You see this unique grill more and more, the Kamado barbecue. They look beautiful and the food is excellent. But what is a kamado barbecue, how does a kamado work? And what are the benefits compared to a “normal” barbecue?

What is a Kamado barbecue?

Without going too much in history (we do that here): The kamado originates from Japan and came to the US after the Second World War. The kamado oven already gained popularity there in the 70s, until in recent years it is increasingly seen in Europe. What are the unique features and benefits of a kamado BBQ?

Benefits of ceramic BBQ / kamado

1. A kamado ceramic BBQ can regulate and retain heat very well

This is the main distinction with traditional charcoal barbecues. The firebox, is a ceramic pot inside the kamado. Since ceramics can retain heat very well, this is the ideal oven! This keeps your coal hot and at the right temperature.

2. A kamado BBQ is fully lockable

They don’t only look so massive, they are! The kamado BBQ can be fully locked from below as well as from above. This way you not only retain the heat, but also the smoke and the delicious barbecue flavor!

3. A kamado is versatile: more than just grilling

Of course, a kamado charcoal BBQ is more expensive than a regular grill. But you can also do a lot more with it than just grilling a shaslick! And, an additional advantage is that a kamado consumes less charcoal than a normal barbecue. What are the possibilities:

  • Smoking: you can heat your kamado and keep it at a low temperature. This is not possible with a normal BBQ. At a low temperature you can quietly smoke a piece of meat or fish, using smoke or wood chips.
  • Cooking: Cook a roast beef or pulled pork? You can do that with slow cooking. You heat the kamado at a relatively low temperature (± 100-110 degrees) and cook the meat gradually.
  • Roasting (oven dishes): Because of the closure, your kamado BBQ also works perfectly as an oven. Put your dish in an earthenware dish on your grill rack, close the kamado… and you’re done. Again no loss of taste, what will benefit your meat, fish or other dish!
  • Grilling large pieces of meat: The high lid of a kamado makes it ideal for larger pieces of meat or fish. Think of a piece of pork belly or a whole chicken.
  • Steaming: Because you can keep your food away from direct fire, you can also cook it. So start steaming!
  • Baking: You can bake anything on your kamado, think of bread. From whole breads to wraps, everything will have a delicious flavor.

4. A kamado is suitable for every season

Because you can close the kamado barbecue properly, you can also bake and roast in bad weather. Certainly if you use the plate setter or start smoking, you don’t have to wait next to your Grill all the time.

5. A kamado is made from high-quality materials

Last but not least, most kamado’s are made from high-quality materials such as cast iron and stainless steel. So your kamado will last for years! Most kamado’s have a guarantee period of no less than 5 years, the budget models usually 2 years. So check carefully the used materials  when you are going to buy a Kamado.

How does a kamado work?

A kamado looks impressive, and it is! The basis is simple, the ceramic firebox does the main job. But most kamado’s also have a plate setter, and the larger models have even more accessories to get started with.

How does this work?

The basis is grilling on the grill rack. You light every kamado in the same way: charcoal at the bottom, light it up, and grill.
You can raise and lower the temperature by opening or closing the marginal grille (ventilation grille above) and ventilation grille at the bottom (partially or completely).
If you want indirect heat, use the plate setter to protect your food from the flames. Some models have an extra grill elevator, for an extra grill surface. You can also use this as a warm holder.
To smoke, add wood chips / smoking chips to your charcoal.
More advanced models have an extra ceramic plate for baking or roasting.