Aoxun 13″ Kamado Grill, Roaster and Smoker Review
Kamado grills like this Aoxun 13-inch model are very popular, thanks in large part to their incredible thermal efficiency. This translates into a lot of versatile grilling, smoking and even baking potential. One of the down sides to Kamado grills is that they tend to be overly expensive. To the point that they are sometime prohibitive for some families.
The Aoxun 13-inch challenges this perception by being one of the most affordable Kamado grills on the market. All without sacrificing material build quality.
This starts with the hallmark double-walled ceramic construction that you find in all high-quality Kamado grills. When probably loaded, preheated, and set just right this kamado grill can cold smoke at temperatures under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Then it can also roast and sear at temperatures that exceed 500 degrees and more!
The key to this impressive spectrum of thermal control starts with the upper and lower damper. The more air you let in the bottom the hotter the fire will be. You can then choose to let this heat and the resulting smoke be trapped to concentrate the heat energy or release it for an even flow via the upper lid damper. The lid seal ensures that everything stays inside and under your control.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
One of the great things about the Aoxun 13-inch is that there isn’t a lot of assembly involved. Unpackaging it is half the battle. Then the assembly itself should take you less than 20 minutes. Perhaps 30 if you really take your time.
When it comes to the material build quality of the Aoxun Kamado grill, you find all the telltale ceramic double-walled construction that gives Kamado grills their impressive thermal efficiency. If there’s a minor nit to pick it’s that the seal on the lid isn’t 100% perfect. Though that can be said of a lot of kamado grills. The trick is to keep it as clean as possible to ensure that the gasket seals down tight, without any grease or grill debris getting in the way.
Like a lot of Kamado grills, the Aoxun 13” kamado has a wide temperature range. This makes it great for cold-smoking seafood, smoking classic barbecue, and searing steaks at high flame. With care, and a fair amount of practice you can even use it to do things like bake a pizza.
Though, like a lot of Kamado grills, the manufacturer tends to boast a little bit about the temperature range. On paper, Aoxun claims that you can get this Kamado grill as low as 50 degrees or as high as 800. In the real world, the range is probably more like 100 or 120 degrees to around 600, which is diverse enough to let you do what you want this kamado grill to do. The trick is to dial in the upper and lower damper with practiced precision!
One of the other things to keep in mind is the quality of the charcoal will affect the final flavor of the food you prepare on the Aoxun 13”. Ideally, you want to lean toward only using jumbo lump charcoal. Tiny pieces of lump will make heat control harder. Lump is especially important in the early days of the Aoxun kamado grill’s life on your deck, as it will essentially “Season” or impart pleasant odors into the microscopic pores of the ceramic sidewalls.
With the seals and insets, the grill grates on the Aoxun Kamado grill provide a grate that measures in at a tidy 10-inch total diameter. This translates into 78.5 square inches of grilling space.
This is enough to make a small pizza, sear a New York strip steak, grill three hamburger patties, or make enough bratwurst for three to four people at a time. If you want to repurpose it for smoking applications. You can get a large salmon steak portion or a small pork shoulder.
The double-wall ceramic grill body is a special engineering feature that gives this Aoxun superior thermal efficiency. It needs to be properly seasoned early on by using jumbo lump charcoal. You should avoid using lighter fluid to start the fire as it could leave an artificial petroleum odor in the pores of the ceramic walls.
Ease to Clean
Like a lot of kamado grills, the Aoxun is relatively easy to clean. It’s best to let the fire burn out in the bottom before taking out the spent embers and ash. This will also help dry off any grease and other stuck-on materials on the grill grates for easy scraping.
At that point, you can remove the convenient bottom ash catcher to safely dispose of any potentially warm embers.
Ideally, you want to scrape down the grill grates with a nylon-bristled grill brush to reduce scratches on the surface of the porcelain coated grill grates. This will help to protect the semi-non-stick grill grate surface which will ensure that lean cuts of meat are easy to flip.
Like a lot of grills, the Aoxun will do best if you cover it when not in use.
The Aoxun 13” kamado grill comes with a standard 90-day warranty. This is a little sparse compared to competitor grills which typically carry one year of warranty coverage.
The Aoxun 13” Kamado grill represents one of the best prices you will find for a kamado. If you do find a cheaper model, chances are good that the material build quality has some shortcuts to it. You will also appreciate the thermal efficiency of this model, which will have you burning minimal amounts of charcoal to get a lot of flavor out of your food.
Sure, the Aoxun 13” Kamado grill isn’t the biggest model in this niche, but it’s got enough size to cook for a small family. Taking the time to season it properly with jumbo lump charcoal, avoiding lighter fluid and cleaning it properly will go a long way to giving you a vigorous return on your investment.