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Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg: Expert Reviews and 8 Key Differences

By Daniel Cdebaca

March 24, 2023

If you’re a grilling enthusiast, there will likely come a day when you’re ready to level up your outdoor cooking. 

So why not do so with an appliance that has persisted for thousands of years…

One that will allow you to roast, sear, bake, or more… All while imparting a deliciously smoky flavor to your foods?

That’s right… We’re talking about kamado grills.

Phenomenally versatile and visually intriguing… Modern ceramic kamado grills are the culmination of centuries of cooking history.

Their extensive past also means there are plenty of options to choose from!

kamado joe vs BGE

Today, we’ll be looking at two worthy kamado brands; Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe.

Big Green Egg has been the predominant kamado grill provider for decades.

But despite being relatively new… Kamado Joe has quickly forged a name for themselves.

Does one deserve the spotlight over the other? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg.

Quick Links:

The Big Green Egg Company Overview

Founded in 1974 by entrepreneur Ed Fisher, Big Green Egg has had decades to establish their brand… Which they’ve done exceptionally well!

By using the oblong, egg-like shape and distinctive green color of the ceramic grills to their advantage, it quickly became a memorable marketing point unique to their company.

But back to the beginning stages

At first, Fisher imported kamados to the United States to sell out of his Atlanta store.

After one too many kamados arrived cracked… He began privately manufacturing his own — more durable — kamados out of Mexico (painted green, of course).

Today, their kamados are “a simple yet highly efficient blend of ancient tradition, modern technology, and unmatched quality… Making it the highest quality, easiest to use outdoor cooker.”

logo for big green egg kamado cooker company
image of all of the available big green egg sizes

But years after the Big Green Egg took off, a trailblazing competitor hit the scene.

How did Kamado Joe come about?

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Kamado Joe Company Overview

Kamado Joe  was founded in 2009 by Bobby Brennan and Kerry Coker… Passionate grillers who were dedicated to creating a kamado that couldn’t be beat.

Today… Kamado Joe is still continuously reworking the original design and cooking system.

They’ve seamlessly coupled the classic style of the kamado with smarter features, like the multi-level Divide and Conquer grilling system, airlift hinge, and innovative accessories (we’ll go into more detail on these later). 

It’s their never ending desire to be better that fueled Kamado Joe’s quick commercial success. 

Their grills are manufactured and imported from Yixing, China.

So, it’s clear that both Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe are companies backed by passion, who each want to provide their customers with high quality products.

But how do they differ?

Let’s jump into our Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg comparison.

red kamado joe ceramic smoker with meat cooking

Big Green Egg versus Kamado Joe: What’s the Difference?

How many differences could there possibly be between two kamados?

Surprisingly… The answer is quite a few!

Many of the differences are subtle… But they may play a role in determining which grill is best for you.

Before getting into the nitty gritty… Let’s start with an obvious difference between Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe.

1. Kamado Joe vs Green Egg Color

image of the top of a big green egg sitting in an rta outdoor kitchen
top of kamado joe grill

Of course, the Big Green Egg is green. 

Kamado Joe is on the opposite side of the color spectrum, with a vibrant red finish.

Though color won’t affect functionality… It’s still an important aesthetic consideration.

Kamado Joe’s red will definitely stand out in any outdoor living space!

But Big Green Egg’s more subtle hue will complement backyard greenery… And may look better in a modern outdoor kitchen.

Ultimately, the color you choose really boils down to personal preference! 

Onto the next difference between Green Egg and Kamado Joe.

2. The Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe: Products Offered

Let’s take a look at what each brand offers. 

Kamado Joe

kamado classic joe standalone grill series 3
Kettle Joe

Kamado Joe offers 12 grill models. 

Their product lineup includes Series I, II, and III grills. 

Their Series I grills are the oldest model, with the fewest special features and add-ons. 

Series II is somewhere in the middle… It’s more functional than Series I, but it’s still an older model. 

Series III is the most up to date, with highly innovative features (including 3-tier cooking grates, a smoker insert, and more). 

For their Series I, II, and III grills… They offer the 18” Classic Joe, and the 24” Big Joe. The only difference between these models is size!

They also offer a few of their Series I, II and III models as standalone grills. So there’s truly no difference there other than the lack of a cart. 

However, they do offer two unique grills… The 22” Kettle Joe and 18” Pellet Joe. 

The Kettle Joe is a ceramic kettle grill, with a tapered shape for searing and slow cooking. 

The Pellet Joe is a ceramic grill fired by pellets to impart a different flavor profile while cooking. 

Other than these distinct offerings… The primary difference between most models is just size. 

