Best Kamado grill to take your 2024 BBQs to the next level

Relax outside and enjoy some feel-good cooking with a versatile egg-shaped barbecue

kamado grill

by Jill Morgan |
Updated on

Finding the best Kamado grill is a big deal. These hooded outdoor grills take all the stress out of al fresco cooking, allowing you to grill smoky, succulent dishes on charcoal very easily.

Extremely versatile, the close-sealed hood and insulated outer means you can cook food as quickly or slowly as you like, so all you need to do is sit back, crack open a drink and wait until your meal is barbecued to perfection. And the design also means that it's much easier to use all year round. With its distinctive good looks and range of finishes, it's easy to find a design that will suit your plot, needs and budget. There's no denying that this is an investment buy, but there are now budget BBQ options on the market, and your purchase will be life-changing. Maybe you'll find a deal, too.

Best Kamado grill at a glance:

• Best Kamado grill overall: Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill - view at Weber
• Best Kamado grill for foodies: Big Green Egg MiniMax BBQ with ConvEGGtor - view at John Lewis
Best budget Kamado grill: Go Kamado Grill 13 inch - view on Amazon UK

Most people pronounce Kamado as "k-MAH-doh", but the syllables are equally weighted in Japanese pronunciation, so we should really say "ka-ma-doh". Kamado grills are different to hybrid BBQs or gas BBQs, not only in shape but how they work, too. Originally from Japan, these egg-shaped ceramic vessels have evolved from simple wood - or charcoal-fired clay cooking pots called kamados, the Japanese word translating to 'stove' or 'place for the cauldron'. They're a great charcoal BBQ for your garden.

Impressed by the cooking methods they saw in WWII, American troops took their first-hand knowledge of these grills back home, and 1974 saw the launch of the Big Green Egg company. The company used a ceramic material based on NASA technology and teamed it with a dual-layered, highly durable glaze. Here, they created the iconic product that's so recognisable today - featured in our best Kamado grill round-up. Since then, other companies have launched product lines, and the market has lots of variations.

Best Kamado grill

Now, we've found the best Kamado grill for your outdoor cookouts.

Best lightweight Kamado grill

Kamado Joe KJ13RH Joe Jr Charcoal Grill, Blaze RedKamado Joe / Amazon
Price: $498.99

Small and portable but still a joy to use, this ceramic Kamado with a 34cm grill offers all the cooking capabilities of the larger egg-style grills but in an easy-to-move 31kg package. Perfect for speedy suppers or lazy weekend roasts, a circular cast-iron cradle keeps the grill secure and stable, and it can be easily stored when not in use or popped in the car if you're invited for dinner in someone else's garden.

Customer review: "Oozes quality. Delivered this morning and the packaging was excellent, well-protected and sturdy. There was very little assembly needed and was up and ready to go within 5 minutes. This is a sturdy and well-made grill complete with all the accessories and just by looking at it and feeling the weight you can tell it should last for years. I can't fault it. Plenty big enough I would say for a family of 3 or 4 and all in all very pleased with my purchase."

Pros

  • Premium ceramic grill with excellent heat retention
  • Precise temperature control with cast-iron air vent
  • Versatile cooking options and innovative design

Cons

  • Only available in red

Best Kamado grill overall

Weber Summit Kamado GrillWeber

Experience the ultimate grilling with the Weber Summit Kamado E6 Charcoal Grill. Its dual-walled insulation ensures precise temperature control, while steel construction guarantees durability. Rapidfire lid damper enables quick heat, and One-Touch cleaning simplifies maintenance. Gourmet BBQ System ready for versatile cooking options. Pair with some durable Weber accessories and you're set.

Customer review: "Beautiful robust and sturdy barbecue. Compared to my premium touch, this is much more solid. The only downside is the wheels, small hard plastic tyres that roll poorly and look too weak for this BBQ."

Pros

  • Dual-walled insulation for precise temperature control
  • Durable steel construction with a porcelain-enamelled finish
  • Rapidfire lid damper for quick heat adjustment

Cons

  • Limited cooking accessories included - these are sold separately

Best Kamado grill for foodies

MINIMAX BIG GREEN EGGJohn Lewis / Big Green Egg

Ultimate backyard cooking is guaranteed with the Big Green Egg MiniMax BBQ with ConvEGGtor. With rapid heating and precise temperature control, it's perfect for grilling, roasting, smoking, and more. Its compact size makes it portable for impromptu trips, and the included ConvEGGtor expands culinary possibilities. Built to last with NASA-grade ceramics, it's a favourite of ours. Perfect for foodies.

