Works for baking, roasting, smoking, and beyond
Makes flavorful, juicy meats
Temperature adjusts easily
Cleanup can be messy and frustrating
Grilling enthusiasts know that the season for sizzling meats can extend well beyond summer, so it’s worth investing in a high-quality grill that will last—like the Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado.
In addition to grilling, kamado grills can smoke, roast, and more. Though this style of cooking has been around for thousands of years, people have really been raving about these egg-shaped grills recently.
To see if one such popular product lives up to the reviews, we used the LG K22, touted as being one of the best for BBQ, for a month. From chicken to cauliflower to Brussels sprouts and burgers, we tried a wide variety of different foods with this charcoal grill to see all that it can do. Keep reading to see if it delivered.
Setup Process: Fairly simple, but requires patience and another person
One of the biggest hangups of the LG K22 is the size. Though it is on the smaller end of kamado grills on the market, it’s still very heavy. It weighs around 200 pounds. We recommend getting it delivered and placed exactly where you want it in your yard, i.e. on the patio, deck, etc. We had it delivered, but not directly onto our patio because we weren’t sure where we wanted it yet. Since it’s so heavy, we had to wait until we had at least two people strong enough to lift it to the right spot later that week.
One of the biggest hangups of the LG K22 is the size. Though it is on the smaller end of kamado grills on the market, it’s still very heavy.
Once you have your grill where you want it, the setup is fairly simple; it just takes some time to build. The instructions are only two pages long, and they’re very easy to follow. We found that we needed another person for the first part of the setup to help lift the main grill unit on top of the cart. The rest requires only one person. It took about an hour and a half to complete the process.
Performance: Meat cooked to perfection
For low-temperature grilling, once it is lit, leave the bottom vent open as well as the lid for about ten minutes. When there's a small bed of hot embers, it is ready to start grilling. For high-temperature grilling, close the lid completely and leave the bottom and top vents open. Monitor the grill until it reaches the desired cooking temperature.
We grilled and roasted chicken, burgers, steak, buns, tortillas, and several kinds of vegetables on this kamado grill, and each turned out wonderfully.
We grilled and roasted chicken, burgers, steak, buns, tortillas, and several kinds of vegetables on this kamado grill, and each turned out wonderfully. The first time around, we made grilled chicken following the instructions that came with the grill. The chicken took about 10 minutes to cook completely. When it was all done, we found that it had great flavor and was very moist, which can be difficult to achieve with chicken in particular.
We also tried grilling burgers and steak, which were as equally bursting with flavor and juices. For vegetables, we roasted Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and cauliflower, and we found that they had a great smoky flavor. They took about the same time and temperature as they would in a conventional oven. We found that it did take some experimenting (with temperature and grilling time) for each of the different foods we put on the grill.
Design: Classic ceramic with beautiful bamboo details
This grill is made of a heavy-duty ceramic exterior finished with steel trim and a glossy black coating, which helps to prevent rust. Inside is the firebox, a heavy ceramic bowl that fits perfectly inside of the base; it holds the lump charcoal and protects the ceramic grill from exposure to the high heat of the lit charcoal.
Sitting in the base of the firebox is the charcoal plate, a ceramic plate with several holes in it. It holds the coals up above the bottom of the firebox a few inches and sifts any residual ash into the dumping area.
This grill also includes both a cooking grill and a cooking grid, both made of corrosion-resistant 304 stainless steel. The cooking grill sits directly on top of the firebox, closer to the fire, and the cooking grid attaches to the top of the cooking grill for an extra layer of grilling space.
This model boasts a bamboo handle for easy opening and closing, as well as two folding bamboo side shelves. We found these to be both attractive and useful for setting down plates of food and seasonings. Another great feature of this grill is the cart that the entire grill sits on. It makes it very easy to move around, and the wheels also lock into place so it won’t roll anywhere when grilling. Overall, the design maintains the classic kamado material and shape, but the bamboo shelves and handle added a nice natural element to our patio.
As for grilling size, it’s really the perfect size for a family of four to six people or small parties. The bottom rack offers a 299-square-inch grill grate, and you can add the removable top rack to maximize your cooking space for a total of 570 square inches. We used it for both hosting small get-togethers and for cooking dinners during the week and concluded that it worked well for both dining scenarios.
