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JasonB

KJ classic vs Big Joe downsides?

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I’m planning to pick up a Komodo Joe in the next few weeks and have been planning to get the big joe, but have a question as to whether there are any advantages of the classic joe smaller size vs the larger. I have been cooking on a Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5” for the last 5 years and love it, but am planning to sell it and a Weber Summit and step into the Komado world for everything they can do in one package. I regularly cook 6 full racks of ribs and 2-3 pork shoulders, brisket etc at one time and could definitely use the larger space of the big joe, but also plan to use it on weeknights for burgers steaks etc and am wondering if there are any advantages for the classic over the big joe? I understand the obvious price difference, but any advantage in warm up time, ease etc? I like the bigger size, but want to make sure I’m not giving up any ease of use that would make me not use it as regularly?

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I had this same problem myself.  Had the 22" WSM and a 22" kettle.  I ended up going with the Classic, as I usually cook several times a week for my family of four.  It has worked out perfect.  There have been a few (very few) occasions where I wish i had the larger one.   I did keep my WSM for this reason.  A few times a year I will cook 6 or so pork butts for a work party, or a full packer brisket.  But from my understanding the classic is much more efficient at warm up time and conserving charcoal.   I am pleased with my purchase and making it my primary grill, and also glad I kept the big WSM for large cooks.  I plan on using my weber performer kettle as my campground grill this season - it has not been opened since I got my KJ classic in May. 

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Maybe I also should gave added that I have a Weber genesis gas as well. Im planning to get rid of the wsm and summit but may keep the genesis for when I want to throw on a quick hot dog or something, but may get rid of it as well if it’s that easy to cook on the KJ. 

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If I were only going to have one - and give up everything else - I would go with the big joe.  Then maybe add a weber q for a quick hot dog or burger. I just couldn't bring myself to getting rid of the big wsm - You can really load that thing down - almost double the capacity of even the big joe for smoking. 

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If you already have and like the WSM, why not keep that and get a Classic? That would get you into kamado cooking, ability to do high heat, and still have the capacity to low and slow huge amounts of food when needed. There are also some fire sale prices on Classics right now (enough that I made an unplanned upgrade).

 

I got an Akorn first, then added a Big Joe, and recently upgraded the Akorn to a Classic. Using the two side by side, the classic heats much faster and uses a lot less charcoal. If I had to use one to make hectic weeknight meals it would be the classic. The Big Joe is a weekend cooker with the occasional weeknight pizza/rotisserie.

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10 hours ago, JasonB said:

Where are you seeing the fire sales? That may make the difference. 

Lowes is having the sales. The one by me has a Classic I Other people on here have said that they have seen the Classic II.

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The Big Joe comes with a firebox divider for smaller cooks. That give you the best of both worlds in my opinion.

 

I run an aftermarket divider in my Classic and it is in there for most of my cooking because I am only cooking for myself. I just did a turkey for the family Christmas dinner and removed the divider for that.

 

The turkey was awesome!!! 

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I have two Big Joe's one at work and one at home. After about the first month, I have never used that divider. The capacity of the BJ is hard to beat however, not everyone needs it. I do a large percentage of 'big' cooks– 20 people or more so, for me, it's a no brainer. If needed, I can transfer one of the Joe's to the other location for added cooking space. That said, these babies also will go through a bag of lump like nobody's business. I also mac out the capacity with an extra cooking grate. The same can be done for the Classic so, that is an option for some extra room. That room is best taken advantage of during low and slows in my opinion unless you go this route...

 

image.thumb.png.29a5239ec4374ff0f666c570c358bf08.png

 

And I'm really kicking myself that I didn't discover this earlier. I've done 25 burgers or 25 pork chop cooks where attempting to move things from one grate to another or reach items on the back of the lower grill was a nightmare. This is ingenious. Anyway, the extra will will still not get you anywhere near 6 racks of ribs. Imo, that about maxes out the BJ.

 

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