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Big Green Egg alternatives?

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I had my heart set on a large Big Green Egg, and have been waiting until my finances are in such condition as to make it reasonable. But then, I started hearing that some of the other ceramic grill manufacturers are catching up and, in fact, may have surpassed the original BGE at around the same pricepoint. In particular, Primo offers oval-shaped grills that offer a lot more surface area and Grill Dome offers BGE clones that use thicker ceramic, all stainless-steel hardware and have a lifetime warranty on all parts (not just the ceramic), plus they're available in neat colors.

Anyone have any experience comparing the original BGE to any of the competitors?

  1. Both of the companies you listed make great products. However unless you live the SE USA Grill Dome is not a great option. Freight has become really expensive and they have a limited dealer network. They are a nice product.
    The Primos is made in the USA. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the Oval but many love it. Primos makes a round as well as an oval and while their dealer network is not as large as BGE they do have enough dealers that support shouldn't be an issue for most.
    Having had such positive experiences with performance and support from BGE I'm still an Egg Head but you really can't go wrong with Primos.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TraderJoe

      Thanks. That's my suspicion on the Grill Dome - the fact that there are no dealers at all in my region (Colorado) makes me hesitant to commit to it, when I have a great BGE dealer right down the street. Plus there are so many BGE accessories/replacement parts available, and I'm not sure Grill Dome has that.

      I like the concept of the Primo oval, but practically speaking I'm not sure I need that much room. A large BGE seems sufficient, and since Primos are roughly the same price as the BGE for their round model I'm not sure there's much reason to go that direction.

    2. Check out the Broil King Keg. It is a kamado with double steel walls with insulation in between. Much cheaper than the egg and no ceramic to crack. You can grill or smoke. One load of lump can burn 18 hours on low and slow.

      It started out as the Bubba Keg then after some improvements they changed the name to Big Steel Keg and the the company got bought by OMC and they changed the name to Broil King Keg. I mention this because it is a little confusing if you are looking into it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cajundave

        I checked out the Broil King Keg, and it seems to sell for about the same price as a large BGE now (at Amazon and Cabela's). I wonder if that's caused by the corporate changes. If it's the same price, then I'm not sure there's much benefit. I've also heard from one source that it's more difficult to control the temp on a Keg than a BGE.

        1. re: monopod

          The prices on the BKK (BKK4000) are all over the place. I bought the Big Steel Keg (version 2) at ACE for $500 2 years ago. The Broil King Keg has a scaled down version BKK2000 that is selling for around $300. That model does not have wheels, the trailer hitch, the side tables or the cast iron grate. You really need to try and find a sale or a floor model to get a good deal.

          The BSK that I got was sealed very well and I have no problems holding temps from 220 on up. Some people have gotten ones that are not sealed as well and you have to get some high temp silicone for the top and bottom vents. Some people go farther and get temp fan controllers like the BBQ Guru and other types.

          Go to

          http://forum.bigsteelkeg.com/index.ph...

          This site will tell you everything you want to know about BSK and BKK as well as the version one Bubba. The members are pretty honest and will admit the flaws as well as the advantages. I personally would not pay more than $550 for a keg.

          I think the Primos have come down in price.

          The main advantage the kegs have over ceramics is price and no danger of ceramic breaking.

          The outside is cooler to the touch compared to ceramics also.

          Either way I think you are on the right track. I totally got sick of trying to do low and slow on the Weber and what I have read about offsets is that they are hard to control as well.

          As a bonus you can smoke in cold weather.

          Once you start ribs, butts, briskets and pizza (at 800 and done in 5 minutes) you will never regret buying a Kamado.

      2. I have an egg and like it a lot. However the price has gone up -a lot- since I bought mine. My local costco (in Southern Ontario) was carrying a ceramic cooker that was about half of the cost of a similar sized egg. I would certainly consider that. I also agree that the Primo oval is a nice alternative. If money is no object, go with the egg but there are now some worthy competitors that merit a look.

        1. There are plenty of choices out there that are cheaper than the Big Green Egg. Much of the hype behind the Big Green Egg is marketing then, in turn, the consumers' placebo effect. I'm not saying the Big Green Egg is a bad product. I am, however, saying that there are many products out there that can help you turn out just as good food or better than the Big Green Egg.

          Maybe if you shared what your goal with the Big Green Egg is, other products that are much cheaper could be suggested.

          This is not directed at anyone in particular, but I think many of us as cooks/consumers often mistakenly think that a particular cooking tool or piece of equipment will make us a better cook. I see a presentation for a particular product then taste the food that came off that product and think "Man! That is amazing! If I get this product, I'll be able to turn out yummy food like this!" This is, of course, a logical fallacy. Becoming a better cook makes me a better cook. A Big Green Egg won't make me a better cook. There is no substitute for cooking ability.

          4 Replies
          1. re: 1POINT21GW

            It has been suggested that the BGE makes food more moist and more flavorful. Due to its ceramics or something like that.

            1. re: tommy

              My primary goals are (a) to have a very efficient smoker that will maintain temp for long periods (e.g. overnight), and (b) to have a charcoal grill for searing steaks and such on weekends when I have time to deal with charcoal (I have a gas grill for weeknight grilling when time is of the essence). I would also potentially use it as a pizza oven on occasion. I like that it can do all of these things well.

              I currently have a cheapo offset smoker (Charbroil) which is frustrating to use because it's practically impossible to maintain an even temperature due to the thin metal and many air leaks (making the vents only marginally effective). I think I have the skills to make some great BBQ, but I think I've hit the limits of my smoker. I could get a Weber Smoky Mountain instead, but I'm thinking that the BGE would (a) last longer and (b) kill several birds with one stone by also providing a charcoal grill and brick oven(ish) option. Plus they look neat.

              Quantity isn't really an issue; I've never felt limited by my current smoker, and the max I ever really do is maybe a pork butt and a couple of small chickens at a time. I believe I could easily fit that on a large BGE (or equivalent).

              1. re: monopod

                "I'm thinking that the BGE would (a) last longer and (b) kill several birds with one stone..."

                Bingo! That's exactly the thinking that drove me to the BGE. If you are just grilling, there are cheaper options that work just as well. If you are smoking a bunch of meat all the time, you'd want a dedicated smoker. But if you are doing all of the above, the BGE is great.

                BTW - if you are really looking at just doing one butt or a couple of chickens, you might want to look at the medium BGE. The grid is just 15 inches across, but it can still handle a pizza, or 4 steaks, or 2 butts.

            2. re: 1POINT21GW

              Much of the hype behind the Big Green Egg is marketing then, in turn, the consumers' placebo effect.

              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Every one has and is of course entitled to their opinion. That certainly doesn't make them accurate.

              Before I bought a BGE my line of thought wasn't all that different. Having spent many years in professional kitchens and having had the privilege of working with a lot of products I would say the BGE is nothing short of awesome. I'd say the same about a few other ceramic cookers and yes they do cook better than many other grills depending on what technique you want to utilize. This makes me a better cook in the same way a sharp knife improves my ability. The real benefit of ceramic cookers is they are both awesome grills and smokers/slow cookers and the ceramic retains moisture not to mention ceramic cookers can sear a steak at temps that will exceed many other grills and they make killer pizza!

              @ Monopod Some of the Large BGE parts will work on the GD but I think Primos or BGE are better options. I would avoid the less expensive ceramics at Costco however some Costco's are carrying the BGE.

            3. I have had a large BGE for about 10 years. I have been very happy with it quality wise. The only part that has required replacement was the fire grate where the goals sit. The original was ceramic. It was a replaced by a stainless steel plate. I am still using my original felt liner thought I know I should replace that My primary use for the BGE is for smoking (pork butts for pulled pork, brisket, ribs, etc.)

              I have looked at alternatives online and the Bubba Keg/Broil King stainless steel unit seemed like a good alternative at a somewhat lower price. The insulated stainless seemed to get all the advantages of the ceramic with a lighter product and at a lower cost. That being said, all of these products are pretty limited by cooking area. If I wanted to cook quantity, i would probably look at a square electric heated smoker with wood chunks. Not sure how good the taste would be compared to the charcoal/wood chunk flavor from the BGE but with proper care on temperature, etc. who knows.

              1. All ceramic kamado-style cookers will produce similar results. That said, I love my BGE and wouldn't trade it. Part of that is because of the warranty:

                Big Steel Keg has a 5 year warranty.
                Primo Grills covers the ceramics for 20 years and metal parts for 5 years.
                BGE offers 3 years on plate setters, 5 years on metal parts, and lifetime on the ceramics.

                If you want the best price on a BGE, wait for an Eggfest in your area and then contact the dealer about buying a demo egg (used just for cooking at the fest) for about 2/3rd the usual price.

                15 Replies
                1. re: FoodFire

                  We're having an Eggfest locally, and I just checked -- the price for a medium or large demo is between $600 and $800! For a GRILL? Nah. I'll just get another Weber.

                  1. re: jmckee

                    You do know that a decent Weber gas grill (Genesis series, for instance) is going to set you back at least $700, right? And that's pretty entry level - they go waaay up from there. $600 to $800 for a BGE (which is heavy-duty ceramic, not just stamped sheet metal) seems pretty reasonable in comparison.

