Who has the better Kamado Grill? Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg?
It comes up in every Kamado Grill debate, which Kamado is better? Is it the rocket red, new kid on the block Kamado Joe? Or, is it the original, green, cult followed Big Green Egg? It’s the simple Apple versus Windows comparison, two similar companies that offer the same product but each company has its own ways of going about their industry and product. In this article we’ll be going over everything between the two manufactures, such things as each brands cooking performance, product line-up, price, innovation, business experience and even the durability of their product. So without further ado, let’s get into the Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg kamado comparison.
Cooking performance – Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg
Let’s first start off this comparison discussing the difference in cooking performance between the two grills. To keep it simple, there really is nothing different between the two that separates them. Kamado grills are very unique and standard at the same time. They perform by two vents, one at the top of the unit (usually constructed of cast iron and known as a “Daisy wheel”) and one at the front bottom of the kamado (constructed of stainless steel and refereed to as the “front vent”). Charcoal is placed in the bottom charcoal grate and directly above the charcoal is where the cooking grate is located. To raise or lower the cooking temperature depending on if you’re searing or slow cooking, simply open both vents to get more airflow thus producing more heat, or close each vents and watch the temperature lower for the perfect low and slow cooking method.As far as the guts, each unit is one and the same.
Product Line – Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg
Big Green Egg
For the longest time Big Green Egg only offered five sizes of their Kamado Grills – X-Large, Large, Medium, Small and Mini. The most popular being the Large Big Green Egg (LHDA). However, after a couple years Big Green Egg wanted to offer a bigger kamado than the X-Large and they also wanted to offer a portable kamado that was in-between the Small and Mini. Thus, the XX-Large and MiniMax were born! The MiniMax BGE is perfect for the weekend griller that wants to bring his charcoal with him, equipped with a portable carrying case and offers the same size cooking surface as the Small Big Green Egg. The XX-Large on the other hand, was Big Green Egg’s way of saying “we have the biggest Kamado on the market”, with over 672 square inches of cooking surface and weighting over 470 pounds, this huge kamado is really for the backyard griller. The only downfall with the XX-Large BGE is it takes 40 lbs of charcoal just to get it going, the smaller units like the MiniMax take about 5-10 pounds.
Kamado Joe has always tried to keep it as simple is possible when it comes to ordering their Kamados and decided what sizes to offer. The results have been flawless, they simply offer a 18-inch Kamado known as their ClassicJoe and a 24-inch Kamado known as their BigJoe Each model comes in either a freestanding cart version or a stand-alone kamado which is used in an outdoor kitchen or BBQ island. Unlike Big Green Egg that offers their Kamado in a green, Kamado Joe has decided to do the same but offering their Kamado grill in a bright fire engine red. In the pas Kamado Joe has offered their grill in a black, but it didn’t do so well and was pulled from the product line.
Price Comparison – Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg
Let’s get down the brass tacks! When it comes to purchasing any Kamado type grill the price can raise very quickly. The reason is because there’s alot of things to consider, there’s alot of accessories to think about. For instance, where are you going to put the unit (BBQ Island or on a cart for the backyard patio), how’re you going to light it (wax cubes or electric charcoal starter), you’ll need a couple bags of charcoal (two should be purchased up front), are you looking at getting accessories (grill baskets, different grates, internal meat probes, tool sets, etc…) and will the unit need to be protected with a grill cover. In this segment of Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg we’re going to skip past all the accessories and solely focus on the kamado grills.
Big Green Egg prices
It should be noted that Big Green Eggs prices just include the kamado. No portable cart, ash tools or side shelves are included):
- Big Green Egg XX-Large (XXLHDA): $3,499
- Big Green Egg X-Large (XLHDA): $1,199
- Big Green Egg Large (LHDA): $879.99
- Big Green Egg Medium (MHDA): $689.99
- Big Green Egg Small (SHDA): $579.99
- Big Green Egg MiniMax (AMXHD1): $599.99
- Big Green Egg Mini (LGE): $399.99
Kamado Joe prices
It should be noted that Kamado Joe prices include the portable cart, ash tool and side shelves. The only units that do not include the portable cart are their stand-alone models):
- Kamado Joe ClassicJoe (KJ23RH): $999
- Kamado Joe ClassicJoe Stand Alone (KJ23NRSH): $999
- Kamado Joe BigJoe (BJ24RH): $1,599
- Kamado Joe BigJoe Stand Alone (BJ24NRSH): $1,599
- Kamado Joe Joe Jr. (KJ13RH): $499
Innovation – Kamado vs Big Green Egg
Some customer reefer to innovation as the backbone of the company and the standard for whether or not they purchase a product from that said company. Some questions asked are – what will this company offer in the next five years? What new accessories will they be releasing soon? Will it improve my grill and help me cook better food? All these questions come into play when browsing any grill.
