An Introduction to Ceramic Grills with Kamado Joe
Kamado Joe’s iconic red domes replicate wood oven cooking through the perfect distribution of heat and smoky flavour. Fuelled by a love of cooking outside with friends and family, their products have been developed to be high quality and tailored to individual cooking needs to create exceptional grilling experiences.
Sharing our passion for creating versatile cooking tools that make producing high quality food easy and enjoyable, we spoke to Ben Forte, Global Marketing Manager at Kamado Joe, to learn more about the benefits of cooking with a ceramic grill.
What is a ceramic grill?
A ceramic grill is basically a dome-shaped barbecue that has an interior ceramic shell. The insulation provided by the thick ceramic walls means they’re incredibly efficient at holding high or low temperatures for hours.
Why choose charcoal over gas?
Charcoal makes food delicious. Gas delivers basic flavour compounds as it cooks the food, whereas charcoal also imparts smoky deliciousness through aroma compounds too. This complexity makes us perceive a bolder, more delicious flavour. Not only that, but charcoal burns hotter than gas and gives you the versatility to flash-sear quickly on scorching temperatures, or slow-cook large cuts for hours. You can cook directly on the hot coals, or bury food in the cooling embers.
What are the benefits of choosing a ceramic grill?
The well-insulated ceramic shell means you can cook at lower temperatures for hours on end and we all know anything cooked low and slow gives the most intense flavour and succulence. Unlike stainless steel grills, you don’t need much charcoal. A couple of handfuls could see through a slow ten-hour cook and even used again next time.
How to maintain a ceramic grill?
Good news is that it pretty much cleans itself. Fire it up to a searing temperature and it burns it all clean. When you’re done, let it cool off and empty the ash drawer.
Do you need any BBQ experience?
Not at all. If you can use a stove and oven, you can use a ceramic grill. The temperature gauge allows you to maintain control, together with using a good meat probe like a Thermapen. This gives you the confidence to know your food is cooked to perfection. Kamado Joes come up to temperature quickly on not much charcoal so they’re easy to practice solo dishes. It’s worth firing up to cook a few breakfasts just so you can master it before impressing friends and family.
What can you cook on a ceramic grill?
The possibilities are endless. They’re ideal for grilling, roasting, baking, slow-cooking and hot-smoking. You’d use it all year round. Once you’ve got a kamado grill, you can buy a range of gadgets to take your outdoor cooking to the next level. You can easily add a pizza oven attachment for crispy based pizzas in your garden, or a rotisserie for evenly cooking whole chickens.
Why is charcoal choice so important?
The quality of charcoal you use makes a huge difference. Big Block (Restaurant Grade) is best. Big Blocks burn hotter, give better air flow and last longer.
When should smoking woods be used, and why are they beneficial?
Adding some wood to the charcoal mix changes the flavour profile entirely, imparting even deeper smoky notes into the food. This is where cooking becomes really fun, allowing you to play around with smoky flavours. Think of smoke like a seasoning, like salt and pepper. Fancy something lighter? Go for a fruit wood such as apple. Or for stronger flavour, oak is ideal.
What’s the future for ceramic grills?
Barbecuing isn’t just about cooking food. It provides a centrepiece, it’s multi-sensory, communal and draws people together. More and more people are keen to master flames and fire by cooking outdoors. Once people invest in a good, solid ceramic grill, they’ll have learnt new skills for life and a barbecue that will see them through the years.
To view the range click here.
Images by Nick Hook.
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