How Clay Becomes a Buffet: A Brief History of Kamado

About halfway through summer, the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of sizzling barbecues. Everywhere you look, people are lighting up those grills, enjoying the sun on their back and the sound of close family and friends laughing after a stressful year. You want to join in the fun, but don’t want to go down the traditional route? Well we have you covered with Kamado, the Japanese-style Barbecue!

Traditionally, Kamado is the Japanese word for ‘stove.’ It literally means “a place for the large pot.” Typically found in southern Japan, a movable Kamado is called ‘mushikamado,’ a round clay pot with a removable domed clay lid. This movable Kamado made its way to the United States after World War ll. Nowadays, it’s known in the West as a Kamado-style cooker or the more famous barbecue grill. The word Kamado is now generally used as a term for ceramic or unfired-clay cookstoves.

Modern Kamado: The Big Green Egg

Bruno Rocha is a Mediterranean chef and an expert in Kamado, otherwise known as the Big Green Egg. This cooking device can serve as a grill, oven, or smoker. Ceramic as the prime material for Kamado plays an important role in its temperature-controlling properties. A tale has it that the material Kamado are made of was also used in space shuttles.

With its shape of a dome, it can almost be seen as a little world of itself, existing solely for the purpose of cooking delicious food: “If you can control the temperature, you can control the world,” says Chef Bruno.

The Big Green Egg is fueled by charcoal, just like any other barbecue. From the big variety of charcoal available, Argentinian charcoal is the best choice. The Kamado is a device that can be used all year long, through hot summer evenings, rainy autumn nights, or snowy winter days. No weather will prevent it from delivering mouthwatering food.

Kamado Japanese Barbecue

Cardinale, Grace. “Kamado:Japanese Barbecue”. 2021

Fire Up that Kamado

Now that we know what the Big Green Egg is, let’s see how to cook with it! To build your meal, start with choosing from different smoking flavors like cherry, apple, or hickory. Then, choose your meat. For beginners, the easiest meats to work with are chicken and pork. If you’re more advanced, you can experiment with beef, turkey, veal or venison.

Try out different ways to combine and serve your food, like the following recipe! 

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese Wrapped in Bacon

Author: Bruno Rocha                                

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breast
  • Bacon
  • Fresh Goat cheese
  • Favorite barbeque sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Favorite chicken rub

Extras:

  • Meat string to keep the chicken together
  • Plate setter

Instructions:

– Prepare your Kamado: bring the heat to 400°F (200°C)

  1. Cut your chicken breast in half along its length into two long pieces.
  1. Fill it up with goat cheese.
  1. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your favorite chicken rub.
  1. Place bacon strips next to each other on the cutting board, forming a square.
  1. Place chicken on the bacon square.
  1. Roll it like sushi.
  1. Tie it tightly with the meat string.

– Place the plate setter in the kamado, then place the grill on top.

– Put the chicken on the grill, close the Kamado lid, and barbecue it for 20 minutes.

– Open the Kamado, glaze the chicken roll with your favorite barbeque sauce, and leave it in for another 10 minutes.

This Summer, Make Your Barbecue a Gateway to World Culture!

Try out this recipe and let us know your experience of the Japanese Kamado.

Want some more barbecue recipes? How to Make Fantastic Filipino Inspired Ribs will be right up your alley!

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Olivia deGregory

Written by Sarah Chebaro