kamado grill [General]

2010 Aug 27
Anybody else buy an Emperor's grill Komado in town. Any concern or problems?

2010 Sep 4

2010 Sep 4
there was a thread on these awhile back

Forum - Shady Green Egg

if you're looking at a cheaper alternative to a Big Green Egg, read up on Bubba Kegs. a lot of guys on another forum i read use them. they're regularly priced < $500 and even recently could be found as cheap as $299. not sure if they sell them in Canada though.

Primos are also highly praised, but are approaching BGE territory with respect to pricing.

2010 Sep 4
I gather one of the main differences between premium kamado grills (e.g. Big Green Egg and Primo) and the cheaper ones is that the premium ones are manufactured from a type of ceramic that won't crack when exposed to crazy temperature extremes. In other words, they allow you to cook in the dead of an Ottawa winter!

2010 Dec 14
OK, now that we're moving we're in the market (finally) for a BBQ purchase.

I know I'm going to regret asking, which is why I'm posing the question here rather than directly to Capital Appliance/The Fireplace Centre/etc.

How much does a BGE cost? I think the medium will do for our tiny balcony, but we'd entertain getting a large depending on how much it'll set us back.

2010 Dec 14
Momomoto - i shopped around in Ottawa a few years back when we bought our house. at that time a Large BGE (most popular model, what I would deem a "normal" sized grilling surface) ranged from $1100-$1500+Tax depending on the options chosen.

2010 Dec 14
Exactly what is it that makes the BGE so good,one would spend
that much cash on? Other than one big ceramic pot, what makes it
so special?

2010 Dec 14
it's the big ceramic pot that makes it special, pretty much ;)

they are ridiculously overpriced in Canada. apparently there's only one distributor who has a tight control supply and pricing. a large starts around ~$700 in the US, iirc.

2010 Dec 14
I'm pulling numbers out of my (smoked) butt here, since the local vendors don't seem to list prices anymore, but it goes something like this for the Big Green Egg:

XL - $1400
L - $1200
M - $900
S - $700
Mini - $400

Those numbers might be $100 too high, but they give you an idea. You will also need the following accessories as a bare minimum: ash tool, grill lifter ($15-20 each). The "plate setter" ($70) for indirect cooking is pretty much mandatory too.

The stand with little shelves goes for around $200 and a custom built table can exceed $500.

My wife bought my setup from the Grateful Griller (www.gratefulgriller.com) who has become a promoter of the competing (but similarly priced) Primo brand.

Frank, sure it IS overpriced, but there's more to it than a ceramic pot. Your pragmatism reminds me of a coworker who sniffs at high-end ovens, saying "But it's just a box! With heat." ;-)

The ceramic is temperature tolerant to the extent that you can use it in the coldest weather without fear of it cracking. It insulates so well that you can (briefly) touch the exterior of the unit during operation without incurring a burn.

In terms of the price, I paid $900 for a Weber Silver Genesis B barbecue from Home Depot back in 2001. With replacement parts and upkeep, I paid an additional $200 over the years. My large BGE produces food so much better than the gas grill ever did that it seems a bargain in comparison. Of course everyone justifies how they spend their money but my BGE gives me a lot of joy, satisfaction, and awesome meals!

2010 Dec 14
I dunno I'm one to appreciate good quality stuff. But 1200 dollars
for a ceramic pot. What gives? The only real advantage I can see, is
it might use less fuel because of the insulation, other than that.
What is so darn special about it, over a steel charcoal BBQ for instance?

2010 Dec 14
Thanks for the tips, particularly what accessories I should be getting. I think this is doable.

What makes it so darn special? My understanding is that ceramic is a far more resilient material than the metal: it holds up to the ravages of the weather far better, and the insulating properties mean that it gets up to and maintains cooking temperatures extremely well.

Also it's green?

2010 Dec 14
I have a nest for the large BGE that I would be interested in selling. We bought a table for our Egg. If anyone is interested let me know. I forget what we paid but my price would be very fair.

2010 Dec 14
You might also want to check into the local bylaws to see if having a BBQ on your balcony is legal.

I'm just saying.

2010 Dec 14
Foodntravel: I may take you up on that. I'm not sure if we want a table or the Nest + Egg Mates.

Rizak: I lucked out: what BBQs I could use was the first thing I asked the homeowners' association executive, and they told me that they were all permitted.

I'm actually surprised by this. The dude across from me has a propane tanked BBQ on his balcony. That is not something I would expect would be OK, but there ya go.

2010 Dec 14
it's a building-by-building thing. most high rise condos/apartments i have lived in prohibited it.

if this is a condo be prepared to face complaints from your upstairs neighbours. burning charcoal wafting into a unit is not pleasant for a lot of people ;)


"While there are no municipal bylaws in Ottawa regarding barbeques on balconies, the Propane Storage and Handling Code (CAN/CSA-B149.2-05) regulates the storage, handling and transfer of propane and the installation of appliances and equipment."

"barbecuing on balconies of apartment buildings or condominium apartments may be prohibited by lease agreements or the Condominium Act (as the owner or agent for the property, building owners, property managers and Condominium Corporations have the legal authority to prohibit barbecuing on the property)"

2010 Dec 14
You don't want the propane cops busting down your door in the middle of a beautiful Saturday afternoon about 3 o'clock. No sir.

