Grilling and smoking have been the most loved activities by people all around the world. Whether it is grilling hamburger patties or char-grilling briskets, it is something many people take pride in and want to excel in. Moreover, it is considered the best way to bond with friends and family.
In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices
Although there are many types of grills available, a popular option has been the kamado grill. Kamado grills are a fantastic outdoor grilling option especially for those that consider themselves to be grilling enthusiasts. However, the sad part is that kamado grills can be a huge investment, which is why it is important to know everything about these grills!
What Are Kamado Grills?
A kamado grill is a grill, smoker, and oven, all in one. Fueled with charcoal, this grill has the ability to slow cook meat to perfection especially whole chickens and large pieces of meat.
You can also bake pizza in addition to grilling and smoking on this versatile grill. Since it has the ability to contain its heat within the grill, a kamado grill allows the food to be more flavorful. After reaching the cooking temperature, you just have to control the temperature. The air vents that are on the grill make it easier to maintain the temperature in the grill for a longer time.
The structure and design of this grill are well thought-out. It is made with the right materials that make sure your food is getting cooked authentically and deliciously. The external surface of the grill is overheating resistant and on the inside, the ceramic walls make sure the heat gets trapped successfully. Another great thing about this grill is that it has a good heat distribution, allows the meat to tenderize properly, uses lesser charcoal, and creates flavorful food and great aromas.
What Makes A Kamado Grill Different From Other Grills?
Kamado grills do not differentiate themselves from traditional grills just because of the way they look. Instead, their ability to evenly cook food is what makes them different and a useful cooking appliance for most people. The biggest reason why this grill has become so popular recently is that it has the ability to make various foods in just one grill. Its versatility is what makes it stand out from the rest.
This ceramic grill allows you to make the most flavorful food ever in an easy manner. Whether you are incorporating flavors like hickory, maple, or oak, you know you are in for a treat. Moreover, this grill is the ideal option for those who want to smoke their meat.
Another impressive feature of this grill is its temperature ranges. In less than 15 minutes, this grill has the ability to heat up to 750 degrees, whereas it takes traditional grills up to 30 minutes or more. You are also able to maintain low temperatures like 225 degrees for 12 hours (this is the ideal time for smoking). The fact that this grill can hold temperatures for such long periods of times is what makes it a true winner.
Unlike traditional grills, this grill can cook more than one type of thing. From grilling to baking, the kamado grill has become a chef favorite all around the world.
The Pros and Cons of Kamado Grills
Just like every appliance, there are pros and cons when it comes to a kamado grill. This is why if you are considering purchasing a kamado grill, here is what you should know about them:
- Ceramic grills are heavier compared to normal grills which makes it quite difficult to move them around. It is also important to keep in mind that ceramic grills are easier to crack if they get tipped over or if they drop. However, if you are taking good care of your grill, it is a worthwhile investment that will not fail to impress for many years.
- There are steel kamado grill options available that do not crack. However, as time goes on, the steel can start to rust and it does not maintain the internal temperature as the ceramic one does.
- The ceramic kamado grill has the ability to hold in temperatures for longer time periods, making them a great option for homeowners that live in cooler places. Moreover, for a winter BBQ experience, a kamado grill is the best option.
- A good and bad thing about the kamado grill can be how it heats up. Kamado grills with thick walls usually take longer to heat up, but when they do, it takes them long to cool down as well. Therefore, when you are making your food on this grill, it is important to stick to the required temperature. If you exceed, it could take really long for the temperature to come down.
Tips for Choosing the Best Kamado Grill
When buying a kamado grill, the common question that pops in everyone’s mind is “will a kamado grill help me cook good food? ” To clear the confusion, yes, a kamado grill has the ability to retain all the deliciousness in your food while giving it the right amount of smokiness to it.
However, it can be a difficult task to choose the best kamado grill because of how many are available. Therefore, to make things easier, here are the tips that can enable you to purchase the right kamado grill as per your needs.
After taking these tips into consideration, you will be able to choose the ideal kamado grill for yourself.
Just like all other grills, kamado grills are also available in different sizes. Based on your needs, you will have to determine what size kamado grill you need. If you usually only cook for two people, then a kamado grill that is 9.5 inches will do well. However, if you are making food for events, parties, get together or holidays, then your kamado grill should be at least 24 inches. You must be aware of the fact that there are different sized kamado grills available and each can cater to your needs, so before purchasing, make sure you are seeing what you need is.