Kamado Joe’s smallest grill is 13.5”… While their largest is only 24.”

Let’s see how BGE (Big Green Egg) compares. 

Big Green Egg

mini big green egg cooker
2XL Big green egg smoker
large sized big green egg smoker

Big Green Egg offers 7 models of kamado. 

The only true difference between BGE’s grills is the size. Unlike Kamado Joe… They don’t offer any unique products. 

However… Big Green Egg definitely takes the lead on different sizes offered, with grills from 10” to 29.” 

Now, let’s shift our discussion of Kamado Joe grill vs Green Egg to specific features…

Starting with gaskets.

3. Kamado Joe or Green Egg: Gasket

big green egg gasket

A gasket works as a sealing system where the lid meets the body of the kamado smoker.

It’s an incredibly important component that allows kamado grills to reach (and retain) high temperatures! 

The heat sealing gasket on the BGE is standard felt, which is designed to last for years.

But the gasket on Kamado Joe Series II and III grills is undeniably more innovative.

The Kamado Joe Series II and III grills have a complex wire mesh fiberglass gasket to ensure an airtight seal (and great heat retention)!

This gasket is also more durable than BGE’s, and will not have to be replaced as often.

In this category… Kamado Joe is a clear winner!

Let’s discuss another key component…

4. Kamado Joe vs BGE Vents

big green egg vent

Vents on a kamado are responsible for internal heat control.

When airflow increases… Temperature increases (and vice versa).

Big Green Egg’s ventilation system is simple… It features both a cast iron top vent and lower draft door.

Though fine tuned for easy airflow regulation and heat control… It’s admittedly quite standard.

The cast iron grill vent will be prone to rust where it is exposed to the elements… And there’s no rain shield included to deter precipitation (you’ll have to buy it separately)!

Kamado Joe’s ventilation system is more complex…

Their cast aluminum Kontrol Tower top vent ensures easy and precise temperature control…

Will stay in place even if you open the grill lid…

And it’s built to keep rainwater out of the grill, so there’s no need to buy a separate accessory!

Plus… The aluminum won’t rust.

Kamado Joe’s take on their grill vents is undeniably innovative!

But let’s take a look inside the grill…

5. Kamado Joe Grill vs Big Green Egg Grates

kamado joe grate
big green egg grate

Cooking grates are another integral part of any kamado… So let’s see what each brand offers.

Both grills come with stainless steel grates. Kamado Joe’s grill grates are 304 stainless steel… Which means they are highly durable and rust resistant.

It’s unclear what grade of stainless steel BGE uses for their grill grates… Unless it’s 304 stainless steel, it will be prone to rusting. It’s worth checking these details with Big Green Egg!

Regarding functionality… Big Green Egg’s kamado-style grill grates are single level, but the height is easily adjustable. 

BGE’s grates will get the job done! But there’s really no wow factor here.

Kamado Joe’s grates are more intriguing!

These grills boast a Divide and Conquer heating system… With two grate tiers in Series I and II, and three grate tiers in Series III. 

This system means you can maximize the use of space, cook multiple foods at once, and cook at different temperatures.

Kamado Joe’s racks are also easily adjustable. The grills are even sold with a tool to safely move the racks while hot.

Though more complex… There’s undoubtedly more versatility with Kamado Joe’s grate system.

6. Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe: Lid

big green egg with lid open
kamado joe with lid open

Let’s shift our attention to the lid.

Kamado grill lids are notoriously heavy, which means they must be closed carefully to prevent slamming shut and cracking.

The last thing you’d want to do is crack your Big Green Egg… So what measures have they taken to prevent this?

All Big Green Eggs feature a spring assist hinge to make opening the grill lid easier. But to close it? You’ll just have to be very careful.

It’s not surprising that Kamado Joe’s approach is more inventive.

Kamado Joe grills have an air lift hinge to significantly decrease dome weight… And allow you to easily open and close the lid with just a touch (with no risk of slamming shut)!

They also have an automatic lid lock, which BGE lacks.

Again… Kamado Joe’s thoughtful approach earns them a few extra points.

7. Big Green Egg vs. Kamado Joe Stand

image of all of the available big green egg sizes together

When you get a kamado, where will it go? Will it be part of an outdoor kitchen? Do you need a table? Or will a cart suffice?

Big Green Egg only offers standalone eggs… So you’ll need to buy a stand or table separately.

To make it easier… Big Green Egg offers custom wooden tables, powder coated aluminum islands, and “nests.”

The “nests” are frames made with powder coated aluminum, which should remain rust free. If desired… There are add-ons you can include to increase functionality (such as cabinet doors, tool hooks, spice holders, and a utility tray).

