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Playing with an old toy

August 6, 2016
By

2016-08-06 18.14.31As many of you will know, I have a pair of pellet grills (a large Traeger and a small GMG), on which I cook all of my BBQ. What I don’t often mention is my Kamado, or ceramic grill, which I haven’t used in a couple of years.

I bought my Kamado in 2012, a couple of years after my large pellet grill. It was bought on a whim, so often the case with me. Most people who have heard of ceramic grills know of the brands Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe, which cost 600 quid or more (then – a medium-sized Big Green Egg costs over a thousand pounds now). Mine was a no-name import, and cost 300 pounds, delivered.

A Kamado uses charcoal like a kettle, but the ceramic body holds heat, meaning that it can get up to higher temperatures. At the time, I figured that my Traeger would be good for low and slow, and the Kamado would be good for high temp grilling.

However, I soon found that I loved the convenience of the Traeger; that burgers could be quite delicious if smoked slowly for a couple of hours, rather than fast grilled; and that the Traeger could get fairly high temps at its highest settings.

As a result, I stopped using the Kamado; even more so when I got my second pellet grill.

I’ve thought of flogging it, but I like the idea that I have a grill in the garden that doesn’t need a power source, other than a bag of charcoal.

2016-08-06 18.14.22On a couple of recent occasions, when I was catering for a large number, it would have been really useful to have the Kamado running alongside the pellet grills. But both times I chickened out, as I hadn’t used it in so long.

So today, I decided to give it a clean, and crank it up with fuel. It lit really easy – I don’t know why I had worried – and I then left it to get up to temperature – a longer wait than with the pellet grills. However, when I checked it, it had hit 650°F – 200° hotter than my Traeger, and 150° higher than my GMG. Furthermore, this was without really trying – introduce a forced draft of air, and I could see it getting to 800°F.

As for cooking power – I had barely typed the first two paragraphs of this post, when I had to go and rescue my test sausages, just in time, by the looks of things!

This is definitely something I am going to start playing with, to add another string to my bow. Next step – beer can chicken!
2016-08-06 18.31.40

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