Another size that needs to be considered is the space in the grill area where you are putting your food on the grill and the lid on top. With a larger space, there will be a bigger space that will keep more smoke in the grill while you are cooking. In addition, if you like a strong smokey flavor, then this is the ideal option for you. On the other hand, if you only like a hint of smokey flavor in your food, then you will need to look for a grill with less of this space.
The price of your kamado grill solely depends on the material your grill is made of. While some kamado grills are made of ceramic, others are made with different metals. The choice you make at the end depends on what you think suits your needs the most. The bigger kamado grills are made with steel grates and accompanied with an aluminum base, whereas the small grills are made with ceramic. The grills made of ceramic are known as the small or mini kamado grill.
There are many kamado grills that come with their own accessories that help in elevating the entire grilling/smoking experience for you. The common accessories include wheels for easy movement, shelves on the side for extra storage, additional racks that increase the cooking area inside the grill and a cover for your grill. There are also some kamado grills that have a cleaning option which makes it easy for you to clean up the ashes that may be in your grill.
The 5 Best Kamado Grills Under $500
Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr – Perfect for Camping, Tailgating, and RV’ing
This charcoal kamado grill can be the perfect addition to your backyard. Promising you delicious food, the Char-Griller allows you to sear at high temperatures and roast at low temperatures. Even though this is a small kamado grill, it is a versatile option.
Apart from being highly durable, the triple-walled steel structured allows it to last long. The construction of this kamado grill allows you to maintain a cooking temperature that ranges from 200 degrees to 700 degrees.
- Has a triple walled steel structure
- Grates are durable cast irons
- Dampers promote air flow
- Easy to dump ash pans
- The lid has a hinge lock on it
- No wheels
- Quality of the lid lock can improve
Char-Griller E56720 – AKORN Kamado Charcoal Grill
The Char-Griller Kamado Grill is known as a high-performing grill that will transform your backyard into the ultimate kamado style cooking environment. With this grill, you have the option to sear meat at high temperatures or let it cook slow and low. Along with being a versatile appliance, this grill is long lasting. It has a triple layer of a steeled wall which makes it easy to maintain the cooking temperature.
With this grill, it is easy to control the temperature of the grill because of its dampers located on the top and bottom. These dampers allow you to maintain a steady flow while you are cooking on your grill.
- Interior finished with porcelain
- Wheels have locked rubber casters
- Cooking surface is cast iron
- Designed in a tubular steel cart style
- Quality of the side tables can improve
- Lack of temperature accuracy
Char-Broil Kamander – All on One Unit
Another popular choice would be the irresistible Char-Broil Kamander Grill. This kamado grill has the same features and functions as a high-end kamado grill at a more affordable price. This means that it is now possible for you to get your hands on a high-end product at the best rate.
Made with a double steel wall, this kamado grill has the ability to heat up quickly and evenly while trapping in all the heat and moisture. When you are making your food on the Char-Broil Kamander Grill, you will be ensuring great food without any compromises.
- Constructed with double steel walls
- Heats easily, quickly, and evenly
- Side shelf is large and foldable
- Ash pan is durable
- Prep table is only one on side
- Ash removable is not easy
Viemoi Mini Kamado Grill – Barbecue Cooking System
The Viemoi Mini Kamado Grill is made of strong stainless steel that allows you to enjoy an authentic BBQ experience on a smaller scale. Nonetheless, it takes the entire grilling experience up a notch.
The grid of this kamado grill is made with durable steel that has a porcelain coating on it so it does not rust over time or get sticky. The grill has an elegant, classy look all while giving you delicious food on your plate.
- Porcelain coating prevents rusting
- Durable bamboo side table
- High quality cast iron
- Classy, elegant look
- Taking ashes out is difficult
- No wheels
Kamado Joe KJ13RH – Joe Jr Charcoal Grill
With the help of the Kamado Joe Jr. Grill, you will be able to take your grilling game to a whole other level. It has an aesthetic appeal, making it the ideal choice for pool parties, late night BBQs, camping, family events, and much more. Weighing almost 68 pounds, this grill has a cooking surface of 148.5 square inches.
The thick ceramic walls make sure heat, moisture and flavor are being successfully locked in. Moreover; the heavy ceramic lid has powerful springs that aid in opening and closing the lid.
- Cast iron stand with powder coating
- Cooking grates made of stainless steel
- Ceramic Kamado style grill
- Ceramic heat deflector
- Built-in thermometer
- Extremely heavy
Our Final Thoughts
These are the top 5 best kamado grills that you can purchase for under $500. Make sure you’re aware of what you are looking for before making the purchase. Any of the five would make a great grill for you and your family. If we had to choose one of the best Kamado grills for under $500, it would be the Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr as it seems like the best bang for your buck.