Anyone switch from pellet to kamado?

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Sep 13, 2012
Seattle, WA
Situation: I have a Grilla Silverbac which I love, and a Weber kettle for hot fast grilling. Been thinking of getting a kamado to replace my weber as my grill and eventually I'll do side by side smokes to see if I like the smoking better than my pellet smoker. If i did, I'd sell the pellet and just have my kamado. Anyone make this switch? The only one I'm considering is the primo XL because for me to commit to this, it has to be near the capacity of my current smoker. 680 sq in is still less than my 692 (without accessory shelf to add more) but its close enough. I also wanted to potentially go "no electricity" for smoking which is why i considered this. It'll be built into a counter so I don't care about portability.

thoughts from the experienced?
Try an A-mazen-n pellet tray maze. Light one end or both or a tube which puts out more smoke. Try it in your pellet pooper for additional smoke. The kamado for smoking indirectly is a little lit coal dumped in the middle and unlit around them touching for the minion method of building heat vs trying to get a kamado cooler. Scatter chunks and chips over burnt and unburned charcoal here and there then quickly put down a grate then pizza stone with a pan to catch drips for indirect cooking then the cooking grate and meat or whatever you have for the kamado set up for smoking. I did this and found I prefer grilling and bbqing with a wood chunk against the fire for smoke and do dedicated smokes in my electric smoker Mes 30 or 40 with the tray in my mailbox mod. If your kamado fire goes out or not enough smoke then you have to unstack and restack. A weber smokey mountain has a door to maintain smoke and coals. I like The kamado for 700+F pizzas and searing and indirect grilling zones up high. The Weber kettle has the grate too low and not adjustable. I set up the charcoal grate on the kamado Akorn 3" below the cooking grate with a 10" dia vent starting collar for a searing zone. I'd go with the maze with the pellet grill and go from there. You can always use it in any vessel so no loss whatever you gravitate to. I'm not a big fan of the layered building for smoking in a kamado and no way to access the coals/wood and would definitely prefer this insulated cooker vs a weber 22" kettle fot 1/3 of the fuel needed for the same heat.
I actually went the other way, and moved out my BGE, gasser, and electric … now just the RecTeq and Weber. I can cook anything without power on the Weber, and the RecTeq is just too darn easy (and a very light smoke profile my wife and daughter prefer).
I MIGHT still have the BGE if it was an XL instead of an L … just a little too small.
Pained me a little since both the BGE and Vidalia were Father’s Day presents back in the day, but daughter was fine (and they have the Vidalia).
i have an amaze-n tray i used for cold smoking in the grilla. to be clear i'm not unhappy with my grilla. in fact it saddens me to possibly get rid of it. i just don't like the weber for grilling. i suppose i could also keep it but then i'd have a kamado, pellet smoker, and a gas griddle.
I have a gasser, blackstone, kamado Joe large, and recteq bull. I like the smokiness from the Joe the most but the bull is so much more convenient during the week. We use the Joe on weekends if we’re home. The blackstone gets used a couple times a week. The gasser hasn’t been lit in two years.
I'm a huge fan of open fire and reverse flow cooking but if I could only have one smoker it would be a pellet with Wi-Fi operation (RT 1250 is my current unit). Everyone's life is different, but I just don't have time to light a fire every time I want some smoked yumminess.... We use the Pellet 3-4 times a week......It gets used! A pellet and a good kettle is a very good combination to have.
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Y'all think I'm from space or something. The Weber was left free by the previous homeowner. The bottom air baffle/cleaner rusted out. It gets hot which is great for grilling and searing but...too hot. I'm talking outer kettle singing your arm as you hover over it. I mean it's fine...but if I see a good deal on a Kamado that's a clear winner to me. Plus I hear so much about the moisture retention. I have a Romertopf clay vessel in my kitchen and it made the most succulent chicken ever. Better than rotisserie, than sous vide, than smoked etc. The contained moisture matters
I may be in the minority here, but the LAST grilling/smoking device I will give up is my kettle(s). I know the one you have is messed up, but a proper working Weber kettle is a do-all piece of kit. Get a vortex for one, or maybe a slow-n-sear, and you pretty much have all that you need. I have no problem with a Kamado, and I've heard nothing but good things about them. As far as my pellet pooper? It will stay with me until it, or I die. For me it's the ease of a gasser, with a very decent smoke profile. It's my go-to when I'm lazy, and want something grilled fast with some smoke flavor. If space were a factor, I'd have my 22" Kettle, and my RecTec.
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wouldn't a kamado basically be a kettle in that regard then? with the exception of better insulation and fuel usage
I have a KJ Classic and a Napoleon Prestige 665 gas grill. Both have accessories galore. I have owned the Weber kettle grill and loved it for most everything from smoking and grilling to making pizza.

