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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-24-2012, 06:54 AM   #1
38special
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Default Please help me choose

Hi, I'm new to the forum and to BBQing in general. I have no experience with low and slow cooking and I've only grilled on the Char Broil Red infrared grill I bought last summer. The food never seems to come out real good and I've had a lot of problems with the electric starter.
I've wanted a BGE for a few years, but recently went to the local dealer and the price for a large BGE with the stand and side tables was $1109. I'm not comfortable spending that kind of money for a grill, so I began looking at a few other things. I've read a lot of really good reviews on the Kamado Joe and it is marked down locally to $699...it comes with a stand, side tables, and an ash tool and it seems to be about the same size as the large BGE. I'm pretty set on ceramic especially if the $699 is as good of a price as it seems. However, my other option is the steel Char Griller Kamado for $299 at Lowes. The Kamado Joe seems like it is built better, but the Char Griller gets pretty solid reviews especially for it's price tag.
If anyone has any additional suggestions, input, or opinions they would be appreciated. Thanks and I hope to learn a lot about BBQing.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
Plaid Palace
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I have a Kamado Joe and love it. That is a great price for the KJ.

Search Man Cave meals and read his review of the KJ classic and KJ Big Joe.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 07:14 AM   #3
Plaid Palace
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Also, I paid $849 for my KJ and it came with a bag of KJ charcoal, starter, and a cover
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Unread 12-24-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
Johnny_Crunch
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If $699 is in your budget I would go with the KJ. It will outlast anything made of metal and you will have it forever.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
Bludawg
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Weber 26" One Touch Gold about 300 bucaroos It will do all you need.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Weber 26" One Touch Gold about 300 bucaroos It will do all you need.
+1 that's where I learned how to do low and slow, but on 22.5". now I'm a Hott and fast guy. Webers are easy to control for multi usage. Or even a 22.5 wsm is a good choice for a starter if you plan on going naturally aspirated.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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Check out ManCaveMeals on youtube. JM is a brethern and he has done numerous reviews of the Chargrill Akorn Steel Kamado and has recently done several reviews on the Kamado Joe and Big Joe.

He hangs around in Chat later in the evenings (about 10pm-midnight eastern time) and he is always more than willing to answer questions. He is a great source of information about both of the kamado's you are considering.
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Unread 12-24-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Are you set on a kamado style cooker? What about a wsm?
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Unread 12-26-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
38special
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Thanks for all the replies. Bonewagon, the main reason I want a kamado is because I want something that can grill and smoke. I don't have much cooking experience so I want something that's easy to learn; I want to start making some good meals right away without a big learning curve.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 04:17 AM   #10
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If you are attempting to get smoking without a learning curve you really need to accept that bbq is an ever evolving learning process with so many variables. There are tons of ways to cook and if you want something with as little learning curve get a weber smokey mountain, that is a true set it and forget it kind of ting for smoking. A bge can jump temptatures and totally change the outcome until you learn how to use it and deal with any nuisances that come along with it. If you want a beg jut so you can have one unit for grilling and smoking that's great but don't buy it just because you want a little learning curve.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 08:03 AM   #11
aawa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slammmed View Post
If you are attempting to get smoking without a learning curve you really need to accept that bbq is an ever evolving learning process with so many variables. There are tons of ways to cook and if you want something with as little learning curve get a weber smokey mountain, that is a true set it and forget it kind of ting for smoking. A bge can jump temptatures and totally change the outcome until you learn how to use it and deal with any nuisances that come along with it. If you want a beg jut so you can have one unit for grilling and smoking that's great but don't buy it just because you want a little learning curve.
The learning curve on a BGE for low and slow cooking is far from steep. My buddy has one and I learned how to control the temperatures relatively quickly. The key is to catch the temps on the way up instead of trying to lower them. The versatility of the kamado cookers is amazing, you can do low and slow, regular grilling, high heat searing, even baking bread/pizzas. The limiting factor is capacity unless you get the Big Joe or the XL BGE.

To the OP. Watch the Youtube reviews done by JMSeltzer @ ManCaveMeals. He puts the Chargrill Akorn through numerous cooks to show its versatility and performance. He has done low and slow pork butt and high heat cooking on the Kamado Joes. As well as walk arounds on both of the cookers.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 11:48 AM   #12
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22.5 WSM Most versital smoker in that price point when considering Size, Amount of meat it can hold, Burn times, quality of product.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 12:04 PM   #13
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For what you want to do, you can't wrong with either a Char-Griller Akorn or the Kamado Joe. If you plan on traveling with this cooker the Akorn may be the better choice since it won't crack like ceramic. However if you can swing the extra dough for a XL ceramic - go for it, you'd be happy with the extra space... trust me.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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I have the Vision Kamado PRO from Homde Depot and I'm extremely satisfied. It's $699 w/ free shipping from HD and comes with the stand/cart, stainless steel grates, an elevated grate, side tables and a really nice heavy duty cover. They have excellent customer service and it's warrantied for life. On a sidenote I will def consider the KJ for $699. Good Luck!
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Unread 12-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
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If you have a $700 budget how about a WSM and Performer. Everything you need.
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