It is no secret that Americans love cooking out, and having a grill to prepare food on makes for an ideal tool to feed multiple people. In recent years, both pellet grills and kamado grills have emerged as popular buys for many people who want to up their grilling game.
Both of these kinds of grills can offer a good range of versatility in terms of what you can cook, and they also accomplish their goal of reaching some pretty high temperatures. Keep in mind that both pellet grills and kamado grills use real or natural wood as their source of fuel, although kamado grills may be designed to use natural lump charcoal which is not the same as briquette charcoal.
Here are how the two types of grills stack up:
Advantages of Pellet Grills
Pellet grills, sometimes referred to as pellet smokers, are outdoor grills using food-grade wood compressed into a pellet for a fuel source. They have elements of charcoal grills, gas grills, and convection ovens. Pellet grills burn wood pellets to generate heat and smoke to cook and flavor food from the hopper to the chimney.
The pellets feed from the hopper to the auger, then move along the auger as it rotates toward the burn pot, the hot rod burns the pellets to start combustion as pellets fall into the burn pot, the fan then blows air to create flames before heat and smoke rises.
It is then deflected by the heat plate for even heat, heat and smoke are then channeled with the drip plates upward to baste your food, and drippings are carried through the management system to the removable grease tray.
- Quick Start — With a pellet grill, you only need to prime the fire pot and ignite the grill by simply touching a button. Use a controller to handle everything else.
- Range of Services — A pellet grill is going to be able to accomplish all of your grilling needs, whether you are hoping to grill, char-grill, smoke, braise, roast, broil, sear, barbecue, bake, or toast.
- Portability — Many pellet grills are made from lightweight materials. This makes them ideal for transporting to your picnics because the pellet grills have a compact design. Komodo grills can be much heavier and more difficult to move.
- Simplicity — Pellet grills will not require constant watch because of their high-end temperature control. You can simply set your food and then turn your attention elsewhere if so desired. Some pellet grills are also able to be pre-programmed with entire smoking cycles.
- Temperature Ranges — You could set a pellet grill as low as 200 degrees Fahrenheit or go as high as 500 degrees on some models. Better yet, it may be possible to adjust the temperature through an app on your smartphone. Pellet grills can be an oven or smoke chamber, which gives you even heat throughout the grill.
- Safety — There is a reduced likelihood of flare-ups with a pellet grill because there is a full-coverage heat baffle separating the food from the fire pot, making them among the safest grills to purchase. Grill without fear of fire hazards or burn risks.
- Smoke Flavors — BBQ pellets are available in multiple flavors, including mesquite, hickory, apple, cherry, peach, pecan, alder, and sugar maple. You can try different pellets to create different flavor combinations.
- Bonus Features — As already mentioned, pellet grills can frequently connect to smartphones through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This offers an unmatched level of convenience for most grillers so they can spend time away from the grill.
- Less Cleanup — A pellet grill will be less of a hassle to clean than a kamado. Most pellet grills have grease trays that are easier to remove and clean than the messier process involved with a kamado grill.
Advantages of Kamado Grills
A kamado is a ceramic egg-shaped barbecue of Japanese origin. The grill works by air entering the kamado grill through an area on the bottom of the grill, passing by the charcoal fuel source, and leaving out the top. Temperature is then regulated and controlled by the amount of air you allow in and out of the Kamado grill.
- Versatility — A kamado grill can start at temperatures as low as 300 degrees Fahrenheit but may go as high as 1,300 degrees. Few grills offer this kind of range. In addition to baking and grilling, air vents on kamado grills also allow you to smoke or roast food. You can also sear or barbecue. Oval-shaped kamados can be set up for two-zone cooking, while round kamados cannot.
- Fuel Efficiency — Komodo grills primarily use charcoal, which is much more available and also cheaper than the wooden pellets required for pellet grills. The fuel efficiency is also helped by the ceramic model of the kamado grill design. A kamado grill is going to require less fuel than your traditional charcoal grill.
- Consistent Heating — A kamado grill is structured to trap heat and keep it inside the grill, letting you slowly radiate your food. This is largely because most kamado grills are ceramic, meaning they are designed primarily to insulate and retain heat. You can achieve a wide temperature range and sustain it over a long period of time. Ceramic provides top-of-the-line insulation.
- Cost — Komodo grills can be purchased for a couple hundred dollars whereas pellet grills may cost thousands and also have several different parts that could need to be replaced or repaired.
- Flavors — Provided that you do not use lighter fluid, which can add a chemical taste to your food, using starters will instead enhance your food flavors and preserve the best elements. The smoking aspect of a kamado grill also means that there will be little to no drafting, meaning food will not be robbed of its moisture.
- Long-Lasting — Ceramic may be somewhat fragile, but it is also quite durable when properly cared for. Even if you settle for a cast aluminum kamado grill, it will not rust.