10 Disadvantages of Kamado Grills

Welcome to our exploration of the top 10 disadvantages of using Kamado grills. If you’re considering purchasing a Kamado grill, or just looking to better understand the drawbacks, you’re in the right place.

While these grills offer unique cooking capabilities, it’s important to consider the potential downsides to ensure that they meet your expectations.

T oughout this article, we’ll delve into a range of downsides that come with Kamado grills. From their high initial cost to their limited direct grilling capability, we’ll cover everything that you need to know to help you make an informed decision before your next BBQ purchase.

So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to grilling, it’s worth exploring the Kamado grill disadvantages to ensure that you make the most of your grilling experience. Let’s dive in!

1. High Initial Cost

If you’re considering purchasing a Kamado grill, one of the first things you’ll notice is the high initial cost. Compared to other types of grills, Kamado grills can be quite expensive. Brands like Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe offer models that can cost anywhere from $500 to over $3000.

This high cost can be a barrier for some buyers, especially those who are just starting with grilling.

However, it’s important to remember that Kamado grills offer unique cooking capabilities that aren’t found in other types of grills. They are designed to last for many years and are often considered an investment in your grilling experience.

Types of GrillsPrice Range
Gas Grills$100-$5000
Charcoal Grills$20-$2000
Kamado Grills$500-$3000+

As you can see from the table above, Kamado grills fall within the same price range as other types of grills. While they may be more expensive than some models, they offer unique benefits that can make them worth the investment.

2. Heavy and Bulky: Difficult to Move and Store

One of the most significant drawbacks of Kamado grills is their heavy and bulky construction. Kamado grills are typically made of thick ceramic, which can make them challenging to move around, especially if you have limited storage space.

Their weight and size can also be problematic if you want to take your Kamado grill camping or tailgating. You’ll need to plan ahead and ensure you have adequate storage and transportation options.

If you have a small patio or balcony, a Kamado grill may not be the best option as they require dedicated storage space. You don’t want to leave your grill out in the rain or snow, and you’ll need to protect it from weather damage when not in use.

Thick ceramic construction retains heat and distributes it evenlyHeavy and difficult to move
Can achieve high temperatures for searing and low temperatures for smokingRequires dedicated storage space
Unique cooking capabilities not found in other types of grillsNot easily portable for camping or tailgating
Kamado grill being moved

3. Long Preheating Time

If you’re short on time, the Kamado grill’s long preheating time can be inconvenient. Due to its thick ceramic construction, it takes around 20-30 minutes to reach the desired temperature. However, this long preheating time is necessary to ensure even heating and a consistent cooking experience.

To make the most of your time, plan ahead and preheat the grill before you start preparing your food. You can use this time to gather your ingredients and prep your meat, so everything is ready to go when the grill reaches the desired temperature.

While the long preheating time may be an inconvenience, it’s important to remember that Kamado grills are not designed for quick and easy grilling. They are built for slow and steady cooking, allowing you to achieve that perfect smoky flavor and tender texture.

4. Requires More Attention

If you’re considering purchasing a Kamado grill, it’s important to understand that it requires more attention than other types of grills. While pellet grills let you “set it and forget it,” Kamado grills require more monitoring and adjustment to maintain consistent cooking temperatures.

This involves manipulating vent controls and adding charcoal as needed. Kamado grills can take longer to preheat compared to other grills, and you’ll need to keep an eye on the temperature to ensure your food is cooked properly.

Tip: Keep a close eye on the temperature gauge and use a digital meat thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to the correct temperature.

Kamado grill requires more attention

But with practice, you’ll be able to master the art of cooking with a Kamado grill and enjoy delicious, smoky flavor in your food.

5. Limited Cooking Area

If you frequently cook for large groups, you may find the smaller surface area of Kamado grills limiting. Unlike other grills, Kamado grills have a circular cooking area that varies in size depending on the model.

While the size may be sufficient for cooking a meal for a small family, it may not be enough when hosting a party or a large gathering.

One possible solution to this problem is to invest in a Kamado grill extension rack, which can increase the cooking surface area by up to 60%. However, this will come at an additional cost.

Alternatively, you can consider purchasing a larger Kamado grill model that offers a bigger cooking surface area. However, keep in mind that larger models are typically more expensive and heavier, which may present challenges when moving or storing them.

Kamado grill with limited cooking area

Comparison Table: Cooking Surface Area of Kamado Grills

ModelDiameter (inches)Cooking Surface Area (inches2)
Kamado Joe Jr.13.5148.5
Big Green Egg MiniMax13133
Primo Oval XL29680
Kamado Joe Classic III18256
Big Green Egg Large18.25262

As you can see from the table above, the cooking surface area of Kamado grills can vary significantly. When choosing a model, consider how many people you typically cook for and ensure that the cooking surface area will be sufficient for your needs.

6. Ash Removal Can Be Messy and Time-Consuming

Removing ashes from a Kamado grill can be a messy and time-consuming process. The ceramic body of Kamado grills retains heat for a long time, which means you’ll have to wait for it to cool down before removing the ash pan.

