Kamado-style grilling has exploded in popularity in recent years. And one of the leading brands in the kamado market is Kamado Joe. Their ceramic grills consistently receive rave reviews for their innovative features, ease of use and exceptional grilling performance.

In this in-depth guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about Kamado Joe grills. Whether you're new to kamado-style cooking or are considering investing in one of these premium ceramic cookers, you'll learn all about the unique benefits of Kamado Joe grills and how to choose the suitable model for your needs.

What is kamado-style grilling?

A man grilling meat over a kamado joe grill

Kamado grills are based on ancient clay cooking vessels that provided efficient, moist, and flavourful cooking. Modern kamado grills retain these key benefits through their thick-walled ceramic construction, offering superb insulation.

The ceramic shell holds in heat and moisture, making kamado grills extremely fuel-efficient. Just a small amount of high-quality charcoal can maintain cooking temperatures for hours. The heat retention also allows you to precisely control temperatures, ideal for low and slow smoking all the way up to searing temperatures over 370°C.

Kamado grills essentially function as grills, smokers, and ovens all in one, giving you incredible versatility. You can grill steaks, bake pizza, roast meat, smoke ribs, or stew chilli. Kamado Joe grills can even smoke and grill simultaneously with different heat zones.

So, if you want a charcoal grill that goes well beyond basic burgers and hot dogs, delivering moist, juicy results across all cooking styles, a kamado is the way to go.

Introducing Kamado Joe grills

The logo for Kamado Joe

Founded in 2009, Kamado Joe is based in Georgia, USA and has quickly become a leader in kamado grills worldwide. Their designers were committed to taking this ancient cooking style into the modern era, focusing on continuous innovation, high-quality materials and outstanding cooking performance.

The Kamado Joe range covers grills in three main sizes: Big Joe, Classic Joe, and portable Joe Jr. models. Their industry-leading innovations, like the Slide-Out Ash Drawer and Air Lift Hinge, make their grills easier to use. Plus, features like the Divide & Conquer® flexible cooking system and advanced ventilation transform them into extremely versatile cookers.

Their ceramic shells are made from 1.25” thick high-fire ceramics that retain heat incredibly effectively. And their striking glazed finish ensures they look just as good as they perform. Kamado Joe also offers a great range of accessories, and their sleek iron stands and carts provide sturdy support and extra storage space.

Overall, Kamado Joe grills deliver exceptional construction quality matched with clever design features for convenience, control, and cooking ability. They are the ideal investment for any outdoor cooking aficionado – whether cooking up feasts in the summer or making the most of your outdoor kitchen year-round.

The Kamado Joe range of grills

Kamado Joe offers ceramic grills in various sizes to suit different budgets and cooking needs. Here, we'll outline the models in their range:

Big Joe Grill Series

Meat and vegetables sizzling on a kamado joe grill

This is the largest grill in the Kamado Joe range, with an expansive 24" ceramic cooking surface. The Big Joe provides enough space to cook for larger groups, host a party, or cook up a feast for the family.

There are three Big Joe models:

  • Big Joe I: The standard Big Joe with a single level 24” stainless steel grate.
  • Big Joe II: Adds the Grill Expander and a second grate for tiered cooking. Expandable surface up to 1,056 sq in.
  • Big Joe III: This model features the innovative 3-tier Divide & Conquer® system for ultimate cooking flexibility and a massive 854 sq.. of cooking space.

Classic Joe Grill Series

A man holding a beer checking on meat roasting on a kamado joe grill

The mid-sized Classic Joe range has an 18" ceramic cooking surface, making it ideal for everyday family grilling but still spacious enough for entertaining.

Again, there are three models in the Classic Joe range:

  • Classic Joe I: The entry-level Classic Joe with a basic 18” cooking grate.
  • Classic Joe II: Adds the Grill Expander and second-tier grate. Expandable to 660 sq in capacity.
  • Classic Joe III: Equipped with the Divide and Conquer® 3-tiered grilling system. 510 sq in cooking space.

