Broil King Keg 5000 Review

Broil King Keg 5000 Review

By:

Max Good

Broil King Keg 5000

The Broil King Keg 5000 is a high quality kamado cooker, at home in the backyard or hitched to a vehicle. It excels at smoking, roasting, baking and searing thin meats. While competitive brands charge extra for just about everything but the logo, The Keg comes fully equipped with stand, shelves, extender rack and a ”Multi-tool” which helps handle the grate and dampers and doubles as an ash rake.

We tested the previous version called simply the Broil King Keg. The new 5000 models changes color from bronze to metallic gray and adds a neat combo lower damper and ash removal system described below.

Most kamados are molded ceramic BBQ ovens with some type of exterior finish, a design that’s been around for thousands of years. One has to take care when handling these heavy ceramics because they can crack and even break apart if dropped or knocked over. BKK uses lightweight, modern fiberglass insulation clad with steel, and a powder coated exterior that remains cool to the touch while cooking.

Steel kamado charcoal cooker mounted to the back of a truck on a trailer hitch.

The fiberglass body reduces fuel consumption and the durable, lightweight design makes it uniquely suited for mobility when tailgating, competing, or cooking at any outdoor event. In fact Broil King offers an optional trailer hitch for 1 ¼” or 2” hitch receivers. The lid locks shut and side shelves are removable for transport. BK claims their Keg is so fuel efficient it needs only a small, football size pile of charcoal. This is fine for short cooks like chicken and fish. For long cooks, or high temp searing, you’ll need a full load like any other round kamado, about half of the BKK fire bowl.

This steel cooker was originally The Bubba Keg, then The Big Steel Keg until bought by Onward Manufacturing/Broil King in 2010 and renamed The Broil King Keg then Broil King Keg 5000 in 2015. The interior is almost exactly the same size as the Large Big Green Egg and many BGE accessories fit it, although Broil King makes plenty of their own including an excellent heavy duty rib rack that doubles as a roasting rack. Their unique Diffuser Kit is a porcelain coated drip pan that rests in a cradle below the grate to catch drippings for gravy and help create indirect heat. It can also be placed upside down on the primary grate with a pizza stone on top to moderate heat on pizza crust and brown pizza toppings by bringing them closer to radiant heat from the dome.

The 2-position, heavy coated cast iron grate can easily be lifted – hot or cold – with the Muilti-tool to remove or reposition it closer to or farther from the coal bed. A plated steel rod extender rack on a steel post provides additional cooking capacity. The post pops into mounting holes in the primary cast iron grate and can be swung out of the way or removed as needed. Cast iron grates aren’t our favorite because they brand meats with brown stripes from direct contact with the iron, (conduction heat), making it hard to get an even brown crust. The notched rim of the round grate, which facilitates the 2-position design, and mounting holes for the extender grate likely led to the choice of molded cast iron. However, Broil King wisely reduced food contact with the conductive iron by making the grate rails come to sharp points rather than flat or rounded bars. Watch out though. When cranking the Keg to Mach 10 for steaks, these sharp edged grates can sear through your meat surface like red hot blades, (see below). Not necessarily a bad thing, but to avoid this effect, flip meat like crazy for the first few minutes until crust begins to develop.

Close up of steak sizzling on a gas grill. The grill marks are deep and dark.

The top damper is heavy coated cast iron with numbered settings: a useful feature. Even better, it’s the only damper we’ve seen on a kamado that doesn’t move when you open the lid. Instead of the typical felt insulation to seal the lid, BKK used a single, thick fiberglass strip on the dome only.

The new lower damper/ash removal tray is a double duty design reminiscent of Weber’s One-Touch system that enables air intake control while making ash removal easy. The front plate with damper is held tight against the body by two thumb latches.

hands pulling our a tray filled with ashes at the bottom of a kamado smoker.

Two removable, black resin shelves with tool hooks are held in place on spring loaded pins and, fitting for a cooker once named Bubba, there are two bottle openers mounted under the hood handle.

Like most kamados, it cannot be set up for true 2-zone cooking, an essential technique easily done on other charcoal grills by piling coal to one side to create a direct and indirect zone simultaneously. One useful device that is a match made in heaven for any kamado is the BBQ Dragon, a well-made, battery operated, clip on, variable speed fan that can convert a charcoal bed from quiet gray to rip roaring red hot in a matter of minutes. Very good for switching gears from low and slow to searing hot. If you want to cook on 2-zones simultaneously, pick up an inexpensive kettle or hibachi for the hot direct zone and use the Keg for indirect. Click here to read more about Kamado and Ceramic Grills and Smokers.

Packaging was excellent with unpacking instructions printed on the box to get started. We quickly removed the outer box and found The Keg nestled safely in molded Styrofoam with an instruction manual conveniently inserted right on top.

This is a beautifully designed, well-made cooker that comes standard with some very useful features that must be ordered ala carte from other manufacturers. It’s mobile, durable, effective, built to last and offers a lot for the price tag. The Broil King Keg has a 10 year warranty on the main body and stand, and two years on everything else.

Our test unit of the Broil King Keg was provided by Broil King.

  • Model:
    Keg 5000
  • Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price:
    $899.00
  • 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:
    Smoker, Egg or Kamado Style, Tailgater
  • Fuel:
    Charcoal
  • Primary Capacity:
    280 square inches

Published On: 2/15/2016 Last Modified: 2/24/2021

  • 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

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


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


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

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

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s NK22CK-C 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 NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography
With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here’s A Great Buy!

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!
Click here to read our complete review

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners


The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review