The first thing we will see when comparing the Kamado Joe Big Joe II versus Big Green Egg XL grills is the size of the cooking area on each model. This is important because you need to know that you have room to feed everyone in your home on a typical day. If you want to feed large groups of friends or family, your grill should also accommodate the extra food.
Both Big Joe and BGE XL have 24 inch diameter or 452 square inch cooktops. This means that they can both cook the same amount of food. This includes 24 burgers, 12 steaks, 12 ribs, or even 2 whole 20 pound turkeys. Of course, the rack settings change the cooking area. The Kamado Joe includes the Divide and Conquer cooking rack system, which allows you to set each of the grill halves to different heights when needed. This allows you to use both direct and indirect heat, which is especially useful when trying to cook meat and side dishes at the same time.
The Big Green Egg has standard grilling racks that only have one height position, so you cannot alter them in any way. This somewhat limits your cooking ability.
The construction of these two grills is quite similar. Both Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg use high-fire ceramic with an enamel for the grill body. Both use stainless steel for their cooking grates, making them durable and sturdy, rust resistant, and last for years.
Both models also use cast iron for fire grates. These are perforated so that the charcoal can get the air flow it needs for everything to burn properly. You can also remove these grids on both models when needed for cleaning.
However, there are some important differences in the construction of these grills that distinguish these two models. The first is the seal, which is made from improved fiberglass on the Big Joe II. This allows proper alignment, maintaining heat on the grill to which it belongs. The BGE XL uses felt, changing the alignment to a quarter inch, which is not as tight as a stamp.
A good thermometer is a must on any grill. This will ensure that you always know how hot the grill is, so you can maintain that temperature and get the perfect results. The Kamado Joe Big Joe II has a large thermometer built into the lid. Its size makes it easy to read, so you don't need to squint or lean too close to the grill to see how hot that charcoal is burning.
The XLarge Big Green Egg model has its thermometer located in approximately the same location as the Big Joe II, but it is much smaller, about half the size. This makes it much more difficult to read the temperature on the BGE thermometer. However, it still keeps track of the proper temperature, so it's still useful. It just isn't that convenient and easy to use during the roasting process.
Lid and hinge
The thick ceramic lids on the kamado grills can be quite heavy. If they fall off when closed, they could crack, affecting your ability to block heat and smoke from the grill. That is why a good lid and hinge system is essential in this type of unit.
The Kamado Joe model has updated its products, adding an easy closing cap to the design. This cap includes an innovative air lift hinge, which reduces the weight of the cap by 96%, so you can lift it with just one finger if you want to show off. This hinge also prevents the lid from snapping shut when you release it. Instead, it stays exactly where it is when you release it, even if it's half open.
The Big Green Egg does not have that mechanism in its hinge. If you open it fully and then release it, it will drop immediately, snap shut, and possibly break the pottery or crush any fingers that may be in the way. This also limits what you can do when you open the grill, as you need one hand to keep it open, leaving you with only one hand to deal with what you're cooking.
Ventilation is one of the most important features of any grill and these two models are no exception. The air vent setting controls the air flow in the grill. Too much and the coals get too hot, while too little reduces heat or turns it off entirely.
The Big Joe II uses aluminum for air ventilation, which resists rust, even on the rainiest days. This air vent includes small air flow regulators on the sides, plus it can be opened at the top for greater amounts of air flow when needed. This offers you many air flow options.
The XLarge BGE's vent is made of cast iron, which is quite strong, though not resistant to rust. Of course, corrosion only happens on the surface of the air vent, which is easy to clean when needed, although it's still a nuisance. Air ventilation allows you to regulate the amount of air flow to meet your cooking needs. The downside is that every time you open the Egg lid, the top air vent changes, so you need to reset it again when the lid is closed.
Weight and dimensions
The size and weight of your kamado grill are something to keep in mind, especially if you have limited space to put it. The larger the model, the more difficult it will be to place where you want it.
The Kamado Joe Big Joe II has dimensions of 36 x 28.2 x 36.2 inches. This is quite large, so it may not fit well on an apartment balcony, although it is probably not a problem for those with large patios or backyards. It's also pretty heavy at 372 pounds, so you'll probably need help getting it where you want, and you probably won't want to move it again once it's in place.
The XLarge Big Green Egg is slightly smaller in dimensions at 32 x 27 x 33 inches. This won't make it easier to fit in those small spaces than it would for the Big Joe II, but it takes up a little less space. The egg is also much lighter than the Kamado Joe at 219 pounds. This is still pretty heavy, so you won't want to take it to a friend's place for a barbecue or on a weekend camping trip, although it may be a bit easier to move around if necessary.
Available brackets, shelves and other accessories
Both grill models have similar accessories, although they are not identical. For stands, the Kamado Joe & # 39; s is slightly stronger, with thick welded steel used for its construction. The steel of the egg is thinner, with screws that hold the pieces together. Although it is still functional, it is not as strong.
The Big Joe II's side shelves are made of plastic, which is weather resistant and quite durable, although they are not the most visually and textually appealing. This is where the XLarge Big Green Egg wins, due to the wooden shelves that look and feel great. These shelves also include a non-slip coating, so you don't have to worry about anything that you put on moving around.
The Wheels of the Egg are also larger, although they include plastic locks, which are not very strong. The Kamado Joe has smaller wheels that are still functional, plus they come with strong metal locks.
Both brands include an ash tool and a wire clamp with their racks, so they are the same in the extras department.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning and maintenance is Another important thing to keep in mind when comparing Kamado Joe grills with Big Green Egg models. Big Joe II makes cleaning your unit easy enough. They have an ash drawer located behind the bottom air outlet, which you can remove and discharge whenever you want, even in the middle of cooking. This makes cleaning simple and easy.
The egg does not have a removable ash drawer. Instead, you must remove the ash by hand, or rather with an ash rake. You should also place an ash container under the hole to collect the ashes you are removing from the unit. This manual ash cleaning can be a little dirty, although the process is quite easy.
When it comes to Kamado Joe vs. Big Green Egg pricing, there is one important thing to consider, which is exactly what is included. With Unit If you look at the Big Joe II, which includes the ceramic grill, wheeled cart, side shelves, grill clamp, and ash tool, the cost on their website is $ 1899.00.
The Big Green Egg XL with the original kit which also includes the ceramic grill, holder, grill clamp and ash tool, is much more expensive at $ 2599.00 on the BGE website. This is a difference of $ 700 for similar grills. The BGE does include an additional convEGGtor for added versatility in your kitchen, but this piece isn't worth the extra money alone.
Even if you go with the XL BGE with the simple built-in kit, which has a nesting table instead of the stand and shelves, it still costs more than $ 2000, so simplifying your Egg doesn't save you money, especially if you want to all those extras later. You will have to buy them separately, which could end up costing you more in the long run.
The warranty for the Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg grills is quite similar. Both have a lifetime warranty on ceramic, 5-year coverage on metal parts, and 1-year warranty on thermometer and gaskets.
Kamado Joe also adds a little more coverage to his grills. This is a 3 year warranty on the heat deflector, which adds a little more security to your grill when you are using it. The more areas covered by the warranty, the more peace of mind you will be in using it, and the more often you will feel secure in doing so.