Joe Jr Grill

A man in a blue shirt carrying the red kamado joe joe jr grill down some steps

The Joe Jr. is Kamado Joe's portable model, with a smaller 13.5" ceramic cooking surface. It's perfect for camping trips, trips to the beach, or picnics in the park. Despite its compact size, it still provides serious Kamado cooking performance!

The High-Tech Konnected Joe Grill

Kamado Joe has released a more specialised ceramic grill model:

The Konnected Joe from Kamado joe with a person using the connected app

The most technologically advanced Kamado Joe grill, the Konnected Joe, is a Wi-Fi-enabled ceramic kamado grill that provides digitally controlled cooking for incredible convenience and precision.

The Konnected Joe features an electric starter to ignite charcoal with a simple button push. No more messy starter fluids are needed!

The digital Kontrol Board and integrated fan system are at the heart of this grill. You can choose Automatic Cook Mode, which automatically maintains the exact target temperature from 107°C to 370°C, or switch to Manual Mode for classic kamado grilling control.

Either way, the digital controller and Kontrol Fan empower this grill to perfectly hold low and slow smoking temperatures for hours on end. Or ramp up to sizzling sear temperatures when you want to flip steaks or char chicken. Say goodbye to temperature fluctuations and unwanted spikes.

Made from the same thick ceramic as other Kamado Joe models, the Konnected Joe seals in moisture and infuses food with authentic wood-fired flavour. The 1613 cm2 cooking surface accommodates large cooks with ample room. You can also take advantage of the multi-level Divide and Conquer® system for direct and indirect cooking.

This advanced grill connects to your home Wi-Fi so you can control, monitor and track your cooks right from your smartphone via the Kamado Joe mobile app. Receive alerts, view graphs, change settings and more – the ultimate convenience.

Kamado Joe Grill features and innovations

A person grilling meat on a kamado joe grill

Kamado Joe grills come loaded with clever design features that set them apart from the competition. Here are some of the stand-out innovations that make them so unique:

Ceramic Construction

The 1.25" thick ceramic shell offers incredible insulation in heat and moisture. Once up to temperature, it provides consistent cooking temps while using less fuel. The heat also sears foods, locking in juices and flavour.

Slide-Out Ash Drawer

Unique tool-less ash draw makes cleaning out ash fast and convenient. No more messy ash scraping and dumping!

Air Lift Hinge

This hinge reduces the dome lid weight by 96%! The counterbalanced design allows the lid to be lifted smoothly with just one finger. No more struggling to open the heavy ceramic dome.

Divide and Conquer® Cooking System

The multi-level grates and heat deflectors allow for direct and indirect cooking. You can grill steaks directly over the coals while smoking ribs upstairs simultaneously. It's so versatile you'll wonder how you managed without it.

Kontrol Tower® Top Vent

The top vent provides simple yet highly precise airflow control for accurate temperature regulation when smoking low and slow. It also allows airflow shutdown and ventilation opening when searing at high temperatures.

Shock Resistant Latch

The secure latch system keeps the dome clamped tight during transport and ensures no annoying cracks from thermal expansion while cooking.

Built-in Thermometer

The included thermometer is a simple yet handy tool for monitoring the exact cooking dome temperature.

Kamado Joe Accessories

Kamado Joe offers a stellar range of accessories to unlock these grills' full potential, from grill expanders to pizza stones, cast iron skillets, and rotisserie.

How do Kamado Joe Grills compare to other brands?

A person uses a spatula to turn burgers cooking on a kamado joe grill

So, how do Kamado Joe ceramic grills stack up against competing kamado and conventional grills?

Vs Steel Kamado Grills

The ceramic construction of Kamado Joe grills far surpasses thin steel kamado grills for heat retention, fuel efficiency and longevity. Cheap steel kamados tend to rust through after a couple of years.

Vs Premium Ceramic Brands

Kamado Joe competes closely with other premium kamado brands in terms of cooking performance. But there are still plenty of reasons to opt for Kamado Joe—for example; they typically offer larger cooking surfaces and more convenient features for a better overall user experience. What’s more, with a lifetime guarantee on ceramics, you can rest easy knowing your Joe will stand the test of time.

Vs Pellet Grills

Kamado Joe grills provide authentic wood-fired flavour using charcoal and wood chunks. You have more control over smoke levels.

