Grilling has always been something that has been on people'a mind for years. There are a number of ways to grill. There are several grills that can be used for the cooking process too. Kamado grill is one of them. This is known as one of the oldest grills that we have found in human history. Obviously, there are better versions of the grill available now. However, many people are unaware of the grill. So let's take a look at the grill and it's features.
History of Kamado grill
- Its not an issue if you do not know about it. After reading this article you will know everything about these grills. A kamado grill is kind of a charcoal grill. They have thick insulated walls that allows them to reach high temperatures without any issue. They are in a league on their own. It works like a convection oven because of the vents. It can be slightly complicated to use the grill but you are going to love it when you get the hang of it. Charcoal grills have never been easy to manage in the beginning.
- Kamado grills have originated from Japan. Clay and earthen pots have been used for cooking in China, Japan, and India for many years. The kamado grills particularly originated when they were used in Japanese households as mushikamado rice cookers. Americans stationed in Japan during the World War II, brought these cookers back home entrepreneurs like Ed Fisher transformed it into the Kamado grill that we know now. It is interesting to note the history and evolution of the kamado grill. It was initially made with clay but they began to use durable porcelain glazes and ceramics with time. These grills are more efficient in cooking the good food evenly. The thick walls provide good insulation. The possibilities on a kamado grill is endless.
Choosing a Kamado Grill
- When you think about a kamado grill then the first thing that you can get is the Big Green Egg. This is the most popular kamado grill in the market and almost everyone knows about it. The green color makes it iconic. However, they are not the only choice in the market. There are other options that you can go for if you want. So which one are you going to choose? That depends on three factors like: shape, price, and what’s included with the grill.
- The shape of most of the Kamados are the same. There are only a few grills that come with an oval cooking surface. One of them is the Extra Large model of the Primo grill. These oval grills allows you to create two different heat zones because they have the space to move around the charcoal. This can come in very handy. If you are interested in indirect cooking on a circular grill then you are going to need a ceramic deflector plate. This might or might not be included with the grill.
Can You Use Regular Charcoal On a Kamado Grill?
- All kamado grill manufactures will ask you to use lump charcoal over charcoal briquettes. There are some expensive private-label charcoal available for the kamado grills too. They are very unique and are meant for the particular brand of product only. We have experienced with both and we have to say that lump charcoal is better for a kamado grill. Charcoal briquettes might cause the price to go down but they are not going to give you the optimum performance. The lump charcoal is going to cook better at high temperatures and it has a nice smoky flavor to it too.
- You should never use lighter fluid in your kamado grill. It can absorb into the uncoated ceramics in the firebox and make the food taste bad. If you are going to use briquettes then make sure that you read the fine print of the warranty. Stick with the lump charcoal as much as possible. We are sure that they won't be a problem in your cooking.
How Do I Use a Kamado Grill?
Kamado grills can work like a regular charcoal grill. You can also turn them into smokers or outdoor convection ovens. It sounds intimidating but it is going to be easy to use no matter how you see it. It is one of the most important things that you have to keep in mind when you are learning the ropes. It takes time to learn a skill and cooking on any grill is a form of art. We are here to help you with the steps. Let's take a look.
Step 1: The first thing that you need to do is to light the charcoal grill. There are many ways to light the grill but the easiest way is to use the kamado’s insulated firebox. There are vents that can help you regulate the amount of airflow inside the unit. There is no need to lose your head about the amount of charcoal that you need to add to the firebox.
Step 2: Go ahead and fill it to the line. In other words, you can fill the firebox completely and then regulate the temperature using the vents. You have to add some fire started cubes in the charcoal mix too. The fire starters will do the job and get the charcoal around it hot. Now you can use the vents to control the temperature.
Step 3: If you want to get searing temperatures for cooking steaks and burgers then you need to open the top and bottom vents as much as possible. This allows the air to reach the coal and it can reach a high temperature of 700 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to go low and slow for smoking a pork shoulder or cooking bone-in chicken then you need to keep the vents almost closed to lower the temperature. If you are using the Big Green Egg then you will get the hang of it soon.
Step 4: If you are keeping the vents open halfway then you can get a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep it half an inch open then the temperature will remain at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 5: Kamado grills are different so if you want to cook something on the grill then you need to keep the vents almost closed. A lot of air can make the grill reach very high temperatures. You have to wear fire-resistant gloves in order to handle the grill. It is always better to pay attention to the safety of the user. When you are done cooking you have to close the vents completely. This will cut the airflow completely and the coals will stop burning. It takes some time for this to happen and it will take longer for the grill to cool down.
What Can I Make In a Kamado Grill?
- Kamado grill is very versatile in nature. You can cook a lot of different things on the kamado grill. If you go online then you will find a lot of recipes that you can try on your grill. Big Green Egg recipes available online, including brisket, turkey, pulled pork, pizza, ribs, chicken, and more. If you can make the dish on a grill or in an oven then the chances are that you can make it in a kamado grill. How cool is that? Its like you are getting the best of both worlds in just one unit.
- You can experiment with a lot of food options. If you are feeling like something light and easy to make then you can make steak tacos and a batch of veggie kebabs. If you want to make something that takes time and effort and feels heavenly to eat then you can go for pulled pork sandwiches or a Texas-style brisket. The possibilities are endless! We love the fact that you can even cook a pizza on the kamado grills.
How Do You Clean a Kamado Grill?
