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FREE OTTAWA & GATINEAU DELIVERY OVER $999. FREE SHIPPING OVER $999*. CLICK FOR DETAILS.
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The Kamado Joe Classic II vs. Classic III

Kamado Joe produces excellent grills, and there’s one for everyone’s budget and feature needs. 

If you’re struggling to choose between the Kamado Joe II’s reliable workhorse or the shiny new Kamado Joe III, we’re here to help with a complete breakdown and comparison of the two lines. We created this page for you to easily choose which grill is right for you.

Kamado Joe Classic II 18" KJ23RHC Ceramic Charcoal Grill w/Cart & Wheels

Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
$1,699.00
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Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18" KJ23RHCI-A Charcoal Grill w/ Cart & Wheels

Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
$2,599.00
View Details

Kamado Joe Classic II 18" KJ23RHC Ceramic Charcoal Grill w/Cart & Wheels

Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
Kamado Joe Classic II 18
$1,699.00
View Details

Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18" KJ23RHCI-A Charcoal Grill w/ Cart & Wheels

Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
Kamado Joe - Classic Joe III 18
$2,599.00
View Details

Kamado Joe Feature Differences

Divide & Conquer System

Top Cap Material

Gasket Material

Lid Style

Cart Material

Side Shelf Material

SlōRoller Smoke Distribution

Charcoal Basket Included

X Rack Included

Cart Storage Shelf

KJ Classic I

2 Tier

Plastic

Felt

Standard

Cast Iron

Plastic


KJ Classic II

2 Tier

Aluminum

Wire Mesh

Air Lift Hinge

Cast Iron

Plastic

KJ Classic III

3 Tier

Aluminum

Wire Mesh

Air Lift Hinge

Steel

Aluminum

Kamado Joe Feature Differences

Divide & Conquer System

Top Cap Material

Gasket Material

Lid Style

Cart Material

Side Shelf Material

SlōRoller Smoke Distribution

Charcoal Basket Included

X Rack Included

Cart Storage Shelf

Kamado Joe
Classic II

2 Tier

Aluminum

Wire Mesh

Air Lift Hinge

Cast Iron

Plastic

Kamado Joe
Classic III

3 Tier (+ Deeper Base)

Aluminum

Wire Mesh

Air Lift Hinge

Galvanized Steel 

Aluminum

What’s new with the Kamado Joe III?

If the upgrades tempt you on the Kamado Joe III, and they are very alluring, here is a complete breakdown of what they are and how they work:

Slōroller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber Insert

Probably the most significant addition to the Kamado Joe III line is the SlōRoller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber Insert. This takes the place of the old heat deflector used in the Classic II.

The SlōRoller helps circulate heat and smoke in a way that mimics a more traditional smoker. This means that if you’re looking for a kamado grill that works for both grill and smoking, you should get better results from the III line than you would with a II. The II with the heat deflector still makes an excellent smoker.

* One thing to note is that smoking with the SlōRoller system requires you to keep the temperature below 500°F (260℃) to avoid stripping the Teflon coating from the cast aluminum insert.

DIVIDE & CONQUER® COOKING SYSTEM

The 3-Tier Divide & Conquer Cooking System provides you with more cooking surface, 510 square inches in the Classic III or 864 square inches in the Big Joe III, but that’s not all it does. The movable half-moon trays can be arranged at different heights to cook at different temperatures, and they’re made of different materials to suit different foods. 

The Kamado Joe Classic III can hold up to six cooking grates and two heat deflectors, so you might choose to have a cast-iron half grate for searing steak, a non-stick one for cooking fish, and a few heat deflectors to make sure nothing overcooks.

While there are more possible combinations than the Classic II, the Classic III uses the same accessories as its predecessor.

Stainless steel charcoal basket

It also has a divider in the center that lets to pack in your fuel asymmetrically. Combining this with the 3-Tier Divide & Conquer cooking system gives you greater control over the temperature at which different foods cook.

The new heavy-duty cart and elongated shape

The cart on the Classic III and Big Joe III has been upgraded to heavy-duty galvanized steel with more robust, thicker legs. They still come with solid little casters on the bottom for extra mobility.

The side shelves have also been upgraded to powder-coated aluminum, to enhance their durability. The Classic III shape has also changed, becoming more elongated to give you the room to fit in more cooking space and the 3-Tier Divide & Conquer cooking system.

What are the standout features of the Kamado Joe III?

To make things as simple as possible, here are some of the most exciting and innovative features of the new Kamado Joe III line:

The Slōroller Hyperbolic Smoke Chamber makes the III range a far more effective smoker than the II was. All the same build quality and standout features of the II line are still there and still excellent.

The new 3-tier Divide & Conquer cooking system, combined with the new stainless steel charcoal basket, make it easier than ever to cook at different temperatures inside your kamado grill.

The elongated shape means the Classic III now has a lot more cooking space.

The cart and side shelves have been upgraded to be more durable and more corrosion and heat resistant than those found on the II range. 

Is the Joe III worth the extra money?

The answer to this boils down to, if the features we’ve listed above sound like they are going to make cooking with the Kamado Joe III easier and more fun, then yes, it’s worth every penny. However, if none of the innovations above sound like they will make much difference, the Classic II is still an excellent grill, and you won’t be missing out on anything by choosing one over the III line.

Conclusion

When it comes right down to it, most pitmasters will be satisfied with the Classic II or, if they need a little extra cooking space, the Big Joe II. However, if you are looking for peak performance, are interested in smoking as much as grilling in your Kamado, or just want the largest amount of cooking space possible, the innovations you’ll find on the Classic III and Big Joe III are really going to benefit you.

KAMADO JOE AIR LIFT HINGE

Other kamado grills allow the dome to fall or slam during lifting or closing, but Kamado Joe's breakthrough hinge reduces dome weight by 96%—so you can lift it with a finger and stop it wherever you want.

DIVIDE & CONQUER® COOKING SYSTEM

Kamado Joe's patented Divide & Conquer® Flexible Cooking System transforms the humble grill grate into the most powerful cooking tool in your arsenal. The revolutionary multi-level, half-rack design frees you to cook different foods in different styles at different temperatures—all at the same time. You’ll end up with a perfect, well-rounded meal without ever leaving the grill.

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