Vs Gas Grills

Kamado Joe grills match gas's high heat-searing ability while providing superior insulation and humidity for exceptionally juicy results. High-quality food with that authentic charcoal and wood-fired taste – yes, please!

Vs Kettle Grills

The thick insulation allows Kamado Joe grills to cook low and slow in ways kettle grills cannot match. You also use much less fuel compared to a kettle grill.

Tips for getting the most from your Kamado Joe

Ready to buy a Kamado Joe, or have you treated yourself to one already? Here are some handy tips and advice for utilising your new grill:

Lighting Charcoal

Use a charcoal chimney starter to prepare your charcoal for cooking quickly and without lighter fluid. After about 20 minutes, once the coals are lightly ash-covered, carefully pour them into the grill.

Using Heat Deflectors

Take advantage of heat deflectors to set up direct and indirect cooking zones. Sear meats directly over the coals, then move to indirect heat to finish cooking.

Reaching and Maintaining Temperatures

Open the bottom vent fully and the top vent halfway to quickly reach your desired cooking temperature. Then, adjust the vents to hold the temperature, lower it, or raise it as needed.

Calibrating the Built-In Thermometer

The lid thermometer can be calibrated if not reading accurately. Boil water to test it reads 100°C. If not, adjust the nut on the underside of the thermometer to calibrate it.

Testing for Correct Seals

Close the lid on a thin piece of paper around the rim. It should feel resistant when gently pulling the paper out. Repeat around the grill to ensure even seal and heat retention.

Direct and Indirect Grilling

Get those lovely sear marks over direct heat, then move to indirect heat on the upper grate to evenly finish thicker foods like chicken without burning.

Smoking with Kamado Joe Grills

Use wood chunks for smoke flavour at low temperatures around 110-120°C. Avoid wood chips, which can make overly strong smoke. A water pan will help maintain humidity.

Making the Most of the Grilling Surface Area

Investing in a grill expander is a great way to increase your cooking capacity. Use zones and divide cooking where possible. Grill on one side while smoking on the other.

Maintaining and Caring for Your Grill

Store your Kamado Joe grill under a grill cover when not in use to protect it from the elements. Apply cooking oil occasionally to the ceramic interior. Inspect the felt gaskets, replace them if worn, and calibrate the thermometer annually to keep your grill in top shape.

Recommended Kamado Joe grill accessories

Pizza cooking on DoeJoe on kamado joe grill

There are loads of accessories available that will enhance these already fantastic kamado grills:

  • Grill expander: Adds more grilling surface and lets you divide the cooking area into different temperature zones.
  • Cast iron skillet: Ideal for frying up breakfast, searing steaks or cooking veggie dishes.
  • Pizza stone: Take your homemade pizzas to the next level.
  • Rotisserie kit: Perfectly cook chicken and roasts by slowly rotating over the coals.
  • Meat probe thermometers: Monitor your food’s internal temperature for perfect doneness.
  • Kamado Joe slow roller: Makes smoking large cuts of meat even more straightforward.
  • Grill lights: Illuminate your nighttime grilling sessions – better visibility and a cosy ambience!

Order your Kamado Joe grill today from Direct Stoves

So, there's everything you need to know about the innovative and high-performing Kamado Joe range of ceramic grills. Their thick-walled ceramic construction combines tremendous cooking efficiency with grill, oven, and smoker versatility.

Clever design features like the airlift hinge, slide-out ash draw, and Divide & Conquer® system set them apart regarding ease of use and flexibility. What's more, the range of sizes and price points means there is a perfect Kamado Joe grill for every outdoor cooking enthusiast.

These exceptional kamado grills can take your grilling, smoking and outdoor cooking game to a whole new level. Kamado Joe is the way to go if you want juicy, flavourful food with that delicious live-fire taste. Check out the full range here.

With free delivery to the UK mainland, 14-day no-hassle returns, and a range of finance options to help you spread the cost, upgrading your outdoor dining experience with a Kamado Joe grill has never been easier.

As always, if you have questions about Kamado Joe, delivery, payment options, or placing an order, our support team is here to help. Contact us on [email protected] or 0161 376 4191 today.