Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe Ceramic Grills

Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe Ceramic Grills

Hi I’m Lou and I have a Kamado Joe. I’m Dave and I have a big green egg Today were going to compare our grills head
to head First we will look at the name recognition Everybody knows the big green egg because
it’s been around for 30 years and it looks exactly like a big green egg This grill is much less well-known. At first I thought it was commando. The delivery guy thought it was commundo,
and one of my friends thought it was Komodo like the dragon. It turns out Kamado is the Japanese word for
this style of ceramic grill The big green egg is sold in a la carta pieces
so you have to buy the egg, the shelves, the stand, and the ceramic tray all separately. It can be a little confusing to get all the
right parts, but it offers configuration flexibility. Most people start off with the large egg and
all the basic stuff you need at a cost of around $1200 The classic Kamado Joe comes out of the box
with everything you need to start grilling at about the same price Now let’s look at the on boxing and set up. I had the Kamodo Joe delivered to my driveway
and it’s a good thing I did, because it is quite a bit north of 200 pounds and it’s kind
of hard to lift for even two people. It took me about 20 minutes to unbox and set
up the Kamodo including all the stuff that was foam packed inside I’m pretty handy and it took me well over
an hour to put the egg together If you’re not mechanically inclined it’s probably
worth the 50 bucks to have the dealer assemble it for you. Both grills arrived in perfect condition but
the difference in packaging is worthy of note The big green egg came in a standard cardboard
box that actually ripped a little bit when we tried to carry it. The kamado box had a wood top and bottom and
extremely strong cardboard sides Now let’s look at the features The two have been nearly identical in past
years but the new 2017 model Joe has some significant improvements. In fact, if you decide to buy this grill make
sure you get the newest version The top air vent is one of the most important
parts of the big green egg. It controls the airflow through the egg which
controls the temperature of the egg One thing about the top air vent is you set
it where you want it But if you open the grill the top air vent
moves, And you have to readjust You can avoid this by turning the top sideways. The pivot point is that the front of the grill. When all the grilling is done the egg has
a nice ceramic lid that seals off the air flow, stops the fire quickly and conserves
charcoal Don’t leave this piece out in the rain because
it can start to rust. The Joe top vent does not slide around and
has these little lines to help you dial in the right temperature There is no ceramic lid but this is made of
aluminum and does not rust in the rain. The egg thermometer is certainly decent But the Joe edges it out with a larger easier
to read version We did find one major flaw in the Joe in that
it’s thermometer was almost 50 degrees out of calibration Fortunately you can take it out, dip in a
boiling pot of water, and if it doesn’t measure exactly 212 degrees, use a screwdriverand
and turn this screw on the back to calibrate it Probably one of the most important differences
in the two grills is the lid counterweight mechanism in the hinge We will lift both lids halfway open. When I let go of Joe, it just sits there perfectly
counterbalanced When I let go of the big green egg it slams
down pretty hard For a couple of strong guys this really doesn’t
make that much difference, but the Joe certainly is better for the ladies or anyone with lifting
limitations. Inside the joe has a dual oven rack system
called divide and conquer that allows you to set different heights for different foods They also include this hot rack grabbing tool The egg has a standard grilling surface that
is set at one height You can take out the ceramic plate setter
and lower the entire grill about 2 inches Another small difference is the ceramic color. It’s a little hard to tell since we’ve got
some smoke in it now but you can see the original color of the egg was a whiter ceramic, while
the original color of the Joe is a bit more reddish We really don’t know if that makes any difference Cleaning out ashes on the egg can be a little
messy because you have to use this ash rake The Joe is easier to clean out, because it
has a stainless steel ash drawer Now we will look at the quality of construction The larger diameter of the egg wheels make
it easier to get over bumps The wheel locks however are made of thin plastic The Joe wheels are smaller but the locks are
sturdy metal The egg stand is a pieced together metal kit
that certainly does it’s job The Joe comes out ahead with a fully custom
welded stand with a wider more stable wheelbase and a complete containment ring. The egg shelves and handle have a more earthy
feel of real wood The Joes are a less natural but more durable
molded plastic The egg main seal is made of felt and the
lid alignment is off by about a quarter inch, at least on this unit The Joe has an upgraded fiberglass seal like
you find in an indoor oven and the alignment is perfect This lid lock is annoying at first but you
can easily learn to use it with one hand and it creates a great seal This probably doesn’t make any functional
difference but we do like the larger metal bands of the Joe and how they fit nicely in
the ceramic groove The egg bands are skinnier and leave a small
gap Now for a low and slow smoke. Both grills are headed to roughly 225 degrees And we will put a half rack of ribs on each
one Dave iss flipping them On goes the sauce And back out they go Here come the ribs We will do T-bones and chuck hamburgers Here comes the food off the Joe Yeah! And here, comes the food off the green egg. Man, that looks good too! We’ve divided the meat from each grill into
three equal piles. I will have my daughter secretly put each
pile on either side A or B and not tell us Randomized and ready to go And now for the A-B taste test with Lou and
Dave and my wife Karen as a tiebreaker The burgers are about the same The steak is the same I can’t tell any difference in the burger I’d say no difference in the T-bone here None that I can tell Uhh uhh The ribs are my favorite though. Mmm. The ribs are so good. Delicious, they are really good Man! I can’t tell any difference in the ribs. So in the end there was really no detectable
difference in taste Other than its thermometer needing major calibration,
the Joe was better with fit finish and features If a friend asked us which one to get, we
would give the Joe a slight edge unless they really liked the color green Thanks for watching

