For many people, grilling isn’t just a fun pastime but a way of life. After all, no Sunday dinner is complete without breaking out the grill and firing it up, but the key is finding the best option for your needs.
In many cases, people might find themselves stuck deciding between Big Green Egg vs. Primo. While both brands make practical and durable Kamado grills, there are still some distinctions that could sway you either way.
So, let’s jump right in to see how the two brands compare to each other and what main factors you need to consider!
Kamado is the Japanese term for “cooking place.” Traditionally, people would use ceramic pots over charcoal heat sources to cook food.
Over the years, the idea of the small stove grew and evolved into the grills we know today, with a whole lot of options out there. As it happens, Big Green Egg and Primo are two of the best grill makers out there.
Although Big Green Egg has been around longer, both companies have made a name for themselves by making impeccable Kamado grills. Each one offers a selection of cookers at various price points.
Big Green Egg and Primo have five main models that range from small to extra large. However, the Egg also comes in two “mini” sizes, so there’s a bit more room to choose from in their product catalog.
Most grills in each brand’s catalog have the same basic components, design, and construction material. Still, for a fair test, we went with the large model from each brand to find a middle ground for our comparison.
Let’s take a closer look.
- Cooking area: 262 sq. in.
- Weight: 162 lb
- Grid diameter: 18.25 in.
- Temperature range: 150–750 ℉
- Cooking Capacity: 1 turkey, 12 burgers, 6 chickens, 8 steaks, 7 rib racks
As you can probably guess from the name, this grill looks like a big green egg.
The large size is one of the most popular and versatile models on the company’s website. It’s big enough to accommodate plenty of food for massive groups of people.
For example, you can fit a whole 20-pound turkey or six whole chickens in the main compartment. If that’s not enough, you can always scale up to the XL grill or even the 2XL one!
However, to get the full range out of your grill, you might need to splurge on a few Eggcessories, but we’ll get to that in a minute!
- Cooking area: 300 sq. in.
- Weight: 152 lb.
- Grid diameter: 18.5 in.
- Temperature range: 151–850 ℉
- Cooking Capacity: 1 turkey, 12 burgers, 6 chickens, 8 steaks, 8 rib racks, 8 ears of corn
Primo’s large charcoal Kamado grill is one of the best of its kind. It features the company’s patented oval design that allows for excellent heat distribution.
With this Charcol Primo, you can grill and smoke a variety of meals. Plus, the huge cooking capacity will come in handy during family gatherings since the grate can fit up to eight steaks with room to spare.
When picking out your Primo cooker, you’ll get to choose between a few rack systems. Yet, most people prefer the All-In-One setup.
This package gives you everything you need to get started on your Kamado barbecue journey. However, you can still opt for cradle setups or carts and tables.
Now that you know a little about the star model from each brand, you can dive into a head-to-head comparison that picks at all the nitty-gritty details on both sides.
Here are the main factors to consider:
The most obvious difference between the two grills lies in their appearance.
Both have unique shapes and colors, but the Primo one has a shiny black finish in contrast to the Big Egg’s deep green shade. So, the Primo might suit people who don’t want anything too flashy or over the top.
Other than that, the two have flat bases and tapered tops. However, the Egg is a little taller and narrower than the Primo.
The smaller frame means the grill can be less stable on its own. Still, if you use a stand, you shouldn’t have an issue with either grill.
Both brands use ceramic as the major component in their grills, but not all clay pots are equal.
The Primo is larger than the other model in terms of cooking area, and yet, the Big Green Egg weighs a few more pounds. This could mean the latter has denser ceramic, which some people might find more durable.
Yet another difference in the construction is the grill handles. Big Green Egg uses wood to ensure the parts stay insulated, while Primo employs metal.
The grill and handles aren’t the only things to consider here, though.
One of the most important components of a Kamado stove is the grilling grates that provide you with a cooking surface.
Luckily, both the Big Green Egg and the Primo come with stainless-steel grates. This makes them unreactive, capable of withstanding incredibly high temperatures, durable, and also easy to clean.
