Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe Kamado Review

Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado

The new Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe Kamado is a large, 22 inch kamado built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory with the aim of creating a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado. Kamados are excellent outdoor ovens and smokers, but most round kamados are difficult to set up for the essential technique of 2-zone cooking where you have one hot, direct cooking zone and a second moderate, indirect zone. Read our detailed article about kamados by clicking here.

Slow ‘N Sear (below) is a high quality, stainless steel insert that instantly upgrades Weber kettles and many other round, charcoal burning cookers by enhancing 2-zone separation and intensifying sear power. Click here to learn about the importance of 2-zone cooking. It has a removable water reservoir (right side) that adds humidity. Smoke is attracted to wet surfaces, and it sticks better to wet surfaces, so when we add humidity, we make the food more smoky tasting. This phenomenon is discussed in Meathead’s article on smoke.

Shiny steel, half-moon shaped object.

While humidity can be increased in any kamado by using a water pan, the SnS water reservoir also helps isolate the hot charcoal fire and moderate the indirect zone on the opposite side. Click here to learn why we think Slow “N Sear is the single best accessory for a Weber Kettle ever!

The Slow ‘N Sear internal parts are shown positioned inside their Deluxe Kamado below. You can easily see how that steel funnel on the left creates a super sear-zone when filled with red hot charcoal. The large stainless steel drip pan on the right comes with a rack for use as a roasting pan. Place it over the hot charcoal and it becomes a griddle. A 22 inch stainless steel cooking grate has a removable hinged section for easy access to the fire.

Large round bowl with open lid attached on a hinge. Shiny steel objects inserted inside the bowl.

CAUTION! Handle the grates and the above parts with care. Many have sharp edges. Nothing life threatening, but we drew blood more than once. ABC needs to smooth those edges out.

2-zone kamado

Traditional kamado designs place the fire at the bottom of the ceramic bowl. Heat and smoke rise up and out the top damper while the ceramic bowl, walls and dome warm up to create even heat across the entire, round cooking grate. Don’t over shoot your temp because once that ceramic gets hot, it takes a looooong time to cool down. By containing the fire high and off to one side, Slow ‘N Sear avoids heating up the entire ceramic kamado. Heat on most of the ceramic remains relatively moderate, while the air intake and exhaust dampers control the hot fire’s temperature in the isolated fire basket. Heat and smoke rise from the red hot charcoal. Upon contact with the cooler dome, some heat and smoke drops back down over the indirect cooking zone creating a circular air pattern. Intense heat remains around and above the red hot fire isolating it from the moderate, indirect side.

Here’s a graphic that shows the airflow. 1) Intake Air, 2) Heat, Smoke and Steam production 3) Bypass heat that doesn’t make it to indirect zone 4) Indirect convective cooking zone.

Graphic rendering of an egg-shaped charcoal grill. The front is cut away showing air flow pattern.

In addition to creating 2-zone separation, Slow ‘N Sear allows you to keep the dampers open a little more and run the fire hot while still holding down temp on the indirect side. The hot, isolated fire produces cleaner smoke than a smoldering fire that can occur when air dampers have to be shut down to maintain a low and slow cooking temperature. While the fire in traditional kamados can be pushed to one side in an attempt to create 2-zones and/or avoid a large pile of smoldering charcoal, we are struck by the logic and elegance of this design. An added benefit is reduction of fly ash from the contained fire basket which is also super easy to access and replenish.

“Can I just buy the Slow ‘N Sear and pop it into the kamado I already own?”, you ask. Slow ‘N Sear responds, “No. We actually created the SnS Kamado because of all the requests we’ve gotten from kamado owners for an SnS. The problem with traditional kamados is how they suspend their cooking grates on the fire bowl. There just isn’t room for an SnS.” Below are a couple pix of a Slow ‘N Sear in a traditional design 18″ Kamado. From above.

Slow 'N Sear in a traditional kamado from above

From the side.

Slow 'N Sear in a traditional kamado

SnS continues, “The ledge we build into the ceramic bowl and cradle ring design we used with the SnS Kamado solved that issue.” For a brief time they made  a version of the SnS called the Slow ‘N Sear Low Profile that fit the Weber Summit Charcoal Grill. That grill holds the cooking grate in a molded ledge built into the bowl, so they were able to make an SnS for it (see below). The Low-Profile model was discontinued in 2019.

