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Which ceramic grill should i buy


maher
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eG seems to be BGE territory, but id still like some advice. i was totally sold on the Kamado ceramic grill, but i have just taken a look at the primo, and the recent thread on the BGE has made me think again..

since its the time of year when these things are on sale, its my time to buy... never could resist a deal... i would appreciate feedback from any of you who has these grills, or if you've considered them on the way to the BGE. Please help.

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I have a Kamado and love it! They all cook pretty much the same from what I have seen and read. The differences are in size and appearance. The Kamado is obviously the nicest looking if you buy the one with the ceramic tiles on the exterior (which is what I have). The Primo oval is the largest in cooking area, while the BGE is the most basic. For a while there were some problems with delivery of Kamados because they were being made overseas but the manufacturing has now relocated to California so this problem has been basically eliminated.

I think all three are well made units and they all will do a good job for you. Obviously the Kamado is the original design which the others were based off of.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Although I ended up with an Egg, the one thing I really liked about the Primo, is the ablility to easily divide the charcoal area so you can have direct and indirect cooking going on at the same time. all three are good, just depends on what you're going to use it for the most. The egg really does require the platesetter to take the best advantage of it.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I remember reading online that people were having trouble getting their Kamado's delivered, but I also remember reading about people not getting their grills AND losing their money. I don't know if it's true, but it'd be something to look into. There's a whole forum devoted to it.

http://www.kamadofraudforum.org/

It swayed me away from the Kamado when I bought my XL BGE.

I learned about the BBQ Guru here on eGullet.

If you want to cook low and slow with any of those models take a look at that. It works like a dream and fits most models.

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I love the look of the ceramic tiles on the fancy Kamodos and I like the idea of the primo being able to be half direct and half indirect as Marlene mentioned (although with a spider and a half shelf you could probably do the same in one of the round cookers. Went with the BGE mostly because it was easy to get my hands on (and I got a deal by buying a demo at the Nieggarafest).

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It swayed me away from the Kamado when I bought my XL BGE.

Just to be clear, there are two companies making ceramic cookers that use 'Kamado' in their name:

1) The highly respected Komodo Kamado

2) And, the much maligned (most say deservedly so) Kamado Company

I have not dealt with either company, but everything I've read about Komodo Kamado has been glowing, while Kamado Co. gets slammed regularly...

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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thanks for that reminder about the two kamado companies. it explains a lot. the first time i did the research i got the Komodo Kamado company and was impressed with the obvious quality of the products.

i have since come across the complaints, and the second site, where the products had dropped in price but didnt seem to be nearly as nice. it should have been obvious to me that there are two companies but the products look so similar that i didnt think about it.

... adds another spanner to the mix though at more than twice the price of the large primo i think i may have to choose that one instead!

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I have an X/L Primo. I chose the Primo over the BGE for 2 reasons.

One the shape of the cooking surface. Oval is much better for large items such as baby lamb, baby pig and turkey.

the second is the fire box divider - ability to set up for just half of the grill and either cook indirect or just to grill for 2 people and not have to fill the entire firebox.

Edited by scamhi (log)
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It swayed me away from the Kamado when I bought my XL BGE.

Just to be clear, there are two companies making ceramic cookers that use 'Kamado' in their name:

1) The highly respected Komodo Kamado

2) And, the much maligned (most say deservedly so) Kamado Company

I have not dealt with either company, but everything I've read about Komodo Kamado has been glowing, while Kamado Co. gets slammed regularly...

Ah, that explains alot. I didn't know they were separate companies. Well, I wish I'd talked to you sooner. I do like my BGE, but the Komodo is soooo beautiful. I am a sucker for a pretty grill. :wub:

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My friend got his Kamado from the company in San Diego and was able to pick it up at the warehouse so avoiding freight charges.

His experience was excellent and several professional chefs have them in restaurants in that part of SoCal, which is where he first saw one.

I think it may be a different company from the one referenced. And they are available by phone and do beautiful custom work.

My friend's is a combination of Emerald and Cobalt blue.

Kamado in San Diego

He has the # 9 with 25" diameter grill and has a lot of the accessories - uses the meat hangers a lot.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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My friend got his Kamado from the company in San Diego and was able to pick it up at the warehouse so avoiding freight charges. [...]  I think it may be a different company from the one referenced.

Andie, the Kamado your friend bought is made by the very same company referenced at the Kamado Fraud Forum.

Again, I've never dealt with the company, but based on the many posts there and elsewhere I'd probably pass on a Kamado Co. cooker (unless I found one sitting by the side of the road ;-).

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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I went with the BGE for a couple of reasons. For one, I don't like the look of the little tiles on the Kamado, too much grout to keep clean, whereas the BGE you just wipe off. Also saw photos of quite some (probably on that fraud site) where the tiles started to fall off, no thanks to that, not even to the remote possibility of that happening.

BGE has life time warranty if you buy it from a licensed retailer (though NOT if you order it online!) From all I read, they are very good with their warranty, anything breaks they send you a new one or you pick it up at the store.

Which brings me to the next reason, I could pick the egg up at the store (barbeques galore in my case, now even Ace has it here) and did not have to pay for shipping.

Also, there is quite a fanatical following of the egg online, several forums and sites etc. I could not find any of that kind for the other ones.

I have the large egg, plenty big for my family as well as feeding a party with large pieces of slow cooked meat.

I still have my good old Weber and use that for grilling things like sausages or where I want/need a two zone fire, though that's pretty rare nowadays.

I do agree that you need the plate setter with the egg, at least I use it all the time. Also have the cast iron grill for steak.

