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Aug 27, 2014 05:59 AM

Propane Smoker vs budget Kamado Grill?

My propane smoker bit the dust and needs to be replaced. I was going to order another similar grill until I saw this very highly reviewed Kamado grill @ Lowes for $300.00. I would use it initially as a smoker to make ribs & pulled pork etc but I'm sure I'd try chicken and other item once I got familiar with it. I just got a new Weber Genesis so I doubt I'd do much grilling in the Kamado as I am retired and quite lazy. I don't want to spend much more than this so a Big Green Egg or Kamodo Joe are not on my radar. My question is how does a Kamodo oven work as a smoker vs a propane cabinet smoker? I is more difficult to use? How about temperature control? I love the "set it and forget it" convenience of the propane smoker but I bet the end product would be better in the ceramic oven. Are there other inexpensive brands you would recommend? Thanks for sharing your expertise!

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  1. It's a heavily-insulated steel unit as opposed to the traditional ceramic Kamado, so that explains a lot of the difference in cost (especially shipping). As to functionality, I've never tried one, although the reviews do seem favorable.

    1. As I said in your previous inquiry, I'd go with the Masterbuilt propane cabinet-style smoker. The biggest factor, I think, is the limited cooking area on this "Kamado". Since, as you stated, you just bought a new Weber Genesis and don't really need to add to your grilling needs, why not purchase something made for smoking? The combination of a Weber grill and a cabinet smoker is the set-up I've been using for a long time with excellent results. I've never felt the need for anything more. Believe me, when you start getting into smoking, you'll be happy to have the extra room to do multiple meats at the same time.

      3 Replies
      1. re: grampart

        "Believe me, when you start getting into smoking, you'll be happy to have the extra room to do multiple meats at the same time."

        If there is a down side to the Weber Smokey Mountian it's just that. With the two levels I can do 4 pork butts, or 2 packers, or 8 racks of ribs on edge, but you really can't do a combination very well without cross contamination.

        1. re: mikie

          Why would there be an issue with cross contamination? Everything is cooking to a temperature that will kill all pathogens, isn't it?

          1. re: zackly

            I can never decide if I want pork flavored beef or beef flavored pork. Since the WSM is two racks, one above the other, the standard 18" isn't big enough to have one not drip on the other and alter the taste. I know, I wasn't very clear on that. The packer takes up a whole rack, so either it's going to drip on the pork butt or the pork butt is going to drip on it as the fat renders. On the other hand, one packer over the other doesn't really seem to be a problem from a flavor stand point. If I want beef and pork, I have issues. From a practical stand point, it's not much more expensive to have two 18" WSMs than most good quality horizontal smokers.

            Maybe a drip pan for the top rack would solve the problem.

      2. After a lot of reading I decided to get the Akorn Kamado Grill from Amazon:
        What sold me was this article by "Meathead" a guy who I respect & the resident guru on
        This is not the easiest/quickest smoker to use so I also plan to rehab my propane cabinet smoker but don't tell my wife. I'm taking over her patio!