All grillers are familiar with the name Kamado Joe. Their extensive line of ceramic grills are not only known for their durability, but they also allow for precise temperature control, which is exactly what most grilling enthusiasts are looking for. Built tough, designed to last, and reasonably priced, the Classic is the last grill you’ll ever need to buy.
Our Verdict: The Classic ll offers a new take on ceramic grill design. While most ceramic grills do not have multiple heat zones, forcing you to cook everything at the same, constant temperature, the two-tier grill design in this model allows you to sear your steaks to perfection, then move the steak away from the grills and allow it to cook using indirect heat. Another great feature is the ash catcher drawer, which slides out, allowing you to empty it often, without causing a huge mess. The egg-shaped design, large cooking surface, and waterproof vents combined make for a durable grill that you can rely on season after season.
Read on to learn more about the Classic ll’s unique design, and find out what this grill can really do when put to the test.
Overview and Features
The versatility of the Classic will simply blow you away. This grill will allow you to grill up steaks, burgers, chicken breast, achieve low and slow smokes, bake bread, and more. It’s basically an outdoor oven, so there’s really no limit in regard to what you can use this grill for. However, since this is a true ceramic grill, you can expect a learning curve in terms of airflow management, if you’ve never used one before.
Revolution in Grilling
The ceramic grill has a very distinct egg-shaped design that makes it highly recognizable. The lower two-thirds of the grill is where the coals will burn, while the top portion consists of the domed lid complete with a built-in thermometer. You’ll find vents at the bottom and top. When used correctly, you can easily regulate the cooking temperature.
The lid features a tight seal that prevents heat from escaping. The grill’s interior is designed to reflect the heat around the interior evenly.
Aside from using briquettes, you can also use lump wood charcoal.
For smoking purposes, you’ll add large chunks of wood on top of the charcoal. The fire is at the bottom of the grill on a small grate located directly above the firebox. Air will flow into the grill from the bottom while the ashes fall directly into an ash catcher, which helps to cut down on cleanup.
This ceramic grill offers a cooking experience that’s second to none. For most users, once they try a ceramic grill, they’ll never make the switch to a gas or electric grill. This grill is much more than just a hot surface for cooking up hot dogs and burgers. This model is incredibly versatile. As an example, since you have total control over the airflow, with a little practice you can learn how to maintain charcoal grill temperature for as long as you need.
Since you’ll have precise control over the temperature you can slow cook a variety of meats including ribs and brisket.
The ability to cook evenly due to the reflected heat is another major advantage. If you’ve ever tried to make a pizza on a grill, then you know how challenging it can be and it often requires constant supervision. In most cases, the pizza turns out over or undercooked. This ceramic grill’s ability to evenly cook your food allows it to double as an outdoor pizza oven. You can even use it to bake fresh bread.
Heat Zone Options
When grilling, many people will use multiple heating zones. In many cases, you can place the meat onto direct heat in order to sear it or achieve beautiful grill marks. Then, you can move the steak to a different area of the grill, allowing indirect heat to finish cooking it. This grill is perfect for creating even heat, but this means there’s only a single temperature zone.
But the Classic is different. The manufacturer designed a multilevel grate system, so it’s now totally possible to use indirect heat to cook food on a ceramic grill. This design is called the Divide and Conquer Flexible Cooking System. Now you can use the grill to cook different foods at different temperatures, at the same time.
Ease of Use
A ceramic grill can heat up to extremely high temperatures, easily. Because of this, it’s perfect for searing but it can be useless if you’re grilling up something thinner than half an inch.
Unlike other models of ceramic grills, the Classic ll will not slam shut when you close the lid. This is due to the new hinge design, which reduces the weight by as much as ninety-six percent.
With other grills, detaching and removing the ash catcher is not only a hassle, it’s incredibly messy. Instead of struggling to remove an ash catcher or sweeping away the ashes that collect beneath the grill’s firebox, the ash drawer eliminates the hassle of emptying out a traditional ash catcher.
Waterproof and Rust-Resistant
The top vent is rust-proof and made out of tough aluminum. It’s also highly adjustable and allows the grill to maintain the precise air settings throughout.
The large eighteen-inch cooking surface provides more than enough cooking space to grill up burgers, chicken breast, and steaks. Its size makes it perfect for the buyer in search of a model that can handle grilling food for large family gatherings.
Weighing in at one hundred and eighty-eight pounds, this grill doesn’t exactly have a space-saving design. The size and weight of ceramic grills are by far their biggest drawback. If you’re looking for a smaller grill for your backyard, and one that offers many of the same benefits that this model does, check out the Char-Griller E06614 AKORN Jr. The Jr. weighs in at just thirty-seven pounds and features the type of compact design that makes it a more suitable choice for small backyards.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Ash catcher drawer
- Large cooking surface
- Precise temperature control
- Divide and Conquer indirect cooking system
How Easy is it to Maintain the Grill’s Temperature?
For the most part, cooking with this grill is a set it and forget it process. However, it’s setting it to the correct temperature that’s the difficult part. In order to control the temperature, you’ll take advantage of the two vents, one of which is located on top of the grill, while the other is found on the bottom. If you’re a seasoned griller then you’ll be familiar with this setup. This principle of temperature control is pretty simple. The top of the grill will control how much smoke and air you let out, while the bottom vent controls how much air you allow in. Once you get the hang of just how much air to let in and out, you should have no problem maintaining a steady temperature.
Can I Leave This Grill Outdoors?
Yes, as long as you leave the vents completely shut, you can leave the grill outside even during the winter months. The rust-proof and waterproof design make this one tough grill that can handle rain, high winds, snow, and more. If you’d like to learn more about ceramic grill designs, care, and maintenance, click here to visit our portable charcoal grill buyer’s guide.
Is This Model Portable?
Yes and no. It doesn’t come equipped with wheels and weighs in at one hundred and eighty-eight pounds, which can make it difficult to move. This can be a huge downside for buyers in need of a highly portable grill they can take for camping or when traveling.
Are These Grills Easy to Maintain?
Yes. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your grill, then a deep clean may be necessary. To deep clean, you’ll use soap and water to clean the interior, exterior, and grates. Make sure you use a bristle brush that’s specifically designed for grates. For normal upkeep, turn on the grill, allow the grate to heat up and scrub with a bristle brush. Empty out the ash drawer as needed, and that’s it.
Conclusion and Rating
The Classic ll by KamadoJoe is one of the leading ceramic grills currently on the market. This model is designed for precise temperature control, allowing you to cook a variety of dishes. However, if you’ve never grilled with a ceramic grill then learning how to control the temperature via the use of vents can be difficult in the beginning. However, you’ll get the hang of it after a few grilling sessions. The durable construction, special hinge design, and ash drawer also add to the grill’s value. If you’re looking for a grill that can cook a wide range of food and one that’s tough enough to be left outdoors year-round, then your search is over. We gave this model a rating of five out of five stars.