Kitchen

Best ceramic Kamado Grills 2019 : Reviews and Buying guide

Grilling is a favorite past time for a lot of people, especially those who enjoy being surrounded by the camaraderie, smells and the deliciousness. They do that either with gas, charcoal but some of them like using ceramic grills. If you’re planning on getting one yourself and are curious about how they compare with regular grills or how much they cost, then this review will help you out.

Ceramic grills are also called kamado style grills made from ceramic materials and come with other additions like grill surfaces dampers, cooking surfaces.Apart from your regular grilling, you can even use it as an oven and a smoker too. We reviewed some of these multipurpose grilling devices here to see which ones offer you a better deal in terms of cooking, options, ease of use, care and flexibility. Our votes go the Char-Griller 6520 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill as it has all the right elements.

#1. Char-Griller 6520 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill with Cart

Char-Griller brings you the 6520 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill that doubles a smoker too. It lets you sear meat using very high heat or slow roast it to perfection. The griller is meant to last you’re a very long time as it’s been built with a triple walled 22 gauge steel interior.

The Char-Griller Akorn has a powder finish coated exterior while the interior is steel coated with porcelain. The cooking surface is full cast iron of 314 square inches.There is a 133 square inch warming rack, ashtray, food prep area, and a built-in temperature gauge.

This super thick build ensures that the grill holds the heat for a long time, and can range anywhere between 200 degrees to 700 degrees. You can control temperatures using adjustable dampers located at the top and bottom to maintain an air flow that goes in and out of the grill. This way, you use less charcoal and fuel when cooking.

There are a lot of things to like about this Kamado cooker, one is the triple-walled fuel area that maintains the heat for a very long time. The next best feature is the adjustable dampers that give a wider range of cooking temperatures. You can run the grill on the porch, the back yard and indoors as the two large 8-inch wheels ensure smooth portability and they can be locked down using the locking casters.

POSITIVES:
  • Insulated design means more heat uses less charcoal and less airflow means insulated heat for juicy meat,
  • 314 Square inches of primary cooking space,
  • 133 Square inches of warming rack,
  • tubular steel cart construction,
  • 26″ X 26″prep/serving space,
  • dual adjustable dampers for maintaining specific temperatures,
  • cast iron cooking grates enhance flavors and heat evenly

NEGATIVES:
  • poor cart design construction,
  • rusts easily and requires good cleaning after every use to prevent this

Verdict:

You also get a decent sized cooking area too, with and very wide warming rack, and a place to prepare the food. The cooker includes a lower storage rack for all your grilling essentials like the chimney starters, briquettes.

This is the right choice for those who love grilling using propane or firewood as it affordable, versatile and really does cook the best steaks ever. A clever addition is one big shelf on the side that gives all the space you need instead of the two smaller paddles.

#2. Weber 14402001 Original Kettle Premium 22-Inch, Copper Charcoal Grill

Weber claims that this grill is very easy to clean with its One-Touch cleaning system that’s supposed to lessen the hassle of charcoal ash by moving it into an ash catcher. You can adjust the temperature of the grill with the dampers instead of lifting the lid.

Coals can be arranged for both direct and indirect cooking and when you’re done simply close the damper to cut off the oxygen and extinguish coals.

The grates retain heat, can be cleaned off easily and are hinged as well, in case you need to add more charcoal when grilling. The lid never gets hot and features an angled hook so that it can be moved onto the side instead of placing it on the ground.

There is another hook that holds all of your tongs, spatulas, and wheel on the bottom so you can move the grill, lid, and tools to a convenient space.

POSITIVES:
  • 22-inch diameter porcelain-enameled bowl and lid with a cooking area of 363 square inches,
  • Plated steel hinged cooking grate,
  • Aluminized steel One-Touch cleaning system with removable,
  • high-capacity,
  • aluminum ash catcher,
  • Rust-resistant aluminum damper and two glass-reinforced nylon handles with tool hooks,
  • Assembled dimensions are 38.5-inch by 27-inch by 22.5-inch

NEGATIVES:
  • Extensive heat output reaches your hands and forearms

Verdict:

This grill is for those who don’t like to deal with propane tanks, who feel that charcoal grilled food tastes better and who require an affordable grill. You do get the power of the propane grills, but the cash you save on buying Weber 14402001 Original Kettle can be spent on getting additional fuel and accessories.

In fact, choose this model over anything else that might cost you less as it has got this ash catcher. This really does help with the clean up afterward! The grill is delivered to you in a box and is surprisingly easy to set up and attach all of the parts. We took around 40 minutes to set it up and found that the ash catcher did require some extra time but wasn’t that difficult. We’d suggest that you keep trying till you get it and eventually you will.

