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Kamado Joe Classic 2 vs. 3 Comparison Review

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What’s the difference between Kamado Classic 2 vs. 3? This is the place to be if you are torn between the two models. We have analyzed their pros and cons, similarities, and differences. Kamado Joe is one of the best grill brands, mainly known for top-of-the-range ceramic grills.

Kamado Joe Classic 2 vs. 3 Among the company’s best-selling models are the Kamado Joe Classic II and Kamado Joe Classic III. The two are charcoal grills with plenty of similarities. However, there are profound differences that set the two apart.

Important

The difference between Kamado Joe Classic 2 and 3 is the shape, cart style, casters, side shelves, cooking chamber, charcoal basket, and of course, the price. The Kamado Joe Classic II has a fragile cart, smaller casters, plastic side tables, and a 2-tier cooking chamber. On the other hand, the Kamado Joe Classic III features a sturdy cart, larger casters, stainless steel side tables, a 3-tier cooking chamber, and an elongated shape.

For more regarding how they compare, read along.

Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II 18-inch Charcoal Grill with Cart and...
Kamado Joe KJ15040921 Classic Joe III 18-inch Charcoal Grill with Cart...
Dimensions
46.5″ W x 48″ H x 28″ D
50.5″ W x 46.5″ H x 30″ D
Weight
232 lbs
262.5 lbs
Shape
Egg-Shaped
Egg-Shaped, Elongated
Wheels
4 small
4 large
Total Cooking Area
256 square inches
256 square inches
Fuel Type
Charcoal
Charcoal
Heating Range
225°F to 750°F.
225°F to 750°F.
SloRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber
Kamado Joe KJ23RHC Classic Joe II 18-inch Charcoal Grill with Cart and...
Dimensions
46.5″ W x 48″ H x 28″ D
Weight
232 lbs
Shape
Egg-Shaped
Wheels
4 small
Total Cooking Area
256 square inches
Fuel Type
Charcoal
Heating Range
225°F to 750°F.
SloRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber
Kamado Joe KJ15040921 Classic Joe III 18-inch Charcoal Grill with Cart...
Dimensions
50.5″ W x 46.5″ H x 30″ D
Weight
262.5 lbs
Shape
Egg-Shaped, Elongated
Wheels
4 large
Total Cooking Area
256 square inches
Fuel Type
Charcoal
Heating Range
225°F to 750°F.
SloRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber

Kamado Joe Classic III Pros

  • It comes with a solid cart with heavy-duty frames to hold more weight
  • Features Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System for versatility
  • SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber Insert that takes smoking a notch higher
  • It comes with a shelf at the bottom, adding to your storage options

Kamado Joe Classic III Cons

  • It has a higher price tag, but still worth every penny
  • It’s a heavy model and may require an extra hand for mobility

Kamado Joe Classic 2 vs. 3 Face-to-Face Comparison Review

To the main agenda, how does the Kamado Classic 2 compare to Kamado Classic 3? Is the new Kamado Joe Classic 3 worth upgrading to? To help you make the right decision, we have compared the two based on the essential features considered when buying a grill. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

1. Design, Dimensions, and Weight

What’s the available space for your new grill? This is an important question to ask yourself before listing any model on your wishlist. Make sure to check the dimensions of the grill you want and how it would fit at your grilling spots. You also want to check the weight to know how portable the grill is, especially if you are into outdoor barbecuing. So, how do the two Kamados square out?

Kamado Joe Classic III Design
The new Kamado Classic III is also a freestanding grill. Remember, you can opt to buy the grill only minus the cart. This is the same case for the Classic II. Regarding dimensions and weight, the Classic 3 is larger and heavier.

Its dimensions are 50.5″ W x 46.5″ H x 30″ D, and the weight is 262.5 pounds. It has also been finished in striking chili red and black and maintains the egg shape but, this time, elongated.

