Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Kamado Joe Classic Review

The Classic Kamado Joe Review

Well I received my first Kamado Joe BBQ back in 2011 and so far I am very impress with the Kamado Joe Classic ceramic cooker. The company Kamado Joe started out back in march 2009. Ever since then they hit the market pretty fast and furious with their Kamado Joe ceramic cookers. Today they are quickly coming one of the best Kamado-style cooker on the market. I presently own two large Kamado Joe BBQ and one Large Big Green Egg BBQ. Now its time for the review that everyone has been anxiously waiting for.

The Kamado Joe grill came partially assemble in a well protected cardboard crate/box. 

The ceramic BBQ was also very well packaged inside of the crate to protect it from damage while handling. You will need "two persons" to assemble this BBQ since its pretty heavy and you have to lift it out of the crate to place the Kamado Joe in its nest. You will also need the following tools a 6 mm Allen wrench and 14 mm open end wrench or a deep socket to tighten the bands. It only took me and my wife approximately 10 minutes to assemble the Kamado Joe cooker. It was also pretty easy to assemble and you didn't need a rocket science degree to assemble the Kamado Joe like other grills! You can see that Kamado Joe has put in a lot of thought in the ease of the assembly of the Kamado Joe. You can get your local dealer to assemble this grill but it can be easily done by you which you can see for yourself on this video created by Kamado Joe on how easy it really is in assembling this Kamado Joe.

Old assembly video
Produced by: Kamado Joe

New assembly video
Produced by: Kamado Joe

Features/Specs of the Kamado Joe:

Here are the specs of the Kamado Joe cooker which I got from their website (www.kamadojoe.com):

·        Dimensions… ………….46.5” wide x 48” high x 28” deep (118.1 cm x 121.9 cm x 71.1 cm)
·        Cooking Surface… …….256 square inches   (650 square centimeters)
·        w/Rack Extension… …...407 square inches   (1,034 square centimeters)
·        Weight… ………………188 pounds    (85 kilograms)
·        Heat Range… ………….225°F – 750°F+    (82°C – 399°C)
·        Base/Lid High Fire Heat-Resistant Ceramics
·        Glaze Heat-Resistant Ceramic Coating
·        Top Vent Powder Coated Cast Iron
·        Cooking Grate 304 Grade Stainless Steel
·        Fire Box/Fire Ring High Fire Heat-Resistant Ceramics
·        Fire Grate Powder Coated Cast Iron
·        Handle & Side Shelves Finished Natural Bamboo (Teak Finish on Black Grills)
·        Bands/Hinge Powder Coated Galvanized Steel or Stainless Steel
·        Draft Door 304 Grade Stainless Steel
·        Cart Powder Coated Cast Iron

The Kamado Joe is by far the thickest ceramic Kamado I have seen to date. The base and lid ceramic is 1 1/4" thick. the ceramic was originally a brownish color which changes color as you cook with the grill. The ceramic is also a little porous which doesn't affect the cooking or quality.

The gasket on the lid and base is very thick and of very good quality and its a felt like material. I made the grill reach 1000 degree F a few times and the gasket didn't even show any sign of wear or burning! I only had to change my gasket ounce on my classic Joe since 2011. On my Big Green Egg I had to change my gasket average of twice a year. As you can see so far the Kamado Joe as a pretty reliable heat resistant gasket compared to other ceramic cookers. Here's a picture of the Kamado Joe gasket test done by GrandPas Grub over at the greeneggers.com.

a layer of gasket material between the bands and the cookera layer of gasket material between the bands and the cooker
This is what GrandPas Grub said about the test he performed: "I put a lot more heat on the KamadoJoe gasket then I did on the BGE Felt or BGE Nomex. It is hard to get an accurate temperature reading on a soft material but the IR read 1280°. MAPP burns at about 2900°. The torch tip is a Turbo which produces a wide burn as opposed to a pencil point burn.

This was done for 30 to 40 seconds, distance of 2 to 3 inches.
As you can see in the picture the gasket material is stuck to the upright and no over-burn or spreading occurred. The gasket material was cool to the touch within 15 seconds of taking the heat away from the gasket material. "

Has you can see above the gasket used on the Kamado Joe is top of the line. They have installed a gasket on the upper vent to hold it in place and to give it a better seal for smoking. 

They also went one more step further and installed a layer of gasket material between the bands and the cooker. Doing this also provides a better fit between the cooker and the bands. 

There new 2017 will come with there new gasket which is rated at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit of continuous exposure. Which means this new gasket is pretty much indestructible during use. 

Source: Bobby Brennan

There upper vent is made of powder coated cast iron. The upper vent should be seasoned like a new cast iron frying pan before using. This will prevent it from rusting and will help it to keep its nice black look for many years to come. The big advantage of the upper vent is that you don't need to take it off during high temperature cook. Due to the fact the vents opening is the same size has the ceramic opening on the cooker! There vent when closed gives a good seal to put out the fire.

In there new 2017 models they have redesign there upper vents with a new design which prevents rain from getting inside there cooker.

