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Reviewed by
Last updated: July 31, 2021

Kamado Joe Jr Review

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: July 31, 2021
LilGrill is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Ideal for
  • Those who are new to the world of grilling and BBQ-ing
  • Anyone who likes to enjoy a freshly grilled meal on camping trips
  • Those who do not need to cook for a large family
Highlights:
  • Extremely portable and easy to carry
  • Has a sturdy body and is durable
  • Is easy to use and maintain
Editor's Rating
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
9.7
out of 10
  • Cooking area 9.7
  • Ease of use 9.6
  • Portability 9.5
  • Warranty 9.8
Users’ Rating
4.3
out of 5
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    4.3
    out of
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    119 Users’ Ratings
    • 5 stars
      43%
    • 4 stars
      46%
    • 3 stars
      9%
    • 2 stars
      2%
    • 1 stars
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Grilling is an art that requires patience and effort to perfect. In order to perfect this art and develop a great technique, you need to own the right grill. If you have ever browsed the market for grills, you may have come across the Kamado Joe line of grills. You’re in luck as we will be doing a Kamado Joe Jr review.

Kamado grills are a popular and reliable option. They are made of thick ceramic or clay and have a unique circular design which is great for circulating and maintaining heat. This will allow you to grill the most perfectly cooked meals. An interesting fact is that the kamado grill design actually originated in Japan around 3000 years ago!

The Kamado Joe Jr does not take up too much space. It is easy to carry which makes it the obvious option for camping trips and outdoor parties. The smaller size does not mean you have to compromise on taste!

We will also be looking at the pros and cons of this model so you can make an informed decision!

Specifications

Functions
Grilling, searing, roasting, baking, smoking
Total cooking area
148 sq. in
Fuel
Charcoal
Temperature range
225°F to 750°F
Grill grate material
Stainless steel
Dimensions
19.75 (W) x 27 (H) x 20.75 (D) inches
Weight
68 lbs
Warranty
Lifetime on ceramic parts, 5-year on metal parts, 3-year on heat deflectors, 1-year on gaskets and thermometer

Kamado Joe Jr Grill Review

The Kamado Joe Jr grill has all the impeccable features of the Kamado range but in a more convenient and portable size. The grill is multi-functional, and you can use it for searing, roasting, and smoking as well!

It has a cooking area of 148 sq. inches and only weighs 68 pounds. This makes it easy to carry around and use on your next camping trip or outdoors party. The Kamado Joe Jr also has a great temperature range of 225°F to 750°F which means you have diverse heat control and can easily cook a variety of different foods.

It has a solid ceramic body and comes with a stainless-steel grate grill. It is an extremely durable product and it comes with a great warranty. This section will be further exploring these features in much more detail so you can make up your mind about buying the Kamado Joe Jr grill.

Overall Performance and Functions

Kamado Joe Jr Review

The Kamado Joe Jr grill has all the features you need from a good grill. Don’t let its small size deceive you because it will still let you deliver a flavorsome and delicious meal.

The grill is also great for regular use. If you are someone who enjoys grilling their daily meals, the Kamado Joe Jr is great for making hot dogs, hamburgers, and even more elaborate meals like steaks.

The grill is also relatively easy to use. This makes it a great option for those who are new to using grills and also those who like to grill frequently. Most people like buying multifunctional cooking equipment for maximum utility. The Kamado Joe Jr grill does not disappoint on this front!

You get to enjoy a range of different ways to prepare your food, using a single grill. Therefore, the Kamado Joe Jr grill has a great overall performance. It is not only multifunctional but also easy to use!

Cooking Area

Kamado Joe Jr Review

When it comes to grills, the cooking area is an important factor to consider. A smaller cooking area limits the amount of food you can cook. However, an extremely large cooking area for a grill may result in uneven temperature and poorly grilled food.

The Kamado Joe Jr grill has a cooking surface of 148 sq inches. This makes it relatively smaller than an average grill which has a cooking area of 450-500 sq. inches. Most grills that fall in the range of 450-500 sq. inches are large enough to cook for an average household of 4-5 people.

Therefore, since the Kamado Joe Jr offers considerably less cooking space you can only use it to cook for 2-3 people at a time. So, while the Kamado Joe Jr may not be appropriate for large families and parties, it can be a great option if you live in a two-person household or are simply cooking for yourself.

The cooking area itself is divided into two as the grill is cut in half. This means you can place it either high or low and change the temperature. The important thing is that while the Kamado Joe Jr may give you less cooking space, you do not have to compromise on taste and flavor.

Fuel

Like traditional grills, the Joe Jr Kamado runs on charcoal. Charcoal grills have plenty of benefits and you will find that you can enjoy most of them with this model. Since charcoal does not have any maximum setting, you can cook your food at a really high temperature!

This explains how the Kamado Joe Jr can go up to 750°F. Charcoal also makes the grill highly versatile. Since you can produce both direct and indirect heat using charcoal, this allows for more diversity and makes it possible for you to also bake using this model!

Charcoal use also allows for more flavorsome meals. The charcoal grill allows you to achieve an intense flavor.

While charcoal really elevates how the Joe Jr Kamado operates, it has some downsides too. Charcoal can be messy to deal with and you might have to spend some extra time cleaning up afterward. Charcoal can also be a little difficult to handle if you are a beginner, but most people are able to learn how to deal with it after a few uses, so they safely prevent charcoal ash from getting into their food.

Construction

The body of the Joe Jr grill is made of solid ceramic. It has a circular shape which is great for heat retention and consistency. This model also comes with a solid grill that is made of stainless steel and can be placed either higher or lower depending on the level of heat you want.

