Kamado Joe ClassicJoe Review

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Large red oval shaped kamado cooker with shiny steel bands at the top and shiny steel opening at the bottom
ClassicJoe

This model has been discontinued and replaced by The Kamado Joe Classic II 18". Click here for our detailed review of Classic II.

 

Kamado Joe ClassicJoe is an elegant, well-crafted ceramic cooker that presents strong competition to other 18" models in the premium priced market. They pay attention to detail and offer upgrades like top quality 304 stainless steel cooking grates as standard features while holding their prices just a bit lower than the other guys. New owners often choose KJs over other top brands because they look just as good on a showroom floor, come standard with features that are usually optional, and cost a couple hundred bucks less. Their customer service consistently receives high praise as well. They just keep trying harder to win more of the kamado market and for many, red is becoming the new green.

Round Kamados cannot easily be set up for 2-zone cooking, an essential technique that allows cooking on direct hot heat and indirect moderate heat simultaneously. This enables cooks to slide foods back and forth from cool to hot zones for crisping skin and reverse sear steaks. Most Kamado aficionados concede the best way to create different heat zones in round cookers is by moving foods closer to or further from the coal. This is typically accomplished using a variety of accessories that can be costly and awkward to use. However, in 2014 Kamado Joe introduced a unique multi-level grate and heat deflection system called "Divide and Conquer" (shown below) that comes standard with this model.

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While it is not a panacea for the 2-zone issue, some kamado manufacturers charge extra for everything but their logo, so we appreciate KJ throwing this in as a package deal to offer their customers more value and versatility. You also get a grate lifter and ash rake.

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.

All ceramic kamado parts are warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the grill. All metal and cast iron parts are warranted for a period of five years. The thermometer and gaskets are warranted for a period of one year.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
$1,099
Primary Function: 
Grill
Smoker
Egg or Kamado Style
Combination Grill & Smoker
Fuel: 
Charcoal
Primary Capacity: 
256 square inches
Made in the USA: 
No
Review Method:

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.

Kamado Joe Company

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Kamado Joe makes a variety of heavy duty kamado cookers that offer unique, innovative features that set them ahead of the pack. They also sell KJ accessories such as pizza stones, rib racks and JoeTisserie; a cast aluminum system that enables rotisserie cooking.

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Max Good

As AmazingRibs.com's Vice President of Product Reviews & Keeper of the Flame, Max Good is the man in charge of finding the best products for the AmazingRibs.com Equipment Reviews section. Max loves barbecue so much that he took his barbecue sauce recipes, had them bottled, and now sells them around the country.

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