Randy Schultz

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100 thoughts on “Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe Ceramic Grills

  1. Mike B says:

    The Kamado is $599 at Sams regular price. I paid $399 end of season close out.

  2. shiftgears211 says:

    Cool. Thx for an honest review.

  3. James Woodward says:

    I love my egg but if I was buying today I’d probably buy the Kamado Joe. The lid alignment is an assembly issue and can be fixed on the egg.

  4. Brent E says:

    I have used both and I agree with everything compared. The one thing you didn't address is the type of lump coal you use. That is critical. I tell people all the time, if you use crappy coal in eaither unit, the performance is terrible.

  5. Roger F says:

    Excellent review. I have the BGE but either unit would be fine. BUT I had to cringe when I saw you cooking hamburgers at the same time with steak. They need completely different temperatures. To cook steak (like the steakhouses) increase the cooker to a little over 700 degrees. It will give a great sear. You cook a typical 1” steak 2 minutes each side for a perfect juicy medium rare.

  6. Ace Storman says:

    and yes folks….some assembly required 🙂

  7. Angie's Pantry says:

    Thank you for sharing.. :")

  8. gdsmit1 says:

    Very nice comparison video. It would have made my decision to buy a Kamado Joe much easier. What I tell the folks that I talk to is that the BGE is a fantastic product. The problem I have with it is it is virtually unchanged since it was created in the '70s. The KJ has so many improved features that it should be a no brainer.

  9. Rich H says:

    Egg is older than that. Our landlord was a cargo pilot in the sixties. he brought it back from Japan.

  10. kubotamaniac says:

    Excellent video!! Thanks!

  11. Richard Bucker says:

    I have a green egg and for a short period of time when I thought I wanted to eat what I would call the perfect steak. Now that I have kids and a compressed schedule I just don't have the time or interest… and for that matter I'd prefer to go minimal anyway. There is simply no reason to own a $1000 BBQ when a weber does the trick. I prefer something I can move around and store in the garage during a hurricane rather than something what would crack into a million pieces if it fell over as it is prone to do. Even so… 10 years later the GE is starting to degrade where the hinge rings connect to the pot and lid.

  12. Richard Bucker says:

    the egg is unstable in the stand

  13. Paul Hughes says:

    The KJ seems to spank BGE in almost every way. My favorite color is green but that won't justify buying the more inferior product lol. +1 KJ

  14. E. J. Washington says:

    Well-produced video. Right to the point, and a very fair comparison without bias. Thank you.

  15. R0b0saurus Rex says:

    So for someone who doesnt want to mortgage their house to buy a friggin grill and do crazy smoking, advanced smokehouse, complex meat cooking the Komado Joe is a good buy.

  16. Evanx373 says:

    I can tell you from experience that the joe is far less durable and if anything breaks too many times they will not honor the warranty after so many times.

  17. FlyingMollyWhop says:

    I'm glad I found this video. The equivalent seems to be iPhone vs droid. Obviously droid is the better phone, but to tell an iPhone fanboy they spend $600 too much on a phone…. well let's just say all my friend have the egg so this will be interesting.

  18. Brian Liles says:

    If I didn't already have a BGE, I would definitely go with the KJ if for no other reason than the gasket. One thing that I haven't seen is whether or not you need to "burp" the KJ when opening. If you open my BGE without burping it a couple times to slowly reintroduce oxygen into the interior, you get a pretty massive fireball which is a felt gasket killer.