Lastly, a word of advice to all amateur grillers out there – do yourself a favor and get started on grilling with this grill.

#3. George Foreman 5-Serving Multi-Plate Evolve Grill System with Ceramic Plates and Waffle Plates

This Best Ceramic grill has lots of capabilities and digital controls that turn grilling, BBQs on a hot day into a luxury. And you can cook anything you like from chicken, fish, steak just by placing them on the ceramic grill plates.

You can swap out these grill plates for the waffles plates and can be used at breakfast time or lay out the grill flat for sandwiches. This Evolve Grill can cook any kind of foods – using the digital temperature controls; you can adjust the heat from 300 to 450 degrees, all the way to a full 500 degrees for your searing needs, even at an angle.

There is a panel that shows you the temperature. The George Foreman Company guarantees restaurant like quality every time you use one of their grills. They guarantee that the grill plates, improved with multilayer ceramic coating, will have more versatility, durability and reach higher temperatures of your average indoor grill.

POSITIVES:
  • The sizeable grilling surface lets you make five servings of food at a time,
  • includes premium ceramic grill/Panini plates and nonstick waffle plates,
  • digital timer and temperature controls,
  • precision timeup to 20 minutes, temperature options up to 300 and 425°F,
  • dedicated 500°F searing 60 seconds button,
  • easy cleanup,
  • 100% removable grill plates.

NEGATIVES:
  • tricky cleaning situations,
  • steam pulls off some of the colour on the plastic the bits surrounding the cooking surfaces

Verdict:

What we liked most were the removable plates which make it that much easier to clean. Of course, that has to do with the 3 n 1 features that turn the grill into a waffle and Panini maker too. Still, even then, that was the best feature.

And you really can cook anything you like, other than the suggested foods like shrimp, steaks, waffles, sandwiches, Panini’s, etc. We imagine you can take this to an overnight camping trip where you can use it to serve up grilled dinner and a waffle, sandwich breakfast in the morning. And you get instruction that shows you how to detach, attach each plate and how to cook on them. We think amateurs could really use that extra touch.

That being said, there were two things that we found irritating but might not affect the way you use it. One was the waffle batter flowed out over the back during out test trials. We probably used too much of it, but it flowed down to that part of the base that tips the grills.

We found it tough to reach into this area to clean it. The other problem was that the steam created from the grilling destroyed some of the colour and dripped back onto the counter.

#4. Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 Inch Smoker

Weber says that you should choose their 18 Inch Smokey Mountain Cooker-Smoker for the love of a classic barbeque! Every low and slow, first bite moment will be worth it when food is cooked on the plate steel cooking grates.

This Best Ceramic grill has been made using the utmost care and that includes metal legs that are rust resistant, a thermometer built onto the lid and a very big cooking area where you can do a big roast that will keep your family fed for days!

We won’t go into all of the technical aspects of this smoker, but we will say this – that the setup, silicon temperature grommet aside, was easy and we were ready to test it, out of the box, in less than thirty minutes.

Adding the silicon grommet took a bit longer, but the trick is to use a little silicon spray on the place where it needs to be attached.After some clever maneuvering, it was finally fitted. Things went smoothly after we added the logs, burning coals into the pot and the grill was set!

POSITIVES:
  • Porcelain-enameled lid,
  • bowl,
  • and center section retain heat and won’t rust or peel,
  • two cooking grates provide ample room for smoking two large items at once,
  • silicone temperature grommet monitors the internal temperature of your smoker,
  • control the temperature of your smoker by easily adjusting the dampers,
  • fuel door comes off to make adding charcoal and wood easier while smoking

NEGATIVES:
  • very low water pot,
  • tough to refuel

Verdict:

Setting things up was simple. The other good point was controlling the temperatures. Do you know how other smokers have to be monitored continuously? Well, this griller only has to be loaded, dampers adjusted and you can stand back and relax. During our test, we only noticed a temperature variation of about 4 degrees in an hour’s time.

The water bowl is a problem that we felt was way too low in the fire pit. This obstructed our access to the firebox in case we wanted to add more coals.

Still, our overall verdict is that we never used a smoker that has been this easy to setup, use and maintain.

#5. Easy GO Big Bad Barrel Pit Charcoal Barbeque 5 in 1

Easy Go says that the Big Bad Barrel Pit Charcoal Barbeque has multiple uses and the best value for your money. It can be used as a table, winter fire pit, a grill smoker, adjustable BBQ cooking rack and a barrel Height for child safety.

The barrel can be taken apart for easier transport in most SUVs, trucks, and cars for use at parties, Tailgating, beaches, and parks.Assembling and dismantling it is easy.

