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Is that a smoking wood drawer in the center of the kettle?

Seems like it. Just like the Sapphire, which is also Auplex-made right?

I believe they are all Auplex made. Just slightly different designs. Same cart as a Vision from the looks of it. Look at the stones and grids.....look familiar? How can they get away with using the same designs? They look like KJ stones to me.

Don't tell anyone it may break their hearts.

Dave

Hi Guys and girls

Ok so I will clear a few things up... Auplex is a rip off of the Monolith. Monolith have been around a while in Germany and a few other European locations and have done really very well, almost as soon as they launched Auplex ripped them off, not even BMW and other major car manufacturers are safe from Chinese knock offs. I have pictures of the Auplex next to a Monolith, taken during a trip to the factory and they are very different, for a start the ceramic shells are half as thick and after 5 cooks the firebox cracks. The metal work is also really bad, the Monolith is clearly the better unit

As for Sapphire... they, along with Kamado Joe started using the same factory's as Monolith in China a few months later and started to produce the same sort of units as Monolith. Both Sapphire and KJ focused on the American/Canadian market and Monolith on the European markets. None of the 3 companies at the time had intent to cross borders of the other, and so the similarities never seemed terribly important. As Monolith grew in Europe and KJ grew in the the US and Canada, Monolith decided there was no room for a third party and had Sapphire fired out of the factory leaving just Monolith and KJ at the party. The Sapphire grills now sold are made in another factory, very different and not as well made. The grills they now sell are different to the images they have on the websites, and are now not the same as the Monolith's.

Sorry to waffle, I sell catering equipment and have been a chef for 14 years, so I tend to know these things. Oh, and so I don't get busted at a later date for being misleading or a bit of an imposter, I am also the owner of Monolith Grill UK.

I am here to share recipes and cook, and make friends with like minds, naturally I am biased about my product but I am not here to talk trash about my competitors, that is not my style at all. Both Green Egg and Kamado Joe are doing well in the UK and for good reason.

Thanks guys, if still allowed and wanted I will post my cooks and recipes, I will give advice and I am sure I will darn well need some in return as although I have been a cook for 14 years, owned a restaurant and worked michelin star, these Kamado's are somewhat new and exciting to me. I will also certainly spread the word of this fine forum to other cheffy friends and cooks I know who have a passion for BBQ and Kamado's as I am sure we are all here for one thing, to learn through sharing.

Thanks

Peace

Mike

PS, Yes it is a smoke tray loader thingy in the lower centre, its really helpful when you want to add chips/pellets every 20 mins or so, you do not need to lift the lid of your Kamado and lose precious heat and smoke, it drops the pellets straight onto the coals. (Sorry product plug over)

Everyone is welcome here and we look forward to seeing your cooks.

I appreciate the owner disclaimer just so it's out in the open. Regardless that should not make a difference on this forum. Employees/owners from various other kamado companies post from time to time and we like it.

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Again, welcome, but I have to say I have a big problem when I see unwarranted insults leveled against other companies - even if I have no dealings with them, at all. I don't like the term "chinese knock-off" for starters. It especially shouldn't come from someone selling Chinese grills. If it weren't for the Chinese ODMs, Monolith and Kamado Joe and others would simply not exist today. And if it weren't for Big Green Egg taking the idea and the design of the 50/60's Kamados and making them popular over the past 35+ years, none of the new guys would have anyone to copy/emulate and again, wouldn't exist.

As far as history goes and who uses what factory, the only stats I know are that Kamado Joe has existed since 2009 and Monolith since 2010. I have no idea which factories they used then nor which they use now, but it should come as no surprise to anyone that multiple brands utilize the same manufacturing facilities. If someone confirmed to me tomorrow that Auplex or Bingbong123 produced KJ, Monolith, Saffire and Vision in the same factory I wouldn't be surprised, nor would it affect my appreciation for the brands.

And yeah, the disclaimer about working for the company and running one of their distributorships should have been the very first thing mentioned in the introduction. Just saying.

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Thanks for your comments guys, both positive and constructively critiquing, Bferne especially appreciate your honesty!

 

Perhaps Bferne, you are right, I could have mentioned it first thing in the introduction that I am the importer, however I signed to the forum late last night UK time, said a brief hello and that was virtually it, the second anything has been challenged about who I or Monolith are, I have coughed up, so I don't think I have hidden away from anything. It wasn't even a direct challenge to who I am, I offered the info and did so as I just wish to be friends.

