Kamado Bono Picnic Unboxing & Review
So, we know that Kamado style grills deliver succulent smoky food that can’t be beaten for flavour. This is achieved by either cooking at low temperatures very slowly (low & slow) or at very high temperatures. Small or mini kamado grills offer charcoal grilling and smoking without the big price tags you’d find with the bigger kamados, like the Kamado Bono Grande, Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe. I came across the Kamado Bono Picnic and I’d always wanted to try a mini kamado (and I wanted a treat), so I decided to go for it!
|First impression: How cute!||Pro: It’s great value||Con: It’s not practical for picnics|
|Cooking grate: 26 cm (12.6″)||Price: €199||Light-up time: 15 minutes|
About the Kamado Bono Picnic
The Kamado Bono Picnic has a grill grate diameter of 32 cm (12.6″). It’s marketed as being compact enough to cater for outdoor picnics or grilling on terraces. Also, it’s said to be ideal for small groups of up to 3 people. Also, from experience, I can say that the Kamado Bono Picnic is large enough to cook 2 large burgers, a small chicken or 2 medium steaks.
So, with this Kamado grill you can:
- Grill directly over charcoal using direct heat: chicken, steaks, pork chops etc.
- Grill indirectly over charcoal using indirect heat: chicken, beef, steaks, pork ribs etc.
- Wood smoke meats using charcoal and different varieties of wood
Features & specifications
- 32 cm (12.6″) outer diameter ceramic grill, firebox and lid with a fibreglass gasket
- 26 cm (10.2″) diameter stainless-steel cooking grate
- Single piece metal heat deflector for indirect cooking
- Single zone stainless steel grill rack
- Cast iron top vent for throttling airflow out
- Stainless steel bottom vent for throttling airflow in
- Pre-installed stainless steel grill dome thermometer
- Sturdy iron kamado stand
- All tools needed for assembly
- A choice of colours: red or black
Solid packaging is really important to protect the heavy and brittle ceramic of the kamado. Delivered in a sealed heavy duty cardboard box, the 25 kg Bono Picnic was very well packaged.
Everything inside was snugly packaged and secure. The firebox, cooking grate and heat deflector were all stored in the kamado for shipping. They were individually wrapped in protective plastic wrap. The rest of the components such as the cast iron stand, bamboo lid handle and tools needed for assembly were packed around the kamado.
What’s in the box:
- The ceramic kamado grill, lid with fibreglass gasket
- The internal firebox
- Metal heat deflector
- Stainless steel cooking grids
- Grill dome thermometer
- Cast iron top vent
- Sturdy iron stand (which needs assembly)
- Bamboo handle
- All tools required for assembly
Kamado Bono Picnic Setup Process
A small kamado means there’s just a small bit of setup and assembly to be done. This process took about 10 minutes. The big gotcha is making sure not to let the kamado tip over because until it’s in its stand, it’ll be top heavy and want to fall over. I used a Stanley knife to cut the packaging straps and cut through the packaging tape keeping the box closed. Having removed everything from the box I placed everything on a table.
Next, I assembled the cast iron stand so that I could sit the kamado into it and stop worrying about it falling over! From there I removed all the plastic packaging and reinserted the firebox, cooking grates and metal heat deflector. The cast iron top vent, thermometer and bottom vent were factory fitted.
What else you need to start cooking
Aside from what’s in the box you’ll need some essentials. Buy a decent digital thermometer for checking the internal temperature of what you’re cooking. Also, you’ll need to buy a bag of lumpwood charcoal, some sort of fire lighters and a lighter.
- Looftlighter charcoal lighter €49.99
- Digital food thermometer €17.99
- Heat resistant gloves €21.99
This kamado performs really well cooking numerous different types of meat. It retains heat very well and it easily holds set temperatures for long periods. It’s really economical on charcoal too. I only add a couple of lumps of charcoal to what’s left over from the last cook. And, most importantly, it delivers delicious, tender and juicy meats!
My favourite cook so far was cooking Smoked Beef Cheeks. The grill grate is the perfect size for an individual beef cheek and it effortlessly held 250 F for about 4 hours. The Bono Picnic is an ideal size for cooking a whole small chicken too. I regularly cook a 1.2 kg bird using indirect heat.
With all kamados, cleaning is easy. Light your charcoal, leave the lid open for 10 minutes with both the top and bottom vents fully open and then close the lid. Opening both vents fully will allow a roaring hot temperature to develop inside. Any grease, oil, fat or dirt simply burns off. And voila, you have a cleaned kamado. Make sure to put in the grill grates and deflector plates too!
I find myself cleaning out the ash after about 4 cooks.
The result: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really enjoy cooking on the Kamado Bono Picnic. It delivers on flavour every time, it’s lean on charcoal consumption and is extremely good value for money. This grill is economic, consumes little charcoal and the cooking temperature is easy to manage. Because it’s priced at €199, it’s an excellent value mini kamado.
It is however NOT suitable for use as something you pop in the car if you’re going for a picnic. It’s a hefty 25 kg and the stand doesn’t have wheels.
So, if I’d to pick something I don’t like, it’s the bamboo handle. It looks very smart but for me it’s not really suitable for the outdoors. There’s no sealant on the bare bamboo, like a varnish or lacquer. This means that over time and with moisture it will discolour to a nasty black-brown colour. But the simple solution is to give it a quick coat or two or aerosol lacquer before you assemble it.
WHERE CAN I BUY ONE?
The Kamado Bono Picnic is available from BBQ4You.eu and in several stores for €199.
Do you agree with my conclusions about the Kamado Bono Picnic?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the Kamado Bono Picnic or which kamado you think I should review next.