Kamado Grill 101

Kamado grills are not your stereotypical grills. The size, shape, and material are usually not what comes to mind when dreaming of a new grill for your patio, but on the other hand, maybe it’s time to take a look at these funny looking grills.  Kamado grills are great for grilling, smoking, baking and roasting because of the high heat retaining characteristics of these grills.  They have excellent internal heat and moisture retention levels and can stay as low as 150 degrees and get as high as 900 degrees.  They usually come on some type of stainless steel cart or can be built right into your outdoor kitchen.

What Is a Kamado Grill, Anyway?

The Kamado is a traditional Japanese cooking stove dating back thousands of years.

They look more like bongo drums than grills, but don’t let that deceive you. They’re often made of ceramic but some have a one-of-a-kind double layer 304 stainless steel structure and  there are some cast aluminum models as well.

Kamado grills typically use charcoal for fuel, however you can use wood chips, as well. The unique design allows your food to be more evenly cooked by retaining and circulating the heat, also conserving more fuel than you would in a traditional grill. It’s small size makes it easy to fit in virtually any outdoor cooking space.

Best of all? They’re easy to setup, easy to use, and easy to clean. A thermometer is located right on the lid , so you can monitor and adjust the temperature by letting more or less air into the cooking space.

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Of course, before you choose to buy one, you’ve got to consider those pros and cons. Let’s take a look:

Kamado Grill Pros

  • Low Maintenance: They’re easy to clean and require little upkeep. You can keep it on your patio all year long and expect it to last for years.
  • Better Temperature Control: The thick ceramic walls retain heat, allowing for more evenly distributed cooking and more control over the temperature.  They can maintain temperatures as low as 150 degrees for smoking fish to as high as 900 degrees for searing steaks.  
  • Versatile: Because of that heat retention, it’s possible to prepare a variety of foods on a Kamado grill. Try smoking your favorite meats or making a pizza!  Also, some of the kamados
  • Sear Marks: There’s just something about those beautiful dark lines on a juicy steak! A Kamado grill has a cooking grate like other charcoal grills, so you’ll be able to enjoy those lovely sear marks.
  • Small: Ranging in size from 19 to 23 inches, these are ideal for smaller spaces and can virtually fit anywhere

Kamado Grill Cons

    • Heavy: The larger Kamado grills can weigh a lot, thanks to those thick walls. No problem as long as you don’t plan to move it very often, or if you get a cart to go with it!
    • Small: If you regularly entertain large groups of people, you’ll probably want a larger grill that allows you to cook more food at once.

 

  • Set up time:   It only takes 15 minutes to set up, but still isn’t quite as easy as flicking on a switch to get the gas going.  They are airtight and can be adjusted with air vents.  

Popular Kamado Grills

We carry several different Kamado brands and models to suit your tastes and budget:

  • Blaze: This Kamado is made of cast aluminum (don’t worry–you still get those thick heat-retaining walls!) and you can easily add fuel at any time during the cooking process without removing the cooking grate.
  • Saffire: With several sizes and colors to choose from, you’ll love the option to add easily removable bamboo side shelves, multi-level cooking racks, or a stainless steel cart. (Options could depend upon the model you choose.)
  • Primo Ceramic Grills: Again, choose your favorite size and color, and customize it with a cover, red oak side shelves, or a stainless steel cart.

Considering the Kamado grill’s versatility, durability, and ease of use, what it might come down to for you is size and weight. How big is your outdoor cooking and entertaining space? How many people do you cook for? How often do you plan to move the grill, and how easy is it for you to do so?

If you think the Kamado would be perfect in your backyard, give us a call. We’re happy to answer any additional questions you might have about it and help you pick out the brand and style that makes the most sense for your needs.