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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 05-25-2010, 04:50 PM   #1
bggarric
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Default Kamado Joe Grill

Hey everyone,
I realize there are other threads on this topic, but most are at least 6 months old and I was wondering if anyone has bought or used a KJ since then? I saw that other users have considered them or family members bought them. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has any new information as to the performance of these grills. I have done heavy research into pretty much all the ceramic grills and I like the BGE and the KJ, but I have the opportunity to get a KJ at a very good price and just wanted to make sure there were no red flags or downfalls that anyone had experienced before I pull the trigger.

My only big hangup is the warranty (same warranty, it's just that long term not sure how long KJ will be in the game... hopefully for a while since competition drives down price for everyone!)

Thanks guys.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 05:11 PM   #2
gnwes
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well if you can get the kj at a price considerably less than the bge...perhaps then i would consider it. but my experience is that kj's and others are more or close in price to the bge which usually leads myself back to the bge .
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Unread 05-25-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
bggarric
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At my local dealer the L BGE (naked w/ no nest etc.) is $820. For the KJ it is about $30 more but this comes with a nest and side tables. I went and put hands on them both and they look and feel identical. The only difference that I've read is that the KJ has thicker ceramic and uses stainless steel screws and bolts.

However, I would be getting the KJ for about $200 less than that, so it would be considerably less.

I was just wondering if anyone has any experience cooking on both and could speak to the merit of the equipment in action.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 06:29 PM   #4
Bacchus
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No matter what you decide, you will love cooking with a ceramic grill/smoker. That being said, I am partial to BGE. If you visit one of the many "Eggfests" around the country, you can get a demo model with full warranty for less than $700, with nest.
Good luck!
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Unread 05-25-2010, 07:29 PM   #5
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used a kj at a comp this weekend, it worked as well as a bge. have heard that the firebox cracks more quickly than bge firebox.
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Unread 05-29-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
bggarric
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Badger,
Thanks for the info. That's good to hear. From what I understand a cracked firebox is to be expected with pretty much any ceramic grill?

Does this affect the function of the grill?

I believe I'm going to go with the KJ, since any egg I was going to buy would have probably been off of CL anyway (which means that I would not have had any warranty on it)
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Unread 05-29-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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Have you talked to any other BGE dealers? Go to biggreenegg.com and enter your zip to find all the dealers near you. You might find a package deal that's a little cheaper.

Regarding the cracked fireboxes, they've become pretty rare at BGE. Can't comment on any of the others but they sure do seem to compare themselves to BGE pretty often.
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Unread 05-29-2010, 09:09 PM   #8
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I would agree with Ray on his advice to call around on the BGE before jumping at the KJ..

If you don't ask you'll never know what might have been possible.
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Unread 05-29-2010, 09:40 PM   #9
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Yeah. I've checked with everyone within a fairly reasonable distance from me. I could expand my search though. I'm in med school so my budget is pretty limited though, so I would doubt any new eggs would even come close (although I did see a place in Baltimore selling new L eggs for close to 600. I thought that was an exceptional price, but it's also an 8 hour drive)
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Unread 05-29-2010, 11:50 PM   #10
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I looked at a KJ but ended up going with a BGE...

The firebox problem is apparently solved since they redesigned, or at least the guy at the BBQ store told me that they haven't had any crack since then. Take that as you will...

KJ's may be fine, but I chose BGE for the warranty and their reliability.

and I got mine VERY close to the price of a KJ...
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Unread 05-30-2010, 12:15 AM   #11
bggarric
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Grease...as far as the quality of the units, were you truly able to tell a big difference between the BGE and the KJ?

I went to the store and looked at them both and I really couldn't tell the difference... that may be because I've never owned a ceramic cooker before and just don't know... but they seemed very close to me.

All other things equal, this will come down to price for me... so I want to make sure all other things really are equal ( I realize that there are many eggers out there who will tell me all about the adv. of the egg and that's fine, I just want an honest assessment by anyone who has had some experience with both)
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Unread 05-30-2010, 07:15 AM   #12
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There isn't anyone that's owned a KJ for many years like the Eggers so the comparison will have to wait.

The differences may be in the quality and lifespan of the ceramic itself. And of course the warranty and the ability to use it 5-10 years from now. BGE has been around for 35 years and they've learned a lot.
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Unread 05-30-2010, 09:09 AM   #13
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I have an Egg at home and recently used my buddies KJ in Houston. There are differences but nothing major and I would be happy with either. He could have two KJs at his price for what we paid for the BGE in Canada. I haven't heard of any nasty warranty issues for either but my wife bought the Egg because of their track record.
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Unread 05-31-2010, 04:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bggarric View Post
Grease...as far as the quality of the units, were you truly able to tell a big difference between the BGE and the KJ?

I went to the store and looked at them both and I really couldn't tell the difference... that may be because I've never owned a ceramic cooker before and just don't know... but they seemed very close to me.

All other things equal, this will come down to price for me... so I want to make sure all other things really are equal ( I realize that there are many eggers out there who will tell me all about the adv. of the egg and that's fine, I just want an honest assessment by anyone who has had some experience with both)

I think Dr. Ray hit the nail on the head...

from what I have heard (note that is a pretty big disclaimer, but I trust the info) The ceramic in a BGE is not just regular ceramic but it is "better". I'm sure others here could do a better job explaining it, but talking to people that sold BGE's and KJ's (and some that sold both) I got the impression that the ceramic in the BGE's was just better.

The KJ is a fine looking unit and might be close to the quality of the Egg. While I did look very closely at a KJ and was tempted I have not cooked on one.

I just know that BGE warranties their cookers like a champ and I know that if I have trouble it will be taken care of... Not that KJ wouldn't, but they really haven't established a track record yet.

The guy I bought my Egg from had just returned from a convention of Egg dealers and he REALLY went into details about all kinds of things with me.

I think you'll be happy with either one probably. I just decided to drop the extra $100 (and that is literally all it was) to get the piece of mind...
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Unread 06-11-2010, 04:54 PM   #15
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I am fairly new to the Charcoal grill world and now that I am invovled on the buisiness end for the past 10 months or so here is what I see. BGE is THE name brand. 30+ years of a head start with a cult like following. Great branding, cooks really well. Hardware and other componants average the only significant player in this catagory at this time. Kamado Joe The new guy on the block. Nice upgrades to hardware and componants, cooks very similar to the BGE. Slightly slower stat up than BGE but better low temp control with a great new indirect heating plate. Better color choices, nicer retail packaging of accessories and product. Avgs 10 to 15% less than BGE in my market. Having been involved in this arena for almost a year now it would appear that KJ will become the second biggest player in the ceramic cooker arena very very soon. The few problems that have come up have been taking care of very quickly and the product is continually being improved. Ceramic comparison of the two. BGE slightly more dense, prettier interior finnish when new on the showroom floor. KJ thicker ceramics all the way around. KJ ceramics were chosen because they do not expand and contract nearly as much when subjected to large temperature swings. Should be better in the long term of hundred or thousands of uses. Only time will tell though.
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