2010 Dec 16
I live in a "condo" townhouse kind of thing, actually called a terrace home.
Really it is a house with 2 floors and there is only 1 person above me with 2 floors.

We are not allowed bbq or grills here, esp not on the balcony- which is a platform right behind my door-and no one has one above me.

Also, the written rules I have here say, no satelite dishes for tv.
But I have seen a few people grill in the middle of the grass here with a bbq and do smell people bbq here sometimes.
I just think they are quite hidden about when they do it usually.

I didn't think the weatherproofness of a bbq was that important?
Don't you usually put a cover to prevent snow or stuff on your grill when it is not in use?
Don't own a bbq so just asking!

2010 Dec 16
It's true: every apartment I've been in has banned all BBQs.

Now that we've moved into one of a set of townhouses we don't have condo owners to worry about, but there is a homeowners' association that sets the regulations.

As for the weatherproofedness, my understanding is the covers are great for keeping snow and rain off the top, but moisture can still accumulate under the cover. So it definitely reduces the amount of rust, but can't prevent it entirely.

2010 Dec 16
I have several Kamados on my deck (BGE,Primo,Kamado Joe) and dollar for dollar the best value out there right now is the Kamado Joe. Hundreds of dollars cheaper than the BGE and it comes fully assembled, all stainless fasteners, better nest and it comes with everything you need including side shelves, ash tool and grill with a hinged lid to add more chips and chunks when smoking food. Check them out at Romantic Fireplaces and BBQs. Mike Pilon will beat any advertised price on anything in his store.

2010 Dec 17
Thanks, Steph! I'll have a look at 'em!

2010 Dec 17
These $'s are insane... research the big steel keg grill, formerly the bubba keg grill... they've modified it a bit from the original to achieve more consistent low'n'slow temps, and it costs about 1/3 the price of a BGE. It would be worth the drive to the US to pick one up (maybe $20 of gas if you can get one shipped to Ogdensburg). Alternatively, get a Weber charcoal grill for even less (like $40) from Kijiji like I did. Of course, neither of these recommendations resemble the sleek shape of something that looks like an egg from the movie Alien. I guess it depends how much $ you want to spend on smokey meat. Additionally, BBQs are more expensive in Canada than the US. We pay a premium for them here because, generally speaking, we only grill a few months of the year. Keep your eye on prices south of border... help stimulate the US economy!

2010 Dec 17
You can get a BSK grill from Ace hardware in Canton NY for $600US (+tax & duty). It has approximately the same amount of cooking area as the XL BGE which is $1400. It also doesn't weigh the equivalent of a linebacker.

2011 Jan 6
See, I've dithered over this for about a month, and I'm still trying to figure out what benefits a ceramic grill would have over the Big Steel Keg.

The Big Steel Keg's insulated with that oven batting stuff, so it holds its heat better than a plain ol' double-walled steel BBQ, and apparently comparably with the ceramic ones.

And it's half the price.

Help me out, cynics!

2011 Jan 6
From what I've seen so far of the big steel keg it is the way to go for sure.

I emailed them about getting a test unit for a while but no response.

2011 Jan 6
The major difference that jumps out at me is that the BSK gives up the thermal mass of the BGE. Insulation can *contain* heat well, but when you open the lid it's all gone in a second. Ceramic, on the other hand, will absorb heat and will act as a buffer against prolonged temperature fluctuations.

With my BGE, I'm able to peek at a low and slow cook periodically. I'd be scared to do that with the BSK.

2011 Jan 6
Yes, that makes sense. Would make for an interesting experiment!

2011 Jan 6
Well, I may have forgotten most of my thermodynamics classes, but I don't think the heat loss is that extreme. The BSK may have less thermal mass, but I'm sure that, while the hot air escapes quickly with a top opening, the "firebowl" (the inside steel layer) and the cast iron grate are hot and don't cool down much when you open the cover. So, less thermal mass than the ceramic, but still quite a few pounds of hot iron and steel to reheat the air quickly once you close the cover.

And a short temperature fluctuation would not worry me much when doing a long slow cook. If the temperature was lower for 15-20 minutes over 6 hours of cooking, I don't think you'll see a difference in the finished product. You're probably cooking meat in that thing, not pastry ;-p

2011 Jan 6
i read a few BBQ forums and the general consensus is the Bubba Keg/Big Steel Keg is a great alternative to the BGE.

i think FF is on the right track with the insulating properties of the ceramic. right out of the box, the BGE will likely outperform a BSK on a low-and-slow cook (ie maintaining constant temps over long period).

i'm a total BBQ geek, so personally speaking what i would do is pickup a BSK in the US and use the money you'll save vs the BGE to buy a BBQ Guru controller. they're PIDs for charcoal grills/smokers that control your pit temperature with a fan and monitor your meat temperature. the DigiQ model even has an "open lid detect" to sense when the BSK lid is open - it will then boost the fan to minimize the temperature disturbance and recover quickly to the setpoint.


2011 Jan 7
Oh neat! I'd totally get one of those, even though (BLASPHEMY ALERT) I don't know how much BBQing I'll be doing with this thing. I have the feeling that I'll be using it primarily for steaks, burgers, sausage, and the like. Maybe a pork shoulder or a brisket every year.