A couple of months ago we had to move to Pensacola, FL to care for my mother-in-law and she has a Weber. No worries, I know how to use one of these. That said, I always wanted to try a pellet grill (I think they're also known as pellet poopers) as well.

Walking through the blue home store I spotted a Pit Boss Pro 850 and bought it. A month later I sold it. I hated using that thing. Poor design with the tiny hot spot dead in the middle of the grill and a small upper grate. Mind you, I was able to turn out some great bbq, but grilling was another sad story. I sold it after just over a month after buying it.

I know that one bad experience with a pellet grill doesn't speak to the really good ones (Traeger, Yoder, etc.), but it did confirm my personal belief that my old KJ and my gas grill are all I need these days.
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I believe kamados make great grills. I have one for that purpose. I am not a fan of using it for smoking. That's just me though, others love them.
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I believe kamados make great grills. I have one for that purpose. I am not a fan of using it for smoking. That's just me though, others love them.
I'm with you on that. BBQing, grilling and pizzas but not so much vertical stacking and minion method smoking. I prefer to work with ashed over coals and burned down splits in kamados and prefer even an electric smoker with a pellet maze in a mailbox mod you can manage smoke without opening the smoker and unstacking to get from the top food racks, past the drip pan, then rack/platter setter it's on then to add a chunk of wood where the burn is. Like you say, stick with what you like.
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I did end up getting a Primo XL and I love it. It's a better grill than anything I've owned before. I still have the Grilla Silverbac and use it for basic set and forget smokes like turkey last week. I've made great smoked things on the Primo as well. Did a brisket comparison and it was close. They're different. Ceramic will be charcoal/wood profile and pellet is just wood. The ceramic one has more pit BBQ flavor because of that vs pellet. But again a pellet smoked meat is still delicious
I know you said you don’t like the Weber you have now, but sounds like because it was neglected. Have you considered the 26” kettle? Plenty of space I can pretty much cook anything I need/want to. About as set and forget as you can get. Really easy to use. I’ve gone from 2 MES’s, a Traeger, WSM, 22” kettle and 26” kettle. All I have now is a 22” kettle and a 26” Kettle for those reasons above
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I got rid of my Kamado, I couldn't get the results I wanted.
They might make great grilles but I have three different size webbers that are perfect at grilling and use less charcoal to do it.
I'm not completly happy with my pellet spitter but for 24 hour cooks on pork butt, it's my go-to unit.
Now that you can buy pecan shell pellets, the smoke flavor profile issues may have been resolved at last.
I have a box of pecan shell pellets on deck but have not verified the smoke flavor improvement as of yet.
In any case, I love the set it and forget it aspect of a pellet spitter, in Texas summer heat, it's the only way to go, now that I swapped my Masterbuilt gravity unit for an offset stickburner (again).
I never used a "pellet" but I do use an Akorn (steel ...) kamado and I continue to be impressed with it. But I think that the fundamental process, with kamado, really is that of a "charcoal-fired convection oven." The food is cooked by recirculating hot air, not direct heat from the fire, and because of this it will cook much faster. (And I don't think that "ceramic" makes any difference.)

To get "smoke," wrap a packet of chips in aluminum foil and place it (with a few fork-punched holes) directly on the fire. But, if you want "sear," you should do that on your stovetop with a cast-iron skillet and coconut oil.

Once you "park it at a temperature," the darned thing will just sit there rock-steady for hours without demanding constant attention from you. And at the end you will still have charcoal left over. I've never seen anything like it. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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