Barbecue on a hot summer day is like the cookie to your cream – you’ve got to have one with the other to fully enjoy the experience.
But what good are summer barbecues if you’re still struggling with a rusty old grill? Such grills can quickly turn a beautiful sunny day into a sweaty hot mess.
So if you’re looking for a medium-sized, versatile, yet easy-to-use grill, look no more.
One of the best Kamado grills, the Classic Joe ll, will get the job done.
Below, we’ll discuss its features, pros, and cons, and some must-have Kamado Joe accessories to complement it. So, read on!
- 1 Kamado Joe Classic II Reviews: The Best Kamado Grill For 2023
- 3 The Best Kamado Joe Accessories
- 4 Final Verdict
Kamado Joe Classic II Reviews: The Best Kamado Grill For 2023
Amongst our Kamado Joe grill reviews, the Classic Joe II from the Classic series is the star of the show. We think that its versatile and ingenious features are something that won’t only make barbecues convenient but also more enjoyable.
Let’s jump into the details of its design and features:
Need to cook multiple things but at different temperatures? The Classic Joe II has got your back, despite its small footprint.
The ‘Divide and Conquer’ grate system sets this bad boy apart from the rest. By setting up the halved grates lower or higher, you can cook your protein just the way you like.
Sear a pork tenderloin on high heat while slow-cooking that chicken breast at the same time – it’s possible, thanks to the adjustable halved grates.
The included ceramic heat deflectors also provide some indirect heat for slow-cooking other stuff. Moreover, the grill grates are made out of stainless steel for durability – say goodbye to your dad’s rusty and gritty grills!
One of the most significant downs of owning this ceramic grill is its heavy weight. Even though it has wheels for mobility, moving it is still a tedious task. We warn you – hauling the Classic II up to the roof of your house will be a nightmare.
But that’s a problem only if you move around the grill very often. The main issue with most ceramic grills arises with the lid. They’re heavy, and often slam shut, causing damage to the whole structure. But not with Kamado Joe.
The Classic II has an Air-Hinge that allows you to open and shut the lid using minimal force. And we’re not kidding when we say minimal force. You can lift the lid using just one finger, and it slowly shuts itself close as well.
It’s a nifty, grill-saving feature that we love. No wonder this is one of the best Kamado Joe grills out there.
Fiberglass Mesh Gasket
In our Kamado Joe grill reviews, you’ll notice one thing in common: a fiberglass gasket. To ensure that the lid seals shut, Kamado Joe has incorporated this into the Classic II. You may not know this, but fiberglass is the industry preferred standard for gaskets since it’s so durable.
Hence, it adds to the Classic II’s durability and allows the seal to be airtight. A stainless steel latch further locks the whole thing shut, helping you maintain the temperature.
Control Tower Top Vent
To adjust the temperature, you can use the lower and top vents. The bottom vent slides open and shut to let in some air into the charcoal.
Meanwhile, the top vent is a rust-proof aluminum control tower that lets you adjust the temperature in small increments and decrements. Plus, it’s rainproof and protects the grill’s interior. You can even pop off the entirety of this vent to reach a high temperature.
Since temperature control is crucial to a delicious barbecued meal, this easy-to-use top vent is another feature worth investing in. Moreover, there’s a big analog temperature gauge at the front to help you keep track of the heat.
Another concern amongst ceramic grill users is the fireboxes. Since they’re made of ceramic, the expansion and contraction due to heat can cause them to crack over time. Eventually, you’ll have to replace the whole firebox.
Kamado Joe resolves this issue by dividing the firebox into separate tiles. After fitting them in place, you top the tiles with a silver ring to hold them in place and form a firebox.
Due to small spaces between each tile, there’s room for expansion and contraction, preventing breakages. It seems like the ‘Divide and Conquer’ system works great for the firebox as well.
The Classic Joe II has some bonus features that make it one of the best Kamado Joe grills, and totally worth the price.
For one, it includes a removable ashtray that makes using the grill super convenient. Just slide it out to dump the collected ash and put it back in.
Secondly, the package includes a cast iron rolling cart that also houses the heavy grill. Its castors lock in place to prevent the grill from moving, although it doesn’t easily budge due to its heavyweight.
Last but not least, you get foldable shelves on both sides of the grill. They’re made up of heavy-duty polyethylene, unlike the Classic III’s aluminum shelves. Nevertheless, they help you prepare your sides and sauces without moving back and forth between your grill and countertop.
Assembly, Design, and Performance
Putting up the Kamado Joe Classic II is easy, minus the part where you have to deal with its weight.
You’ll require some muscles or a helping hand, but other than that, it’s simple to assemble. All you need is a wrench or two, and that’s about it. You might struggle with putting together the ceramic tiles for the firebox, but it’s nothing you can’t do after a couple of tries.
Design-wise, the grill is superb. Meant for small spaces, this heavy-duty yet compact grill can fit in the smallest of backyards or balconies. The foldable shelves make the most out of its small footprint and come in handy when preparing side dishes.
Moreover, the half-moon multi-level grates that are 18 inches in diameter give you a lot of cooking area. They make enough room to cook multiple dishes at a time for a small barbecue party.
And of course, we can’t forget its attractive exterior: a shiny and glossy red, which makes it stand out.
