ALDI Kamado Review



I have been following Ted on Twitter for sometime now and his account is definitely worth a follow. He is regularly cracking out great BBQ cooks every week and always shares what went well, and on the rare occasion it happens, what went less well.

He produces a wide range of cooks on different equipment, with the ALDI Kamado being the latest bit of kit added to his collection. It has a great price point, so I was delighted when Ted agreed to write a review to share his honest view on his new purchase.

How it happened

I have a good selection of BBQ kit including an Outback 6 burner gas grill, an Ooni 3 pellet oven and several Webers (Smokey Mountain, Master Touch, Smokey Joe), but was in the market for another, either a pellet grill or kamado, or both! With the cash burning a hole in my pocket I was intrigued when a friend sent me a message that ALDI had a special on a kamado that could be pre-ordered via their website. Only having heard of the big brands before I was a little sceptical, but with a price tag of just £349.99 plus £3.95 delivery, I quickly searched online for reviews and found lots of positives with hardly any negatives. Coupled with the 3-year standard warranty, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

Delivery and unpacking

The kamado arrived around 9 days after ordering and I was impressed straight away by the careful packaging. The side panels and lid were slotted together and easy to remove giving full and easy access to the contents, which in turn were all carefully packed and well protected.


The delivery included, as well as the kamado, the grate, heat deflector, two-level grill, ash removal tool and also a cover.


The grate is powder-coated 4mm thick steel. The heat deflector is a single-piece ceramic, 10mm thick and 29cm diameter, so it’s something like a pizza stone rather than the split-level system. The cooking grill is 41cm (approx. 16 inches) in diameter so a little smaller than, for example, the Kamado Joe Classic II at 18 inches. The second level grill is approximately 34 x 28cm.


The assembly was straightforward and I managed it by myself, although the most frustrating part was peeling the backing of some self-adhesive pads which protect the kamado shell from the frame when in place. It took me around 15 minutes (and a lot of cursing) to peel the back off the first one before figuring out a method of scraping back the felt from the front. After this minor setback was overcome, the total assembly time was probably no more than 40 minutes and was helped by the very clear assembly pamphlet.

First Impressions

My main concern when ordering this kamado, and after reading reviews of other low-cost models that are available, was that the quality would be questionable, however, I needn’t have worried. The first thing I noticed was how solid it all was, with well-fitting frame components and reassuringly chunky, lockable casters.

The fire box is a single moulding with an expansion slot and is 30mm thick. There’s no ash removal box, but the included scraper seems easy enough to use. The top vent is also steel and doesn’t have the element-proof protection feature of the brands. However, as I don’t normally cook in the rain, I don’t think this will be an issue. The vents slide easily and the whole top vent assembly also slides fully to give the full opening on the lid. The seal is a felt material rather than fibreglass mesh and time will tell how good it is but I think that, if I ever have to, I will be able to upgrade this by myself quite easily. There’s no latch on the lid and the hinge is sprung rather than air damped and so it would be possible to have the lid drop down with potential to damage the ceramic, but it’s very easy to lift and also very stable when fully open. The two side shelves are made from bamboo with underside hooks and the edges are bevelled, which I thought was nice attention to detail.

Unpacked Kamado

\Kamado Top Vent

Kamado Air Vent

Kamado Shell

Lid Temperature Gauge

The first thing the instruction pamphlet advises is to bring the temperature up slowly to around 200-250°C using a couple of handfuls of lump wood charcoal, in order to ‘season’ the ceramics. I was interested to see how accurate the lid thermometer was of course and so calibrated it against my therm-pro which I dropped in through the top vent to the level of the main cooking surface. I was amazed to find that the lid thermometer and therm-pro were in agreement to within 3-5°C over the range 90-210°C, which was as high as I took it, being more accurate at the higher end of the scale.

Kamado Thermometer

Thermometer Calibration

Never having used a kamado before, but being aware that over-shooting temperature is worse than being under because of the large thermal mass of the ceramics, I then tried to see how easy it was to bring the temperature down. I closed the top vents halfway and it took 15 minutes for the temperature to drop by 10°C. I then closed the bottom vents half way and recorded a further 10°C drop in 15 minutes. With the bottom vents closed to just a quarter, the temperature settled at 175°C after another 15 minutes, which gave me a feel at least for what to expect during cooking. I had put just two large fist-fulls of lump wood charcoal in for this and was blown away with how little fuel is needed in these ceramic cookers. After this period of ‘pfaffing around’ as my wife referred to it, I decided to try my first cook.

First Cook

Early on the same morning, I had made an hour round-trip to a good quality butcher for a pork shoulder for my first cook, figuring ‘in for a penny…’ and all that. Completely ignoring all the advice regarding correct fuelling methods, I chucked it on and set it at 110°C, adding some hickory wood chunks for smoke. Whilst waiting for the smoke to go from white to blue I carefully checked for any signs of leakage through the lid seal (or anywhere else) and was really pleased to see that the only smoke escaping was through the top vent.

Kamado Cooking

The temperature was rock-steady for the first two hours, but because of my haste, and because I hadn’t put enough fuel in for fear of overshooting the temperature, I had to refuel a couple of times. This isn’t as easy to do as in the Smokey Mountain because, even though the cooking grate is hinged for refuelling purposes, it’s not easy to get the fuel through the gap between the sidewall and the heat deflector (~30mm), something that I remembered Gary (@glitch33) had the same trouble within his review of the MasterTouch GBS Premium. Far easier, but again a bit of a pfaff, is to remove the grill and heat deflector, which I did. This was a lesson learned and I will fuel in the correct way for low and slow from now on. The pulled pork came out well enough I have to say, and any deviation from perfection was operator error rather than any issue with the kamado.

