If you all like grilling, you know about the goodness of kamado grills. They’re known for turning out some of the most tender, flavorful steaks that you’ve ever put in your mouth.
We know how tight money can be sometimes, so it may seem like a kamado grill is out of budget. But don’t you worry, we got you covered as always. In this roundup, we’ll show you the best kamado grills that’ll cook up some amazing meals without breaking the bank.
Read on for our top picks, buying guide, and more.
Best Kamado Grills on a Budget
Triple-walled kamado grill with 20-inch cooking diameter and 447 square inch total cooking area that sells at a great price.
The Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill is the ultimate kamado grill for the BBQ-loving folks on a budget.
With its triple-walled, 22-gauge steel construction, this kamado grill is built to withstand high heat and maintain a consistent cooking temperature of between 200°F and 700°F. This grill can sear a mean steak and cook a brisket or whole bird low and slow equally well; it’s got it all covered.
Featuring a cast iron cooking grate with a diameter of 20 in. with 314 sq. in. of cooking space and a 133 sq. in. removable stainless steel meat warming rack, the Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill provides plenty of space to cook up a feast at any cookout.
The built-in temperature gauge helps you keep tabs on the your cooking temperature — while the adjustable top damper maintains airflow and heat control. Plus, with top and bottom indexed dampers, you can easily adjust the heat levels to get the perfect cook every time.
The Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill is also built for mobility. It comes equipped with two large 8-in. front wheels and a rear locking caster wheel, making it easy to move around your backyard. With a weight of 97 pounds and dimensions of 45″D x 31″W x 47″H, it’s well-sized for every backyard.
This large kamado grill has a 24 inch diameter and offers a total of 689.56 square inches of combined cooking space, and can help you feed a crowd without fuss and hassle.
Now, this here grill might sell for a higher price than our top pick, but it’s also got a larger cooking grate with a 24 inch diameter and more cooking space. You pay your money and you take your choice, as the saying goes.
The stainless steel cooking grids on this here kamado grill are durable and easy to clean, and the heat deflector allows for convection-style cooking. The top and bottom dampers make it easy to control the temperature, and the folding side shelves provide convenient space for all your grilling tools and ingredients.
A compact, easily maneuverable kamado grill with a diameter of 18 inches and 250 square inches of combined cooking space from a brand you know and trust.
If you’re lookin’ for a budget kamado grill that can feed two to three people, look no further than Kamado Joe’s Classic Joe I. With 250 sq. in. of maximum cooking space, it’s got everything you need to grill up a steak or smoke a brisket, and it sells for a great price.
With Kamado Joe’s 2-tier Divide & Conquer Flexible Cookin’ System, you can transform your humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The multi-level, half-moon design allows you to cook different foods in different styles and at different temperatures — all at the same time.
With a cast iron top vent that maintains consistent air settings for precise airflow management during dome opening and closing, this grill is perfect for smokin’ from 225°F all the way up to searing at 750°F. With the lid’s built-in thermometer, you can make sure the temperature’s just right at all times.
The Classic Joe I is a formidable option for a compact kamado grill from Kamado Joe a brand we all know and trust.
Why Buy a Kamado Grill
If you’re a BBQ enthusiast, then you know not all grills are created equal. Regular charcoal grills can get the job done, but there’s just something special about cooking on a kamado grill.
For starters, kamado grills are known for their ability to sear and smoke meat to perfection. With a kamado grill, you can get the crispy, caramelized crust on your steaks over high heat, and, if you’re a fan of slow-smoked ribs or pulled pork, it will also hold low, steady temperature for smoking meats.
Of course, all that versatility does come at a price. Kamado grills are more expensive than regular charcoal grills. But if you’re serious about your cooking, a kamado grill is absolutely worth the investment. Its durability and ability to deliver on both high and low-heat cooking make it a superior choice for the backyard cook.
How to Use a Kamado Grill
First off, prepare the kamado grill by removing the cooking grates and cleaning out any ash or debris from previous uses.
Next, prepare enough lump charcoal to form a single, even layer on the coal grate in the cooking chamber. Light the charcoal using a chimney starter or the method of your choice, and allow it to burn until the coals are ashen over — that is, covered in a thin layer of ash — and have reached the correct temperature.
To set up the grill for direct-heat grilling, arrange the coals in a single, even layer across the bottom of the grill, place the cooking grates on top, and cook the food as you normally would.
For indirect-heat grilling, create a hot and a cool zone by raking the coals on one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty. Place the cooking grates on top. Sear food over direct heat with the lid off, and cook it low and slow over indirect heat with the lid on.
Before adding the food to the grill, grease the cooking grates with oil to prevent sticking. Lay the food on the grates and let cook, keeping check on the temperature by adjusting the bottom and the top vents, and using the built-in thermometer as an indicator.
The built-in thermometer lets you monitor the temperature of cooking, but you should also use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the food and cook until it reaches the desired level of doneness.
When when you’re done grilling, allow the coals to cool completely before disposing of them. Clean the cooking grates and any other removable parts of the grill, and store the grill in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.
Make clean-up easier: The Best Ash Vacuums for Your Grill or Smoker
What to Look For
Kamado grills are usually made from ceramic or thick steel. Ceramic kamado grills tend to be a bit pricier, but they hold and distribute heat better, and they produce more consistent cooking results. Steel grills are the cheaper option, but they may not hold heat quite as well as their ceramic counterparts do.
Consider the size of the grill and how much cooking space you’re going to need. If you’re cooking for a large crowd, you’ll want a grill with a big diameter and spacious main grate. Additional grates for combined cooking or meat warming racks are a real boon, but it’s the main grate that matters.
Look for a grill with proper insulation and a good set of features for temperature control, like dampers that you can adjust to your needs. This will allow you to more easily achieve the desired cooking temperature and achieve consistent results. Built-in thermometers are great, but they’re not always as reliable as you need them to be, and you may need to buy one on the side.
Make sure to choose a grill that’s built to last. Look for one with high-quality construction materials, high customer ratings, and a good warranty. Buy your grills from brands and retailers you know, and abide by the rule of “buy it nice, or buy it twice.”
Why Consider Our Picks
We spent 28 hours researching and rounding up the best kamado grills on a budget so you won’t have to.
We looked at specs, read manuals, and sifted through customer reviews, real and fake, to come up with a shortlist of contender grills. We then drew on the decades of combined grilling experience of our team to scrutinize our list of favorites and come up with the final selection of winners, which you can see before your eyes:
- Our pick: Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Charcoal Grill (20-in. diameter)
- Compact pick: Kamado Joe Classic Joe I Charcoal Grill (18-inch diameter)
Thank you for visiting and we hope you found our buying guide for kamado grills on a budget helpful. If we missed something you want added to this guide, please let us know by leaving a comment below.