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View Full Version : Kamado Joe; Did you regret getting the 18?


hachi-roku_fan
06-06-2017, 12:04 AM
Hello All,

The wife has been pushing me to get a Kamado Joe, so being the great husband that I am, I am now looking at getting one. Kind of tied between getting the larger one or the regular sized one. After talking to the salesman, he asked me a few questions about what grills I had, and told me to go with the 18. He said with the amount of grill space I already have the Big Joe would probably be overkill. Anyone here get the 18 and wish they got the big Joe? Or the other way around? Thanks for the input!

ssv3
06-06-2017, 12:15 AM
Get the Big Joe. When I got my kamado there weren't any big ones available like the BJ. Everytime I fire it up I wish I had a big one and the reason I don't fire it up mich is because it's too small. I hate the edges of ribs or brisket sticking out over the deflector and getting burnt or charred.

cookingdude555
06-06-2017, 01:50 AM
I have the large and XL BGEs. I would say that I value the XL over the large. Its more capable. More lump usage? Maybe. It would be hard to show a measurable change in my wallet due to lump usage. But I do get way more real estate. Some will say that the 18" has more accessories. My accessories for the large egg work just fine in the XL. None of my XL accessories work in the large.

sylntghost
06-06-2017, 02:37 AM
I got the xl and love it. I would rather have to much space than not enough.

JD08
06-06-2017, 05:16 AM
I have a large BGE and the only things that take up all the space are 3 racks of ribs or a whole lot of chicken wings. So if you want to do more than 3 racks or more than 30 or so wings, get the bigger one.

lcbateman3
06-06-2017, 06:04 AM
I have a co-worker who just bought the 18 about six weeks ago. He tells me just about every other day, he wishes he had gone larger.

m-fine
06-06-2017, 08:15 AM
Unless you think the 18" is major overkill it is probably too small. My Pit Boss is more like 21" and it is just barely big enough. I wouldn't downsize to a brand new Joe classic II even if it was free. It isn't just about volume, but also size and shape of cuts, flexibility of direct and indirect zones, spacing things out etc.

Whisky
06-06-2017, 09:04 AM
I recently sized up from a L to XL BGE. Best thing I ever did.

mcdeadstein
06-06-2017, 09:31 AM
I have the 18" KJ and I think it is enough for what I need. Do edges of things hang over ... yeah but i also use a drip pan and once most things cook for a little they shrink up and fit fine.

If i had a family of 4 to cook for then a larger model would probably be better.

LYU370
06-06-2017, 09:43 AM
Depends on how much you are going to be cooking and what other cookers you have for a backup when you do that big party. If you have another cooker or two, maybe the 18 is big enough for you. Me, I don't normally cook for a big crowd, but I got the Big Joe anyhow. Besides, when you see them in person, the Classic just looks too small. :-P

fwdiii
06-06-2017, 09:50 AM
My .02
Whatever size the salesman says or you think you might need, always go up to the next size. You will be glad you did!!

sparctek
06-06-2017, 09:59 AM
I have the KJ Big Joe. I normally cook for just my wife and I, but we cook enough food to eat several meals throughout the week, i.e. 3-4 chicken breasts and 2 large steaks we can portion out to eat on salads. The Big Joe is great for this and we do not regret buying the larger one even when it is just the 2 of us. If you can swing the Big Joe I say go for it, I don't think you will regret the decision.

hachi-roku_fan
06-06-2017, 09:26 PM
Keep the feedback going all! Im still debating since I have so many other cookers. I have 2 22.5 kettles, 22.5/18.5 WSM and a Kettle ranch, so I have plenty of real estate in other grills. I'm curious to try a ceramic since I've never cooked on one.

mrbill
06-06-2017, 09:33 PM
based on experience(albeit not with kamados, but cookers in general),my advice is...go at least one size larger than you think you need if you can afford it. if you can't save up until you can.

LYU370
06-06-2017, 10:44 PM
Keep the feedback going all! Im still debating since I have so many other cookers. I have 2 22.5 kettles, 22.5/18.5 WSM and a Kettle ranch, so I have plenty of real estate in other grills. I'm curious to try a ceramic since I've never cooked on one.
Put your two WSM's next to each other. The Classic will be about the size of the smaller one, the Big Joe will be a little bit bigger than the larger one.

