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johnnymnemonic

dream house, dream grill - but which one

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I've always wanted a Komodo Kamado and for various reasons have been holding off.  Well, I'm about to move into a new house in the next 60 days.  Likely to be there a long time.  I have a good spot to put a KK.  All of these things were not necessarily true until now.

Now - All I have to do is buy one. 

I wanted to ask what the "ideal size" KK is.  And I know that's a difficult question.  Context: I am an avid big green egger right now and I have a large BGE.  Why did I get the large?  The large fits a good amount food within but also has good temperature control without too much fuel usage.  I have heard with the BGEs the XLs are not quite as user friendly and use more coal.  A medium is just a bit too small.  The "Large" is sort of an ideal size of the BGE.   It does 2x boston butts just fine.  3-4 racks of ribs... does everything I ask it.

Is the 23" Ultimate the "ideal size" KK?  I know the 23" ultimate is slightly bigger than the egg, has more cooking levels.  It is probably "all I need".  But the 32" big bad - how much more coal does it use, and does it feel like it dwarfs you when you're just cooking for your family of 5?  I don't want to get too much KK but I also don't want to miss out on having a big one if it is just as friendly and nice as the ultimate.  After all it is my dream come true.

I have since read a few other threads here and it appears it's a toss up.  Would love to hear more thoughts. Maybe I will 'just go for it'.

Thanks!

-John 

Edited by johnnymnemonic

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What fun.  You have a great journey of discovery ahead of you. My only piece of advice would be to consider getting two KKs if you can.  KKs are so easy to use that you will want to do more outdoor cooking and that means you are likely to need things running at different temps and for different durations.  Whatever you choose, you are sure to enjoy it!

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I have both. Coming from a large BGE, you'll be delighted with either. I'll try to address some of your questions:

Is the 23" the ideal size KK? Really depends on you and how you're going to use it. For the cooks you described -- low and slow -- it is probably all you need.

How much more charcoal does a 32" use? Not much more. Most of the time my 32" is configured in split basket mode, configured for two-zone grilling, so the amount of charcoal is about the same as the 23". It might take slightly longer to heat soak a 32, but I haven't really noticed.

32 too big for a family of 5? Not at all. Most of the time I'm cooking just for me and my wife, and I still go to the 32 more often than not. 

Common theme in my responses...all depends on how/what you cook most often. If you do a lot of grilling, then you know from your BGE that you need to "go vertical" to get the two zones. You can get a basket splitter for a 23, but the hot side will be pretty small if you need to do a lot of searing for a family of 5. My opinion only, but based on direct use of both...is that the 32 is a more natural two-zone grill with lots of real estate on both the "cold" and hot sides. If you don't do a lot of two-zone cooking, the 23 is probably just fine for you.

Another option to consider is to get a 23 (or 22) AND a 19 instead of a single 32. Another member of this forum recently asked my opinion on two smaller vs. a 32. I'm biased...I REALLY like the 32. But, then again, I also have a 23, so...there is that.

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If it's just the 5 of you most of the time, the 23" is going to do you just fine (I own one and can easily cook for 6 adults on it). But, if you like to entertain and need to cook for a lot of folks, then consider the 32".

As others have noted, the other direction is to go with 2 KKs of different sizes - say a 23" and a 19", so you could do different cooks at the same time - example ribs on the 23" and burgers/dogs on the 19" (or your large BGE, assuming you plan to keep it.)

Bottomline - you can't go wrong in upgrading to the KK over the BGE, as you'll quickly learn after you start cooking on it. I've cooked on both and the KK is the clear winner in versatility and quality. 

Talk to Dennis. He's a pleasure to talk to and will help you figure out what's going to be best option for you - no sales pressure at all!!

Keep us posted on what you decide. 

Edited by tony b

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Pequod, Tony B, tekobo -

Thanks!! Cool, this is great feedback.  I think I will probably go with the 32.  As I am not getting rid of the egg, I think that'll be my 2nd Kamado for now.  I can get a 2nd KK later when I'm not house poor. I think I will talk to Dennis before ordering.  I am still about 30 to 60 days out.  But I cannot wait!

