What is a Kamado Joe?

When people first see the famous egg-shape of the Kamado Joe, their reaction is “What does it do?” We always say, “What doesn’t it do?”

Modern Kamado are the more refined versions of an ancient cooking technique.

The Kamado is a round, clay, ceramic, or (in modern times) metal-alloy pot with a removable lid. The name Kamado comes from the Japanese word for “stove”, it means a “place for the cauldron”. The Japanese used round clay pots to cook rice and meats for hundreds of years. During World War II, American soldiers noticed these Kamado stoves and brought the style back to the U.S.

Kamado Joe is made from a glassed ceramic that allows temperatures inside the pot to easily reach over 600 F. This type of heat is not easily attainable with traditional charcoal or gas grills and gives a better range of cooking control for the griller. The Kamado uses real hard-wood lump charcoal, which gives a better flavor compared to other types of fuel.

Cut away of a kamado joe showing the tiered cooking techniques

The Kamado Joe features a controllable air-intake at the bottom of the pot which gives the griller total control of the heat. You can open it up fully to allow a lot of oxygen in and make the grill hot, or open it slightly for a cooler, smokier burn. You can easily sear a steak and then smoke a tri-tip all on the same grill! The air intake also helps you save on charcoal. When you’re done grilling, simply close the intake and the lid, which cuts of the air flow and smothers the charcoal, then, when your ready to grill again, all you need to do is relight it! The newest models of the Kamado Joe feature a automated intake system that lets you control the temperature through a simple app on your phone! Just set the desired temperature and the Joe self regulates the air intake to ensure the right amount for the heat you want.

There are many different brands of Kamado-style grills, but we recommend the Joe. We have carried and used a variety of grills and the Kamado stands out above. The ceramic holds the temperature better than others so you can cook your food longer and hotter. The Kamado Joe also has a wire mesh gasket that can withstand higher temperatures compared to other brands.