A kamado is a BBQ made of ceramic. Thanks to this ceramic layer, the BBQ keeps its heat much longer and therefore uses much less coal.
But how do you use this BBQ correctly?
You can read all that here!
Choosing your fuel for a ceramic BBQ is very easy, because there is only 1 type of fuel suitable for use with this BBQ and that is: Charcoal.
Due to the ceramic wall of the kamado, it will be much more economical than a ball BBQ. This allows you to do much longer sessions with charcoal if you have good control of the temperature. It is best to choose a good quality brand that uses hardwood and where the pieces of charcoal are large enough. The smaller pieces of charcoal will settle more quickly between your ash plate and cut off the air supply.
Many kamado producers do not recommend using briquettes. A kamado barbecue is made of ceramic clay, which is a very porous material. This allows the binders of the briquettes to penetrate into the ceramic and thus give an unpleasant smell and / or taste to your dish. That is why it is best not to use liquids or firelighters with paraffin or kerosene.
Just like with a bullet BBQ, it is best not to use wood in your kamado. This for the same reason that a wood fire gets very hot, it can burst your kamado.
The only wood you can use in a kamado is smoking wood. We only use this for smoking and does not give off much heat by itself.
Lighting a kamado is quite easy. In this section I will explain step by step how to achieve this.
START THE FIRE
Fill your kamado with enough charcoal and place about 3 natural firelighters or firelighters on it. Light it and let it burn until the charcoal appears white.
RETURN TO TEMPERATURE
While your firelighters or wokkels are burning, open the bottom drawer fully and leave the lid fully open. When the cubes are completely burned out, close the lid and open the daisy disk fully until you have the desired temperature. After this, partially close the bottom drawer and use the daisy wheel to fine-tune your temperature .
Since a kamado is made of ceramic, it retains its heat very well and the temperature remains very stable.
Real temperature control is done by means of the slide under the kamado and the daisy disk above it.
MEASURING IS KNOWING
It is important to know what the temperature of your BBQ is before you can keep it stable. Most kamados have a built-in thermometer, which measures the temperature at the top of your dome. This is not really ideal for us, because we want to know the temperature on our grid. Depending on how you place the lid, this thermometer is usually over your fire. This allows you to read a much higher temperature than that for your meat / fish / vegetables. So I usually propose to place a second thermometer on your grid, this will give you a much better picture of the effective temperature on your grid.
WORKING WITH SLIDERS
The daisy wheel on top and the slide under your kamado both have the function of adjusting your temperature by controlling the air supply and exhaust.
With the slider under your kamado you set the 'coarse' temperature, by opening the air supply a little further, the kamado will become warmer, close it a bit more and it will cool down a bit.
The daisy wheel on top of the BBQ helps you fine-tune your temperature and make it more stable
Your session is over and now your grill looks dirty, or your BBQ has been outside for too long and it starts to see some dirt. How do you best approach this?
In this section I will explain how I clean and maintain my kamado.
An important part of your BBQ is of course your grill. If not clean it can be annoying flavors are added to your meat and mold can develop when you do not use your BBQ for a longer period of time. That's why it's important to carefully clean your grill after each session while it is still warm.
Cleaning your grill is very easy, you take a stainless steel brush and go over the grill surface thoroughly. This way you ensure that all coarser pieces are off your grid. Make sure you use a good quality wire brush, otherwise you run the risk of steel hairs coming off your brush and sticking to your grill. In this way, these hairs can end up in your food and thus also in your body with all its consequences.
Then you remove the grill from the BBQ and put them in a soaking bath to dissolve the smaller impurities.
CERAMIC / INSIDE
You don't have to worry so much about the outside, just wipe it well with a damp fiber-free cloth before or after use and it will always shine like new!
The inside is a different matter, this is where most of the dirt sticks and can therefore penetrate into your ceramics and give off unpleasant odors.
First and foremost, regularly remove the ashes under your kamado with the included ash. After using your kamado 4 times, it is best to clean out your kamado completely. You remove the ceramic rings from your BBQ and make everything completely ash-free. This ensures an optimal air flow and thus a more stable temperature.
After about 40 sessions you will see that the felt that closes your kamado starts to wear off and even starts to show leaks. This is therefore due for replacement.
You can replace the felt by ordering new felt from your supplier and removing the old one. Removing the felt is a piece of cake, with a spatula you can remove the old felt and glue residue from your kamado. Afterwards it is best to vacuum the whole thing again so that there is certainly no dirt behind. Do this for both the top and the bottom.
You stick the new felt on the place where the old was and that's it!