As to the question of what I do - I grill, I smoke, I do pizza.  Chicken, fish, pork, beef, you name it.  My setup right now is that I have a large BGE and I have a Weber Genesis II E-210 that I sometimes use for things I don't want as much fire flavor on - I don't use it much but it can be handy.  My wife would rather use gas b/c she hates fooling with lighting the Kamados.  she doesn't understand how easy it is with a looftlighter but she really doesn't care.  I have used the everliving heck out of my BGE and it has been OK.  I am about to do my 3rd felt gasket replacement on it in 10 years.  bout to put a new hinge on it and replace the notorious spring assisted one that always results in terrible alignment (overbite, underbite - hard to get the egg right) - at least it takes a while to get it aligned every time you have to replace the gaskets.  I just want a perfect product.  One that isn't quite so finicky and is extremely well made.  I have learned a great deal cooking on my egg for almost 10 years now.  I am looking forward to the best.

Edited by johnnymnemonic
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Definitely get the 32” I can tell you from experience with a family of 3 our 23” was just to small so we ended up selling it and getting a 32” and WOW what a difference between space between the 2 sizes you won’t regret it I’m telling you. Good luck and post some photo’s when you do your first cook on it. 

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I am very fortunate to have the 23 and the 32 absolutely the 32 I am looking forward to my 42 in the near very near future 

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2 hours ago, johnnymnemonic said:

Pequod, Tony B, tekobo -

Thanks!! Cool, this is great feedback.  I think I will probably go with the 32.  As I am not getting rid of the egg, I think that'll be my 2nd Kamado for now.  I can get a 2nd KK later when I'm not house poor. I think I will talk to Dennis before ordering.  I am still about 30 to 60 days out.  But I cannot wait!

As to the question of what I do - I grill, I smoke, I do pizza.  Chicken, fish, pork, beef, you name it.  My setup right now is that I have a large BGE and I have a Weber Genesis II E-210 that I sometimes use for things I don't want as much fire flavor on - I don't use it much but it can be handy.  My wife would rather use gas b/c she hates fooling with lighting the Kamados.  she doesn't understand how easy it is with a looftlighter but she really doesn't care.  I have used the everliving heck out of my BGE and it has been OK.  I am about to do my 3rd felt gasket replacement on it in 10 years.  bout to put a new hinge on it and replace the notorious spring assisted one that always results in terrible alignment (overbite, underbite - hard to get the egg right) - at least it takes a while to get it aligned every time you have to replace the gaskets.  I just want a perfect product.  One that isn't quite so finicky and is extremely well made.  I have learned a great deal cooking on my egg for almost 10 years now.  I am looking forward to the best.

Given the range of cooks, and the continued existence of the BGE, I think the 32 is a great choice. Pizzas? Two 14”ers at a time. Nobody needs to wait. The half main, basket splitter, and shear real estate...you’ll be living the dream.

Soon you’ll be asking about accessories, so let’s go there. Get the basket splitter, baking stone, a roti spit rod (I prefer it over the roti cradle), side tables, and a Sunbrella cover for sure. I also recommend the cold smoker...puts you in total control of the smoke throughout a cook. Some people even use it for cold smoking.

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I owned bge for many years and like you with the large it had more then enough space for everything you threw at it. so the large is 18 in main grate . the 23 is 22.5 from side to side for the main grate there are 3 tiers to the 23, 4 if you count going on the basket so you could cook a steak close to the flames.

now the bge you are really relegated to the main grate unless you have an extension to put on top  the main grate.

I own a 23 and let me tell you there is a lot of space and i cook for a family of 4 most of the time and have cooked for a parties of 25 and over there are only a handful of times i wished i had the 32 .the 23 will handle whatever you throw at it.

if i had to do it all over again i just might have went with the 32 but the 23 fits all my needs....

you will be very happy with the 32 or any kk for that matter

wait till you cook on the kk you think the bge produces great food the kk is in a league of its own, the bge is going to get lonely from not being used once the kk arrives lol 

 

 

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No matter which KK you buy or which two you buy, the taste of whatever you cook moves to the next level too. :smt060

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I really feel like the 23 is pretty big but I wouldn't hesitate to get the 32 in a do over. The most common issue I run into on the 23 is when I really need two different temp zones to cook in (like a low and slow at 225 and a side dish in the 400 range). In that case, a duo like Tony suggested would be a great 3rd alternative.

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Sounds like you're on the right path, especially talking to Dennis as you get closer to the "pull the trigger" date. 

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