I actually think they all look a bit goofy, but after reading a lot online all things pointed to the egg for me. Not saying the others are bad, I did consider the oval one for a while. But the convenience of picking it up at a store where I can also get the coals, accessories, and deal with warranty issues should they ever arise made my decision. Oh, and my house is painted about the same color green :-)

All in all, the BGE is the best cooking item I've ever bought. From low and slow to super high and fast, it does everything I ever wanted and then some.

Hint, check in your area if there is ever an egg fest somewhere. They had one here where all the contestant cooks cooked on brand new eggs that then were sold at quite some discount with full warranty and all. Great deal for a once used egg!

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I ended up with the Egg after looking at Primos, the Bayou Classic Cypress, and a few others. Oliver's right: dealer support is a good thing, since the Eggs have an excellent warranty (should you need service). One thing about Eggs--the numerous accessories will add to the (eventual) cost, but will also increase your cooking flexibility. I use a half-moon raised grid all the time to increase the cooking area as well as provide a direct cooking zone and a raised/less-direct cooking zone at the same time.

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I'd certainly shy away from buying a used one from just someone, but at the eggfest they are fanatics and use it correctly, with no ligher fluid. I use the Weber starter cubes, BGE also sells some made of wood and wax or something like that. Never use lighter fluid, period. Not even on my Weber.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Let me jump in here and throw another cooker into the mix. I too am in the market and was really looking at the Grill Dome. I have both a BGE and a Primo dealer in my area, so I can go local on either which is nice.

For a couple of years now, I have seen, and poo poo'd, the Bubba Keg in Home Depot. It was not as heavy and felt cheaper, it was named "Bubba Keg", there is no way it was a good cooker. Then I started reading around. People love this thing. There are several BGE vs Keg comparisons out there. This is a good one. The guys who make this have revamped the product, improving the control of airflow and redesigned it and now call it the Big Steel Keg.

Obviously they are going directly after the BGE market. They are the same size and you can actually use the BGE accessories in it.

Here is the rub (no pun intended) I can get one for $599.

Edited by syoung68 (log)
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Interesting stuff....

I have an original Kamado from Japan,, gotta be 35+years old ...still intact and works very well....Just used it the other day for some 8 hour short ribs...will do 450-500deg easily

(cost $20, at the thrift store)...

Bud

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My friend got his Kamado from the company in San Diego and was able to pick it up at the warehouse so avoiding freight charges. [...]  I think it may be a different company from the one referenced.

Andie, the Kamado your friend bought is made by the very same company referenced at the Kamado Fraud Forum.

Again, I've never dealt with the company, but based on the many posts there and elsewhere I'd probably pass on a Kamado Co. cooker (unless I found one sitting by the side of the road ;-).

Part of the problems they were having was due to the fact they were being produced in Indonesia. They moved all of their manufacturing back to California about a year ago and since then things have been much smoother. The one I have was purchased before their move and at that time their service was great. The grill they make is wonderful.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Interesting stuff....

I have an original Kamado from Japan,, gotta be 35+years old ...still intact and works very well....Just used it the other day for some 8 hour short ribs...will do 450-500deg easily

(cost $20, at the thrift store)...

Bud

Bud, any pictures available? I'd love to see this unit.

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unfortunatly, no, My computer crashed several months ago and I lost all of my photo programs, and have not gotten them back on ,so I don't use the digital cameras,..It is just like a BGE,(same grill size as the "large"), except for the inside arrangement,where I have a cast iron pot top suspended over the area where the coals are so I can difuse the heat for indirect cooking/smoking..I have other units I use for grill work,including a gas unit on my inside kitchen island...

Bud

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I have owned both a komodokamado and a Kamado. Kamado is not the "original". Kamado cookers have been around since WW2 (do a wiki search).

My first experience was with Kamado. Initially all was OK but as the unit started to age its faults were revealed. Its essentially a portland based cement product covered with mosaic tiles. As the unit ages the cement shrinks and the tiles begin to fall off. Its not engineered very well either. The lid doesn't stay up on its own (you need to screw down a prop tube) the bands that secure the lid are visible and the customer service borders on ridiculous, and not in a good way. I could go on.....and on.

I then bought a komodokamado and its like comparing a Bentley to a Chrysler. The crafstmanship and engineering is beyond reproach and the customer service is fantastic. The unit is made with a true refractory material, has a larger cooking area and has a spring loaded lid that holds itself up on its own. And I'm just scratching the surface [the differences].

The reality is they both cook the same (if you can get the Kamado to seal tight). The komodokamado is four times the cost of the less revered Kamado. As with anything though you get what you pay for. For me it was well worth the money

Here is a picture of mine. In fact, Al Roker ate food off my cooker since it was featured on the Today show :biggrin:

modo.jpg

Edited by CRUZMISL (log)
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I have a Primo XL. I picked it primarily for the oval shape. On another thread, someone complained about lack of 'safe' spots on the BGE; i.e. not being able to move your food off a hot area. The oval handles this nicely, as it does whole racks of ribs and other long items. You can also choose to only light half the grill, if you don't need the whole surface for some reason. And the addition of some raised racks lets you put a lot of food on there (turning items can be a challenge under that configuration, however).

I've had it for about 3 years now, and love it. From low-and-slow BBQ to high-heat Neopolitan-style pizza and everything in between, it does a great job.

Someone mentioned all the BGE forums out there for support. There's a Primo forum out there too, but last I recall, you have to register before you can read/post on it. Some very nice and helpful people there.

I've never needed to use Primo customer support, but those who have say the experience has been very, very good.

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Well, I was rummaging around in the bookcase today, and found

The "Kamado Smoker BBQ cookbook", that was with my unit,when I got it.from the thrift store back in the 80's

Date is 1976,and they were made by Kinura Yaki in Japan...So I was close at 35 years old...seems I read somewhere,Airline pilots used to bring em back when they flew to Japan...Still intact and works well...

Bud

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