  19. Diederik H. says:

    Nice video. I'd be very happy to have either. A huge upgrade from a regular BBQ for sure.

  20. Jan Poepke says:

    Thanks very much for this comparison – This really helped me to decide!!!

  21. Chuck Chalfant says:

    That was an awesome side by side comparison!! Answered every question I have about the two grills! Thank you so much for taking the time and considerable expense to put this up on the web! One question…Do either of you guys wish you had bought the other grill? I'm going with the Kamado Joe!!!

  22. Robert Heaney says:

    So I hope you guys have learned a bit more by now, but in case you haven't I will help. There are lots of after market parts that help with the egg. Probably the same for the Joe. You can adjust that gap by closing the grill and loosening the band's, top and bottom. Adjust the band's, then re tighten. Most after market parts are interchangeable. The stand for the egg sucks though, make a table.

  23. Matt Donaldson says:

    Didn’t talk about what the Kamado uses for charcoal.

  24. Travis Diller says:

    mechanically inclined… like using needle nose pliers to tighten nuts…
    just teasing…

  25. David Ciesielski says:

    thanks guys….

  26. The Original ONION says:

    Great review! Thanks.

  27. Jeff Dearborn says:

    10-year owner of the Egg…still going strong. Just replaced the felt seals. Got an aftermarket stainless steel top for grilling in the rain and replaced the bottom grate. I see another 10 years easy.

  28. John Wayne says:

    Great video thanks

  29. Mike Aragon says:

    Hi folks,
    I have had my bge for just about 18 years, I love the way it smokes grills and baked. I did have one issue with it about 3 years ago, for some reason the sides were leaking out black moistured ooz and I found hair line fractures in it. I called the BGE corporate and they sent me out a new bottom piece no charge even for shipping. They did ship it to a BGE store that I had to pick it up from. And I made a very cool strawberry planter out of the fractured one. Other than that I love my BGE. I am sure the KJ can hold up as well. Peace and happy cooking.

  30. patrick castillo says:

    Cool shirts

  31. Chris says:

    Bought a KJ bc of this video! Got mine for $750 all in. BGE would have been $900

  32. fairalbion says:

    I've had a BGE for 15 years and nothing has fundamentally changed with these kamado-style ceramic grills in that time. The most important thing is you, your technique, and your learning how to use them. So do the reading, learn how to control the fire, and don't get too hung up on the minutiae of the equipment.

  33. david c says:

    I love my kj

  34. Philipp M. says:

    Thank you for that.

  35. pesto12601 says:

    Joe for the win!

  36. Kim Lucas says:

    Just got my BGE. Trying out some pork belly soon!!

  37. Tdog says:

    I have an egg , Lov it . Joe has a few pluses , but not sold just yet . Need one for my summer house. Need warranty info.

  38. Shore Line says:

    What is really important is things like, can I add wood to my smoker on long cooks without having to lift everything
    out. BGE is a pain in the butt to do this. I am going to give mine to my kids and Look at the monolith which I believe
    has an opening to add wood without pulling the food out.

  39. Aaron Hartwell says:

    Wow. Great review guys!

  40. Fujian Auplex Grill Co., Ltd. says:

    Great products!!!

  41. mark30378 says:

    great review

  42. John G. says:

    Maybe there is a price change since 2017 but I just priced the Green Egg XL (24") against the Big Joe (24").  The Egg was priced WITH a large wood table that the egg inserts in on casters ($500) and combined was quoted $1400.  The Big Joe is currently priced at $1899 with stand and side shelves.  I priced out and found I can get more add on's (cast iron grill plate in half moon, multi height cooking rack, cover, pizza stone, etc) for the egg for the additional $400 to equal the price of the Big Joe than what comes with the Joe, not to mention the additional storage and cook top prep area with the table for the egg..  I was leaning to the Big Joe but price point for the egg and a local dealer made the decision for me.

  43. carpii says:

    Great review. Seems like BGE have been resting on their laurels for too long, and have stopped innovating. I was going to buy a green egg but seriously thinking about the KJ now. Theyve put a lot of thought into the design

  44. Courtland Reyes says:

    I gotta say the cleaning of the joe sold me personally

  45. Chris Blake says:

    Interesting… cooking meat doesn't prove which is better… what it takes in prep and setup of the flame and convenience factors to attain a good cook does. Ease of use, quality of materials, availability of various OEM/3rd party accessories, warranty/customer service and price are factors I gauge in buying anything. Lastly, it would be interesting to determine the grade of ceramic utilized in the products.

