Grilling has been such a tradition for most families and it is very fun to do. There are several ways and grills that you can use and Kamado-style cooking is one of the most amazing ones.
It is important to know how to select and choose a Kamado Grill in order for you to know how long it will last, how much of space it needs, and if your backyard can accommodate.
There are only a few factors to consider when choosing a Kamado Grill but they are all essential and you will need them in order to get the best out of the money you spend.
Needless to say, Kamado Grills are sometimes very expensive but it is almost always worth the purchase. So you will need to know exactly what you are going to get for the grill to last long.
Kamado-style cooking was invented in China and this technique is believed to be one of the most superior when it comes to evenly producing heat, durability, and the overall cooking.
Because of these features, along with many more, Kamado-style cooking has spread all over the world and innovations have been made to make them more elegant, yet function the same.
Kamado Grills are slowly evolving and some manufacturers have made a metal version of the grill. The ceramics are still more popular because of their ability to create an evenly heated interior.
Slowly, these amazing grills are making their way to the top of the list of the best grilling equipment. They are known worldwide and they can surely make your life easier.
Despite their popularity, it is not impossible that some of us may not know what they really are or are just starting to do so, and now, you want to make a purchase but you are not sure which.
This post will give you all the information you need to consider in order for you to purchase the best Kamado Grill that you can find and that will fit your own preferences.
So without further ado, here are our guidelines for Choosing a Kamado Grill.
If you have a large backyard or patio, then you would not need to consider this as you can buy any size of the Kamado grill. But you will need to consider the size of the grill if you have a small space.
There is also the difference between the setup of the Kamado grills themselves. Aside from the shape and size, their stand can be considered as a space-taking factor.
First, you have to know the right measurements of your patio or space in your backyard where you are planning to set the grills upon. From there, you will have a better idea of which grill stand to buy.
Nested Kamado Grills
The first type of stand for Kamado Grills is the cart or for the Big Green Egg, the nest. All companies produce this type of stand for their Kamado grills and it saves up a lot of space.
These so-called nests are just basic stands that are not wider than the grill themselves. So if you buy a free-standing Kamado, then you would not need a lot of space.
These nests are also mobile since they have wheels that will allow you to move the Kamado grill easily when storing or when you want to reposition it to a better and more accessible space.
Along with mobility, Kamado grills with nests are also great because they do not always need to be under a roof. You can set them up outside and then just cover them or move when not in use.
The downside, however, of having a narrow cart that holds the Kamado grill is that it can easily tip over when you are moving them since they do not have big wheels.
Built-in Kamado Grills
This is basically creating the space and the stand for the Kamado Grill to be set up in. You can do this by choosing from two different ways.
The first one is the drop-base which is basically the space in a cutout. This means that you can set the grill beside your other appliances outdoors by making a cut on a wooden or concrete set.
This cabinet design allows the grill to be always set on the right height with more stability and it also allows it to get the proper airflow by having an opening for full airflow access.
The other thing is to make a drop-in space for the Kamado grills. This technique requires opening another hoe for airflow and cleaning so this one is a bit more tedious.
The Shape of the Grill
Yes, the main thing about Kamado Grills is that they are measured via their diameters because most of them are built as round. However, there are other grills that differ in their shape for versatility.
They still pack the same power but they can cook in two different ways. With that being said, you will need to take a look at which shape fits your standards better.
Of course, there is no need to say that the shapes are both amazing and can cook in virtually the same manner but there are some differences that are worth talking about.
Round Kamado Grills
This is the more common shape for Kamado Grills. The Big Green Egg, which is the most popular Kamado grill and the Kamado Joe Grills are all round-shaped.
This setup or shape brings a center point for the heat to build up. This way, the grill produces an evenly-distributed heat even in areas without direct flames.
This even heat is perfect for almost all kinds of cooking. You can bake, smoke, or sear in this setup and it will all turn out great because of the uniform heat that is distributed inside the grill.
Oval Kamado Grills
Primo is considered as the pioneer of oval-shaped Kamado Grills. While it might sound weird at first, oval Kamados have a very special feature that a round-shaped Kamado can hardly do.
The purpose of having an oval shape is to create uneven heat. Pretty ironic, right? Maybe, maybe not but this is perfect for cooking different recipes all at once.
Don’t get this wrong, the oval-shaped grills can still produce and even heat inside them but the oval shape specializes in creating two areas in the grill with two different temperatures.
This is called dual-zone cooking where the firebox is installed with a removable divider so you can load it with only half part of the firebox leaving the other half empty.
This way, one side of the cooking grates will get direct heat from the fire while the other side of the grate can cook by letting the heat roll over the lid and back to the grate.
