When shopping for the best charcoal grill, chances are you’ll come across PK grills and Kamado grills.
These are two of the biggest names in the industry when it comes to high-end models, so you’ll probably find yourself wondering: which one is better?
Today, we’re comparing PK grills vs Kamado grills to help you figure out the right option for your cooking needs. So keep reading as we discuss the features of each grill and answer some common questions.
PK Grills vs Kamado: Construction and Design
The material used to build PK grills is cast aluminum. This allows for the body to be on the thicker side without being unnecessarily heavy.
PK cast aluminum grills are very durable and rust-proof. You won’t ever have to worry about your grill becoming fragile due to rusting or losing its attractive appearance.
The design of PK grills is based on the original PK charcoal grill that was made back in the mid 20th century. The PK grills are fitted with smooth hinges and heat-proof handles on their lids.
Additionally, PK grills feature temperature-resistant paint as well as seals that close extra tight to help better control the temperature inside. These grills are built in the United States, specifically in Arkansas.
As for Kamado grills, the cheaper models are made using porcelain while the more expensive models are made out of ceramic.
They typically have thick walls and are extremely heavy, even the smaller units. Most Kamado grills look like an egg, which is why the leading brand of Kamado grills is called the Big Green Egg.
Durability-wise, Kamado grills can be fragile when made from porcelain. But ceramic models are meant to last a lifetime.
The manufacturing location of a Kamado grill depends on the brand you’re getting. Many are made in China and some are made in the United States.
PK Grills however, are made in Arkansas, USA!
PK Grills vs Kamado: Heat Retention and Thermal Conductivity
The material and design of PK grills allow them to offer excellent heat retention capabilities. They hold heat for a longer time and maintain a steady temperature, even if you’re cooking in cold or windy weather.
PK grills also possess high heat conductivity, so they heat up rather quickly to reach optimal cooking temperatures in a short time.
On the other hand, Kamado grills have lower thermal conductivity due to their construction material. This means they take a longer time to heat up to the required temperature.
Consequently, Kamado grills also take a long time to cool down. This makes changing temperatures to a lower level a tricky task when you want to cook a meal that needs less heat.
Yes, you can work around the heavy insulation of Kamado grills by cooking the food that needs less heat first. However, this means you’ll have to plan your cooking sequence every time.
That said, Kamado grills possess outstanding heat retention, which means you’ll get your cooking done faster.
PK Grills vs Kamado: Ventilation
Ventilation is a crucial tool for controlling the grill’s temperature. Regulating the amount of air that flows inside your grill helps you maintain and alter the cooking temperature as necessary.
Generally, more air results in more heat building up and, consequently, faster cooking. In contrast, less air inside the grill results in less heat build-up which leads to slower cooking.
PK grills feature a 4-point air control system that utilizes 2 inlets at bottom of the unit and 2 outlets at the top. These vents are the only way air can enter or exit the grill, giving you more control over the process.
PK grills also include tight-fitted adjustable dampers on each vent for extra precision.
Kamado grills also recognize the importance of a good ventilation control system. This is why most brands include 2 vents; one inlet and one outlet.
This allows users to control the airflow inside the grill, enabling them to use it as a convection oven with the lid tightly closed.
PK Grills vs Kamado: Portability
PK is short for Portable Kitchen, so you can have an idea of how much this company values portability right off the bat.
It’s even clearer in the lightweight construction of the grills that facilitates carrying and lifting them for outdoor parties and trips.
PK grills are also designed to take up only as much space as absolutely necessary. They’re even fitted with rubber wheels for easy moving.
On the other hand, Kamado grills don’t offer the same luxury. Due to their construction material and design, these units are often very heavy.
Even if you get a small model, it can easily weigh over 90 or 100 pounds. This makes portability one of the main downsides of Kamado grills.
If you’re planning on hitting the road with your charcoal grill, then you should stay away from Kamado grills. In this case, a PK grill will suit you more, specifically the PKGo series.
PK Grills vs Kamado: Cleaning
Who wants to spend hours scrubbing and cleaning a grill after every use? That’s right, no one.
This is why companies are paying attention to this aspect now more than ever to help make their customers’ experience more convenient.
That said, PK grills are generally easy to clean. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about scratching its coating as the aluminum is resistant.
However, Kamado grills are known to be a bit of a hassle when it comes to cleaning. While the porcelain or ceramic resists the sticking of food to the surface, it can get tricky to scrub it without compromising the finish.
PK Grills vs Kamado: Longevity
A PK grill could last well over 50 years without a problem. It can perform well for up to 80 or even 100 years as long as you take good care of it.
Cheaper Kamado grills, on the other hand, are a lot more fragile and prone to damage.
However, ceramic Kamado grills are much more durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance.
Wrap Up — Which One Should You Choose?
At the end of our PK Grills vs Kamado comparison, we believe that the winner is clear: PK grills.
Buying a PK grill is a great investment thanks to its grade-A quality, excellent heat retention, higher thermal conductivity, better portability, and hassle-free cleaning.