                    1. re: monopod

                      If you're talking Big Green Egg, why would you factor gas grills into it???

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        Well, I was just responding to the price point comparison - jmckee seems to think it's ridiculous to pay $600 to $800 for a grill but likes Webers, so I was just pointing out that there are many Webers at and above that price point. No, BGE isn't similar to a gas grill - but nor is it similar to a Weber kettle grill or a Weber Smokey Mountain. It's a different kind of cooker, so any price comparison is really not helpful. Which was my point.

                      2. re: monopod

                        I had a gas gril. No desire to have one again. My basic Weber charcoal grill I bought in 1986 lasted for 14 years. Nothing I've had since even touches it. My CharBroil gas grill remains one of the dumbest purchases I ever made.

                        $600 to $800 is, in my opinion, NEVER a "reasonable" price for a grill.

                        1. re: jmckee

                          Apples and oranges - the OP was looking for a BGE alternative. While the Weber kettle is a fine grill (I've owned and cooked-through 2 of them), it is not (IMHO) a BGE alternative.

                          Most ceramic kamado cookers can hit a temp of over 1200°F for the best steaks ever, bake pizzas at 500°F, and smoke brisket at 250°F for 18+ hours on one load of lump. I enjoyed my kettle grills, but there's not one of them out there than can do all of that without some major modifications and/or user intervention.

                          1. re: FoodFire

                            My home oven bakes pizzas at 500 degrees.

                            1. re: tommy

                              Exactly. 500 doesn't cut it for thin crust pizzas, I prefer 800-1000 which is what I bake them at on my BGE. Thick crusts and pan pizzas need a lower temp though.

                              1. re: rasputina

                                How long does it take to bake a pizza in your BGE?

                                1. re: tommy

                                  At 800 degrees, it takes me between two and three minutes (not in a BGE, but I assume it'll be the same there). That's for a neopolitan style pizza - thin crust with a puffy rim that gets little charred spots on it (delicious!).

                                  1. re: tommy

                                    A few minutes, I always stand there and peek after 3 minutes to see how much longer. If it's slightly thicker or has more toppings it can take a couple more minutes.

                            2. re: jmckee

                              "Reasonable" is all about quality and expectations. Is $30,000 ever a "reasonable" price for a car? If it's a Honda Civic (which is a great car in many ways), no. If it's a top-of-the-line german sportscar, probably yes. Same with grills - your Weber charcoal grill is simple and great for a single purpose (grilling). It can't do a lot of things the BGE can do, but if you don't want to do those things then it's perfect for your purposes. I, however, want to smoke meats low and slow for hours, and also cook pizza at 700 degrees and higher, which a Weber charcoal grill can't do. For those purposes, $600 to $800 is a reasonable price, given the alternatives that are out there.

                          2. re: jmckee

                            Haha! Exactly.

                            (Since this forum has an antiquated platform, I wanted to make sure my reply wasn't confusing. My reply was in response to to jmckee's post. Moderators and site owner(s): wouldn't it be easier to simply implement some of the new features other forum platforms have offered for over ten years such as the ability to quote someone rather than me having to write an entire paragraph dedicated to clearing this up?)

                            1. re: jmckee

                              Don't buy a BGE if you just want something to "grill" on . Its good for that, but where it shines is in long slow cooking like when you want to smoke a pork butt overnight. You could do this on the weber kettle but you need to sleep next to it and add charcoal every hour or two. Also, depending on use, I believe the BGE would outlive the weber.

                              1. re: dalewest

                                The Weber Smokey Mountain cooker allows for extended smokes (8+ hours) without adding any extra charcoal.

                                You can also use the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker as a grill.

                                With practice, you shouldn't even have to step foot outside during the entire smoke but maybe once or twice, if that. One of the best purchases I've made regarding smoking is a remote probe thermometer that remotely monitors the air temperature. It has an alarm on it if the air temperature inside the smoking chamber gets outside of the range I custom set at the beginning of the smoking session. This allows me to set-it-and-forget-it, or set-it-and-go-to-sleep.

                          3. Was it a Big Green Egg or one of its' clones that I just saw at my local COSTCO...(it was green(!)
                            San Francisco...don't recall the price...just that I saw one there!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ChowFun_derek

                              I bought a Vision kamado at Costco in Minnesota about a month ago. Mine isn't green it is more a dark grey/black. I've been happy with it so far.

                              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                Costco has had both, but note that they are not an authorized BGE dealer so you may have warranty issues if you pick up a BGE there, depending on how stand-up BGE corporate is.

                              2. To refocus the discussion here, I'm not really looking for advice on whether a ceramic cooker like the BGE is the right choice for me - I'm pretty much decided that it is. What I need to know is whether other manufacturer's takes on that design are preferable. From what I'm hearing so far, most folks recommend sticking to the BGE itself; it doesn't sound like other manufacturers are much better or are offering similar quality for much cheaper. Is that fair to say?

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: monopod

                                  The other main makers we talked about up-thread that are equal to the BGE sell at the same price point as BGE so it's a matter of personal preference. The products that are less $$$ have trade offs. Some should just be avoided like the Vision that has a long convoluted company history of being bought and sold with lousy customer servive and IIR is now made in China.
                                  To any one that's bought one of those make sure you read the warranty. If you don't register it right away they void your warranty. The fire boxs on those have major problems as well as some other design flaws.

                                  1. re: monopod

                                    Well Monopod, my large BGE is about 10 years old now. My wife about killed me when she sent me out for a new pretty stainless gas grill and I came home with the BGE. Its about the only argument we have ever had that she actually admitted I was right and if anything ever happened to the egg she and the kids would have a new one delivered within a week. I regularly sear top choice steaks at 1000 plus degrees that beat any steakhouse around. I new nothing about smoking but the learning curve is so simple with the BGE that its pretty much idiot proof and my ribs are always juicy and delicious. Temps hold so well that overnight unattended slow cooks are stress free and have always come out perfect. Weber Kettles are a fantastic reasonably priced product and suit many applications very well but are NO where near as versatile as ceramics. I think you will be very satisfied with a ceramic cooker.

                                    Now for your question, "Which brand"? Well I am not an engineer so I won't get into the technical differences between the brands if in fact there are really any significant differences. What I will say is that repeated sears at 1000 plus degrees "WILL" crack the firebox inside the egg over time. Mine has twice! The first time mine cracked I continued using it for several years until the crack spider webbed so bad the firebox had to be replaced. I called my local "private" BGE dealer in Medford, NJ and explained my situation to him. He pulled my purchase/warranty paperwork and said it was fully covered but the shipping cost for a new firebox was like $20.00. He told me if the firebox still worked (It did) he would order me a new firebox and have it shipped with his regular deliveries from the BGE distributor (about 4 weeks) and there would be no shipping cost. Thats what I did as well as order a super heavy duty cast iron grate for searing.

                                    My point is that warranty details & dealer support are extremely important when buying expensive items and I would make it a key part of your decision when choosing both a brand and a dealer. Big box stores are very good with returns as long as they have not dropped the product line which over time they are prone to doing. The BGE co has stood by their warranty in my case and my local dealer was about as accommodating as humanly possible. In addition, my dealer stocks smaller parts and accessories that I can see and touch before I buy them. Rarely do big box stores stock such things.

                                    Its a big purchase and my advise would be to personally talk to the diff dealers in your area and become educated on the brand they sell as well the service they provide when something breaks. Good Luck!!!

                                    1. re: Tom34

                                      Is there an actual thermometer that tells you that 1000 degrees has been reached in the BGE"?

                                      1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                        My original thermometer maxed at 750 degrees and during my first sear it passed 750 and went another 3/4 around and broke. I remove my new one when searing.

                                        If you google: "Big green egg max temperature" a site by the "Naked Whiz" should come up. He is regarded as one of the foremost experts on ceramic cookers. Great source of info on them. He claims to have measured over 1200 degrees at the grate food sits on in the egg when the lid is closed and top and bottom vents are wide open.

                                        I will tell you this, when going full blast during a sear, I only use 2 foot long tongs to turn the steaks. Early experiments with regular length tongs resulted in loss of knuckle hair and on a few occasions actual skin burns. These things are about the closest thing to a kiln I have seen and command great respect when letting them go full blast.

                                        To see why the green egg commands respect, google "big green egg flashback". Again the "Naked Whiz" site should come up. If your on the flash back page of the site, go to the bottom and click on the video links. Pretty scary stuff. Happened to me once, arm hair gone!. Very easy to prevent now that I know about it.

                                        1. re: Tom34

                                          Flashback is at biggest risk on the first burn of your charcoal. I'm always careful on the first burn especially on a hi-temp sear.
                                          Most lump charcoal burns at 1,000+. When others ask about BGE temps there are two different temperatures that are talked about. Grate temperature and Dome temperature. Dome temp should never hit 1,000 but can hit 600+ with ease.
                                          One way to keep those hi-temp searing sessions under control is to get a spyder and a 13" grate to lower your cooking surface close to the coals.
                                          Either way if you do a lot of hi-temp searing a Nomex gasket is well worth the extra few bucks.