But all of those fancy features don’t really matter if the grill doesn’t cook your meat perfectly. Luckily, the Classic II delivers what it promises in terms of performance.
With a top-notch ceramic build, the grill gives you remarkable heat retention. This means efficient cooking, as you’ll have to replenish the charcoal less often. Plus, the grill tends to heat up super quick and maintain the temperature for hours and hours.
However, there’s a learning curve for beginners when it comes to regulating its temperature. The grill heats up to a scorching hot temperature quickly but cools down somewhat slower. Both top and bottom vents help with adjusting the temperature, which you check using the temperature gauge.
On the bright side, you can set the temperature within a wide range – from 200 to a searing 700 degrees for your pizzas and Margheritas.
What We Like
- Segmented Firebox for durability
- Air-Hinge lid offers ease of use
- Top vent gives precise temperature adjustments
- Ceramic build provides excellent heat retention
- Removable ashtray for convenience
- Fiberglass gasket is durable and shuts tight
What We Don’t Like
- Heavyweight may make assembly difficult
- Rolling cart doesn’t have storage shelves
The Best Kamado Joe Accessories
We know we said these accessories are must-haves, but only if you’re going to use the grill for cooking and baking as well. On its own, the Classic II is enough for grilling, as it comes with a full set of grilling accessories.
But if you want to use the grill to its full potential, here are some Kamado Joe accessories worth investing in:
1. Kamado Joe Classic Joe JoeTisserie
You’re not feeling up to a barbecued steak. Instead, you want a juicy rotisserie chicken. A quick and easy way to make that at home is by using the JoeTisserie (can we take a moment to appreciate this pun?) on your Classic Joe grill.
Made up of 304-grade stainless steel spit rod and forks, the JoeTisserie is durable, and can firmly hold pounds and pounds of meat. The powerful 120V motor also helps with this.
Moreover, its cast aluminum ring is shaped and designed to fit the Classic Joe II perfectly, allowing you to shut the lid tightly. It’s also dishwasher safe and easy to assemble.
2. Kamado Joe Electric Starter for Charcoal
Lighting up your charcoal is as tricky as cooking your meat to perfection – it needs time, energy, and knowledge. There are many ways to get the grill going, but nothing is as easy as using an electric starter, such as the one from Kamado Joe.
It features a stainless steel element, which is durable and also heats up pretty quickly. Because it’s designed at an angle, it can slide under a pile of charcoal with ease.
The electric starter measures 5.5 across and 1.5 inches in width, providing enough surface area to light up a good amount of charcoal. Give it some eight to nine minutes, and you’ve got yourself burning charcoal, ready for the grill.
Keep in mind, though, that the power cord is only around five feet long, so it’s not very portable.
3. Flame Boss 500-WiFi Smoker Controller
If you’re not necessarily a champ at smoking your meat, the Flame Boss smoker controller will help you hack your way into becoming one.
With a dedicated model for Kamado Joe grills, this controller automates adjusting the temperature of your grill. Using stainless steel meat and pit probes, it accurately measures the temperature of your grill and your meat.
You can set the desired temperature with a few taps on your smartphone as the controller connects via Wifi to any device. It will maintain the set temperature by turning the blower on and off, which increases or decreases airflow to the charcoal accordingly.
This smart equipment also allows you to set timers and alarms. They alert you when your meat is done cooking or when the grate temperature is not under control. Overall, it’s a pretty nifty device, which can make smoking meat a ton easier.
However, meat probes for the two additional ports aren’t included, so keep that in mind.
4. Kamado Joe Classic Grill Cover
Since you’ll be spending a hefty amount on one of the best Kamado Joe grills, you’ll want to protect it from weather damage.
This waterproof polyester cover will protect your grill from sunny and rainy days, both. It’s shaped perfectly for all Classic Joes, and the straps cinch up to tightly wrap the cover around the grill.
5. Kamado Joe Classic Joe Half Moon Reversible Griddle
Want to impress some guests with your barbecuing skills? The cast iron half moon griddle is one Kamado Joe accessory you need to invest in, so you can get some impressive sears on your steaks.
Since it’s made up of cast iron, it heats up to a higher degree and gives your meat some delicious looking sears while locking in extra flavor. The best part? Flip it over, and you can fry a sunny side egg on its smooth surface.
6. Kamado Joe Pizza Kit
If you’re craving something other than meat, the Kamado Joe Pizza Kit will give you some great smoky pizzas. Turn your Classic Joe into a pizza oven using the ceramic pizza stone and a surrounding aluminum ring where the lid fits.
This pizza kit, or DōJoe as they call it, maintains a steady temperature between 400 to 700 degrees, perfect for pizzas and pies alike. The ceramic stone and heat deflectors help distribute heat evenly, leaving you with mouth-watering pizzas with bubbling cheese on top.
Honestly? We think the Classic Joe II is worth the hype.
Yes, it’s pricey, and sure, it weighs a ton. However, its performance is unmatched. Plus, all the grilling accessories you could ever want are included in the package. So, if you think about it, you don’t have to spend extra on them, as with other grills, hence making it worth the price. Right?
But at the end of our Kamado Joe grill reviews, we suggest you measure your pros and cons before investing in it. It’s still a high price to pay for a medium-sized grill.
One thing is for sure, though: you’ll definitely enjoy some delicious barbecues and other recipes with the Classic Joe II and its Kamado Joe accessories.