Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review

There is just something majestic about firing up a Kamado-style grill; maybe it is the flavor you are about to experience, the pride in making a meal people rave about, or the fact that you own one of the coolest-looking grills out there. I am sure it is different for everyone, but every time I fired up the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe, I just felt in my special place with a nice pour of bourbon, the smell of charcoal, and food cooking.

If you aren’t familiar with a kamado-style grill, it is somewhat similar to a regular charcoal grill in terms of basic functionality but with a coolness factor of 10. A kamado grill is typically shaped like an egg (sure, you have heard that name before), made of thick ceramic, and works like a giant furnace. Kamado grills allow you to cook over charcoal (I have heard of people doing wood as well ) and give your meals a unique and unmatched taste. It does take a little time to learn and can be a bit more expensive than other options, but the results will be worth it.

Smart grilling is what makes this Kamado-style grill stand apart, and we’ll get to that below! The Kamado Joe Konnected Joe is a highly versatile smart Kamodo-style grill that can do it all. It left my traditional pellet grill in the corner of the garage collecting dust and made the pizza oven feel slightly left out. It is the new go-to grill.

The Ceramic Kamado Konnected Joe Can Grill and Smoke

At first glance, the Konnected Joe looks like any other ceramic grill in Kamado Joe’s lineup. However, this grill is a party up top and business on the bottom. The top is 100% Classic Joe, while the bottom half features an electronic control panel and temperature probes, and the inside is an electric ignitor and a fan system used to help control the heat. You can choose to use the electronic controls or go commando and earn your friends’ respect. On the control panel, you can see temperature graphs, select a cook mode, and select accessories. The grill will also advise you on how to adjust the vents based on your selected temperature and cook mode. Most of this is also available on the app, perfect for when in the kitchen or during long smoking processes.

A key aspect of smart grilling (with any grill) is a mobile app that needs to work. The Kamado Joe App allows you to adjust time and temperature, view temperate charts, and monitor the probes without being directly in front of the grill. You need to adjust the top vent manually. Some people have complained that the app could be a bit more extensive, but it has never let us down and gets the job done. I will take that any day over “fancy.”

It is also quite handy for post-dinner smores; there is no need to build a fire or anything, just toast on the existing coals.

Cooking on the Konnected Joe

Most people will struggle with the migration to a Komado-style grill and charcoal and I was no exception. There is a learning curve, and it can take a few tries to get it right. There were a few times I had to finish of meats in the oven when I did not use enough charcoal. Perhaps experiment with a few less expensive meats. Luckily, a few friends with similar-style grills helped me through the learning curve. There are also numerous YouTube videos out there that will help getting up to speed.

Thanks to the electronics, temperature control, and fan control, there is much less room for error than with a traditional-style Komado grill. The fan controls the airflow; all you have to do is adjust the top vent, and the Konrol Center even tells you how far the vent should be open.

You can set up one side for direct grilling while using a heat deflector for indirect on the other. The grill’s components are semi-circular, making them versatile and easy to move around parts, but be careful once they are HOT. We ruined some good leather gloves on this one. The grill does come with a tool for moving the grates, but it is almost like playing an Operation game as a kid. If this is our worst complaint, I will take it.

But once you figure out the process, how much charcoal to use, and what height to set the grill racks, you are on your way to being the envy of the neighborhood. The small burgers or steaks on charcoal will have them wish they had an invite.

The folding side shelves are modestly sized on the outside, but they’re enough to hold a tray of burgers, some plates, or a small cutting board. I learned the hard way that this is not a place to store a drink; keep it on another table.

What We Cooked

Over the course of testing, I did a mix of old-school direct heat grilling and slow-smoked barbecue. This included a good selection of filets, flank steaks, and slower meats such as whole chickens, Boston Butt for pulled pork, and some good ole fashion brisket. I was consistently impressed by the charcoal smoke flavor present in all of my cooks, especially in the longer sessions for the pork shoulder and brisket. Burgers are out of this world; grill them on the top shelf at 350 degrees to your desired temperature, and they will be flavorful and juicy.