                                          1. re: TraderJoe

                                            I only had one flashback when I first got it about 10 years ago and it scared the H*ll out of me. Now during high temp cooks I always open vents fully and burp the lid before fully opening.

                                            I love the intense dome down wide open sear. 1 1/2 inch thick top choice strip w/28 day age (1 1/2 min full throttle, then top vent closed to 1/3 to snuff the flames down for about 1 1/2 min , BURP cycle & open, flip steak, close dome & repeat). Pull them, tent & rest 10 min. (med rare every time). I like this method as well as the T-Rex and its a lot faster. As good or better than grilled steak at steakhouses commanding $75.00 plate A La Carte. Whole top choice 0x1 strip yielding 13 - 15 thick steaks costs me less that $100.00 on avg.

                                            My grate is an after market heavy cast iron standard diameter. INTENSE grill marks and great release. I am ok with the height off the fire. Have not looked at BGE aftermarket product in years, will have to check out the spyder.

                                            Will look into the Nomex gasket as I have gone through several stock ones (THANKS)

                                            Have owned Webber Kettles & their great for the $ but the versatility of the ceramics is far superior. Absolutely NO regrets.

                                            I grill all year round. In the winter going from 20 degrees to over 1000 degrees in less that 20 minutes is a major shock to anything and I have cracked fireboxes. BGE Warranty kicked right in & local dealer was great. If all things were equal between top brands, Warranty & "local" dealer support would be the tie breaker.

                                            1. re: Tom34

                                              As good or better than grilled steak at steakhouses
                                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Much better! I'm off to grill some prime NY strips. I cut a loin up this morning that I wet aged for two weeks and then dried for three days. I've been thinking about steak all day! :)

                                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                                Heading off to work in 1/2 hour......Next weekend I'm off......the whole top choice 0x1 strip thats been in the downstairs fridge for several weeks comes out......Egg gets screaming hot and the good times get rolling.......Having an egg & great quality food products to put on it is so good its almost becomes an obsession.......will have to get back to you later on steak source / aging & cooking tech. Tom

                                                1. re: TraderJoe

                                                  Trader Joe

                                                  Cut up a 0x1 top choice strip loin w/28 day wet age last night. Couple nice thick ones seasoned and ready to go, homemade potato salad, asparagus, portabello mushrooms..............cold beer.......hour behind the lawnmower............then BGE comes alive.

                                                  Since getting the BGE years ago I have not been to a steakhouse in years & I forget how their steaks taste but guests have said my steaks are as good or better! With your steakhouse employment experience, how would you compare the BGE vs the very expensive broilers in the steakhouses. Also, have heard many rumors about needlers & chemical tenderizers being used at many chains. Have you seen this? Tom

                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                    With your steakhouse employment experience, how would you compare the BGE vs the very expensive broilers in the steakhouses. Also, have heard many rumors about needlers & chemical tenderizers being used at many chains.
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    It's very hard to compare a BGE to a commercial broiler. The BGE doesn't have the control or volume of a broiler deck.
                                                    Both systems can sear a steak to perfection.
                                                    I have seen chains that use tenderizers but I'm not sure I'd say it's common. Needling is fairly common for select items.
                                                    I have a couple of aged Prime strip steaks waiting for the BGE as we speak. :)

                                                    1. re: TraderJoe

                                                      Cooked my strips last night. Delicious! Some people say the charcoal doesn't add flavor. I have a Webber gas grill too and the BGE loaded with lump wins hands down. Smoked 2 full racks of ribs today.....set it & forget it.....came out perfect.....have to work Mon.....Enjoy.

                                    2. I'm a Primo Oval fan, it's a cooking machine! I've had my Oval for 8 years now and no issues other than the gasket needing replacement (true of all ceramic cookers after time). I have an original Oval which is the same size as what's now called the Oval XL. The versatility is the thing that distinguishes the oval. The ability to cook direct/indirect at the same time is HUGE. And the Oval shape lends itself to so many more options; even if the surface area isn't that much bigger than a round thing about the shape of the things you'll mostly cook: briskets, pork shoulders, turkeys, etc. are not round. Here's a couple links that really demonstrate what you can do with a Primo Oval.

                                      http://askabutcher.proboards.com/inde...

                                      http://primogrillforum.com/forums/sho...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: holmesness

                                        Even with the round shape of the egg and the top vent positioned directly over the center, some areas are a little hotter that others. Is this issue amplified with the oval shape near the outer edges of the oval? I guess if it was, a con would be inconsistency if cooking just one product but a pro would be having 2 spots at the outer edges for different items that required a little less heat.

                                        When I got my egg the oval Primo was very new and I decided to go with the tried and true BGE. The advantages of the oval shape you speak of though do make sense. Either way, ceramics are definitely worth the $$ IMHO.

                                      2. I'll give you my opinions, for what it's worth. I've followed ceramic grills for quite some time, drooling I might add, but am in an apartment so it's a no go for me at the moment.

                                        BGE - Makes a good grill, a lot of people will tell you that and they have nice accessories. Somewhat expensive however, but a great community around them as well. I don't like that a few things seem to not be stainless and rust (nests, bolts), especially for the price.

                                        Primo - You mentioned the oval. I stopped following them a few years back. I liked the idea of being able to do direct and indirect cooking at the same time with their setup, but I tend to think the oval shape makes it a bit more prone to hot spots, IMHO. The REAL reason I stopped following them though was a few too many posts about the main body cracking on them, including one guy who had two do so. I don't know if it's still a problem, but it through me off them given that it was an issue during regular use at regular temps and seemed to be occurring.

                                        Kamado Joe - Not sure I saw anyone mention this one. Getting a good reputation. A bit thicker than a BGE, well made, come in at 23" w/ side tables and nest for about $899 so I think a better value than the BGE. From those that own them, I haven't heard a complaint. I've seen BGE, Primo, and Kamado Joe all in person. I have no fears recommending the Kamado Joe over the BGE. Available in Red or Black.

                                        Bubba Keg, Big Steel Keg, Broil King Keg - Another guy covered the history on this one. Here's what I like about it, which is the portability with the trailer hitch attachment (an option, not included) with the current higher end model only. That is what really sets it apart for me. I've also seen this one in person...what I don't like. I don't care for the plastic side tables, but that's a very personal thing. The gasket / rim area has rivets spaced around the rim under the gasket material. It causes MAJOR wear on the gasket everywhere those rivets are, more so than I'd have thought. The upper tray that rotates out of the way, while a neat idea, is very lightweight material with, again my opinion, poor supporting welds. I've seen this tray broken quite easily before. Overall, my impression of the whole thing was cheaply made and overpriced, and not likely to last like a ceramic. Not really stainless either, so rust will become an issue over time, especially if the cast iron grate scratches that inside paint job. HOWEVER, if you wanted to transport it for tailgating, picnicking, etc, it is your best option of this type of cooker.

                                        Misc - I've seen some strange take-offs of the Keg idea looking more like traditional eggs but with steel bodies recently, cheaply priced ($300 or so), such as at Lowe's, etc. Let's just say if I was going this metal body route I'd get a Keg over any of them.

                                        And finally, my personal favorite and the absolute best on the market with a price to match:

                                        Komodo Kamado - Operates out of Indonesia and run by the grandson of the late Art Linkletter of "Kids Say the Damdest Things" fame, among others. Available in 23" and 19.5" size, ability to run a rotisserie (only one of this kind of cooker that can), special plugs / areas to run temperature plugs or fan controllers (bbq guru) without shutting your lines in the actual hinged door, offset for protecting the gasket / making a better seal to keep it from burning up gaskets easily like those of other designs, all stainless steel hardware, adjustable spring that takes the weight off lifting / holding the lid open, attractively available in many tiling / color options, lots of accessories available, stays cooler on the outside (child safety), holds temps easily, bands built into the body so no tightening of bands / lid coming loose to worry about, seals even better / runs longer on charcoal than a BGE, and great customer service. Downsides: Customer service is of course tied to the one man rather than so much the company being a small operation, price, weight of cooker.

                                        Here's one in use by Chris Lilly of BBQ fame. In fact, I think he's the master of the pork butt as many competitions for it as he's won. Here he's making pizza on a Komodo Kamado.

                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsyK3m...

                                        52 Replies
                                        1. re: sumrtym

                                          I really wish I didn't know the Komodo Kamado existed - I have been lusting after a BGE for years but now I think my affections have been transferred!!!

                                          1. re: sumrtym

                                            Doesn't Kamado from Indonesia have a dedicated fraud forum?

                                            http://www.kamadofraudforum.org/

                                            1. re: TraderJoe

                                              Different company . The grill you are referring to is Kamado.com. here is a review of the Komodo Kamado from Naked Whiz.

                                              http://www.nakedwhiz.com/productrevie...

                                              1. re: TraderJoe

                                                As stated, the Kamado.com is the fraud company. Dennis at KomodoKamado.com is a standup guy.