2011 Jan 7
if it's going to be used primarily for grilling, stick with the BSK. or cheaper yet, a simple Weber kettle.

buy a ceramic if you're going to take advantage of it's insulating properties for low-and-slow cooks.

my 2 cents.

2011 Jan 7
I think that the BSK is the way to go for what I want to do with it: primarily grilling, but the occasional low-and-slow. I'm too scared of a lack of temperature control to try a Weber ;)

What's duty like on grills? The 1746-page (!!!) customs tariff tells me it's either 8% or free, but I'm likely wrong on both counts.

2011 Jan 7
Let me just say that I also expected to do primarily grilling and the very occasional low-and-slow. Reality turned out to be in that direction, but I do a lot more low-and-slow (even if slow is just a couple of hours) than I expected. :)

2011 Jan 7
:) I have the fear of God in me, because when I asked the president of our homeowners' association if there were any regulations barring BBQs he said, and I paraphrase:

"We're vegetarians: I hope it won't be too smoky!"


2011 Jan 7
Go BSK and report back here! I want to buy one as well.

2011 Jan 7
heads up - they sell BSKs at Home Hardware for $850 as a special order.


2011 Jan 7
That's not a terrible price, though I figure one might end up saving about $200 by ordering one to the Ace Hardware in Canton & picking it up. Depends how much your time is worth, if you have a car, if you can cross the border (!?), etc!

Edit: Check out the following thread re: duty on BBQs, it seems the origin of the grill determines the duty (made in USA=0%, China=5%, Other=8%) forums.redflagdeals.com

2011 Jan 7
I think the low-and-slow heatsink thing is a good theory but I also have every reason to believe that a BSK being insulated as it is, would perform exactly as well under the same conditions of peeking from time to time.

Though anyone worth their salt will have a remote thermo in there and there should be no reason to peek :-)

I see that Home Hardware up by me is hiring - maybe I'll apply and as a condition of employment ask them to get one of these in for the staff for BBQing in the summer - I see them out back all the time cooking stuff, when I'm driving down Holland.

2011 Jan 7
Hi folks... been a lurker for a while and decided to register to comment in this thread.

I've had a BSK since early summer... ordered from HH. Really happy with it. I'd recommend anyone looking at it to go browse their discussion boards....www.bubbakeg.com/bboard/

The double-walled steel is a great asset since we have kids... you can put your hands on the outside of it when it's 700 degrees inside and know that you aren't risking burning anyone.

We also have a propane BBQ, but I don't use it anymore since lighting and getting the BSK up to heat is a 15-20 min effort...which I'd do with my Weber anyways to heat up the cooking grid.

We did Xmas and thanksgiving turkey, prime rib, lots of steaks, ribs, beercan chicken, wings, etc. I've got a lot of discovery to do and am going to try pulled pork and brisket this year.

I haven't used a BGE, but I don't feel I'm missing anything. No issues with cracking fire-bowls and extras like shelves, second rack are included... I wish these guys had the lifetime warranty the BGE has, but not for $700 more (pricing out Large BGE + shelves + nest was $1600...ish? plus tax?)

2011 Jan 7
Oh... and baking. we've done a bunch of baking and some pizza too. When we BBQ, we'll try to get some dough ready. once dinner is pulled off, on goes the dough... we shut the vents off (cuts off oxygen) and the residual heat is enough to do some baking.

2011 Jan 7
i bought my BGE from Michael - he's kinda an independent and has some great reviews on all different models.


Top 5 Reasons i love my BGE

1. Sears anything at 600 - 700 degrees
2. It doesn't have burners that rust and create hot spots
3. Has basically no moving parts that will break, fall off, or starter buttons that don't actually work.
4. Flavor of charcoal can't be matched
5. You can low and slow at 200 degrees for 24 hours on the same batch of charcoal

2011 Jan 7
Anyone considering cheaper BGE knock-offs might also want to look into the Bayou Classic ceramic grills carried by Lowe's Canada. They have a store in Orleans, and are opening one up any day now on Hazeldean (Grant's Crossing, west of Terry Fox).

It's a true ceramic kamado grill, but priced comparably to the Big Steel Keg.

2011 Jan 8
Thanks for the information, Biff! And welcome to the site in non-lurker form! I never thought of the fact that the insulation makes it cool to the touch on the outside. Sounds handy.

2011 Jan 9
No problem. Re-reading some of the questions/concerns...

On opening and closing: I don't have experience with a ceramic, so I can't speak to the effect of the thermal mass. But, I don't have issues doing the usual type of check-up on the meat mid-cook. If you're doing something at 350+, it's not a big deal, since the fire's pretty hot. If I'm maintaining 250, then I'll keep the open and close activities to a minimum (still do it, but fast). In general, I don't like to open it anyways... monitor the meat by wired thermometer and you'll know when it's ready.

On maintaining low-and-slow: my longest cook was 5-6 hours, set to 250... once you get your vents adjusted and the temp leveled off... it was pretty much locked in. No fluctuations... lots of charcoal left over (I used both Royal Oak lump (various places) and the Maple Leaf lump (HH on Bank in the Glebe carries it). As I said before, no pork shoulder or brisket yet, so I haven't done any longer cooks, but I've left it overnight without shutting it down (oops!) and it was still going in the morning (not my finest safety hour).

