Dansons has partnered with Costco to sell their red Louisiana Grills kamado style ceramic grill at a price tag of $599. The grill is beautiful and, at first glance, looks almost exactly like a Kamado Joe. This kamado appears to be the replacement for the blue kamado that Dansons sold under their Pit Boss brand.
Let me walk you through the key features of the Louisiana Grills kamado and then compare it directly to the Kamado Joe.
By the way, there are absolutely zero affiliate links on this page. I have no financial interest in either of these brands and am simply sharing my opinions so you can decide if either of these grills is right for you.
Let’s get started!
Louisiana Grills 24 inch Kamado Grill Specifications
The Louisiana Grills kamado is a massive and stunningly beautiful grill. Let’s look at what comes standard with this kamado.
This is a 24 inch grill that comes with a two tiered grate system constructed of 304 stainless steel providing 662 square inches of grilling area. The kamado comes with a ceramic heat deflector, metal nest with locking castors, side tables and a cover.
The lid is equipped with an “Easy Lift” hinge which makes handling the massive lid very manageable. The lid and body of the grill are both fitted with high temperature gaskets for a tight air seal.
The two tiered grate system, and specifically the lower grate, deserves a closer look.
The lower grate sits almost directly on top of the ceramic heat deflector which makes me think that you would not really want to use it for Low and Slow smoking. Instead I would use the lower grate to hold some water trays or drip pans to keep the defector from getting covered in grease. The lower grate also has a hinge which would make adding more charcoal during a cook easier if the heat deflector wasn’t in the way.
Basically, I suspect you will find the lower grate the most useful when the heat deflector has been moved and you are using the grill for direct heat grilling.
The temperature control system on this grill is pretty standard for most kamado grills and consists of a bottom mounted perforated metal plate with a slide cover and an adjustable top mounted air outlet.
Louisiana Grills vs Kamado Joe
When you put the 24 inch Louisiana Grills next to the 24 inch Kamado Joe Big Joe the similarities are striking. While the grills look almost identical the Kamado Joe Big Joe is the better product. The Kamado Joe also coms with a significantly larger price tag.
Let’s take a look at why the Kamado Joe is the better grill and see if the price tag is worth it.
There are three 24 inch grills in the Kamado Joe Big Joe product line.
- Big Joe I: MSRP = $1,099
- Big Joe II: MSRP = $1,899
- Big Joe III: MSRP = $2,499
For this comparison we will be using the 24 inch Big Joe I which costs $500 more than the Louisiana Grills 24 inch kamado.
Here is the head to head comparison of real world customer reviews for these grills. The data was obtained from the Kamado Joe and Costco websites (current February, 2021) with each grill having over 100 reviews.
- The Kamado Joe received 94% 5 Star and 2% 4 Star reviews for an overall owner satisfaction rating of 96%.
- The Louisiana Grills received 79% 5 Star and 12% 4 Star reviews for an overall owner satisfaction rating of 91%.
While the overall owner satisfaction rating is close between the grills there is a massive difference in the number of five star reviews.
The biggest complaint about the Louisiana Grills kamado is that there are air leaks at the bottom and top damper that make maintaining precise temperature control difficult. The air leaks also make is difficult to completely shut the grill down to snuff out the fire and save the remaining charcoal at the end of a cook.
The leaky air vents is the same primary complaint for the Pit Boss kamado that was sold at Costco and is also a Dansons product. A lot of folks were able to fix the leaks with gaskets and sealants while other folks reported that after a few months of heavy use the leaks got sealed from grease/smoke and general “grill gunk”.
Clear advantages of the Kamado Joe are a patented slide out ash drawer for easy cleanup and a two tiered “Divide and Conquer” grate system that is much more functional at both low and high temperatures than the dual grate system on the Louisiana Grills.
Another bonus of the Kamado Joe is the accessories that are available for this cooker. Kamado Joe has designed a rotisserie, pizza oven and a wok that work perfectly with their 24 inch grills. There is also a great charcoal basket available.
Almost all of the 1 Star reviews for both grills concerned them being damaged during shipment.
Which Should You Buy?
While the Kamado Joe is the better product, the $500 price difference is substantial. The Louisiana Grills, with its 91% customer satisfaction rating, is still a pretty dang good product.
My concern is that I would not be surprised if Kamado Joe stops selling the Big Joe I. Having three versions of the Big Joe is confusing to a lot of people and they have had to publish a chart to help folks understand the differences. If the Big Joe I goes away and you can only buy the Big Joe II or III then price difference between these grills and the Louisiana grills becomes $1,300 to $1,900.
Personally, while I love Kamado Joe, I think I would save $500 and buy the Louisiana Grills.