Kamado Joe Konnected Joe review: the impressive digital charcoal grill

Master your ceramic grilling with smart features

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill
(Image: © Future / Dan Fauzi)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Kamado Joe Konnected Joe is a master grill. Digital features provide both convenience and precision when cooking, and you can ignite the charcoal by pressing a button. The ceramic grill can set and maintain your desired temperature with ease.


  • +

    Automatic charcoal ignition

  • +

    Digitally set and maintain desired temperature

  • +

    Excellent cooking results

  • +

    Attractive visual design

  • +

    Ceramic heat retention


  • -

    Long cool-down time

  • -

    Very heavy

  • -


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Charcoal grills provide a unique, smoky flavor that other styles of cooking simply can't achieve. It's its own method of cooking, and if you're equipped with a capable grill, you can do so much with it.

Even the best gas grills do things differently to charcoal cooking, as you'll find out in our guide to gas vs charcoal grills. It does come with a bit of fine tuning, particularly getting the temperature right as you cook over a bed of hot coals, and this is where Kamado Joe's latest grill, the Konnected Grill, comes into play.

It's a digital charcoal grill, with features like automatic fire-starting and temperature monitoring, all controllable via the digital panel or the smartphone app. It's designed to make grilling easier and more accurate, so I put it to the test to see how well it performs.

Tested & reviewed by
Headshot: Dan Fauzi of Top Ten Reviews
Tested & reviewed by
Dan Fauzi

Dan has been reviewing products since 2021 and is a big-time foodie, so testing the Konnected Joe came with a lot of intrigue and excitement. They tested it for several weeks, testing a range of the grill's features through a selection of different meats, fish and veg.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: Price & Availability

The Konnected Joe isn't cheap. It's currently priced at $1,699 at Kamado Joe, Home Depot and BBQGuys.

You can get reliable, good-quality charcoal grills for as little as $250, so the Konnected Joe is certainly not an affordable option. It is, however, made from ceramic and packed full of digital features, so there's a reason it costs so much. 

The Konnected Joe comes with side shelves, a meat probe, a grill gripper, an ash tool, and a powder-coated cart for the grill to sit in (with lockable wheels). The only accessory that I would say is essential to buy outside of these is the Kamado Joe Heavy-Duty Grill Cover, which retails for $99.99.

One of Kamado Joe's main competitors is Big Green Egg, and their most like-for-like model, the Large Big Green Egg, sells for around $1,099.95. This is notably cheaper, but it doesn't have any of the digital features that the Konnected Joe does, nor the wheeled cart or side shelves.

Score: 4 out of 5. Expensive but with features to show for it.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: Setup

The Konnected Joe was delivered in a wooden crate, on top of a wooden pallet that was brought to my front door on a pallet lift. The courier knocked to make sure I was in before bringing it from his delivery truck and I asked how heavy it was. All in, he said the crate weighed around 180kg (almost 400lbs).

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill in packaging

The Konnected Joe was delivered in a crate. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

It was immovable once he'd placed in front of my house, so I opened the crate and took it apart hoping I'd be able to bring it in part by part. I got most of it inside, but still couldn't lift the grill itself. I had to enlist the help of my neighbor to get it inside, and even then it wasn't easy.

The grill is made from ceramic so this wasn't too much of a surprise, but it's definitely worth noting to not get the Konnected Joe delivered on a day that you're home alone.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill, stand unassembled

The parts for the Konnected Joe's cart. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

The instructions on building the cart were clear enough then, once built, my housemate helped me lift the grill onto it. After it's securely on, the next steps involve attaching the side shelves, assembling the grates inside and securing the vents. But one of the steps is to screw the grill itself to the cart, but after around half an hour of attempting to do this (with me and my housemate repeatedly rotating the grill left and right), we found it was too precise to be able to find the right position. 

I'm sure we could've found the right angle for the screws and holes to line up if the Konnected Joe wasn't so heavy, but as it takes simultaneous lifting to be able to move it, this was not an easy task. The grill still sits on the cart without these screws attached, but it seems secure enough regardless.

Then, all that's left is to connect the grill up to your mains power source, and download the Kamado Joe app if you're looking to use it remotely.

Score 3.5 out of 5. Not the easiest task, but clearly instructed. 

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: Key Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
Cooking surfaceGrate
Cooking surface area250 square inches / 18-inch diameter
Side burner?No
Rotisserie compatible?Yes (not included)
DimensionsH48 x W47 x D29 inches
Weight216 lbs

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: Design

The Konnected Joe is visually beautiful. You'll be familiar with the design if you've used a Kamado Joe before, but if you haven't, you'll appreciate that not even the marketing images show off how striking it is. One of my friends described it as a work of art, and I wouldn't disagree with her.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill: closeup of thermostat

Thermostat on the Konnected Joe's lid. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

The ceramic dome has a bold, red finish, with small grooves all over to create a bumped texture. It's almost the same design as the Kamado Joe Classic Joe, except the lower section of the grill is dedicated to the digital screen with its dials, buttons, automatic Firestarter and three meat probe ports. 