If you're thinking about getting one, also set aside some cash for: a good remote thermometer (they have a dome one that can be calibrated, but you'll want one for your meat), and a diffuser solution (you need to diffuse the heat from the coals if you're going to do low-and-slow).

I bought the BSK-brand diffuser, but I've heard the BGE platesetter fits as well.

After that, you can splurge on a good ceramic surface to do pizza and bread... the one I've found is cheapest/best is a circular pottery shelf made of cordierite... the Capital Pottery and Supply Studio has 15.5" ones that are 5/8" thick for $25... a bargain.

2011 Jan 9
Momomoto, I'm getting a little tired of constantly defending the BGE in this thread, and I'm sure everyone's tired of reading it, but feel I have to point out that its exterior also remains relatively cool during cooking. If you touch the exterior when cooking at 700°F you will feel pain but incur no burn. At the low-slow temperatures of 180°-225°F I can hold my hand on the ceramic for quite a while.

From what I can see on the 'net, the BSK has superior insulation and the BGE has superior thermal mass. Here's why:

BGE: Ceramic - ok thermal insulator, good thermal mass.
BSK: Steel - bad thermal insulator, ok thermal mass. Air gap - good thermal insulator, bad thermal mass.

Overall, the BSK seems to provide slightly better value. However, the BGE offers more consistent low-temperature performance, so it's worth buying if you plan to do lots of shoulders or briskets and don't want to deal with the hassle of a BBQ Guru temperature controller. Also, it has a less stupid name. Why on earth they would rename the Bubba Keg to the Big Steel Keg is beyond me. It reminds me of those funny cards I used to love as a kid. Pepto Dismal, Crust toothpaste, Tied detergent, Blunder bread.. Ha! :-)

2011 Jan 9
No no no! Please continue your defending! It is informative and eloquent.

And I so have to agree with you that BSK is a silly name. But, then again, I'm not that partial to the name Bubba Keg, either, so maybe I'm just not cut out to name BBQs.

2011 Jan 9
Wacky Packages was the name of the cards you could buy with those fake products.

2011 Jan 9
if anyone is looking for a deal here's a used Kamado Joe for sale on Kijiji. the seller is in Greely - i just bought his Traeger this afternoon. he's moving and willing to negotiate prices...


2011 Mar 5
OK, so we drove to the Ace Hardware in Canton, NY to pick up our Big Steel Keg.

After taxes, duty, and gas, we still saved about $180 over what we would have paid if we bought a Big Steel Keg in-town, never mind how much a Kamado Joe or a Big Green Egg would have cost.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get it out of the car, up the stairs, and onto the balcony without trashing either the car, the BBQ, or the house ;)

2011 Mar 5
Hey momo, if you can't figure it out just bring it over here and I'll store it for you until you can figure out a way to get it done :-)

2011 Mar 5
:) You could even do the QA testing on it!

I think what I have to do is bolt the handles on and then have two people navigate it up and around things. Damn townhouses and their narrow stairs. Also the thing weighs a hundred-odd pounds. I shudder to think what the BGE weighs if this is the lighter option.

2011 Mar 5
Momo - if you need a hand moving that thing around, just ask!

2011 Mar 5
Hey, I'll help too if you promise to fire it up right away :-)

2011 Mar 5
I'll keep y'all posted, you wonderful people, you.

2011 Mar 5
pulley, rope, and you are set to go straight up.

2011 Mar 5
I've got a rope good enough for the job. MEC has pulleys cheap.

2011 Mar 5
congrats on the new acquisition!

2011 Mar 7
Congrats on the buy!

I was reading on the BSK forum that they were bought by a Canadian company back in the fall, which is pretty exciting. OMC is the company that makes BroilKing and is apparently the sole importer of Weber in Canada. So even though you drove to the States, you bought Canadian ;)

2011 Mar 7
Hey, cool! Although, regardless of whether it's a Canadian company or an American one, the box still said it was made in China, so duty was paid in full ;)

Getting it out of the car and up the stairs was actually easier than I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be a momentous task because the two Ace Hardware guys that were helping us out had a heck of a time getting it into the car.

But, since we hadn't put the handles on the thing, they didn't have anything to hold onto while maneuvering it.

Shoulda thought of that.

Once we bolted the handles on it was easy enough for my wife and me to move around. I was able to hold it up on my own while she hitched it onto the stand.

Has anybody tried curing their grate in the oven? I, errr, we kinda haven't bought any charcoal, or lighter, or firestarters yet and I'm anxious to get things ready to go.

2011 Mar 8
Sure you can do that... just takes heat and a thin amount of shortening. It's like any other cast iron. (The primary grid, that is.. the secondary one just needs washing since it's chromed.)

Pre heat oven for 300F... while it's warming up, wash the grate with soapy water to get rid of any coating protecting it during shipping... dry it off well.
Lightly coat with shortening and put it in the oven for an hour. After an hour, turn the oven off and let it cool down naturally. Repeat as many times as you want.

Save some of the shortening to put on the top vent of the Keg on your first cook- that's cast iron too and you'll want to season it to help protect it from water.

About fuel... other folks will chime in with what works for them... but I'm using either Royal Oak from Canadian Tire or Maple Leaf from Home Hardware... both are recommended by "the Naked Whiz" and are good value (*cough*cheap*cough*).