Slow 'N Sear Low Profile in Weber Summit Charcoal Grill

Turboslow

To describe the circular heat pattern, Adrenaline Barbecue Company coined the term “Turboslow”. Check out the Turboslow video below made by ABC owner, Dave Parrish.

Unlike Parrish, who cooked at a little higher temp, we did a pork butt at the low and slow temp of 225°F. Once we hit 225°F and threw on the pork, SnS ran all night with no babysitting for 9 hours on one load of charcoal. In the morning we were greeted by a dark brown, smoky Hunk ‘O Pork. We replenished the fuel and smoked a few more hours until done.

Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado Pork Butt

Next stop – PULLED PORK!

Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado Pulled Pork

Click here for our Pulled Pork Recipe.

Reverse sear – Extreme 2-zone grilling

Close your eyes and picture your favorite steakhouse steaks; thick and juicy with a really dark crispy exterior, and an even color pink-red inside from edge to edge. You can get steakhouse quality at home with the reverse sear method. Many grillers like to sear meats right away, but by cooking low at 225°F until the internal meat temp gradually reaches 115°F, then quickly searing, you create a delicious, even brown exterior and perfectly pink interior. Learn all about Reverse Sear by clicking here. Reverse sear is also an excellent test of 2-zone performance because you need an extreme difference between the low and slow indirect zone and screaming hot direct zone. For this test, we tried a different, low and slow set up on the indirect side, removing the cooking grate and using the drip pan as a roasting tray positioned low on the stainless steel charcoal grate. When our meat probe hit just under 115°F interior temp we yanked it out, then had to stop and take a pic of the beautiful, smoky color on our 2 inch thick rib eyes (below).

Slow 'N Sear reverse sear steak indirect side.

Sear Time! With the cooking grate back on, lid up and all dampers wide open, it didn’t take long until the Slow ‘N Sear charcoal fire was blazing. Our rib eyes sizzled when they hit that red hot sear zone. Flipping early and often to prevent burning and overcooking the center, our steaks quickly developed that rich, flavorful, brown crust characteristic of the Maillard reaction. Wanna know more about the mouthwatering Maillard reaction and caramelization? Click Here.

Slow 'N Sear reverse sear steak direct side

The Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe Kamado passed our 2-zone test with flying pink and mahogany colors. Yowza!

Slow 'N Sear reverse sear steak

One zone if you want it

A diffuser plate (also known as a plate setter by Big Green Eggheads) is included to convert SnS to a traditional kamado for times when one zone across the entire cook surface is needed.

Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado with Diffuser Plate

Packaging and assembly

Packaging was excellent with heavy cardboard and all parts secured to prevent damage in transit. Excluding the back breaking task of lifting this heavy ceramic beast into the four legged, stainless steel nest, assembly was a breeze. The nest has four heavy duty casters, two of which are locking casters.

Conclusion

Kamados continue to gain popularity and the field is getting crowded with more choices from more manufacturers. Many companies compete on price alone, while premium brands justify their higher cost with innovation and quality construction. Slow ‘N Sear Deluxe ain’t cheap, but the clever design addresses our main complaint about most kamados; lack of true 2-zone cooking capability. Moreover, it is very well made with lots of high quality, albeit sharp (yeouch), stainless steel. In addition to the items described above, you also get a stainless steel, elevated extender rack that adds an additional 180 square inches of cook surface. Two fold down side shelves that could use some built-in tool hooks and an ash rake are included as well.

Warranty

Lifetime on ceramic, 10 Years on stainless cooking accessories, 5 years on all other parts and 1 year on dome thermometer.

We thank SnS Grills for providing a Slow ‘N Sear Kamado for our tests.

Date Reviewed 05/01/2019

  • Model:
    Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado
  • Item Price:
    $ 1,399
  • Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
  • Made in USA:
    no
  • Review Method:
    Cooked On It
    We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
  • Primary Function:
    Grill, Smoker, Egg or Kamado Style, Combination Grill and Smoker
  • Fuel:
    Charcoal
  • Primary Capacity:
    363 square inches
  • Secondary Capacity:
    180 square inches

Published On: 2/23/2019 Last Modified: 2/27/2021

  • Max Good - Max Good, AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max bottles his own barbecue sauce recipes and now sells them around the country.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker


Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker


Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order