Got my first Kamodo, and not sure the Traeger will ever get much use again...

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Vulcan Warrior

Original poster
Oct 18, 2022
Got a fantastic Saffire Kamodo via Menards for $533, and it comes with almost every option the others sell you for more money. Order it online and they deliver it to the store on a pallet, free. Best value going, by far. Quality unit, larger lump charcoal basket than the BGE, THICK ceramics, very sturdy stand - and using some YouTube advice that worked great, knocked out a world class pork shoulder in 6 hours to 205, nice bark, TENDER and smoky flavors.

I was so enthralled that honestly, I'm thinking about selling my Traeger, but think I'll keep it for emergencies as I have solar power out back if needed to run the Traeger auger/fan/lighter. Kamodo's use LUMP charcoal, NOT charcoal briquettes. All web sites show Jealous Devil as the best lump charcoal that's affordable, and Wally has em. In a Kamodo, lump charcoal goes MUCH further than briquettes do in a Weber kettle, and I have both. No competition.

I've been cooking outdoors for 50 years and this Kamodo is by FAR the most heat source efficient, flavorful and moist way to cook, and no drying out the food as the Traeger can a little with the blowing forced hot air. Open the dome and the steam pours out, so it's trapped in there during cooking. There IS FOR SURE a learning curve with your first kamodo grill, so be sure you see Smoking Dad or other experienced guys on YouTube for help getting started, and check Jeff's FIRST.

So........ I enjoyed the full size Kamodo so much, and being single, also got a mini-Kamodo under $130 "delivered", from the Wally web site and it was WELL PACKED and intact!!! Appears all these mini's are almost identical, so don't splurge. I rigged up a heat deflector I can attach for the mini if wanted. The actual cooking grate is 10.5". If you like the idea of a smaller Kamodo, the next size up is a 13" cooking grate, so choose wisely according to need. Smaller the Kamodo, the less heat source you need to use up.

Got a throw away solid oak table and built a mini-Kamodo grill station with work space, and finished in Colonial Red and the diamond polished aluminum is at any big hardware store for $25. Bending it to put it on was the only trick.

If all you wanted to do with a Kamodo and are single or a couple and want burgers, steaks or chicken parts, the mini might be enough but you won't do a whole rack of ribs, 9 lb shoulder, etc. Perfect for 4 burgers, 4 thighs, 2 12oz NY Strips, and it hits 500 - 550 for steaks FAST!! I'd use a heat deflector if doing chicken. I use hickory or apple chips in it right before I put the meat on. For bigger items I'll use the bigger black Saffire Kamodo.

Lastly, next time you get the itch for brisket, don't. Substitute Chuck Roast, and we get em in Omaha on sale for $4/lb all the time!!! YT has some vids on it too. Better than brisket, more tender, MUCH faster, easier to store or handle. BTW, I accidently picked up a boneless pork shoulder (shown on the black Saffire), and prefer the bone in as it's easier to handle.

No pics yet but I got a 2 drawer thing to put in the open space on the mini kamodo bench to go with the one drawer on it already, and I store hickory, pecan and apple chips in them after I spray paint it Colonial Red to match. Mark em so you remember which is which. :) (Pecan is almost non-existent any more, but thankfully I got 30 bags of em at Wally last year when they wanted em out to make room for Christmas stuff, at a $1 per bag! I bought em all. And another 20 hickory and apple. Know a bargain when I see it and bought the whole remaining pallet. Marines think ahead! HA!

Pics attached.


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Enjoy that Saffire, it will last you a lifetime. I have the KJ Classic II and have thought of getting the Junior if I find one at the right price.
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Nice You can do a lot of different things with a Kamado. Have fun.
Thank you. The Kamodo is now the king of the outdoor cook at my house.

Being single, that mini kamodo is perfect for the nights I want a 5 star 14 oz ribeye, and runs up to 500 - 550 degrees faster than my Weber Smoky Joe Jr. briquette grill, for the slightly charred outside but a tiny strip of red/pink down the middle, steak.

For sure a learning curve as you already know! It was fun! Controlling the temps and not overshooting the mark is the trick.

Best wishes to you!


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Dang, you almost make me want to get a Kamodo!

