Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker review

Does the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker live up to the hype? Find out in T3's review...

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker review
(Image credit: Kamado Joe)
T3 Verdict

The Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker makes it incredibly easy to make steak house-worthy dinners on a weeknight. The automatic temperature control, smartphone app, and meat thermometer probe take the guesswork out of perfectly cooked steaks, smoked meats, and much more. Though the grill has a smaller-than-expected cooking surface for its size, it’s perfect for households of up to four.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Smart cooking features for hands-free grilling

  • +

    Cast iron and grates for cooking

  • +

    Automatically controls cooking temperature

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    More expensive than simpler charcoal grills

  • -

    Smaller cooking surface

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When it comes to buying the best barbecue, there are many factors that go into deciding which model to buy. Do you enjoy smoking or grilling meats? How hands-on do you want to be during the cooking process? Will you be cooking for lots of people or just a small family? Once you figure out these details, it's slightly easier to determine which BBQ or smoker you want.

A strong contender that takes care of all the cooking for you and delivers exceptionally tasty results is the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker. The brand's reputation proceeds itself, with its eye-catching egg-shaped barbecues based on a Japanese design.

A new launch in 2023, the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe takes everything that's great about kamados and adds a dash of digital goodies to make your cooking even better... but is it worth the hype, and most importantly, the money? Let's find out.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: Unboxing

The most difficult thing about setting up this grill was its weight, so expect to enlist at least one more person for set up. There's also a fair bit of packaging to remove, but once you get everything out of their boxes and sleeves, the grill is fairly easy to put together. It comes with clear instructions, and there are several good set-up videos online if you prefer to follow along.

The Kamado Joe Konnected Grill is fueled with charcoal, so you will need some to get started. The brand recommends using their extra-large lump charcoal for best performance, and the grill doesn’t have a propane or natural gas hookup.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe review

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin / T3)

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: Design

The grill looks great on a patio. It has a rounded, compact design that’s both functional and aesthetic, as the domed body keeps air circulating during cooking. The lid has a latch with a stop-open system that lets super-hot air escape before you open it all the way (which is a handy safety feature for avoiding singed eyebrows).

The grill’s interior cooking surface is a bit smaller than expected, especially given its overall size and weight. However, it;s highly functional. The cooking surface is divided in half and the grill comes with cast iron flat-top and grate inserts so you can alternate between cooking styles. You can set the grill up using half cast iron, half grate, or use the same surface on both sides.

The real selling point of this grill, however, is the “Konnected” part. The grill connects to WIFI and its corresponding smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app lets you control the grill’s internal temperature and keep an eye on the attached meat thermometer from afar. The Kamado Joe app will alert you when a timer goes off or your protein has reached a specific internal temperature.

The grill has collapsible counter surfaces on either side, which offer space for prep work, resting meat, or storing cooking utensils. They fold down when not in use so you can keep the grill safe under the included weatherproof cover.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe review

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin / T3)

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: Performance

The smart features on the grill and the app worked very well to make grilling seamless. I was easily able to connect the grill to WIFI and control it from close range. If I wandered very far from the grill with my phone, however, I would lose connection and I could no longer monitor the internal temperature. As long as I stayed in range, though, the sensors on the grill are extremely accurate, which helps take a lot of the guesswork out of grilling.

Being able to change up the cooking surface from flat top to grilling grates is also very handy, as I was able to sear a steak on the cast iron to develop a nice caramelized crust first, then finish it over the grates to cook it through and add a nice smoky flavor.

It’s very easy to get the grill started simply by loading it up with charcoal and pressing the automatic fire starter. The grill takes 20 to 30 minutes to heat to around 200°F, and it maintains whatever temperature you set by automatically adjusting an internal fan.

Once your phone lets you know that the grill has reached temperature, you can stick the meat thermometer into your meat and slap it on the grill. If you set a desired internal temperature or a cooking time, the app will ping you when you’ve reached it. 

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe review

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin / T3)

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: Price

The Kamado Joe Konnected Joe isn't the cheapest model on the market, and it'll set you back £1,699 / $1,699. It's also a little tricky to buy as it's mainly available at BBQ stores in both the UK and US.

As of writing, you can buy the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe directly from Kamado Joe and select retailers, like BBQ World, Appliances Direct and BBQ Land.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe review

(Image credit: Lizzy Briskin / T3)

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: verdict

All of these fancy smart features do come with a higher price tag than your average charcoal grill, but it’s worth the price for people who are serious about grilling and precision or who don’t want to spend time fussing over dinner and would rather let the machine do more of the work.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review: Alternatives to consider

If you’re looking for a grill with a larger cooking surface to feed a crowd, consider Kamado Joe’s Big Joe Grill Series III. For a no-frills charcoal grill with high performance and construction, the Kamado Joe Classic Joe Series I is a great option. Or, if you prefer to grill with propane, the Weber Spirit E-315 is a solid pick. 

Lizzy Briskin

Lizzy Briskin is a food and health writer and editor, chef, runner, recipe developer, and photographer. She regularly contributes to Runner’s World, Popular Mechanics, Insider, and the Chicago Tribune, among other outlets. A Boston native, she now lives in New York, where she can be found exploring, tasting and enjoying all that the city has to offer, that is when she’s not chasing the sun in Los Angeles.