I've been wanting to buy a regular-sized 18" Kamado ceramic grill, but they're extremely expensive. Not only that, but I don't live in the continental US so I have to pay to transport this 300-lb grill to my place by air.

Today, while searching again for cheap ceramic Kamado grills, I noticed a few of these clay smokers that are built locally: Smoker, Smoker2

Let's say that I buy some gasket for an airtight seal, a proper top vent, among a few other improvements, would this function as well as a Kamado Joe or any other ceramic Kamado?

With these minor improvements, would this produce even, steady heat? Would clay insulate as well as the ceramic dome of the BGE or the Kamado Joe? What about maintaining a precise temperature for several hours?

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  • I would guess impossible to say without specs and knowing what a Kamado is made of. That's a rather large opening at the front. If you want a smoker and grill, look into offset style ones; they are pretty commonly available in many parts of the world. Doesn't match up to a Kamado or similar though in my experience.
    – bob1
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 2:33
  • You might be able to fashion a cover for the lower front opening from wood cut to fit snugly, then screw some sort of metal to the inside to shield it from burning. (But beware of aluminum flashing… I think they coat it with something). You could also cut a hole in it to add some sort of vent that you could adjust
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 20, 2023 at 14:18
  • The Kamado is made from high-fire stoneware clay.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of important features of the kamado-style grills (I've had a Big Green Egg for over 20 years), which you may be able to replicate with the cooker you've shown as an example. First is the weight and thickness of the material. It retains heat. Second is the seal, which as you mention, you could add. Third (and related to the seal) is the venting. These cookers have the ability to adjust both the top opening and the bottom opening quite finely. So, for example, when I do a pulled pork, low and slow, over night. I can stabilize the temperature in the desired place by keeping the bottom vent open at about the width that is slightly larger than the thickness of a credit card, and the top vent is open slightly more than that.

So, you would need to play with those three features, but, if you have no other option, and the price is right, I think you could rig it to make it useful.

  • The challenge is going to be that the pictured smoker has nowhere near the depth of a kamado, so it's not going to be able to hold the same amount of fuel or give it adequate airflow. Which makes sense if it's designed as a smoker.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Aug 21, 2023 at 18:35

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