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Origin and Evolution of the Kamado
For over thousands of years humans are using earthwork pots and scales for the preparation of food. Everywhere in the world earthwork pots have been dug up by archeologists. In China the found pots of over 3000 years old. This is where the modern Kamado finds it origin when generally earthwork was replaced by ceramic materials.
Globally this simple cooking pot has developed in different directions. For example the tandoor in India or the Japanese mushikamado, meant for steaming rice. The original mushikamado was a round earthwork pot with a loose dome shaped lid. Generally it was outfitted with ventilation openings to control the temperature. Also the Japanese shifted to using charcoal instead of wood as fuel. When the second world war was over the Americans became to know the mushikamado.
The name ‘kamado’ is in fact the Japanese word for ‘stove’. Literally ‘kamado’ means ‘place for the cooking pot’. Today kamado is used as the general term for this type of ceramic grill.
The modern day kamado is made from several types of materials, including high temperature ceramics, traditional terracotta and a mixture of cement with lava stone. The exterior varies from high gloss ceramic glaze to paint or ceramic tiles. Thanks to the use of modern ceramic and heat resistant materials (technology that is also used in the heat shields from the space shuttle) it seldom happens that the outer shell cracks, this was often the case with the original Japanese mushikamado.
Most kamado bbq’s burn on charcoal, although several attempts were made to have them run on electricity or gas. One of the advantages of the ceramic construction is that the prepared food will not have a taste (metallic taste). For the same reason charcoal chunks are preferred for the modern Kamado BBQ. Not only will the lump charcoal leave little ashes, the alternative charcoal briquettes contain a lot of additives that may affect the flavor of the food negatively. Charcoal Chunks can be produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner by making use of chippings.
Ceramic bbq's in Kamado-style offer special opportunities. They are not only suitable for grilling, and smoking, but also for the baking of pizza on a pizza stone. Also bread, cakes and pies can be baked into it. This is because the ceramic housing excellent holding the heat, which means that there are average temperatures may be reached up to 400 ° C. In addition, the air supply (and therefore the temperature) in a kamado be controlled very accurately so that the BBQ acts as a kind of wood oven. Thus, they are also used for frying and baking everything is cooked in a traditional oven or baked.