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Agonising over which model


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Hi Folks,

 

New to your forum having read a bunch of threads here on the Kamado Joe site. 

 

Live in Adelaide, Australia and currently looking at a Kamado Joe, just don’t know which model/s to go with. I currently have a Yoder 640 pellet and a Weber Q320 gasser. Had a Weber 22” for a good number of years along with a Weber Smokey Mountian and go sick of playing with fire and gave these away to family. Four years on without charcoal cooking I am missing the flavour and now looking at a ceramic cooker.

 

Have done quite a bit of research based around what ceramic cookers are available here in Australia and what backup support and have selected the Kamado brand. Now to make sense of which model. I have now looked at both the Kamado Joe Classic and Kamado Joe Big. I am struggling with which size? 

 

We are empty nesters now however we have two daughters, SILs and three grandkids. We have them over for family gatherings and celebrations from time to time but the majority of the time it is just us. Looking at getting rid of the Weber gasser which I have never liked and keeping the Yoder 640.

 

Was wondering how the Joe Big goes with small cooks? When I looked at the models yesterday the Joe Big looked huge and am concerned about how it would go with a small cook, a couple of steaks. I noted there was a charcoal divider and the flexibility of setting the cooker up direct or indirect with semi circle grills and deflectors with the divide and conquer system. How long would the Joe Big take to get up to temp with either half charcoal cooks and full cooks?

 

Reading some threads it is very mixed as to which model works and obviously each situation is going to be different. If I can make sense of being able to use half the Joe Big practically then the decision to go that way is an easy decision. Would be interested in any feedback from users of Joe Big who do regular small cooks for two people.

 

Cheers,

 

Fleetz

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ha, when I was working and cooking for 10 every weekend, think family of three, inlaws and leftover for the week; the bigjoe was the only way to go.  Now I have left that industry and am home with the kids. The Jr is great for two, you can cram food for four. 

 

Have you considered 2x KJC? 

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45 minutes ago, Fleetz said:

Reading some threads it is very mixed as to which model works and obviously each situation is going to be different. If I can make sense of being able to use half the Joe Big practically then the decision to go that way is an easy decision. Would be interested in any feedback from users of Joe Big who do regular small cooks for two people.

 

I think they buy themselves a KJ Junior to go with their Big Joe, and use the Jr when they're doing a small cook :)

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Fleetz said:

Yes looked at the Junior to augment the Joe Big only the JB here in Australia is $2,999 and a Junior is $699 so want to make sure both would be required before spending that coin.

$2,999 is nasty, the UK price works out at $2575 Aus. Your Jr price is that same as here (sorry, that's not much help I know - if it makes you feel better, your weather is much nicer and you can use it more often - we should get a bigger discount!)

 

Obviously if you're thinking of both, just get the Big Joe to start with, and see how you get on with small cooks on there, and then later get the jr if needed. Hopefully someone will answer with how long it takes to heat up, with and without divide/conquer.

 

An alternative is to get the Classic and try and make that work for you family gatherings - maybe slow cook something in advance, then when ready take it out and turn the heat up for the extras - or get an extending rack thing so you can have food above food. And then if that's not enough for the family gatherings, then add a Joe Jr and use them together - that gives the added flexibility of different temperatures in each etc.

 

I've searched and read tons about which size is right, and the answers are so variable, depending on how much people eat, whether they need to do all their sides in the grill, etc etc, so I don't think there's an easy answer.

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I have all three sizes.  If I could only have one it would be the Classic.  I fire up my classic about 10 or 12 times for every time i light the big joe.  I'd rather work around the smaller space issue on the classic than have to fire up the big joe for smaller cooks most of the time.

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11 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

I have all three sizes.  If I could only have one it would be the Classic.  I fire up my classic about 10 or 12 times for every time i light the big joe.  I'd rather work around the smaller space issue on the classic than have to fire up the big joe for smaller cooks most of the time.

Sounds good Fleetz.

At family gatherings, exactly how much food do you plan to cook? It's only for about 9 of you, right?

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I have the BJ I figure I mind as well go big, as me and the wife entertain quite a bit so every-time Ive cooked on the BJ it has been large items or amounts when we do smaller cooks for just me and the wife we use the gasser grill. Its just easier to start the grill for 2 steaks and vegs then it is to go through the whole process for the KJ (regardless of the size IMHO).  

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I have two big joes and a jr. To date, I have never cooked on the jr. I don't find smaller cooks on the Big Joe to be an issue. I also think you may be disappointed if you are looking for a charcoal taste unless you are going to use actual charcoal briquettes as opposed to lump. I think your taste, perhaps with the exception of direct searing, is going to be much more similar to the Yoder. I still have a hankering for a Yoder Competition Smoker.

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Interesting comment CentralTex about flavour, thanks it has been a long time since I cooked with fire so nice to have that memory jogger.

 

When I used the 22” Weber I used lump in preference to the briquettes or heat beads as they are know here in Oz. I would always have hickory wood chucks to provide the flavour. So I would probably do the same with a Kamado.

 

Do people prefer to use briquettes in your Kamado Joes over there for the flavour? 

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I use my kj classic and kj jr more than my xl BGE.  If I could only have 1 it would be my classic.  I have cooked 3 pork butts on it at once, which is more than enough to feed 50 people.   I can fit a few whole chickens on it as well.   

 

On the kj jr which belongs to my daughter (9yr old) we’ve got space for a small prime rib and a whole chicken.  We’ve cooked a pizza on it as well.   Most of the time we fire it up with the classic to cook sides on.  It will accommodate a small pan for smoked Mac and cheese or several potatoes or bake a pie or two.  

 

With th all that said I love cooking on all 3 and and hope to be adding an xxl egg in the near future.   

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Thanks for the input. Having been in a couple of times to have a look at the Kamado Joe’s I am about to pull the trigger on KJ Classic II. 

 

Given I have a Yoder 640 and we are empty nesters having another large BBQ didn’t make practical sense. I want a BBQ that suits cooking for two or if one of two daughters with SIL and grandkids come over then the Classic is still up for the job. If all our daughters and their respectives and grandkids are over then the Yoder 640 gets the gig.

 

Think the Classic hits the sweet spot. Can still cook a good size brisket or a good size pork butt or a couple of ribs, more if you use a rib rack or 8 hamburgers or a combination of all of those with lesser qtys. 

 

Having made the decision on which model what would you suggest are the must have accessories? Probably better to purchase them at the same time I order the KJ as I will probably be able to get slightly better pricing as a package. Unfortunately here in Australia there is only one KJ distribution chain which doesn’t bode well for competitive pricing. I am already getting from the distributor there is little margin in these so don’t expect much in the way of discount! $1,999AUD is the ticket price.

 

i would be ordering a cover for the grill, I already have pizza stones which I have used in the Yoder so I am sorted there.

 

I am thinking a Joetissory possibly....any of you folks have and use one?

 

Anyway would be interested in what you folks are using by way of accessories?

 

Cheers...

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