Origins Of Kamado Barbecue Grills
Kamado Barbecue Grills are extensively used across America and perhaps ceramic barbecue origins are as old as the hills? If you are interested in BBQ cooking then this may whet your appetite to try something different.
There’s been a lot of debatable stories written about the origins of the kamado and who brought it to America and to be honest I don’t know what to believe so the history below is generic so you can believe what you read.
Ancient Cooking in Clay & Ceramics
Humans have used clay vessels to cook their food for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found clay cooking pots in every part of the world, and some of the earliest found in China have been dated at over 3000 years old. It is believed that in these circular clay cooking vessels, the origins of the Kamado are to be found with the clay eventually being superceded by ceramic materials.
The basic cooking vessel has evolved in different parts of the world and in Japan an interesting device developed that cook rice in a unique manner. The Mushikamado steamed rice was used by families for special ceremonial occasions.
The Mushikamado was made of clay and found in Southern Japan, it consisted of a round and domed base with a similar shaped lid that lifted off the base. Innovations from the basic clay vessel included a damper and a draft door and this later version was fuelled by charcoal. A rice pot with a wooden lid would be suspended over the firebox and allowed to steam inside the Mushikamado.
Modern Kamado Barbecue Grills
In the early 1970’s companies in the U.S. started to manufacture ceramic Kamados. These modern Kamados were made of high fire ceramics and had a high gloss ceramic glaze similar to that used by Corning Ware. The modern Kamado corrected two major problems with its Japanese predecessor.
- It did not crack with heat and weather
- Rather than being painted, it was glazed.
From here it has been subject to continuous improvement to make it one of the most controllable and forgiving outdoor cooking techniques for the barbecue enthusiast. Whilst Charcoal is still the most popular and traditional fuel for heating, there are some examples of electric and gas fired versions.
This is an interesting article about why a kamado makes more sense than a traditional charcoal grill.
The two most popular Kamado style barbecues are the
Big Green Egg®
. Ironically with the pressure for low cost manufacture only the Primo is still made in the USA and 2 of the others are now back in China in their ceramic barbecue origins.
Big Green Egg
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