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Kamado Joe 18" -- is this a good deal?

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    Kamado Joe 18" -- is this a good deal?

    WalMart is currently selling an 18" red Kamado Joe for $399 (free shipping), normal price is $670.


    Comes with a "premium cart", a "2-tier divide & conquer flexible cooking system", and a built-in thermometer.


    Having zero knowledge/experience in cooking in a BGE or Ceramic cooker -- would this be a worthwhile pickup? Is 18" going to be too small for practical use? Currently have a Genesis (gas) that's used a lot, and a Weber kettle that is barely used at all and almost still has that fresh grill smell.

    Probably would be using this for low/slow cooking and smoking. Probably not a good idea for a wood deck, I assume - so would need to roll it out to the driveway for each cooking event, maybe?

    anyway --- all thoughts and encouragement -- OR NON-ENCOURAGEMENT IF APPROPRIATE -- are appreciated.

    [EDIT: deal ended shortly after this post went up ]
    Last edited by WillTravelForFood; December 8, 2021, 09:04 AM.

    I would consider that a great deal. I have a large BGE and a KJ jr. The large egg is 18" an is a pretty good size for everyday cooks. And would be a really good low and slow cooker. You can almost set it and forget it. And with a fan controller 100% set and forget.
    You could use it on a wood deck for sure. Just place a large BBQ mat underneath it.


    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      As a BGE cook, I’ll second that as a great deal assuming you get a warranty.

    Buying it for the sake of buying because its a good deal and end up using it like the Weber, its a waste of money IMHO.
    Buy it to diversify your styles of cooking, have at it.
    Size does matter in both TV's and Q's....


    • Steve B
      Steve B commented
      Editing a comment
      Haa. No wonder I just upgraded to a 75” TV.
      Sooo much better than my old 55”er.

    Originally posted by smokin fool View Post
    Buying it for the sake of buying because its a good deal and end up using it like the Weber, its a waste of money IMHO.
    Totally agree with you on this observation.

    expected use cases: primarily smoking or other long slow cooks (ribs? pork butt? turkey/chickens?). Possibly pizza or other similar things I would be hesitant to put on the gas grill. We've done a lot of "smoke" on the gasser with okay-for-us results, but nothing a true smokebox would kick.

    It'd either be something like this or a pellet of some nature.

    Figure the Ceramic accessories will cost a smidge (Billows/iKamand, heat diffuser... but no idea what would actually be needed along the way when starting out.

    What would be a PRO / CON of going ceramic vs weber kettle from a novice perspective?


    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      Steve B Probably I should have kept my comment to, my Keg, doesn't sear well at all.
      Glad you have better luck than I do in this department.

    • Steve B
      Steve B commented
      Editing a comment
      No worries smokin fool If you let these puppies heat up, meaning open the vents wide open for 5-10 minutes, or even take the cap off the dome these suckers will easily get to 5-6-7 hundred degrees.

      What I really love to do is a caveman style sear.
      Get the lump charcoal, only use lump in a kamado, really going. Warp 10. And sear the steaks right on the coals. Flipping every 15-20 seconds until you get the crust you like.

    • Murdy
      Murdy commented
      Editing a comment
      Our kids have 2 Kamado Joes, a large and a jr. -- they use the jr. a lot for searing after sous vide and they can get very high temps on it.

    No need at all to move it off your wooden deck. Of course, be careful, but mine doesn’t move and I never worry about it.


      Well, boo.

      Apparently, the sale **just ended**,, so it's back up to the normal price. Shoulda pulled the trigger and decided whether to keep it or not later.

      You can return to your normal BBQ programming.


      • Steve B
        Steve B commented
        Editing a comment
        Damn. That sucks.

        Well you still have that kettle. It’s a great cooker and can do a bunch of different things with some accessories.

      The link gives different pricing information.


        Dang! You posted about the sale ending while I was writing this.

        Gas is convenient and you can cook some good food on a gas grill (I have) but having a charcoal or wood burner would definitely up your game.

        Kamados are great for roasting, smoking, pizza, bread baking or remove the heat deflector and cook over the coals (the coals will be 8 or so inches below the grate). I have had one for over 10 years and I love it. I now have two. It is difficult if not impossible to achieve true 2 zone cooking in a kamado (exception: SnS Kamado and the oval Primo and Komodo kamados). If you have studied kamado cooking on the web and youtube and want one, that price you listed in your original post is great.

        Another option is the 22" Weber kettle, it allows for 2 zone cooking as well as grilling, and for less money but the higher end ones with the table cart are about the price of the KJ sale price you posted. Get a Slow 'N Sear for the kettle - 2 zone is a breeze with this. People who have Kamado Joes usually really like them, same with Weber kettle owners. I think if one has the means that one should have both, each has its strong points and weak points but with both you can cook most anything. Plus, if you end up cooking for a larger group you can fire both up, plus the gas grill, and make a lot of food.

        Be careful rolling a kamado around, they tend to be top heavy and one little rock in the way of the puny castors can cause it to tip over and shatter. If you have space in your back yard get a concrete A/C pad to set it on. Check with a local A/C company, I got one for $50.00 here two weeks ago for my new kamado and it is composite concrete 30" X 30"- I could pick it up by myself. Also, my two kamados don't drop coals or sparks and you can get a screen for the lower vent to help with this. My first kamado was basically in the grass and it never caused a grass fire but always be careful: my garden hose was nearby. My KBQ spits out lots of sparks and the occasional coal - I wet the grass down when using it.
        Last edited by 58limited; December 7, 2021, 06:14 PM.


        • USMCCrashCrew89
          USMCCrashCrew89 commented
          Editing a comment
          I was gonna mention moving them around. Mine stays put, I’ve seen too many of them Humpty Dumpty themselves from a caster swiveling or hitting a bump.

        Check to see if they have one at a store. Maybe they will honor the sale. It is a real good deal. Two years ago my local had Akorns for a buck & a half. Bought two, sold em for 225. Everybody won.


          I vote for a pellet grill. But the real question is do you really want it? Gald to see you doing the research before you buy.


            There's a lot of good deals on used stuff right now. I've been looking for a Primo xl.


              WillTravelForFood its probably good you missed the sale.... if you have a barely used Weber Kettle, it makes sense you should work on using that more for smoking and such things, before branching out to yet another charcoal cooker. Some of the best cooks I've ever done were on a Weber Kettle. And yes, you can do a top notch wood fired pizza on a 22" Weber Kettle. Kamados don't have an exclusive on that.



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