Both the Big Green Egg (BGE) and the Grill Dome are modern versions of an ancient Asian-style clay cooker called a kamado. These ceramic cookers can be used as grills, smokers or ovens. They retain heat better than metal grills and are considered long-term acquisitions.
Big Green Egg
Ed Fisher, founder of the Big Green Egg Co., designed the BGE himself based on the kamado. In 1974 he began selling them from a storefront in Atlanta. The company distributes the BGE cookers internationally, and it has a huge, loyal following with online forums bearing this out.
Grill Dome is based in Norcross, Georgia, and has been selling kamado grills since 1989. Carrying on its own ceramics research and development, it recently introduced its third-generation TERAPEX ceramic technology that strikes a balance between porosity and density. Grill Dome also has a large following of its own.
Both types of kamados are heavy and weather-proof and can be used in all four seasons; they do not have to be moved inside in inclement weather. Both offer models that heat with charcoal, propane or electricity. Outdoor cooks can start fires fast without lighter fluid. Both companies offer accessories for their grills, such as multi-level cooking racks, though BGE offers more accessories than Grill Dome.
These grills are cool to the touch on the outside, even if the temperature inside has risen to the highest possible level. Both companies stand behind a lifetime warranty on their cookers, though the BGE warranty does not cover the metal components.
BGE grills reach 1,800 degrees F, whereas the Grill Dome reaches 1,200. BGE makes five sizes of cooker in green; Grill Dome has four sizes and five colors. Grill Dome’s ceramic is considerably thicker at 1.5 inches than the BGE’s 1 inch. Buyers can obtain a BGE only from an authorized dealership, as no Internet sales are allowed or the warranty becomes void; Grill Dome is available at retailers and online. The BGE requires more assembly than the Grill Dome. The Grill Dome does not offer a drip pan accessory.
Both products are in the same price range. For example, the 18-inch grill models in both brands cost about $800, depending on options selected.