Whether housing an Egg in a nest or a custom table… It will cost at least $500 more (though price varies depending on the Egg size and the stand you choose).

Kamado Joe makes housing your charcoal grill a bit easier.

They do offer standalone models… However, most of their grills are sold with a cart that is already factored into the total cost.

Their grill carts are made with heavy duty powder coated steel frames, with locking wheels and folding aluminum side shelves.

The powder coated steel should hold up to the elements… But if damaged, the cart may be susceptible to rust.

Though their carts are admittedly not as stylish as Big Green Egg’s custom tables or islands… Kamado Joe’s way is simpler. 

8. BGE vs Kamado Joe Accessories

Lastly… Let’s take a look at what accessories each company offers.

When you purchase a Big Green Egg… That’s really all you’ll get. Other than the cooking grid and thermometer… All accessories are sold separately.

But Big Green Egg has made sure that there’s no lack of accessories to choose from!

Their selection of “Eggcessories” is truly impressive.

It includes everything from charcoal, cooking utensils, grill covers, and Conveggtors, to seasonings, sauces, and cookbooks!

There’s also an Egg Genius to remotely control the temperature of your Egg through a digital device…

And so much more.

Kamado Joe’s approach to accessories is a bit different.

They’ll include everything you need to start grilling with your initial purchase, including half moon heat deflectors, a stainless steel charcoal basket, cooking grates, an AMP firebox, a built in thermometer, side shelves, a grill gripper, an ash tool, a slide-out ash drawer, and a SloRoller insert to convert your grill into a smoker.

They also offer a variety of accessories that can be purchased separately.

These include a Joetisserie attachment and basket kit, lump charcoal and fire starters, an IKamand controller for remote temperature adjustment, a grill cover, a griddle, pizza stones, and other cooking surfaces.

Though Kamado Joe’s list of accessories is sizable… It truly can’t rival that of Big Green Egg.

However, you do get more accessories up front with Kamado Joe.

And now that we’ve gone over the main differences… Let’s discuss a few other important points. 

The Green Egg vs Kamado Joe Warranty

Familiarizing yourself with a product’s warranty prior to purchasing will give you an idea of how long it’ll last.

Let’s look at the warranties for Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg.

Big Green Egg Warranty

The Big Green Egg comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the ceramic cooker materials and workmanship.

The metal components are covered by a limited 5 year warranty.

Wood parts and thermometers are covered for one year.

This is a solid warranty! How’s Kamado Joe’s?

Kamado Joe Warranty

Kamado Joe offers a limited lifetime warranty on ceramic parts.

There’s a 5 year warranty on metal and cast iron parts, a 3 year warranty on electronic components, and a 2 year warranty on accessories.

Pretty similar to BGE… Kamado Joe’s warranty is also great!

But what kind of customer experience can you expect?

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Big Green Egg Grill vs Kamado Joe Customer Experience

Before making a purchase… It helps to know what kind of customer support to expect. 

Luckily, both Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe have good reputations!

Big Green Egg Customer Experience

With decades of experience backing them up… Big Green Egg doesn’t disappoint.

Their customers refer to themselves as “Eggheads” for a reason!

To provide their customers with continued support… BGE’s website has an Egg forum, help videos, an extensive “Learn” page, as well as recipe ideas!

There are even Egg related events for dedicated fans. 

people using big green egg

Kamado Joe Customer Experience

Kamado Joe’s customer service is also great!

On their site, they offer help with troubleshooting, replacement parts, finding product manuals, and product registration.

There’s always someone to answer your questions!

Plus… They have a ton of helpful videos on how to use and maintain your kamado. 

Sounds like both companies know what they’re doing… But don’t just take our word for it!

Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe Reviews

Both Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe have great ratings on their products.

As an example… The Kamado Joe Classic III has a 4.5 star Google rating on 169 reviews. 

The Large Big Green Egg also has a 4.5 star Google rating with 64 reviews. 

Other Kamado Joe and BGE grills are similarly rated. 

But only you know what you’re looking for… So we won’t waste your time with customer reviews that may not be relevant to your search!

It’s up to you to read through reviews and see what other homeowners experienced.

This will be one of the best ways to help you determine which kamado is best for you!

Kamado Joe vs Big Green Egg Price

Now, let’s look at Big Green Egg vs Kamado Joe prices.

