Barbecue on a hot summer day is like the cookie to your cream – you’ve got to have one with the other to fully enjoy the experience.
But what good are summer barbecues if you’re still struggling with a rusty old grill? These grills can quickly make a sunny day into a hot, sweaty mess.
So if you’re looking for a medium-sized, versatile, yet easy-to-use grill, look no more.
The Classic Joe ll is one of the best Kamado grills.
Below, we’ll discuss its features, pros, and cons, and some must-have Kamado Joe accessories to complement it. Continue reading!
Kamado Joe Classic II Reviews: The Best Kamado Grill For 2022
The Kamado Joe Classic Joe II is our favorite Kamado Joe grill. We think that its versatile and ingenious features are something that won’t only make barbecues convenient but also more enjoyable.
Let’s jump into the details of its design and features:
Grates with multiple levels
Do you need to cook multiple dishes at different temperatures? Despite its small footprint, the Classic Joe II is your go-to for cooking multiple dishes at different temperatures.
The ‘Divide and Conquer’ grate system sets this bad boy apart from the rest. You can cook your proteins in the way that you like by setting the halved grates higher or lower.
Sear a pork tenderloin on high heat while slow-cooking that chicken breast at the same time – it’s possible, thanks to the adjustable halved grates.
The ceramic heat deflectors provide indirect heat for slow-cooking of other foods. Moreover, the grill grates are made out of stainless steel for durability – say goodbye to your dad’s rusty and gritty grills!
The biggest downside to owning this ceramic grill? Its heavy weight. It is difficult to move, even though it has wheels that allow it to be moved around. We warn you – hauling the Classic II up to the roof of your house will be a nightmare.
But that’s a problem only if you move around the grill very often. The lid is the main problem with ceramic grills. They’re heavy, and often slam shut, causing damage to the whole structure. Kamado Joe is different.
The Classic II’s Air-Hinge allows you to open or close the lid with minimal force. And we’re not kidding when we say minimal force. You can lift the lid with one finger and it will close slowly.
It’s a nifty, grill-saving feature that we love. It’s no surprise that this Kamado Joe grill is one of our favorites.
Fiberglass Mesh Gasket
In our Kamado Joe grill reviews, you’ll notice one thing in common: a fiberglass gasket. Kamado Joe included this in the Classic II to ensure the lid seals shut. You may not know this, but fiberglass is the industry preferred standard for gaskets since it’s so durable.
Hence, it adds to the Classic II’s durability and allows the seal to be airtight. A stainless steel latch seals the entire thing shut, which helps you to maintain the temperature.
Control Tower Top Vent
The top and lower vents can be used to adjust the temperature. To let air into the charcoal, the bottom vent can be opened and closed.
The top vent is an aluminum control tower made of rustproof aluminum that allows you to adjust temperature in small increments. Plus, it’s rainproof and protects the grill’s interior. To achieve a high temperature you can even take the whole vent out.
This top vent is a great feature to have, as temperature control is essential for a great barbecue meal. Moreover, there’s a big analog temperature gauge at the front to help you keep track of the heat.
The fireboxes are another concern for ceramic grill users. Since they’re made of ceramic, the expansion and contraction due to heat can cause them to crack over time. Eventually, you’ll have to replace the whole firebox.
Kamado Joe solves the problem by dividing a firebox into separate tiles. To hold the tiles in place, attach a silver ring to them. This will create a firebox.
Due to small spaces between each tile, there’s room for expansion and contraction, preventing breakages. It seems like the ‘Divide and Conquer’ system works great for the firebox as well.
The Classic Joe II comes with some great bonus features that make it one the best Kamado Joe grills. It is definitely worth the price.
It has a removable ashtray, which makes it super easy to use the grill. Simply slide it out to empty the ash and then put it back in.
A cast iron rolling cart is included in the package that can also house the heavy grill. Its castors lock in place to prevent the grill from moving, although it doesn’t easily budge due to its heavyweight.
Last but not the least, you get folding shelves on both sides. They’re made up of heavy-duty polyethylene, unlike the Classic III’s aluminum shelves. They allow you to prepare your sides and sauces on the same surface as your countertop, so you don’t have to move back and forth from your grill.
Assembly, Design, & Performance
The Kamado Joe Classic II is easy to set up, except the part where it weighs.
You’ll require some muscles or a helping hand, but other than that, it’s simple to assemble. All you need is a wrench or two, and that’s about it. You might struggle with putting together the ceramic tiles for the firebox, but it’s nothing you can’t do after a couple of tries.
The grill is excellent design-wise. This compact, yet heavy-duty grill is ideal for small spaces. It can fit in even the smallest backyards and balconies. The folding shelves are handy for side dishes and make the most of its small footprint.
You also have the option of half-moon multilevel grates measuring 18 inches in diameter. This gives you a lot more cooking space. You can cook multiple dishes simultaneously for a small party.
And of course, we can’t forget its attractive exterior: a shiny and glossy red, which makes it stand out.
But all of those fancy features don’t really matter if the grill doesn’t cook your meat perfectly. The Classic II delivers on its promises in terms of performance.
