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For those of you who have a multiple Kamado's I would like to understand when you would cook on your Joe Jr versus your larger Kamado. I ask this question because I am trying to convince myself I need (yes NEED) the Jr to supplement my Big Joe but am not quite sure I do. One of my driving factors for looking at the Jr is the amount of charcoal I go through filling up the BJ and the amount of time it takes to get up to temp -- I have a long commute home from work each day so saving time on the heating process would be nice. In this case, my concern is not on long cooks, merely things like burgers, chicken, steak etc.

 

For most of my cooks it is just the wife and I; however, I will typically make a minimum of four servings of whatever is going on the Joe to allow for the nights dinner and lunch the next day.

 

So I ask, when do you use your Joe Jr? Has anyone in a similar situation as me found the space to be sufficient to cook for more than two? Does anyone with a Jr feel it does not provide you with the space you need for an everyday cook? How and why do you use your Jr.

 

I appreciate the feedback.

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I have a Vision Pro s.. I just bought the Jr. and I love it.  There are two of us so it is nice for smaller cooks.  Heats up fast too.  

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I have a Vision P which is smaller than a Joe Jr. I bought it to take camping with little thought of using it at home. I also have a Joe classic but use the Vision P way more often at home than I imagined. The Vision P has a 10" Grate but easily cooks enough for 2-3 people if not 4 depending on what you are making. Can easily do a rack of ribs, 4 burgers or chicken breasts, a 5 or 6 pound roast, 3 game hens, just name a few. I'm sure the Joe Jr can do more than that. I use it when I am cooking for just my wife and I and it doesn't make sense to crank up the classic or on those occasions when I load up the Joe and need just that little more room. The Kub gets up to temp quicker than the Classic and cooks the food a little quicker. There isn't a great deal of space between fire and the grate so there was a learning curve. The other benefit for me is I use the smaller chunks of lump in the kub and the larger in the classic. It works exactly the same as the classic which makes it convient to use whether at home or on the road.

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I have a number of grills and when time is short I normally pass up the KJs. That said the Jr. usually fires up quicker than my Classic. If I have single items such as steak or spatchcock chicken I like to do them on the Jr because it's a little easier to clean up and takes less charcoal. I also like it for reverse searing steaks because I can crank the temp up quicker on Jr.  I also like to use it to make desserts when I am making the main courses on the Classic or another grill. I think you will find yourself using it a lot more than you think you will at least that has been my experience after added a Jr. after I already had a Classic.  

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I cook protein for 4 on the Jr all the time.  It is maxed out, but you can fit a couple pounds of chicken parts on at once.  If I am cooking burgers, I can make a couple quick cycles of burgers.  Personal pizzas at 9-10 inches.  

 

I use the Jr because it is more efficient than the BigJoe and I was able to place the Jr in a more convenient location.  

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I have had a similar thought now that I have just upgraded from a Large BGE (and previous to that an Akorn + Small Grill Dome) to a Big Joe. For me, the appeal of a smaller grill is portability, but I found that my small grill dome was too heavy and cumbersome to be practical to take anywhere. I really like the stand design of the KJ Jr. but still feel like the weight might make moving it around impractical.

 

Given the low cost (~$150 + $25ish for the smoking stone) and low weight (under 40 lbs with heat deflector) I have really been considering the Akorn Jr. I was very satisfied with the cooking properties of my full sized Akorn, but it didn't hold up will to the elements. The small unit is portable enough that I can keep it in the garage or a deck box and pop it out when I want to cook up a single rack of ribs or a chicken vs. lighting up the big joe. Also can see it coming in handy if I want to do some beans, corn or potatoes while I am doing a low & slow on the big joe. We only have one oven and often cook a bunch of sides, so having several cookers that I can run different temps is definitely a plus. For quick after work dinners, I also have a Cook-Air which is light, portable and gets very hot (1000+) very quickly (about 5 mins) on next to no fuel (a few chunks of hardwood).

 

I think I will wait for the Big Joe shock to wear off and then pick up an Akorn Jr. the next time my wife is in a particularly good mood.

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I have all 3 Kamado Joe's and I use them all quite often, My wife bought me my Jr a few years ago when they 1st came out for Christmas, The intent was to put it in the RV and use it for camping only,  At that time I only had the Big Joe so I told her Im using this little guy, I used it mainly for appetizers, sides and a sear zone, It was very useful, But if your looking for a quick cook you can get I have have done up to

8 Brats

3 Large Ribeyes

4 Burgers

1 10" Pizza

1 Beercan Chicken

3 - 4 Pcs of Chicken

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I use the JR for when I cook for my wife and I and for camping. Everything else goes on the big joe. The JR is way more convinient to start up and cook on. I will admit though. it gets crowded if you are trying to do two good size steaks. No room for veggies or other sides. IF i had the money, I would get a classic as well.