While the Joe Jr has a sturdy construction, it is still highly portable and easy to carry which makes it the ideal companion for your camping trips.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is likely to be your first concern if you are a beginner in the world of grilling. However, this is an important aspect to consider even if you are a regular griller, as an easy-to-use grill can make your life so much easier and allow you to actually enjoy the cooking process!

Well, the great thing is that the Kamado Joe Jr is easy to use! It is a great option if you are looking to buy your very first grill. It is delivered fully assembled which means you do not have to go through the hassle of learning how to assemble a grill.

It has many other features which make it easy to use. The lid of the grill is easy to open and shut, it also stays wherever you put it. So you will not have to worry about the lid suddenly shutting down and giving you a scare.

This model also comes with a removable ashtray which makes cleaning up extremely easy and hassle-free. The Kamado Joe Jr also makes the grilling process easy. Since the grill comes pre-assembled, you simply need to place it somewhere suitable outdoors.

In order to light it up, you simply need to add some charcoal. Once you have done this and lit the charcoal, place the stainless cooking rack on top of the charcoal. Then you must use the heat deflectors which will bring the grill to a consistent and even temperature.

When the grill is at a specific temperature you need you may grill/smoke/BBQ your food. You can play around with the vents according to how you want your food cooked. Once you are done using the grill, you can easily clean it using a brush! The Kamado Joe Jr makes grilling a straightforward and hassle-free process.

Safety Features

While buying any cooking equipment, it is important to consider the safety features. The grill comes with an extremely stable lid that stays put. The gasket also keeps the charcoal secure and prevents accidents from occurring.

While charcoal can typically be tricky to use, the Joe Jr makes it easy to control the temperature which prevents overheating and other related accidents.

Portability

Kamado Joe Jr Review

This is perhaps the best feature of the Kamado Joe Junior! While you may not be able to cook for a large number of people, this model is the ideal size to carry around. It only weighs 68 pounds, which makes it extremely portable.

It is also safe to carry and sturdy enough to endure some heavyweight trekking. Whether you need to take it along to your camping trip or to an outdoor location for a party, the Kamado Joe Jr is safe and easy to carry.

Maintenance

Maintaining the grill itself is not tedious. The ashtray is easy to empty out and clean. The grill is stainless steel and so you only need to dust it off carefully after every use to keep it clean.

If you do not use the grill regularly then you need to be smart about how you store it. While it has a sturdy construction, leaving it out in the sun for too long can potentially damage it. So, consider covering the grill or storing it indoors if it is not in use.

Accessories

One major downside of the Kamado Joe Jr is that its unique size makes it incompatible with all the traditional accessories that work with most Joe Junior products. However, this is not something you necessarily need to worry about as it alone can fulfill all your grilling needs. You do not have to fret over not being able to use extra accessories.

Durability and Warranty

Like all other Kamado Joe products, this model is extremely durable. It will last you a long time and you will be grilling for years. The body is made using high-quality thick ceramic. The grill is made of stainless steel which does not rust easily.

Another thing that will put you at ease is the fact that like most other Kamado Joe grills, this model also comes with a long-term warranty. The ceramic body comes with a lifetime warranty!

This shows how strongly the manufacturers believe in its durability. You also get a 5-year warranty on metal parts, a 3-year warranty on the heat deflectors, and a 1-year warranty on the gasket and thermometers.

Since most of the essential products have a long-term warranty, this model is guaranteed to be a purchase that will last you for many years.

Key Features

Kamado Joe Jr Review

Having gone through all the amazing features of the Kamado Joe Jr, it is safe to say that a few key features definitely stand out and reflect the uniqueness of this model.

A defining key feature is definitely the size. This model has the dimensions 19.75 (W) x 27 (H) x 20.75 (D) inches and is only 68 lbs. This makes it smaller compared to the average grill. But also makes it easy to carry and a portable option.

You also get all the regular benefits of a Kamado Joe grill in a much smaller size. Another key feature is that it offers much less cooking space compared to the average grill but this makes it a good option if you want to cook for yourself.

Price Tag

Now that you have made it this far, you will definitely be wondering how much the Kamado Joe Jr grill costs. This model retails at $299 which is actually pretty cheap for a grill with so many excellent features.

The average grill usually costs somewhere between $800–$1000. But if you opt for the Kamado Joe Jr, you get all the benefits of an average grill in a smaller size but for much cheaper! The lifetime guarantee and sturdiness of its build also ensure that this is a long-term investment and will be serving you for years to come.

PROS CONS
  • Has a sturdy ceramic body and stainless steel grill
  • Extremely portable and easy to carry for trips and outdoor parties
  • Is multifunctional and also be used for smoking, searing, and roasting
  • The circular shape retains heat well and helps maintain a consistent temperature
  • Is easy to clean and maintain for the long run
  • Runs on charcoal and is easy to control the heat
  • Has a secure and stable lid
  • Comes with long term warranty for all essential parts
  • Is cheap compared to the average grill
  • Offers less cooking area
  • Can only cook enough food for 2-3 people at a time
  • Is not compatible with many Kamado Joe accessories

Conclusion

The Kamado Joe Jr is not your average Kamado grill! It has a small size yet it offers all the features and functions of a good grill. It is versatile, multifunctional, durable and the best of all, easy to carry!

So, if you like enjoying fresh BBQ on your camping trips or want to grill food for yourself at home, the Kamado Joe Jr is the perfect option for you!

We hope this Kamado Joe Jr review was helpful! Happy grilling!

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