Best Ceramic Grill Reviews Consumer Reports: Read Before You Buy
Are you looking to have that true barbecue taste in your steaks and ribs? Then, you better scout for the best ceramic grill because only the best of the lot can provide you with a perfect smoky barbecue flavor.
Besides adding the smokiness to your favorite food, this grill can be used for a host of other things.
While everybody knows that ceramic grills are proficient in smoking and grilling of meats and vegetables, but some of those might not be aware of the fact that these grills can be used for baking pizza and bread.
Ceramic grills are also known as egg grills because of their oval shape. While you may easily find a ceramic grill within your budget or even at a lesser price than what you’ve expected, but then, it is important to grab a quality product so as to get the best-cooked food that you were craving for in the first place.
A ceramic grill that is constructed using quality material and has a number of brilliant features is going to come at a price. If you want to make the task of finding the best ceramic grill for your backyard cooking adventure easier, then read on.
I have laid out a review of three of the best ceramic grills that are available on the market right now. Let us discuss all those ceramic grills one by one, and then you can decide as to which one you want to go for:
1. Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic II
How efficient this ceramic grill is and how delicious the food is cooked on this grill can be discussed later because I really want to talk about the packaging of this product.
You will receive it in a well-packed box, which shows that the company knows that the product inside is made up of ceramic, which is a fragile element.
So, you can easily take out the product of the box, assemble it quickly and TA-DA! The grill is ready to use.
I really like this grill because it looks beautiful and compact. The glossy red exterior will not irk your eyes but gives a beautiful feel to the product.
Despite the compactness of the product, it weighs too much, so if you are not sure whether you will lift this grill up alone, then don’t mind asking someone to give you a hand lifting this thing up.
Build quality is also superb, as all connecting parts are properly attached, and there are no loose joints. All the lids are tightly closed and sealed, so there is nothing to worry about.
The grill includes two side tables, which I’ve personally liked a lot because I usually have a bunch of utensils, seasonings, and sauces that I always find it hard to place nearby grill.
With these side tables included with the product, I don’t have to worry about those things. There are a number of other things that I liked about this device, so let’s delve into the features of this ceramic grill.
Key Features Of Kamado Joe Classic II
- To obtain a smoky flavor in the food, smoke needs to be produced in the chamber, but that smoke should also leave the chamber, or else it will destroy the whole food. This ceramic grill has a top vent that works in accordance with the bottom vent and controls the airflow, thus resulting in an easy escape of the smoke from the chamber. This also helps regulate the temperature inside the chamber, thus allowing food to cook efficiently, especially when cooking low and slow.
- Despite a limited grilling space of 18 inches, you won’t feel the space to be that less as the designers of this amazing product have made arrangements to make this grill as versatile as possible. The presence of novel grill system allows setting up grills at greater heights and make use of heat deflectors to get different temperature zones along with areas of direct and indirect grilling at the same time.
- One of the most important parameters that people pay attention to is the ease of cleaning the grill because it is not a fun task to clean a grill after having a toothsome meal. To make cleaning easy, there is an ash collection area given at the bottom of this ceramic grill. Just slide out the drawer and dispose of all the contents in the bin carefully.
- This is a heavy unit, weighing around 188 pounds. One of the heaviest parts of the unit is its lid, but even then, it can be easily opened and closed using an airlift hinge, which is installed in the product.
Pros And Cons Of The Product:
- A beautiful looking ceramic grill.
- Gives freedom to the users to cook food at high as well as low temperatures.
- Top vent can be easily adjusted.
- Solid construction with each connecting part closed tightly.
- A versatile cooking unit allowing multiple grilling techniques simultaneously.
- Easy to clean with the presence of an ash drawer.
- Cooking space is comparatively less than standard smokers and grills but can be expanded.
- A heavy unit, but can be moved from one place to another with the help of a rolling cart.
- The use of ceramic makes it fragile, so heavy precaution needs to be taken while grilling food on this grill.
2. Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill
The first thing that will grab your attention is the shape of this unit. A beautiful egg-shaped grill, this can be the center of talks between you and your guests. For support, the company has provided three short, yet firm legs that will keep the grill steady.
Where traditional kamados are made with ceramic, this smoker is made up of steel, but don’t underestimate the performance of this unit, as it is equally effective as a traditional ceramic grill.
You can easily grill at high temperatures of up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit with charcoal fuel, and such high temperatures can only be achieved in grills made of ceramic. Here, the grill has a three-layer insulated steel shell.