FattyMcFatty
06-07-2017, 05:49 AM
For me, I had bought the Reg Joe & then few months later bought my Big Joe :-D

But, all depends on your cooking style :wink:

rahrah12
06-07-2017, 08:37 AM
Similar thoughts that I have been having. I currently have the PitBoss but have contemplated exchanging it through Costco for a KJ...no real reason...the PitBoss works just fine. Price wise i'd rather go with the classic but I don't think I could ever give up the 2" and not feel regret.

tjv
06-07-2017, 08:38 AM
I've cooked on and sold both. In the 24" ceramic class, the xl bge can do more than the kjoe big joe. couple differences in favor of the egg.

the bigger lump grate on the xl egg lets you partition the firebox in more segments than just half (big joe). you get more consistent temps over the grid above with the larger bge lump grate. with the bigger lump grate, you can also shrink the lump area for smaller cooks or zone it for that special cook.

with the bge's larger lump grate, you really don't need to use a half stone to divide the fire box for zone cooks.

the xl egg's taller dome, let's you do more multi-level cooking.

the xl egg's thermometer is not screwed down, so if you need to draw it out some, you can for the big cooks or high in the dome cooks - pizza or easy burn foods. can make a difference on pizza if you like pushing the stone into the dome.

t

THoey1963
06-07-2017, 12:02 PM
Heh, I'll throw the curveball into the equation. Since you have all those other Weber's, stay in family and get the WSCG (https://www.weber.com/US/en/grills/summit-charcoal-series). Same size as the BGE XL.

gmag
06-07-2017, 12:06 PM
Mine was a demo unit, so the price was right at the time. That being said, not a day has gone by where I haven't wished it was the Big Joe.

DaveZ
06-07-2017, 12:15 PM
As many have already said, go with the Big Joe.
I thought I could get by with the smaller one but my wonderful wife knew better and suggested I break open the wallet a bit wider and opt for the larger grill.
Fast forward several years and I can't remember how many times I have thought to myself "self, good thing you got the larger one"...

BGWolf
06-07-2017, 12:26 PM
Go with the big Joe, you won't regret it

dgaddis1
06-07-2017, 02:30 PM
Honestly I don't see why you need either one with your current capacity, it won't do anything your current units won't already do.

Of course need, and want, are different things...

hachi-roku_fan
06-07-2017, 03:24 PM
I think I'll wait and get the Big Joe. It's definitely not a need but a want, and I'm ok with that. As far as a WSCG; I thought about it, but I really want a ceramic cooker just to have something different. I'm going to take another look this weekend and see. I'll probably wait it out, but who knows, something might follow me home lol. Thanks guys

Rockinar
06-07-2017, 07:17 PM
I had the 18 and no complains about size with a family of 4. My complain was it's a jack of all trades, master of none. Also hated that it runs on lump only. It made pretty good chicken at around 400 with crispy skin. Other than that, I did not like anything about it. Lump only, no access to the fire. If you were running low on lump and only have small pieces, it won't draft and start chugging thick creosote and you can't do anything about it cause you have no access to the fire. My 22" Kettle can whip it. More work but the end result will be better because you have more options. Take that $1,000 and put it down on a high end offset.

SlowmotionQue
06-07-2017, 08:02 PM
I have the 18in Joe, but I also have a 22.5 WSM.

In my hands the Kamados work best for grilling. Not smoking.

As the guy above mentioned, the Kamado is a jack of all trades. I won't say a master of none, but definitely a master of only a couple. Grilling and baking (pizza).

It's an average, to less than average smoker. In fact I don't even bother to use it as a smoker anymore.

I use the WSM for smoking. And I'd only use it or an offset for smoking.

Thus for grilling, the 18 inch KJ works great for me because I never grill as large of a quantity of meat as I smoke.

For grilling, it's tough to beat. But for smoking? Not in my hands.

m-fine
06-07-2017, 08:30 PM
I had the 18 and no complains about size with a family of 4. My complain was it's a jack of all trades, master of none. Also hated that it runs on lump only. It made pretty good chicken at around 400 with crispy skin. Other than that, I did not like anything about it. Lump only, no access to the fire. If you were running low on lump and only have small pieces, it won't draft and start chugging thick creosote and you can't do anything about it cause you have no access to the fire. My 22" Kettle can whip it. More work but the end result will be better because you have more options. Take that $1,000 and put it down on a high end offset.

Why would you ever want to run briquettes in it? The only advantage they have is longer burn time which is not an issue in a Kamado. There are certain situations I choose briquettes on my grills, mainly when aiming to maintain a medium temp say 350-400 for more than an hour. Otherwise lump is preferred.

m-fine
06-07-2017, 08:38 PM
the xl egg's taller dome, let's you do more multi-level cooking.

I hear the 2017 Big Joe has a taller dome. I have not seen one in person yet, but I will be measuring one carefully in a couple of weeks to verify.

On the other hand, with the new 2017 pricing, if you are going to build it into a cart or table, I think an XL BGE without the nest is now considerably cheaper and leaves you plenty of budget to make up for the accessories they don't include. If BGE would improve their hinge, top cap and gasket...