Like the Classic 2, the Classic 3 also comes with the Kontrol Tower™ Top Vent, so you are also guaranteed precise airflow and consistent temperatures. The vent should be opened for the grill to produce high temperatures and closed for slow cooking.

2. Build Quality

Another important consideration is the build quality. There are different grills on the market, some with a strong and sturdy build quality, while others are knockoffs that can’t withstand the test of time. When looking for a charcoal grill, find out the main material with ceramic grills as the ultimate charcoal grills. Also, assess the quality of the cart. Can it withstand the weight of your grill, plus the food, or will it cave in? Let’s find out.

Kamado Joe Classic 3 Build Quality
The Kamado Joe Classic 3 also has a solid design and is much sturdier than the Classic 2. This is also a ceramic charcoal grill, so you are guaranteed better heat retention, and you are not limited in your cooking as it can grill, smoke and bake just like Classic 2.

The majority of the other parts are stainless steel and powder-coated aluminum. One difference between Classic 2 vs. Classic 3 is the cart design. The Classic 3 boasts an updated cart that consists of heavy-duty galvanized steel that can take any weight without a problem.

This is among the advantages of Kamado Classic 3 and a worthy reason to pay a little more for it. The included shelf at the bottom is also a worthy addition.

3. Assembly and Usability

As you may be aware, charcoal grills are shipped in parts to save space and cut logistics costs. That said, you need to check whether the grill on your wishlist is easy to assemble or not. Also, ask yourself, are there assembly guides and tutorials to help you out? Besides assembly, we want to assess the usability of the grill. Here, the aspects to consider include mobility, handling, and controls. So, which of the two grills wins the user-friendliness test?

Kamado Classic 3 Assembly
The new Kamado Classic 3 requires some assembly, but the process is not as complex as with gas grills. The first step here is also to set up the cart, which will hold the main grill. Then, mount the main grill, and fix the grills. In the last step, heat the grill and brush the grills before your first cook.

When it comes to mobility, the Classic 3 is a little bit different. It features 4 casters but this time, larger casters than the Classic 2’s, so it has better maneuverability on rough terrain.

The Classic II also comes with locking casters, so the unit remains in your desired position. The grill also comes with Air Lift Hinge, whose sprung hinge makes opening and closing the lid effortless despite the dome’s weight.

4. Heating

Perhaps the most crucial consideration when buying a grill is its heating performance., The first question to ask yourself is, what is the fuel type? As you may be aware, there are charcoal grills, gas grills, propane gas grills, wood pellet grills, and so on. Make sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different fuel types. Also, ascertain the heating temperatures to know whether the grill is for basic grilling or can be reliably used for searing.

Kamado Classic 3 Heating
On the other hand, the Kamado Joe III is still a charcoal grill, but the difference is the all-new stainless steel basket with a stainless-steel divider that enables users to create multiple cooking zones to complement the Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System® which we’ll talk about later on.

This grill also guarantees savory dishes with wooden and smoke flavors. The fire bowl has segments to allow you to set different cooking conditions. We also like the redesigned charcoal basket that allows you to put charcoal closely together to facilitate air circulation.

Like the KJ Classic 2, the KJ Classic 3 has a temperature range of 225°F to 750°F, and a thermometer at the top of the lid for monitoring temperature.

5. Cooking Surface Area

How many chickens can you grill with the grill you are about to buy? Can it accommodate enough food for your entire crew? A grill’s cooking area is an important consideration when selecting the best grill for you. So, how does the Kamado Joe II compare to Joe III? Which one can cook more food? Let’s find out.

Kamado Joe Classic 3 Cooking Surface Area
Kamado Joe Classic 3 is also an 18-inch grill with 250 square inches of maximum cooking space in a basic setup and 510 square inches with the Divide and Conquer. While out of the box, it comes with a 3-tiered cooking rack, 1 accessory rack, 2 half-moon grates, and 2 half-moon heat deflectors.

The Classic III can take up to 6 half-moon cooking grates and 2 half-moon heat deflectors, or 4 half-moon grates. The 3 tier system expands the total cooking area to 510 square inches. You can also grill enough food for 2-15 people with the Kamado 3.