Construction and design of this grill are pleasing to the eyes, and when it comes to assembling the grill, then it can be done within a few minutes by following the instructions given in the instruction manual that comes along with the grill.
In the nutshell, the grill is made to last long, and it will grill a countless number of meals for you with perfection every single time.
Key Features Of Char-Griller Akorn Jr. Kamado Kooker Charcoal Grill
- A triple-walled construction of this grill assures a long-lasting life. You can use this appliance for years without worrying about signs of depreciation. This is how reliable this product is going to be.
- The cooking space of 14 inches (diameter) is not as big as other grills, but for small sized families, it’s near perfect. The unit can be taken along on trips, thus making it an ideal choice for outdoor cooking. Small size could have been a curse, but it has instead turned into a blessing.
- The essence of food is ensured in this grill, which is what I like the most in this grill. Uniform and quality results are guaranteed from this grill because the smoker holds as much heat as an expensive smoker does.
- This is one of those fewer smokers that are extremely easy to use. Let it be top and bottom air dampers or the temperature controls, everything on this unit is easy to use. There is a dump ash pan given in the smoker, which will collect all the ash in one place, and is also easy to clean.
Pros And Cons Of The Product
- A strong construction along with aesthetically appealing design
- Cooking on high temperatures is possible just like ceramic kamado grill.
- Made to last long, really long.
- Assembling this grill is pretty easy.
- Great and uniform cooking results.
- More thorough cooking due to convection.
- It may take a while before you fully understand this machine, how it operates.
- Grill not suited for large gatherings, as a cooking space of 153 square inches will certainly be short.
3. Char-Griller 16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill & Smoker
This is another beautiful grill coming from the house of Char-Griller. An elegant looking grill, this will not just add to the aesthetic appeal of your house but will get you properly grilled food day-in and day-out as well.
This is due to its solid steel construction, as this grill is made of 22-gauge stainless steel with a final coating of powdered steel.
The interior of the unit is made of porcelain-coated steel, so it is steel everywhere on the product, thus adding to the formidability of the grill.
The grilling space of this smoker is 314 square inches, which in my opinion is good enough to feed a group of 4-6 people, plus there is a warming rack of 133 square inches, so you can take the food off the grill and keep it on the rack so as to cool it down a bit.
The warming rack is removable as well, so if you don’t need it, then you can keep it aside if you want.
Key Features Of Char-Griller 16620 Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill & Smoker
- A perfect blend of style, elegance, and performance, this grill is going to gain all the attention of your guests and will cook scrumptious meaty delights later on.
- The features of this smoker can be determined without touching the device, as those are manifestly visible and evident. For easy mobility, the company has included strong and reliable front wheels that keep this grill in an upright position.
- The grill has a triple-walled shell that will retain the heat within the cooking area, and will also maintain temperatures from 200 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The presence of side shelves allows users to hook utensils or place sauces and/or seasonings. Having a little extra space doesn’t hurt.
- For a collection of ash, there is an ash pan, which can be easily removed after cooking the food.
- The role of two air damper, one at the top and another at the bottom plays a crucial role, as both help maintain airflow and heat control for attaining precise temperatures.
- The actual cooking space of the grill is 314 square inches, which gets further increased if you’ll add the space of warming rack as well, which happens to be 133 square inches, thus making the total cooking space of 447 square inches.
- The cart of this grill is made of the combination of tubular and rubber wheels, plus it has a front locking caster, so the grill will not going to be shaky when you are operating it.
- Features like a locking lid, two foldable black metal shelves, two-wall insulation, an ash pan and a heat gauge make cooking easier.
Pros And Cons Of The Product
- Two-wall insulation is excellent for slow-cooked meat, fish and pizzas.
- This grill has the ability to be used as a convection oven, so you can cook desserts, cornbread, cobblers and other similar dishes as well.
- Heat is generated quickly and remains intact for a long time.
- The inclusion of a side shelf makes things easier for the users as they can hook utensils that they want to use for serving the food. Moreover, these shelves are foldable, so you can fold these when not in use.
- To learn how to use this grill may take a while, so you could end up ruining food while using this grill for a first few times.
- The grill is made of steel instead of a heavy-duty material like terracotta.
