Difference In Kamado Joe II & III Grills
Charcoal Grilling, Product Reviews

The Differences in Kamado Joe II and III Grills Explained

The simple answer to this question is that there are five main differences between Kamado Joe II and III grills. When comparing the two models it helps to know the features that come standard on both versions to differentiate between each version. We breakdown the similarities and upgrades the third generation grills have to help you decide between these two versions.

Standard Features Of Kamado Joe II and III Grills

Don’t let yourself get hung up on the Classic or Big Joe size right now. The only difference in those models is the cooking surface size. Both sized models come with the same features. The quality and consistency of the ceramics is also the same for each version.

To best understand the differences between the Kamado Joe II and III grills, it’s best to know the features that come standard on both versions. The graphic below outlines which features you can expect to have on both grills.

Standard Features of Kamado Joe II and III Grills

While both versions come with the Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking Rack System and Side Shelves, there is a difference in those items from the second generation and third generation grills. We’ll go into more detail on that below.

Both grills come with two half-moon ceramic deflector plates as part of the Divide & Conquer system. Each grill comes with (2) stainless steel cooking grates.

Upgrades To Kamado Joe III Grills

There are five main upgrades that the Kamado Joe III grills come with versus the Kamado Joe II versions. Some of these upgrades can be purchased as accessories for the second generation grills also. We’ll mention that on the items this is possible with.


The SloRoller comes standard on the third generation Kamado Joe grills. It is available in an add-on accessory for the second generation grills ($199 – $249). To learn more about the SloRoller and how it works, watch the short video below or read our full article on it here.

Learn more about the Kamado Joe SloRoller Accessory

One thing to know about the SloRoller is that while you can purchase it as an add-on accessory for the second generation grills, you will only get one level of cooking space allowing the dome to close properly.

The SloRoller in the third generation grills will give you up to two levels of cooking space allowing you to cook more depending on what you’re cooking.

Divide & Conquer System

The Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking Rack System comes standard on both versions but the size of the system is bigger on the third generation grills.

Kamado Joe Divide and Conquer System Differences

The Divide & Conquer System on the Kamado Joe II grills is a two-tier system. The grill base on the Kamado Joe III grills is tall and deeper allowing for a three-tier system. You cannot get or use the three-tier system in a second generation grill.

Charcoal Basket

Kamado Joe Charcoal Basket Overview
Kamado Joe Charcoal Basket with Divider

The Charcoal Basket comes standard with all Kamado Joe III grills. The Charcoal Basket replaces the standard metal fire grate that comes with the Kamado Joe II grills.

This accessory can be purchased separately to use with Kamado Joe II grills for $99 – $149. The Charcoal Basket hooks into the Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking Rack System to easily lift in and out of place.

Grill Cart

The Grill Cart that comes standard with Kamado Joe III grills is a massive upgrade compared the metal cart that comes with Kamado Joe II grills.

Kamado Joe II & III Carts

The largest difference is the added storage underneath the grill which you cannot get on the second generation cart. The Kamado Joe II grills will not fit inside the upgraded Kamado Joe III Cart.

Side Shelves

Both Kamado Joe II and III grills comes with side shelves. However, the materials they are made of is different. The third generation grills come with a powder-coated aluminum shelves. This is a much nicer looking and durable shelf than the plastic HDPE shelves that come standard on the second generation grills.

Kamado Joe II & III Side Shelves

There is no difference in the size of the shelves. You are able to purchase the upgraded shelves for use with second generation grills for $149 – $199.


The purpose of this article isn’t to say which Kamado Joe grill you should get. Both options are nice and each have their own benefits whether it’s features on one or more budget friendly on another.

If you have more questions on this, come speak to one of our grilling experts in store or contact us here to get more info.

You can shop all Kamado Joe Grills in our online store as well as hundreds of Kamado Joe accessories and other products to use with these grills.