Hi - Jim, do yourself a favor.......... stop waiting. I have 2 different Brinkman Red smokers, 2 different Weber briquette grills (22" & 10.5"), one nice Weber Genesis propane that phones home for when I'm lazy or it's 5 below zero and I want brats for Sunday breakfast with pancakes, one Traeger that works perfectly --- and by FAR when I want quality results and willing to do the little extra to do what that takes, the Kamodo is king. It's fun to me.

Plus, Traegers do impart a gentle smoke flavor but not real stout. Many folks find that perfect. I was cold smoking items first, THEN onto the Traeger to finish for a lil smoke punch when desired. (Amaze-N-Smoker tray with 3 rows, 3 hours each, pellets - only raised the temp inside my Brinkman tower 15 degrees on a 65 degree day, so perfect for cheese blocks, then vac seal and date. APPLE pellets ONLY for cheese.)

Point being, when you apply your wood chunks properly before you start - around the outer rim of the lump charcoal, and a couple handfulls of wood chips at the last moment all over, it can really put the power of smoke to work.

I got the extra kit from Saffire to actually insert wood chips right on TOP of the lump charcoal, through the exterior of the base unit, right INTO the heat source. How nice a feature to add smoke kick. (And no, I don't work for em. I just wanted to share what a deal this seems to be for those of us with a budget.)

I'm Marine and in the toxic water group, so time is important, and always wanted one of these for a decade. Then I found the Saffire for half or less of the others, equal or better part design, WITH the options in the crate included, I could finally afford to do it, and have cooking nirvana.

Tons of fun expert Kamodo vids on YouTube a guy should watch, who hasn't decided yet on buying one, from whoever. You could check and see if your Menards is still offering that. Can't imagine regretting it. Two person setup. Heavy so plan on getting it home and to your patio. 10mm wrench takes the dome off if needed for transport. Sturdy but ceramic, so handle with care and transport same.

If I could answer any questions, happy to do so. I'm brand new to Kamodo's myself, but could answer most of your early questions. Been using it for 3 months now and have learned the hard lessons - but every one of those meals was still very edible. Temp control is job 1. Once ya "get it", it's easy from there. One shoots way past their desired temp, you also have heated up 180 pounds of THICK dense ceramic material. Temps don't just drop back down to the temp we wanted very fast, and thus cooking at a higher temp than desired for a half hour.

BEST meal to try first is a pork shoulder, bone IN works best, 8 lb, meat temp probe in, and even if it goes FUBAR, it will still be good. Great to vac seal leftovers and thaw and put on buns. And for $14. :) Pull at 196 for slicing and 206 for pulled. Throw a bunch of red taters with spices on them with a patty of butter for each, in foil 2 each, and throw em on about 2.5 hours out. Can go the 8 hour or 6 hour method and the 6 hour works for me.

Time is fleeting. Enjoy yourself.
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Love the table!
Thank you! My router hit a soft spot and dinged that spot doing that top rim of the Kamodo top. Dang it. I wanted to cut back that edge to better allow the heat close by to pass. Don't want the thing starting on fire! HA!

The old gent that sold that work station to me said it came out of a hospital from the 40's. I don't doubt it given he was 80 (and spry), as it was all oak minus the dense ply shelves, and the top shelf had a 1/4" of that dark hard composite wood material as the top layer glued to the ply, very well. Pretty sure a few of his Elderbrocks were rebuilt on it too.

I learned a hard lesson that if you ever use indoor/outdoor LATEX, be it the satin white acrylic latex base in the pics, or the final two coats of Colonial Red, you MUST use a SNYTHETIC brush! Shazbot!! What a huge difference but I didn't know. I did give it a fast N easy 120 grit passover between coats and drying, barely sanding at all and done, and wiped off the dust with a soft cloth. Just to slightly scuff it.

It's all good. Onward and happy grillin!


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Enjoy that Saffire, it will last you a lifetime. I have the KJ Classic II and have thought of getting the Junior if I find one at the right price.
Thanks! Still just a Kamodo zygote learning more every cook. All that data you have already stored! :) But I make it fun, have a TV out on the covered patio in one of those big Tupperware patio storage things - on an old Marine's budget, smooth $2 C gar and a cold batch O hops at hand, football on and the smell of cooking smoked food prepared with great care, mild cigar, 120 lb Belgian Mal/Shepard mix (born too close to the reactor) patrolling the yard, just to be sure. Cause that's how he is.

A good day to be alive. Cook out more often before it's outlawed.


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