And the griller-smoker can be used with ease, by both pro grillers and those who are just getting started. It is equipped with stainless steel hooks, charcoal pit, utensils, and a stainless steel grilling rack.

The barrel heats to a consistent 225 degrees which is just right for smoking hamburgers, pork ribs, specialty meats, and fish, keeping it wonderfully cooked all the time. Even then, you can still adjust the temperature using the top vent located on the lid.

We are impressed with the functionality and versatility of this grill and how the top comes apart for adding more fuel, without upsetting any of the meats that are smoking in it.We have to say that the six stainless steel hooks that come with it are skimpy and that heavy pieces of meat did fall off once the temperature hit 145 degrees.

POSITIVES:
  • Multi-function,
  • Portable,
  • Beginner or Pro,
  • Cooking time

NEGATIVES:
  • tough to add more fuel to already heated fuel box

Verdict:

We aren’t sure how good the pizza oven will be as it would be impossible to lower the temperatures, enough for pizzas. Still, it could be worth a try but you might not be able to run the grill and the pizza grill at the same time. The fire pit is a separate piece though, and you can turn it into a mini bonfire at the camp for s’mores, quick over the fire grills.

The only part we didn’t like was taking the grill section off the bottom tier to add more coals, wood while the grill is on and cooking something. Clearly, the company forgot to add something to make this easier – like a lid, handle – or anything that would stop the heat from hitting your arms, chest or face.

This isn’t a very bad thing though and pro grillers will probably be used to it. Amateur grillers, however, are in for a treat!

#6. PK Grills PK Original Outdoor Charcoal Portable Grill & Smoker Combination

The PK Grills is a 60-year-old brand that has been used by and won the respect of professional cooks, BBQ hobbyists, and causal grillers. This aluminum grill capsule comes with an airtight seal so that the temperature will never drop starting from 180 to a maximum of 700 degrees.

Aluminum conducts heat well and distributes evenly all around the cooking surface.This best ceramic griller comes with a 4-Point Venting System on the top of the lid. This gives you controlled air flow to the inside of the grill capsule. Other interesting features include the 2 large shelves that are easy to clean and give you enough prepping space.

We have to admit that this award-winning grill is the go-to cooking device for a lot of people. It’s perfect for when you’re cooking for yourself, two to three people and a few pieces of chops, chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers. Just a simple smoked chicken at 325 degrees will come out perfect every time and that a guarantee.

POSITIVES:
  • PKs unique capsule shape with 4 vents for easy to grill,
  • fast or low and slow cooking,
  • aluminum,
  • rust-proof,
  • durable,
  • lightweight and conducts heat 4x more efficiently than steel charcoal grills,
  • PK cast aluminum charcoal grills are covered against rust, burnout or breakage for a full decade,
  • detaches easily from any of it’s available stand options for transport, with 300 square inches of cooking surface,
  • awarded the Consumers Digest Best Buy 2017 and Pitmaster Best Value Pitmaster Award for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2018 for Official Grill of Steak Cook-off Association.

NEGATIVES:
  • no adjustable grill height,
  • no lower second shelf,
  • no thermometer or straps to hold the lid in place

Verdict:

The grill has no problems holding heat, even at the lowest temperatures and it can be adjusted using either the bottom or top vents. It’s a great all-around grill that gives you that great smoked flavour just by adjusting the vents on the cooking side and the charcoal bin.

So there’s no doubt about the cooking, but the one improvement it could really use is the forged aluminum process. We saw how a lot of users resorted to machining to adjust the grill design to their liking.  It makes sense to do that as there isn’t any second lower shelf and it looks unbalanced because of this. Other had even gone on to add a thermometer. Then, it lacks any option for grill height and the lid has to be kept off as the heat can send it flying off in all directions!

Apart from these three issues, the grill might just be the best option for people who know how to handle the grills. We felt that for this price, it could have used these few features.

#7. Fuego F24C Professional Propane Gas Grill

The Fuego is a grill is easy to assemble and the company says that all you need is a screwdriver and a box cutter and the 20 fasteners provided with it. The grill is compact enough for use on any balcony; patio and you can move it around as it has casters.

The convenience lies in the grill being able to heat up to 500F in just five minutes and burners are strong enough to cook directly, or indirectly, anywhere between 250 to 700f. This Best Ceramic grill has been strategically angled at 45 degrees and the hinged lid stops the heat from reaching your hands. The propane tank is hooked under the grill, keeping it out of sight.

