History of the kamados

Fire, ceramic and a peculiar design that enhances its excellent qualities are the features that make kamados different from other kitchen tools. The combination of all this elements the key to its success and versatility, but to reach this level of quality required walking a long path that leads us back to the origin of human species in order to understand the story of this fantastic coal ovens and the factors that made its invention possible.

The first element in this story is fire. The last discoveries on the field of paleoanthropology place its discovery by Homo Erectus about 790.000 years ago. This discovery had tremendous consequences to evolution because dominating fire meant our ancestors could from then on control a source of heat and light, a defensive weapon against predators and a way of preparing aliments before its consumption, which would affect positively their health since eating raw meat, fish or vegetables can, apart from other considerations, favor the existence of pathogen microorganisms that could cause diseases and require more time and energy to digest to digest compared to cooked food.

In this brief narration of the antecedents that made the invention of the kamado possible, the second crucial moment could be situated at the Neolithic, where mankind shifts from a nomadic lifestyle as a hunter-gatherer to stable settlements thanks to the emergence of agriculture and animal breeding, which will generate food excess thus making necessary the invention of ceramics and the development of mud vessels to store and conserve the mentioned food and cooking it.

Inspired by this two big discoveries, human being has improved kitchen systems and invented different vessels and devices useful for cooking until it became an authentic art in which people take care of every detail and aesthetics of food, a really complex activity that is taught at universities and specialized schools comprising a wide range of subjects related to kitchen and nutrition. Cooking is more than just a need, it has become one of the main pleasures that sweetens of our existence.

But the appearance of kamados and its development until they became what they are today was also thanks to the third factor not yet mentioned: its peculiar ovoid shape that makes them so special and allows them to offer a wide range of culinary possibilities. In this regard, it is not easy to determine the exact moment the first kamados’ ancestors appeared. Even though some archeological evidence points to the usage of circular clay vessels for cooking food in different cultures and historical moments, such as the famous Indian tandoor, a close kamado relative; the first kamados’ actual ancestors appeared 3.000 years ago in China. In this emerging empire kamados evolved during the Qin dynasty that governed China between 221 and 206 B. C. Around the year 300 you could find a variation of kamados in Japan called <>, a round mud cooking pot with a dome-like lid made from mud as well. This pot was fed by coal and had a small door that worked as a chimney so you could either invigorate or extinguish the fire and so it provided a better temperature control. Even though it was a really powerful tool, first kamados were mainly used to steam rice and at ceremonial acts.

Kamados didn’t change much through the centuries. Perhaps some modifications to its design were added in order to give new uses to the tool but they weren’t permanent changes.

Leaving these ancestors behind, modern kamado history started at the end of World War II, when American troops came to Japan and took contact with the Japanese culture and felt captivated by certain typical tools such as samurai swords or, as Americans are keen to outside cooking, mushikamados. This fascination to kamados will lead to them taking a great number of Japanese-made kamados to the States. Later, as they realized of their uncountable advantages compared to the traditional metal grills and gas barbecues they had, some visionaries started to import them from japan in order to sell them at the States. With this seed strongly ingrained and its increasing success at the market, the next and definite step was unavoidable: the introduction and marketing of American-manufactured kamados.

This way it begins a new era for this type of barbecue during the last decades of last century, in which new diverse American brands destined to the manufacturing and marketing of kamados appear as well as brands from other occidental countries, even though these are less numerous and more recent. All this brands favored kamado’s expansion throughout the world and introduced several improvements to traditional kamados such as new materials (from which we could highlight the substitution of mud with ceramic materials that are more effective and resistant), or the creation of uncountable design patents until kamados became what they are today: extremely versatile kitchen tools that allows you to roast, stew, bake, smoke, toast… any kind of food, and require much less fuel than other kinds of ovens or grills while incomparable results in terms of flavor, juiciness and texture.

It is in the present days when kamados are experiencing its maximum splendor. They are springing up at a vertiginous speed all over the world, and new brands selling in more and more countries and they are been used in particular houses as well as by famous chefs wishing to offer their clients the best results possible. The future of cooking today.