Tips for Ash RemovalDo’sDon’ts
Do use a metal scoop to remove the ashes.Do wait for the grill to cool down before removing the ash.Don’t use your hands to remove the ashes.
Do place a large trash bag under the grill to catch the ashes.Do wear gloves to protect your hands from the ashes.Don’t use water to put out the remaining coal.
Do brush off any remaining ash with a soft-bristled brush.Do use a grill cover to protect the grill when not in use.Don’t dispose of the ashes in the trash can before they have thoroughly cooled.

By following these tips, you can make the ash removal process as smooth and efficient as possible.

Messy Kamado Grill Ash Removal

7. Susceptible to Cracking

One of the main disadvantages of Kamado grills is their ceramic shell construction, which can make them susceptible to cracking. Dropping or subjecting the grill to extreme temperature changes can cause cracks to form, which can be inconvenient and costly to repair.

If you do experience cracking, it’s essential to address the problem promptly. Ignoring cracks can lead to more extensive damage and potentially compromise the overall performance of the grill.

Repairing a cracked Kamado grill can be an expensive and time-consuming process, depending on the severity of the damage. It’s best to have repairs done professionally to ensure the grill’s structural integrity is maintained.

Kamado grill with crack

8. Specific Fuel Requirements

One of the notable drawbacks of Kamado grills is their specific fuel requirements. Kamado grills are designed to use lump charcoal, which is different from the more commonly used briquettes or pellets.

Lump charcoal is made from wood and is more expensive than briquettes. It also burns faster and hotter, which can be both a pro and a con, depending on your cooking needs.

Another challenge with using lump charcoal is that it can be difficult to find in some areas. This can be frustrating if you’re in the middle of a cook and run out of fuel.

Lighting and maintaining the temperature of lump charcoal also requires more effort compared to other types of fuel. You’ll need to monitor the temperature carefully and adjust the vents as needed to achieve the desired cooking temperature.

  • Burns hotter and faster
  • Natural and chemical-free
  • Produces less ash
  • More expensive than briquettes
  • Difficult to find in some areas
  • Requires more effort to light and maintain temperature

While lump charcoal offers some benefits over other types of fuel, it’s essential to consider these drawbacks before investing in a Kamado grill. The higher cost and additional effort required for fuel management may not be worth it for some grillers.

Specific fuel requirements for Kamado grills

9. Limited Direct Grilling Capability

While Kamado grills are excellent for smoking and low-and-slow cooking, they may not be the best option for direct grilling high-heat foods like steaks. Due to their ceramic construction, Kamado grills can trap heat and steam, making it difficult to achieve a crispy sear on your meat.

This is because the ceramic material takes longer to heat up and cool down than traditional grills, and the heat distribution is not as even across the grill grates. This can lead to uneven cooking and scorching.

So, if you’re planning on grilling a lot of high-heat foods, like steaks or burgers, a Kamado grill may not be the ideal choice. However, you can still use your Kamado grill for indirect grilling methods or smoking to achieve delicious, flavorful results.

10. Storage Considerations for Kamado Grills

If you’re considering purchasing a Kamado grill, it’s essential to think about storage before investing. Due to their size and weight, Kamado grills require dedicated storage space. Keep reading to learn about some storage considerations for Kamado grills.

Finding the Right Spot

As you may already know, Kamado grills can be quite bulky and heavy. To ensure your grill stays in top shape, you’ll need to find a spot that can support its weight and size. A sturdy, level surface like concrete or pavers is ideal for placing your Kamado grill. It’s essential to avoid placing the grill on a wooden deck or grass surface to prevent damage or fires.

Kamado grill in a dedicated storage space

Enclosed Storage Space

If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions like rain, snow, or humidity, it’s better to store your grill indoors. An enclosed storage space like a garage or shed can be a great spot for your Kamado grill. Make sure there’s enough ventilation to avoid trapping moisture or heat inside the space.

Covering Your Grill

When you’re not using your Kamado grill, it’s essential to cover it with a weather-resistant cover. The cover will protect your grill from the elements and prolong its lifespan. Make sure the cover fits your Kamado grill snugly to prevent any moisture from seeping inside.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Before storing your Kamado grill, make sure to clean it thoroughly. Removing any leftover ash, charcoal, or other debris will prevent any grease or grime build-up. Additionally, it’s essential to clean the grill grates regularly to prevent rust and bacteria growth. Finally, keep your Kamado grill well-maintained by applying oil to the grill grates and gasket regularly.

“Proper storage is key to keeping your Kamado grill in top shape. Whether you decide to store it indoors or outdoors, make sure to find a dedicated space that can support its size and weight.”

In conclusion, proper storage is key to keeping your Kamado grill in top shape. Whether you decide to store it indoors or outdoors, make sure to find a dedicated space that can support its size and weight. By following these storage considerations, you’ll ensure your Kamado grill will be ready to use whenever you need it.


Now that you’re familiar with the various disadvantages of Kamado grills, you can make an informed decision before purchasing one for your BBQ needs.

While the unique cooking capabilities of Kamado grills may be appealing, it’s important to weigh the drawbacks, such as the high initial cost, heavy and bulky construction, and longer preheating time.

Consider also the need for monitoring and adjusting cooking temperatures, limited cooking area, messy ash removal, and the potential for cracking.

Furthermore, keep in mind the requirements for specific fuel, limited direct grilling capability, and storage considerations when deciding if a Kamado grill is suitable for your grilling experience.

With this insight, you can ensure that your BBQ purchase aligns with your needs and expectations. Happy grilling!

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