In the past few years, the Kamado style charcoal grill has gone from a niche product to a mainstream necessity. Known for building more affordable products, the Char-Broil Kamander grill is a metal version of the popular Kamado style. This makes it one of the least expensive on the market, and with Char-Broil's reach, the one that is bound to be a popular option.
The insulated body holds in heat for efficient cooking
Good temperature control
Works as a grill, smoker, and roasting oven
Can be shut down to snuff out the remaining charcoal
A large number of plastic components
Materials are thin and prone to corrosion
Has hard-to-remove Char-Broil marketing sticker
- 20-inch diameter cooking surface (327 square inches)
- 113 square inches of additional cooking space (warming rack)
- The top vent cap is cast iron, the bottom vent is plastic
- Vents are numbered for a visual cue
- Insulated, dual layer metal body
- Porcelain-enameled body and deflector/drip pan
- Spring loaded lid for easy lifting
- Removable ash catcher
- Porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grates
- Fold away side table
- Mounted on two wheels and one blunt leg
- Made in China
The Char-Broil Kamander Kamado is capable of hitting the kinds of high temperatures necessary for searing steaks while still being able to hold low and slow temperatures for long periods of time for smoking briskets. It is efficient in its consumption of fuel and the two vents allow for easy temperature adjustment. The 20-inch diameter cooking surface (327 square inches of primary cooking space) is large enough to hold a 20-pound turkey or a large brisket. In every way, this is a Kamado grill and it can do anything that any other Kamado grills can.
Kamado Grills and Longevity
Expensive and well cared for Kamado grills can last for a generation or two. This grill is probably not going to give you that kind of longevity. After a month, the test unit showed signs of corrosion on some parts. These will need to be oiled and may present problems in the future.
A Look at Standout Features and Drawbacks
The standout feature on this grill is both a representation of Char-Broil's ability to be innovative and their problems with quality control and quality components. The intake vent is mounted on the side table. Both top and bottom vents can be seen and adjusted simultaneously; bending or crouching is not required to reach the vents. These vents are large, numbered, and very convenient. The vents can be quickly adjusted to reach the desired temperature. The bottom vent is connected to the base of the grill via a duct. A screw on cap seals the bottom of the grill and provides for easy clean out.
The problem with this convenient arrangement is that the vent, duct, and bottom mounting cap are made from cheap plastic. There is a high risk that this plastic will melt and damage the system. A common complaint about Char-Broil products is that this grill, like all their products, has a marketing sticker on the side table. These stickers are cheap and hard to remove.
All in all, and considering the price, this is a working Kamado grill that can do it all, in a complete package. The grill works well and is easy to operate. No, it won't get passed down to the kids, but at this price, they can buy their own.
Comparing a Kamander Grill to the Big Green Egg
The temptation when looking at a new Kamado grill is to compare it to the industry standard, the Big Green Egg. If the Big Green Egg made a 20-inch model and if it was equipped with everything that the Char-Broil Kamander comes standard with, it would likely cost over $1,500. The Egg has a durable ceramic shell and an attractive appearance. The Kamander has an insulated metal shell and a less attractive appearance.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.