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Are you looking for a versatile grill that can cook just about anything? A Kamado Grill may be the perfect option for you! These grills are known for their ability to cook evenly and produce great results no matter what you’re cooking.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the things you can cook on a Kamado Grill. So, if you’re considering purchasing one of these grills, be sure to keep reading!
What Is A Kamado Grill?
A Kamado grill is a type of grill that uses radiant heat to cook food, rather than hot air. It has different names like “The Big Green Egg”, “Komodo Kamados” and many more, but all kamados function similarly with minor differences between each one.
What makes kamados different from other types of grills is the amount of control the cook has over the fire, plus its ability to retain heat so well. The thick ceramic shell can hold in so much heat that many users report they only need to load up their charcoal with wood chunks once before cooking for 6-10 hours at 350 degrees.
How Does a Kamado Grill Work?
The kamado works by placing the fire in the bottom of the grill, and food is cooked on a grate placed somewhere above it. The thick ceramic traps all this heat so well that the cook can control the temperature with nothing more than simple air flow adjustment or adding/removing charcoal/wood chunks.
The thick ceramic is very effective at retaining heat, but it does have one downside. It can crack if you subject the kamado to extreme temperatures for extended periods of time. This can happen when cooking with wood or charcoal that burns hotter than normal due to being too dry, or if the cook tries to reach high temperatures over 500 degrees for an extended amount of time.
How Do I Know If My Grill Is a Kamado?
Kamados come in all shapes and sizes, but most have some common features. They are typically round or egg-shaped with a venting system on top that consists of two or more slightly slanted half-circle vents coming together at one point. The venting system can be fully enclosed like an igloo, or more open like a chimney. Some kamados even have multiple vents for increased control over the cooking temperature.
What Is a Good Brand?
We believe any brand of kamado grill is good if they meet certain requirements:
- Thick Ceramic – The thicker the ceramic, the better it can maintain heat and resist cracking or chipping.
- Enclosed Vent System – An open vent system lets in too much air at once for precise temperature control, plus you get ash blowing everywhere when you adjust them (not good). An enclosed vent system like an igloo provides much better temperature control.
- Size – Make sure you choose a size that is appropriate for the number of people you plan to cook for, and how much meat you need to cook at one time.
Things you can cook on a Kamado Grill
From appetizers to dessert, the list of things you can cook on your Kamado grill is nearly endless! The superior heat retention and even cooking characteristics allow for virtually any recipe to come out perfectly every time you use it. The following are some suggestions for starters!
- Chicken– Halved, flattened or even whole chickens are easy to prepare on a Kamado Grill. Make sure to use the grill grates for best results!
- Turkey– Thanksgiving dinner has never been easier. Simply remove the lid and place your turkey over the entire cooking surface.
- Duck– Boneless, skinless duck breasts are easy to grill. Simply place them on the grate and cook over hot coals for about six minutes per side.
- Quail– Small birds such as quail can be grilled whole with great success! Just remove the giblets before grilling and baste frequently with your favorite marinade.
- Cornish Game Hens– A great idea for a dinner party! Halve the birds and grill them cut side down over medium heat for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, then brush liberally with your favorite barbecue sauce and finish cooking.
- Steak– Most steaks are best grilled over high heat. Using the direct method, sear each side for about two minutes or until you get a nice color on the outside while leaving the steak rare to medium rare in the center.
- Chops– Of all types of chops, pork is probably the best suited for grilling. Cook them over high heat until they are slightly crispy, about six to eight minutes per side depending on thickness.
- Ribs– Everyone knows how great ribs taste smoked slowly with hickory or other hardwood smoke. Kamados are awesome at long slow cooking! The trick is to place the ribs fat side up, so they slowly self-baste in their own juices.
- Flank Steak– Thinly sliced flank steak is great for fajitas or as a snack with rice and beans. Cook until just slightly pink in the center over medium heat, then slice thinly against the grain.
- Roasts– Sirloin tip, rump roast or other tough cuts of beef (which benefit from long cooking times) are best cooked in the indirect zone at about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Just make sure to bring them up to temperature before searing over high heat for that crispy exterior everybody loves!
- Hamburgers– Everybody knows this classic! Cook your patties over the hot zone for about three to five minutes per side, or until pink in the middle.
- Brisket– Texas style beef brisket cooks very slowly so try this recipe if you want to be “the king of barbecue”! Start by cooking at 275 degrees Fahrenheit in the indirect zone for several hours, or until tender. Next, wrap the meat tightly in aluminum foil and cook over direct heat for 30 minutes per side to sear the outside and finish cooking.
Fish & Seafood
- Salmon– Grilled salmon is very tasty when basted with a little soy sauce and brown sugar! Just make sure the salmon is fresh and the grill is very hot. Cook for about three to four minutes per side if a one inch thick, or until the fish starts to flake easily with a fork.
- Shrimp– Shrimp are great on the grill! Just make sure they are peeled and deveined so as not to burn. Place them over the hot zone and grill for about two to three minutes per side.
- Halibut– Try this recipe if you are in an adventurous mood! Marinade halibut steaks in beer, lemon juice, garlic, cilantro and scallions before grilling. Cook for four minutes per side in the hot zone.
- Lobster– You can cook up to one pound of lobster per person on a medium hot grill. Plunge the headfirst into boiling water for about three minutes, then place it flesh side down on the grate for five minutes or until done. Be careful not to overcook!
- Asparagus– This is by far the best way to cook asparagus! Snap off the tough ends, then wrap them in foil with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook over indirect heat for about 15 minutes or until tender.