                                                1. re: sumrtym

                                                  komodo Kamado factory direct pricing starts around $3000.00. vs about $800.00 to
                                                  $900 for the BGE & Primo. The versatility or 3 BGE's with $300 worth of gadgets seems like a better deal than one Komodo Kamado.

                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                    Perhaps, but that's also like saying the versatility of 3 Tramontina Dutch Ovens is a better deal than one Le Creuset or Staub. The Komodo Kamado also comes with a lot of the "accessories" of a BGE (stand since built in, upper / lower / sear grill racks, indirect heat diffuser, etc).

                                                    Different strokes for different folks.

                                                    1. re: sumrtym

                                                      I think that may all be well & good for a very select group of well to do buyers who can throw unlimited funds at something but I think the most bang for the buck for the average person would be the green egg or its equivalent.

                                                      BGE has a proven track record and there are plenty of very reasonably prices accessories out there to give it very broad ceramic cooker capabilities.

                                                      Retail sales...... parts...... warranty service......are also readily available in most locations and many of these locations are privately owned businesses that have great customer service.

                                                      For $3000.00 plus dollars (Cost of Komodo Kamado) I can build an outdoor cooking island with a LG BGE, USA made high end gas grill, professional side burners , frig and a small sink. How do I now this, already priced it out and will be building it this fall when deck & fish pond are done.

                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                        Again, that's like saying though what all you could do to your kitchen if you didn't buy All-Clad, Staub, Le Creuset, Miele, Bosch, Pillivuyt, Apilco, etc. There's plenty of users on Chowhound rather than a select group who already made those decisions. Also, $3k isn't "unlimited funds". It may be beyond your comfort level for a grill. Buying a new car every 3-4 years is beyond my comfort level. Everybody has their own.

                                                        Given the construction on the KK, there's not much warranty need, but Dennis has been great with anyone who needed something. There's 82 lbs of high-grade stainless steel in a KK grill. You don't have to worry about your non-stainless BGE band loosening over time and because you forgot to check it, open the cooker and your top falls off and breaks. I've seen other ceramics knocked over before and broken...takes a bit more to knock over a 588 lb grill.

                                                        Again, everyone has their priorities but having a custom tiled cooking masterpiece that will look good far longer than a BGE or other grill with less maintenance needs is not out of line for the price, especially considering the quality of a lot of the grills being sold at $500-$800 or more. I wish I could find that picture I had of a BGE sitting next to a KK posted by an owner. Size, quality, etc, really become apparent side by side especially looking at the rust that developed on his nest, bands, etc. over use, and he had been a big BGE fan before ordering a KK. If you want to pick on an outrageous grill price, I suggest you look at the Viking C4 grill for over $3,000 (I think it used to be even higher).

                                                        http://www.frontgate.com/x/313819?Sou...

                                                        That thing is simply a Primo round grill (supplied by Primo I know for a fact) slid in a thin stainless jacket. That's it, no other difference. I'm willing to bet there's more stainless of a higher grade in a single KK than that entire cart / cooker of the Viking. There's a big difference between the features / quality of a KK and that and other ceramic grills, and a hand-tiled, better insulated, better designed with better materials grill is of course going to cost more.

                                                        EDIT: Before you say I'm making up the band issue on a BGE, which to me is a failure of design corrected in the KK, here's just a couple posts (I can find 100's more). Are there tons of people as well never broke a BGE...sure. Is it a constant problem for everyone? Maybe not, but it's one to take into account and compromises your expensive purchase if happens to you, especially while cooking and dealing with a heavy, hot piece of ceramic....

                                                        ...."I was cooking steaks the other night at 500 and slightly leaned on the handle (large BGE) and the band slipped down off the dome....worked like heck to get it tightened up enough to pull the steaks...some of the best jerky I ever had..LOL "

                                                        ....."Was set up for pizza. Had dome temp at 650 degrees for one hour. Did not think to check or tighten the bands. You can probably guess what happened next.

                                                        Opened it up to put the first pizza on. Put the pizza on the stone, went to close the lid. The handle came, but the dome stayed, as the bands had expanded too much due to the extended heat. Then the dome fell backward onto the (fortunately) empty portion of the deck. Very loud crash and shatter. So loud the neighbor called to ask what happened. It broke into about 8 very hot pieces."

                                                        ..."I lifted the top to check on the meat and the ceramic lid came loose, fell to the ground and broke into 4 pieces."

                                                        BTW, BGE says not to tighten a hot grills bands because they shrink of course as they cool. I'm not quite sure how you deal with that then if they expand at high heat cooks like pizza. Again, not a worry you ever need to have with a KK, or accidentally dropping a lid back on the body causing damage (KK has an adjustable spring that takes the weight off so you actually latch the lid down when you close it.

                                                        1. re: sumrtym

                                                          Everybody has their $ priorities. I paid about $800 for my BGE and its been sitting outside uncovered in the Philly / S. Jersey area for at least 8 years & has been getting used about once a week or more since new year round. As soon as I clear the driveway in the winter the snowblower is making a path to the egg out back

                                                          HISTORY:

                                                          (A) 1 firebox crack from repeated extreme searing in dead of winter. Free warranty replacement & no shipping through my local dealer.

                                                          (B) Couple of gaskets from the searing, maybe $30.00 and an hour of my time total. Looks like a $30.00 Nomex gasket will fix that problem for good when its time to replace it again.

                                                          (C) Only adjusted Bands once when new, never had to adjust bands since. Wish I could say the same for my kids braces.

                                                          (D) No rust on bands, just factory black paint. Very thick bands, if they did rust, I would likely be dead before they broke.

                                                          (E) Minor surface rust on 1/2 doz bolts and a spring which will cost less than $25.00 to replace at my local hardware store IF I ever need to. .10 cent spray of marine silicone once in a while seems to keep it from rusting further. Had I started spraying them when I got it there would be no rust and I would be up to about $5.00 in spray.

                                                          (F) Never knocked it over but then again I don't cut my lawn with a 1500 lb John Deer tractor which is the only thing I could think of other than a falling tree that would knock it out of its nest. (Maybe an 800 lb drunk idiot but I don't have any of them either)

                                                          (G) Met a Phila Eagles football player who makes more in a year than most in a lifetime who has a BGE. Loved it. Couldn't get him to talk football once he knew you were into ceramic cookers, just BGE talk. Said the super expensive stainless stuff next to it is just for cooking a 100 lbs of burgers & chicken when his team mates come over.

                                                          (H) Have expensive art work, prefer it hangs on the wall inside the house. Bathrooms & kitchen are full of custom tile work, don't need any more.

                                                          (I) Have a $3000.00 Dacor convection range that doesn't do anything better than a $1200.00 G/E. The parts that go bad (electric ignitors) in the Dacor are the same ones in the G/E. Gone through three in 12 years . Ha Ha Ha. Friend of mine repairs them. He said the high end stuff keeps him in business with far more repairs for the same age as the standard appliances DUE TO THE FANCY ELECTRONIC CONTROLS. Go in a commercial kitchen, no fancy electronic controlled stuff there, they don't have time to keep calling the repair man.

                                                          (J) Pots & pans: Have custom kitchen full of them. Alum, Cast Iron, multi ply stainless, De Buyer carbon, heavy weight non stick...........all brands from supply houses used by professional chefs in commercial kitchens every day at 1/3 the price of the PRETTY "All-clad" & others. Mine get heavy use and no longer look spit shined so they go in the role out pan draws. Keep a couple shinny copper ones on the rack for "appearance only" for people to OOH & AAH at but I would rather they OOH & AAH at what comes out of the well seasoned ugly black De Buyer carbon steel pans that only set me back about $35 bucks each. They also make a h*ll of a weapon should the need arise.

                                                          Seriously though, its all a matter of whats important to the person making the purchase. I was very active in the shooting sports years ago and had pistols costing thousands each. Same with fishing equipment. I guess its all what your into.

                                                          Bottom line though is that of all the significant purchases I have made over the years I would be hard presses to come up with one that has served me as well as the BGE. I am 100% satisfied and so is everyone I know who bought one on my advice which are quite a few people.

                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                            a) KK I've yet to hear of a problem with needing replacements of the firebox. The design incorporates expansion joints, which I believe BGE started to do recently. Also, the charcoal more sets in a stainless steel basket that hangs unlike other designs. Cracking a firebox would take a lot given the design.

                                                            b) KK gaskets are offset with the lid design. For one, it's a tighter, better seal. For another, it's a lot harder to burn the gasket. About the only way you'd do that is with a flashback. Less time needing to replace, if ever.

                                                            c) No bands to adjust, ever, on a KK. It's built into the shell. I'm glad you haven't needed to on yours. The quotes from the guys who's dropped on the concrete probably didn't think they needed to either though.

                                                            d) See c. Breaking isn't so much the problem. Slipping is.

                                                            e) Why aren't the parts stainless on a $800 grill? Man, even the vision ceramic grill sold cheaper than a BGE at Costco made in China comes with a full stainless stand. Again, on the KK, 82 lbs of high grade stainless, and no paint to fleck off / chip / repaint / etc. Heck, on the KK, even the airflow draft door is CNC laser cut from brushed stainless sheet.

