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

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  • BBQPhil
    Club Member
    • Sep 2017
    • 339
    • San Diego, CA
    • Yoder480, BGE, WeberGO, WeberGas

    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.
  • Uncle Bob
    Club Member
    • Feb 2019
    • 613
    • Salado, Tx
    • Summerset TRL44 gas grill and side sear
      Weber Performer
      Cajun Grill Preaux
      EcoQue Gen 3 wood fired oven
      Camp Chef Somerset IV 4 burner propane stove
      Camp Chef FTG600
      OT QOMOTOP 23-inch Gas Griddle
      Oklahoma Joe's Bronco
      Oklahoma Joe's Bronco Pro
      Oklahoma Joe's Judge
      Oklahoma Joe's Rambler
      Golden's Cast Iron Grill
      Ooni Koda 16
      KJ Kettle Joe

    #2
    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.

    Comment


    • Oak Smoke
      Oak Smoke commented
      Editing a comment
      +1
  • glitchy
    Club Member
    • Jul 2019
    • 1262
    • Central IA
    • MAK 2 Star General
      Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
      w/ Big Joetisserie, SnS LP, and Vortex
      Weber Genesis II - S-345
      Weber Traveler
      Fireboard 2 Drive
      Anova Precision Sous Vide
      All the (pellet) grills I’ve loved before:
      Traeger Junior Elite^
      GMG DB
      Traeger Texas Elite
      Memphis Pro§
      Traeger Pro 575
      CampChef SmokePro STX (ugly grills need love too)
      Weber SmokeFire EX4§
      Traeger Select
      CampChef Woodwind WiFi w/SearBox^
      Weber SmokeFire EX4§

      ^ = Favorites
      § = Love/Hate Relationships

    #3
    Curious, did they test the Weber Summit Kamado as part of this?

    Comment


    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      Or the Primo?
  • Henrik
    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
    • Jul 2014
    • 4551
    • Stockholm, Sweden

    #4
    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.

    Comment

    • Mosca
      Charter Member
      • Oct 2014
      • 3957
      • PA
      • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

      #5
      They all work exactly the same. There are basically no moving parts. Choose based on value and warranty.

      Comment

      • Redwng
        Charter Member
        • Oct 2014
        • 485
        • St. Cloud, FL

        #6
        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.

        Comment

        • BBQPhil
          Club Member
          • Sep 2017
          • 339
          • San Diego, CA
          • Yoder480, BGE, WeberGO, WeberGas

          #7
          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.

          Comment

          • FireMan
            Charter Member
            • Jul 2015
            • 8726
            • Bottom of Winnebago

            #8
            SnS wasn’t considered along with the Primo & Summit.

            Comment

            • Texas Larry
              Club Member
              • May 2017
              • 1871
              • Wilson County, TX
              • Kamado Joe Big Joe 2
                Napoleon TravelQ 285X Pro
                Weber Jumbo Joe/SNS
                JoeTisserie
                Thermoworks Smoke
                Thermoworks 2K Thermocouple
                Thermapen MK4
                Thermapop
                Thermoworks Dash
                Too many gadgets, accessories, and tools
                Favorite beer: Alaskan Amber

              #9
              Love my KJ Big Joe.

              Comment

              • fzxdoc
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 5521
                • My toys:
                  Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                  Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks), named Pretty Baby
                  Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill, named Hot 'n Fast (used mostly for searing and griddling)
                  Weber Kettle Premium 22" named Kettle Kid, eager to horn in with more cooks in the future
                  Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range named AfterBurner due to its 30kBTU burners


                  Adrenaline BBQ Company Gear:
                  SnS, DnG, andLarge Charcoal Basket, for WSCGC
                  SnS for 22" Kettle
                  Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                  SS Rack for DnG
                  Cast Iron Griddle
                  Grill Grate for SnS
                  Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                  Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                  2 Grill Grate Griddles
                  Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

                  Fireboard Gear:
                  Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                  Additional control unit
                  Additional probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
                  2 Driver Cables
                  Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                  Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                  Thermoworks Gear:
                  Thermapen MK4 (pink)
                  Thermapen Classic (pink too)
                  Thermoworks MK4 orange
                  Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
                  Extra Big and Loud Timer
                  Timestick Trio
                  Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
                  Maverick ET 733
                  Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

                  Grill Pinz
                  Vortex (two of them)

                  Two Joule Sous Vide devices
                  VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer

                  Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                  Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker

                  Charcoal Companion TurboQue
                  A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

                  BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                  Shun Classic Series:
                  8" Chef Knife
                  6" Chef's Knife
                  Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                  3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                #10
                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.

                Kathryn

                Comment

                • glitchy
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2019
                  • 1262
                  • Central IA
                  • MAK 2 Star General
                    Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
                    w/ Big Joetisserie, SnS LP, and Vortex
                    Weber Genesis II - S-345
                    Weber Traveler
                    Fireboard 2 Drive
                    Anova Precision Sous Vide
                    All the (pellet) grills I’ve loved before:
                    Traeger Junior Elite^
                    GMG DB
                    Traeger Texas Elite
                    Memphis Pro§
                    Traeger Pro 575
                    CampChef SmokePro STX (ugly grills need love too)
                    Weber SmokeFire EX4§
                    Traeger Select
                    CampChef Woodwind WiFi w/SearBox^
                    Weber SmokeFire EX4§

                    ^ = Favorites
                    § = Love/Hate Relationships

                  #11
                  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.

                  Comment

                  • Oak Smoke
                    Club Member
                    • Aug 2018
                    • 520
                    • Central Texas

                    #12
                    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.

                    Comment

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                    This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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