Step 1: Obviously, you need to keep the grill clean if you want it to last a long time and allow you to cook tasty food on it. An unclean grill can also affect the taste of the food. No one wants that to happen. Do not worry because they are not that difficult to clean. You can clean the grill grates using a wireless grill cleaning brush. Remember to brush the grill every time you use it. This should be done when the grill grates are still hot. This gets rid of any nasty, burnt-on bits. Grill grates can be cleaned every time you are using the grill but the inside of the grill needs to be cleaned from time to time too.
Step 2: Clean the dust and spent ashes to prevent any clogging of the air intake holes. This can be a tiresome thing. Therefore, you should go for a grill that comes with an ash catcher. The process becomes much easier with the addition of the single thing. You can use an ash tool to clean the grill. They are easily available at the store. If you want you can also use a shop vacuum for the purpose. Make sure to save the pieces of lump charcoal though. Do not throw them away because they can be used the next time once again.
Step 3: Depending on how often you use your grill you would have to deep clean your kamado grill once or twice a year. Make sure that you do not use any chemical cleaners on your kamado grill. They might work for other grills but they are going to destroy your kamado grill. The chemicals can get absorbed in the ceramic and give off that horrible chemical smell every time you cook on it.
Step 4: The food will get ruined and no one will be able to eat it. You have to remove any built-on dirt or grime. The ceramic fire ring and firebox can be removed. However, be careful with them because they are pretty fragile. A stiff, dry brush or a plastic scraper is enough to clean the interior parts. That's all that you need to do.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Kamado Grill
- There are always two sides of a coin. You have to look at both the sides to judge a product. A kamado grill also comes with a lot of advantages and disadvantages. We are going to look into them so that you have a clear idea of what you are getting into when you buy the grill. Do not go in blinded. You should always do your research properly. The advantages of the grill is very good.
- It adds exceptional flavor to the food. It cooks evenly and all the food will retain their juices giving you a much juicer steak. A ceramic grill can be pretty heavy on the other hand so if you like to travel with your grill then it might be difficult with a kamado grill. However, there are wheels on some of the models that can help you move it around.
- A kamado can be used to grill, bake, cook, smoke, steam and stir-fry. There are so many options for you to explore and the dishes that you can come up with are going to be worth a while. If you are worried that the ceramic will break as they might be very fragile then your worries are valid. Read the terms and conditions of the warranty of your grill to get a better knowledge about it.
- They differ from one grill to the other. A limited lifetime warranty on the material can be offered by the manufacturer. The ceramic material reflects heat and has powerful insulating properties. This makes it very important to the grill. They also help to regulate the temperature properly. This can make a lot of people save some money on the fuel.
Kamado With Accessories
- If you want to get the most out of your kamado grill then you need to work with the accessories. They are not essential at all times but they can make the cooking experience much more efficient. You can buy a heat shield to create a barrier between the glowing charcoal and your dish. This can allow you to perform indirect cooking. This set up is required for baking crispy bread or delicious pie. There is a pizza stone available for kamado grills that can turn it into a pizza oven and you can cook pizza in the grill. Doesn't this all sound amazing? You can do much more with the accessories of the kamado grill.
- If you want to cook stew then you are going to need a good heat-resistant pan. If you are going to smoke then you will need smoking wood or chunks. If you are grilling then you are going to need a cast-iron grid. This is going to allow you to cook like a professional. You can go ahead with the standard grill grate too. However, you have to be careful with the cooking process. The grill marks should not be too much for you. There are many other accessories that you can buy in the market. They will make the grill much more versatile.
What Are The Sizes Available For a Kamado Grill?
- When you are thinking of buying a kamado grill, you have to make sure that you are thinking about what you are going to use it for. If you like traveling and cooking your own food then the smallest of the kamado is going to be the best option for you. We have to say that kamado grills are not meant to be travel grills since they are generally made of ceramic and they can be very heavy and difficult to carry around. However, modern days have come up with solutions to the issue and there are versions of the grills that can be used for travelling.
- If you think that you are going to throw parties and invite a lot of friends and family to an event then you can go for the bigger models. They are perfect for cooking for a big party and the grill can also be a center of attention for the people. You can choose from the Medium, Large or XLarge model. If you are still unsure about the size then the best thing to do is to go to the store and ask the professional for help. If you are wondering then yes there is a 2XL model of the grill. They are mainly used by professionals and restaurant owners. They are very costly.
Why Is The Green Egg An Unique Kamado Grill?
- The Big Green Egg is one of the most popular kamado that we have already talked about. This is the pioneer of the kamado grills and it is known for the iconic green look. The name is also very catchy and people will understand what you are referring to at the first go. The Big Green Egg was launched in 1974 and it is one of a kind. No matter how many Kamado grills are developed by the manufacturers this one is always going to hold a special place in the market.
- It is the only kamado grill made in state-of-the-art factory in Mexico and out of ceramic material based on NASA technology. This fact might come as a surprise to you but they really user the ceramic material that was meant to be used in the NASA aircraft. The Big Green Egg has high insulation properties. This makes the grill very economical because it is going to save the fuel a lot.
- The temperature is going to remain stable and there are not much fluctuations in it when you are cooking. The quality of the grill is also very high. You can use it for many years and there will be no bad performance. There is a reason why many people go for this grill. You can clearly say that this one is the top of the market when it comes to kamado grills. We are very happy with the product as we have used it first hand.
Thank you so much for giving this article here a read. We hope that you have a better understanding of the kamado grills now. The main motive of the article was to let you know about the intricacies of the kamado grill. That being said, it's really amazing how much you can use the kamado grill and in so many different ways too.Well we are very surprised with the kamado grill and it comes with a rich history too. It might be the only good thing that came out of the world war. Have a good day. Take care of yourself and if you decide to get a kamado grill then you should keep practicing to become a grill master.