                                                            f) I know of one personally knocked over by lawn care people and broken. They admitted it though.

                                                            g) Never said a BGE was bad, and certainly never said a "super expensive stainless" was better, which was probably even propane.

                                                            h) Personal choice.

                                                            i) Last I looked, there was no "fancy electronic controls" to fail on a ceramic cooker (unless you use a Stoker, BBQ Guru, etc). That's not where the price comes from. However, I do see lots of design improvements from the cap that works in a full-on rain storm without needing to make your own cover, to the lack of external bands with problems they can cause, to the spring assist opening that helps negate the weight of the lid / keeps it from coming crashing down if you dropped it. So, I'd say for that, it's the exact opposite of your example where you have more failure pts on the lower model than the higher.

                                                            j) Personal choice again. BTW, there are some uses for copper pans / bowls that make them better choices than any other. For example, making meringue. The copper molecules actually cause a chemical reaction resulting in a better product.

                                                            I wasn't putting down the BGE, but I believe I also gave examples of people who bought a KK whom owned a BGE and were very impressed / happier with the KK. I've yet to hear anyone buy a KK and after using it say it wasn't worth the money either, unlike your football player friend when it came to his stainless cooker after the BGE. There's no examples I know of regret when it comes to those who've purchased a KK, even among former "eggheads".

                                                            Considering we're on a cooking site, in a cookware section, I'm assuming some people might just be *gasp* into cookware as much as you were into fishing and shooting.

                                                            1. re: sumrtym

                                                              A. Newer firebox seems to be pretty good so far.

                                                              B. $30.00 Nomex gasket is reported to have solved the burning gasket problem.

                                                              C. My climate has some pretty extreme temp & humidity swings & I fire my egg
                                                              up to max temps weekly and my band has never needed adjustment since
                                                              the initial adjustment 8 plus yrs ago. They do not come assembled and I
                                                              suspect the persons slipped band had to do with improper assembly,
                                                              specifically not lining up the band pins with the pin holes in the lid.

                                                              D. Same as "C" .

                                                              E. At the time the BGE was designed, SS was very expensive. Imported
                                                              stainless has dramatically dropped the price (and quality) and now you
                                                              see it everywhere. It may be cheaper than the powder coated steel on the
                                                              BGE band but may not be compatible with the BGE design due to VERY
                                                              different heat transfer properties of SS. Mine has no problems so its a non
                                                              issue for me. Bottom vent door is SS. Top daisy wheel appears to be cast
                                                              iron and works great.

                                                              F. A hit from a commercial walk behind mower will strip the bark off a mature
                                                              Oak tree so I suspect it might knock over a BGE or anything in its path for that
                                                              matter. Inexpensive wooden BGE tables seem very popular and would
                                                              require hurricane force winds or a tornado to topple them. Even a hit by a
                                                              walk behind would likely only push the table.

                                                              G. Not only is BGE not bad, its one of the first and still one of the best selling
                                                              with one of the largest dealer networks in the industry. At more that 3 times
                                                              the cost of a BGE, a KK better damn well be a site higher quality just like a
                                                              Mercedes better be better that a Chevy.

                                                              H. Agree!

                                                              I. Not talking about Ceramic Cookers. Commenting on the high end kitchen
                                                              appliances you listed. They have a horrible reliability record, command more
                                                              $ per hour to repair & many of their fancy electric controls are EXTREMELY
                                                              expensive to replace & warranties are often same as G/E. So is performance
                                                              in most cases. Very, very sad actually because they do like nice.

                                                              J. Agree, personal choice. Copper does have its place but my style of cooking
                                                              does not require it. My point is that cheap junk pans are just that, but you don't
                                                              have to spend thousands, restaurants don't. Another example, Cooks
                                                              Illustrated rated Canadian made Cuisinox Elite Tri Ply almost as good as All-
                                                              Clad at less that 1/2 the price.

                                                              I am sure I would love a KK..... probably better than a BGE......I am sure KK owners love the KK, why in the world wouldn't you......I just think the BGE is a $$$ stretch for most folks as it is & paying more than 3 times as much for a KK is not necessary.

                                                              As for spending $$$ on cooking items, I have spent plenty over the years. I do feel at this point however that putting more money into top quality food products is more important in the end than pretty cookware.

                                                              My apology on the shooting sports. Very bad analogy as shooting is highly competitive and once the basic skills are mastered precision machining which costs big $$$ often makes the difference in a match. Big game fishing reels cost what they cost, which happens to be alot. Stick to cooking, tastes better and alot cheaper.

                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                Just as a note, the stainless on the KK is a high quality 304 grade. Don't mistake it for cheap steel.

                                                                Regarding band issues on ceramics, quite a few people have had the problem with the bands loosening during high heat cooking (say pizza making for instance). This is true even if the bands were tightened per instructions / bend of bolts showing, etc.

                                                                1. re: sumrtym

                                                                  It better be high quality SS for $3000 plus dollars.

                                                                  "Extreme heat searing" is mostly what I do. Never had a band issue. Its been years since I put it together but I do remember the inside edge of the band had a pin that fit into a hole in the ceramic to prevent the band from slipping off. Failing to line up the pin with the hole likely would cause just such an issue. I believe the directions were quite explicit on the issue. PS: Most people don't read directions thoroughly and most people don't readily admit their own mistakes that cost them big $$$. Deny, deny, counter accuse!

                                                            2. re: Tom34

                                                              P.S. Just because you can't imagine the egg being knocked over, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Sometimes just by the wind if in a nest (the metal stand).

                                                              -"Alas - a strong wind knocked over my large egg and it broke into pieces. Now - my year old grill looks like Humpty Dumpty. I want to replace it but am wondering if there is a place to get discounted prices."

                                                              -"My kids knocked over my other one i got a couple of years ago and put a major crack in it (no minor feat)"

                                                              Picture below is someone who was moving it by the handle (big no-no) and hit that crack. Clearly his fault though, but shows you what happens if the egg tips over in a nest for another reason that isn't of your doing.

                                                               
                                                              1. re: sumrtym

                                                                I have had a bge for 7 years & live 1 block from the ocean on a barrier island, I have replaced the bands once & several gaskets. Who wants to spend 3x the price for incremental gains? During the 17 years I have spent $3000 on gas grills that cannot stand up to the salt air.

                                                                1. re: beteez

                                                                  Ask anybody that owns a French-made dutch oven over the Tramontina, Martha Stewart, etc. There's no shortage of those people here.

                                                                  1. re: sumrtym

                                                                    Are the dutch ovens $2200 more? There is a reason the BGE is the dominate player in the market like Honda or Toyota vs Mercedes is an S class 2.5 times better than an accord, probably not to most but some are willing to pay the premium for the Mercedes. Most people prefer a quality product at a reasonable price that you know the dealer will stand behind.

                                                                    1. re: beteez

                                                                      You're comparing a Dutch oven to a grill? Why not a TV to a car? I think I compared Dutch Oven to Dutch Oven, and yes, they're 3x as much if not more.

                                                                2. re: sumrtym

                                                                  Showing a smashed grill due to some ones negligence proves what? If I pushed that $3,000 pile of ceramic tiles off my deck it would break as well.
                                                                  Speaking of which there are no ceramic tile failures on a BGE. A problem the KK has had in it's short product history. Not to mention all the problems shipping a grill this heavy and getting it with out it being broken like the one the whiz had.
                                                                  As far as the BGE standing up to abuse mine has been outside for five years. Zero rust. No problems with the firebox and it didn't budge an inch when a tornado rolled through a little over a year ago.
                                                                  I'd take a KK and try it if the company sent one to test but no way would I spend three times as much for a product that does the same job just because it looks good.

                                                                  1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                    if a BGE is a Toyota what does that make my poor WSMs :>

                                                                    Can get a few Ranch Kettles or big WSMs for $3K or how about a trailered Santa Maria grill.

                                                                    1. re: bbqJohn

                                                                      Maybe I should have called the BGE an Acura or Infiniti

                                                                    2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                      Agree....can't justify spending $3000. on something that "Might" perform marginally better that a BGE egg at $800. Have over $50K in tiles and granite in the kitcken and bathrooms. Don't need anymore. Love my BGE.

                                                                      1. re: Tom34

                                                                        The cooking appliance helps .. but it's mostly technique... otherwise how can one explain that the top BBQ team in CA (and one of the top nationwide) uses only one 18 in WSM.. this is almost impossible to describe how difficult this achievement is using only one little bbq cooker.

                                                                        http://www.slapyodaddybbq.com/home/co...

                                                                        1. re: bbqJohn

                                                                          I agree, cooking technique and buying the best ingredients available are what make the difference. I do have to point out that the BBQ teams you refer to are the best of the best and forgot more about BBQ than most people will ever know.

                                                                          The great thing about the BGE type products is how good the end product can be when cooked by weekend warriors. Very, Very forgiving with common mistakes that dry out meat with other types of smokers. Also sears the H*LL out of a steak.