  46. enyceofnyc says:

    This was such a useful, well put together video! Thanks.

  47. daddio77 says:

    The Egg's ceramic if fired at around 2000 degrees for about 6-8 hours and I believe the Joe is fired at about half that. Other than the Egg being able to withstand a higher temperature you can get similar results from both

  48. mian isbah rehman says:

    you guys are humble and positive, was really nice watching your video. thanks

  49. forge52100 says:

    Excellent review. Have had a BGE for about 10 years now and love it, but if I was in the market for a new one I'd have to think about the KG.

  50. samurai1833 says:

    Great review!

  51. MARK L. says:

    Only a “slight edge”?? KJ destroyed the BGE. 😂🤣

  52. Glendon McDevitt says:

    Fantastic evaluation. Thank you so much for the experiment. I am going Kamado Joe.

  53. timevampire83 says:

    Very good video guys.

  54. Mike Fuson says:

    Great review, I’m in the market…

  55. Vincent Lok says:

    It makes sense. The BGE came out decades ago. During that time, it's design has been tested and users created "wish lists". The KJ makes took those decades of comments, critiques and wish lists, and made a product with those desired upgrades.

    If I were to get one, I'd lean towards the Joe. It looks like it has more features. … then I'd paint it green so people think I splashed out for the BGE. :p

  56. Eric Von Zipper says:

    I am bias but I will take my Joe any day!

  57. E B says:

    This was awesome. Thanks.

  58. Tony Rizzo says:

    I’ve been researching a great deal on both of these and keep going to my local place that has both on display…with all that money in the line and knowing my $100 22” Weber does a fantastic job of grilling and smoking I am looking long and hard…

    In every possible way (but not including actually smoking anything) the Kamado Joe beats the Big Green Egg hands down by a wide margin. I do admit I am biased by the cool red of the KJ. But that isn’t a deal breaker (or deal maker)…

    When I finally break the bank it will be the KJ…only remaining issue is which size to get…

  59. fartsonu says:

    Great video. Covers everything I wanted to know. Except cleaning.

  60. volvo09 says:

    those are SUCH beautiful grills. I love quality products like this, even though the price is like buying a bunch of weber grills, it's a price you pay for quality. Treat either of those with respect (as all your expensive devices should be treated!) and they will be with you for ages.

  61. Leggo My Ego says:

    You can get the old version of the Kamado Joe for $750, and the new version costs $1,200.

  62. Chris Scalia says:

    I’ve sold both Kamado Joe and BGE and the changes KJ has made to their cooker definitely separates them from the competition. The air lift hinge is great.

  63. kotbasilio says:

    Thanks for the review! It is is really useful for me as I am choosing between those two now!

  64. Rafa Guerra says:

    Remember when you assemble your Eggs, use the gauges when assembling the lid to avoid it being off-center.

  65. Rxonmymind says:

    Had the opportunity to buy the Big Joe via Costco but the wife couldn't stand the color. Lol.
    Then she saw the Louisiana/Pit boss Kamado grill in blue and said "This looks really nice. I like the color better". Well, happy wife happy life.
    Cooked my first whole chicken in it and it turned out fantastic. Crispy outside, juicy inside.
    Temperature held rock steady at 300 with a two hour cooking time I was impressed.
    As a bonus it didn't use all the charcoal up as I looked in the grill the next day. Still had around 30% left.
    So these grills are efficient too.
    As I type I'm sitting on my patio grilling chicken breast at 275. Smells delicious.

  66. jim carson says:

    I like the cart better on the Kamado Joe, Lowes is selling Kj for he same price as the Road Show at Costco.

  67. Steven James says:

    Give the Joe a slight….. it is better in every way!

  68. curtis shaw says:

    Kamado Joe is the clear winner.

  69. F. Rick Herr says:

    Can't go bad with the Egg, but if you looking for a ceramic grill, Clearly the Kamado Wins.

  70. F. Rick Herr says:

    Hmmm Egg to match my wife's beautiful green eyes, or Kamado to match the Corvette…
    Welps I'm now a man with a Grill and a Corvette.

  71. Tom Kelly says:

    I want to build one, thanks for the tips about what works and what doesn't

  72. Francisco Cabrera says:

    At approximately 8:05 when the lady is cutting the meat, what in the HELL is that?? It’s like light orb!!!!! Wow!! Check it out guys!!!!

  73. Kevin Jacobs says:

    BGE cannot compete with the Joe’s “Divide and Conquer “ grate system
    Joe is a much more versatile grill because of that , and the ceramic is virtually the same

  74. Gerry Corbino says:

    Very good review of both products. I liked how unbiased you both were in reviewing each others system and in the end it comes down to personal preference as to which ceramic cooker to purchase. Happy cooking to both of you!

