Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: Is This the Future of Kamado Cooking?

kamado joe konnected joe on deck with house in background

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It seems like every style of grill has started to have technology incorporated into its design.

Kamado-style grills have remained traditional

That is, until now.

Kamado Joe is one of the leading manufacturers of kamado grills on the market today, and they just took the leap to bring their traditional charcoal-burning ceramic grill to the future with the new Kamado Joe Konnected Joe.

Overview and First Impressions

I was immediately blown away by the design of this grill. I’ve owned other Kamado-style grills before, but the look and feel of this one impressed me immediately. I mean, this thing is SLEEK.

As with the rest of the Kamado Joe lineup, the new Konnected Joe features a bold red exterior with black and chrome accents. It also features a screen that displays all of the new electronic functionality included in this grill.

You can tell that Kamado Joe put a lot of thought into the details of this grill. One of my favorite things is that you can use it manually as a traditional Kamado grill, but you can also use the functionality of all of the Konnected features if that’s more your speed.

Konnected Joe Specifications

Weight216 pounds
Heat Range225°F to 700°F
Cooking Surface250 sq. in. (18” diameter)

I was also extremely excited about the automatic fire starter at the bottom of the grill. While lighting charcoal isn’t exceptionally difficult with all of the various fire starters and charcoal chimneys on the market today, having one less step between you and charcoal grilled food is always a win.

All you have to do is set your desired temperature, and the grill will tell you where to set the top vent, then, the grill will ignite your charcoal in about 10 minutes.

What I like:

  • Gorgeous design
  • Self-starting fire
  • Digital controls
  • Large variety of accessories
  • Self-cleaning

What I didn’t like:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

This grill is an excellent option for beginners and seasoned backyard warriors alike. Whether it’s your first Kamado or you just want some flexibility and technology that will free up some of your time, it’s a solid product that you’re going to be impressed with.

How does the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe work, exactly?

The really cool thing about this grill, in my opinion, is the fact that you can use it like you would use a traditional kamado-style grill, or you can feel free to utilize the Konnected features as well.

If you want to use the grill as a traditional kamado grill, you can just light the charcoal manually and cook on it as you usually would. But, if you want a more hands-off cooking experience, the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe gives you a lot of flexibility.

It even gets down to the point where you don’t need to light your own charcoal. It comes with a built-in fire starter that will heat the charcoal and get you running in 10-15 minutes.

When the grill is plugged into electricity, you can monitor temperature and time from the phone app. It will help regulate your temperature accurately if you want a more worry-free type of cooking experience.

In our Traeger vs Big Green Egg article, we cautioned people that the BGE would require a lot more active management. With the Konnected Joe that competition becomes a lot more even.

Cooking on the Kamado Joe Konnected

When I think of a kamado grill the first thing that comes to my mind is a perfectly grilled steak, so I decided to start there.

I grilled a beautiful New York Strip on the Kamado Joe Konnected, but I also decided to try out some of the Konnected features.

Of course, I had to try out the self-starting charcoal feature (because OMG convenient!).

It works exactly like a propane-assist function on some newer offset smokers. It heats the charcoal in about 10-15 minutes, then measure the temperature of the grill with the integrated fan to keep a steady temp.

I started at a low temperature (275°F) for a reverse sear and let my steak smoke until it reached around 115°F internal. Then, I wanted to kick the heat up to 500°F to give it a good reverse-sear.

Unfortunately, Kamado Joe doesn’t recommend using the Konnected features over 450°, so at that point I had to switch into manual mode.

While I didn’t have a major issue with this, I think it would be problematic for someone who may not have as much experience with kamado grills. They may be able to smoke briskets, pork butts, etc., but when it comes to grilling at a higher temperature, they would need some background with cooking over charcoal.

Should you buy the Konnected Joe

Overall, I think that Kamado Joe really broke into the digital smoker market in a clever way. They stayed true to their overall Kamado-style but thoughtfully integrated electrical and digital components.

I think this grill would be an excellent choice for someone without a lot of barbecue background, but with the option to switch the smart features on and off, it would be a great option for a more seasoned backyard warrior.

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