Picture being able to do almost any type of cooking right in your backyard. Ceramic kamado style grills let you do just that and. With a number of new entries to the to the market we’ve narrowed down the best 3 kamado style brands on the market based on consumer ratings, accessories available, the number of models, and features. Big Green Egg, Primo, and Kamado Joe offer the best construction, heat retention and insulation, accessories, and a variety of sizes making them the top rated ceramic grill brands out there.
Honestly, it’s very tough to tell a difference in cooking performance with these three brands. I know eggheads might disagree, but all three are capable of reaching high heat for searing and baking Neapolitan style pizza’s and maintaining temperatures as low as 200 degrees for smoking meats. Below are the highlights that make these three brands stand out among the rest.
Related: Check Out Our Ceramic Grill Overview
Big Green Egg
When curating a list of the best kamado style grills the Big Green Egg must be included….plain and simple. Since 1974, the Big Green Egg company has been producing incredibly high-quality ceramic cookers at a pretty high price! I equate the Big Green Egg and their loyal legion of fans known as eggheads to Apple products and their devoted users. If you ask Apple fans why they love Apple they’ll tell you it’s because they do exactly what you expect them to do every time. They don’t break and the quality is a cut above which is why they’ll pay more for that laptop or iPhone. The same can be said about the Big Green Egg. They do exactly what you expect them to do and all of the hype around performance is true….but is it worth paying a premium for that piece of mind? That’s up to you.
Big Green Egg’s offer a wide variety of sizes. There are 7 model sizes of the egg ranging from the XXLarge Egg that boasts 672 sq in of cooking surface area which can handle 35 – 40 burgers and weighing in at over 400lbs to the Mini Egg meant for camping or tailgating which has a 79 sq inches and can handle about 3 burgers. With 6 sizes in between they offer any size you require which no other kamado maker can claim.
Things to consider
Big Green Eggs only come in round design which doesn’t lend its self as well to two zone cooking as the wider oval design in other types of ceramic cookers. Two zone cooking is the process of placing hot coals on one side of the grill leaving the other side cooler for indirect cooking. The larger the coal loading area is, the easier it is to create two zones. Big Green Egg’s are not available on-line but you can expect to pay around $1,200 for the XXL model which doesn’t include accessories including the deflector plate needed for smoking at low temps or a cart / prep table. Find Dealers and more info at biggreenegg.com
The next kamado grill brand on our list is Primo. Primo isn’t a newcomer to the ceramic grill market and has many years experience in crafting excellent grills. They are also one of the only kamado grills made in the USA. Their product line isn’t as extensive as Big Green Egg’s, but they do offer oval models which we feel really sets them apart. They offer a Jr., Large, and XL Oval, and a traditional large round cooker similar in size and price to the popular large size Big Green Egg. As mentioned prior the fit, finish and quality of all three brands are similar producing quality kamado grills, but the Primo XL really stands out to us.
Primo Oval XL Highlights
The Primo Oval XL has the largest surface area of all of the ceramic cookers and in our opinion is the most versatile. It is the only kamado cooker that is specifically set up for two zone cooking with its optional cast iron divider and oval design. Primo’s accessories are very well thought out and add a lot of versatility including 680 square inches of cooking surface if you add the two optional rack extenders seen here. Its 20-year warranty is also best in the biz. Read our full review here.
See Our Review Of The Less Expensive Char-Griller Acorn Kamado Kooker
Things to consider
Like Big Green Egg, the price tag on Primo Kamado Grills is steep. Most of their accessories come with an additional cost adding to the price tag, but they do seem reasonably priced for proprietary accessories. They aren’t gouging you on the back end.
The next best brand of kamado grill on our list comes from Kamado Joe. We found Kamado Joe to give consumers the most bang for their buck as they are priced a bit below Primo and Big Green Egg and offer more accessories in their base price package. Fit, finish, and construction are in line with the rest on our list and the customer reviews on Kamado Joe are pretty glowing.
Kamado Joe offers 3 basic round sizes, the Kamado Joe Jr, Kamado Joe, and the Big Joe which equate to medium, large, and XL. They also are the only company to offer customization to the cooker its self. They come in options of red and black with stainless or black trim. The Big Joe model provides a better than the XL models from Big Green Egg and Primo Oval XL as it includes a cradle, side tables, split level cooking system, deflector plates, ash scrapers and grate lifter. Those are additional costs elsewhere and its 24′ cooking surface is comparable.
Things to consider
The Kamado Joe line doesn’t include any oval designs, but its performance is in line with the rest of our list at a better price point.
We feel pretty darn good about these three brands and they all offer consumers outstanding kamado style ceramic grills. If you desire the Caddilac of Kamado’s the Big Green Egg is for you. If innovative oval designs make more sense then take a look at the Primo line and if it’s value you crave explore Kamado Joe. Any path you choose is going to provide you with an incredible ceramic cooker and most importantly delicious meals for years to come. What’s your favorite brand of Kamado? Let us know….leave a comment below.