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Big Joe 1, 2, and 3


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Hello, I’m new to the forum, and I’m looking to make the jump into kamado cooking. I’m not new to barbecue or grilling, my current set up is a Weber master touch with a kettle pizza kit, a rec-tec rt -680 pellet grill, and a Weber genesis  gas grill. I just ordered a dedicated wood fired pizza oven, and I’m looking to consolidate my other grills down to a single kamado style grill. I wanted to buy the big joe ii from Costco, but apparently it is back ordered everywhere. I went to kamado Joe’s website, and I discovered the Big Joe I is in stock, and $500 cheaper than the II. Considering I’m looking to buy the smoke and bellows controller from thermoworks, and build a custom table for my kamado, is there a justification for holding out on the big joe II vs the I? I don’t see a comparison tool or something to easily see the differences between the models. My main concerns are capacity, and heat retention for long cook times. Any input and feedback would be appreciated. Thank you

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I've had the classic now 5 years, but I believe what the II added was the air lift hinge which helps lift the lid(you'll be lifting the full weight with a I), a front latch vs just the weight of the lid which should create a better seal, an upgraded gasket, and possibly the Kontrol Tower top vent as opposed to the daisy wheel.  They will both use the same accessories, so it is up to you whether you believe those upgrades are worth $500.

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So I was in a similar boat and I went with BJ3. I looked at a 1, 2 & 3 in person and seeing the 3 in person made it for me. Find a dealer that carries all three so you can see. 
 

While there are minor differences as mentioned above I considered the accessories along with the differences. Yes you can purchase the slow roller etc for your 1 or 2 but if you know you want those things just get the 3 if you can. 
 

Only challenge then is you making a stand which can be done and you sell the nicer base to someone who might be looking for one..

 

Signal with billows has made managing Joe easy! Depending on what I’m cooking I don’t always use them but in my opinion it’s a great tool on the longer cooks. 

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If I were deciding between the 1 and 2 I'd definitely get the 2, air lift hinge and upgraded gasket.  If I could afford it I'd swing for the fences and go with the 3 which also adds the slow roller, I also believe it adds more depth but not sure.

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On 4/4/2021 at 8:13 AM, TKOBBQ said:

If I were deciding between the 1 and 2 I'd definitely get the 2, air lift hinge and upgraded gasket.  If I could afford it I'd swing for the fences and go with the 3 which also adds the slow roller, I also believe it adds more depth but not sure.


it does add more depth. 3 levels of cooking. And if you wanted you could smoke 8 pork butts/picnics or 4 briskets if you use the heat deflectors and another set of standard grates. 

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