Best Ceramic Grills For The Money

Best Ceramic Grills

Last Update: September, 2019

With the warm summer months just around the corner, it’s time to step up your grilling game. If you are a seasoned griller and are looking for that next-level grill, the Kamado grill is the perfect choice for you. Your weekly family cookouts and sports parties will get a major upgrade when you cook on the Kamado grill.

Variations of the Kamado have been around for decades. It was originally developed in China, and then adapted in Japan. It wasn’t until the 1940s when American soldiers were stationed in Japan that it became popularized in the West.

This is a complete guide that will help you purchase your next Ceramic or Kamado grill. In this article, we've selected five of the most popular Ceramic and Kamado grills on the market, and highlighted the pros and cons of each so that you can choose one that fits your needs and price range.

We'll also explain what makes Ceramic and Kamado grills stand above the rest, and what factors you need to consider during the purchasing process. Also take note of our cleaning tips to ensure your premier grill will last through many grilling seasons.

Ceramic Grill

Summary

Char-Griller Akorn Jr. 

Char-Griller E06614 Akorn Jr.

A small yet versatile cast iron grill that holds high temperatures and is built to last.

Char-Griller Akorn Kamado

Char-Griller E16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal

If you have a crowd to feed, this large and efficient Kamado Grill with a sturdy and solid 22-gauge steel body is perfect for the occasion.

Premiere Specialty Ceramic Grill

KamadoJoe KJ23RHC Classic II

A popular medium-sized ceramic grill that can cook up great steaks and burgers.

Pit Boss Kamado BBQ

Pit Boss 71220 Kamado BBQ

You’ll love this all-in-one ceramic grill with double-tier space capability and easy-to-clean grates

Char-Griller 6520 Akorn

Char-Griller 6520 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill with Cart

This Char-Griller has all the great functions and versatility of a Char-Griller Akorn but with added transportability via a cart

Pros:

  • Cast iron grates
  • Easy to clean
  • Variety of cooking options

Cons:

  • Unstable Stand

More About The Char-Griller Akorn Jr.

The Char Griller Akorn Jr. has the typical upside egg shape characteristic of all Kamado grills. Thanks to this design, the Akorn Jr. evenly distributes heat throughout the interior so that your meat is cooked to perfection. It has 153 square inches of cooking space on its cast iron cooking grates.

The nice thing about cast iron is that it’s great for reaching high heats and maintaining certain temperatures. With its top and bottom air dampers, you can control the heat easily if you decide to sear or slow roast.

The top and bottom dampers can be adjusted to cook anything, from seared steaks to smoked ham. You can monitor the temperature closely with the heat gauge.

Its egg-drop design is also great at fuel efficiency. You will end up using less charcoal while cooking. You can easily clean ash and soot it away with the built-in ash pan.

Unlike ceramic grills on the market, the Akorn Jr. is lighter both with weight and with your wallet. It is extremely durable thanks to its triple wall steel and porcelain insulation. It is also portable enough that you can choose to either leave it in your backyard or take it with you for camping or tailgating.

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Kamado Joe Big Joe II

Kamado Joe Big Joe II

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

Traeger TFB42LZBC

Viemoi Kamado Grill Mini Kamado Charcoal Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Pros:

  • High temperature capacity
  • Fuel efficient
  • Durable and stable

Cons:

  • Iron cooking grates require more maintenance

More About The ​Char-Griller Akorn Kamado

The Char-Griller Akorn is the big brother to the Char Griller Akorn Jr. It has all the main features of the Akorn Jr., including the 22-gauge steel body, porcelain insulation, cast iron cooking grates, top and bottom dampers, and a temperature gauge.

However, the Akorn also comes with a larger cooking space of 314 square inches on the main cooking space and 133 square inches on the warming rack; a total of 447 square inches. Despite the bigger size, the Akorn is just as fuel efficient as the Akorn Jr.

A useful addition to the Akorn is its two foldable side shelves. Now, you can quickly transfer prepared or cooked meat to and from the grill, or temporarily set down your cooking tools. Thankfully has a stable steel tripod base and rubber wheels.

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Kamado Joe Big Joe II

Kamado Joe Big Joe II

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

Traeger TFB42LZBC

Viemoi Kamado Grill Mini Kamado Charcoal Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Pros:

  • Multi-level design
  • Air lift hinge
  • Side tables to provide extra work space

Cons:

  • Heavy and difficult to move

More About The ​Premiere Specialty Ceramic Grill

The Classic II is a medium-sized 18-inch ceramic grill that has 406 square feet of cooking space. With its large temperature range of 225-750 F, you can cook a wide variety of meats, from basic burgers to more elaborate steaks.