Pizzas cooked on the Kamado Joe
Pizzas on the Joe with heat defectors. Depending on the temperature, each pie took 5 to 8 minutes.
Chicken cooked on the Kamado Joe
Veggies up top with chicken on the bottom get a more direct heat.
Burgers cooked on the Kamado Joe
(6) 1/3 burgers on the grill. We could definitely go up to ten, but that would be the limit.

Joe-ccessories (we made that up)

The Konnected Joe is compatible with all of the accessories from the Classic Joe grill except for the charcoal basket. This means you can add a rotisserie (JoeTisserie), pizza stone (DoJoe), and more to expand your grilling and smoking capabilities. There are many options here, ranging from the affordable half-moon reversible griddle ($70) to the more expensive JoeTisserie ($300), and more. You don’t need to purchase anything extra to get started with the Konnected Joe, though. The grill ships with grates, heat deflectors for low-and-slow cooking, and all the accessories you need for that optional two-tier configuration.

Pizza Oven for the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe

DŌJOE

Transform your Kamado Joe grill into a best-in-class pizza oven and create authentic-styled pizza with the DōJoe pizza maker. The distinctive wedge shape effortlessly maintains steady temperatures ranging from 400°F to 700°F while allowing full visibility to monitor pizzas during the baking process without the hassle of opening and closing the grill dome. The Retail Price is $299.00.

Kamado Joe JoeTisserie

JOETISSERIE

Revolutionize your charcoal grilling experience and transform your Kamado Joe into a rotisserie-style grill with the JoeTisserie attachment. Constructed from durable, 304-grade stainless steel, the spit rods and forks allow for pristine balance and steady rotation of up to 50-pounds of beef, pork or chicken resulting in meats that are smoky, juicy, and tender . The quiet, yet powerful, 120V motor provides a steady circulation for flawless food. Retails for $299.00.

Cast Iron Grates on the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe

Cast Iron

Expand the versatility of your Kamado Joe ceramic grill with the Half-Moon pan set, Paella Pans, and more from their Karbon Steel collection. The naturally non-stick and conductive carbon steel material ensures your food comes out perfect every time with an easy cleanup process.

Konnected Joe Electronics

Electric Starter

The Konnected Joe features an AFS (Automatic Fire Starter) button designed to light your charcoal instantly. Well we had issues getting it to work, it kept popping the GFI plug on the patio. We were able to run an extension cord into the house and it fired right up. You definitely need a 20 AMP plug and breaker for this to run on.

Digital Controls

Pick your cooking style, accessories and set and monitor the temperature right on the front of the Konnected Joe, its truly that easy. The Kontrol Fan will take it from here and automatically maintain your desired temperature from 225°F to 700°F. The top vent will help maintain airflow during the cooking process,

Konnected Joe App

People have complained about the app in other reviews, but we found it perfect for what we needed. I don’t need an app to tell me when to flip the meat and when to have a sip of my cocktail. At some point, we need to think for ourselves. The app lets you set the temperature, monitor the temperature and the thermometers, has a timer, and alerts you of a sudden drop in temperature.

General Tips and What We Learned

Another thing you need to be aware of (which applies to ceramic grills generally) is the long cool-down period. Due to the nature of the materials, these models retain heat a lot more efficiently than a kettle or gas grill – or even most pellet options. This is great while you’re cooking, but it also means you need to plan for an extended time for the grill to cool off before you can put the cover on. In most cases, I had to leave the grill uncovered until the next day.

