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Big Joe vs classic


Jdc
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If ribs are the driver, look into a rib rack and grate extender. You may be surprised at how many racks you can cook. I have cooked 5 racks of ribs on the Jr and could cook an additional 12 racks on the classic if needed. Of course this is done with trimmed baby backs so depending on what your rib choice is it could mean much less capacity.

I use the Jr more than the classic for my family of 4. Often times, the boy and I want ribs and the wife and daughter want chicken. (That is the combo we cook most). I just get creative and get it done.

4 racks, 2 chickens on the classic for a pool party.

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4 racks on the Jr.

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And the normal Jr meal... 2 racks and a half chicken on the Jr.

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I have tried to convince myself to buy a Big Joe, and even had the Costco floor model deal with the Jr already sold for the $399 price of I did it. I just couldn't pull the trigger since the Classic / Jr combo fits our needs.

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I find the capacity of th classic to be ... stunning.  I didn't think I could get 4 racks of St. Louis cut ribs on it, and then I realized i could probably easily get 6 and maybe 8.  A few nights ago I had four large NY Strips, and 8 sausage links on it, and there was a ton of space open.  

 

I think part of this consideration has to be your personal sensitivity about the spacing of the meat, and if you are trying to maintain an open edge along the perimeter of the grill.  

 

With the KJ I have learned to just squeeze it in there, and it works great.  My old habits of having wide open spaces between pieces with space all along the edges are the product of years of cooking on a large Weber Genesis; and for a while before I ditched it, a huge side-firebox, stick burner.  

 

I do like the idea of adding a Jr., though.  That would be cool for me.

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I have a BJ and Joe Jr. I love the BJ and wouldn't trade it for anything. It dies take more charcoal to begin with but I would say that it uses the same amount as my Jr. I love my Jr because it's much easier to adjust the temps. It takes much longer to move the BJ temp up and down than the Joe Jr.

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I don't know if the classic expander will fit. It may; you can always try or take it back and exchange it for the Big Joe one. As far as purchasing the Big Joe - congrats, you will be very happy with that decision - maybe with the deal you got you can convince your wife to let you use the savings to get the junior also! (Most agree that is the best combo):)

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I have a classic and jr.  I added the Jr. from the Costco roadshow--and for the price, it's hard to beat.  I probably use them equally, but since I'm cooking for one to two most of the time--the Jr. comes in handy.  Add in a high que grate and you can have the grill to 400 in 10 minutes--which is about the same time the old gasser took to heat up.  Just last night I needed to put together a quick dinner and turned to the Jr. for a quick grilled chicken breast.

 

I still want a Big Joe though.  I haven't cooked anything that couldn't fit on my classic with my extender and rib rack--and I've done 4 racks of baby backs and several brisket cooks...but I still want a Big Joe.  A friend asked me why...and my response was I just do, haha.

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