The Kamado BBQ grill is a very special and very high-value grill, and itresembles nothing you've seen before, trust me. Ordinary grills look like boxes of black metal or bowls of iron and have no charm whatsoever. Mostly they're used a few times until they're broken and then you throw them out. And other, built grills have the disadvantage of being fixed on the spot so you cannot really protect them from rain and the weather which eventually make them turn ugly and dirty.
Kamado has made a really audacious change in the grill market because they redesigned the traditional grill completely. Instead of metal, they use ceramics, and their grills are stunning to say the least. Every one of them is a piece of artwork. Mostly they look like vases, covered in a mosaic of tiny brilliant tiles on the outside so they can be easily cleaned, and smooth ceramics inside which are highly heat-resistant and also easy to clean sine nothing can stick to them, not even coal dust.
Over Christmas I bought a Big Green Egg. I read all the marketing blurb in the brochure and it captured my imagination, I've already written about how good it is and published some kamado barbecue recipes but I was still intrigued to find out more about the origins of such a versatile piece of cooking equipment. I wrote an article about it but since publishing it, I've done more research and found that some of my original findings may have already been creative in their origins.
My preliminary research on the internet determined that it's origins lay in clay cooking pots from China that were later adapted by the Japanese a few hundred years ago. The end result was the Mushikamado and looking at photographs on the internet it's pretty clear that this part of the story is clear cut.
Where things become a little less clear is in the 1960's when the kamado as we know it today arrived in the USA. There's a lot of published work that refers back to Richard Johnson, a man who founded the Kamado company that it was he who brought the kamado to the USA and also it was he that first called it a kamado and patented the name. Further research leads me to believe that some of these points are not true.
Clay vessels have been used by humans to cook food for many thousands of years. Clay cooking pots have been found in every part of the world and some of the earliest dated by Archaeologists to be over 3000 years old have been found in China. All over the globe the elementary clay cooking vessel has evolved in many different ways, the tandoor for example in India and in Japan, the Mushikamado; a device designed to steam rice for ceremonial occasions. It is believed that it is this circular clay cooking vessel that is the origin of the modern Kamado with space age ceramic materials having taken over from clay.
The Mushikamado was typical of southern Japan and took the shape of a round clay pot with a removable domed clay lid. Further innovations for the basic clay pot included a damper and draft door for easy temperature control and it was charcoal fired as opposed to wood. Americans first started to take an interest in it after the World War II but it wasn't until the 1960's when Richard Johnson patented his improved ceramic design that the commercial potential of the Mushikamado was fully exploited. The name Kamado name was also trade marked by Johnson but the word has become a somewhat generic term for this style of ceramic barbecue.
Modern Kamado style ceramic barbecues are made of high fire ceramics and some such as the Big Green Egg use space age ceramics for heat retention performance and resistance from cracking during exposure to the elements. In addition, the original paint has now been replaced by a high gloss ceramic glaze.
Kamado grills are lump wood charcoal burners however there are some modern examples of electric and gas fired versions. Just as one of the claims of the ceramic construction is that there is no flavour contamination such as a metallic taste to the cooked food, lump wood charcoal is the preferred choice for modern kamado because of the lack of additives typical of briquettes. Interestingly lump wood charcoal can be manufactured in an environmentally sustainable manner using the technique of coppicing but be careful on this point, not all charcoal is manufactured in this way.
Manufacturers of the kamado style ceramic cookers claim that they are extremely versatile in that one can do a pizza (on a pizza stone) or even bake bread as well as the usual grilling and smoking. This is by virtue of the excellent heat retention properties of the ceramic shell that mean temperatures of up to 750°F can be achieved and more.
Visit for more information: - https://kamadobbqparadise.co.uk/