Preston Hardware has Weber lighter cubes I like. Loblaws sometimes has "Zippo" lighter cubes that are cheaper, but stay away, they reek of chemicals. If you want to splurge, people have really good things to say about getting a MAPP torch.

2011 Mar 8
Thanks, biff. Those Weber cubes sound like just the right thing. I've heard that the Kamado Joe ones are really good, but I don't know if it's worth the drive to Orleans to pick them up when Preston Hardware's right down the road.

The three charcoals I want to put through the motions are Nature's Own, Groveland, and Ono. All of them got good reviews from Steph (over at thegratefulgriller.blogspot.com), and all of them are available at Capital Appliance and BBQ, which is not very far from my work at all.

2011 Mar 8
I may look into some of that charcoal... I've got the Group-On coupon for Capital Appliance and BBQ burning a hole in my pocket...

2011 Mar 8
Yeah, and I am totally regretting the decision to not get that coupon...

So you know, the webpage (www.bbqing.com) says that a 17.6 lb. bag of Nature's Own is $23, and the other two are $26 for 20 lb. bags. (So they all cost the same, really.)

2011 Mar 15
Spent the certificate... got some new toys...

- Got some of the Nature's Own... I didn't see Groveland and Ono... they also had BGE and Wicked Good charcoal. It looks like it can hit a pretty high temp, so I'm going to try steaks in the next week or two.

- Some pecan wood chunks to mix things up

- Cheapo Napolean brand injector.. later this year I'm going to try a pork shoulder and a brisket...

- Napolean-brand "beer can" chicken roaster... it seemed like the one easiest to clean (can take all parts apart to get at the nooks and crannies), as we're not excited at roasting painted beer/pop cans...

2011 Mar 16
Yeah, Nature's Own can definitely hit high temps: once I had the BSK loaded up I could hit 650 no problem.

I wonder if you have to call in advance to order either Groveland or Ono? Because I don't recall seeing them in the show room either.

2011 Apr 12
A slightly old thread but regarding the groveland from capital city, I bought two bags in the fall and hated it. It burns well but the bag is full of debris of all sizes so I won't buy it again. I haven't noticed any special orange flavor from it. Royal oak used to be cheap at independant / loblaws but they've jacked up the price.

I'm a big fan of basques, which is canadian. I've burned a gasket on my BGE because of it, it's awesome for searing steaks at 650+. Maybe we should do a group buy of a skid of basques..

2011 Apr 13
mart242, I've been getting my Basques from Canlok Stone. I'm extremely pleased with this product and use it to the exclusion of all others. Where do you buy yours?

2011 Apr 13
I'm sure I could find space in my garage for extra charcoal...and it's true that I'm pleased enough with it that I'm not sure if it's worth even trying Ono.

2011 Apr 13
Got my basques from Capital city, they had it stashed in the back and I had to ask.. I barely used the BGE this winter but I intend to use a lot of charcoal this summer. I used something like 80 or 100 pounds last year.

2011 Apr 13
Last I saw, you can get the Basques Maple Chunk charcoal at the Sultan Supermarket. I find it just as good as the Maple Leaf Lump charcoal.

2011 Apr 16
Hi Folks

I thought I would make my first post on the topic of the BGE vs other kamado type vessels... first off have been Q'in ceriously about 6yrs now.. been cookin outdoors all my life .. with uncles while fishin and huntin..grandparents had a farm back of the Pontiac between Quyon and Shawville.. my gramma baked bread,tea biscuits and rolled oat cookies daily on a wood stove all yr round ..thus my love for real honest good for you food.. veggies came from their garden, milk,chees and butter from their cows..all manner of meat they had on the farm..

I have as of right now about 15 Q's.. three weber kettles..,three small propane table units,one upright verticle propane smoker,chargriller super pro with side firebox,two thermos performance series four burners with side burner,grill chef 3 burner propane,two DIY ceramic flower pot cookers,sterling two burner propane,one barrel grill and as of two months ago a Bubba Keg/Steel Keg..

My Fav is the Bubba Keg.. actually I am smokin some St Louis style ribs on it right now at 2:25 low and slow.. my own home made rub and mesquite wood with lump charcoal.. no problems at all at keeping the heat low.. excellent heat retention and excellent low fuel usage...everything you have heard about these kamado cooker is true...up until last fall I dod not believe the hype and thought like everyone else.. I could by 10 22 webber kettles for the price of a BGE..check out my pics of a few cooks.. I will be selling more than a few of my other Q's .. an No I do not Work for the Bubba K company or any other Kamado company..

If it aint Q'd then its not real food..

Happy Grillin...
The Irish Griller.......

2011 Apr 16
food buddy: Anybody else buy an Emperor's grill Komado in town. Any concern or problems?

Is that the cheapo big green egg knock-off at $400 or so? My guess is that it won't last, especially once you do really high temp cooking (pizza, steaks).

As for the bubba keg, I'm curious to see how long they'll last.

