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The six most common kamado cooking techniques

The six most commonly used kamado cooking techniques

Mastering various kamado cooking techniques is essential to get the most out of your kamado barbecue. But how do you keep your kamado at the right temperature to then master the most commonly used kamado cooking techniques like direct and indirect cooking, pizza baking, low & slow grilling, grilling, baking and smoking!

The kamado’s versatility opens the door to many kamado cooking techniques, from grilling directly over the coals for that perfect sear to indirect cooking where dishes cook slowly in circulating heat. These techniques require precise temperature control, an essential skill for any Guru. Mastering these cooking techniques not only earns you the title of pitmaster, but also creates unforgettable meals guaranteed to impress your friends and family.

Before you can start cooking your first juicy steak on your kamado, it is crucial to master the temperature. Make sure you fill your kamado properly with charcoal and then light it. Read how to fill and light your kamado here.

Controlling temperature of your kamado: How do I keep my barbecue at the right temperature?

1. Filling your kamado with charcoal

For optimal combustion and temperature regulation, fill the kamado to about halfway with charcoal. An even distribution of charcoal ensures stable burning and temperature regulation. If you have a kamado with a charcoal basket, you can even fill it to the brim for long-term use. Light the kamado with lighting wicks, one-minute lighters or a fire starter.

2. Lighting the kamado

When lighting the kamado, open both the ventilation grate at the bottom of the base and the Magrite disc on top of the dome. This gives the fire enough oxygen to burn properly. When you look into the kamado, you should see an even glow from the burning charcoal. This indicates a good burn. A kamado is properly lit when it reaches the set temperature and can keep it stable. Use a reliable thermometer to check this.

3. Gradually reducing the oxygen supply

When the fire is burning well, gradually start to close both sliders to reduce the oxygen supply and thereby also lower the temperature. Keep in mind that more oxygen makes for a higher temperature, while less oxygen leads to a lower temperature. So make sure that air can enter through the vent at the bottom and exit again through the daisy wheel on top.

4. Pay attention to the colour of the smoke

Pay attention to the colour of the smoke coming out of your kamado! White smoke can indicate moist or poorly burning charcoal, while thin blue smoke indicates that everything is fine.

5. Experiment without meat or fish

Experiment without meat or fish to learn how to control the temperature. By heating your kamado without products, you will learn how the temperature responds to adjustments in airflow. This will help you develop an intuitive feel for achieving the right temperature for any dish, from gently smoked salmon, a perfectly grilled steak or grilled vegetables.

6. Complete control over the cooking process

By opening the air discs, you can allow oxygen into the kamado, providing hot air that is evenly distributed thanks to the dome-shaped lid. The lower air disc can make coarse adjustments in temperature, while the upper daisy wheel allows small adjustments. This gives you full control over the cooking process.

7. Time to grill!

Now that your kamado is burning perfectly and you have full control over the temperature, it’s time to start grilling meat, fish, or vegetables.

The six most commonly used kamado cooking techniques

Lighting your kamado is no longer a problem for you. Now comes the real work: figuring out what you want to make! Whether it’s flipping burgers at the weekend for the family, making brisket with your BBQ friends or baking pizza for the kids – your kamado is ready! But what are the most commonly used cooking techniques on the kamado?

1. Direct and indirect cooking

What is direct cooking? Direct cooking is the classic way of grilling on your kamado. You place your ingredients directly over the hot coals, which ensures intense heat and fast cooking times. Ideal for grilling burgers, steaks, various vegetables and thin pieces of meat.

What is indirect cooking? With indirect cooking, you do not place your products directly over the hot coals. For this, you use a plate setter. This is placed above the coals and the grill grid is placed above it. This technique is called indirect cooking. It creates an even heat circulation in the kamado, similar to an oven. Indirect cooking is ideal for larger pieces of meat that require longer cooking times, such as a whole chicken or a large piece of prosecutor. The slow cooking ensures deliciously tender and juicy meat.

2. Baking pizzas on the kamado

The tastiest pizzas baked on the kamado are done by indirectly heating the kamado to around 300-350 degrees Celsius. Then place a pizza stone on the grid to distribute the heat evenly. Roll out the pizza dough and top it with your favourite ingredients. Using a pizza scoop, slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone and close the kamado. After about 5-7 minutes, your homemade pizza is ready to be enjoyed! The kamado gives your pizza a delicious smoky flavour, just like traditional wood-fired ovens.

3. Low & Slow barbecuing

With low & slow barbecuing, you prepare meat, fish and vegetables at low temperatures between 70 and 120 degrees Celsius. The low & slow cooking technique ensures deliciously tender results in a simple way. It is also one of the reasons why the kamado is so popular. Thanks to the low temperatures, meat and fish remain juicy while cooking. When the temperature is stable in the kamado, you can quietly go do something else – but always stay nearby to keep an eye on your barbecue.

