This debate seems to rage all over the net. It's hard to tell who's right in any equation.
Woodworking.com Reccomends using a exopy wood conditioner followed by 7 thin coats of Epihanes or Z-Spar Spar Varnish.
Woodworkers Canada suggest using a Hellmens satin finish that is easier to care for and maintain vs high gloss finish spar. It will need to recoat sooner than Epihanes or Z-Spar but it's easier to care for.
The third suggestion is Sikkens Cedar Stain with a Matte finish for longevity.
Paint for the longest lasting protection but painting way the beauty of cedar seems like such a sin.
Medium and Dark greys will be used as the Stain color for a more modern look. The Natrual greying of the stain and the wood will be less noticeable vs a red/brown color.
Kamado Joe Big Joe + Weber Kettle + Themapen - Cast Iron collection to the ceiling and beyond