In the world of grills, everything has its own pros and cons. That rings true for the Kamado Joe Big Joe, too. Let’s go over everything that makes Kamado Joe tick.

The Specs

Let’s go over the technical specs before we get into opinions.

  • Weight: 250
  • Dimensions: 50″ wide x 5″ deep4″ high x 31
  • Surface area: 452 square inches (Expandable to 1056 square inches with accessories grates and expansion plates)

The Good

The Kamado Joe Big Joe has quite a bit going for it. First, it’s a ceramic cooker with plenty of room to grill up some big family meals. That’s especially true when you add the grill expansions and the extra grates to it.

However, having ample room to cook isn’t everything. If you’ve ever used a ceramic grill, you know that the lids can be extremely heavy. That’s not a problem with the Big Joe. It has a hinge that makes opening the grill a breeze, and it makes it a lot easier to quickly flip steaks or burgers without struggling with the lid.

The Big Joe also has quite a few accessories available to help you turn it into a multi-purpose cooking instrument. For example, the Joetisserie allows you to make beautiful rotisserie chickens and other meats in the grill.

Finally, I’m impressed by how easy it is to clean the Big Joe. There’s no need to endlessly scoop a bunch of ashes out of the bottom and transport them around. A tray sits conveniently on the bottom of the grill, and you can easily lift the ashes out for a quick cleaning process. If you’ve worked with traditional grills, you’ll appreciate the ash trap.

The Ugly

While the Big Joe is a great grill, I have a couple of complaints that I think you should take into account before investing in it.

First, the rim of the grill has a gasket that keeps it sealed when it’s closed. This helps it retain heat, but the gasket breaks pretty quickly, and while it doesn’t cost much to replace it, those small investments add up over time. You can expect to replace the gasket at least once a year.

Also, the vent on top of the grill is prone to clogging. It’s not a bad vent. It does keep rainwater from pouring into the grill, and it allows for a good amount of airflow. However, it’s a pain to take care of it.

After a few cookouts, the vent tends to get caked in black gum, and it requires a lot of heat to properly clean it out. This is a shame since the grill itself is easy to clean. Constantly having to clean the vent takes away from the convenience that the ash trap provides.

Should You Buy It?

In short, this is a grill for people who cook a lot at one time. If you find yourself hosting a lot of backyard barbecues or dinner parties, then you’ll absolutely love the amount of room this thing has. It also cooks very evenly due to its design.

However, it’s a bit of a space hog. People who don’t have a lot of room should definitely go with a smaller option. It also weighs 250 pounds. So, you might want to pick something else if you can’t lug that much weight to your cooking area.

Final Thoughts

The Kamado Joe Big Joe is a solid grill with an impressive amount of cooking surface. It’s not without its flaws, but it’s definitely good enough to impress grill aficionados, and I recommend it to anyone that has the room to use it.

If you’re as impressed with the Big Joe as I am, you should pick one up to experience it for yourself.