Source: Bobby Brennan

New vents being manufactured.
Source: Bobby Brennan

The cooking grate is made of 304 grade stainless steel and has a hinge section on it for the ease of adding more wood chunks or wood chips during smoking. I strongly recommend to clean your grate after each cook and give it a light coating of oil this will prevent your grill grates from rusting overtime.

The Kamado Joe has a stainless steel vent in the bottom made of 304 stainless. Which has a very wide opening to allow a good air flow for high temp cook.  Also the vent opens and closes very easily. I personally think they should of had a screen on the opening to prevent ashes or sparks to fall out which can be a fire safety hazard. Also with their wide opening of the vent makes it really easy in the removal and cleaning of ashes. After contacting Kamado Joe about the advantage of having a screen to the vent opening they quickly added it to there new models. As you can see this company puts there customer into there forefront of all there design changes.

The nest of the Kamado Joe is made with powder coated cast iron. Its made pretty solid and let me tell you its a lot harder to tip this grill compared to other Kamado stile cooker. The nest has very large casters with two of them that are lockable preventing the grill from moving during use.

This grill also comes with two laminated bamboo and powder coated stainless steel shelves. Each shelves comes with four hooks to hang your BBQ tools or accessories. The grill also has a over-sises bamboo handle on the lid for the ease of opening the lid. Which comes handy when wearing big thick BBQ gloves!

In 2014 The Kamado Joe ounce again improved there Ceramic cookers by adding there new Kamado Joe side tables, handle and ash tool which are made of high-density polyethylene which is of high quality. 

The 10-inch cast iron powder coated fire grate inside the cooker is also a lot thicker than other cooker. Also the fire box inside the Kamado Joe is a bit larger and deeper than other Kamado style cooker. The picture bellow were taken from the Kamado web site.

In 2017 Kamado Joe came out with there new fire bowl design which will revolutionize all the fire bowls on the market. This multi-piece design has a base and five sections that fit together with a "tongue and groove" system and are held together by the Stainless Steel cover. Which will most likely fix the industry issue of cracking fire bowls witch time will tell. I am pretty confident that it will. 

Source of Image: Bobby Brennan

The Kamado Joe also come with a oversize Temperature gauge which is pretty easy to read from a good distance and has a range of 150-900°F. The gauge has a 2-3/8" long stem which is secured in the lid with a bolt. Their gauge is also pretty accurate. The first picture bellow came from the Kamado Joe website.

Also the company has upgraded there bands and hinge system to a perfectly counterbalance hinge system made by Weber Knapp to there new 2017 models which is a major improvement to there grills. Whit the new hinge system you can practically lift open the lid on a Big Joe with only your little finger. Only 8 lbs of force is needed to raise a 175 lbs lid from 0 degrees to 70 degrees which is pretty impressive.

 Source: Bobby Brennan

 Source: Bobby Brennan

Source: Bobby Brennan

Included with the grill is a well made ash removal tool and good quality Grill Gripper.

Theres also lots of accessories you can get for this grill. I strongly recommend getting the heat deflector and there pizza stone. Here's a video of all there different accessories they have.

Produced by: Kamado Joe

There new flexible Cooking System
Produced by: Kamado Joe

Also all the accessories made for the Big Green Egg also fit inside this grill which is a big bonus. You can also get custom made accessories here from the ceramic grilling store for your Kamado Joe. Which makes excellent accessories and theire service is phenomenal!


I made lots of cooks on my Classic Kamado Joe since 2011 ranging from ribs to Pizza and a few high heat test run. This grill performed extremely well compared to my other Kamado style BBQ. It was very easy to light and very fast to reach the desired cooking temperature. It was pretty easy to control the internal temp of the grill. The grill was also very efficient in maintaining the desired temperature. You can see that Kamado Joe actually listen to their customers and consumers in the design of there high quality grill to meet there needs! 

All I can say that I am very impress with my Kamado Joe and love the fact that they keep innovating there product in trying to become the best Kamado cooker in the world and the best built one. So far they are doing excellent job at it. You can see proof of this on the recent upgrades they did to there 2017 models.

There customer service and support is the best I have seen to date. I had a slight issue with my grill when I first got it in 2011 and I sent them a quick email on the issue and within minutes of sending the email my phone rang with Bobby the owner of the company on the other end! Now that's customer service and did I mention this was on Saturday late afternoon! Also a big advantage of this grill is that its a few hundred dollars cheaper then their competition! Ever since I own this grill it never took more then 48 hours to get a reply from there warranty dept. Also ounce they reply to you're claim they usually have a replacement part delivered right to your dour within  days. Now that's pretty fast! 


I rate this ceramic cooker a 5 out of 5 star rating.

A point to remember is only use lump charcoal inside these grills and never, never user a lighting fluid to light the fire!!!

The above pizza stone is the BGE stone since I accidentally drop and broke my Kamado Joe stone. Also the internal temp was 700 degree F when I took this picture. I hope you like this review of the Kamado Joe!

The Kamado Joe is available in Halifax, NS from Heritage Hearth in Bayers Lake industrial park.

Picture of the proud Owner's of Kamado Joe Company!

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