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TheFury

A slightly different “which size kamado is right for me” question

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You know what... Seeing all this, I'm beginning to understand what to do here. 

 

I want enough room for mains and sides and/or a two zone cook. In either case, based on all your input, a larger grill isn't necessarily going to be the answer, since the temps inside the grill won't be that localized. 

 

I'd look at a MM or KJ Jr on the side but I don't know if I really need to spend all that extra cash on a second kamado if all I'm looking for is a way to do direct cooking while I'm smoking or roasting something else. 

 

Right now I'm leaning towards a KJ classic with a cheap Weber Smokey Joe on the side when I want to sear things or expand out onto a second grate. The way I figure it, a Big Joe gets me just north of 1.5 square feet per zone when doing two zone cooking. A 14" Smokey Joe on the side affords about 1 square foot of searing space, which should be enough for my needs. 

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I would say a classic is easily capable of all you talk about. I originally bought my Mini BGE for camping, however, it has turned out to be my most used grill feeding 3, sometimes 4 (if its something the baby can eat...) Not that I don't fire up my Browning semi frequently, but I'll say 2/3 of our meals are carefully timed so that one thing can rest while the next cooks on the mini. 

 

A bigger Kamado can make things easier sometimes, however, its also more charcoal consumption every time you run it.

 

I've had 14 racks of ribs on my browning which is a 23" grill and it fit comfortably.

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If I have to choose one grill, that'd be Akorn Kamado 22". Simply because of its removeable ash tray design and the weight is more manageable. For people live in smaller houses or condo that's essential. It holds temperature just as well. (I did 15+ hr brisket in the 22" many times) Does everything well like the ceramic for 1/3 of the cost, really the best bang of your buck. 

I have a 25" ceramic and had a KJ 22" but haven't fired them up for 2 years now. Too much work to move the grates/rings/racks just to start the fire and to remove the ash is another hassle. Where w/ Akorn you just drop the bottom tray and dump the ash out.

Have you considered a PK grill? They're casted aluminum grills and will last forever. You can one for a little over $300.

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The only time I run out of space on my KJ Classic is when my wife says "Oh, I was hoping you could throw on these potatoes while you're at it." Planning ahead is the key to doing just about whatever you want on the kamado.

 

If money weren't an issue, I'd prefer to have a Big Joe for when we have a large group over (only a few times a year), and a Joe Jr for most cooks for just the two of us. Firing up the Classic just to put on a piece of salmon always seems like a little too much production but it's the best compromise if I can only fit one grill in my life.

 

Planning ahead, I can cook for any size group we can fit in the house. You'll never needed to have a butt on at the same time as the veggies because the butt can finish hours before it's served. I do feel the limited space when I'm set up for two zone. I can only fit one parted chicken on the half grill available for two zone, but if I had to do two chickens I would just decide on another setup to cook them with.

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On 3/15/2019 at 8:08 AM, John Setzler said:

@TheFury

 

I have been cooking on the Kamado Joe Big Joe, Classic, and Jr. for quite some time now.  If I could only have ONE of those three grills, it would definitely be the classic.  It's always enough for 2 people and usually more than you need.  For those occasions where you are cooking for more, it's still enough for the numbers you are talking about.  

@John Setzler

Appreciate your experience with the Joe’s. Was about to pull the trigger on the big joe II and saw the III’s announcement. In your opinion would you get the BJII or the Classic III?

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6 minutes ago, Ridef70 said:

@John Setzler

Appreciate your experience with the Joe’s. Was about to pull the trigger on the big joe II and saw the III’s announcement. In your opinion would you get the BJII or the Classic III?

 

For *ME* it would be the classic.  You aren't comparing apples to apples.  You also still have the option of the classic 2 and the classic original.

 

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I guess I'm not familiar with the grate sizes, but when I got my 23 KK I kept my Akorn for about a year and a half before I realized I had only fired both up one time in that amount of time.  For most bbqs for a large group I plan my main to be off well before any sides that I need to cook on. The Kamado.  And I have fit a ton of protien on mine at once, two racks of ribs (no rib rack) , full packer brisket, and pork belly burnt ends at the same time and if I wanted it wouldn't have been an issue to do a pork butt at the same time since the brisket was the only think on for that long. So I gave away my Akorn and now have jr. 

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