Kamado Joe BigJoe
Ceramic Charcoal Cooker

In the way of accessories, we were sent a heat deflector and a grill expander. Kamado Joe also makes excellent pizza stones that you can see in our review of the Kamado Joe Classic cooker.

First, let's take a look at the grill expander. Essentially it is a raised grid that gives you more cooking grid space and/or allows you to cook food higher up in the dome, closer to the radiant heat of the dome ceramics. Its three legs each have a small semi-circle of metal on the bottom to allow them to rest on the lower main grid. The grill expander is thus held in place so as to provide a stable cooking platform. You'll notice how the grill expander has a gap at the front to allow access to the hinged portion of the lower grid.

The grill expander is approximately 19 inches in diameter and it weighs 6 pounds 9 ounces. So it is also quite substantial. In addition, we really find it quite convenient to use. All you do is set it in place and you are ready to go. The grill expander was one of the reasons why we came to use the Kamado Joe Classic cooker so much.

Next we come to the heat deflector. We have always thought the Big Green Egg plate setter was a great accessory as you have a versatile heat barrier that can be used for indirect cooking as well as for support a pizza stone for baking. At first we thought the Kamado Joe Classic heat deflector was a bit less elegant since it is two pieces (and indeed the BigJoe heat deflector is 3), but then we tried it out and we came to the conclusion that we really like it due to the added flexibility and versatility. The heat deflector consists of a metal frame and 2 semi-circular ceramic heat deflector plates:

Now for some photos of the heat deflector in the BigJoe cooker. First, a photo of the frame in the cooker and the frame holding the cooking grid in the raised position.

Next, (left) the setup for pizza or a raised indirect cook (to allow more heat and smoke to rise up to the food), (center) the setup for holding a drip pan on a low slow indirect cook, and (right) the setup for doing indirect cooks on one side of the cooker.

When we placed the heat deflector into the cooker in preparation for a low and slow cook, we saw that narrow gap between the ceramic plate and the fire ring and worried if enough airflow was possible to keep the fire going. We'll describe cooking with the heat deflector a little later, but we had no trouble regulating the temperature or keeping the fire going. We also realized that with the plate setter, you have three large gaps where the meat can be exposed to direct heat, whereas with the Kamado Joe heat deflector, there was only that small gap all the way around. In essence you have more indirect cooking space. We definitely prefer this heat deflector for low and slow cooking as well as its other uses.

The last accessory we'll look at is the pizza stone. It is 15 inches in diameter and 9/16th inch thick. It is the same size as the Classic Joe heat deflector plate. The only difference between the two appears to be the words molded into the undersides of each one. You can place the pizza stone on top of the BigJoe heat deflector plates to get a thicker ceramic mass for baking. We didn't have a Kamado Joe pizza stone at the time of this review, so we'll just show you the photo of the stone that we took when we did the Kamado Joe Classic cooker review:

There are, of course, other accessories available. The ash tool and grill gripper are included with the cooker, as we have already noted. But you can also purchase a cover for the cooker, a rib rack, fire starter cubes, tables and a chicken stand. You can visit the Kamado Joe web site for more details.

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