Features That Give Ceramic Grills An Edge Over Other Types Of Grills
There are many advantages that you as a user can get in a ceramic grill, which I’m going to shed light on below:
- Precise Temperature Control: The ability to control temperature at precise levels is what makes ceramic grills a preferred choice over the others. Ceramic is an advanced material that is extremely efficient in retaining both heat and moisture. No matter if you want to cook meat at higher temperatures or slow cook the food for long hours at low temperatures, you can do both with utmost perfection in ceramic grills.
- Charcoal Efficiency: When compared with other types of grills, it has been found out that ceramic grills make use of charcoal in a much more efficient manner. The amount of charcoal required to reach a certain temperature is less in ceramic grills compared to other types of grills. Moreover, you can close all the vents once you are done cooking, as then, charcoal will extinguish rather quickly, thus giving you an option to use the same charcoal again.
- Versatility: The ability to reach and maintain high as well as low temperatures along with the ability to adjust the temperature in the easiest of the ways, you can do literally any type of cooking (grilling or smoking) in a ceramic grill. This type of grill allows you to roast or smoke a variety of meats, thus getting you tender and succulent pieces of meat at the end. A ceramic grill can even be used for cooking pizzas, baking breads and even cookies.
- Moisture Retention: One of the most common complaints of people grilling food on the grills is that the food loses its moisture even after it is kept on the grill for a few extra minutes. The food becomes rubbery, dry and less appealing. Ceramic grills can help fix that problem because of the material ‘ceramic’ that will retain more moisture compared to metal grills. So, the succulent moisture in the food will stay for a longer period, thus keeping your food tender and juicy.
- Ease Of Use: Ceramic grills are anything but complicated. From setting temperature control to using accessories, adding charcoal to cleaning, everything in a ceramic grill is quite easy.
- No Metal: As ceramic grills are made from neutral ceramic, therefore it doesn’t allow any bad aroma, flavours or anything else to impact the food. Moreover, the ingredients and wood smoke are able to leave their good impact in a much better way.
- Safety: Since grills are made of thick ceramic, then you can expect those to withhold heat rather efficiently. So, even when you are cooking at high temperatures, the outside of the grill will not get that hot. If by chance you touch the grill, your hands will not be burned as it would in the case of a metallic grill.
Shortcomings Of Ceramic Grills
I wanted to provide an unbiased view of ceramic grills because only then, you who are a consumer can make a wise decision. Hiding drawbacks is not going to do any good because you will eventually get to know about those.
- Cost: A quality ceramic grill can be a bit expensive, especially when you’ve been using a steel-constructed grill in your life. There is a significant difference in the price, which you can’t ignore even if you want to. But, you are getting dozens of extra features in those extra dollars, so keep that in mind as well.
- Weight: Ceramic grills are heavy, and I mean very heavy. Unless you have a solid stand or a table, don’t even think of moving that grill.
- Charcoal Type: A ceramic grill that operates on charcoal is going to produce a lot of ash, so if you have added a cheap charcoal briquettes, then be prepared to get ash everywhere around the grill. It is recommended to use only good hardwood lump charcoal. Although, these are more expensive, but will be consumed less and also produce less ash.
- Cracks: With age and extensive use, you can find cracks coming in the porcelain, especially in the lids. But, this is not really a drawback, it is due to lack of proper handling of the product that causes such issues.
Features to keep an eye out for when buying a ceramic grill:
- Quality Construction: A ceramic grill with thick walls will cook food better due to its efficient heat retention ability. Moreover, less charcoal will be consumed in comparison to other types of grill for cooking the same amount of food.
- Sturdiness: A top quality ceramic grill will sport a strong base, hinges and latches in order to ensure the safety of your investment.
- Ample Cooking Space: Inviting dozens of guests in order to have a successful in-house party can only be made possible if you have a grill with ample cooking space to cook food for those guests. So, watch out for cooking space while selecting a ceramic grill.
- Precise Temperature Gauges: Cooking is all about temperature and time. So, if you receive wrong temperature readings will cooking, then your food is definitely going into the trash instead of plates. Make sure that the temperature gauges given in the grill are accurate.
- Workspace: Having a little extra space to place utensils and ingredients that you wish to use while cooking never hurts, does it? So, only get that ceramic grill, which comes along with a decent workspace so that you can set up an outdoor kitchen.
The hunt for the best ceramic grill is not over but got a bit easier with the aforementioned review of three products. You still have to decide as to which ceramic grill suits your food-related requirements the best.
But, one thing is sure that you will not find a better ceramic grill than these three. So, go through the review of the three products that I have laid out especially for you, and take a decision.