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Kamado Big Joe I or II


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So, I just unboxed my Big Joe II and my brother wants to buy one.  Due to cost he wants to get the Big Joe I and upgrade the parts like the control tower.  Anybody have any other insight as to why he should just get the II or is he doing the right thing?

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The only thing I've upgraded with my BJ1 is adding a Kick Ash Basket to ease both holding andcoming up to temps. Well, there was an additiona upgradel, a custom grate which I've moved to my BJII. Finally, the original firebox, cracked and KJ sent me the 'newer' firebox with the petals. Other than not ever worrying about cracks- which can't be underestimated, I don't know whether I actually like it better. It was so easy to pull the whole thing out for cleanings. Finally, if he's going to cook in the rain, the kontrol tower makes a huge difference. My 2¢

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I have an original Big Joe - I've felt no need to "upgrade" to the control tower.  Been cooking on the MS Gulf Coast, in all weather conditions (except snow/ice - we don't get really get that).  I'm still using the original firebox (though it does have a crack).

 

I bought a KAB - never use it.

 

For what it's worth, go with the original and use it as is.

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On 5/3/2021 at 8:46 PM, Rick_W said:

I have an original Big Joe - I've felt no need to "upgrade" to the control tower.  Been cooking on the MS Gulf Coast, in all weather conditions (except snow/ice - we don't get really get that).  I'm still using the original firebox (though it does have a crack).

 

I bought a KAB - never use it.

 

For what it's worth, go with the original and use it as is.

 

If you have a covered porch or the like it is not an issue and my first BJ does not have the kontrol tower still. However, it is a major pain in the behind to attempt to wedge and balance a golf umbrella under the dome handle to keep the rain from pouring down the vent. It's impossible in the wind.

 

As for the KAB, it not for overnight cooks, I probably would never have added it. I swore I would never buy any accessories initially. But there were too many surprises experienced during overnight brisket cooks. Especially when cooking more than one, which I did quite often pre-CovId. Having used the KAB, I would never think of letting it just sit. I sleep well now after putting the briskets on because that basket's immensely better airflow totally resolved and eliminated temp spikes and dips. My family used to always opt out of Sunday after Church cooks because of the time it took to get the Joe up to temps. It significantly reduced start up times as well however, a chimney also would do that.

 

Anyway, if not planning on overnight's- keep your money in your pocket. If you are, it's a cheaper alternative to the temp controllers. (FYI, I hate cooking tech so, that wasn't going to be an option for me). :-D

 

 

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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When i looked at Kamados i saw a classic and classic 2 , the petal fire ring was not a deal breaker nor was the Kontrol Tower, the airlift hinge was a big plus for me and my 5 foot wife she struggled to lift the regular kamado lids.  Funny story i used to catch her peeking at the ribs or butts I was smoking. Despite me telling her " If your Looking your not cooking " she kept doing it till i showed her the video on a Kamado fireball incident. Hasn't peeked since. I'm getting of topic here either grill will be a good purchase. 

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