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Consumer Reports compares BGE competitors in article: Can Other Kamado Grills Beat the Big Green Egg?

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    Consumer Reports compares BGE competitors in article: Can Other Kamado Grills Beat the Big Green Egg?

    Short answer is yes. Quoting from the article:
    Move over Big Green Egg, the Kamado Joe Classic II is the new kamado champion. In addition to excellent grilling and smoking, it offers countless features that make cooking easier than with the Big Green Egg. There’s a spring-assisted lid that holds in place at any height and locks, helping to control airflow and temperature. That’s especially important for slow-cooking methods, like smoking salmon. The dampers are easy to adjust, and there are split racks that allow you to cook food at different heights. The Joe Classic is one of the few models that features an easy pullout ash tray, helping it earn a rating of Very Good for cleaning.

    The Vision Kamado Professional is one of the least-expensive ceramic kamados in our ratings and comes in $300 cheaper than the Egg. Like the other kamado grills we test, it delivers delicious food, beautifully browning a medium-rare sirloin steak. It also comes with some helpful features, such as a rolling cart, side shelves, and two lower dampers for fine-tuning temperature (most kamados, including the Egg and those here, have one), earning a Very Good rating for convenience. A special port lets you use an electric charcoal starter (not included) to light coals. Just be aware that like other ceramic models, it's heavy: This grill weighs a stout 227 pounds. It’s available in five colors and sold exclusively at Home Depot.

    Can a nonceramic kamado grill compete with the ceramic king? The answer from our tests is yes. The Char-Broil Kamander hits the sweet spot between price and performance. It’s made from double-walled stainless steel, with a powder-coated finish. On high heat, the Kamander can get to 1,000° F, just like most kamados. It earns a rating of Excellent for cooking performance, turning out fabulous thin-crust pizza that’s crisp but not burnt. Like the ceramic models above, it has upper and lower dampers for controlling airflow. Another perk: At 115 pounds, it’s much lighter than ceramic models, which makes it much easier to move around.

    CR doesn't test for longevity, durability, and after sales support, and we know some of these products are prone to cracking. They also ignore the grills' available accessories, temperature uniformity, range, and stability. Thus, their ratings seem somewhat shallow overall, and are for cooking, convenience and cooking performance only. As a long time BGE owner I'd probably opt for a Joe if I were to start over because of its more refined design.
    Last edited by BBQPhil; May 30, 2021, 01:52 PM.

    This report must be a few years old as those KJ features have been on the market for quite awhile and have been supplanted by the III series which up their game even more while BGE stands on their history and market position they earned early on. Likewise, the Kamander hasn't been available for at least two years, maybe longer.

    All that said, it still comes down to what a buyer values. Nearly a dozen years ago I climbed on the KJ wagon because they offered a little more for a bit less in price. Since then they've widened that gap if the buyer sees value in the divide and conquer system, the segmented fire box, and the rest of what was mentioned in the above review.


    • Oak Smoke
      Oak Smoke commented
      Editing a comment

    Curious, did they test the Weber Summit Kamado as part of this?


    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      Or the Primo?

    I agree, the KJ adds so much more value/features than BGE. I’ve had the green egg for 7 years, would pick team red over and over if I had to buy a new one today.


      They all work exactly the same. There are basically no moving parts. Choose based on value and warranty.


        I don't have any experience cooking with ceramic cookers. I have moved for work two times in the last five years and both times when the moving company came out to survey and I told each one (two different national companies) I had a smoker out back, each one said we don't move ceramic type cookers as they are prone to break. Mine was a pellet grill so I was good but I was surprised at how quick each one said they won't move those. Something to keep in mind as you may need to move it yourself.


          Primo not covered. No comments on the Summit but listed with a middling score among non-ceramic category. Didn’t realize I’m paying for old reviews, as this was newly posted on their site.


            SnS wasn’t considered along with the Primo & Summit.


              Love my KJ Big Joe.


                I never have trusted Consumer Reports on BBQ equipment or cars. Both are, for me, very personal choices and they tend not to even test or comment on some of the features I really value.



                  I actually looked this one up. If you put them in order by score it would have been:
                  KJ, Vision, BKK, then the WSCG and Pit Boss both tied at nine points behind the KJ and two behind the BKK. i think CR does put some scoring on price, so would be curious where the new Summit Kamado would rank at 500 less. Though I’m guessing their testing isn’t anything compared to what Max and crew put grills through. Also missing from tests is the SnS Kamado.


                    Consumer Reports has changed. I resubscribed last year after having been away from them for several years. I was taken back by the way they were after me for more money within a month of subscribing. Their deal now is they are a nonprofit and there future depends on your extra monetary support. The emails were frequent and had a bit of a desperate tone. As we see above the commitment to new quality testing has slipped. I won't subscribe again.
                    Last edited by Oak Smoke; May 31, 2021, 09:34 AM.



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