                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                            I agree with bbqJohn.

                                                                            There is no magic bullet to cooking, smoking, or whatever. There is no substitute for cooking understanding, skill, and knowledge.

                                                                            I also disagree that the Big Green Egg is any more forgiving than any other decently made smoker. Again, it comes down to the cook, not the gadget.

                                                                            1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                                                              I agree with paragraph (1) but I think the Heat & moisture retention of the ceramics is more forgiving than thin sheet metal.

                                                                              I use the below techniques whether its 15 degrees or 90 degrees outside:

                                                                              When I do ribs, I get the egg to 250 , put the rack full of ribs in the egg, walk away, come back about 4 hours later and their done.

                                                                              With pork butt, fill the egg with lump, put the butt in around 6pm, sleep soundly & open the dome for the 1st time around 6am to check it.

                                                                              My friends with steel smokers are amazed and told me they would have to babysit the pork but all night, especially in the winter.

                                                                              Now don't get me wrong, I would NEVER compare my weekend warrior finished products to a professionals finished products but I do think the BGE makes it a lot easier for someone with limited smoking knowledge and experience to consistently cook good food with a minimum attention to detail.

                                                                        2. re: Tom34

                                                                          You're debating a topic you can win which is the value of a product. If people are willing to pay who are you to tell them they're wrong? You realize there are literally BILLIONS of people on the earth who wouldn't begin to understand how you could justify spending $800 on a BGE, something that performs marginally better that a classic kettle grill. You've made an arbitrary line that $800 is the most someone should spend on a ceramic grill just because that's what you did and you're happy. But if I want to spend $3800 because I believe I'm getting a better product you may have an opinion but it's silly to tell me I'm wrong.

                                                                          1. re: holmesness

                                                                            Nice summation.

                                                                            1. re: holmesness

                                                                              Nobody has told anyone they are wrong. People, MANY people, have simply stated that the BGE , at about $800.00 is a better value for most people than a KK at $3000.00, an OPINION, which is backed up by sales figures, both short term and long term. The "Arbitrary Line" YOU refer to is the long term average price range of a particular type of product. If BGE or Primo thought they could make more money selling their products for $3000.000 each they most certainly would. Clearly the ARBITRARY LINE you refer to is not set by me, its consumer driven, but thanks for complimenting me on knowing where the line is.

                                                                              As for YOUR OPINION that Ceramic Cookers are only "marginally" better than a classic kettle grill, your entitled to YOUR OPINION, only next time don't put it out there as a FACT as there are plenty of very knowledgeable folks out their, both cooks and engineers who's opinion would differ greatly from YOUR OPINION on the thermal dynamics of ceramics vs sheet metal.

                                                                              As for your comment (opinion) about "Billions of people on the earth who wouldn't understand spending $800.00 on an BGE" , I would tend to agree with you as there are Billions of people on the earth who go to bed hungry every night who would also question spending thousands of dollars on big screen TV's and thousands of dollars a year on cell phone bills and cable TV service.

                                                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                                                I strongly stand by my OPINION that a ceramic is only marginally better than a Weber Kettle can be obtained for a quarter of the price easily. I have many friends who can do amazing things with their kettles. Ceramics tend to be more forgiving and use less charcoal, but is the food really that much different? No, it's marginal.

                                                                                1. re: holmesness

                                                                                  I agree with your opinion that a Weber Kettle can be obtained for a 1/4 the price, can do amazing things, especially in the hands of someone who really knows what their doing. I would also say the kettles are the best bang for the $$ (don't want to get tommy's panties in a bunch using the word VALUE) , especially the older ones made in the US. (Much debate about the new ones that I don't care to get into.)

                                                                                  I would also agree that the ceramics tend to be more forgiving and use FAR less charcoal. I would also say that tests by the Naked Wiz have shown that the maximum temp at the food grate of the BGE can be about 500 degrees higher that the max for the kettle which many would argue sears a steak better not to mention the effect of the ceramics radiating heat on the steak from many angles. With smoking, which I know very little about, the BGE makes it very easy and also requires little if any attention during the cook. As I said in previous posts, I can set the BGE to 250 degrees when the outside temp is 30 degrees, go to bed, sleep straight through, wake up in the morning when the outside temp is 12 degrees and the BGE is still cooking away at 250 degrees on the same load of lump. To me that is amazing and in "MY" opinion an extremely valuable advantage because if I had to get up every hour all night long, put on heavy clothes and go screw with a kettle there would be no smoking in the winter at my house. I am sure other folks that are more diverse in ceramic cooking could offer many other advantages but these are the ones that come to mind for me and in MY opinion more than justify the $800.00 cost of a BGE.

                                                                          2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                            Actually, no ceramic tile failures on a KK. Kamado, yes, KK no. Different companies different people different construction.

                                                                            Kamado of CA (entirely different company) with their cement Kamados had a problem because the body would slowly shrink as they dried tearing away from the static thin-set and grout. They also have problems because when the body inevitably expanded and contracted from heat the tiles and thin-set and grout would not move at the same pace.

                                                                            Komodo Kamado's refractory materials are designed to release vapor thru micro polypropylene fibers in the refractory material which give the moisture/vapor a way to easily get out. The tiles are then attached with a high tech NASA spinoff industrial insulation which is elastomeric, meaning it moves and flexes with the body when heated. It also has nano ceramic spheres that additionally reflect heat back into the body.

                                                                            I believe I said he broke the one in the picture due to negligence in how he moved it. I also quoted one broke from wind and another from kids, besides the ones earlier where the band slipped off the lid. Those were only a few quick examples.

                                                                            I welcome your picture of a toppled and broken KK as I don't know any that have....

                                                                            1. re: sumrtym

                                                                              I could go to a junk yard and it would be filled with smashed Chevy's & Fords but I would be hard pressed to find one smashed Bentley. Do I really really need to continue painting the picture?

                                                                              1. re: sumrtym

                                                                                Actually, no ceramic tile failures on a KK
                                                                                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                Sorry but that's totally false.
                                                                                Since you are quoting the whiz lets not forget what he said about KK tile failures;
                                                                                " Komodo Kamado cookers did have tiles come off"

                                                                                Refractory materials also usually have asbestos no matter what any one tells you. Not what I want to cook on thanks.
                                                                                Did you get permission from all of those people to rip off their photos and post them here?
                                                                                Instead of quoting unknown entities on the Internet why not show us a photos of your BGE or KK?
                                                                                Do you actually own either of these products?
                                                                                I don't care how you do the song and dance freight on a KK is massive and it's a real problem not having a local dealer when you need parts and service. Order a KK and they ship it to the west coast. For a lift gate delivery to the east coast freight alone would cost more than a large BGE plus you have to wait months and hope it doesn't arrive smashed. Having dealt with a lot of freight companies over the years I can tell you shipping something this fragile is a real risk. Make darn sure you buy freight insurance if you order one even if it does cost an extra $300.
                                                                                BGE has been around for decades. KK less than ten years and they've been plagued with logistics, tile failures and freight damage.
                                                                                OUCH!
                                                                                I could get mu googlefu on and post a bunch of links but I think most people would rather search that than read 40 paragraphs of cut and paste quotes.
                                                                                As I said I'd love to put a KK to the test but it's not a replacement for a BGE as it's not a ceramic cooker.
                                                                                As I believe I posted up-thread I don't even suggest the Grill Dome to those not living in the SE states as freight can be problematic and that's a tiny fraction of the cost and weight of a KK.

                                                                                1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                  Track record, warranty, extensive local dealer network and support.....BGE has it all. Can't come up with a logical reason to spend 3 times as much for a KK other than bragging rights. Even then bragging rights is a weak argument because most people probably wouldn't find spending 3 times as much anything to brag about! Sucker comes more to mind.

                                                                                  SS bands & hinge assembly would probably be an improvement, especially at the shore with the salt air. I wonder if its a cost factor or engineering issue that they haven't offered it as an up grade?

                                                                                  1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                    Since you're being selective in your quotes, how about you quote the full thing.

                                                                                    ....""They are sure pretty, but I hear the tiles all fall off" is a typical comment. Well, early Komodo Kamado cookers did have a few tiles come off, but nothing like the massive tile loss seen on the other brand. But almost four years ago Komodo Kamado made tile loss a distant memory when they introduced a tile adhesive and grout made from an acrylic elastomeric compound that can expand and contract along with the cooker when it is heated and cooled"

                                                                                    Distant memory, 'nuff said. And if any did on the early versions, Dennis made it right with the owners. Find me an example where he didn't if you think otherwise. I guess I could dig back to the first BGE and post what all was wrong there too. But BGE hasn't improved their product in how many decades? Hell, they won't even go to stainless, something that a lot of other Kamado style cookers are / have done.

                                                                                    Make darn sure you buy freight insurance...interesting, considering if one was damaged in freight the customer got an entire new KK shipped to him.

