Kamado Grills: Pro’s and Con’s

Kamado GrillsKamado grills have been around for a long time, they are now known as egg smokers or grills. The use of clay in cooking vessels date back to almost 2000 BC. In Japan the precursor to the modern kamado grill is called the mushikamado and it first came to attention of American G.I.’s during the Post-War Occupation of Japan. Now modern ceramics have supplanted the clay and we get the modern kamado grills like The Big Green Egg and those offered by Kamado King.

We here at flames and food.com were very lucky to get a screaming deal on the kamado grill in the picture above. It is a mixture of first and second generation grills from Kamado King. A friend of ours is a huge proponent of the kamado grill and he won a new one in a BBQ Competition. He took a bit of mercy on us, as we were still in our fledgling smoking days, and were suffering with a cheapy off set smoker from Lowes. He sold us his old one for $100 and the rest is history! We’ve had to do some restoration but this baby still smokes, bakes, and grills with the best of them.

Kamado Grills Pro’s

  • The design allows for a wide range of cooking temps. We have cold smoked sausage and jerky, as well as seared steaks and baked pizza.
  • No form of smoker is more efficient on fuel than a kamado grill. Our kamado will smoke a full 15 pound brisket without the addition of anymore lump charcoal.
  • The well sealed and insulated design of the kamado grills keeps more moisture in what your cooking. Meats will routinely lose less weight on a kamado compared to other smokers.
  • After a session is done you can close the dampers and choke off a fire. This conserves on fuel and saves some for the next time.
  • They are so well insulated, they don’t suffer from degraded performance when it is cold out.

Kamado Grills Con’s

  • Kamados are heavy! You are not easily going to transport one down to the beach. We bust our buts just lugging ours out front for the block party.
  • They have a pretty steep learning curve. To wring the most out of your kamado you are going to have to invest time in learning how to use it.
  • A kamado takes a long time to cool down. If you over shoot your temp you are going to have to wait!
  • They don’t really do 2 things well in the same day. If you are set up to use it as a smoker and then want to grill it involves welding gloves and red hot ceramics. Changing out the deflector plate while it is hot isn’t for the faint of heart.

As long as you accept that kamado grills have a few deficiencies (just don’t tell an EGGhead), they make a great addition to your outdoor cooking options. Just know that they are pricey! I don’t see that as a Con though, quality costs and a kamado can last a lifetime.

What do you think? Do the benefits outweigh the cost of the kamado grills? Leave a comment below. . .


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