6. Grilling System

The grill system is perhaps the most crucial consideration when choosing between the two ceramic grills. In this section, we will find out what each Kamado’s grilling system packs, including the much-hyped SlōRoller smoking insert and the accessories with which the duo is compatible.

Classic III Grilling System
The Classic III also works with all the accessories that Classic II is compatible with. This includes the cast iron cooking grate, reversible cast-iron griddle, non-stick soapstone surface, ceramic chicken stand, ceramic pizza stone, stainless steel fish and vegetable grate, or the grill expander. The 3-tier cooking grates have also been made from stainless steel.

But one thing that sets the Classic III apart from the Classic II is the SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber Insert. SlōRoller is a technology that facilitates unrestricted heat and smoke circulation like a traditional smoker making the Classic III more versatile. For the record, when using SlōRoller, remember to keep the temperature below.

  • Cast iron cooking grate
  • Reversible cast-iron griddle
  • Non-stick soapstone surface
  • Ceramic chicken stand
  • Ceramic pizza stone
  • Stainless steel fish and vegetable grate
  • Grill expander
  • SlōRoller insert

7. Convenience

Another important consideration when selecting the best grill is the convenience features available. Let’s find out what the two models have to offer here.

The new Kamado Classic 3 also features shelves to give you ample room for working. However, this time, the shelves are made from powder-coated aluminum. While the plastic shelves of the KJ Classic 2 are durable, the Classic 3’s shelves can take more abuse meaning they will last longer.

There are also hooks that you can use to hang your grilling equipment. The Classic 3 also comes with an ash drawer that makes it easy to remove excess ash from the grill.

8. Warranty and Aftersales

It’s also essential to assess the warranty and aftersales of the grill you are about to buy. Definitely, you want a model that has the longest warranty. Besides warranty, after-sales is also essential. The best option should have readily available parts and accessories. So, which model wins this round?

The Kamado Classic 3 is not different. It also has a lifetime warranty on ceramics, 5 years for the metal parts, 3 years for the deflectors and pizza stone, and 1 year for the fiberglass gasket and thermometer. Parts and accessories are also readily available, and so are recipes.
Kamado Joe Classic 2Kamado Joe Classic 3
CeramicsLifetimeLifetime
Metal Parts5 Years5 Years
Heat Deflectors3 Years3 Years
Pizza Stone3 Years3 Years
Thermometer1 Year1 Year

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between Kamado Joe Classic and Big Joe?

The Kamado Joe Classic and Kamado Big Joe are similar, with the significant difference being their size. The Classic Series has smaller grills, while the Big Joe Series, as the name suggests, consists of bigger grills.

FAQ

2. Does rain damage Kamado Joe?

Kamado Joe grills have been crafted using high-quality materials that can’t get damaged by rain. However, it’s better to use a cover when it is not in use.

3. Can you smoke meat in a Kamado Joe?

Yes. Kamado Joe grills can be used not just for grilling but smoking as well. The Classic 3 is the best, as it has a unique feature dubbed SloRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber, explicitly designed for smoking.

4. Is Kamado joe classic II worth it?

Yes. The Kamado Classic 2 is a great ceramic grill that offers excellent grilling and can also be used for smoking. It is also cheaper. However, if you want the best bang for the buck, go for the Classic 3, which includes some worthy upgrades.

5. How long will charcoal last in Kamado?

It all depends on the weather. You can expect charcoal to last for around 18 hours in normal weather conditions.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, folks, a Kamado Joe Classic 2 vs. 3 comparison review. So, which model should you go for? Well, it all comes down to your budget, as both models offer excellent grilling. If you have no budget restrictions, go for the Classic 3 and take advantage of its extras, including an improved smoking system, stainless steel side tables, a 3-tier smoking chamber, and a sturdier cart with a clever storage space at the bottom. But if you are on a tight budget, the Classic 2 is still a worthy choice.