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill: closeup of digital screen control panel

The screen displays the current temperature and the desired temperature. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

This is where the grill gets its 'Konnected' name from. You can ignite the charcoal by pushing a button, and set the temperature using the dial control. The grill is able to manage temperatures using a built-in fan that can raise, lower or maintain it depending on what you've told it to do.

And if you're cooking something for a long time, the grill connects to the Kamado Joe app and you can monitor your food remotely. The app can be used to change the temperature, set timers, and check the temperature of your meat if you're using a probe. It's straightforward, clear and easy to use, and it took very little setup to get the app working. The grill connected to my wifi as easily as any device would.

Kamado Joe app after setup

Kamado Joe app after setting up the grill. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

The grill opens via a latch and has an 'Air Lift' hinge that pushes it upwards once it's released, similar to how hydraulics work. The hinge and opening seem sturdily built, which is reassuring as you have to push down fairly heavily to close it.

Inside the grill are the grates and two semi-circle ceramic tiles below that catch oil and food, and separate the charcoal from the grill. To access where the charcoal goes, you remove the grates and the ceramic tiles, and there's an ash tool underneath the charcoal dome that pulls out.

Score: 5 out of 5. Exceptional design and ease of use.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: Performance

In a sense, charcoal grills are as good as how you use them. Cooking good food often comes down to nailing the right temperature and making sure everything's getting the right heat, as well as making sure you're precise with your timings.

But this is where the Konnected Joe comes into its own. Unlike traditional, non-digital grills, You can see the exact temperature at all times, and you can use meat probes that are attached to the grill itself without needing a separate tool. And also unlike traditional grills, you can bump the temperature quickly without having to adjust air flow or fan the charcoal as the built-in fan does it for you. 

And miraculously, these features aren't gimmicks: you really do get a great deal of control over your cooking. It's not perfect, and the temperatures were rarely able to be maintained to the exact degree, but this is to be expected when dealing with burning charcoal. It was always close enough that being slightly off didn't matter, and being able to ramp up the temperature in a matter of minutes is a game-changing feature.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

There's space for plenty of charcoal. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

Thanks to the app you can leave food cooking on the grill, and you can see both the grill's temperature and the temperature of the meat from your phone. I'm sure there are grill purists who'll hate this concept, but it'll genuinely make a huge difference for any slow roasting or smoking. Plus, it gives you extra time to prepare some sides or drinks in the meantime. The app will even send alerts for things you should know, like if the temperature drops too rapidly or if the food's hit the desired temperature.

You can of course still use the Konnected Joe manually, as you would any other grill, but the digital features are there to make things easier, more precise and more efficient.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

Steaks. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

Now the important stuff: how well it cooks. Before diving into all the ways in which the Konnected Joe cooks absolutely delicious food, I'll say that the big winner (for me at least) is how juicy the meat is when cooked on this grill.

While testing the grill I cooked beef steak, chicken wings, salmon fillets, halloumi, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, onion, and red peppers. 

When preparing the grill for the steak and wings, the temperature reached the desired 400°F from 60°F in about 40 minutes. The grill's built-in Kontrol Fan worked wonders getting the temperature up quickly, and once there it stayed relatively consistent for the whole cooking time. I used the grill's control panel initially, then tried adjusting the temperature on the app to see how well they work. Both are very straightforward.

The steaks were up first. I'd marinated them in a mixture of salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning (available Amazon), paprika, chilli and lemon juice. I rubbed them with vegetable oil and placed them on the grill for around 10 minutes, flipping them every couple of minutes, and then let them rest for 10. I served with a salsa verde, and the meat was juicy, tender and packed full of flavor.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

Steak served with a salsa verde. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

For the chicken wings, I dropped the temperature down to around 275°F. I'd made a marinade of lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and a range of herbs and spices from my cabinet. I cooked them on the grill for at least 15 minutes, and tested one of them before feeding them to my guests. It was, honestly, one of the best chicken wings I've ever had - so much juicier and more flavorful than I'd had before, grilled or deep-fried. 

It's definitely a testament to the grill's design that it can elevate simple food so easily. The chicken wings were definitely the star of the show, confirmed by everybody there. 

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

Chicken wings topped with parmesan. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

I cooked the salmon together with the halloumi and a selection of Mediterranean veg. For the salmon, I made a garlic and parsley butter that I coated the fillets with before wrapping in foil. The veg was seasoned simply with salt and pepper, to then be topped with a tangy, garlicy yogurt. 

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

The 18-inch diameter grill can fit plenty of fish and veg. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

I accidentally had the temperature too low without realising, so the food was cooking for longer the planned. But as soon as I bumped up the temperature, the halloumi started crisping, the salmon's garlic butter started melting, and the veg was looking how I'd imagined. Quick temperature changing really is a stand-out feature of the Konnected Joe, and one that many grillers will instantly appreciate. Regardless, the food came out wonderfully, and I enjoyed a very large portion of salmon, halloumi and veg cooked straight from the grill.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

Grilled Mediterranean salad. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

After cooking, the Konnected Joe is the same as any charcoal grill in that it'll take as long as it wants to take to cool down. This is the nature of charcoal and burning and can't really be avoided, but closing the air vents helps to slow things down. 