Customer review: "Easy to assemble and easily transportable, this is a great addition for any BBQ lovers and those who love cooking over fire. I've done everything from sausages to grilled cauliflower to slow-cooked porchetta and legs of lamb with ease. Helpful size for two to four people. Retains heat well as expected."

Pros

  • Rapid heating and precise temperature control for versatile cooking options
  • Compact and portable design, ideal for impromptu trips and small spaces.
  • Durable construction with NASA-grade ceramics ensures longevity

Cons

  • Limited cooking capacity compared to larger models - best for small gatherings

Best premium Kamado grill

Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Charcoal BBQBBQ World / Everdure
Price: £1,619.10 (was £1,700)

www.bbqworld.co.uk

Discover the ultimate fusion of tradition and innovation with the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal Charcoal BBQ. This contemporary marvel combines the age-old art of Japanese Kamado cooking with cutting-edge digital technology, delivering unrivalled versatility, precision, and performance for your outdoor culinary adventures. It's smart, innovative and packed with features for anyone to enjoy.

Customer review: "Could not wait for summer so did a quick run and cooked a whole chicken, came out fantastic, very easy to use and the temperature control works just fine, read the instructions as you do not need much fuel and the ignition system is fantastic. should give years of service if looked after."

Pros

  • Tradition meets technology for precise cooking
  • Durable construction ensures consistent results
  • Offers versatile cooking techniques

Cons

  • Requires mains power for operation

Best mini Kamado grill

Pig Bluey Mini BBQSnaffling Pig

Meet the Snaffling Pig Mini Pig Bluey Kamado Egg BBQ – your all-in-one grilling solution. With bold blue style and clever features like a built-in thermometer and cast iron ventilation cap, it's ready to grill, smoke, bake, and roast with ease. Compact, efficient, and versatile – it's the ultimate BBQ companion.

Pros

  • Versatile cooking: grill, smoke, bake, cook, and roast effortlessly
  • Efficient fuel use, requiring minimal charcoal for longer cooking
  • Compact and portable, which is versatile for outdoor adventures

Cons

  • No customer reviews yet

Best budget Kamado grill

Habitat Mini Tabletop Kamado BBQHabitat

For a budget-friendly cookout, we love the Habitat Mini Tabletop Kamado BBQ, perfect for intimate gatherings. With a 27cm diameter cooking surface, it accommodates up to 4 servings. Harnessing charcoal power, its egg shape and air regulation ensure even cooking. Crafted from ceramic clay, it excels in smoking, baking, grilling, and searing, delivering unrivalled flavour and juicy results.

Pros

  • Versatile cooking options: smoking, baking, grilling, and searing
  • Excellent heat retention and insulation thanks to the ceramic construction
  • Compact and portable design, making it ideal for small outdoor spaces

Cons

  • No customer reviews yet

Best Kamado grill for high-quality

Kamado Joe Classic Joe III Charcoal BBQKamado Joe / Amazon
Alternative retailers
Best Buy$1699.99View offer
Wayfair$1999.00View offer

A grill with all the frills, this classic egg-style grill is set on a heavy-duty rolling cart on swivel castors and flanked with heatproof side shelves. The latest hyperbolic smoke chamber imbues food with delicious flavour, while the three-tier cooking system comes with game-changing catering-grade stainless-steel and ceramic half-moon deflector plates. Kamado Joe® Classic III has style, there is no doubt.

Customer review: "No doubt a phenomenal, most versatile grill with an easy-to-clean system. The juiciest chicken, the sweetest smoke signature, the most seared shellfish and lamb chops, a proper beast of a cooker for the garden.

One thing is I have been able to get it to hold heat but nowhere near as high and long as others claim. If you can handle the price tag, go for it. The design beats the BGE and I prefer it over the non-pro new connected Joe. I mean automating it takes the fun and skill out of things so why bother!"

Pros

  • The SlōRoller Insert converts the grill into a smoker for more options
  • Premium ceramic grill for high-quality cooking and good heat retention
  • Cooks multiple foods at different temperatures simultaneously for versatility

Cons

  • Multiple features and accessories may complicate assembly
  • Some customers said that they couldn't get the temperature up very high

Best Kamado grill for outdoor pizza

Boss Grill The Egg - 18 Inch Ceramic Kamado Style Charcoal Egg BBQ GrillBoss / Appliances Direct

Indulge in the culinary delights of the Boss Grill The Egg Charcoal BBQ. Crafted for longevity and superior performance, this ceramic grill retains heat and moisture, offering versatile cooking options from smoking to grilling. Includes a built-in temperature gauge, easy-to-use vents, and a free pizza stone for homemade pizzas. How cool is that? Suitable for all year, this Boss Egg BBQ is superb.