2011 Apr 17
Life Span of a Big Steel Keg?.. well my take is this.. I have two weber kettles one 26yrs and the other 24 yrs old...now they are porcelin (not sure how that is spelled)..coated.. a little rusty in a few spots but I keep them covered and seasoned/oiled.. they get a shot of high heat paint when they need it.. so as for the BSK .. my take is at least 20yrs if taken care of.. like anything else made of steel.. season it at least twice yrly ,keep it clean and covered..

todays pic is from last weekend... smoked baked beans with cast iron skillet taters and some mushrooms to go with a few rib eyes seared on the BSK right after .. just open the vents full and in about ten minutes or so your up to 700..

today I am Q'n two beer butt chickens that have been in brine for 24 hrs.. they will get smoked with apple wood chips,lump charcoal and finished off with a home made sweet and spicy apple bbq sauce..

Cheers !! Irish Griller..
If it aint BBQ'd then it aint real food........

2011 Apr 21
Hey Momomoto, what was the total cost of the big steel keg for you when buying from canton (cost, tax, duty)? I am looking to go down and pick one up myself but im a bit confused on the duties/taxes ill be paying.

I called them up and the keg is 679 from the ace hardware there. Seems like there's a 7% sales tax which brings it to about 725. Coming back across the border will I have to pay duty as well as HST? Or just duty? If its just duty then that's good, the total cost will be about 785.

Also does anyone know where to buy the big steel keg in Ottawa? Capital appliance doesn't have any left and said they are discontinued.


2011 Apr 21
Here's the breakdown.

Cost of the Keg ($600US) + New York sales tax (7%): $640.47

Cost of HST (13%) and duty (7% or so?) to bring it back to Canada: $137.45

Total cost: $777.92

I can't believe that it's gone up in price more than 10% in the month-and-a-half since I bought it! Even at $679, assuming BSKs are still $850 here, you'll save about a hundred bucks. That's enough to pay for the gas to get there, as well as 40 pounds of fine American butter ;)

As to the discontinuation talk, word on the Big Steel Keg forum is that a redesigned model is in the works. No word on when it would be released, or what the changes would entail.

Home Hardware has them available by special order (I think for $850 pre-tax), so you could give them a call and see if they can bring one in for you. I can't for the life of me think of a change they could put into a new version of the BSK that would make me wait.

2011 Apr 21
Thanks for the info!

Yah I have been reading up on the BSK forums and have no idea why its up to $679. But with it at 679 and having to pay gst and hst its going to be close to 900 total without taking into account time and gas and at that price its not worth me going down.

Wish home hardware had them for less then $850, I would get one for sure. But at that price I think I may wait and see if the new owners of the BSK can get the new version out for cheaper.

ahhhhh the decision to buy or not to buy is killing me!

2011 Apr 21
In a similar vein, has anybody been able to find a BSK diffuser locally?


Capital Appliance said that they won't be able to get them in for the foreseeable future. They offered an alternative (I think it was the Primo one), but I panic easily and would rather get the "official" one.

Shipping to Canada from that site above is almost as much as the diffuser itself.

2011 Apr 22
If any of you are into BGE and do not want to get nailed on the wallet, try shopping crossborder for BGE. From Ottawa it might be a long trip but think of our Canadian dollar being at 1.04$ vs USD and it will cover part of state taxes you might incur. Also the BGE is made from mexican ceramic so duty is waived from NAFTA. I live in Montreal, so I putted Burlington zipcode in the Us BGE website dealer locator that refered me to a Vermont dealer(the closest to the border). Called, asked for a quote, ordered, set a pick-up date, drove, paid, picked-up, declared at custom, paid my PST and GST and got:

large BGE
plate diffuser
pizza stone
nest with arms
BGE vinyl cover

Total 996 CDN$ taxes in

check my winter babyback ribs


3 years owner. Why the BGE? It looks good and cooks good !

Best paellas and ribs in town!

And by the way, go with Maple Leaf( La feuille d'érable) for your lumpwood. available at Rona, Reno-Depot and do not forget that Costco have a great quality for meat ;)

2011 Apr 22
The UPS store in Ogdensburg will accept shipped items ordered online by Canadians for $5 per package. Anything you order online can be shipped there and you check online to see when it arrives. If you don't pick it up within a week, they charge you $5 more.

2011 Apr 22
I don't want to derail this thread, but I've got a serious privacy issue with that Ogdensburg UPS store. If you have something delivered there, there's a DB online where your name is loaded & details re: # of parcels, envelopes or tires they have stored for you and when they were delivered. For instance, Mani, has 24 tires in storage and seems to have a pretty decent business on kijiji reselling them to people at profit. Just sayin'


Edit: Border services may be using this tool to determine if you're being deceptive when "forgetting" to declare items at the border - you've been warned.

2011 Apr 22
It is best not to "forget" to declare anything. In Detroit customs were notorious for heading to the tire outlets and writing down ontario plates that were in the shop. And you do not want to get that humiliating lecture about how your dishonesty entitles them to fine you and confiscate your vehicle. Last time I came back with $300 worth of stuff and about $200 worth of groceries. I was honest, showed receipts and it cost me about $20 in total. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, but I've never sufferred for being honest; I have for "forgetting" a receipt.

2011 Apr 24
Momomoto, re: diffuser:

You could try these guys: www.bbqs.com
Not local, but in Canada....

I've heard that the BGE platesetter will fit and do the job.

