If you want out-of-this-world cooking, then you’re going to need to invest in the unusual. Forget about the traditional charcoal grills because there’s something better – the oval-shaped Kamado grill. Yes, these grills look more like an ancient Chinese urn that houses the ashes of their ancestors. But the design of the Kamado grill is, in fact, what makes it so great at cooking your favorite barbecue food and more. It can be used as a grill, a smoker, and an oven.
Now, in the world of Kamado grills, two brands easily stand out – Kamado Joe and Primo. Kamado Joe was born out of the frustration of two serious grillers who couldn’t find a grill that met their expectations. And so, Kamado Joe was born. The brand has since then been known as one that delivers high quality ceramic cookers. All Kamado Joe grills feature its unique “Divide and Conquer” cooking system, enabling you to perform two zone cooking. They also come with the patented slide-out ash drawer that makes cleanup a breeze. That’s not all. Kamado Joe grills also feature the air lift hinge that makes lifting and closing the lid incredibly easy. Plus, they all have an exceptional seal which makes it easy to maintain your desired temperature.
Primo Ceramic Grills may seem similar to the Kamado Joe but there are major differences that you’ll need to take note of. All Primo grills feature an oval design which enables you to create two different cooking zones. They all come with a lifetime warranty and are exclusively made in the USA. The grills come in a variety of configurations and sizes. You can even choose among three different fuel types – charcoal, propane, and natural gas. Obviously, these two brands offer something special and unique to the outdoor chef. It’s up to you to decide which features suit your needs best.
Comparison 1: Kamado Joe Classic vs Primo Grill 773 All-in-One Kamado
- Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures.
- Control Tower Top Vent lets you control air flow for precise temperature control. Perfect for smoking from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.
- With a slide-out drawer, cleanup is easy. Unlike other Kamado style grills, you no longer must remove the inside components from the grill to clean out the ashes. Simply remove the Patented Ash Drawer, dump your ashes and keep on grilling!
- Stainless Steel Cooking Grates
- Built-in Thermometer
Comparison 1: The Kamado Joe Classic is an 18-inch ceramic grill that not only looks good, it cooks good too. It features a thick-walled, heat-resistant shell, adjustable air vents, a slide-out ash drawer, folding HDPE side shelves, a firebox separator, and a cast iron cart with locking wheels. The Primo Kamado 773 All-in-One grill looks incredibly similar. This 18.5-inch grill has the traditional round Kamado-style design. It also comes with a ceramic stand, side shelves, a grid lifter, an ash tool, and caster wheels. At surface value, both grills are great choices. However, the Kamado Joe Classic wins this battle because of its Divide and Conquer system. Unlike other Primo grills, the All-In-One model does not have a firebox divider to allow you to create two different cooking zones. In addition, the Kamado Joe Classic comes with a lifetime warranty on ceramic parts while Primo only offers twenty years.
Comparison 2: Kamado Joe Classic II vs Primo 774 Ceramic Charcoal Smoker Grill, Oval Junior
- Premium 18″ Ceramic Grill with Cast Iron Cart & Locking Wheels – The Kamado Joe Classic II gives the perfect cooking size of 18 inches along with its Premium cart that comes with the purchase of your grill, including locking casters and wheels.
- 2-Tier Divide & Conquer - Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time
- Kontrol Tower Top Vent - Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated cast aluminum, the patent pending dual-adjustment top vent is rain resistant and allows you to smoke from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.
- Air Lift Hinge – The air lift hinge significantly reduces dome weight. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there is.
- AMP (Advanced Multi-Panel) FireBox – The patent pending six-piece design eliminates breakage and increases grill efficiency.
- Unique oval design for more flexible and versatile grilling and smoking
- 210 square inches of standard cooking surface; up to 360 square inches with rack extensions
- Exterior features a premium-grade ceramic blend coated with a protective, lead-free, scratch-resistant porcelain glaze
- Highest quality ceramic for increased efficiency and durability
- Measures 24 by 22 by 16 inches; 20-year warranty for all ceramic parts; made in USA
Comparison 2: The Kamado Joe Classic II features several improvements from the Classic I model. It comes with a new vent, air lift hinge, and firebox. The Kontrol Tower Top Vent is made of powder-coated cast aluminum, is rain and mold-resistant, and provides you with a wider temperature range (from 225F to 750F). The patented Air Lift Hinge is made better to make lifting the lid with a single finger possible. The AMP (Advanced Multi-Panel) Firebox is made of six different pieces, ensuring that the material “bends but does not break” during high temperature cooking. The Wire Mesh Fiberglass Gasket is another improvement that provides the grill with a superior air-tight seal and will last 10x longer than other gaskets. In our opinion, these upgrades alone make the Kamado Joe Classic II a clear winner when pitted against the Primo Oval Junior. But that doesn’t mean that it’s anything to look down on. Yes, it has a smaller cooking surface with just 210 square inches (compared to around 240 square inches from the Kamado Joe Classic II). It doesn’t come with a cart and wheels, side shelves, and all those lovely upgrades. But it does feature a grill made of premium-grade ceramic blend with a scratch-resistant glaze. It also comes with reversible cooking grates for more versatile cooking. Plus, it’s also capable of 2-zone cooking. So, if you’re not sure about spending over $1000 for a kamado grill, the Primo Oval Junior is a good option.
Comparison 3: Kamado Joe Classic III vs Primo Oval XL
- Premium 18″ ceramic grill with heavy-duty galvanized steel rolling cart with locking wheels.
- Patent pending SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber - The first of its kind, the revolutionary SlōRoller leverages Harvard science that transforms a Kamado Joe into one of the world’s most optimal smokers. By distributing smoke and heat in rolling, recirculating waves, the SlōRoller surrounds food in clouds of delicious smoke while evenly distributing heat—resulting in enhanced flavor and significantly reduced hot spots.
- 3-Tier Divide & Conquer - Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time.
- Kontrol Tower Top Vent - Maintains consistent air setting for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing. Constructed of powder coated cast aluminum, the patent pending dual-adjustment top vent is rain and mold-resistant and allows you to smoke from 225F all the way to searing at 750F.
- Patented Air Lift Hinge – Reduce dome weight by 96% with the Patented Air Lift Hinge. The grill dome can be lifted with a single finger giving the most comfortable grilling experience there is. W/ 3 Tier Divide & Conquer- 510 square inches
Comparison 3: Of course, Kamado Joe is not interested in stopping on providing continued improvements to their customers. The Kamado Classic Joe III is proof of that. In their newest version, you’ll get an updated Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System. It now features a 3-tiered split rack which increases the versatility of the grill. You also get the new SloRoller Hyperbolic insert which is shaped like a parabola, causing 20x more smoke circulation which, in turn, blasts your meats with delicious smokey flavor, perfect for low and slow cooking. The cart is now made of premium material – heavy duty galvanized steel. The side shelves are aluminum and you now have bottom storage. You also get a charcoal basket with divider included with your purchase. All great things. However, if you want more bang for your buck, you’re better off with the Primo Oval XL. It has a bigger cooking space (400 square inches vs 240 square inches). You can get the optional racking system to increase that up to 680 square inches. Like its little brother, the Oval XL also comes with reversible grates. Coupled with the oval design, you get a lot of versatility with this grill. It’s efficient in charcoal consumption. Plus, it features a spring-loaded lid to allow easy lifting. The grill cart features stainless steel side shelves and a bottom basket for extra storage. Overall, we’d take the extra cooking space and storage space of the Oval XL as well as its versatility if we’re shelling out this much money.