POSITIVES:
  • 525 sq. In. Of grilling surface (415 sq. In. Main/ 110 sq. In. Warming) with the ability to grill 20 quarter-pound (4 1/2″ dia.) burgers at once,
  • Compact 24″ x 24″ (lid closed) footprint perfect for small patio/balcony,
  • assembled in less than 30 mines with the use of Only 20 screws,
  • Combined 26,
  • featuring perfect clasp door close system, hinged propane tank storage door,
  • non-marking industrial casters and electronic ignition,
  • uniform temperature and up to 650F direct heat for searing steaks & seafood

NEGATIVES:
  • could have used thicker steel on the dome,
  • bad OEM thermometer

Verdict:

We used this grill for cooking burgers chickens and steak and are impressed that it could cook evenly, without any flare-ups.The setup of the grill was easy however the thermometer that it came with wasn’t up to the mark. When we tested it, the thermometer was off by 50 degrees.

There should have been fewer holes on the lid, and without a cover, rainwater fills up the grease pan on the bottom.

For the price, the grill is pretty decent for design and construction, and since this is the professional version, we wished it had thicker steel on the dome for more insulation. All part fit well and there’s no need to jam the bolts, screws, etc. The cooking surface is massive and the duo fire ring adds more firepower to the already supercharged BUT output. At the end of the day, it’s tough to beat at this price.

#8. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill

Kamado Joe says that their KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill is the easiest slow-roast, smoke, sear, or bake multi griller. Made using patented innovations like the SlōRoller and the Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System.

This gives you better functionality in terms of cooking, fuel efficiency and the kinds of foods that can be cooked on it. And, you can even add accessories for a great cooking outdoors experience.

Kamado Joe’s KJ23RHC Classic II Charcoal Grill has all you need to get started. The lid has this assist mechanism that makes it twice as easy to open the lid and will not slam down when you let it go. We think this is a clever idea that makes the grill safe to use.

POSITIVES:
  • Assist mechanism that makes it twice as easy to open the lid.
  • Gives you better functionality in terms of cooking
  • The grill is split in half so that the rack falls in and lets you grill that way too.

NEGATIVES:
  • small size impractical for more than two people,
  • a steep price for minor improvements on the older model

Verdict:

The ashtray is nice, the side tables are adequate and the aluminum vents are right where they need to be. We are blown away by the ceramic and all the items that the grill came with. The base is the best system we’ve ever seen and includes a heat deflector. The grill is split in half so that the rack falls in and lets you grill that way too.

How ceramic grills work

While cooking, the dampers have to be adjusted or moved to allow enough to flow in or out and control the temperature that way and the amount of smoke as well. Grill dome walls have to be thick, the thicker the better. Ceramic walls are thick and are able to hold lots of heat for longer.

best Kamado grills can either be fully ceramic cookers or a kamado style grill. With the number of options you have out there, budget and personal preferences are all you need to keep in mind.

Cooking on ceramic is very different, as they have the ability to heat up quickly to very high temperatures and sear meats well. The dome shape, either vertical or horizontal coupled with the right ceramic grills, the construction allows for better use of fuels. Heat retention and meat with higher moisture content are the other benefits.

Even when you open the lid to add sauces, meats, fuel the temperature lowers momentarily and resumes once the lid is closed. Ceramic grills cook from all sides and not from the bottom up like traditional grills. Many of ceramic grills combine the work of a grill, smoker, and brick oven and reduce the need for separate appliances.

Best Kamado Grill 2019 : Buying Guide

Temperature control and fuel efficiency: Ceramic grills are a bit pricey, but the practical advantages make it worth any price tag. Temperature control and fuel efficiency

are the biggest ones, where you can enjoy low smoking heat to searing hot temperatures.At the same time, each model has its own versatility.

Cost is still a barrier where larger models can cost you $700 to $1000 excluding accessories and stands. Compared with the classic, basic Weber kettles, it’s not easy to justify the cost. Grilling aficionados, however, feel the best is never good enough. Sure, most grill cooking can be done on a kettle grill but for versatility, attaining very low or high temperatures, ceramic grills is the answer.

Check Also : Best Portable Grills 2019

Weight and Wheel: These have a lot of weight as they’re made out of ceramic, that’s why a lot of models have wheels on them.

Charcoal Types:  Ash production is expected, so you need to use quality hardwood lump charcoal and not those charcoal briquettes. This kind of fuel does cost more. But because ceramic grills are efficient, you might only use the smallest amount at a time.

Maintenance: Ceramic grill lids have been rumoured to crack with extensive use and age. But we have not heard about this affecting cooking or the function of the grill. All this sounds like the grill wasn’t maintained.

Final Verdict

Whether you want to sear steaks, smoke brisket, grill burgers, – you can make the most of it by going outside with a best kamado grill. They can be used in the same ways as a wood oven, smokers, and a grill.

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