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We tried out the £1,300 Kamado Joe Classic II barbecue

Find out what we thought of this kamado-style grill when we tried it out

We tried out the £1,300 Kamado Joe Classic II barbecue

Kamado barbecues are gaining in popularity because of their versatility when it comes to cooking and their long-lasting ceramic construction.

There are still are many days of summer left to enjoy a barbecue, so if you love to experiment with cooking and are passionate about barbecuing, then a kamado grill may have caught your attention. These grills can barbecue, bake, cook pizzas and excel at slow-roasted meats.

We’ve tested the Big Green Egg and tried out Aldi’s kamado barbecue and now we’ve taken a look at Kamado Joe’s Classic II. Read on to see what we thought of the Classic II when we tried it out.

If you’re ready to get to the meat of the matter, head over to our Best Buy barbecue reviews to get your perfect grill. Or head straight to the Kamado Joe’s Classic II to check out our impressions of this grill. 

How much does it cost?

The Kamado Joe Classic II sells for about £1,300. You might think that’s a preposterous amount of money to spend on a barbecue. However, to put it into perspective its direct competitor, the Big Green Egg Large, costs £995 without a base (bases can start at £255 and can go up to £1,690).

Other high-end barbecues can cost even more, such as the Heston Blumenthal Everdure Hub at £1,500 (without the cover, which costs another £100) or the Weber Genesis II LX S-440 4-burner gas barbecue at £2,000.

Although the Kamado Joe Classic II is expensive, it’s made of long-lasting ceramic. If you take care of this grill, it should last a lifetime. In fact, the manufacturer is so certain that its product is long-lasting that the Kamado Joe comes with a lifetime warranty on ceramic parts.

The Classic II also has a lot of features that set it apart from the Kamado Joe Classic, which is their best-selling grill.

We’ve fully tested and reviewed Kamado Joe’s competition; check out the Big Green Egg review to see how well it did when we sent it to the lab.

What special features does the Kamado Joe Classic II have?

  • New firebox design

The Kamado Joe Classic II has a completely different firebox construction than its predecessor, the Classic. The Classic has a ceramic ring that makes up the walls of the firebox. There is a small gap in the ring to allow it to expand without breaking when heated, but it’s fragile and we’ve heard reports of it breaking.  

Instead of the Classic’s ring, in the Kamado Joe Classic II there are tiles, which slot into one another, capped with a silver ring to hold them together and form the firebox, so it should be less fragile.

  • New top vent design

The top vent of the Classic II, along with the vent at the bottom of the grill, makes it easy to control the air flow, and therefore the heat, of the Classic II. Controlling the temperature is the key to successful grilling on a kamado barbecue. so having an easy-to-use air vent is crucial. The vent is clearly marked, and it’s rust and rain-proof.

  • Air hinge

The other really fantastic feature is the air lift hinge – it holds the weight of the heavy lid so the lid will stay in the position you leave it in. This makes grilling easier and it prevents the lid from smashing down, which could injure you and damage the ceramic grill.

We were really impressed by this grill’s build quality and features, particularly as we had an older version of the Kamado Joe Classic on hand with which to draw our comparisons.

Not sure what features to look out for? Check out our advice guide on barbecue features.

How well does the Kamado Joe Classic II cook?


We tried our hand at traditional barbecue, aided by the excellent tiered cooking system and heat deflectors (pictured above) grilling up chicken pieces, burgers, sausages and corn. We then added some wood to the charcoal fire and slow smoked a Texas-style beef brisket.

We had our barbecue food expert on hand to give us his thoughts on the Classic II’s cooking ability. Log in now to get our verdict on this grill’s ability to cook both fast and slow.

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