Early days on the BSK, before they offered their own diffuser, I read of people using a cast-iron pizza pan / wok as a diffuser. What I did prior to getting the BSK one was to put the cast iron grid on the lower setting and putting a pizza stone on that and cooking with the upper grill (I'm guessing you're doing something similar.)

Bongobong: I ordered from Home Hardware with no complications (other than knowing it'd be more expensive than driving to the States). There was a time when Home Depot in the States was offering the version prior to the BSK for $299 clearout.. I would have bought two if they were willing to ship them to a Home Depot in upper NY..

2011 Apr 25
Nice! Thanks for the link. Maybe I'll give them a ring and either have them deliver it or just swing by their store next time I'm anywhere near Toronto.

2011 Apr 26
Have you looked at home hardware for special order? Its online just like the big steel keg, so maybe you can special order it as well (really cheap as well if you can order it).


Still trying to decide if I want to get the BSK. I have this terrible feeling that if I pull the trigger the new version is going to come out for way less! Plus it costs a lot more then I was hoping.

2011 Apr 26
Nice... Bongobong has the right answer at $40... order it and pickup...

2011 Apr 26
Yowza! Why didn't I think of that? That's fantastic. I'll let you know how it works out.

2011 Apr 27
Nice... Bongobong has the right answer at $40... order it and pickup...

2011 Apr 27
If anybody else is thinking of making a special order from Home Hardware, they should do it now: there is one left in their central warehouse, which means that you can have it in your hot little hands by the middle of next week.

This is ridiculously exciting. I can almost taste the pulled pork.

2011 Aug 9
saw a good sized kamado at costco today for about 550

2011 Aug 11
Who's the manufacturer of that kamado from Costco?

I've got a large egg and am sometimes tempted to buy a 2nd one..

2011 Aug 15
I saw it too - didn't see the manufacturer, but it did come from china.

2011 Aug 15
So where is the best place to get an egg or similar these days?

I see bbqing.com does not list prices on their website, which just turns me off completely.

Wasn't there a guy selling them out of Quebec or something? He had a smoking/BBQ catering service or something?

Oh, here we go : Grateful Griller

2011 Aug 15
I've spent years researching (why years? My backwards condo doesn't permit bbqs.. even though it is safe and permitted by federal and all levels of government)

Anyhow. The ideal grill is the Primo XL. Why? It's ceramic but most importantly it's Oval. Allows you to do perfect indirect cooking using the firebox divider. So between a BGE and a Primo the Primo wins every single time. The design is much more versatile and practical. With the circular shape of the BGE you lose useable space towards the edges. The primo not so much.

If the steel keg or any other lower cost mfg copied that design I'd be all over it.

I wanted a BGE, until I researched further and read hundreds of posts and forums.. many comparing the two.

You can get the Primo at a discount if you pick it up in Norcross GA at their plant .. they call them blemised units but nobody has been able to find the blemishes.. lol. I suppose it's so they don't undercut the distributors.

While the primo is fairly expensive here (Grateful Griller 1300), I found a distributor in the states who'll ship to Ogdenburg for 779 plus shipping.

2011 Aug 15
Funny I was just talking to a buddy about this after seeing the Primo oval at Captial Appliance earlier today, and my buddy said his buddy bought the Primo oval and while it is a good idea on the surface it consumes an incredible amount of fuel.

BTW, Grateful Griller does not sell kamados anymore. Emailed him earlier.

2011 Aug 15
I wonder what he's comparing it to.. I read a few posts from people who own both and like the Primo but nobody mentioned the increased fuel consumption. Hrm. Interesting. Worth investigation prior to purchase that's for sure.

2011 Aug 15
Just having a good look at them all today at capital appliances - comparing the BGE Large, BGE XL, and Primo regular and Oval - that was my first question to myself was fuel consumption. The BGE XL and Primo Oval both seemed to me by looking that they would require a lot more than 2x the fuel. And then when I got home and asked my buddy about it in email, his response confirmed it.

As for indirect heating with the BGE large - that is what the platesetter option is for.

Honestly I am pretty tempted by that Costco one given their reputation for return policies. It is just over half the price of the BGE Large, and if I ever have a problem with it Costco will probably refund my money if I ask them.

2011 Aug 15
Capital seems to still have some of these bargain ones left for $400


But for the extra $150 the Costco one seems a better deal for the Costco warranty

2011 Aug 15
I'm still thinking you could probably make something close for around $100. If you found terra cotta pots of the right size (two mouth to mouth, with spray on foam insulation on the outside, to keep the heat inside), or even cast an hollow egg shape from a bag of cement for the cooking chamber.

2011 Aug 15
Good luck with the spray foam on the outside, some of them are quite flammable. As for the knock-offs from capital city, some other knock-offs have been known to split open.

For the BGE owners here, this guy has some great add-ons: www.ceramicgrillstore.com/

I don't recommend the BGE XL unless you cook for a crowd all the time. A better option would be to go with two different BGE (two larges, or one large / one medium, ..). I'm going with the option of a 2nd large.

2011 Aug 15

Ok, spray on foam was a bad idea, but fiberglass or vermiculite mixed with cement could work . . .

2011 Aug 23
Something I would recommend to anyone considering a Kamado or BSK is to consider kicking it old school and getting a Weber kettle and WSM to match. That is what I ended up doing and definitely have no regrets. Get a 22 1/2" one touch and a 18 1/2" WSM is what I would recommend.

