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Scott.W

Looking to switch

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So I have a big joe and looking to move to the 23 ultimate. I enjoy my red pot but irritated about the hinge Etc. About to build an outdoor kitchen and want to upgrade.

Is there a long learning curve switch with the KK?

Since I am used to cooking on the BG should I go with the 32?

Anything I should be aware of the KK before hand?

 

 

 

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The kk will be easier than the joe, it’s more stable. Even though the 23” and the big joe are roughly the same size, the kk has quite a bit more capacity due to multiple layers of grates. If you grill a lot, you might like the extra real estate the 32” offers, plus it gives the option of really great two zone cooking with the basket splitter.

The 32” wasn’t available when I bought my 23”, so I subsequently ended up with a 23” and a 19”, I love the combo. That said, if I were to start over, I’d have a hard time deciding.

You’re gonna love whatever you get...KK’s are far and away the best.


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No learning curve. If you are used to a Big Joe a KK will be a bit easier. You already went through the learning curve with the Big Joe. 

No matter what size you choose you won't be disappointed with the purchase. 

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Ditto the above. If anything, you’ll have to unlearn the tendency to play with the vents.

Regarding size, I have both a 23 and a 32. The 32 is better all around. Period. That said, what’s your cooking style? Mostly low and slow? Lots of grilling? Baking? Pizza? Rotisserie? What’s the largest group you’d cook for?

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Typically it’s either low and slow brisket or searing steaks with some pizza


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Largest group I cook for 1c03ee7df6c2df32939af3217c98c677.jpg
8 to 10. That picture is two racks of ribs and two skirt steaks


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1 minute ago, Scott.W said:

Typically it’s either low and slow brisket or searing steaks with some pizza


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Given that, a 23 with baking stone might suit you fine. Besides capacity, the biggest difference between the two is that the 32 is a true two-zone grill and the 23 isn’t. I typically leave my 32 in two zone configuration. In your case...I’m thinking 23 would do you very well.

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Your next step is to call Dennis and have this conversation with him. You’ll not get a hard sell. He’ll work with you to make sure you’re getting what fits you best. We’re here too. But Dennis is the man!

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One more thing...all kks are the same quality construction, same materials, same basic design, the only difference is size. Bigger is only better because it’s bigger, nothing else.


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5 minutes ago, 5698k said:

One more thing...all kks are the same quality construction, same materials, same basic design, the only difference is size. Bigger is only better because it’s bigger, nothing else.


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Not quite true. The 32 and 42 are true two-zone grills. The others aren’t. 

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I was in your situation around 12 months ago, same deal....BJoe fan that fell in love with komado cooking and that led me to the KK world where i started to contemplate a bit of two-timing.

After sussing out a few utube flix mainly from a fella named Larry (23in) and Steven Raichlen (32in) and a talk with the finance minister, got in contact with Dennis and decided the 32 was for me.

The BJ is still here but i feel guilty about getting rid of it, we've had so many good memories together and it's taught me everything i needed to know, so when i finally got my hands on the new girl i could not believe how gorgeous her curves are and talk about being responsive, and did i mention she can cook :smt023

In all honesty, i do the odd family gathering and more recent of late my daughters futsal team drop in outa the blue sometimes so the KK32 is ready and willing whether i cook for just the wife and myself or i need to grill 10-15 steaks with veggies sitting in my new Webber Grill tray (thnx Pequod) its ready to go.....like someone said "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it", great investment....whichever way you go.....welcome :smt033

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Welcome @Scott.W.  I was a complete novice at kamodo cooking when my KKs arrived last December.  I was able to set them to work within hours of arrival. They are super easy to use and they just get easier over time.  So nothing at all to worry about if you are already accustomed to this style of cooking.  

As for size, anything smaller than a 21" has limitations.  I have found having two KKs is the best solution for me.  It means you can cook at different temps and different modes at the same time.  And many people end up with two or even more once they get into KKs.  In my case it was a no brainer because they had to be shipped to the UK with all the attendant customs clearance costs so doing it once made the most sense.  I got a 21" and a 23" in the end.  

@Pequod is a strong advocate of the 32" and I am guessing he is right in that you will be hard pushed to find something you couldn't fit onto a 32".  However, I am not sure about this "true two zone grilling" thing.  @Pequod, what does that mean?  I have my 23" set up for two zone grilling and it works for most things for me, including cooking whole fish. 

 

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36 minutes ago, tekobo said:

 @Pequod, what does that mean?  I have my 23" set up for two zone grilling and it works for most things for me, including cooking whole fish. 

 

What it means is that the size and shape of the 32 relative to the 23 lends itself to a substantial temperature differential between the hot and cool sides, and with substantial area for both. So, imagine each is in a configuration with the basket splitter (the 32 in 50/50 configuration...it can also do 75/25). At the sear grate level, the indirect vs. direct sides are roughly equivalent temperature-wise. The biggest difference is the very small direct area due to basket size. Now move your eyeline to the upper grate. Here you have a full size 23" main grate over a split basket. The difference in temp between the hot side and cool side is much less here. There's no reason to cook this way. In a 32", I'm using a half main grate and the temperature differential is still high due to distance.

Now for workflow. Let's say we're reverse searing some steaks. In the 23, I have no reason to use a split basket, because I'll just cook the steaks at low (225'ish) temp on the main grate until they're "in the zone", remove the steaks and main grate, crank the vents, wait for a roaring flame, then sear. All's good, if a bit complex. Here's the same workflow for the 32. Cook the steaks on the cool side until they're in the zone, then flip them directly onto the sear grate. Done.

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Hi Scott,

I was completely new to Kamado cooking. I purchased the 23 Ultimate which has been great. For large parties, I do a low and slow and then grill at the end. I also do a lot of grilling too. It's been fine for me, wifey and 3 kids but if you want to do a lot of grilling then the 32 is a better suited. Also the 32 has a better 2 zone setup - its a true 2 zone setup. It's been a great journey and I have been really happy with everything I have cooked up in the KK even though I was novice with it all. 

Either way, you will be impressed with the quality and the cooks. I was tempted to buy the big joe when I was looking but couldnt go past the KK in the end. Though, I could do with more weight lifting exercises (when lifting the lid of the KJ), I am glad I went with the KK quality.

And finally, you get to join a group of really nice people (in this forum) who really go out of the way to help you out. 

We loved our KK so much that we transformed our outdoor entertainment area so it could be a show case piece...

Have a chat to Dennis and good luck!

 

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I have a 23 and it covers all my needs i cook for a family of 4 however if i had to do it again i would go with the 32 there are times when i have family events or a bunch of friends over where i didnt have room on the main grate for food so i had to put the upper grate in to stack my food if i had the 32 life would of been easier and like was said the 32 is true 2 zone cooking ..that being said the 23 is fantastic to cook on as is any kk for that matter go with whatever you can afford and good luck on your choice

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18 hours ago, Pequod said:

Not quite true. The 32 and 42 are true two-zone grills. The others aren’t. 

I'm going to have to disagree with ya here my friend..
Craig aka Meathead at AmazingRibs.com once said only the Primo could create two zones..
I made up this little video to demonstrate how the clearly the two zones were created in a 23" KK.

Probably should of cranked it up a bit but it definitely shows TWO ZONES  ;-)

 

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The 23” is unique also in the fact that it’s charcoal basket is round, so the zones can be front to rear, side by side, or catywompous if you like.


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