Kamado choices in 2020

Charcoal cookers (such as Weber Kettles)
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Kamado choices in 2020

Post by wilsonj » Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:12 pm

Hi all,

So a few months after buying a lovely Weber gas BBQ I want to now get a charcoal one.

Looking at a kamado style as they seem to do well with grilling and smoking.

There are the obvious options of Kamado Joe, and Big Green Egg. As well as the Weber Summit Charcoal as a non ceramic contender.

Doesn't seem to be much discussion in here on any of them of late.

Anyway, I'm after some input on these and other options. There are the ebay kamados for about $1000, plus what Bunnings sell for a bit less. Can't bring myself to buy one from them.. But maybe I should still consider it for the money.
Then there is the Grandfire kamado. Something I can't find much info on.

I think the smart choice would be the Weber, as it does everything the KJ does, without the hassles that come with ceramic. But I'm a bit put off by the looks to be honest. Looks more like a fancy kettle. But I guess that's really what it is.

Anyway, looking for any input or advice. I do really like the KJ but have see quite a few QC issues of late on the US forums. That combined with poor customer service. And they aren't cheap. In fact more than the Weber summit.

And anyone know of a possible father's day deals coming up ??



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Re: Kamado choices in 2020

Post by Davo » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:52 am

G'day Jamie,

I had a look at the Weber Summit and yeah I kind of got the first impression about it being more a fancy Kettle but unlike the kettle from which it's obviously based, it has insulated walls which do the same thing as a ceramic Komado without the worries of cracking the ceramics.

Do you have facebook? if so, go onto the Weber Kettle Club Australia and ask because there's at least a few people with them there.

I don't have hardly anything to do with Komado style cooking.

Komado Joe does have a good reputation and if you want to go to the king of Kings of Komados, the Kamado Komodo handbuilt in Indonesia, weights half a tonne, is huge outside and inside and the owner of this forum has just recently bought his 2nd one on special order. They are a beauty to look at.

The only thing I could offer to say is, I'd be mighty scared of a Ceramic Komado toppling and smashing and also you need to replace Gaskets every now and then. As good as they may cook, I'll stick with my kettles.


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Re: Kamado choices in 2020

Post by wilsonj » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:16 am

Hi Davo,

Thanks for your reply and suggestions.

Yep, already on the WSC facebook page, as well as the kamado one. Maybe I'll ask there, but the conversation seems to be mostly about actual cooking than purchasing.

I asked this question on a US forum, and so far every reply has been about the poor customer service from KJ. Which isn't good. But that is the US and not necessarily the case here. Or could it!?

I had watched a number of komodo kamado videos. They seem very nice, but probably way out of my price range. The reviewers comments were always how expensive they were. Given that a KJ isn't really a cheap BBQ I can only imagine the larger models get up over $5-6K pretty easy.
Not saying I wouldn't love one, but unless I can sleep and bathe in it as well...
And I'd hate to try and import one under the current situation.$$$

Thanks again.


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Re: Kamado choices in 2020

Post by 12x7 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:47 pm

I own both a Kamado Joe (ceramic) and Akorn (metal insulated) from Bunnings.

Since you're just starting out charcoal BBQ'ing I would recommend the Akorn. It's a good price, made of metal with insulation and tough. It doesn't use a lot of charcoal so it is very cheap to run. It's a good way to try out if you like charcoal BBQing.

You can spend extra on a ceramic if you really like Kamado cooking. In the meantime spend the extra free cash on decent meat. I don't know how many people spend a fortune of the bbq to buy poor quality meat and think they have a crap BBQ.

Put on a nice thick steak on the Akorn and your taste buds will tell you the next time you buy the BBQ special steak from the supermarket cooked on a gas bbq what an underwhelming experience it is in comparison.

I've cooked lots of different things in the Kamado, the usual things like steaks, chicken (whole, wings, drumsticks), pork, pizza and other things like soup, bread and corned beef.

You can change the smoke taste by using different charcoal as well as different type of wood chunks.

As for types of models available have been pretty static for the last few years.

1) Metal: Akorn from Bunnings and Dragon from BBQ Galore ($500-$600)
2) Cheap ceramic: Bunnings, Costco and ebay importers. Basically all OEM from China and made by Auplex.($700-$1200)
3) Brand name ceramic: Kamado Joe, Green Egg, Primo. Better quality than the cheap ceramics. You pay more for the quality. In a blind taste test most people couldn't tell the difference between which brand of ceramic Kamado the food was cooked. ($1700 upwards)

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Re: Kamado choices in 2020

Post by Tats » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:06 pm

Hi, just made a kamado purchase myself.

I have a gas Weber spirit, Smokey Joe and small Weber Smokey mountain. The kamado is to replace the wsm. The wsm has been great but in the winter cold winds I’d struggle with temperature control even with my Smartfire. I’d pretty much have to shield it on all sides to keep the low and slow going towards the end of the cook. Using smoke wood as well was sometimes tricky to get the combustion right. But the main reason I’ve made the change is the extra space and reduced clean up.

A friend at work got a great deal on a kamado joe last year but their prices have gone up a lot. As this is a long term investment I’ve bit the bullet at $1,800 and gone with a large big green egg deal. The one with the ‘nest’ as after testing how stable the stand was (very) against the ‘handler’ (not required). The selling points for the KJ were the price but in view view not right now, and the extras - but I think bge have caught up here. I’ve only got the basics for slow cooking and not anything for multi levels. I’ve had it one week and cooked beef ribs so cannot comment on long term usage. Lighting though was extremely easy for the 9 hour cook, the temperature control was very very easy and stable, warm up was fast, clean up very easy but it wasn’t as economical on charcoal as I was expecting.

I’m happy with the purchase and the quality is better than the Weber in my view and it should provide much more flexibility. Ymmv.

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Re: Kamado choices in 2020

Post by Lovey » Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:39 am

Tats wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:06 pm
Hi, just made a kamado purchase myself.
but it wasn’t as economical on charcoal as I was expecting.
Are you able to expand on that please? What were your expectations on fuel usage and how does it compare to that?
I've owned a Dragon kamado and found it to be very good on fuel, as I expect all other kamados would be?
All the best,

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