Customer review: "Super quality and well built. Simple to assemble, but don’t try to do it without assistance, it’s seriously heavy. Still playing with it and learning, but I’m well impressed. What’s not to like, this is an excellent bit of kit."

Pros

  • The ceramic body ensures insulation for consistent heat, saving fuel and time
  • From smoking to grilling, this BBQ handles various cooking tasks effortlessly
  • Enjoy homemade pizzas with the included stone for added culinary versatility

Cons

  • Some customers have said it's slightly tricky to assemble due to the weight

Best Kamado grill for large gatherings

Big Green Egg Large Egg BBQ and Modular Nest Acacia Wood Expansion Bundle with ConvEGGtorBig Green Egg / John Lewis

How cool is this bundle? Outdoor cooking has had an upgrade with the Big Green Egg Large Egg BBQ and Modular Nest Acacia Wood Expansion Bundle. Crafted from durable ceramic, this barbecue offers exceptional heat insulation and precise temperature control for tender, flavorful results. With a spacious cooking area and versatile ConvEGGtor, it's perfect for grilling, smoking, roasting, and baking.

The included nest stand and acacia wood expansion table provide ample space for food preparation, while caster wheels ensure easy mobility. Elevate your barbecue game with this all-in-one bundle.

Customer review: "Amazing BBQ that does far more than your average one. The ceramic makes this a combined BBQ, Smoker and Convection Oven all in one. If you just want to cook burgers there are far cheaper options, consider this BBQ if you want to go far beyond typical BBQ food.

Our first cook was a roast chicken with veg in the roasting tray, BBQ was easy to light and get up to temperature. It maintained a fairly consistent temperature throughout and with the vent and top cap it was easy to control. The chicken was done in a little over an hour, and came out lovely and moist and with an amazing smoky flavour.

Assembly of the egg and nest was straightforward forward though I'd recommend a battery screwdriver for the nest as the screws were pretty stubborn and the included screwdriver wasn't up to the job and killed my hands trying."

Pros

  • Exceptional heat insulation for precise temperature control
  • Versatile cooking options including grilling, smoking, roasting, and baking
  • The spacious cooking area accommodates large meals for family gatherings

Cons

  • Reviewer recommends using a strong screwdriver for the stubborn screws during the easy assembly

Best Kamado grill with smart features

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and SmokerKamado Joe / BBQ World

Here is the future of grilling with the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker. With built-in digital controls and app connectivity, enjoy hassle-free cooking with precision temperature control and automatic features. Plus, its spacious cooking area and versatile cooking system offer endless culinary possibilities. It's heavy-duty, super-smart and will revolutionise your barbies.

Pros

  • Built-in digital controls and app connectivity for hands-on and hassle-free cooking
  • With a spacious cooking area and two-tier system, enjoy endless versatility
  • Complete with an automatic fire starter and Kontrol Fan to simplify grilling

Cons

  • No customer reviews yet

Kamado grill accessories

Best cold smoker

PRO Q COLD SMOKE GENERATOR – ORIGINAL (SMALL)
Price: $34.99

This Cold Smoker Generator uses real wood to produce cool smoke for up to 12 hours. Perfect gadget for almost any BBQ or grill. The Pro Q Cold Smoke Generator is an Amazon Choice product and has received some glowing customer reviews for its effectiveness.

Customer review: "I put the ProQ generator into a kettle BBQ and lit the saw-dust, it worked just fine with the oak sawdust I made. As for the Tee Light Candle supplied, I would give a miss. I use one of those miniature gas blow torches, which are readily available at hardware or pound shops and cost about £3.50p, it makes short work of lighting the saw dust. I was so delighted with this smoke generator that I purchased another one, should I need more smoke. It's easy to set up, it saves time and is of very little bother. The saw-dust smoulders for a long time, more than enough for most foods."

Pros

  • Effective
  • Well reviewed
  • Smoke a wide range of foods

Cons

  • It's not a heavy-duty smoker

Best Kamado grill accessory

Cook ribs, whole roasts, vegetables, steaks, pizzas, and more all at once with this cooking system. The Onlyfire GCG-8552 Cooking System fits the internal cavity of the major Kamado oven brands, including Weber, The Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe.

