When I started getting interested in Kamado grills I asked myself the question what is a Kamado grill? I had seen them and they looked nice but I thought they were very overpriced.
I found prices of close to or over 2500 dollars and thought why should I pay that when I can have a charcoal grill, a smoker, and a gas grill for a few hundred bucks in that same price range.
What I soon realized is that although they also use charcoal you can not compare them to regular charcoal grills or smokers. Kamado grills offer a lot more and all you need is one of them for grilling, smoking, and everything else you like to cook on it.
Kamado-style cookers have been used for thousands of years in Asian countries such as Japan, China, and even India. They have been used there in many households.
After world war 2 they found their way to America and one of the first ones you could buy was the Big Green Egg.
What is a Kamado grill?
I have to get started by telling you what is so different about them. The way they are built and the used material are what makes them so different.
Clay and Ceramic
They started out being made out of clay and were basically clay pots with a damper at the top and an air inlet at the bottom.
The more modern Kamado cooker is not much different but the outside is nowadays made of a ceramic coating.
The clay inside of a Kamado grill in combination with the ceramic body and lid makes them retain the heat very well and this is one of the main advantages compared to charcoal and gas grills.
Many people like to watch a video and this one probably explains it better than I can.
The air inlet and damper in the lid are all you need to regulate the temperature in a Kamado. Just as with any charcoal grill, there is a little learning curve on how to regulate the temperature inside your cooking chamber.
I love the fact that my Kamado uses only a fraction of the charcoal I had to use in my regular charcoal grill because of the excellent insulation.
I had cooking sessions of 10 – 12 hours without having to add more charcoal. Try that on charcoal or offset smokers!
About all Kamado grill manufacturers recommend using lump charcoal and skeptical as I am I had my doubts about that especially after seeing the prices for charcoal these brands sold.
Lump charcoal is made of real wood and charcoal briquettes are made of pressed wood dust with some additives. Lump charcoal burns hotter and leaves fewer ashes. So you use less charcoal and it burns cleaner since there are no additives.
How To Use A Kamado Grill
For me, the main advantage is that you can use a Kamado grill to do many types of cooking.
- Convection oven
Most people will use their Kamado for grilling and smoking. There are several ways to start a Kamado grill and you start them the same with a charcoal starter or light the charcoal in the chamber with a propane burner or one of the many available charcoal starters cubes.
I suggest not to use chemical charcoal starters as cubes and self-lighting charcoal the taste might get in your ceramic and it will take a long time to get that smell and taste out.
By using the vents on your Kamado it is easy to regulate the airflow and thus the temperature. Let your Kamado heat up for a while before adding your meat.
Depending on what you cook you can reach temperatures of 225 degrees for smoking up to 700 degrees for searing a steak.
Cleaning a Kamado Grill
My experience is that cleaning a Kamado is a lot easier than my other grills. Because of the lump charcoal, there are fewer ashes and they just fall to the bottom under the firebox.
All kamados come with an ash cleanout at the bottom and some Kamado Joe models even have a little drawer you can remove to clean your Kamado.
Deep cleaning might just have to be done once or twice a year depending on how much and how you use your Kamado.
Now the Kamado is gaining so much popularity there is also an increase in Kamado grill accessories.
I have been seeing accessories for baking homemade pizza and a rotisserie to cook some great chicken in your kamado.
The Future Of Kamado Grills
In my opinion, cooking on a Kamado will only gain in popularity. The many ways you can use them in combination with the unlimited recipes make it possible to even cook a complete meal on them.
Looking at the availability of the Kamado sizes that go from portable versions to large models for backyards and patios in combination with the available accessories I found, made me realize that the only limitation is your imagination.
Jeffrey Brooks is an experienced backyard griller that uses a Kamado grill for most of all the cooking he is doing. With his experience, he will do reviews and answer every question you have about Kamado Grills. You can read more about Jeffrey Brooks