This can only be done in an efficient way with the oval shape. See, you get to manage the heat by concentrating it on one side so you can sear meat while you cook vegetables on the other side.
The round Kamado Grills can manage to do this by modifying the grates just like the Kamado Joe’s half-moon grates but they do not do it as efficiently as the oval grills.
The shape of the Kamado Grill that you will purchase will largely depend on the space that you have as well as your own preference.
There are also two common materials used in creating a Kamado Grill. One is the more common ceramic and the other is made out of lighter metal.`
They can both reach high temperatures but they also have differences. So if you want to take a look, here is our comparison of the two.
Ceramic Kamado Grills
Ceramic is the more common material in making a Kamado grill. Ceramic absorbs so much heat and distributes it along the body evenly.
Despite the amazing capabilities of a ceramic grill, it has some downsides. One is that even with the smaller ceramic Kamado Grills, they are all very heavy.
This means that you need to take good care and precautions when handling them. You need to avoid slamming the lid on the body so you would not create cracks on the ceramic.
They are also sensitive to heat meaning every time you fire them up, the ceramic parts of the grill will have micro-tears that will eventually weaken the entirety of the grill.
However, companies have made efforts to resolve these issues. For example, Kamado Joe has produced the AirLift Hinge in some of their products that will assist you and will take most of the weight of the lid.
They also created fireboxes with multiple parts so that when the ceramics are heated, they can expand more and if one part breaks, it would not damage the other pieces of the ceramic.
Metal Kamado Grills
Metal Kamado Grills are more durable and lighter than ceramic ones. This means that they can be easily moved around so you can change the set-up any time you want.
The best ones are made with cast-aluminum which is highly durable and heat-resistant. They can withstand rain and sunlight and even saltwater so they never rust.
Since they are made with metal, they can also produce more heat than ceramic ones but they radiate this high temperature up to the surface and outside the grill itself.
You will need some protective gear when handling the metal Kamado grills to prevent any burns and other accidents.
The downside with metal Kamado grills is that they are not as efficient as ceramics when it comes to fuel. They use up a lot of charcoal in order to heat up the entire interior of the grill.
They also do not retain as much heat as ceramics. See, metal grills cool down faster so you will need to avoid opening them constantly when cooking.
Accessories and Other Features
It is important to know what comes with the grills when you purchase them. Accessories are important to make the workload lighter when cooking.
Here are some of the accessories and features that you might want to consider finding in a Kamado grill when you are planning to purchase one.
This is one of the most important accessories that may be included in a Kamado Grill. Even though you will set up your grill in a built-in island, you will still need this to move it during emergencies.
It also acts as the actual stand for the Kamado grill if you do not have a decent top for the Kamado to be set upon.
Side shelves are a very great addition for a Kamado grill as they help you make space around the grill for when you are preparing or simply letting your food rest.
This means that you will not need another table for preparing your recipe and it can come in handy when you want to place some cookware near you.
It is important to maintain a Kamado grill for it to last for years. One step in maintaining one is to always keep it clean so it produces food with the best quality.
You should consider getting accessories such as grate grippers and an ash tool. This way, you can clean the ash and the food residuals from the interior of the grill.
Kamado grills have an airway under them to suck in air that is needed for the embers to heat up. They also have vents on top to control the temperature.
It is always good to find vents that are easy to control and have protective hoods. The hood will block all liquid such as rain from entering the grill and disrupting the temperature.
So if you have a Kamado grill with a great vent and a hood, then you can use it even when it is pouring outside.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when buying a Kamado grill, or any item for that matter, is the price and the budget that you are willing to pay.
The price of a Kamado grill is not always cheap. You just have to be observant and always find the best deal to get what your money is worth.
One way to do this is to make sure that you get the most accessories that you need with the grill. It is a bummer when you buy an amazing grill and you do not have the proper tools to operate it.
Kamado Grills are becoming more and more popular and you should consider getting one. They are very versatile cooking equipment that can handle lots of recipes.
They can get up to very high temperatures where you can even cook authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas, and go as low as the heat you need to smoke a rack of ribs for the whole day.
We know that purchasing one is a hard struggle and that is why we wrote this post to give you some pointers on what to expect from a Kamado grill before purchasing so you don’t settle for anything less.
Just be vigilant, make sure that you inspect the overall body of the grill, and get the best deal that you can possibly get to make sure that the grill is worth all the money.
You can follow the guides written above and you will get a great Kamado Grill from those guidelines. It will all boil down to your preference but it is always nice to have more knowledge about the item.
So keep these in mind when you are shopping and enjoy your new grill!
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