What Is a Kamado Grill? | Lifehacker

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Charcoal and gas grills have dominated backyards in America for some time now, but there’s a big, bold contender that’s gaining popularity—the kamado grill. Granted, they’ve been around for a while now, so why are more folks turning away from the old favorites and opting to go full kamado? Well, there’s a lot to love. 

What’s different about the kamado grill?

Its egg-like shape. The first thing you’ll notice about this Japanese grill is its unusual shape. A gas grill is tall and boxy, and a simple charcoal grill is just a metal holder with a grate on top—a kamado grill, by contrast, looks like a tall egg standing on its point. It’s this tall funnel that allows oxygen to flow through the charcoal or wood, circulating the hot air up and around the food, and finally out the air vent in the lid. This design affords its user a more precise temperature control, and the deep base and dramatically domed lid allows for cooking a variety of large, small, and irregularly shaped items.

Bye, metal. Kamado grills are often sold in beautiful, glossy, attention-grabbing shades, like forest green or cherry red. While you can absolutely find a colorful metal grill, there’s something more vibrant about colorful ceramic. Yep, it’s an egg-shaped grill made of thick ceramic. While that does make this a heavy option, ceramic is better at evenly heating with fewer hot spots. You probably won’t toss this in the trunk for your monthly camping trips, but it makes for a great backyard centerpiece.

Multi-style cooking abilities. A kamado grill can be used for high-heat searing, like for burgers and hot dogs, and the very next day set up to smoke a brisket low and slow. The temperature retention in a kamado grill is consistent enough to hold a baking temperature; you can bake a sourdough loaf, roast a pork loin, or knock up the temperature for crisp-crusted pizza.

An expensive investment, but it’ll last forever

The biggest boon of a kamado grill is that it’s economical, both in regards to the fuel and the grill itself. Ceramic gives you a long lifetime. This natural material won’t warp or rust, and it can last for decades. Some companies, like Kamado Joe, will even offer a lifetime warranty on the ceramic parts for this very reason—it should last! 

Unlike the thin metal lids of other grills, this ceramic vessel is thick and excellent for heat retention which means you’ll go through less fuel. While kamado grills aren’t cheap, they’ll last you decades, require less fuel, and that’s more money in your pocket in the long run. 

Kamado grills that might fit your size and budget needs: