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Kettle Joe First Impressions and Cooks

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    Kettle Joe First Impressions and Cooks

    I have been cooking on the new Kamado Joe Kettle Joe and thought folks may be interested in my impressions.

    The overall concept of the Kettle Joe is quite interesting. It successfully integrates the merits of a high-end kettle grill and a kamado. It comes with a ceramic lined firebox and Kamado Joe’s SLŌROLLER technology. The cooking grates and firebox cage are all stainless steel. The SloRoller is an insert that can be taken on and off depending on how you want to use the grill. The hinged lid is adjustable to accommodate using it as a kettle grill, sans SloRoller.

    I am quite impressed with the performance of the SloRoller. It functions far better than I imagined and the ceramic lined firebox makes this pit relatively fuel efficient and responsive. While I have used the grill strictly as a kettle grill, most of my cooks have been focused on using it setup with the SloRoller. I have used it with a PID control system and found that it will track the setpoint spot-on. One of my first cooks was a big batch of wings, and to my surprise they cooked consistently across the grate. The ones in the center were the same as the ones near the periphery.

    The integrated cart is robust and the locking casters work very well. The vertically adjustable hinge is equally robust and very well made. It allows you to swap from kettle mode to kamado/SloRoller mode lickity split. At 22” in diameter, it opens up the universe of accessories for this size grill. Flipside, it is not hard to imagine that the SloRoller insert may eventually become available as a separate purchase since it should fit on other 22” grills.

    It will be interesting to see how sales on this grill develop. I do think KJ has landed a very innovative design with the Kettle Joe and at its price-point of $499, you get a lot for your money. It is an extremely versatile cooker with good materials of construction that should prove to be durable. I think it could be called the “Swiss Army Knife of Kettle Grills”.

    Photos of unboxing and my first cook (more to follow):

    What's in the box:

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    Some wings about to load:
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    Wings finished:
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    #2
    More photos of cooks on the Kettle Joe:

    Some prime sirloin cooked in kettle mode:
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    BB Ribs w/SloRoller in place:

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    Sauced 2 slabs and left one w/o - ready to come off:
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    Fireboard log of the cook, yes it will follow the setpoint!

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    Comment


      #3
      Pulled pork on the Kettle Joe. I was interested to see how the grease management worked. I did not catch the grease with a catch pan but let the SloRoller deflector/grease plate do its job. It catches the grease and any excess drains directly to the fire below. Any burned on stuff on the deflector plate gets removed with a wide putty knife at clean up.

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      Last edited by Alphonse; March 15, 2021, 08:00 AM.

      Comment


      • bbqLuv
        bbqLuv commented
        Editing a comment
        I see the Pilsner, paired with the pulled Proky sammie
        Looks good to me.

      • Alphonse
        Alphonse commented
        Editing a comment
        bbqLuv, yes the Golden Pilsner goes very well with the pork and vinegar sauce!

      • jumbo7676
        jumbo7676 commented
        Editing a comment
        Is there any concern that excess grease dripping down to the fire will cause temps to fluctuate?

      #4
      Can you expand a bit on what the SloRoller actually does/is? Is it comparable to a SnS or does it perform a different function?

      Everything looks amazing btw.

      Comment


      • Alphonse
        Alphonse commented
        Editing a comment
        It channels the hot gas flow around the periphery of the pit. It causes mixing and turbulence above it and therefore more consistent distribution of heat. (no short circuiting of hot gas straight to the stack.) I was skeptical but the wing cook and rib cook demonstrated to me how consistent the heat is across the grate.
        Last edited by Alphonse; March 15, 2021, 08:28 AM.

      #5
      Interesting for sure. I am also interested. Would an SNS actually fit?

      Comment


      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        I do not think so - the design is like a traditional kamado, with the fire built in the ceramic lined firebox at the bottom. There are two levels of cooking grates above that, but not really a charcoal grate at the height you would need to use a SNS. With the SloRoller for smoking, the need for the SNS is reduced. It operates like a traditional kamado really, just in uninsulated steel format.

      • Alphonse
        Alphonse commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't own one so I cannot tell you but I wouldn't be surprised. I do know that the Classic KJ basket divider will fit between two of the ceramic petals in the firebox.

      • Alphonse
        Alphonse commented
        Editing a comment
        As Jim points out, you wouldn't use it with the SloRoller in place. However in kettle mode a divider would be a plus. This thing has the ability to drop the grates down into the pit on top of the firebox cage to get you a screaming sear.

      #6
      zero_credit the Slo Roller is a diffuser plate mechanism. They sell it for the Kamado Joe as well:

      https://www.kamadojoe.com/collection...l-cooking-rack

      The kettle they sell seems to have the funky shaped ring that accommodates the SloRoller on their kettle. I don't see it for sale anywhere. But yes - for smoking, this would be in place of a SNS. It lets you run the kettle in kamado mode.

      Comment


        #7
        Dagnambut! My MCS was holding out since I already have a KJ and a Weber, BUT I don’t have a sloroller and the “accessory” is already like $200, so I might as well spring for the kettle and get additional cooking surface for my money, right?!

        Comment


        #8
        Sorry, internet was wonky....duplicate post.
        Last edited by au4stree; March 15, 2021, 10:09 AM.

        Comment


          #9
          The conecuh sausage was a nice touch. Thanks for posting review

          Comment


          • Alphonse
            Alphonse commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep, I buy Conecuh in the big pack at Costco. I freeze it in smaller portions and my tribe always expects small taste of it to go with whatever comes off a pit!

          • au4stree
            au4stree commented
            Editing a comment
            Alphonse, you have a smart crew

          #10
          Alphonse these cooks look amazing! I think that you are right, and KJ has come out with a new cooker that gives folks the kamado style cooking experience, at a much lower price point. Sure, it's not full ceramic like their kamado, but for those of us in Alabama, insulation is not a huge deal most of the year! .

          Where I speculate it will not match kamado performance is in high heat indirect cooking. I.e. can you get it to 500-700 degrees in indirect mode, for cooking pizza on a pizza stone? I am thinking not, as the name SloRoller implies the deflector insert is for low and slow cooking.

          I really like the cooking grate levels and options in relation to the charcoal bed when in kettle mode too.
          Last edited by jfmorris; March 15, 2021, 10:43 AM.

          Comment


            #11
            Originally posted by jfmorris View Post
            Alphonse these cooks look amazing! I think that you are right, and KJ has come out with a new cooker that gives folks the kamado style cooking experience, at a much lower price point. Sure, it's not full ceramic like their kamado, but for those of us in Alabama, insulation is not a huge deal most of the year! .

            Where I speculate it will not match kamado performance is in high heat indirect cooking. I.e. can you get it to 500-700 degrees in indirect mode, for cooking pizza on a pizza stone? I am thinking not, as the name SloRoller implies the deflector insert is for low and slow cooking.

            I really like the cooking grate levels and options in relation to the charcoal bed when in kettle mode too.
            Jim, My manual says not to go above 500F with the SloRoller. If you look at the profile of the SloRoller, it is a bit like a venturi nozzle. Combine that venturi effect with the center heat deflector plate, the flow of the gas accelerates on the edge of the SloRoller as designed. I dd some "look-see's" with a non-contact infrared thermometer and the outside of the SloRoller is quite warm compared to the dome temperature. I am thinking in SloRoller mode, this grill would bake bread and the like quite well.

            On the other hand, can you cook a pizza in a Weber kettle? That's how I would approach it. By that I mean use the grill in kettle mode and use a stone or whatever other tricks you would use on a Weber. The ceramic lined firebox has an effect of reflecting the heat up and it will therefore exceed the thermal capacity of a Weber. It will get screaming hot, ask me how I know!

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Pizza?
              Weber Kettle?
              Roger.
              Bob's yer Uncle.

            • JM3ND
              JM3ND commented
              Editing a comment
              I'm very curious to see if the "KettlePizza" accessory will fit with the lid adjusted at the higher setting. That would be a huge bonus for pizza cooking. I just can't seem to find the height of the KettlePizza anywhere. Does anyone have one?

            #12
            Most of the ads I see for this online say they won't be shipping until April. Did you somehow finagle one as an insider, or are they now shipping (under promise/over deliver style)? I watched a YouTube vid of a Canadian guy who got one of the preproduction versions since he produces KJ aimed vids at a near professional level.

            Comment


            • Alphonse
              Alphonse commented
              Editing a comment
              Mine is a pre-production model that I assessed for them and gave them feedback.

            #13
            So ya need a stiff drink to put all that together huh?
            Impressive on all accounts. Cool lookin & cool lookin cook!

            Comment


            • Mr. Bones
              Mr. Bones commented
              Editing a comment
              Don't fault th man...Hail, I needed me a stiff drank, jus to watch him do it, Brother!

            #14
            Good review, are you supposed to keep the ceramic inserts in place all the time or just for use with SloRoller.

            Comment


            • Alphonse
              Alphonse commented
              Editing a comment
              You leave them in place. I guess you could take them out but from a configuration perspective, there is no reason to remove them that I am aware of. Of course, the big benefit is their influence on fuel/cooking efficiency.

            #15
            True, Thanks. This grill is interesting to me. Not that I need another one.. But.....

            Comment

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