Tons of pros:
-Cheaper (for two units!)
-WSM is arguably easier to smoke on from what I've read.
-More capacity for both smoking and grilling (relative to a large BGE). AND you can do both at once... I.E. your ribs and grilled chicken are done at the same time! I use both at the same time very frequently since some of my friends don't do pork.

Might use a bit more fuel than a BGE/BSK but otherwise no real downside. Just food for thought.

2011 Dec 29
Spark that Weber up at -20C and let me know how it goes :-)

2011 Dec 31
Hot: Wood-oven pizza
NOT: Frozen pizza


Forum - Hot and Not

2012 Feb 11
Well, it just does not want to stay below 200F but it will stay at 200 at least.

We'll see how the bacon turns out. See the bacon thread for details

Forum - Makin' Bacon

2012 Feb 13
"Spark that Weber up at -20C and let me know how it goes"

It wasn't quite -20C today, but I did an 8 hour burn on 6 racks of ribs, a couple dozen chicken wings and a dozen Atomic Buffalo Turds on my 18.5" WSM using about about a 1/4 of a bag of charcoal. The biggest issue for the WSM is actually wind, not cold weather. I've been using mine, as well as my kettle, all winter and I've noticed only a marginal increase in fuel consumption and I can still hit 650F+ at the grate when searing steaks on the kettle in the winter. I did some bacon last week and had no problem holding at 190F for the whole cook...although I do use an auto temp controller on my pit.

I believe 100% that the BGE, or Kamodo, is a better all around all year cooker...but pound for pound for the price they can't touch the Webers.

2012 Feb 13
That's good to know - I may need another cooker so I can smoke and cook at the same time.

What's the max temp you can get on a Weber? I've won a few friends over to steaks at 700F (3 minutes per side)

2012 Feb 13
My Maverick caps out at 650 so I'm not sure how hot it gets, to be honest with you...But I do get a very good sear on steaks on my kettle.

Either way, food tastes much better over charcoal so you can't go wrong adding a kettle.

2012 Feb 18
I'm going to split this out into its own thread

Forum - Weber Kettle / Smokey Mountain

2012 Feb 19
Anyone know of something better for lining the bottom of the kamado to make it easier to shake the ash down before stoking it for a fresh cook?

Presently I use the ash tool and give the coals a good stir for a few minutes to knock it all down. But wouldn't it be cool to have some kind of wire basket like a wok wire basket to scoop out the coals and shake them? It would have to be a big basket. Or even better something with handles that can stay in there and you just pick it up and give it a shake then scrape everything out from below.

2012 Apr 23
The Vision Kamado at Costco is now $599 - pretty sure that is cheaper than it had been

2012 Apr 23
Good review of the Char Griller which is available at Lowes and I think Wal Mart

2012 Apr 23
Looks like the heat may be concentrated in the middle of the grill , after watching the Char Griller videos (part 1 and 2).

Do these grills have an even temperature across the whole grill ? Is there any hot spots ?

2012 Apr 23
@captain I suppose that depends on how you pile the charcoal. :)

2012 May 18
Oh dear, now Canadian Tire has the Vision Kamado PRO for $700 on sale... $100 bucks more than the standard Vision Kamado grill at Costco... I am verrry tempted to buy it:


2012 May 18
What's that give you over the standard though? Those ports on the front seem a bit gimmicky to me - the electric starter one especially. Why pay $100 more? Especially with Costco's warranty.

2012 May 23
I checked out the pro unit, looks like it might be leaky with the removable ash tray and electric starter hinged door. Build quality looks good, the pro unit comes with a heat diffuser. Vision has apparently upped the warranty on the ceramics to lifetime, and five years on metal parts. Have read a variety of reviews claiming their customer service is incredible. Will likely be buying the Costco model this week.

2012 May 23
Chimichimi When I was in Costco last weekend I noticed they had Kamado grills for $599. I'm not sure if it's the model you were looking at but it might be worth checking out...

2012 May 23
Pasta lover, that's the one I'll be buying!

2012 May 23
So Chimichimi when's dinner?-;)

2012 May 23
I need to experiment with it, but intend on doing a popup taco event in the warmer months - keep your eyes peeled.

2012 May 23
YUM! I will so be there-;)

2012 May 23
me too!

2012 May 23
Got a very quick response from the Vision VP re: the differences between the classic and the pro... they implemented some design improvements on the Pro model at Canadian Tire to improve the air seal, plus it comes with a lava rock pizza stone/diffuser. Also, that ash tray looks like it'll make it much easier to clean...

FYI Zym, that Kamado Kooker available at Lowe's for $350 looks alright, but have read some mixed reviews on it.

2012 May 26
So how is it? I see on twitter you finally picked it up. I can't smell it yet :-)

2012 May 27
I picked it up and assembled it yesterday, but already had dinner plans out with family. I get my first burn in today, I picked up a bag of Basques charcoal and some steaks and ribs at Costco.

2012 May 27
My new love.

2012 May 29
Oh dear, oh me oh my... Vision Kamado Grill, how I love thee? Low and slow is dead easy.

2012 May 29
Oh $#@%! That was too easy.

2013 Jun 30
Chimi, I'll see your ribs and raise you some bacon burgers!