Features: Damper vents and ash tool
The ease of use of this grill and the great results impressed us. But beyond the basic functions, one great feature is the top and bottom damper vents. They allow you to control how much air gets into the grill and therefore the temperature. We did find that the vents get super hot. We had to use heat-resistant gloves to move them around when grilling, so just be careful.
The grill also comes with an ash tool for cleaning up soot. When we finished grilling, we used the tool to move the soot around the firebox to catch in the holes of the charcoal plate. We then opened the bottom vent to scoop out the sifted soot and excess lump charcoals. However, it wasn’t super easy to clean the grill this way because the opening is barely large enough for the ash tool to fit through. We were constantly hitting the sides of the vent while attempting to pull out the ash, which was pretty frustrating.
Versatility: Bake, sear, smoke, roast, and slow cook
Part of the popularity of the kamado grill is its versatility. Beyond grilling, the Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado can also bake, sear, smoke, roast, and slow cook. The firebox is able to reach temperatures of over 700 degrees, allowing for such different uses.
It is important to note that in order to bake, roast, or participate in some of the grill’s other uses, we found that it’s necessary to purchase other grill accessories such as a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet. The process for making a pizza or even for baking brownies isn’t any different than when grilling meats, except for the addition of the accessory. For instance, the pizza would simply go on top of the pizza stone, which would sit on top of the cooking grill for the required baking time at the appropriate temperature. The method of lighting the grill for high-temperature grilling still applies.
We think the ease of use, versatility, and flavorful, juicy results make it worth the investment in the end.
Smoking is slightly different in that it requires wood chips or cooking planks in addition to the lump charcoal. After starting the grill following the low-temperature grilling method, leave the bottom vent slightly open, close the top vent, and monitor the temperature for a few more minutes. Once the desired temperature is reached, use heat resistant gloves to add a sprinkle of wood chips over the hot charcoal. The grill is now ready for smoking.
Price: Expensive, but well worth it
The Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado retails around $800. That’s around the average price of a decent kamado grill, which can range from $100 to around $2,000. It certainly is a hefty price tag compared to some other grills on the market. However, we think the ease of use, versatility, and flavorful, juicy results make it worth the investment in the end.
Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado vs. XLarge Big Green Egg
Big Green Egg has been famous for its kamado grills since the 1970s. The company is currently the world’s largest producer and international distributor of these ceramic grills. The XLarge Big Green Egg is the closest competitor to the Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado. The XLarge Big Green Egg provides about 452 square inches of cooking area, weighs 219 pounds, and retails around $1,300.
The Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado provides an even larger cooking area of 570 square inches thanks to the included top and bottom cooking grates. Plus, it weighs about 20 pounds less at 196 pounds and retails for around $800.
However, the Big Green Egg kamado grill has a few key features that make it worth the higher price tag. One significant difference is the firebox, which is in wedge-shaped pieces instead of a one-piece bowl as in the Louisiana Grills kamado. This is a great design because if a piece of the firebox cracks, it’s much less expensive to replace that portion versus the entire firebox. Additionally, the ash box in the Big Green Egg slides out, making it more conducive to cleaning. With the Louisiana Grills kamado, we had to use the ash tool in the lower vent opening to scrape the excess ash into a trash can, which can easily allow for spillage.
In the end, it comes down to how much you’re willing to spend on a high-quality grill. Both are excellent grills that will deliver similar results. The Lousiana Grills product is cheaper, lighter, and offers more cooking space, but the Big Green Egg boasts a few extra features that set it apart.
Beyond looking great on the patio, the Louisiana Grills K22 Ceramic Kamado is perfect for small summer BBQs because it’s easy to use and delivers great-tasting meats and veggies. This kamado grill can also be used for baking, roasting, smoking, and slow cooking, making it an extremely versatile cooking tool.
- Product Name K22 Ceramic Kamado
- Product Brand Louisiana Grills
- UPC 684678085080
- Price $795.99
- Weight 196.2 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 28.7 x 45.3 x 45.3 in.
- What’s Included Kamado grill, removable top-tier rack, bamboo side shelves, ash tool, cart, firebox, charcoal plate, cooking grill, cooking grid, and handle