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Beacon Ceramic Grill with stand, Red or Black
Shipping Options:: $5 Standard
Shipping Estimates: Ships in 3-5 business days. (Tuesday, Aug 25 to Friday, Aug 28) + transit
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Who besides me thought that said Bacon Grill?
Now I’m hungry!
How do these compare to the green egg?
Can we get some more dimensions on this? I see 13" is that the actual grilling surface diameter or is that the exterior dimension?
I too would like to have some additional dimensions. Is 13" the inner grill diameter? If it is the exterior, this is awfully small.
Am also interested in the Green Egg comparison. Thank you
Assuming 13" is the cooking grate diameter that would put it on par with the small BGE ($549 with no nest) or the Kamado Joe “Joe Jr.” ($599 with nest but no shelves). BGE estimates its Small can cook one 12-pound turkey, 4 burgers, 1 chicken vertically, 2 steaks, or 1 rack of ribs.
I’ve never heard of “Beacon” and I don’t see anything online but I’m no expert. Assuming those dimensions and a decent ceramic build quality this could be the cheapest ceramic at this size you’ll see.
If 13" is the exterior dimensions then the comparable becomes the BGE mini and the deal is much less attractive so the dimensions are key.
OK first, I kind of take issue with it calling itself a “grill”. This vessel is really designed to be used more as a smoker. Yes, you can grill on it, but that’s not what most people want them for.
As to its comparison w/ a BGE…that’s a harder question to answer. It appears as though “Beacon” is an offshoot of Kamado Joe (that’s the only Beacon I could come up with in my searches). Kamado Joe makes a perfectly respectable kamado, but even the top of the line KJ’s are about 3 steps down from BGE’s and Primo’s, the dominant players in the space. Kamado Joe’s don’t retain heat quite as well as the others, just due to the fact that their ceramics aren’t as good.
That said, it’ll still function. Looking at the photos, my big concern is how low the dome is in relation to the grate. It almost appears as though the Kamado Joe goes for a low dome approach like the XL BGE’s do, but at only 13", it’s not going to be able to maintain a proper nut temp the way an XL BGE can. The low dome on an XL makes that particular model rather finnicky if you don’t know what you’re doing and that’s with an enormous amount of air in there (anybody who owns an XL can tell you at least one story of overshooting the temperature a bit and the time it takes to get it back under control). This much smaller footprint just seems like a nightmare to control in that regard - it’s going to have pretty wild fluctuations.
The other big shortcoming here is going to be with regards to accessories. The reason why the BGE is so dominant in the marketplace is due in large part to the staggering amount of “Eggcessories” they sell that can turn your egg into anything from an awesome smoker to one of the finest pizza ovens you’ll ever encounter. Kamado Joe doesn’t have that sort of a channel, and my guess is the vast majority of BGE eggcessories will not work with this model (almost none of the Primo’s will, because Primo uses a unique shape).
Also, the felt gaskets is a warning to me. Felt can’t stand up to high temperatures, which means you’re going to melt them the first time you use a good lump like Fogo or BGE or Wicked Good. And god help you if you ever use Coshell coconut shell charcoal. BGE comes w/ felt too, but they sell higher temperature rated replacements. Kamado Joe doesn’t.
The daisy wheel (the thing up on top of the apparatus) appears to be made of either pot metal or aluminum instead of cast iron. That will never last in the elements.
Lastly, the HUGE problem I see with this is right in the sales pitch. “Add your favorite wood chips and smoke your meats to add that smoky flavor you crave”. Chips are awful for smoking. They burn out way too fast. Traeger gets away with its pellet and puck systems because it constantly feeds new wood in. This thing here, you’re going to have to keep opening the grill and taking the grate off (and letting the meat lose its momentum) to re-stock the chips because you won’t be able to use wood chunks, which are the preferred smoke vessel if not using a trailer type smoker.
Also worth noting: Such a small footprint and no diffuser plate…where are you gonna put the water pan when smoking?