 

On your other points, I meant no offence by anything I said, and I agree that "unwarranted insults levelled against other companies" shouldn't happen, I do not think that I did this and have even stated that that wasn't my style. I believe there is a place in the market for everyone, all competition is healthy and also as you said companies like BGE have paved the way for all that have followed. No BGE didn't invent Kamado cooking but I do believe that they have been the single greatest influence in making the scene what it is today. There is no denying or escaping that.

 

As for the use of the term "Chinese knock off's" I am sorry that you do not like this. However it is not an insult, racial or otherwise to anybody, Chinese or otherwise. It is a fact though my friend, that it is evident in all countries that there is original product, and then knocked off/copied/imitated products. China being the brilliant manufacturing nation that it is is obviously rife with both original and knocked off. I come from the UK, home of Only Fools and Horses, the Great British dodgy market dealings, British knock off's account for a large chunk of our economy and I do not see that as a bad thing, again as I said, there is a place for everything, and at the end of the day, everyone has a different budget.

 

Please accept a further apology if I have left anything else out, in the meantime, lets not sweat the small stuff, again we are all here for one thing, to share appreciation for all Kamado's and the cooks we get from them.

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So is Monolith ripping off KJ or is KJ ripping off Monolith?

 

Where does Vision come in to play? The Monolith stand is the same as Visions.

 

 

Dave

Dave

 

Monolith and KJ are decent stand on their own products,no rip off's there. I couldn't comment on Vision, they are not in the UK that I have seen. The stands are shared across a couple of manufacturers, generally the ceramics are made by one factory and stands are contracted out, this is standard in nearly all major manufacturing. Apple make phones and laptops in China but use Korean hard drives etc, all outsourced parts are pieced together in one place. Less obvious in the inner workings of a phone than the obvious same stand scenario that has happened here.

 

The smaller and larger monolith's have different stands and the classic medium sized with get the same stand early 2015.

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Thanks for the answer Mike. 

 

One more question. How can both produce the same stone, firebox and grill grate designs? Who designed the stones and grates?  Unless there is no patent. The firebox design and grates for both the Monolith and KJ appear identical. Unless both are the same company under different names. 

 

Help me understand that.

 

 

Dave

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Landscaper, they use the same ODM (original design manufacturer - which is a company that can do outsourced manufacturing AND design work). It's all but guaranteed the firebox design predates KJ and Monolith's involvement with the manufacturer. There's also nothing to patent in its design as there's nothing unique about it versus fireboxes that have been used for over 30 years. Same goes for the charcoal grate and grill expander you see everywhere. The stones are common kiln shelf design, around for decades.

KJ's D&C with split grids isn't found on anyone else's product that I know of however.

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Landscaper, they use the same ODM (original design manufacturer - which is a company that can do outsourced manufacturing AND design work). It's all but guaranteed the firebox design predates KJ and Monolith's involvement with the manufacturer. There's also nothing to patent in its design as there's nothing unique about it versus fireboxes that have been used for over 30 years. Same goes for the charcoal grate and grill expander you see everywhere. The stones are common kiln shelf design, around for decades.

KJ's D&C with split grids isn't found on anyone else's product that I know of however.

 

Landscaper, they use the same ODM (original design manufacturer - which is a company that can do outsourced manufacturing AND design work). It's all but guaranteed the firebox design predates KJ and Monolith's involvement with the manufacturer. There's also nothing to patent in its design as there's nothing unique about it versus fireboxes that have been used for over 30 years. Same goes for the charcoal grate and grill expander you see everywhere. The stones are common kiln shelf design, around for decades.

KJ's D&C with split grids isn't found on anyone else's product that I know of however.

 

 

Ok that makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up.

 

 

Dave

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Do you mean this Bferne?

If you're asking about the grill rack components, no, not what I meant. The KJ D&C is completely different and the grill expander I mentioned is this thing:

stainless_steel_kamado_strong_style_colo

The KJ is slightly different than this one, don't know about the Monolith one.

Nice that you can also get a small one for the Monolith Junior:

Also super interesting to note is that you can lift a Monolith by its bands because they're wrapped within a channel and can't slip off the base nor dome.

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Interestingly, Monolith has their own zoned cooking capability implemented with riser-grids which you can see here:

11.jpg

This is their "Le Chef" model which is their largest size. Note the hinge is very different from the one used on BigJoe. I'd imagine that a company specializing in ceramics wouldn't necessarily have the facility to do all the metal work, so i's likely the hinges and bands, like the stands Mike mentioned, come form yet other vendors. As Mike also mentioned, this is precisely how electronics manufacturing is done.

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