  75. jose fellipone says:

    I got both the k joe ceramic seams hollow and the bge more solid but kjoe has nicer features bge is more basic

  76. Eddie Costa says:

    Question is it cool to use regular charcoal briquettes in this grill

  77. OddballtheRighteous says:

    It just seems like a little more quality went into the Joe and with more durable parts and some more versital cooking racks. I say thats more than a SLIGHT edge, plus a fiberglass cushion seal lasts a lot longer than Felt and that makes a difference for the seal. And for the same price? Youve sold me on a Joe. Plus i like Japanese names 😀

  78. bradley burton says:

    How well did they maintain temp?

  79. Lee Murray says:

    Did you coordinate shirts?

  80. David Greenapple says:

    One of the best review videos out there. Outstanding! It would be very interesting to know the temperatures and cooking times on each of the tested meats – i.e., low temp cooking on ribs and higher temp cooking on the burgers / t-bone. Thanks for a great video.

  81. snowpuppy77 says:

    I think the ceramics in the egg are better than the KJ. There is a Primo company video where they run several Komados through their kiln. KJ was not in last place but it did not fare too well. Egg passed with flying colors.

  82. Zorak Mantis says:

    Looks like the choice is pretty obvious. Joe wins by a landslide.

  83. Morgan Keffer says:

    Anybody want to buy my BGE XXL? If I had to do this over again it would be the JOE by a large margin. The stand continuously moves around the BGE when you move it as I do. If you do not move it it is fine, but my question would be, for the price why is it not included?
    Air door at the bottom has already broken and will cost a small fortune to replace. My vote for my next egg would be the JOE.

  84. furriephillips says:

    I’d take the Joe, and a couple of cans of spray paint.

  85. tracey potts says:

    Kamado is the best

  86. Serg Ivash says:

    I have an opportunity to get the Kamado Joe Classic 1 for a decent price, and was wondering if the extra features are that important.

  87. Mike Redding says:

    The joe top will fall when it gets hot ,and it is heavy !

  88. Mike Hammons says:

    Great video. I have a BGE and after 18 years it's still going strong. The only thing I have done to it is replace the thermometer one time and the felt a few times in those years. I will say that KJ is clearly doing a much better job on updating their grills with really nice, innovative and useful features. BGE is pretty much still the same as it was when I bought mine. It's not necessarily a bad thing but it would be nice to see BGE keep up with the times.

    As my BGE is still fine I probably won't be replacing it, but, if I were in the market today I think KJ would earn my business.

  89. Consequator says:

    It sounds like someone needs to make the 'Joe's green egg' and get the ultimate ceramic grill.

  90. NBA says:

    I'm sticking to my egg

  91. DQ Simpson says:

    it seems like BGE has the same type of grill in different sizes.  and The Kamado has different models and different sizes.  Does this make sense?  for instance, I thought I saw a Kamado in lowes for $300 and I know that couldn't be ceramic.  maybe cast iron?

  92. canecorsodaddio says:

    which model joe is that?

  93. Jax3060 says:

    Am I the only one that cringed when he let go of the lid and let it slam shut on the BGE? Lol

  94. Pèter Bartók says:

    Iphone vs Android 🙂

  95. dale pratt says:

    Big Green Egg loses out in a huge way in the assembly that is required. As a former retailer of BGE, we charged an additional $125.00 for delivery and set up..which pissed a lot of customers off, understandably.

  96. dale pratt says:

    225 degrees is not "low and slow" get it above 212 degrees and you are drying out the meat..just a little point that matters. 🙂

  97. John Possas says:

    Kamado means stove in japanese, arigato

  98. Shawn Vargas says:

    We have an egg with same top steel regulator
    And have left it outside in rain & snow with no rust.

  99. David Bueso says:

    What a great review! Thank you so much! I am definitely going to buy a red joe!

  100. Tvideo says:

    One thing that is a very important difference between the two is that the Joe has individual "petals" that fit together to form the firebox. The Egg has a solid ceramic fire box. An easy google search will show that cracking of those solid fireboxes is VERY common. So common, Joe went with the "petal" style which allows for much more expansion and contraction from the firebox heat cycles… the same heat cycles that tend to crack solid ceramic fireboxes. I believe both grills have a lifetime guarantee too, also something you didn't mention. And that really sets them apart from all their competitors.

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