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Hi, from sunny Scotland!


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Hi all,

 

I am a wife, mum and an emergency medicine doctor - so life is certainly busy at the moment!  I've decided to get a Kamado Joe as a birthday present for my South African husband who loves to braii (BBQ in South African).

 

Like many before me, I am going back and forth between the classic and big Joe (definitely decided on series 3).  Reading lots of posts to try and make the decision!

 

Hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these strange times.

 

Best wishes,

 

Zoe

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Welcome from soft Southern Surrey.

 

I would say get the big one if money is not the issue. You'll never wish for less grilling space, but you may sometimes wish for more. Your husband is South African - so he's probably going to want a LOT of braii space for Boerewors, steaks with Monkey Gland sauce, etc, etc... :-)

 

Also take a look at the Monolith kamados from Germany. They are excellent and have very good local support here in the UK.

 

 

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1 hour ago, adm said:

Welcome from soft Southern Surrey.

 

I would say get the big one if money is not the issue. You'll never wish for less grilling space, but you may sometimes wish for more. Your husband is South African - so he's probably going to want a LOT of braii space for Boerewors, steaks with Monkey Gland sauce, etc, etc... :-)

 

Also take a look at the Monolith kamados from Germany. They are excellent and have very good local support here in the UK.

 

 

Eeek... more choice! Can I ask what the main differences between the Monolith and KJ are?  Would the accessories like the Joetisserie and dojoe work on the Monolith (or do they have their own version?). I was planning on buying a bundle with all available accessories as I do love the faff around with gadgetry :lol:

 

There will most definitely be vast quantities of steak and boerewors!

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2 hours ago, gadgetlover said:

Eeek... more choice! Can I ask what the main differences between the Monolith and KJ are?  Would the accessories like the Joetisserie and dojoe work on the Monolith (or do they have their own version?). I was planning on buying a bundle with all available accessories as I do love the faff around with gadgetry :lol:

 

There will most definitely be vast quantities of steak and boerewors!

That's a dangerous goal - if you include 3rd party stuff, there is a LOT if available kit for KJ. Almost as bad (good?) as Weber for choice

 

 

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Welcome @gadgetlover!  I tend to lean towards the Big Joe as well. I had both a Big Joe and a Classic sized Vision and found myself always using the Big Joe - for a family of only 4.  But I am grilling and not smoking the majority of the time and like the space to do my protein and sides all together.  

 

There are lots of people who prefer a classic size though and do way more with it then I seemed to manage when I had one.  
 

And then there are the people in the “get two classics” camp - so you can have two very different cooking temps going on at the same time..... :)

 

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15 minutes ago, Webber_Grills said:

That's a dangerous goal - if you include 3rd party stuff, there is a LOT if available kit for KJ. Almost as bad (good?) as Weber for choice

 

 

I think it's just KJ branded accessories, so the dojoe, Joetisserie, all the different grate/griddle/soapstone options, rib rack, ikamand, etc. Bundled for approx £3.5k so seems like a reasonable deal.  

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4 minutes ago, KismetKamado said:

Welcome @gadgetlover!  I tend to lean towards the Big Joe as well. I had both a Big Joe and a Classic sized Vision and found myself always using the Big Joe - for a family of only 4.  But I am grilling and not smoking the majority of the time and like the space to do my protein and sides all together.  

 

There are lots of people who prefer a classic size though and do way more with it then I seemed to manage when I had one.  
 

And then there are the people in the “get two classics” camp - so you can have two very different cooking temps going on at the same time..... :)

 

I would love to do a double set up, but as I'm already telling hubby that the grill costs less than half what it does, I don't think id manage to wrangle that and not have a grumpy OH! (I will say he would not have any problem with me spending it on myself, in fact never asks what my gadgets cost, but he is definitely the thrifty one, and balked when I said the grill would be about £700!

 

We're currently a family of 3 (and that includes a 3 year old!) so whilst I think the classic would be fine, I do always lust after biggest/shiniest and think I'd regret not getting him the extra space the BJ affords.  Did you find much difference in time to get up to temp with the BJ?  I guess that's probably the only factor that worries me with the bigger size, that it would take too long, be too much hassle and therefore be ignored for his current set up (Lotus XL) which takes 5-10 mins to be ready (although clearly hugely inferior in terms of abilities and scope of use)

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4 hours ago, gadgetlover said:

Like many before me, I am going back and forth between the classic and big Joe (definitely decided on series 3).  Reading lots of posts to try and make the decision!

 

From a Kamado Joe Classic III user, it's been fine size wise.  Typically I'm cooking for just the two of us. But I've cooked for 6 with no issues, and could have cooked for 8 simultaneously without any grill space issues.  If you get any large Kamado, and by all accounts the Big Joe is a great Kamado, you will always use more charcoal, and it will always take more time to come up to temp (heat soak) than the Classic III.  That's just the physics at work.  Also, all of the accessories are more expensive.

 

Whatever you decide, you and your husband will be very happy with a quality Kamado.