 

Oh another time i fire up the JR is when I have a lot on the Big already, like a bunch of meat, and want some veggies on the side.

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2 hours ago, afingerhut said:

I think I will wait for the Big Joe shock to wear off and then pick up an Akorn Jr. the next time my wife is in a particularly good mood.

Which is now available in black as well as the red!

 

Garvin

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For those of you who have a multiple Kamado's I would like to understand when you would cook on your Joe Jr versus your larger Kamado. I ask this question because I am trying to convince myself I need (yes NEED) the Jr to supplement my Big Joe but am not quite sure I do. One of my driving factors for looking at the Jr is the amount of charcoal I go through filling up the BJ and the amount of time it takes to get up to temp -- I have a long commute home from work each day so saving time on the heating process would be nice. In this case, my concern is not on long cooks, merely things like burgers, chicken, steak etc.
 
For most of my cooks it is just the wife and I; however, I will typically make a minimum of four servings of whatever is going on the Joe to allow for the nights dinner and lunch the next day.
 
So I ask, when do you use your Joe Jr? Has anyone in a similar situation as me found the space to be sufficient to cook for more than two? Does anyone with a Jr feel it does not provide you with the space you need for an everyday cook? How and why do you use your Jr.
 
I appreciate the feedback.


So I have a Classic and a Jr. I find myself using the Jr more for smaller portions.

Just yesterday I did 4 brats, 2 chicken breasts and 2 ears of corn indirect the Jr (I have a grill dome double rack). I then removed the deflector and did two burgers and I was done. She heated up fast held temp where I wanted it and I was done in 30 minutes. She was cooled off and done before the thunderstorms hit.

I use my Jr a lot on the go. At the park, beach, softball games, it's really convenient, but its super nice at home for quick cooks.

If your interested in that double rack it's on amazon.

Grill Dome GE-4000 Grill Extender, Small https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004JKNNGA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_r3ZSybPKFWPZX

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Thank you all for the great feedback. I had sort of left this on the back burner and had been trying new techniques on my Big Joe, mainly, dividing my kick ash basket and searing on my amazing soapstone. Well in Canada Lowes had a save the tax on grills sale last week, I pondered up until 30 minutes before the sale end date and pulled the trigger.

 

Here is my first cook on JR. Bone in rib steaks; unfortunately, the head butcher had left the shop and the best I could get was 1 inch thick. I also picked this up about 30 minutes before I started cooking so I did not have time to salt and rest. Nonetheless, I was hungry and wanted to play with the Joe so I opted to do a reverse sear.

 

 

225 degrees with a chunk of pecan.

IMG_20170506_181447.jpg

 

Pulled at IT of 115 degrees to let the JR erupt.

 

Prior to the cook I took a circular saw to the handle of my 10.5" lodge griddle. Fortunately, wife is out of town this weekend so I get to enjoy this for a few days before I hear the wrath of "ruining" the cookware. While the steak was smoking, I had put the griddle in the oven at 450 degrees to heat soak.

 

Dome temp got up to 500. Typically on the Big Joe I will sear on soapstone at a higher temp than this, but I wanted to see how the griddle would handle 500.

 

IMG_20170506_185237.jpg

 

The crust was a little underwhelming, this could be because I did not pre-salt, the griddle wasn't high enough or any number of reasons.

 

IMG_20170506_185707.jpg

 

The steak was a perfect medium rare.

 

IMG_20170506_185917.jpg

 

So after my first cook here are my thoughts on the JR:

 

- This thing can get up to grilling temp much quicker than the BJ

- I go through tons of lump lighting up my Big Joe for smaller cooks. The JR requires a fraction of the lump and this will save me significantly in the long run.

- There is no ash tray on the JR so it is a much bigger hassle to get the old ash out -- getting a KickAsh basked might help with this

- Without a table, this thing is very low to the ground, there is a lot of bending over. As a result, clearing out the ash can be rather difficult. All this means is I need to build a table for my two Joes.

- There are not a lot of standard accessories for the JR and one has to scour to find the many innovations people have come up with. It would be good if we had a consolidated place for these tricks.

- JR looks like minime beside Big Joe.

 

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