Big Green Egg Pricing

  • 2XL Big Green Egg — $2,199.00
  • XL Big Green Egg — $1,399.00
  • Large Big Green Egg — $999.00
  • Medium Big Green Egg — $749.00
  • Minimax Big Green Egg (portable model) — $659.00
  • Small Big Green Egg — $599.00
  • Mini Big Green Egg — $429.00

Kamado Joe Pricing

  • Classic Joe Series I $799.00
  • Big Joe Series I$1,199.00
  • Classic Joe Series II — $1,299.00
  • Classic Joe Series II Standalone — $1,199.00
  • Big Joe Series II — $1,999.00
  • Big Joe Series II Standalone — $1,799.00
  • Classic Joe Series III — $1,999.00
  • Classic Joe Series III Standalone — $1,799.00
  • Big Joe Series III — $2,999.00
  • Joe Jr — $499.00
  • Kettle Joe — $499.00
  • Pellet Joe — $1,999.00

As you can see, the most up to date Kamado Joe grills are more expensive than Big Green Egg products of comparable sizes (for instance, the 18” Kamado Joe Classic Series III is $1,000.00 more than the 18.25” Large Big Green Egg).

But don’t forget that Kamado Joe includes many more accessories when you purchase a grill — As well as the grill stand itself, in most cases.

After purchasing the same accessories for a BGE, the total cost will go up. Of course, this cost varies depending on what accessories you buy, the size of your Egg, and what stand you choose to house it.

It makes sense that Kamado Joe’s up front pricing is higher. Not only are they sold with more accessories… But the newer models have some updated features that the Big Green Egg is lacking (air lift hinges, mesh fiberglass gasket, the Kontrol Tower top vent).

When you take these considerations into account… The value is relatively similar.

Which is Better Kamado Joe or Big Green Egg?

kamado joe lid and vent
big green eggs black stainless steel bands

We’ve done a lot to compare Big Green Egg to Kamado Joe.

Both are solid contenders!

Big Green Egg’s value is proven simply by how long it’s held the top spot for kamado providers.

It’s recognizable… It’s straightforward and easy to use… And the BGE customer community seems incredible!

All in all… The BGE is a quality product for those who prefer simplicity. 

But you can’t deny that Kamado Joe’s grills are impressive.

The innovative features are intriguing, and certainly raise the standard for kamado grills.

The Kamado Joe Series II or III grills would be great for those looking for a bit more versatility. Its thoughtful design certainly makes it feel a bit more premium than BGE. 

But really… There is no inherent best kamado grill. 

It all comes down to your personal preferences. 

But no matter what you choose… We have another easy way to elevate your outdoor cooking.

An Outdoor Kitchen for your Kamado Grill

image of a built in coyote asado in an rta outdoor kitchen

Perhaps you’re ready to add a Big Green Egg to your backyard…

Or maybe you can’t wait to start cooking on a Kamado Joe grill…

You may even be considering a more neutral kamado-style grill (like the black Coyote Asado, which is neck-in-neck with BGE and Kamado Joe when it comes to customer service, quality, price, warranty, and cooking capabilities).

No matter which way you go… An outdoor kitchen is the perfect accompaniment for your kamado!

With an RTA outdoor kitchen… It’s easy to build a kamado stand right into your design…

Though our stand is built for the Coyote Asado… It’ll work just fine with other kamado smokers of similar size! 

But even if you prefer a kamado on a cart… You can’t go wrong when you pair it with an outdoor kitchen.

A BBQ grill station is an all-in-one solution for easy prep, serving, and even memorable hosting at an outdoor bar.

There’s never a need to visit your indoor kitchen when everything you could ever need can be housed in your outdoor kitchen island.

You can include your choice of Coyote’s top of the line appliances (outdoor refrigerators, sinks, side burners, and built in gas grills…)

An outdoor pizza oven from Alfa

Outdoor cabinets for storage… Countertops for prep…

And so much more!

Even better… They ship straight to you for easy assembly. Within just a few hours, you’ll be enjoying the benefits.

With a lifetime warranty backing up our high performance concrete panels… An RTA kitchen will last for decades. 

So if it’s elevated outdoor cooking versatility you’re looking for… Look no further! Check out our free and easy to use online design tool to start planning an outdoor kitchen project.

And we’ll help you take your outdoor cooking to the next level!

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Big Green Egg has more size variety and an incredibly enthusiastic customer community, while Kamado Joe has more innovative features overall.

Neither one is necessarily better… It really boils down to your personal preference and what you want out of your kamado grill!

Big Green Egg costs anywhere from $429.00 (for the MiniMax) to $2,199.00 (for the 2XL).

After purchasing accessories or a stand for the BGE, the price will increase.

Kamado Joe grills feature an airlift hinge, a double mesh fiberglass gasket, a Kontrol Tower top vent for steady airflow, and a Divide and Conquer cooking system for increased versatility.

They are also sold with an assortment of useful grilling accessories.

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