Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review

The Kamado Joe Konnected Joe is a ceramic, kamado style grill with auto-start and smart features for grilling and smoking perfect meats.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Review

Twenty years ago as a kid working at Ace Hardware I was introduced to a green ceramic grill which used charcoal made from real logs to stay warm for 16+ hours. It changed my view on grilling forever. No longer was it about turning on the propane, pushing an igniter and cooking some mediocre burgers. No, it was about smoke, precision, and creating everything from slow-cooked tender brisket to perfectly charred ribeyes.

The Kamado-style grill has its origins in ancient cooking methods that trace back thousands of years, deeply rooted in various cultures around the world. The modern Kamado grill, as we know it today, is a sophisticated version of the traditional Japanese "mushikamado"—a ceramic pot used for steaming rice and equipped with a removable dome lid, draft door, and dampers, making it versatile for various cooking methods.

The Konnected Joe is a blending of that tradition with modern technology. I'm well acquainted with Kamado Joe, inf fact, I've been cooking on one of their Classic Joes for years. The Konnected Joe builds on the classic, at first glance it looks very similar, it's still the 18-inch ceramic kamado I've come to love, only this one is fully automatic.

I've been testing a Konnected Joe at home for about six weeks now, here's what I think of it.

First Impression and Assembly

First thing's first, kamado grills are big and heavy. Assembling the Konnected Joe was easy thanks to it coming mostly assembled and its detailed instruction manual. All told, I think I spent about 30 minutes putting the grill together. The hardest part of the process, is setting the ceramic grill into it's metal rolling stand as the grill is over 200 pounds. With the help of a friend it's simple enough, though I didn't have any stairs to contend with, thankfully.

First impressions were solid, this is a well built grill from top to bottom. Additionally, compared to my classic joe, there are some great upgrades on-deck (without mentioning the smart stuff yet). Where my classic has plastic fold up shelves which have stained and worn a bit over the years, the Konnected Joe has solid aluminum ones. Where my classic has a wire stand which has always felt a bit wobbly, the Konnect Joe has a beefy and stable powder coated steel kart with a storage shelf.

How the Konnected Joe Works

Cooking with a kamado is a bit of an art, you've got a basket you're filling with charcoal and igniting and then you have a top vent and a bottom vent you finesse into place to hold your target temperature. Get the charcoal overexcited from the start and getting the thing back down to a slow-cooking temperature can be a pain and take some time. Have the wind kick up in the middle of the night and heat up the charcoal and you might wake up to that expensive brisket turned into jerky. Yes, I have set alarms to get up multiple times during the night to check on my brisket.

The Konnected Joe eliminates all of that work and all of that anxiety thanks to an integrated temperature monitoring and control system.

To get the Konnected Joe going all you have to do is add charcoal to the firebox, set your desired temperature on the control panel, adjust the top vent according to the instructions on the display, press the electric fire started button and wait.

The Konnected Joe then monitors the grill's temperature and adjusts the air flow as necessary with it's "Kontrol Fan". Additionally, thanks to three probe ports on the front of the grill, you can monitor three different internal food temperatures via the grills display or connected phone app.

The control panel and app also allow you to change the temperature, set alerts when foods reach temperature, and set a countdown timer.

Cooking on the Kamado Joe Konnected

The first time I cooked with the Konnected Joe I opted for a nice fat prime tomahawk. I filled the firebox with charcoal, used the self starting feature and set the grill temperature to 275°F. About 20 minutes later the grill was ready and at temp, so I threw on the tomahawk and started the reverse sear process. Once the internal temp was 115°F, I got an alert on my phone. So I ran out, pulled the steak off, set a new target temp on the grill of 700°F and waited a few minutes. Soon the grill was at temperature and I finished off the tomahawk with a beautiful sear.

For my second cook with the Konnected Joe I went with something low and slow, two bone in pork butts. Again, startup was a breeze thanks to the auto-start and target temperature features. I threw the pork on and went to bed, entrusting the Konnected Joe to maintain a perfect 250°F throughout the night. Sure enough, I woke up to a grill holding temperature right on the dot and two beautiful pork butts.

In the time since, I've cooked everything from pizza (very high heat) to brisket (low and slow with a perfect smoke ring in the meat) with zero hiccups. The Konnected Joe is the most versatile grill in my lineup. The grill starts, gets to temp and holds temp perfectly every time.

I'll also mention that because the built-in controls do such a good job of getting to and maintaining a set temperature without overshooting, the Konnected Joe is very efficient with charcoal. I find I'm using less than when I was manually controlling temperatures.

