Can Other Kamado Grills Beat the Big Green Egg?

    CR pit competitors against the iconic original. Here's what we found.

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    Illustration of tester evaluating Kamado grill against the Green Egg Illustration: Chris Philpot. Photos: Consumer Reports

    When Consumer Reports first tested the Big Green Egg in 2017, we determined that the Big Green Egg might really be worthy of its devout following, even with its lofty price tag. At the time, the $1,100, egg-shaped ceramic charcoal grill was the only one of its kind—now, the Big Green Egg faces competition from look-alikes and across major retailers, some costing as (relatively) little as $340.

    Could any of these newcomers match—or even beat—the performance of the Egg? According to our exhaustive testing, they sure can.

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    “The quality of your cooked foods is really dependent on controlling the fire,” says Cindy Fisher, the test engineer who oversees CR’s grill testing. “Any kamado grill can make outstanding food. The biggest differences tend to be in the features and design that make some models much easier to use than others.”

    When we first tested the Big Green Egg, we were impressed by its ability to sear a steak at over 1,000° F and then, with just a few minor adjustments, maintain a low, steady 200° F flame for hours to turn out succulent ribs. And that’s held true for years.

    To put kamado grills to the test, our technicians wire each model with highly sensitive thermometers, called thermocouples, to assess how evenly they heat across the grates. Then we get cooking, grilling steaks, making thin-crust pizzas, and smoking a whole lot of pork. Throughout the process, we try out each model’s features, like spring-assisted lids and dampers, which help control the temperature inside the grill.

    These Kamado Grills Are Better Than the Big Green Egg

    Four kamado grills proved to be strong competitors to the Big Green Egg. Beyond the kamado grills we highlight below, you can check out our dive into the grill type with our guide to the best kamado grills. CR members can see how all kamado grills fare in our kamado grill ratings. If you’re not sure what kind of grill is right for you, start with our grill buying guide.

    Paul Hope

    As a classically trained chef and an enthusiastic DIYer, I've always valued having the best tool for a job—whether the task at hand is dicing onions for mirepoix or hanging drywall. When I'm not writing about home products, I can be found putting them to the test, often with help from my two young children, in the 1860s townhouse I'm restoring in my free time.