The grill’s ceramic construction ensures exceptional heat retention. This means efficient cooking, as you’ll have to replenish the charcoal less often. You’ll also notice that the grill heats up very quickly and keeps the temperature constant for hours.
However, there’s a learning curve for beginners when it comes to regulating its temperature. The grill heats up to a scorching high temperature quickly, but cools down a bit slower. The temperature can also be adjusted by the bottom and top vents.
On the bright side, you can set the temperature within a wide range – from 200 to a searing 700 degrees for your pizzas and Margheritas.
What We Like
- Segmented Firebox to ensure durability
- The Air-Hinge lid is easy to use
- Top vent allows for precise temperature adjustments
- Ceramic construction offers excellent heat retention
- Disposable ashtray available for your convenience
- Fiberglass gasket is strong and closes tightly
What We Don’t Like
- Heavyweights may make assembly more difficult
- Rolling cart doesn’t have storage shelves
The Best Kamado Joe Accessories
We know we said these accessories are must-haves, but only if you’re going to use the grill for cooking and baking as well. On The Classic II can be used on its own but comes with a full range of grilling accessories.
Here are some Kamado Joe accessories that will allow you to fully utilize your grill.
1. Kamado Joe Classic Joe JoeTisserie
You’re not feeling up to a barbecued steak. Instead, you want a succulent rotisserie chicken. JoeTisserie is an easy and quick way to make it at home. Can we just take a moment and appreciate this pun? on your Classic Joe grill.
The JoeTisserie is made from 304-grade stainless Steel spit rod and forks. It can hold pounds and lbs of meat. This is also possible thanks to the powerful 120V motor.
The ring of cast aluminum is designed to fit perfectly the Classic Joe II. This allows you to close the lid tightly. It’s also dishwasher safe and easy to assemble.
2. Kamado Joe Charcoal Starter
Lighting up your charcoal is as tricky as cooking your meat to perfection – it needs time, energy, and knowledge. There are many ways to start the grill, but there is one that is easier: an electric starter like the one from Kamado Joe.
It features a stainless-steel element, which is strong and heats up very quickly. Because it’s designed at an angle, it can slide under a pile of charcoal with ease.
The electric starter measures 5.5 inches across and 1.5 inches wide. This gives you enough space to light up a lot of charcoal. Give it some eight to nine minutes, and you’ve got yourself burning charcoal, ready for the grill.
Keep in mind, though, that the power cord is only around five feet long, so it’s not very portable.
3. Flame Boss 500 WiFi Smoker Controller
If you’re not necessarily a champ at smoking your meat, the Flame Boss smoker controller will help you hack your way into becoming one.
This controller automates temperature adjustments for Kamado Joe Grills. It accurately measures the temperature of your grill as well as your meat using pit probes made from stainless steel.
The controller connects via Wi-Fi to any device and can be set to the desired temperature by simply tapping on your smartphone. The controller will maintain the temperature by turning on or off the blower, which adjusts the airflow to the charcoal.
This smart equipment allows you to set alarms or timers. They will notify you when your meat has been cooked or when the grate temperature has dropped. Overall, it’s a pretty nifty device, which can make smoking meat a ton easier.
However, meat probes for the two additional ports aren’t included, so keep that in mind.
4. Kamado Joe Classic Grill – Cover
Since you’ll be spending a hefty amount on one of the best Kamado Joe grills, you’ll want to protect it from weather damage.
This waterproof polyester cover will protect you grill from rainy and sunny days. It’s shaped perfectly for all Classic Joes, and the straps cinch up to tightly wrap the cover around the grill.
5. Kamado Joe Classic Joe Half Moon Griddle
You want to impress your guests with your barbecuing skills. Kamado Joe accessories include the cast iron half moon grille. This will allow you to achieve impressive sears on your steaks.
Since it’s made up of cast iron, it heats up to a higher degree and gives your meat some delicious looking sears while locking in extra flavor. The best thing? The best part?
6. Kamado Joe Pizza Kit
If you’re craving something other than meat, the Kamado Joe Pizza Kit will give you some great smoky pizzas. The ceramic pizza stone and aluminum ring that surround the lid transform your Classic Joe into an oven-quality pizza maker.
This pizza kit, or DōJoe as they call it, maintains a steady temperature between 400 to 700 degrees, perfect for pizzas and pies alike. The ceramic stone, heat deflectors and heat distribution elements help evenly distribute heat, making it easy to make delicious pizzas with bubbling cheddar on top.
Honestly? We believe the Classic Joe II is well worth the hype.
Yes, it’s pricey, and sure, it weighs a ton. Its performance is unbeatable. You get all the accessories you need for grilling included in the package. So, if you think about it, you don’t have to spend extra on them, as with other grills, hence making it worth the price. Right?
We recommend that you weigh the pros and cons of Kamado Joe grills before making a purchase. It’s still a high price to pay for a medium-sized grill.
One thing is for sure, though: you’ll definitely enjoy some delicious barbecues and other recipes with the Classic Joe II and its Kamado Joe accessories.