VERDICT: This thing is $245. Spend the extra 50 bucks and get yourself a Weber Smokey Mountain w/ 18" cook surface. That thing will last you forever, it will nut a temperature right where you want it for as long as the charcoal lasts, it offers you 2 levels of cook surfaces so you will get almost 3 times the cooking surface this will offer you, and you get a huge water basin that you can use under those grates. Plus, bullet smokers are a lot easier to use.
About the Author: I was on the competitive BBQ circuit for about 6 years. I own 2 trailer smokers (one a reverse flow, one a standard offset), 3 BGE’s (XL, L, M), 2 Weber Smokey Mountains (22" and 18"), and a couple of homebrews I’ve made over the years (an old 55 gallon drum and a refrigerator which I used old bong-crafting skills to turn into a pretty good cold smoker).
Call me crazy, but I know a decent amount about ceramic grills and I have never heard of this brand. Is there a website where we can look into this? $240 is almost to good to be true so I’m guessing this is just going to be a large paper weight. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated…Thanks
Hold up now, wood and wood chips are perfectly fine to use. I use chips in my masterbuilt smoker for everything, and never had a problem and I don’t see where it would be one here. For my money, this smoker is too small.
When you say Masterbuilt, I assume you mean those mini-fridge looking electric deals that have the little aluminum tubes you put chips on and slide in as you replace the wood. Not to get terribly uppity here, but those aren’t real smokers. I’d go on a long explanation as to why, but it’s outside the scope of this conversation. I wouldn’t use those to smoke much more than fish, given that’s about as strong a protein as you’ll be able to get any real smoke flavour with one of those.
Hahaha translation…“Not to sound uppity, but those masterbuilt smokers SUCK”!
In owning both Kamado Joe and BGE (The STANDARD in Kamado Style Cookers), there is no way this stands up to the Big Dogs. Primo is the only other Kamado in their class. These “cheaper” versions do work well for some, though. The usual big difference is in the thickness/quality of the ceramic and felt seal. These grills/smokers will get the job done. Just not as efficiently. As a side, most of these versions don’t have the cool accessories available like the pizza stone, heat deflector, Etc…
All in all, for the money, it might not be a bad starter rig.
As others have said - is it a 13-inch cooking grate?
Ashamed that the information is missing. 13-inch cooking grate would be perfect but 13-inch outside dimensions would be too small.
No returns on woots … so gotta pass on this one.
This would be worth it if it had a difuser plate, which it doesn’t.
They are the same and they cook the same. There may be some little differences in how they are built (hinges, etc) but I have another “off brand” from the green egg and it cooks awesome. If I didn’t already have one I would get this one because it’s a great deal.
I was going to raise issues with a number of things, but you covered them ever so eloquently, and then some. I’ve been smoking for about 20 years, but I don’t have the pro pedigree that adds credence to your post. Thanks!
Why do the pictures of this grill look like they are the size of doll furniture??
I have two large big green eggs and 13" is very small for doing anything on. Large green Egg needed to do a 16# turkey as an example
Wow, you sure drank the BGE kool-aid. And started a religious debate to boot. I’ll bet you buy Monster cables too. You know, because it’s a better made cable and pushes those 1s and 0s around better than a cable at 1/2 the cost.
I have Grill Dome (a competitor to BGE), which I’ve had for 8+ years. The problem with all of these is that you have to have support. That ceramic part that’s inside the cooker WILL break. It’s cracked on my cooker; I think I’m on my third (but they had a bad batch, too). My fried with a BGE also had his break. You have to be able to find replacement parts. (Grill Dome has a lifetime warranty, so they replace mine for free.)
Personally, I use my Grill Dome primarily as a grill and only secondarily as a smoker. I’m thinking of actually buying a “real” smoker, as while these can smoke, they require a bit more attention than a real smoker does. I think if you’re starting grilling, I’d go buy a Weber or the like first. A lot of recipes have you build a two level fire, which you can’t do in one of these. (You can cook, then add a heat shield of some type, but it’s not the same.)
On the other hand, if you have limited room and want to try a grill/smoker, I’d say why not. A true Grill Dome or BGE is going to be way, way more than this.