What is a Kamado and what can it cook?

A Kamado is a cooker made of ceramic.  The word Kamado probably means oven or stove.  The design is thought to have come from Japan a couple thousand years ago.  I'm sure the ceramics have changed for the better in recent years.  

One company makes Kamados in the USA.  That company is Primo.

Kamados make food moist and give it a wonderful flavor.  It can be used as a grill, slow cooking BBQ, pizza oven, smoker and fire brick oven.  You can cook direct or indirect.  Almost any food can be cooked on a kamado.  Lump Coal is used as fuel instead of charcoal.  Lump coal can be stopped and started many times unlike charcoal.  Lump coal has very little ash, burns hotter than charcoal and gives you more versatility in a controlled environment.  You can control the heat on the Kamado with the Lump coal just like you can in an oven.  It takes a few times to understand how it cooks.  In some ways it works very different from a traditional grill.  If you open a regular grill, it cools off.  If you open a kamado, you have to work fast and get it closed because it starts getting hotter and hotter.  The more air, the hotter it gets.  On a traditional grill, you put in more coal for more heat.  With a kamado, it's not how much coal you add, it's how much air you let in.      

Kamados have traditionally been round.  Primo came up with the innovative idea to make a Kamado in an oval shape.  This shape gives you more versatility than the round. 


**If any of the pictures below don't load, just right click on the picture and click 'show picture'.        





Unloading the new Primo Oval with the tractor. (Spring 2006)


Primo packs the Oval so it's just about bullet proof.  We took the crate out of the truck with the tractor bucket.

2 straps were put under the Kamado and attached to a spreader bar to level the load. 

We used the backhoe to lift the Kamado and gently slid it into its cradle.

The Oval came with the hinge and bands assembled and installed.  It came with feet to stand it on a flat surface, a slider top to control the temperature and an oval thermometer.  The cradle and side tables were a special order.  The Oval will be moved up the hill to the Grilleria when the remodeling is finished.



Pictures of the inside of the Primo and how it goes together.



The empty inside of the Oval and with the fire box added.


Bottom piece inside the fire box and the grate added.  Note the notch on the grate.  It holds a divider to make a smaller indirect cook.


Main grates added and the inside of the dome.


A smaller load of lump coal and proper placement of the starter cubes.


Smaller load just starting to burn and a larger load just starting to burn.  Placing the larger pieces of lump coal on the bottom grate helps give you more control over the temperature.



Here's some of the food we've cooked on the Primo Oval Kamado.  These pictures are to show how versatile this Oval really is.



Ribeye steaks cooked at 700 degrees 3 minutes each side.  Nothing does steak better than a Kamado.  You really will be surprised at how good steaks are on this Oval.


Onion pies cooked for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then 1 hour at 300 degrees.  54 Italian sausages were put on for the last hour.


3 Butternut squash cut in half with a little butter and spice.  Mixed vegetables and peppers on the top shelf.  These cooked for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Really great flavor with the Lump coal.


13 lb brisket cooked at 235 degrees for about 8 hours until internal temperature reached 185 degrees.  Wrapped in foil the last 2 hours of the cook.  The meat was very tender.


Bread cooked at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Nice flavor.


ABTs.  The bacon is browned without even having to turn them over.  300 degrees for almost an hour.  I use Caloro peppers.  Oh... did you say, "What is an ABT?".  Well, you cut the top off the pepper and clean out the seeds and veins.  Stuff it with cream cheese, chives, salsa and a beef lil' smokey.  Wrap it with bacon and hold it together with some toothpicks.  That is our favorite recipe.  If you want to know what ABT stands for, read about it in the BBQ forums and be surprised.


Spare ribs and vegetables.  Ribs were cooked for 3 hours at 220 degrees.  Foiled for 1 hour, take foil off, then cook another hour with sauce added.  Vegetables put on to cook during the last 45 minutes.


Standup chicken with apple juice and onions.  Vegetables and yams.  Chicken and yams cook for about an hour at 350 degrees.  Put veggies on the last 30 minutes.


The Primo Oval cooks pizza as good or better than a real brick oven.  Even without a pizza stone.


Smoked sausage.  Slow smoked with pecan wood at 250 degrees for about 2 hours.  Yes, the burnt ones taste the best.


8 Pork Butts.  They usually take about 24 hours at 225 degrees.  Shred for pulled pork sandwiches or slice or dice for stews or fillings.



2 steak pies and a close-up.  Cooked for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Ingredients include steak, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, gravy and spices.



20 lbs of Pork Butt Country Strips (boneless pork ribs).  Cooked for 3 hours at 225 degrees, foiled and cooked for 2 hours, foil removed, sauced and cooked for another hour.



More food pictures to come.



Check out Primo's web site.