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Kamado Grill: pros and cons of using 

Kamado grills are becoming a more and more popular way to cook BBQ, but you should be aware of many inherent benefits and drawbacks before opting to invest. This post will explore the pros and cons of kamado grills to help you make an informed investment.

What is a Kamado Grill?

A kamado barbecue grill is a Japanese-style grill designed to produce smoky, delicious, and tender BBQ.  The central feature of these grills is a ceramic or stainless steel dome or mound, which serves as the heat source.  This mound has multiple openings and vents, which allows the smoke to escape and provides the perfect environment for smoking food.  The inside of the dome is typically lined with ceramic and can be heated to very high temperatures without the food sticking. In addition to the mound, these grills are usually equipped with a water pan that sits underneath the coals and provides moisture for cooking.  Another common feature is a built-in thermometer, which makes monitoring temperature easier.

Pros of having a kamado grill

  • Because the fire is placed directly under the charcoal, large amounts of smoke produce all of the smoke you see when cooking with your kamado.
  • Insulation heat transfer and even heating. The heat cannot escape; otherwise, your food may burn before it gets to the desired temperature. 
  • You can add charcoal or wood directly to the grill as needed; you no longer have to preheat or use a smoker box.
  • Dynamic temperature control with temp gauges and alarm systems lets you know when you need to add more charcoal or wood for things to come up correctly.
  • Temperature retention, no longer do you have to worry about your coals and food burning by overcooking because the lid is to keep things from escaping.
  • More flavors are created because of the smoke produced and the added absorbent material. This helps to create a robustly smoky flavor.
  • Easier clean-up, the ash left behind is easy to clean up and makes for a much easier cleanup process.

Cons of having a kamado grill

  • It can be challenging to maintain the heat. Low airflow within the grill where fuel is burning and air have to run through can result in uneven temperatures throughout the cooking surface, not just in one area. 
  • Usually expensive upfront but cheaper over time. A large amount of heat will cost you more money when first purchased than if you had bought an offset smoker or more traditional smoker. Also, there is no need for wood chips (just add wood if needed). After a while, you will have saved enough to have purchased another grill, and the kamado is not for everyone.
  • Maintaining temperature at the desired levels is much more difficult. A lot of effort goes into keeping your grill and fire from going out, along with keeping an eye on your food just in case it needs to be flipped or moved away from the heat (if something is cooking unevenly). This can cause a lot of anxiety while using a kamado.

How to work with these grills

If you are unsure whether a kamado grill is right for you, there are a few things to consider. Kamado grills can be used to cook almost any type of food, but they are especially good at smoking and making the flavors in your food come out much more strongly. If you enjoy smoking your food, this is something to consider. In addition, these grills are great if you live in an area with high humidity because the moisture in the air and the moisture in the grill can help keep some of your food from drying out too much.

  1. Always use indirect heat when cooking on a kamado. If you use direct heat, you will burn the food on your kamado, which will also cause it to take a lot longer to cook.
  2. Create twice as much space as you would if using an offset smoker or other grill. Because there is not a grate inside the grill and nothing is on top of it, there is no restriction on the amount of space you have for food, which means you can double or triple the amount of food in one go.
  3. When cooking, you need to allow for more time than on a traditional grill. Because the temperatures are higher and there is no heat escaping from the food, it will take longer than usual.
  4. Using an electric variant of these grills ensures you have a reliable power source that can provide added fuel when needed.
  5. Keep an eye on everything constantly; without being able to lift the lid and check what’s going on inside, your food may end up burning due to temperature issues.

Conclusion

These grills provide an excellent way to create some of the most delicious smoked foods you may have ever tasted! A kamado grill is an excellent investment for those who are not afraid to spend a little upfront to receive higher quality food from it and more smoke. The ability to cook large amounts of food at one time and the accessory items that can be purchased for the kamado will also help to increase the overall enjoyment of your BBQ.

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