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KJ Classic 3 vs BJ3

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

the kamado joe makes great pizza.  It jsut doesn't make great neapolitan style pizza.


Is there anything other pizza than a coal fired Neapolitan pizza? John is correct.  I was slightly exaggerating. 

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11 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

If I cooking for larger groups wasn't a consideration, I'd be perfectly fine with the Classic without question. That said, there is zero issue with cooking small quantities on the BJ. Using the firebasket divider, you can easily restrict the amount of lump that you use, if you so choose. Using too much lump used to be a concern very early on. But that divider hasn't seen action in years.

if using just half the basket - how long does it take to get up to temp, say 300?

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"get up to temp" can really mean two things with kamados.


1) You can dump a large chimney full of lit charcoal (which is about a 10 minute burn) into the kamado, open the vents and close the lid, and the thermometer will very quickly read 400 degrees (heat rising from red hot coals below).  This is somewhat misleading though...not to say you could not immediately start using it to sear steaks etc.  I do this ALL the time.  You do not always need to heat soak a kamado.  It would not be ready to roast a bird or a bake a pizza or something quite yet though...  But shortly after dumping red hot coals, it is perfectly fine for searing on a grate above coals, or even tossing on the rotisserie where the rising heat is enough to get your going.


2) You repeat (or continue on) the above, and then let the entire kamado heat soak so the radiant cooking process is ready to go....takes longer as all the ceramic has to heat soak.  Thermometer will STILL read 400, but the kamado is much more heat stable, and is ready to cook something like a pizza, turkey etc.  Full radiant cooking mode.


Edit....something to keep in mind is no "law" that says you always need to have your charcoal down in the lower charcoal area either - decide what works best for what you are cooking.  With my Weber Summit Kamado, there are two charcoal grate levels - the lower grate for "kamado" mode, and the upper charcoal grate for "searing" or kettle mode - I use probably 75% of the time for grilling.  I just don't always need a fully heat-sinked, convection/radiant cooking environment for much of what we cook/eat.


Similarly, on my previously owned BGE/KEG kamados, I would very often raise the charcoal basket (particularly after the Kick Ash Basket product came out!) up onto the "X" rack so the charcoal was sitting right up high below the cooking grate.  I would use the kamado more like a kettle/PK type grill instead of "kamado" mode....sacrilegious to say here, but guess what...a kamado is NOT always the best grill for every cook.  Kamados do many things very well, but they are NOT the *best* grill for many things either.


That said...I would never go back to an 18" grill again personally.   I have only one grill, and this 24" one does it all.  Maybe if I had a gasser on the side or a pellet grill etc, I would have been happier with an 18", but with only 1, it was regularly making me dream of a bigger one.  Since the upgrade, I have NEVER wished I had a smaller grill.



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On 10/14/2021 at 9:16 AM, Mindreader101 said:

if using just half the basket - how long does it take to get up to temp, say 300?


that depends on you really. how many places you light it; what you use to light it; whether you want to jump start it with some form or blower (early on I'd been known to use a leaf blower in a pinch) or a chimney; whether the lump is fresh or has been sitting in the kamado for days, etc.


I can typically get to 300° in less than 30 minutes. Just lighting in three or four places.

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