Kamado BBQ: Secrets & Tricks

Are you ready to learn how easy it is to cook like a pro with your Kamado BBQ? We’ll show you what to look for when buying one, plus some essential tips and tricks when using this fantastic tool. We’ll also tell you how much upkeep keeps your BBQ in tip-top shape to cook all day.

What is a Kamado BBQ?

A Kamado BBQ is essentially a hole in the ground that can be covered/uncovered, allowing the smoke to come out. It’s much more efficient than your typical BBQ because the temperature stays constant, allowing for better control over the various cooking temperatures.

Brief History of Kamado Cooking

“Kamado” is Japanese for “stove” or something like that. It’s not entirely clear how this cooking style started, but from what I’ve read, it seems that they have been around in one form or another since before man used fire to cook food. Kamados have been around for hundreds of years and are used in traditional Japanese BBQ. One of the critical features of a Kamado BBQ is using natural, indirect heat for cooking food.

What Kinds Are There?

There are two main categories of Kamados: The traditional Japanese style, an upside-down barrel connected through a tripod base that creates a cooking chamber, and Smokers, which are upside-down stoves built on an actual grate that sits on top of your existing BBQ.  The main difference between the two is that Smokers usually have more ventilation, allowing more grilling space than a traditional Kamado. Smoking food is low and slow, so the extra space is a bonus.

The traditional Kamado has a few more restrictions due to its shape, but it benefits from controlling its temperature much better. You can also control how much smoke you want by manipulating the vents (you can’t do that with a smoker). One of the main problems with a Kamado barbecue is getting the temperature right. It takes a lot of finesse and practice to adjust the vents properly. 

What Can You Cook On a Kamado BBQ?

The most common piece of meat people cook on their BBQ is pork butt, but you can use your Kamado for just about any kind of BBQ. There isn’t much that can’t be cooked on one, especially since this thing doesn’t get hot. Grilling things like fish, chicken, or shrimp are surprisingly tasty when cooked low and slow on a Kamado.  You can also use it for smoking jerky (if you don’t mind curing it yourself).

What to look for when buying a Kamado BBQ

It all comes down to one thing: temperature control. How can you tell if a Kamado is competent or not? Does it have an adjustable thermostat, or does it need to be cranked up to 200°F for the meat to cook properly? There are different levels of Kamados, such as electric, topped, and stranded models. Electric Kamados are the most accessible and affordable, while top-loading models can be costly. Stranded wood is only found in high-end models.

  • Ensure that you get a well-thought-out electric model with good insulation because it will be on all day long. It’s essential to have temperature control with a Kamado. If you don’t, the meat can scorch on the outside and be too tough on the inside. A good electric Kamado will put out enough heat to cook over 300°F without cranking up, and they are usually pretty reliable. The main downside of an electric model is that it won’t allow you to use wood and create smoke by burning wood in a smoker.
  • Do your research before buying one, and make sure you know what kind of temperature control you’re getting. Before you start considering other options, make sure that your chosen model comes with sound insulation because this is going to be on all day long.

The electric models are great for people who want to do lunch or dinner parties because they don’t need to monitor the grill constantly. You’ll have more room to move around with an electric model.

Using Your Kamado BBQ

Once you’re all set up, you can use your Kamado in one of two ways: 

  1. The first is “wet,” where you soak the wood before using it and sprinkle some soaked wood chips onto the coals for extra flavor. This is similar to how people cook on a smoker and surprisingly delicious, in my opinion. Try out a 12-hour chicken with this method if you’re new to kamado BBQs.
  2.  The second is “dry,” which more or less means that you put the coals on the grill, put your food on it, and then put the whole thing into a fridge overnight.

Dry Kamados are great for small groups, especially if you want to do something with a large family and don’t want to deal with a smoker. You can add more food to your Kamado when it’s fumigated; it will help to keep things cooler for longer, so you have time to prepare more food. If you’re cooking a large amount of meat in one day, I recommend using wet wood chips. This will help with the temperature control and extend the life of your wood chips.


If you’re really into cooking great meals, the Kamado is a great way to do it. I went through many different features to list all the things that everyone should look for, but this blog post has been pretty long already, so I hope you find it helpful! I think that anyone can benefit from using one of these, as it’s not only worth the money spent but you’ll never look back and regret not having one. They are a lot of fun and have plenty of uses outside of just cooking meat.

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