There are many different types of grill on the market today, but the Kamado has stolen the spotlight recently, with sales of the egg-shaped grill skyrocketing. A Kamado is a uniquely designed outdoor grill that allows for a wide range of cooking methods using convection heating.
The Kamado grill design enables it to retain heat for long periods and produce food with a true authentic barbecue flavor. Whether you like to cook your food quickly over direct heat or prefer the low and slow method for fall-off-the-bone meat, Kamado’s versatile design means it can do it all with ease.
What is a Kamado Grill?
In Japanese, Kamado means stove. After WWII, soldiers brought these traditional grills back home for use in their backyards. The Kamado transformed from the original ceramic wood-fired stoves into the bold egg design that is found today.
The Kamado has found popularity in recent years due to the highly efficient cooking style facilitated by the ovoid interior shape. Several features are unique to this type of grill:
- Thick Walls
The first feature that makes a Kamado unique is that it has incredibly thick walls. These walls are very effective insulators and can retain heat for hours on end. This feature makes the Kamado a fantastic companion for people who enjoy long, slow cooks.
Another feature of the Kamado Grill is its vents. It has vents located on both the top and bottom of the grill, regulating the temperature inside. These vents also enable the user to have a high level of control over the internal temperature, which allows for more precise cooking.
- Convection Heating Method
To understand the science behind how a Kamado works, it’s essential to know how it utilizes the method of convection heating to cook food efficiently and evenly. The vents located at the top and bottom of a Kamado Grill allow the hot air from the fuel source to constantly move around the food during the cooking process. This is similar to how a convection oven uses a fan to circulate hot air and produce superior cooking results.
Effectively, the Kamado’s unique and original design allows for cooking from all angles, which produces a more consistent result and reduces the overall cooking time compared to other types of outdoor grills.
- Charcoal or Wood Fuel
While gas-powered grills have their advantages, many people prefer the taste and flavors that wood or charcoal creates. The Kamado Grill’s circular design is suitable for wood and charcoal, with the interior creating a convection current for more even cooking.
- Durable and Long-Lasting
Kamados use ceramic compounds, and as such, they can stay in your backyard for years on end and require little to no upkeep.
Another reason that Kamado grills have a loyal following of fans is their excellent fuel efficiency compared to other types of outdoor grills. Although a Kamado may be an investment, its signature ceramic walls mean that it takes a longer period to transfer its heat to the atmosphere outside. This superior insulation that the Kamado grill benefits from has the advantage of consuming far less fuel than your average grill to cook food evenly and thoroughly.
How Does a Kamado Grill Work?
A Kamado Grill is a versatile piece of equipment that serves many cooking purposes. The critical element to how a Kamado works is all to do with the airflow. The vents located on the Kamado draw air up through the bottom of the grill over the fuel source. It then passes through the unit and back out of the vents in the top of the grill. This constant, circular airflow is what makes the Kamado so effective and efficient.
You control the amount of airflow that goes in and out of the Kamado Grill. This means that you control the Kamado’s temperature and how quickly or slowly your food cooks. Due to the thick walls’ insular nature on a Kamado Grill, it keeps the temperature consistent once you have preheated it. The Kamado can effectively maintain this throughout the cooking process whether you choose a low and slow or a high and quick-cooking temperature. Many find that this level of control over their outdoor cooking yields much greater final results.
Another element that draws people to the Kamado-style grill is its versatility. Since the Kamado absorbs the heat from the fuel source and radiates that heat back into your food, you have several options to choose from when it comes to cooking styles. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these methods:
Methods 1: Direct Cooking
Direct cooking is the most commonplace way of grill cooking, and it’s what generally comes to mind when we think of grilling food outdoors. You place your food onto the grate and directly above the heat source. Items cooked in this way will be ready quickly and need to be monitored and turned continuously.
Method 2: Indirect Cooking
Indirect cooking is similar, just with your food items placed to the side of the heat source, therefore increasing the cooking time and allowing you a little more control.
Method 3: Raised Direct Cooking
One method you can make use of on a Kamado is raised direct cooking. This is where the food is elevated above the direct heat, usually by about 8”-10”. This is especially good for cooking roasts or large cuts of meat and can produce some very nuanced flavors. You have far more control and precision over this method than with direct cooking.
Method 4: Slow & Low Cooking and Smoking
Perhaps what the Kamado is best known for is its ability to retain heat, allowing for superior smoking and slow cooking. This can take anywhere from 5-15 hours at temperatures of around roughly 225 °F. This creates wonderfully tender, juicy, and smoked flavors that just melt in the mouth.
Choose a Kamado Grill for Versatile Outdoor Cooking
The Kamado grill is a versatile investment that can take your BBQ game to the next level. From insulated walls to its ovoid shape, it has several features that make it unique, and it opens you up to a variety of new cooking techniques.