- Portobello Mushrooms– These are great stuffed with garlic butter and served on the side of a steak. Just make sure they are fresh, wipe them clean with a damp cloth and remove the stems before cooking over medium heat for about three minutes per side.
- Bell Peppers– The grill gives bell peppers an interesting smoky flavor that goes well with all types of meat dishes. Just cut them in half, remove the seeds and cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes or until tender.
- Zucchini– This is an easy way to prepare zucchini! Cut it into disks, brush with olive oil and grill for five to six minutes per side.
- Tomatoes– Try this recipe! Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut side down. Cook for about five minutes or until they start to collapse.
- Potatoes– Unpeeled potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil are great when cooked over indirect heat. Turn them occasionally so they don’t burn and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Garlic– Whole cloves are delicious when grilled whole, just be careful they don’t burn! Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.
- Corn– You can grill corn on the cob if it is husked and soaked in water for at least 30 minutes first. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, rotating frequently. For extra flavor, add some butter and salt!
- Onions– Sweet onions such as Vidalias are the best when grilled whole over indirect heat. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
Foods You Should Never Grill
- Eggs– Cooking eggs on a grill are a terrible idea! They will explode and can cause severe burns.
- Bread– Toast bread over indirect heat if you want it crispy, but never place sliced bread or buns directly on the grill grate or they will burn.
- Pasta– Never cook pasta on a grill! The high heat will cause it to boil over and stick to the grates, causing a big mess.
- Salad– There is no way to cook lettuce on a grill, so don’t even try!
- Ice cream– Make some s’mores or banana boats if you want to grill dessert, but never ever put ice cream on a hot grill.
- Cheese– It doesn’t matter what type of cheese it is, whether it be cheddar or mozzarella, grilling it will cause it to melt and slide right off the grate. Don’t even try!
Remove food from the grill and serve immediately, sprinkling with some coarse sea salt if desired. Remember that it is extremely important to let meat rest before serving, so keep that in mind as well!
The following tips will help you as you adjust to using a Kamado style grill:
- The thicker the food, the lower the cooking time.
- If you’re using hot coals, wait until they turn ashy white before cooking on them.
- Kamado grills are different than traditional charcoal or gas grills, so if this is your first-time cooking with one of these beauties, it’s important to read up on them first.
- Grilling pizza is delicious, but the crust tends to burn quickly, so keep a close eye on it!
- Meat cooked over high heat needs to be turned frequently.
- There isn’t much need for marinades and barbecue sauces.
FAQs about Things you can cook on a Kamado Grill
Kamados are known for being easy to use, with a larger cooking area and better temperature control than most other types of grills. Plus, they can cook at very high temperatures without causing the ceramic to crack if you know what you’re doing.
Kamados can cost anywhere from $200 for a small portable model that cooks around 25 burgers at a time, all the way up to over $1500 for large kamados with propane burners.
Other than size and features like an attached food prep table or searing kit, don’t expect any major differences between kamado prices under $500. The more expensive ones have mostly just have added frills that won’t affect cooking performance.
Typically, 12 burgers, although some larger kamados can fit as many as 25 burgers. In general, the more you spend on a kamado, the larger cooking area you will get.
Kamados take about 30-40 minutes to reach cooking temperature on average, more if you are using it for the first time or with a brand-new fire. Don’t expect any fast heating though, these things don’t heat up as quickly as propane or charcoal grills.
Kamados are designed to work with wood and charcoal but can be adapted to use propane burners.
You pretty much can cook anything in a kamado grill. The thick ceramic walls give you very good temperature control, so you’ll never have any problems overcooking food on it.
You can start a kamado by using a starter/kindling fire, or by starting up your grill with charcoal. I’ve personally found that it is best to just use the charcoal method because wood takes too long and isn’t as good of a heat source as charcoal.
Using charcoal also lets you cook at high temperatures for durations if you keep adding charcoal as needed.
Kamados have a venting system at the top consisting of two or more slanted half-circle vents that allow you to easily control the flow of oxygen coming in. You can use smaller pieces of charcoal and wood for a lower cooking temperature or use more charcoal for a high heat.
Wipe off any ash residue with a dry sponge or brush before it gets too dry, scrubbing can scratch the ceramic so be gentle. Don’t use soap to clean your kamado, water or mild detergent are fine though. You can scrub out small stains or food marks with a metal brush or steel wool if needed but be very gentle as the ceramic is easily scratched.
The best pizza comes from cooking it directly on the kamado surface, so that you can get that nice crispy crust. You can also use a pizza stone to improve the results if you prefer to use something like that.
Heat up the grill with some coal, then cook the pizza directly on the kamado surface at around 400-450 F for about 10 minutes. If you are cooking more than one pizza, don’t stack them all together on top of each other – use one at a time or stagger them.
You are much better off cooking meat in pans inside the kamado, since this way you can use the high heat to create some amazing pan drippings for sauces and gravies. You can also do things like boiling water in one of these which makes it great for camping.
Cooking with a kamado can be easy once you get used to it, since it is different than cooking with most other heat sources like gas and electric grills. The most important thing with any grill is just practice and experience, so go out and fire up your new kamado and get cooking!
Kamado grills are versatile pieces of cooking equipment that can be used for a wide range of dishes. Whether you’re an experienced chef or just starting out, the versatility and flexibility offered by these types of grills make them great options to consider when shopping around for your next purchase.
We’ve compiled a list below to help give you some ideas on what type of food items work well with this type of grill. What’s your favorite dish to cook on a Kamado Grill?
Have you cooked any new foods recently because it was easier than using another kind of oven? If so, please share in the comments section below!
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