Customer review: "Very good quality metalwork, the grill and frame steel work is very think. The half-moon ceramic stones are about two thirds of the thickness of the BGE equivalent and they do the job perfectly. Very pleased."

Pros

  • Compatible with major Kamado BBQ brands
  • Expands the possibilities of Kamado cooking
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Some customers find it a bit small

Best Kamado BBQ griddle accessory

This griddle gives you maximum surface contact while you're searing. The Dual-Sided Cast Iron Plancha Griddle will last a lifetime and impart extra flavour to meat that's incomparable. This griddle is an accessory from The Big Green Egg.

Pros

  • Cast iron cooking results in flavoursome food
  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Versatile griddle cooking

Cons

  • Cannot view the customer review

Best BBQ drip pan

Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Drip Pan
Price: £29.25+

www.etsy.com

Heavy duty and reusable, this heavy-duty drip pan help create moisture and flavour. Plus, it won't break or rust. This Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Drip Pan is available in a range of sizes and is sold by Smokeware Grill Shop on Etsy.

Customer review: "Outstanding drip pan! Excellent quality. Very happy with my purchase."

Pros

  • Durable and heavy-duty
  • Easy to clean
  • Available in a range of sizes

Cons

  • The embossed logo might be hard to clean

Best enamelled deep pan for a BBQ

Whether you're cooking up an aromatic curry or egg-fried rice on the grill, this deep-sided Enamelled Pan will do it justice. Add versatility to your Kamado oven with this stylish and durable BBQ accessory.

Pros

  • Adds deep pan cooking versatility to your Kamado grill
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Some customers find food sticks to the pan

Best verticle chicken roaster

WEBER Original Poultry roaster BBQ Chicken Stainless Steel Vertical Beercan 6482eBay / Weber

This stainless steel Weber Original Poultry Roaster allows you to roast four chickens in a larger Kamado oven. This gadget completely negates the need for a rotisserie system as heat circulates all around the bird giving you perfect crisp skin and moist meat every time. It's dishwasher safe for an easy clean.

Pros

  • Perfect for crispy chicken skin
  • Easier than a rotisserie
  • Clever use of the cooking space

Cons

  • Cannot read the customer reviews

How we chose the best Kamado grill

All of these Kamado grills have been hand-selected by our team of Modern Gardens shopping experts. We carefully considered material, features and size in our selection of the best. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching Kamado grills to make it easier for you to find the very best, and we'd never recommend a product we don't believe in.

Where possible, we also test and share the latest and best products you should know about. And, with help from Modern Gardens Magazine, Garden News and Garden Answers, we share expert gardening knowledge to help you get the most from your product.

What to consider when buying a Kamado grill

When it comes to cooking grates, there are three main options:

Stainless steel looks uber-smart and is easy to keep clean, but it doesn't give quite the same cooking results as cast iron. Cleaning an outdoor grill can be quite a task - which you need to be ready for.

Cast-iron plates are fantastic at conducting heat and will leave impressive sear marks on food, but their slightly pitted surfaces make them tricky to keep scrupulously clean.

Porcelain enamelled cast iron (or PECI) combines fast-to-heat qualities with an easy-clean surface, and while it's more expensive, it is exceptionally durable. You'll need to resist the temptation to scrape the plates, as this can damage the surface and lead to rusting. Instead, use a stainless-steel brush to remove any dirt, then soak in warm water with a mild non-citrus washing-up liquid and dry thoroughly with absorbent paper towels.

Consider what size is suitable for you and, as with any investment buy, how you'll use it in the future. Kamado grill grate sizes range from 28 cm to 61 cm. Smaller ones are perfect for two. Or, if you're looking for a nifty grill to move around the garden, there are also more sizeable designs that create a brilliant focal point for larger parties.

Lighting a Kamado type barbecue grill with an electrical charcoal
©Photo: Audrius Venclova / Getty

What features to look for

Most new grill designs come with handy innovations designed to make your cooking experience all the more enjoyable. After all, you're looking for the best Kamado grill for you - your lifestyle:

Side loading ports: Simple but a real game-changer, these hatches enable you to add smoke wood chips or extra coals without any heat loss.

Digital controls: Some of the latest models come with handy apps via Bluetooth connectivity to help monitor cooking temperatures and guide times. Some, such as the Everdure, feature touch-screen controls if you feel the need for precision.

