What is a kamado

What is a kamado? a Ceramic kiln

Kamado is a Japan-original ceramic kiln, fed by coal and endowed with a particular ovoid shape that constitutes one of its most singular traces and one of the key factors hidden behind its extraordinary output, its efficiency and huge versatility, which allow kamados to cook at really high and low temperatures for long periods of time with a single coal load, roast, bake, stew or smoke offering incomparable results. An authentically versatile tool that in the last years is having an extraordinary boom in the western world to the point that it’s become an indispensable tool among the kitchen utensils of the most prestigious chefs and restaurants around the globe, as in gastronomy schools and faculties and, increasingly, over residential houses.

Even though kamados are believed to be firs created in China about 3.000 years ago, it would be in Japan where centuries later they would adopt their current shape and from where they spread up to the United States and other western countries at the end of the Second World War. That fact explains why the term “kamado” these kilns are known from is Japanese, whereas its background Chinese. The term comes from the word “mushikamado”, which means “kiln”, “heater” or “cooker”. Within the three writing systems held in Japan, the kanji character for “kamado” would be 竈; the one used in the hiragana syllabary is か ま ど; and, finally, in the katakana the term “kamado” is written カ マ ド. The romaji equivalent, which is how Japanese people call the Latin alphabet, would be “kamado”, which literally means “place for the cauldron”, but it has evolved into the word suitable to define these types of kitchen containers generically.

Even though based of millennial kilns, the current marketed kamados are a better version of tradicional ones and include several improvements thought to increase its solidity and increase its output. Among its improvements you can find important ones as substituting the mud used back in the day for its manufacturing for more modern and resistant ceramic compounds, the incorporation of diverse metallic stainless steel compounds to enhance its sturdiness and avoid the potential corrosion if the kamado is highly exposed to hash weather conditions, or to show more examples, the insertion of diverse new elements impossible to find in traditional kamados, as sealing gaskets among the body of the kamado and the dome, which avoid heat leakage and afford fuel, thermometers integrated in order to achieve a thorough control of the temperature, ceramic baffle that dissipates the heat and distribute it uniformly making it possible to cook with indirect flame, the cinder collector that facilitates enormously the cleaning or, finally, the wheels that allow them to be transported easily.

The previous enumeration mentions a large number of kamado parts, which are:


Apart from these common elements, the different brands available in the market, in order to make themselves noticed and distinguished from the rivalries, to facilitate the usage of the kamados and to maximize its utility, offer some peculiar features from which we could mention some clever resources as flexible kitchen systems that widen the useful surface and allow to cook at different heights and with both direct and indirect heat at once, sealing gaskets made with newfangled materials as carbon fibre, patented hinges to open and close the door with no effort while avoiding potential incidents caused by the accidental closure of it, small compartments to insert wooden splinters while smoking with no need of opening the kamado’s dome, and a huge et cetera of resources that highlight the capacity and will of innovation of the different manufacturers. As a final note to this brief description would be pointing the existence of the so-called “pseudokamados”, which are just kilns provided with all the qualities mentioned before only that made out of metal, which results in a loss of good part of the specific virtues true kamados have, determined mainly by the ceramic material they are made of. Thus, in opposition to the isolating and heat resistant qualities of the ceramics, along with its high resistance to chemical and atmospheric agents, we would have a metal construction which would be a good conductor, meaning it would get warm and dissipate heat rapidly, and that in the long run it would end up presenting corrosion problems, which translates into less durability and, overall, into worse gastronomic results. Having all of this in mind, we strongly recommend the usage of authentic ceramic kamados if you’re looking to fully enjoy the properties and amazing virtues offered by this peculiar cooking system.