The only difference in the grates between the brands is that Primo’s grates are reversible, so you can lay them down in either direction. This doesn’t affect the grill’s performance, but it can make the setup a little easier!
A crucial feature of a grill is how it heats the food inside. Since both grills are ceramic, they behave similarly.
The ceramic shell heats up evenly in no time and can maintain its temperature for a long while. On top of that, the grills have an excellent seal to increase heat retention.
To start, the Big Green Egg has a temperature range of 150–750℉, which is wide enough to handle cooking most proteins and other dishes. As for the Primo, the temperature range is slightly higher, with an extra 100℉, so it’s a little more versatile.
Yet, people looking for Kamado grills will mainly need low-and-slow cooking capabilities. So, for the most part, users won’t need the additional degrees.
However, the Primo has slightly smaller vents than the Big Green Egg. Keep in mind that these vents are vital for temperature control by introducing air into the grill, so it could take some time to get used to maneuvering the smaller ones.
The lighting process of the Big Green Egg is pretty straightforward. All you need is charcoal and a natural firestarter, and for fuel, you can use charcoal or certain types of wood.
After you spread out a layer of the fuel, add two firestarters, one on each end of the grill. Then, it’s just a matter of carefully sparking a flame.
You can use the same process for the Primo, but keep in mind that the firestarter may interfere with the burning and affect your food. For a cleaner burn, Primo recommends we use a heat gun to light the grill.
Either way, grills from both brands will take a few minutes to heat up to your desired temperature.
You can’t compare two Kamado stoves without seeing how they stack up when it comes to cooking space.
Even though the Big Green Egg has a massive exterior, most of it is just structural. The actual grilling space is only a portion of the device’s interior, so there’s a lot of wasted space.
Overall, the Primo is almost 40 square inches larger than the other model. This may sound like a huge difference, but in practice, it’s not a major deal.
For example, they have the same cooking capacity when it comes to steaks and burgers. However, you’ll notice the distinction in size when you’re cooking for a large group of people.
The Big Green Egg can only accommodate a 20-pound turkey, while the Primo can handle a 30-pounder.
Plus, Primo scores some bonus points for having dividable cooking spaces. Adding a Firebox Divider allows you to create two distinct cooking zones, making it possible to grill two meals simultaneously.
The Primo All-In-One set should come with all you need to get you started. Other than that, both companies have a large collection of optional accessories.
That said, it’s important to note that the additions are more of a necessity for the Big Green Egg. So, you may want to invest in a few to get your grill for the best performance.
For example, you’ll need a platform like a workspace or a nest to support the Egg. Without it, grilling can be a bit of a balancing act.
Unfortunately, these accessories can be quite pricey.
Grilling can be an incredibly messy process, with marinates flying everywhere as your protein heats up. So, to ensure your Kamado grill lasts for as long as possible, you need to take care of it.
Fortunately, the Big Green Egg and the Primo are easy to maintain, and the process is rather similar for both grills.
For the most part, the mess only happens inside the grill. So, it’s important to clear out any residue after each use.
Just make sure to wait for the ceramic to cool before you attempt to wipe it down completely. You can take this chance to clean the grates and air vents while you’re at it.
Be sure to scrub down the gasket so that the grill can reseal.
The Large Big Green Egg and the Large Charcoal Primo are both excellent grill options.
All in all, Big Green Egg’s product catalog might cater to a wider range of users. Even smaller families can find something that suits their needs, like the mini grill.
Just keep in mind that while the Egg grills come with a more affordable price tag, that can quickly go up with a few accessories.
On the other hand, if you have a large family that grills often, you may want to go with the Primo. The initial price is high, but you likely won’t need to splurge on additions before the grill is set up and all ready to go.
When deciding between Big Green Egg vs. Primo, there are a few factors to consider.
First off, there are many aspects in common between the two Kamado grills. They’re both ceramic, function similarly, share close enough heating capabilities, and cover similar temperature ranges.
However, there are a few key differences, from the available sizes to the net cost.
Now, with all this information, you’re ready to go out and pick up a brand new Kamado grill!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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