Dimpled or fish-scale glaze: Besides looking good and oozing quality, the textured surface is said to prevent the glaze from cracking during thermal expansion.

Airlift hinges: The hoods of larger ceramic Kamado grills can be hefty to handle and can slam suddenly as a result. An airlift hinge lessens the load.

Prep and storage areas: Grills with built-in work and prep areas make cooking easier. Look out for designs with single or twin side shelves, utensil hooks and rails, storage racks, drawers or even roomy cupboards for storing coals.

Kamado grill FAQs

How do Kamado grills work?

Made from ceramic, shaped like an egg and encased in a highly weatherproof glaze, Kamado grills provide constant heat using minimal BBQ fuel. Charcoal is held safely in a firebox and, with air vents positioned above and below it, is repeatedly fanned by air being drawn through the lower opening before passing out via the upper. The result is constant glowing coals and an evenly heated cooking chamber that's easily regulated by the amount of air allowed through the adjustable vents. Thanks to the highly insulating ceramic body and hard glaze, these grills are also quick to heat up.

Perhaps, you're wondering: Are all Kamado grills the same? Well, aside from special features, functionality and colour, there isn't a great deal that sets them apart. Choose the right Kamado for your needs.

Can I use regular charcoal in Kamado Joe?

Kamado Joe suggests using premium hardwood lump charcoal to fuel your fire. They add: "Combustible liquids (starter fluid, etc.) will impart undesired flavours, damage your grill and create a fire hazard."

After all, the flavour of your food comes from the fuel; it'll taste better in a Kamado. This is thanks to "the innovative shape and air-circulating design" which can tenderise your chosen meat, adding a rich flavour.

Avoid using briquettes in a Kamado. As they can produce a lot of ash, briquettes can cause restricted airflow. An ash build-up is not what you want - as it'll lengthen your cooking and cleaning times.

Why should I invest in a Kamado grill?

The best Kamado grill is so much more versatile than a standard barbecue.

You can use it to grill, bake, smoke, stew, steam and fry, as well as enjoy succulent low-and-slow dishes, all with minimal fuss and monitoring. Choose where to position your grate, pizza stone or Dutch oven within the grill and its proximity to the coals. Adjust the vents to regulate the airflow and decide on the cooking time. Your food will be cooked to perfection without having to constantly check it. Thanks to the sealed cooking chamber, it'll be moist and imbued with delicious smoky flavours.

These distinctive grills are also highly fuel efficient, making them cheaper to run and kinder to the environment, too. Small amounts of charcoal will burn evenly and for much longer than with an open metal barbecue, plus little ash will be left behind, making the cleanup quicker and easier too.

If you're looking for the best Kamado grill recipes,Big Green Egg's Recipe Guide is fantastic. It's packed full of anything and everything - for all dietary requirements, from smoking to baking.

What are Kamado grills made of?

Most of today's products have a robust ceramic body encased in a high-gloss finish. Chosen for its insulating qualities, the actual material composition of the ceramic varies slightly depending on the manufacturer and can include lava rock grit, Portland cement and terracotta, all of which can influence the weight, size and overall cost of the grill.

Fired to extremely high temperatures, the ceramic body is sealed with either several coats of coloured glaze or a baked-on enamel covering to create a super-durable finish. Designed to withstand huge fluctuations of both internal and external temperatures without cracking, these ceramic grills are extremely long-lasting, but they can be cumbersome to move around, with extra large models weighing up to 113kg.

Many leading brands are now designing Kamado grills with dual- or triple-walled stainless-steel bodies instead of ceramic. While still brilliant at retaining heat, these models tend to be more affordable, lighter to move around and come with no risk of cracking. The downside is that they can have a much shorter lifespan than ceramic designs - no matter how well they're looked after, But, they are a great option if you want to try out this style of al fresco cooking.

On many grills, details such as handles and trims are made from steel. If this is an investment buy and you want them to last as long as the grill, look for rust-resistant type 304 stainless steel rather than cheaper
powder-coated steel.

Which is best: Green Egg or Kamado Joe?

In our round-up, two big brands are battling it out: Green Egg and Kamado Joe. But, which is best?

Why is Kamado Joe better than Green Egg? Or, has Green Egg taken the top spot? To answer these questions and for an in-depth look at these high-quality, passionate BBQ brands, we recommend RTA Ouliving's Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg Guide, we can help you decide between the two.

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Jill Morgan writes regularly for Modern Gardens, and loves everything to do with gardens, plants and outdoor living.

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