                                                                                    No asbestos, the data sheets on the materials are available directly from the manufacturer. You know they use refractory materials in pizza ovens, etc, too, right? In fact, I think it was RJ of Kamado started that rumor...you know, the guy who has a fraud forum devoted to him. In fact, I think he continued right into lunacy saying they actually explode. I'm surprised you didn't go there too. But hey, why don't I just say something like "Mexico made BGE green paints / glazes all contain lead, no matter what anyone tells you." Except that would be a lie, and worse, unethical. I'm not that guy.

                                                                                    Two months is about the longest wait, and you're getting your choice of tile. On top of that, new containers hit the states about every month usually with what, a dozen or so that weren't pre-purchased already so you can get one a bit faster if you don't care color or they happen to have yours already made.

                                                                                    I'd rather read cut and paste quotes than made up BS. Remember, you're the one brought Naked Whiz into this. He owns BGE's...and he has bought 2 KK's since then. I just quoted his reviews on how they're better. You got a problem go scream at him for violating some unwritten BGE cult rule about admitting there's a better grill out there.

                                                                                    Enjoy the kool-aid.

                                                                                    1. re: sumrtym

                                                                                      Enjoy the kool-aid.
                                                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                      Yeah I kinda thought that was the real "meat" of this very long winded cut and paste rant.
                                                                                      Now tell us again how KK never had tile issues. LOL
                                                                                      Here's a bunch of tile complaints for the KK but I probably don't need to cut and paste each one when you can just read the thread.

                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616907

                                                                                      1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                        Standard for you. The complaints are about the Kamado...not the Kamado Komodo. Maybe I should point to complaints about Primo and say there, that proves BGE sucks. LOL

                                                                                        Again, I'm not the one confusing one product with another. Or making false asbestos claims. Or talking about something that's not a problem if someone wanted one, i.e. tiles coming off. You seem to be the major one "ranting" to me.

                                                                                        1. re: sumrtym

                                                                                          Maybe I should point to complaints about Primo and say there, that proves BGE sucks.
                                                                                          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          That would be just as valid as ripping off images and posting quotes from unknown sources.
                                                                                          What we are all waiting to hear is if YOU actually own one or just work for the company since you seem be on a first name basis with "Dennis".
                                                                                          BTW if they never have tile problems why do they send a tile repair kit with each unit?
                                                                                          Did the whiz actually buy a KK as you claim or was a freight damaged unit given to him to review by the company? The whiz explicitly says ;

                                                                                          "the cooker was damaged during the truck ride across the country from Los Angeles to Raleigh. Komodo Kamado called us up and asked us to go get the damaged cooker. we then had a cooker that we could review for the website. "

                                                                                          Not exactly the same as buying one. I love free products as well. Send me a free one and I'll write good things about it as well! LOL
                                                                                          As far as mixing up the two brands this is just sketchy marketing IMO. I believe both products are made in the very same plant in Indonesia under a different brand after the "fraud" komodo, kamado or is it Kamado Komodo (like that's not meant to confuse any one) went out of business. They both even look VERY similar in construction as well.
                                                                                          In fact this is what the Whiz says about that....

                                                                                          "After hearing about the availability of a crew of workers who had experience building ceramic BBQs, the owner of Komodo Komodo hired them "

                                                                                          Just sayin. ;)

                                                                                          1. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                            Quoting one brand as another is valid. Wow, just wow. Must be because they aren't green in color. That's where the kool-aide comes in. You're actually defending quoting a totally different product with problems that isn't relative to the other to defend your BGE choice, something I never said was a problem to begin with. All because how dare there be a better product. Better discredit it by talking about asbestos, or how about we'll talk about ANOTHER product, not even this one? Just LOL at you're spinning in a circle.

                                                                                            Actually, Whiz bought another unit. You need to read what he wrote. Regarding the first one he reviewed that was a repaired unit (it was damaged in shipment after all) which yes, he bought a a discount because of this and later sold....

                                                                                            ...."Well, that cooker served us well. We cooked a lot of ribs and paella on the cooker, but it wasn't the color we wanted and it had a textured surface, not tile. We finally decided that we wanted a cooker in tile in the color we wanted, a cooker that had not been repaired, and of course, a cooker with all the new and latest improvements (are there are a bunch!). So back in May of this year (2011), we sold the 2006 cooker. At the end of June, we picked out a tile and color and placed our order. It arrived in early August. That's five weeks to build and ship the cooker from Indonesia which is pretty impressive. "

                                                                                            So ya, he actually BOUGHT 2. He sold the first since it wasn't the color he wanted. So you can stick that attitude of yours where it belongs questioning his integrity about the review. He gets lump in all the time for tests and gives glaring reviews when it's bad, ripping it a new one. But again, not everyone shares your ethics.

                                                                                            There are not made in the same plant and saying so shows how little you know. You just throw around crap with no knowledge of the history of EITHER company. If you'd done your research you'd know that Dennis (and everyone calls him Dennis) did hire Kamado employees when RJ skipped his bills, smashed the molds, and left his employees high and dry. Dennis owns a Teak furniture / flooring business, and simply expanded his operations at HIS PLANT to include the cookers after a complete re-design with quality in mind. I think he removed some of the bad workers who had some RJ ethics, much like you've been showing, during the next year. They now have as much in common as a Big Steel Keg does to a BGE, other than being hand tiled. Also, he since moved his entire operations sometime in the last few years. The Kamdo was and is made of portland cement....and crumbles...and loses tiles. If you ever actually receive it. Do you see ANYONE talking about fraud or disappointed in a KK? Find it for me (I'll hold my breath given you can't even keep 2 companies straight, although you do seem good at finding what isn't there., aka falsehoods).

                                                                                            BTW, Kingsford also had special KK's made for a giveaway as well as rewards to some of their employees in blue / white tile. I don't know why they didn't just contact BGE to paint some blue / white ones. Unless of course they wanted something better.

                                                                                            "Just sayin. :)" , TradeJoe? More like just lying.

                                                                                            BTW, if you want links, I'll be happy to give them to you for anything I posted. There's a few from different bbq focused forums / sites, some from the KK forum, Naked Whiz, and the ones about the egg bands slipping etc actually come from the egghead forum. BTW, the egghead forum is also where I can see tons of posts about people breaking their rain caps by forgetting to remove them from the BGE, and people telling them you're not a real egghead till you break it and JB Weld it back together.. You can find many more if you'd like to search yourself too.

                                                                                            Oh, and yes, I have spoken with Dennis time to time. Imagine actually talking to the head of the company. He even called me once when I was questioning him about tile choices (the actual types of tile used, not colors) when he was in the country, and I've been curious about the availability of a portable unit. He's such a perfectionist and of such integrity he won't rush one to market if things aren't meeting his expectations.

                                                                                            You do know the name for these types of cookers is a Kamado, right? So somehow calling it Komodo Kamado is intentionally to confuse you? Better get on the horn to Kamado Joe, California Kamado, Imperial Kamado, etc then. lol

                                                                                            1. re: sumrtym

                                                                                              Dennis did hire Kamado employees when RJ skipped his bills

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                                                                                              ahhhyup. Jut what I said. Same people, same plant in Indonesia, same product....Different name. It'll smash just as easy as a BGE and break in freight and NO the whiz did not pay for his first one as he clearly says but keep on shillin.

                                                                                              BTW what happened to the tileless unit....Product fail!
                                                                                              It must be fun spending 4k on a unit that gets discontinued after a few years!

                                                                                              BTW They didn't just keep a few select employees. They kept the same crew making units in the same plant where the "other" company (ya know the fraudulent one that sounds the same) made their quality product.
                                                                                              Coinsidence? I think not. And what a fine place it is.....

                                                                                              http://www.kamadofraudforum.org/viewt...

                                                                                2. re: TraderJoe

                                                                                  You mean when you say the Whiz had, you mean the one Naked Whiz had don't you? The one Dennis arranged the Naked Whiz to take when it was damaged being delivered to another customer, Dennis helped with repairs of, all so Naked Whiz could review it? Sounds almost confident he let a guy known for his BGE love and lump charcoal tests review a damaged one. How about the full history of that anyway....

                                                                                  ...."When customs opened the cooker for inspection, they didn't latch the lid correctly, and as a result the cooker was damaged during the truck ride across the country from Los Angeles to Raleigh. Komodo Kamado shipped an entirely new replacement to that customer."

                                                                                  I'd call that customer service. And after that I believe Whiz purchased another KK. As I said, he's a big BGE man, but he must have seen some value / something he liked as it's now his second KK he has bought.

                                                                                  How about I quote from his review further....

                                                                                  ...."So while the dome of the Egg was scorching hot to the touch, you could leave your hand anywhere on the Komodo Kamado's dome for at least a couple of seconds. Clearly the Komodo Kamado is keeping far more heat inside the cooker and of course, the exterior of the Komodo Kamado stays at a lower temperature should one come into contact with it.

                                                                                  What does this mean in practical terms? As we noted in our first review, two things. A more efficient cooker uses less fuel, so less charcoal expense than a less efficient cooker of the same size. But also, a more efficient cooker means that you need a smaller fire to maintain a particular temperature. And as we should all know by now, a smaller fire means the cooker is ingesting and expelling less air. Lower airflow means less moisture from the food is carried away by the air and thus you should experience better results in your cooking."