The Verdict

As I wrote earlier, I haven’t used a big brand kamado before and so can’t really make a direct comparison. Time will tell, for example, if I wished I had the split deflector and if the components are up to the long-term task. At this price and with this warranty, however, and also after experiencing the build quality first-hand, I have no doubts that I’m going to enjoy kamado cooking in general and would have no hesitation in recommending this model specifically as a good starting point.

If you have any question on the ALDI Kamado feel free to get in touch with Ted through his Twitter account. I am certainly looking forward to watching Ted’s cooks on this!

One Year On Update!

I’ve been using the Aldi Kamado for nearly a year now and have cooked on it regularly all year round, so time for a quick update for anybody who may have bought one when it came back on sale recently.

The build quality, which I was so happy with at first, has proven to be excellent and I haven’t had any issues at all. In fact, I haven’t done anything to it other than to refuel and cook, and on that particular point, it still blows me away how little fuel it uses over the duration of long cooks. I tend to use Big K ACH-15 lump wood charcoal on all my grills and on the Kamado I simply swirl them around before the next cook, scrape out the ash from the bottom, and then add a few more before starting again.

There is a learning curve regarding fuelling and temperature control with any Kamado but I’m pleased to say that I got the hang of it after the first couple of runs and it’s pretty much set and forget nowadays. I have other grills where I play about a lot, and they are the most fun, but since they are often on the go at the same time it’s great just to let this roll and to know that the temperature will be steady as a rock for 10+ hours. The accuracy of the lid temperature gauge is just superb as you can see and it will sit exactly where you set it until you change something.

Temperature Gauge

As I wrote in the original review above, the grill size is a little smaller than the big brands and on one or two occasions I have wished for a bigger one, but the price for those extra few inches is quite something and I can live with it.

All in all, I am still glad that I took a chance with this Kamado. It’s been great to cook on and I think it would be very hard to beat the value for money-wise.

Here are just a few examples of my cooks on it over the last year.

Useful Links

If you do take the plunge and buy one of these there is some great information on the internet to get you started. One YouTube Channel worth subscribing to is from Tom at BBQ Life. He has some cracking videos on the Kamado which will help get you started.


Join the Conversation

  1. Just built mine today, as impressed as you were. But you made me laugh out loud literally as I had the exact same frustration with the damned felt sticky steips for the egg to sit on! Damn that removable strip! Good review, thank you

    1. Those felt pads have lots of frustration to answer for!!!

  2. Did you buy any accessories for it? I was tinking of a divide and conquer or maybe a rotisserie type attachment. Any luc with finding the right sizes?

    1. I haven’t yet. Trying to hold off to see what I might need. I have a Rotisserie for the Weber so if I do anything I think it will be a Plancha. I did get a little templated by this:

  3. My Husband is really considering buying one of these,has anyone bought and accessories for it? And if so we’re can you but them, I do believe its a few inches smaller than the others that our triple the price

    1. Hi Debbie – it would be worth looking at There is a tonne load of information on there together with videos and links to available accessories.



  4. Any luck with a rotisserie attachment? I’m worried the 18in ones will be too big for the Aldi Kamado..

    1. Take a look at:

      It will fit 99% of the Aldi Kamados. The problem with the Aldi Kamado is whilst they are a fantastic price (as compared to something like Kamado Joe), they don’t make their own accessories so there is always a chance they won’t quite be 100% right. Apparently, Kamodo Kings are very good about taking returns if there is an issue.

  5. I’ve had mine for little over a week now and done a few good (and one bad) meals on it. However it now has a crack on the underside of the outside ceramic (or at least I’ve only just noticed it). Have you experienced anything like this? And do you know what to do about it?!

    1. Hi Michael

      Sorry to hear that. I would get in touch with Aldi as they have a 3 year warranty.

      Let me know how you get on.


  6. Hi, thinking about getting an aldi Kamado to go into an outdoor kitchen area but would like it sitting on a concrete shelf. If I don’t use the wooden shelves or stand will it look odd ie have holes in the side where they should be attached? Or are they fine free standing?

    1. Hi Amy

      The Kamado actually just sits on the frame rather than being screwed into it so there are no holes so you should be fine with it free-standing. I do think you need to be careful that something is supporting it (i.e. it is sitting in a custom slot / hole) – take a look at as an exmaple.



  7. Elizabeth says:

    Hi, This is the second Aldi mini kamado I have bought and the second one damaged. I’ve just looked at the photo on this page of how it was supposed to be packed, I think on both occaisions it has been out of it’s box the firebox is on it’s side , with no cardboard round it, the last one was chipped and it smashed the side of the base, this one has a large crack down the side, I haven’t taken it all out to look at it as it is very heavy . All this damamage is probably caused by putting my address on the BOTTOM of the parcel, so it has to be upended to read where it is being delivered. I have always purchase Aldi products, and have never had any problems. I reccomend to my friends. It is a shame I really wanted this BBQ, I’m not sure a third time would be any more successful.

    1. That is a real shame! I have been really pleased with mine but I can understand the frustration when it is arriving damaged.

  8. Just had one of these delivered, never used one before. Do you think it needs a coal basket for inside?

    1. I haven’t bothered and all is fine.

  9. Good post. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi. Do you know if an air controller to help maintain temp that will fit the Aldi egg?

  11. Elaine Greenshields says:

    Hello – unfortunately we had a little accident and managed to crack the lid of last years Aldi model – do you have any idea where to get a replacement lid?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Elaine

      I don’t know unfortunately. I would recommend contacting Aldi (if you haven’t done already) and asking them.



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