This Kamado cooker is Grill Dome's Large, 18" model. Grill Domes are known for heavy construction, excellent heat retention and beautiful enamel finishes.
The ceramic is Grill Dome's own creation, called Terapex, which they claim is more durable than traditional ceramic and can withstand much higher temperatures. The upper vent is a pivoting steel disk rather than a dial-type of vent, which can be less finely controlled and a small problem if you need to move it during a cook.
The lower damper is a sliding affair, and it is through this that you sweep out ash. Consistent with other kamados, they are stingy on charcoal use while producing plenty of heat, all kept in with the thick, insulating ceramic and sealed by industrial felt on both lip and base. 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. A few exceptions exist, such as Primo's Oval Kamados. 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. Click here to read more about Kamado and Ceramic Grills and Smokers.
What is also noteworthy is the thought that went into their accessories. Not just the strong stand and sturdy side shelf (each sold separately); it has an additional, three-footed upper rack which can be turned upside-down and used instead of the primary cooking grate, giving you a smaller cooking area but much closer to the coals for a good sear. Perhaps best of all is that they promise no assembly: Uncrate it, and a few minutes later you can be cooking. Partner all of this with their 5 year warranty on gaskets (some have only 30 days), their lifetime warranty on the rest (including the hinges), and this can be an investment you'll be enjoying for many years.
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
Grill Dome was founded in 1989 in Atlanta, GA by Tarsem Kohli. Kohli is an engineer who used his expertise to develop a new ceramic material to replace older ceramics traditionally used in Kamado style cookers. Kohli's claims his invention, Terapex ceramic, performs better than other ceramics used in Kamados because it is thicker, harder and withstands hotter temperatures. All Grill Dome Kamados carry a lifetime guarantee on the Terapex ceramic.
Grill Dome is also known for an appealing selection of six colors. Instead of glazed ceramic, they use baked on enamel, which they believe eliminates crazing, (the tiny cracks that typically form across the exterior of Kamados). They are available in three sizes, and may be purchased on-line and at a limited number of independent dealers.