Can the New Kamado Grills Beat the Big Green Egg?

CR pits 7 competitors sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Costco against the iconic original

Image of a comparison of Kamado grills, including the Big Green Egg
Illustration: Chris Philpot

When Consumer Reports first worked with the Big Green Egg in 2017, 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.

With that kind of performance, we determined that the Big Green Egg really might be worthy of its devout following, even with a $1,100 price. At the time, the egg-shaped ceramic charcoal grill was the only one of its kind. But after decades on the market, it’s now facing some serious competition. Look-alikes have popped up at major retailers, some with prices as low as $300. 

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Could any of these newcomers match—or even beat—the performance of the Egg? To put them to the test, our technicians wire each model with highly sensitive thermometers, called thermocouples, to assess how evenly the grills 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.

“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.”

After hours of grilling, three kamados proved to be strong competitors to the Big Green Egg. CR members can read on for the details or browse our ratings to see how all of the grills we test perform.

3 Kamado Grills That Beat the Big Green Egg

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