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Wobster

BGE to KK user Evaluations/Experience

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Simply the build quality. Imagine driving a ford model t, and jumping into something along the lines of a Bentley..the food quality follows..everything follows, there’s just no comparison.


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I had a BGE for 7+ years and even just receiving and unpacking the KK I could tell they were not in the same league. Getting mine together, seeing all the accessories and then using it I wish I had made the switch earlier or even skipped the BGE in the first place. Beyond that though the KK is also just easier to use than the BGE.

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i haven't had enough cooking time on the KK to give a full review, but i was using KJ and weber products before. 

i think the cooking experience is similar to a KJ, but the KK keeps heat like a refractory pizza oven. 

the build quality is excellent. but i don't consider it a luxury product. i think a kk costs exactly what i expect it to cost for what it give you. i can say the same with kj or bge. you get what you pay for. 

from where i live (asia) KK service is also excellent. i had parts sent to me in less than two weeks. but i also had positive cs experiences with KJ vietnam and Weber japan, just slower. 

there's not really any diy assembly for kk. even the metal cart for my 19 came fully assembled, which coming from years of buying garbage on amazon and ikea, was a total shock to me. the millwork is also excellent. KK makes very nice teak accompaniments for the grill. 

edit: i forgot to mention, you get extra parts on all the user replaceable parts for your grill with your purchase. i don't know of any company that does this. 

Edited by David Chang
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2 hours ago, 5698k said:

Simply the build quality. Imagine driving a ford model t, and jumping into something along the lines of a Bentley..the food quality follows..everything follows, there’s just no comparison.


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As a car guy…I completely understand this! 

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I went from BGE to Primo to KK. BGE was good, I had lid issues every time I did a high heat cook. I hated having to adjust the lid all the time. the Primo was much nicer, it made the BGE feel like a toy in comparison. But with the Primo I had issues with the firebox design, they kept cracking, I went through 3. The KK is just in another league compared to those two. I love the BB32, I just go out and cook, I never have to worry about the lid or the firebox, I just enjoy it. I would never go back. And add me to the list of those that wish they had just bought the KK to begin with.

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1 hour ago, C6Bill said:

And add me to the list of those that wish they had just bought the KK to begin with.

I started my kamado journey with a KK and I certainly have no regrets that I didn't do the BGE, Primo, Kamado Joe hop, skip and jump first.  They are wonderful to cook and just sooo beautiful to look at.  

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I started out with a medium BGE around 25 years ago and used it for low and show cooks. I liked it week enough that I sold it and upgraded to a large BGE to get more space. I had all kinds of problems with the large one - couldn't manage temps, couldn't manage a low and slow cook without running out of charcoal, needed a deflector, detached feet cracking, etc. Granted, I didn't spend enough time learning to use it but after my success with the medium one, I was very frustrated and I just stopped using it. I also started having back issues that caused sciatica and since the BGE was downstairs and my kitchen is upstairs, going up and down the steps to manage it was getting more and more difficult.

When I decided to have the deck that's convenient to the kitchen rebuilt (including having it roofed and screened in), I wanted to make outdoor cooking more convenient so had a "grill wing" added to the deck that isn't roofed in and got a Weber summit gas grill with a built-in smoker box. I thought the smoker box would serve my smoking desires but was disappointed in the results - that got me looking at kamados again. I hoped to find one that was as large or larger than the large BGE but had a door at the firebox level to add fuel if needed since I really didn't like having to take the food and grates out of the BGE to add charcoal. I didn't find one, but the search lead my to the KK's and the hinged grates. After struggling with the price, I ordered a 23" ultimate (this was before the 32" models existed) to add to the grill wing.

When it arrived, I was amazed at the improvement over the BGE in both quality and utility. All the issues I had with the BGE were addressed as I worked my way up the learning curve. My biggest lessons were not overshooting the target temp, making sure I did a good heat soak, and not overshooting the target temp. I listed overshooting twice because it was the hardest lesson for me to learn! Also, I've learned that the hinged grates aren't really needed for adding charcoal since even my longest cooks don't use a full basket, but they are handy for adding smoke wood. Moisture retention is far superior to the BGE and the firebox damper dial and infinitely adjustable top damper provide much smoother and better temp control. And of course, no deflector needed. The KK is also much better looking than the BGE; several folks have called it a "work of art."

I look at it like I try to look at expensive tools - could I get similar results with a lower cost option? With the KK, the answer ranges from "maybe" to "yes" depending on what I'm cooking; I had some excellent results on my BGEs (mostly with the medium one), but I get similar and better results with the KK much easier and with less aggravation and stress. And at this stage in my life, I really appreciate less aggravation and stress and I really appreciate high quality, well designed tools. I do not regret getting my KK.

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3 minutes ago, Wobster said:

Ok, I am convinced…just placed an order for 32” BB… now will begin the waiting…and selling other grilling stuff (keeping some…of course!) 

You won't regret it! The wait will fly by too

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2 hours ago, Wobster said:

Ok, I am convinced…just placed an order for 32” BB… now will begin the waiting…and selling other grilling stuff (keeping some…of course!) 

Congrats! What color and shape tile did you chose?

I ordered my 32" BB in November. I went with the blue cobalt square tile. I'm hoping it's delivered by the end of April. (Fingers crossed) This will be my first kamado cooker so I'm looking forward to learning process. I'm stoked.

Funny story. Of course, over the past four and a half months I've talked about the KK quite a bit. I've showed my kids photos, asked everyone their preference in tiles, openly discussed accessories to order, etc. At a family birthday party last week my wife and I overhear our four year old daughter telling her 13 year old cousin what we are getting. My daughter proudly states "Luci, we are getting a Komodo Kamado." My wife and I looked at each other and laughed. Needless to say, Luci was puzzled as to what a Komodo Kamado was. It was quite funny. The wait will not only drive you crazy but also those around you. Hahah 😜 

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I haven't cooked on my BGE for over 2 months now.  I have had my KK about 5 months. (42SBB).

I still like the BGE, I can't lie about that.  What I love about the KK is all the space.  And because it is so thick, it really does make better BBQ.  The 42SBB is an awesome awesome grill (and pretty good smoker). I can give a full review one day on that.  food quality - better than perfect - even with smoking.  My main gripe is "temperature control to a single degree" like the quote by stephen raichlen. I feel smaller KK models may be better with this.  Low and slow - no issue.  When I'm going mid-temp like 275 even sometimes when I'm using the Thermoworks Billows WITH the damper, sometimes I'm getting 300.  Do I care about this? not really - it's in the ball park and totally fine.  I have been doing this kamado cooking long enough to know you don't mess with it too much.  And - I'm totally satisfied TBH.  I just made brisket AND pork shoulder at the same time yesterday.  Both turned out super well.

Congrats on your purchase!  You will not regret it.

Edited by johnnymnemonic
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Congratulation Wobster. It seems like you got your order in before Dennis announced his price increase. I've got a 32" and I can keep it going at whatever temperature I need. A controller helps with overnight low and slows, but it'll purr at 250-275 with the right vent settings. I have a 22 and 32 and they both are super easy to use. My son has the 22 right now in another city. Bottom line is that you'll love it.  And the bonus is all the free advice you get here. 

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