XL Kamado Heavy Weight Gloves About To Come Off!!!!!!!
Well, I don’t know about you guys but I am feeling fine on this long weekend Monday morning! Last night I had the chance to hang out with my wife and daughter at a very good friends house up here in the hills and sip cold bevies and actually get cooked for! I know, it doesn’t happen often but when it does, I’m in heaven! The meal was killer to say the least! 2″ inch thick bison steaks, potato salad, garden salad and grilled veggies of all kinds! My friend Jennifer worked her large Green Egg like a champion and I simply kicked back and took in the aromas that were fit for a king.
It also got me thinking about all the former clients I have up in these parts when I used to sell The Big Green Egg http://www.biggreenegg.com/ a few years back. As I gazed into the white clear smoke sneaking out of the chimney I also pondered how much has changed and evolved with new competition in the kamado market today vs three short years ago. Not only do we have many more good quality choices on the market today but the demand for an even larger kamado cooker is bigger than its ever been. Looking back to the time I purchased my medium Green Egg, if I had known then what I know now ( as the saying goes) there’s no question that I would have purchased either a large model or even an XL model if for no other reason than the additional space you get with a larger model means more versatility and more importantly, more food on the grill.
With that said I’m excited to report that if you are intending on hitting the streets and thinking about investing in a kamado cooker and perhaps are ready to throw down those hard earned dollars for one of the XL models that exist today, you my grilling friends are in luck in terms of selection and price and additional accessories for your kamado. Today there are really three brands in my humble opinion leading the charge in the XL category and my next few lines might shock a few of you due in most part to the fact that I have not included The Big Green Egg into the roster, no offence guys but you are being passed by the competition, and not slowly either.
As many people learn who are introduced to this cooking medium for the first time, The Big Green Egg have been the market leader for well over three decades and to their credit they have produced a good quality ( albeit over priced in today’s market, in Canada at least) product and they have also done a helluva job building their fan base across North America over the years, ( believe it or not, I am a fan even though I do beat them up on occasion in these posts from time to time, lol…). When it comes to the XL category however and the category as a whole there are more players who bring more added value to the table, hands down in todays market.
I have always said and written about my fondness toward the Primo, http://primogrill.com/ XL models because of their oval shape and versatility. I first found out about Primo back in 2009 shortly after I launched The Grateful Griller, http://www.gratefulgriller.com/ and when I realized that they perform equally as well as The BGE, it was a done deal for me. The Primo XL models sell for $1350 CAD funds and have been my most consistent choice of kamado cooker that has travelled with me to my parties for over three years now. They also have a few intelligent accessories that are sold separately and that take your grilling games that much higher!
The fire box divider is by far one of the best accessories due to the fact you can split that box ( not literally) down the middle if you are grilling for fewer people in order to save on charcoal and start up quicker. The D-plates and drip racks are needed for the long low and slow days and work well. I particularly like the tight fit that really offers a great in-direct cooking experience. Add to that the extender racks and you can simply pile the food on the additional space and knock yourself out all day long! With the latest addition of the half moon cast iron skillet, I say bring on the bacon and eggs as well!
I should also point out that although this post is aimed directly at your best choices for XL models Primo do make a junior version of their XL oval model and believe it or not they produce and sell a round kamado as well that comes in at $750 Canadian, NOW WE”RE TALKIN TURKEY! Both work very well!
Alright, next up, Kamado Joe, http://www.kamadojoe.com/index.html! Talk about a company that have come out of the corner swinging and swinging hard! As a matter of fact I will go on record for saying it now that this company could very well be the next kamado brand that moves ahead of The Big Green Egg and category domination within the next few years for many reasons, just saying, call it a gut feeling, that’s all. No, I don’t say this because I produced their video series and I certainly don’t say this because they pay me, because they don’t. I say this because this company make a great product that I personally have tried to beat the living tar out of for well over two years now and what do you know, the Kamado Joe just keeps coming back for more and never let’s me down on performance.
Although at first glance this product can be mistaken for a Big Green Egg but in red and or black versions, make no mistake, when you drill down deep into this brands approach to their products, their marketing and their commitment to satisfy their clients needs, they are certainly hard to beat. For the last few years these folks have been on a fire filled rampage to make a statement and a statement they are making without a doubt.
Enter, “Big Joe” into the equation! A close cousin to the “Classic Joe” but that much bigger! This 250 lbs, 24 inch in diameter ceramic beast is all that and more in price range and category, approximately $1699 CAD funds all in.
I’ve always had a bit of a beef with the fact that Big Green Egg’s XL offers you more circumference, yes, but a shallower interior design which in fact changes the over all cooking dynamic and please, don’t get me started on the lever type gizmo at the back of the vessel which is supposed to make your life easier?
Granted, they cook food well it doesn’t make sense to me that they can still ask close to $1500 bones for the vessel alone in our Canadian market. I’d love to see actual stats as to just how many sales are being lost to the US given our current exchange rate but more on this later. “Big Joe” come with all the fixings from the cast metal cart to the bamboo side shelves to pre-assembly ( this ones huge!) and an ash tool and grill gripper for good measure and wether you in fact will use them or not is beside the point. Bottom line, Kamado Joe want your business and will do back flips as I have experienced first hand to win you over as a fan. Brace yourselves because this brand is going to be around for a long time to come!
So they say sometimes you have to save the best for last but honestly grillers, GrillDome, http://www.grilldome.com/ have to be taken seriously as the second oldest brand in this game today and the only kamado brand to date that ship direct to you anywhere in North America via the internet, exception to Komodo Kamado! What I like about this company is the fact that they actually go the extra mile on their site to educate their client base about their products and go into detail as to the ceramic composition for example and the story of “terepex”, really cool indeed. All GrillDome Infinity products incorporate 304 stainless components and not painted metal like some which is a bonus as well!
The company with my experience also innovates when it comes to making a better kamado. Case and point their “autohinge” or “featherlite” spring mechanism, best in category and price range that I have had the pleasure of using thus far. ( Makes the lid to this cooker feel as if you were lifting a feather, literally!) Add to this a thicker walled vessel which can absorb that much more heat during cooking times and if you like colour options then you have six to choose from. No one else in the current market are offering these things and as for their Superdome Infinity product, WOW! 300 lbs and 22″ inch diameter grilling surface and they really look nice and perform very well indeed and the price, another heart stopper, $1099 plus shipping and tax delivered right to your door anywhere in North America! If GrillDome are lacking anything at this point its additional accessories to take the overall grilling experience to higher places. With that said however they do have you covered for pizza and in-direct cooking as well as the rest of the current market models.
I for one will be keeping a keen eye out for the next thing coming out of this companies arsenal without fail. One last point, you can easily get the owner on the phone and from personal experience, he’s a gem of a guy who cares passionately for his craft and clients. Just ask for Mr. Tarsem Kholi!
Alright, well my friends, the morning sun is already hot and the mirage of that afternoon rum chaser is already in my view so I must go and start my own fires for the rest of this fine day and I want to wish you all a great rest of this weekend and above all else,
Feed the fires and desires to take all your grilling games higher!