Consumer Reports tests kamado-style grills

Kamado-style grills can cost $300 to nearly $2,000

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

When you hear "Big Green Egg," do you think of Dr. Seuss or a great type of grill?

For more than 30 years, grill enthusiasts have obsessed over the egg-shaped grill known as a kamado grill.

With more kamado grills entering the market, Consumer Reports put several to the test.

A kamado grill is a combination charcoal grill, smoker and outdoor oven. Its airtight design gives it the ability to deliver controlled heat that can be extremely high for searing meats or low and steady for smoking them.

Consumer Reports tested eight kamado grills that you might see in your home center, wholesale club or hardware store.

You can pay from $300 to almost $2,000 for one of them. There are heavy ceramic models and lighter steel versions.

Topping CR’s list is the Kamado Joe Classic II. It features a spring-assisted lid that makes it easy to open. The upper and lower dampers adjust easily, and split racks let you cook at different heights. Testers gave it excellent marks for cooking performance. It costs $1,300.

The Vision Kamado Professional also got an excellent score for cooking. It has two lower dampers for fine-tuning the temperature. The Vision costs $700 and comes in five colors.

If you are looking to spend less, CR recommends Char-Broil’s first kamado: the Kamander.

The Kamander got high marks for cooking, convenience and cleaning. It is made of double-walled stainless steel with a powder-coated finish. Airflow is controlled with upper and lower dampers. It can get to 1,000 degrees, charring pizza crust to perfection.

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