. Misc edits and price updates.
Last edited by magste on Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:01 pm, edited 26 times in total.
Magnus
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Card Shark
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Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:10 pm
Location: Gold Coast, QLD
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Re: My Kamado market scan summary (update July 2013)

Post by Card Shark » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:41 am

A couple of updates.

Komodo Kamado
32" Big Bad KK $5,900 square tiles, $6,100 pebble & bronze metallic tiles
23" Gen 2.6 Ultimate $4,260 square tiles, $4,440 pebble & bronze metallic tiles
19" Hi-Cap Lil' Isla $3,400 square tiles, $3,550 pebble & bronze metallic tiles
19" Hi-Cap Table Top $2,840 square tiles, $2,940 pebble & bronze metallic tiles
16.5" KK Table Top $2,080 square tiles, $2,150 pebble & bronze metallic tiles
The pebble and bronze tiles have a surcharge because they are not purchased from the factory.

Big Green Egg
Has not been discontinued. New models from 2012 have stainless grill grates and an improved firebox with a forward expansion gap. Nearest resellers are in NZ who will ship over here.

CS

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