Kamado Joe app

Masterbuilt and Kamado Joe Reveal New Smokers, Connected Grills at CES 2024

A few years ago, we bought a Masterbuilt smoker for the backyard. It’s one of the higher-tech models with a companion app you can use the monitor and set the temperature remotely. This isn’t the reason we chose it: what we loved is the hopper on the side that continuously feeds lump charcoal (or charcoal briquettes if you so prefer) into the fire. You could cook a brisket all day and not have to rush outside every hour to refuel and make sure to temperature is right.

Masterbuilt event at CES 2024

At CES 2024, Middleby Outdoor, parent company to the Kamado Joe, Masterbuilt, and Char-Griller brands, was one of many companies in the barbecuing space to exhibit its latest products, all coming to market this year.

There are a few areas where Masterbuilt saw it could improve, and the company has done just that with the latest models. This includes more durable construction materials, better digital connected technology, and automatic fire starting.

Masterbuilt AutoIgnite

Coming in February 2024 is the Masterbuilt AutoIgnite Series 545, which will sell for US$499. It features a QuickStart Auto-Ignition button and app-enabled monitoring and control. Fill up to four pounds of charcoal into the MiniHopper and let the grill’s smart tech do the cooking for up to five hours.

It also includes a cast iron QuickSear hopper griddle plate, bottom storage, and an easy clean up system with fully removeable components. Masterbuilt says this model is for those who want the “convenience of gas grilling with the flavor of charcoal.”


The new step-up model to the one I have (the Masterbuilt Gravity 560) is the Masterbuilt Gravity Series XT, which will be available in April 2024 and sell for a cool US$1,499. It’s the largest and most advanced model in the line to date with a 1,260 square-inch grill and smoker. Like the existing model, it uses Wi-Fi and digital fan control to manage the GravityFed Hopper, which is large enough to hold enough fuel for up to 24 hours of controlled grill time.

Masterbuilt app

But it now has an advanced control panel with graphing and alerts. The fuel saving hopper also provides more heat and moisture retention, delivering a 33% longer burn time than other Gravity Series grills, says the company.

The XT in the name doesn’t just refer to the size: this grill is also extra tough, made with strengthened materials. It also has a fiberglass mesh gasket, U-shaped manifold to minimize flare ups, easy clean-up grease tray, and four full body stainless steel warming racks.

Kamado Joe

For those who prefer the egg-shaped design, there’s the Kamado Joe Konnected Joe, which launched last year for US$1,699 and was also on display at the show. It’s a digitally connected ceramic grill that blends the benefits of traditional ceramic cooking with modern technology.

Kamado Joe app

The digital controls and app-enabled features help grillers experience the benefits of kamado cooking while making it easier to light the charcoal and maintain desired grill temperature.