One area where the Konnected Joe surpasses WiFi-enabled pellet grills is the ease of cleanup. You only need to use the included ash tool to scrape debris through the holes in the bottom of the cooking chamber, leaving larger pieces of used charcoal for the next cook. A tray inside the bottom vent slides out for easy disposal. If there’s a large amount of ash, you may need to use the tool to scrape that slot, but you shouldn’t need to get out the shop vac like you do for a pellet grill. Of course, the accessories may require a thorough scrubbing after use, but that’s nothing a little soapy water can’t handle.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  1. Smart Connectivity: Integrating smart technology with the traditional Kamado Joe design is a game-changer. Monitoring and controlling the grill remotely with an App that has not let us down.
  2. Quality Construction: The Konnected Joe features a durable construction with high-quality ceramic material, ensuring excellent heat retention and distribution for consistent cooking results.
  3. Versatility: The Kamado Joe offers versatility, allowing for grilling, smoking, roasting, and even baking.
  4. Solid Good Look: If the Joe is going to set in my deck all year, I want something that is not going to rust and look like crap after a few seasons.

CONS

  • Price: Given its advanced technology, the Konnected Joe might have a higher price tag than traditional Kamado kamado-style grills on the market. This could be a drawback for budget-conscious consumers.
  • Dependence on Technology: While smart connectivity can be convenient, it also introduces a potential point of failure. Users may encounter issues if the app malfunctions or if there are connectivity issues, which could disrupt the cooking process.
  • Learning Curve: Mastering all the features and functionalities of a Kamado-style grill may require some time and effort, especially for users unfamiliar with charcoal.
  • Size: Unfortunately, the surface area is a tad small. Good for a family of 3 or 4, but not idea for big parties.

Konnected Joe Versus Pellet Grill

If ease of use is your top priority, a Kamado Joe pellet model is worth considering, but each has its pluses and minuses. Pellet grills do not require messing with charcoal but can also lack flavor. For the Konnected Joe, you can have a pellet grill fired up and ready to go in 20 minutes versus 40 minutes.

What’s more, pellet grills don’t require you to futz with racks and pull off food to add more fuel as you refill the hopper outside of the cooking area if you start to run low. People say that cleanup is a little more involved with a charcoal grill, but to be honest, I never clean the inside of my grill.

Would my next grill be a pellet or charcoal grill? My lazy side says pellet, but the food nerd in me says to stick with the charcoal Kamado-style grill. Once I got the hang of it, cooking on it has been a lot of fun. If I were to go the pellet route, I would try the Kamado Joe Pellet Joe. It seems like the best of both worlds, a little less work with the Komado style.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Is Winner

Even though I said I would try the Kamado Joe Pellet Joe, that does not mean the Konnected Joe is not a winner. It really means I am a tad lazy, and sometimes I don’t want to deal with charcoal.

Charcoal is the way to go for good grilling. It offers unique flavor and versatility but does require a little extra work and preparation. The biggest downside is that you need to light your charcoal at least 30 minutes ahead of time. This is where I struggled the most. You could easily cut 15 minutes off with pellets.

Kamado Joe has successfully put its Komado-style grilling expertise into a WiFi-connected model with all the benefits of a ceramic grill and even tosses in an electric ignitor to raise the bar. It won’t be long before others follow. This grill is for the perfectionist and the guy who wants to grill with charcoal loves the flavor and wants to impress his friends.

At $1,699, the Konnected Joe is an expensive piece of equipment, but I see no reason it would not last for 10-plus years. The only thing that could cause issues is the electronics. However, it’s more affordable than some of the Traegers and other higher-end pellet smokers. A comparably sized Big Green Egg is around $1,450 with a stand, but again, you’ll need a secondary device for any temperature monitoring.

Next Up the DŌJOE

Rumor has it you can transform your Kamado Joe grill into a best-in-class pizza oven and create authentic-styled pizza with the Komando Joe DŌJOE pizza accessory. Designed to effortlessly maintain steady temperatures ranging from 400°F to 700°F, the DJOE has a distinctive wedge shape and allows full visibility to monitor your pies during the cooking process without the hassle of opening and closing the grill dome. The DŌJOE is the next accessory going on our Komando Joe Konnected Joe.



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