Its shell is made of heat-resistant ceramic, and is thick enough so that you won’t burn your fingers if you touch the exterior. Its Kontrol Tower top vent maintains precise air flow to let out just the right amount of smoke necessary, which is critical when smoking meat.

The two side tables add valuable workspace, and the pull-out ash drawer means cleaning is easier than ever. Though the Classic II weighs in at 250 pounds, opening the lid to check on your food is not an ordeal: its Air Lift Hinge reduces the dome weight by 96% and the latch ensures it stays closed.

 The Classic II has a “Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System”, which means, due to its staggered half-grates, you can cook different food at different temperatures at the same time.

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Kamado Joe Big Joe II

Kamado Joe Big Joe II

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

Traeger TFB42LZBC

Viemoi Kamado Grill Mini Kamado Charcoal Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Pros:

  • Easy-to-clean grates
  • Two levels for cooking
  • Accurate temperature control

Cons:

  • Limited to lump charcoal for fuel

More About The ​Pit Boss Kamado BBQ

The Pit Boss 71220 is a 22-inch ceramic grill that stands on four wheels and holds an impressive 567 square inches on its double-tier stainless steel cooking grates. Stainless steel is easy to clean and prevent sticking, but it does not hold heat as well as cast iron.

Thankfully, the Pit Boss 71220 counteracts this with its heavy ceramic body, which traps heat within and disperses it uniformly throughout so your meat is evenly cooked. The cast iron top damper helps users control the heat to cook anything from poultry to pizza.

The grill uses lump charcoal as fuel and comes with an ash removal tool to easily sweep away ash when you are done with cooking. Other accessories include the two stylish bamboo side tables, on which you can place your utensils and meat.

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Kamado Joe Big Joe II

Kamado Joe Big Joe II

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

Traeger TFB42LZBC

Viemoi Kamado Grill Mini Kamado Charcoal Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Pros:

  • Extra space for food preparation and serving
  • All the great features of standard Akorn grills
  • Durable coating

Cons:

  • Grates prone to rust

More About The ​Char-Griller 6520 Akorn

The 6520 is considered the deluxe version of the Akorn Kamado Grill. Not only do you get premium iron grates, rust-resistant ceramic insulation, and adjustable dampers like other Akorn versions, but also the entire shell is set into a convenient steel cart.

You can use this extra space to prepare or serve food as needed. The lower rack set into the four legs below also holds extra space for storage, and the two attached locking wheels let you easily move the grill about. At 106 pounds, this grill is much lighter than other models.

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Kamado Joe Big Joe II

Kamado Joe Big Joe II

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

KamadoJoe KJ23NRHC Charcoal Grill

Traeger TFB42LZBC

Viemoi Kamado Grill Mini Kamado Charcoal Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Primo 778 Extra-Large Oval Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill

Why Buy a Ceramic/Kamado Grill?

Here’s the deal:

Kamado grills are heavy, and one of the most expensive grill types on the market. So why should you buy one?

For starters, the Kamado grill is the reigning champion at handling and maintaining heat. Due to its egg shape, it has a precise temperature control system - air enters from the bottom and exits through the top. Depending on how much air you let in, the charcoal will burn faster or slower.

This proves invaluable to a griller who wants to cook something more than just your regular burger meat, as temperature control is crucial to the outcome of any high-end steak. The Kamado grill opens the door to a wide range of cooking options, from grilling to smoking to baking, all with a unique flavor.

Since it has great insulation, you won't have issues cooking during the winter. The Kamado and ceramic grills are also fuel efficient, due to their efficient heat absorption. Their high-quality material ensures longevity and rust resistance, and its design makes cleaning easier than ever.

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Factors to Consider When Buying a Ceramic/Kamado Grill

When choosing a Kamado grill, you need to ensure you find the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

As this is an expensive investment, you’ll want to make sure that what you need and have will align as best as possible.

Here are several factors to consider when making your decision.learn more

Material

Kamado grills typically come with a steel or ceramic body. A steel body is more affordable and easier to clean due to its non-stick surface, but tends to rust and does not hold heat as well due to its thinner walls.

A ceramic body is twice as expensive as a steel body, but they are rust resistant and can be kept outdoors all year round. The ceramic body is also better insulated due to the material thickness, circulating heat more efficiently and evenly. However, it will take longer to heat up.

If you are looking for portability, a steel body is a better option since a ceramic is more fragile and prone to cracking if you accidentally drop it during the transport process.

