• Quality - everything feels very sturdy and incredibly safe, cooks very well, relatively low cost, good instructions, very efficient and quick to heat


  • Height - sits very low, tricky to assemble, a little tricky to light

Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal BBQ review summary

The Kamado Joe Kettle Joe is a striking charcoal barbecue that stood out for its bright vermillion-red exterior. It’s a generously sized barbecue with ample room for lots of food. A real winner if you’re hoping to entertain or cook and smoke large joints of meat for gatherings.


This model also comes with an additional unit that transforms this barbecue into a smoker.

Read our review of the best charcoal barbecues

Kamado Joe Kettle Joe Charcoal BBQ (1)

First impressions of the Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal BBQ

Our first impressions of this barbecue were that it's incredibly high quality, with robust parts. This bright-red barbecue would make a fantastic statement piece on a patio or deck.

How easy is the Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal BBQ to assemble?

This barbecue has excellent instructions, so assembly was straightforward. However, because it has such hefty parts, assembly is definitely a two-person job – you’ll be frustrated if you attempt it on your own.

How easy is the Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal BBQ to use?

We found that it’s a little tricky to light. We'll discuss efficiency below, but the ceramic tiles that keep this barbecue so hot for so long also form a conical shape in the base, which makes stacking the charcoal in the correct pyramid shape for lighting a bit tricky, so it took a while to get going.

We also found that the biggest drawback of this model was its height. All of our testers were of different heights and everyone found that this barbecue sits too low to the ground, which makes it a little uncomfortable to use. It means that more of your body is over the barbecue when you cook, and because the centre gets so hot, it’s much, much hotter to cook over than other barbecues on test, which became a bit uncomfortable.

That said, the wheels glide across patios and decks, and the lid is simple to use, moving smoothly but steadily. The whole barbecue is incredibly robust thanks to its weight and high-quality parts. It’s as steady to cook on as a built-in brick barbecue but offers mobility if you need to move it around a garden. The responsive thermometer is labelled with zones, so you always know that you’re cooking at the right temperature.

Thanks to the included SlōRoller™ attachment, you can smoke in this barbecue, too, and it has an effective split-level design which means you can cook different foods at different rates. You can also buy a pizza stone.

Cooking results

It cooks very well, getting incredibly hot thanks to the ceramic tiles in the firebox. Once it got going, the Kettle Joe reached cooking temperature quickly and maintained it for hours – the coals stayed hot even as we moved on to testing other barbecues, and started packing up for the day. It produced particularly delicious halloumi kebabs. We loved the well-defined grill lines, as well as the enormous grill area which is great for catering to a crowd.

However, we also found a cool spot directly above the tiles right around the edge of the barbecue. This could be great if you’re searing a steak in the centre of the grill and warming sides at the edge, but if you’ve got a load of burgers to cook across the whole surface of the barbecue it may be frustrating. It means this barbecue takes a bit of getting used to.

Kamado Joe Kettle Joe Charcoal BBQ (2)

How sustainable is the Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal BBQ?

With its five-year warranty, the Kettle Joe has a good product lifetime – you won’t use it for a single summer and then have to get rid of it next year. That said, it did arrive wrapped in large quantities of plastic and polystyrene, which could definitely be improved.


The Kettle Joe combines the benefits of a ceramic kamado egg barbecue with a more everyday kettle barbecue. Considering how expensive kamado barbecues can be, this is good value, but only consider it if you’re into smoking as well as grilling. If you’re only after cooking a few burgers and bangers, try a more basic barbecue for less money.

Available from:
Appliances Direct (£419.97)

Kamado Joe Kettle Joe charcoal BBQ specifications

Brand: Kamado Joe
Model: Kettle Joe
RRP: £599
Dimensions: 122.4 x 111 x 73.9 cm
Materials: Steel, ceramic
Warranty: Five years
Fuel needed: Charcoal

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