We can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that if there’s any Kamado Grill company on the market that you’re ranking by innovation, it’s Kamado Joe. From their Divide and Conquer cooking system (shown above), to the Joe Blow Lighter and the various cooking surfaces that’re set to release in mid-2016 that will transform your Kamado Joe into a truly unique barbecue. All of these items and much more are always being tested and asked as to “how can we make this better”.
Big Green Egg
When it comes to Big Green Egg and innovation, it’s truly…not there. We rarely see Big Green Egg announcing a new product or accessories that compliments the cooking performance or ease of cooking to the unit. Granted, Big Green Egg recently released their MiniMax and XX-Large kamado, but other than that it’s truly been quiet for the brand over the last 5-7 years. You would think that a company like Big Green Egg, that has the network and has the ability to offer consumers a better experience would do so. Maybe we’ll just have to wait to see what the future holds for their product line-up.
Warranty – Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg
Warranty is, if not one of the most important things to consider when purchasing either a Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg. Listed below we’ve covered everything covered under warranty from both manufactures and laid it out nice and simple for you to understand.
Is the warranty transferable:
Big Green Egg: No
Kamado Joe: No
Ceramic Warranty (Dome, Base, Ceramic ring):
Big Green Egg: The Big Green Egg carries a lifetime warranty for workmanship and materials on all ceramic components. This warranty is good for as long as the registered owner has the ceramic component or the egg.
Kamado Joe: Limited lifetime warranty on ceramic parts for original owner. The warranty states that all ceramic parts are to be free of defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the grill.
Metal Parts (Bands, Hinges, Handle):
Big Green Egg: The metal parts on all Big Green Egg’s are covered by a limited five-year warranty. This refers to the stainless steel, metal, and cast iron components as well as the cooking grate. As is most often the case the warranty does not cover damage from rust, oxidation, fading, or other blemishes.
Kamado Joe: The metal parts on all Kamado Joe grills have a five year warranty. All metal and cast iron parts are covered for defects in material and craftsmanship for a period of five years.
Customer Service and customer networking
Big Green Egg: Customer service reputation is dependent on your country, if you leave in Canada it’s been known to be less than stellar, although the United States customer service is reputable. Big Green Egg also has a stellar forum called EggHeadForum where EggHeads get together and talk about recipes, issues and other Big Green Egg related topics.
Kamado Joe: Kamado Joe has been recognized in the industry of having an absolute stunning customer service department. Like, Big Green Egg and their Egg Forum, Kamado Joe has also followed suit and has a forum past or future Kamado Joe customers can gather to talk about ideas and recipes.
The Results – Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg
Now that we’ve discussed the in’s and out’s of the Big Green and Egg and Kamado Joe it’s a privilege to announce who we feel has the better Kamado.
Why we chose Kamado Joe
We feel Kamado Joe broke down the doors of what a Kamado company should be about, they’re not afraid to push the limits and really go after what they believe in. Their vision is clear of what they want to accomplish. One of the bigger decding factors was also that Kamado Joe allows for internet sales, meaning anyone in the country has the ability to click a mouse and receive a brand new Kamado Joe grill in thier backyard within a week. Big Green Egg however, doesn’t allow for internet sales, maybe one day this will change but for the customers in areas where there’s no dealers, where are they supposed to get their grill?
It should be stated that the opinions expressed in this review of Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg on this web site are solely those of the original author. The author nor the company did not receive any compensation for promoting a brand discussed in this review. All product reviews are a combination of objective and subjective opinion and experience, you’re therefore open to discuss any other further opinions.