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New to Kamado cooking


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Hi all 

new to Kamado cooking 

was wondering do you need to let the charcoal go ash grey as you would normally do before cooking ?

also if one attempted thicker meats like whole chicken/ leg of lamb could you cook it directly without a deflector or would that risk burning ?

i ask as I don’t want to spend hours & hours on low & slow but am looking at any technique that sits between grilling & low/slow.

i can get this cooking in a tandoori oven & thought maybe use same ideas for a Kamado.




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Hi Atif, 

I am newish to kamado cooking too, but here goes. 

It sounds like you are describing roasting. Just like cooking in the oven, but with charcoal and extra man (or woman, if you so wish) points.

So yes, use a deflector. That means you get indirect heat around the edges and through the cooking chamber. Without it, the fire would burn the food. 

You don't need to light all the fuel. Just start a small fire in the middle, and once it has definitely caught, insert the deflector and close the lid. Leave the vents fully open for a few minutes until you are getting close to target temp and then start closing them down. Use the bottom and top vents to regulate. I use a digital thermometer as the ones in the kamado lid are often poor quality and in the wrong place really. Kamados take a long time to cool down, so be careful to not overshoot your target temp. 

There are loads of videos on Youtube that can help show you this in more detail. 

Have fun, Phil.


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Hi Phil,

thank you for the helpful explanation.

sounds like one would need a lot of time & patience! Hopefully the end result will be worth it.

i am always looking out for easy & quick ways.

so if one wanted a quicker indirect cook say for a whole butterflied chicken, would it be reasonable to use half a deflector as more heat would circulate speeding up the process?



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You get more heat by opening up the vents, half a deflector is more for creating direct and indirect zones as I take it. I quite often cook/roast things on mine, deflector in and run it at around 200-220c. The kamado is great for this type of cooking. If you have fat you want to crisp more then whip the deflector out at the end of the cook and finish directly.

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All you have to remember is a Kamado is an oven.

In a household oven the heat source is at the back of the oven, not under the items being cooked.

With a Kamado The heat source is underneath, so a guard/heat deflector is needed to stop the items burning on the outside and raw inside.

Use a heat deflector and raise the temperature.

And it all depends on what type of meats you are cooking, fatty/tough cuts will need to be cooked low and slow to break down the fats and tough connecting tissues.

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