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John Setzler

Kamado Joe 2 vs Kamado Joe 3

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I get asked this question frequently so I have written up a cut/paste answer for it.  

 

What's the difference between the Kamado Joe 2 and the Kamado Joe 3?

 

or

 

Is the Kamado Joe 3 worth the difference in price?

 

********************************************************

 

"Worth" means different things to different people.  My best suggestion to you is to have a look at the feature differences.  The 3 has the SLoROLLER, the 3-level divide and conquer rack system, the cast aluminum and powder coated side shelves, the kamado joe charcoal basket, and the newly designed cart.  It's hard to put a dollar value on the usability enhancements that some of these upgrades bring to the table.  The charcoal basket is a no-brainer for me.  I was using a third party charcoal basket before the Kamado Joe versions came along.  I love how those give me easy maintenance of my charcoal and ash.  I have a zero-waste charcoal situation with those baskets.  I never discard any unused lump charcoal.  The charcoal basket alone is a $119 upgrade.  The 3 series grills do NOT come with the cast iron grate since they come with the charcoal basket.  The metal side shelves give me the ability to set somethign hot on them (within reason) without worry about melting or damaging them.  I don't know if that can be assigned a dollar value.  The 3-level divide and conquer rack may have some advantages for cooking space if you want to add a couple extra cooking grates to your setup.  There isn't but about 2" of clearance between each level so it's marginal in terms of what you can put on those but things like wings, ribs, and other smaller items can be stuffed on there no problem.    The updated cart with the larger casters makes it much easier to roll the JOE around over uneven surfaces.  The storage shelf on the bottom of the cart gives you plenty of space to store cooking racks, heat deflectors, and the SLoROLLER when it's not in use.  For me, the SLoROLLER has been a noticeable and significant improvement in the cooking performance of the Kamado Joe grill.  For anything I cook over indirect heat, no matter what temperature range I am working in, I am seeing faster than normal cooking times.  This is behaving much like a convection oven where you may want to adjust your temperature or cook times to account for it.  I am getting much more even cooking.  I am seeing more noticeably defined smoke rings when cooking barbecue.  Once again, none of that can really be assigned a dollar value but the benefits, to me, are impressive.  The Classic 3 also comes with the half moon heat deflectors if you want to use those in a half or full configuration instead of using the SLoROLLER.  Another unadvertised benefit I see is the deeper base segment of this grill gives you higher clearance over the charcoal when you want to cook on the Joetisserie.  That added clearance (about 3 to 4" additional inches) creates a much better environment for rotisserie cooking in my opinion.  Sorry for the long response here but I wanted to be detailed so I can copy/paste and save this answer.  I get asked this question a lot :)

 

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, John Setzler said:

I get asked this question frequently so I have written up a cut/paste answer for it.  

 

What's the difference between the Kamado Joe 2 and the Kamado Joe 3?

 

or

 

Is the Kamado Joe 3 worth the difference in price?

 

********************************************************

 

"Worth" means different things to different people.  My best suggestion to you is to have a look at the feature differences.  The 3 has the SLoROLLER, the 3-level divide and conquer rack system, the cast aluminum and powder coated side shelves, the kamado joe charcoal basket, and the newly designed cart.  It's hard to put a dollar value on the usability enhancements that some of these upgrades bring to the table.  The charcoal basket is a no-brainer for me.  I was using a third party charcoal basket before the Kamado Joe versions came along.  I love how those give me easy maintenance of my charcoal and ash.  I have a zero-waste charcoal situation with those baskets.  I never discard any unused lump charcoal.  The charcoal basket alone is a $119 upgrade.  The 3 series grills do NOT come with the cast iron grate since they come with the charcoal basket.  The metal side shelves give me the ability to set somethign hot on them (within reason) without worry about melting or damaging them.  I don't know if that can be assigned a dollar value.  The 3-level divide and conquer rack may have some advantages for cooking space if you want to add a couple extra cooking grates to your setup.  There isn't but about 2" of clearance between each level so it's marginal in terms of what you can put on those but things like wings, ribs, and other smaller items can be stuffed on there no problem.    The updated cart with the larger casters makes it much easier to roll the JOE around over uneven surfaces.  The storage shelf on the bottom of the cart gives you plenty of space to store cooking racks, heat deflectors, and the SLoROLLER when it's not in use.  For me, the SLoROLLER has been a noticeable and significant improvement in the cooking performance of the Kamado Joe grill.  For anything I cook over indirect heat, no matter what temperature range I am working in, I am seeing faster than normal cooking times.  This is behaving much like a convection oven where you may want to adjust your temperature or cook times to account for it.  I am getting much more even cooking.  I am seeing more noticeably defined smoke rings when cooking barbecue.  Once again, none of that can really be assigned a dollar value but the benefits, to me, are impressive.  The Classic 3 also comes with the half moon heat deflectors if you want to use those in a half or full configuration instead of using the SLoROLLER.  Another unadvertised benefit I see is the deeper base segment of this grill gives you higher clearance over the charcoal when you want to cook on the Joetisserie.  That added clearance (about 3 to 4" additional inches) creates a much better environment for rotisserie cooking in my opinion.  Sorry for the long response here but I wanted to be detailed so I can copy/paste and save this answer.  I get asked this question a lot :)

 

 

Right on, nice details you shared there John!  100% agree, I just got the III but have helped friends get the second gen and I have had 4 Eggs prior so despite only having the new KJ Classic III for a short while can attest to the points you highlight as valuable.

 

- The SloRoller is a game changer

- Having had bought a basket for every grill after the fact, once you have it you will never want one without it is killer.

- Shelf space that can deal with hot accessories 

- The cooking space, being deeper and wider in the base gains you real estate 

 

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3 hours ago, John Setzler said:

The Classic 3 also comes with the half moon heat deflectors

 

Did you single out the Classic here intentionally (as opposed to the Big Joe) or was that a function of the question that led to this response? AGC told me the BJ3 did come with the reflectors, but just double checking.

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8 minutes ago, Misguided said:

 

Did you single out the Classic here intentionally (as opposed to the Big Joe) or was that a function of the question that led to this response? AGC told me the BJ3 did come with the reflectors, but just double checking.

 

Both come with the half moon heat deflectors. I was responding to someone who specifically asked about the classic when I wrote that I think.

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Thanks. That’s what I figured, but better safe than sorry :-D. I drove an hour and a half to a roadshow the other day and could have bought a 2, but I think I’m going to go with the 3. With AGC continuing their preorder pricing (which I was told on Sunday would continue for some time), it isn’t even that big of a difference. I hope to place my order soon.

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