A steel body is also a great option for those just getting into Kamado grilling, since they will be less expensive than their ceramic counterparts.

If, after a few years, you still love cooking with a Kamodo and want an upgrade, you can switch to a ceramic Kamado.

Unfortunately, both options are quite heavy, so if you will be assembling or moving it, make sure you have help. Be certain to keep an eye out for a grill with a sturdy base and hinges so that it doesn’t topple over.

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Size

One thing to consider is the amount of people you will be cooking for. Since prices can vary dramatically between smaller and larger Kamado and Ceramic grills, it is important to know which size you will need. If you are limited in backyard space or live in an apartment with a balcony, the Kamado and Ceramic Grills are small enough to pose no issue.

Customizations

Some Kamado and Ceramic manufacturers offer add-ons and accessories depending on customer needs, from extra grates to pizza cooking stones. Therefore, it is important to do some research and find out which accessories are included and which ones you will have to pay additionally for.

In addition, make sure you invest in a quality temperature gauge. Since the Kamado grill is capable of performing at a vast temperature range, you want to make sure the temperature is just right for whatever you will be making.

If you will be storing your grill outside, you want to buy a cover to prolong its life and prevent water from getting in through the top vent and rusting out the ancillary hinges. Make sure the one you get will fit over your grill.

Warranty

It's best to look up reviews of the grill you're intending to buy before purchasing. You want to make sure other customers had a good experience with the manufacturer before purchasing. Various sites will provide customer views you can browse through at your leisure.

Also, you should learn whether or not your grill comes with unlimited or limited warranty in case there is a defect or damage to it. A good warranty will give you peace of mind if something goes wrong.click here

How to Maintain your Ceramic/Kamado Grill

You Kamado grill need to be regularly cleaned to perform optimally. We’ve included some tips on how to clean your grill below.

Regular Maintenance

Ash should be removed after every cooking session. This is so that ash doesn’t clog the air vents and prevent the charcoal from burning efficiently. You can do this easily by stirring the remains (with an ash tool if included) so that they fall into the ash drawer. Remove and replace the ash container when full.

If it's been a while since you used your Kamado, you might find that it has started to collect mold or mildew due to moisture accumulation. To remove it, don't use any chemicals, as the Kamado Grill is self-cleaning and chemicals will leave behind a residual bad taste. Instead, start burning the charcoal and open all the vents before closing the lid.

 Wait until it reaches a high temperature of around 600F and keep it there for about 15 minutes. Afterward, close the bottom vent and wait 15 minutes before closing the top as well. After the grill cools down, start scrubbing away.

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Specific Issues

One thing to keep in mind when dealing with a ceramic cooking stone is not to use water or chemicals on it to clean, as this will crack the material. There are two ways you can clean it. 

  1. Flip it over so that the next time you use the grill the fire will burn away any grime left over on it.
  2. Or, wait until the stone cools completely before going over it with a nylon brush.

Your grill bands should also be checked several times a year, something that people might overlook. Use an Allen wrench and a 10mm wrench to tighten the nut. If the bands aren't centered, you can loosen the band connector to move it into place and re-tighten with the wrenches.

If you’ve been using your Kamado grill for a while, the tension in the hinges may need to be adjusted. This will make it much easier to open and close the lid and keep it motionless. Close the lid before using a 10mm Allen wrench to tighten the two bolts on the back hinge.

To check if the dome stays immobile while in the open position, close the dome and continue tightening. If, after fully tightening the dome and it doesn’t hold itself up, contact your manufacturer for replacement parts.

Seasonal Deep Clean

Your Kamado Grill should be deep cleaned at least once or twice a year to prolong its lifespan. However, this process is easy since the Kamado Grill is mostly self-cleaning. You can start this by heating up the charcoal and placing all accessories, grates, and stones inside.

Heat the grill up until it reaches approximately 700F, and wait half an hour. After the time has passed, open the vents and wait for it to cool down before going over it with a plastic bristle brush.

Take everything out of the grill and remove the remaining charcoal. The ash should be cleaned out with either a vacuum or a damp cloth before you unload the ash container and place everything back into the grill.

Conclusion

 A kamado grill is the perfect accessory to up your grilling game. In this article, we went over the various benefits and drawbacks to five of the most popular Kamado grills on the market. You now know the benefits of having one and know how to implement an extensive cleaning regiment so that your Kamado or ceramic grill can last for years.

With this information, you will be fully prepared to purchase your very own Kamado grill that will perfectly fit your needs, lifestyle and elevate your cooking experience.click here

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