                                                                                  If you want full details about the materials, packing, pictures, quality, etc., you can read his full review. His conclusion.....

                                                                                  ...."What a wonderful cooker! We can honestly say we were more excited about purchasing this cooker than we were when we bought our first Big Green Egg. The heat retention is phenomenal so the Komodo Kamado requires a smaller fire to maintain any given temperature. You are going to find this cooker's efficiency means less fuel consumption and more moist meats than less expensive cookers of a similar size. The grids are monstrous. The lid is easy to open and close and it seals airtight. It has enormous cooking capacity. The 978 square inches of cooking space is tops in the ceramic cooker industry. There's the two-piece fire box which will never crack. And on and on and on. Basically, everything has been designed with the goal of improving on every other cooker on the market. The materials used are top notch, many of them innovative. The looks are gorgeous. It’s a dream to cook on. All in all, there is virtually nothing we would want to improve on this cooker. We say virtually because there were two minor items we noted in the review which we would like to see improved (and have been told by the manufacturer are now in the works): the chamfering of the end of the hinge pin and the positioning of the handles on the main and lower grids.

                                                                                  Another consideration when selecting a cooker is the customer service. Since we received our first cooker in 2006, we have seen nothing but the very best in customer service. You can buy a Komodo Kamado cooker knowing that if something is wrong, Komodo Kamado will make it right, no if’s, no and’s, no but’s.

                                                                                  And of course a question that often comes up about Komodo Kamado cookers is if they are worth the money. Everyone has to determine value for themselves, but we look at it as a Ford vs. Ferrari sort of decision. Sure, the Ford will get you there, but wow! how the Ferrari will get you there. Sure, less expensive ceramic cookers produce good food, but wow! how the Komodo Kamado produces good food. Just like the Ferrari will give you a superior driving experience, the Komodo Kamado will give you a superior ceramic cooking experience.

                                                                                  So if you like having the best, if you like knowing your cooker has been designed to be the best and built with the finest components and materials, if you want a cooker in your back yard that is also a beautiful work of art, if you want a cooker that performs at the highest level, then you will want to give the Komodo Kamado serious consideration. It is simply a stunning cooker. Stunning in its beauty, stunning in its design and stunning in its operation. We are pleased as punch to have our new cooker smoking away on our deck and give it our highest recommendation."

                                                                                  3 heavy duty 3/8" stainless steel grills, a heat deflector w/ stainless steel shield, stainless steel drip pan, and a full kit for a rotisserie to be added easily,all included in the price. The ability to add a rotisserie makes the KK the only ceramic cooker to have that option. The super heavy spring removing the weight of the lid from being a consideration.. The fact it's shape adds to more even cooking (although doesn't eliminate all hot spots, simply improves it). Every cooker before it ships is heated for 12+ hours and smoke tested, shipped to you fully assembled. Heck, if you want it, as an option you can even have a propane ignition system added to light your lump and get it burning well before turning off to cook on the charcoal.

                                                                                  You may think Naked Whiz is blowing smoke about efficiency, I mean, how big a difference can there be? How about a Gen 2.2 Komodo Kamado with a single bowl of charcoal lasting 85 hours at a steady 225º? That's a bit more than "might perform marginally better that a BGE egg". Before you ask, that was on about 16-1/2 lbs of charcoal.

                                                                                  Naked Whiz on his first review of a much earlier version of the KK said this:

                                                                                  ..."The temperature of the dome on the Egg varied from 180 degrees at the lower edge of the dome to 245 degrees at the top of the dome near the upper vent. The Komodo Kamado varied from 110 degrees at the base of the dome to 160 degrees at the top near the upper vent. "

                                                                                  Translation...much more fuel efficient, more even temperature, lower airflow, higher humidity environment resulting in more moist food, all while leaving more charcoal for the next cook. Given it seals better too, it's a quicker shutdown / extinguish of flames preserving yet again, even more charcoal.

                                                                                  1. re: sumrtym

                                                                                    Your extensive knowledge of the damaged KK products and how the company handled them is very impressive for just being a customer.

                                                                                    The difference in quality hardly justifies the difference in price when considering the overall function of a ceramic cooker to begin with.

                                                                                    Comparing cooking results: Identical pork butts, seasoned the exact way, cooked to the exact same temp would likely taste the exact same. I am sure the results are the same for searing a steak.

                                                                                    Bottom line: If the cost of a KK was a 1/3 or 1/2 more than a BGE I could see it. But 3 times as much is way too much IMHO.

                                                                                    1. re: Tom34

                                                                                      He doesn't own any of the Kamado's he has talked about. He has just reprinted stuff he has seen on the internet.

                                                                                      1. re: cajundave

                                                                                        He doesn't own any of the Kamado's he has talked about. He has just reprinted stuff he has seen on the internet
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                                                                                        + 3800!

                                                                                      2. re: Tom34

                                                                                        No problem Tom. I can't see buying a Lexus over a Nissan Altima myself. :-)

                                                                                        However, you were going off on a guy about his opinion that a BGE is only marginally better than a weber kettle, then doing the same saying a KK to a BGE. I think the example of 16.5 lbs of coals keeping the cooker at 225 for over 80 hours says that's probably more than a marginal improvement when it comes to efficiency and air flow.

                                                                                        I know so much about them since I research my purchases. Hell, I research computer parts that cost a 30th of much with as much detail! lol

                                                                                        There will be a Dark Autumn Nebula KK in my future. Maybe a soon future if Dennis ever gets the portable version done. I think I could get away with a portable here since we can use charcoal grills (second story so weight is the main problem for moving, plus stairs).

                                                                                        I just have a problem with guys attacking a product because they can't admit there are actual improvements to it, or try to tear down one with excellent customer service by attacking it there. You ever seen how a KK is packed? Heck, I think he still mails a crowbar to help break the crate apart with it. Those things are packed better than any other grill, BGE included. Damage because a customs official left it unlatched after looking in one once seems like a silly thing to go on and on about like it's a common problem. It's not some magic formula you know. BGE isn't exactly light and I'd argue even more fragile, but they get shipped all over the country too, or do you think they just appear at dealers / in stores by magic? How many BGE's get damaged? If the company makes it right, do I really care about a 1% problem or less? If it's just too rich for your blood, nutt said, but don't go on and on about how there's nothing better about it. I've posted enough people who say otherwise, and own BOTH a BGE or KK (or used to have BGE before moving on). Again, you even have the rotisserie ability if you want it for cooking. You can't do that on a BGE. Costs aren't exactly 1:1 either as the Large BGE comes with one grill that's 255 sq inches (smaller, plus you have to buy a lot of accessories included KK price). The cost of the KK includes three high-end 3/8" stainless grills measuring 274 sq inches (upper / sear grill), main grill of 375 sq inches, and a lower / sear grill of 329 square inches. That's 978 sq inches of grill space included with the KK. By default, it's already almost 23% bigger than a large BGE if you only just look at the main grill area since it's a main grill you get with a large BGE at purchase.

                                                                                        1. re: sumrtym

                                                                                          I don't know about KK customer service or the quality of the KK and haven't commented on either. For 3 times the cost, I would expect there are quality improvements. I have commented about the high quality of the BGE, excellent warranty, local dealer support and overall value for the money.

                                                                                          My issue is that the manner in which a ceramic cooker works "is what it is" and the results are going to be extremely close across the board. I have also said that income demographics are what they are and the BGE is with reach of a much larger segment of the population which is clearly backed up by sales data.

                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                            "overall value for the money"

                                                                                            There's that arbitrary line that was mentioned.

                                                                                            1. re: holmesness

                                                                                              ah, so a Kia Rio is similar to a Lexus LS....I'd take a Big Green Egg over the weber any day

                                                                                          2. re: Tom34

                                                                                            I brought up billions to simply illustrate that "value" is highly individual and we don't need you to try to tell us what is or isn't a good value. You have a great product with your BGE, I'm thrilled that you love it. Be confident with your decision as I am with my Primo Oval. Let others enjoy their KK if that's what they choose.

                                                                              2. re: Tom34

                                                                                Here's a picture, wasn't the one I was looking for...

                                                                                 
                                                                                1. re: Tom34

                                                                                  I found a few more, still not the one I was looking for. These words from a BGE owner:

                                                                                  "Our BGE is now in the side yard being seriously outclassed by the KK.

                                                                                  I had been using the BGE for nearly ten years in three different states cooking hundreds of meals, including some during mid-winter in deep snow cooking turkey early in the morning. With that experience, I appreciate my new KK cooker even more.

                                                                                  The KK cooker looks great and works great. People notice it. Rotisserie cooking is a fantastic capability. The KK design and build quality rate 10 out of 10. I keep on discovering features that have been thoughtfully designed into the KK. Customer service is fantastic."

                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                      2. Correction: Know, not now. Sorry.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                          Correction: No shipping on the cracked firebox meant the local dealer fully honored the warranty and brought in the replacement firebox in for free with no shipping cost.

                                                                        2. Folks, at this point, this discussion is going in circles and getting unfriendly, so we're going to lock it now.