The Kamado Joe App

I go into a review of any product specific app ready for disappointment, so I was blown away by the Kamado Joe App. Setup was easy, the app found my grill and hooked up to wifi (requires 2.4ghz) with no issues. From there, I could easily monitor and control the Konnected Joe from anywhere using it. I used the app to set and adjust the grill temperature and to set alerts for meat internal temperatures (up to three wired-probe thermometers). The app provided me with real-time updates and push notifications for temperature alerts and timers. The app also provides recipes for hundreds of recipes.

The Konnected Joe Warranty

Warranty-wise, the Konnected Joe is underpinned by a commitment to durability and customer satisfaction, with a limited lifetime warranty covering the ceramic parts, a five-year assurance for metal components, a three-year guarantee for electronic parts and heat deflectors, and a two-year warranty for various other parts, including the lid thermometer and gaskets.

What I Don't Love About the Konnected Joe

This section is hard, I love the format of the grill, it's why I chose a Classic Joe years ago. So to nitpick, the controller on the grill could be a bit more responsive, it takes a few seconds to boot up and the dial inputs translate to onscreen changes with a little delay. The obvious biggest concern with a smart product like this is that the digital components could eventually go out (they are exposed to the outdoors and high temperatures afterall) or that the grill could one day no longer be supported by its app. The nice thing here is that if the connected features were to die, the ceramic body can last a lifetime and the grill can still be used fully manually. Finally, the $1,700 price tag is steep compared to my $800 Classic Joe, but the addition of connected features, the auto-start system and the upgrades to the kart and side tables adds a lot of value and functionality. Compared to other high-end grilling equipment and kamado's the price is on target. I do wish that for the price they'd just throw in three meat temperature probes instead of offering them as an add-on for $20 a piece.

Wrapping Up

The Konnected Joe is the perfect kamado grill, it brings everything I love about cooking on a kamado and adds smart features that actually work and make life easier. The ability for the grill to light the charcoal and reach temp without intervention is nothing short of incredible as is the grill's ability to perfectly maintain temp over long cooks. I can go to bed with a wagyu brisket on and lose zero sleep worrying that wind might kick up and turn the thing into char. Though it's pricey, you truly are getting the complete package and you're avoiding all sorts of half-baked third-party addons needed to achieve the same features. The Konnected Joe will be taking a permanent spot on my patio.

Konnected Joe™ Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker

Experience a new era of ceramic grilling with the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill and Smoker. The Konnected Joe makes lighting a fire easy. Simply press the Automatic Firestarter (AFS™) button to ignite your charcoal, set your desired cooking temperature with the digital Kontrol Board™ or the Kamado Joe App and let the Kontrol Fan™ do the rest. With multiple cooking functions the Konnected Joe allows you to enjoy Kamado grilling and smoking your way. Automatic cook mode provides full digital control, or try Classic mode, for the traditional Kamado experience.

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Konnected Joe Pros:

  1. Comes Mostly Assembled: The grill arrives mostly assembled with a detailed instruction manual, making initial setup relatively easy and quick.
  2. Quality Construction: The Konnected Joe is well-built from top to bottom, indicating high-quality materials and construction.
  3. Upgraded Features: The Konnected Joe includes solid aluminum side shelves and a stable, powder-coated steel cart with storage.
  4. Integrated Temperature Control: The grill features an automatic temperature monitoring and control system, eliminating the need for constant manual adjustments and making the cooking process more convenient and less anxiety-inducing.
  5. Efficient Charcoal Usage: Due to its precise temperature control, the Konnected Joe uses less charcoal than when temperatures are manually controlled.
  6. Versatile Cooking: The grill is capable of a wide range of cooking techniques, from high-heat pizza to low-and-slow brisket.
  7. Convenient App Functionality: The Kamado Joe App allows for easy monitoring and control of the grill from anywhere.
  8. Comprehensive Warranty: The grill comes with a robust warranty, covering various parts for different lengths of time.

Konnected Joe Cons:

  1. Controller Responsiveness: The control panel on the grill could be more responsive, with a noted delay in boot-up time and dial input translation.
  2. Potential Longevity of Digital Components: As with any smart device, there's concern about the durability of digital components exposed to outdoor conditions and high temperatures, and the possibility that the grill could eventually be unsupported by its app.
  3. High Price Point: At $1,700, the Konnected Joe is a significant expense. However, that price reflects the added value and functionality of the connected features and upgrades.
  4. Additional Costs for Accessories: The grill only includes one meat temperature probes as standard, though the grill supports three.