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, gadgetlover said:

  I guess that's probably the only factor that worries me with the bigger size, that it would take too long, be too much hassle and therefore be ignored for his current set up (Lotus XL) which takes 5-10 mins to be ready (although clearly hugely inferior in terms of abilities and scope of use)

Ceramic Kamados take a while to heat soak.  Like a "regular" BBQ, you can start to grill on your Kamado as soon as you have sufficient heat from the charcoal, but properly heat soaking a ceramic Kamado generally will take from 30 to 60 minutes.  And yes, the larger the Kamado, the more time heat soaking will take.

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5 minutes ago, Dogstar said:

Ceramic Kamados take a while to heat soak.  Like a "regular" BBQ, you can start to grill on your Kamado as soon as you have sufficient heat from the charcoal, but properly heat soaking a ceramic Kamado generally will take from 30 to 60 minutes.  And the larger the Kamado, the more time it takes.

That's useful, thanks.  I think perhaps going for the big Joe for increased flexibility, knowing that it will take longer and therefore will be for use at weekends, whilst keeping his current BBQ for quick week night meals (and yes perhaps up adding in a classic or junior in a few years, since our wee boy will obviously need his own to braii with dad :lol:)

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Sounds like a good plan.  Kamados really do produce superior results in so many circumstances.  A large part of that is the art of cooking in a mostly closed ceramic vessel to get the temperature and humidity and fuel, "the environment" as it were, correct.  It's an extremely flexible oven.  Once your husband begins to use his Kamado, I know you all will be very pleased with the results. 

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18 minutes ago, gadgetlover said:

That's useful, thanks.  I think perhaps going for the big Joe for increased flexibility, knowing that it will take longer and therefore will be for use at weekends, whilst keeping his current BBQ for quick week night meals (and yes perhaps up adding in a classic or junior in a few years, since our wee boy will obviously need his own to braii with dad :lol:)

The wee bairn can grow into a Weber Jumbo Joe or a Kamado Joe Jr (a nice second Kamado for a reasonable price) 

 

My son is 8 and has reached the point where I can have him clear the ashes from the previous cook, pile the charcoal, and light it

 

Inside, he makes sauces and prepares rub on meats

 

Started him out when he was about 4 with a plastic "lettuce knife" (looks like a serrated chef knife) and a paring knife with a blunted tip. Knowing the rules of when and where to keep fingers near a cutting board was the first lesson

 

By next year, he will be making dinner at least one evening a week. My parents did it to me, and I'm glad for it

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4 minutes ago, Webber_Grills said:

The wee bairn can grow into a Weber Jumbo Joe or a Kamado Joe Jr (a nice second Kamado for a reasonable price) 

 

My son is 8 and has reached the point where I can have him clear the ashes from the previous cook, pile the charcoal, and light it

 

Inside, he makes sauces and prepares rub on meats

 

Started him out when he was about 4 with a plastic "lettuce knife" (looks like a serrated chef knife) and a paring knife with a blunted tip. Knowing the rules of when and where to keep fingers near a cutting board was the first lesson

 

By next year, he will be making dinner at least one evening a week. My parents did it to me, and I'm glad for it

That sounds fab.  So important to get them involved in cooking from a young age.  My wee one knows his way around our thermomix and helps make batter for waffles every Sunday.  We've found the the Opinel petit chef knives great (and in fact I often use choose to use them myself!) along with the Kuhn Rikon kids' knifes for the fun factor.  Valuable learning knife skills at a young age and how to properly handle them from a safety perspective. 

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Good luck with your search to find the kamado that is right for you. One thing to consider along with cooking efficiency,  grate size, accessories and such,  is warranty. A ceramic kamado  no matter how expensive, well made, or designed, will often crack with use, that's why most of the larger established kamado companies provide a life time warranty on  their major ceramic components for the original owner. The larger and more established any company is the more likely they will be around to fulfill your warranty when you need them. When you have exhausted your research,   remember however, that "paralysis by analysis" does exist outside the world of golf. There is so much choice in a kamado purchase that there is always something shiny   outside your present focus. Eventually you just have to go with what you think is best, at the moment, cease over thinking it, and pull the trigger. 

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On 3/16/2021 at 10:36 AM, gadgetlover said:

Eeek... more choice! Can I ask what the main differences between the Monolith and KJ are?  Would the accessories like the Joetisserie and dojoe work on the Monolith (or do they have their own version?). I was planning on buying a bundle with all available accessories as I do love the faff around with gadgetry :lol:

 

There will most definitely be vast quantities of steak and boerewors!

 

There's not that much difference. The Monoliths come with stainless steel hardware as standard which is good in my opinion, it also has a little door in the ceramic that allows you to add smoke chips during a cook without opening the lid. I use that quite a lot, but it's a "nice to have" rather than a game changer.

Monolith have their own range of accessories - including a rotisserie which is actually a little better than the Joe version as it will let you run 7 skewers simultaneously. They don't offer a "DoeJoe" option, but you can make awesome pizza on it anyway. Personally I think the Dojoe is a bit of a gimmick and if pizza is really important to you, you are actually better off buying a £200 Ooni dedicated pizza oven.

Monolith are a little cheaper than KJ on the whole, but certainly in the same price bracket.

If you like gadgets, then you can buy a "BBQ Guru" version of the Monolith with a built in fan blower for computer control. But personally I wouldn't go that way - if you want computer control, the Fireboard II Drive is awesome. (Save this as an add-on though. Maybe for Father's Day!)

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