Low & Slow barbecue goes well with smoking. Add some smoke wood to your kamado at the beginning of the cooking process for extra flavour.

4. Grilling on the kamado

Grilling on your kamado is probably one of the first things you think of when you barbecue. It is the basic technique for preparing meat, fish, poultry and vegetables. Grilling involves cooking the products briefly at temperatures of 130 to 200 degrees Celsius. How about a juicy rib-eye steak, cauliflower steaks or a beautiful sea bass!

5. Frying on the kamado

Frying on a kamado is versatile! You can fry meat, fish and vegetables in a cast-iron skillet that you place directly on the grill rack. Is it someone’s birthday tomorrow? Then you can even get down to cake baking on your kamado. To bake on a kamado, you have various accessories you can use, such as a pizza stone, baking tray or skillet. For baking, check out all our accessories.

6. Smoking on the kamado

Smoking on the kamado is slow-cooking at its best. The unique shape and design of the kamado keep the meat moist while the heat slowly breaks down the collagen while infusing it with a deep, smoky flavour. On the kamado, you can smoke in two ways: cold and hot.

Cold smoking is smoking dishes without cooking them. For this, you leave the kamado off and use, for example, cold smoker set that you place at the bottom of the kamado. Place the dish you want to smoke on the grill and let it smoke for several hours. You can cold smoke all kinds of ingredients – from meat and fish to vegetables and nuts.

With hot smoking, you give dishes a smoky flavour and cook them at the same time. Use chunks or wood chips as you like. For hot smoking, you want to keep the temperature inside the kamado between 107°C and 121°C. Use the vents at the top and bottom of the kamado to control the airflow and thus the temperature.

Hot smoking is perfect for meats such as ribs, brisket, chicken, or fish. Make sure your meat is at room temperature before placing it on the grill for even cooking. Place the meat indirectly over the fire on the grill rack.

Close the lid of your kamado and let your products smoke. It is important to keep the lid closed as much as possible so that the temperature remains stable and the smoke does not escape. Once your produce is done, let it rest before carving. This gives the juices time to spread through the meat. Hot smoking gives your dishes depth and character.

Cooling and turning off the kamado

Cooling and turning off your kamado is actually quite simple. Start by closing both the daisy wheel and the vent at the bottom of the base. Closing these openings will cut off the supply of air and slowly extinguish the fire. Leave both sliders closed to ensure that no oxygen can reach the fire.

After about an hour, you can open the bbq and use a bbq brush to wipe away any food left on the grill grid. This way, your grid stays clean and ready for use for the next barbecue session. Already used your kamado 3 or 4 times? Then replace all your charcoal and clean your kamado more thoroughly.


Everything starts with lighting your bbq correctly. Use quality charcoal and lighting wicks for a clean, efficient start. The real secret is in regulating and controlling the kamado temperature. Learn how to control the air supply with the vents to get exactly the heat you need. Whether you choose low and slow smoking or high heat for the perfect steak, the Grill Guru gives you complete control.

The Grill Guru is your playing field on which all kamado cooking techniques are possible. Direct cooking over the coals gives you that irresistible grill, while indirect cooking is ideal for cooking larger cuts of meat without burning them. With a pizza stone, you transform your Grill Guru into an Italian wood-fired oven that produces the tastiest pizzas.

Put on your apron, light the Grill Guru, and let the adventure begin!

Frequently asked questions:

How long does it take to master the Grill Guru?

It depends on your experience, but with regular practice, you can quickly become familiar with the Grill Guru. Have you just bought your kamado? Then start with an easy recipe first.

Can I apply the same cooking technique to other barbecues?

Although some techniques are universal, specific adaptations may be needed for other barbecues.

What accessories are essential for every Grill Guru user?

Besides the basics like a digital meat thermometer, sturdy tongs and a bbq brush, pizza baking is gaining popularity among Grill Guru users. For the perfect pizza, a pizza stone, a pizza scoop and a plate setter are indispensable. And to call yourself a real pizza chef, a pizza cutter should definitely not be missing from your collection.

What makes the Grill Guru different from other barbecues?

The Grill Guru stands out because of its versatility, precise temperature control and wide range of accessories. This combination makes it a favourite among foodies who like to experiment with various cooking techniques.

What is the best way to clean my Grill Guru after use?

Start by removing ash residue with an ash poker. Use a wire brush to scrape the grill grid clean. For stubborn residue, you can soak the grid in a mixture of warm water and washing-up liquid. Then rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. Also remember to wipe the outside of your kamado with a damp cloth to remove grease and dirt.

Can I leave my Grill Guru outside all year round?

The Grill Guru is designed to withstand weather and wind, thanks to its durable ceramic material. However, to keep your barbecue in optimal condition, it is recommended to use a protective cover, especially during the winter months or if you live in a particularly humid or salty environment. Make sure the barbecue is completely cool and dry before covering it. This helps prevent moisture and mould growth and ensures that your Grill Guru is ready for use, whatever the season.

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