Sadly, one of the grill's best design properties is also a hindrance after cooking. Ceramic is an excellent retainer of heat, which is one of the reasons why temperatures can be raised and maintained so easily. But once the cooking's done, it'll take hours for the grill to cool down. This, normally, wouldn't be a problem for most grills, but the Konnected Joe has electric elements. 

On the evening that I cooked the salmon and veg it was due to rain overnight. I knew that the grill wouldn't cool down before then, and I knew I couldn't put the weather-proof cover on it while it was still hot. 

After searching online, I found that the manual explicitly says not to use the Konnected Joe when it's raining. But at the same time, I also found a video of somebody testing how waterproof the Konnected Joe is by spraying it all over with a hose and pressure washer - and it came out fine. It makes sense, as even with a waterproof cover these parts will be exposed to a lot of moisture by living outside. But I'm more careful than that, so I ended up positioning shopping bags above the electronic elements to shelter them from the rain. 

In the morning, these parts had remained dry, and the rest of the grill was fine. It's helpful to know that there's a way around this for when rain is forecast after grilling, but it is a bit more stressful than non-electric grills that can easily survive in the rain. After all, for a $1,699 piece of kit, you wouldn't it to be broken by heavy rainfall. For this reason, I'd recommend making sure there's some sort of shelter for the Konnected Joe. 

Score: 4.5 out of 5. Excellent temperature management and cooking, slight weatherproofing concern.

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: Maintenance

I've found that the grates are super easy to clean. Food doesn't stick to them very easily, and when washing them any residue just came straight off. 

The ash tool makes it much easier to clear out the grill after cooking. Any ash that has fallen to the bottom will be caught in the tool, and you can even use it to grab any ash leftover in the ceramic dome. 

Aside from this, keeping it in good condition involves general grill maintenance. And because of the electric components, a weather-proof cover is a must. 

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe Digital Charcoal Grill

Grates after grilling. (Image credit: Future / Dan Fauzi)

Kamado Joe Konnected Joe: User reviews

Users on YouTube and Reddit have praised the grill's convenience and ease-of-use. There's a big community of Kamado Joe-enthusiasts out there, some of them expressed excitement for the idea of a digital Kamado Joe, while others disagreed with its rejection of traditional grilling techniques. 

Regardless, most users seem to love its cooking power and the way that the technology is integrated to make things easier. At the time of writing it's still a relatively new grill, so there aren't heaps of reviews out there just yet.

Should you buy the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe?

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Score Card
PriceExpensive but with features to show for it.★★★★
SetupNot the easiest task, but clearly instructed.★★★½
DesignExceptional design and ease of use.★★★★★
PerformanceExcellent temperature management & cooking, slight weatherproofing concern.★★★★½

Buy it if...

You want grilling to be easy

Automatic Firestarter does the charcoal lighting for you, and you can set specific temperatures using buttons or your phone. It's really about as easy as grilling can be.

You want your grill to look attractive in your yard

The Konnected Joe is designed beautifully: it's a groove-textured ceramic dome in a striking red finish.

You want to be able to leave food cooking

Using your smartphone, you can set the temperature and adjust it throughout the day without even opening the grill. You can even get alerts when the food is ready, or if there's something you need to do on the grill. 

Don’t buy it if…

You need to cover your grill soon after cooking

The ceramic build of the Konnected Joe means that it stays hot for a very long time after cooking. If you're unable to leave it to cool down outside for hours, then maybe this isn't the one for you.

You'd have to assemble it by yourself

The Konnected Joe is very heavy, and I don't think there are many people on the planet who can lift it by themselves. You'll need at least another pair of hands to get it set up.

How does the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe compare?

The Big Green Egg range offers similar cooking to the Konnected Joe, minus the digital features. They're still made of ceramic, and will likely cook food the same way, but you won't be able to manage your cooking in the same way. The most similar size to the Konnected Joe is the Large Big Green Egg, which is around $600 cheaper, but they're also available in a range of sizes from the Mini Big Green Egg to the 2XL Big Green Egg.

For alternatives to smart grilling, the Masterbuilt AutoIgnite Series 545 has similar digital features, like automatic charcoal ignition and temperature maintaining, but is designed in a very different way. It isn't ceramic, but this does mean it's over $1,000 cheaper at $499.

How I tested the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe

I tested the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe over the course of a few weeks. I cooked beef, chicken, salmon, halloumi, and a range of veg to see how it handled different cooking. I also used all the digital features to see if they lived up to their claims. 

Find out more about how we test.

  • First reviewed: April 2024
Dan Fauzi
Features Editor

Dan Fauzi is the former Features Editor of Top Ten Reviews, with experience in digital product writing across all sorts - including tech, outdoor living, sports, and homes & gardens. Outside of work you'll find them at gigs, exploring creative spaces, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.