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| Tips & Tricks | How to cook low 'n slow on a Kamado

How to cook low 'n slow on a Kamado

The world of barbecue is vast, but if there's one style of grill that's been turning heads and tempting taste buds in recent years, it's the Kamado. With its egg-like shape, thick ceramic walls, and versatile cooking abilities, the Kamado offers an exceptional platform for mastering the art of low 'n slow barbecue. But what's the hype about? And how can you achieve that perfect tenderness and smoky flavour using a Kamado?

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1. The Kamado: A Brief Introduction

The Kamado is an ancient, dome-shaped clay oven that has its origins in Asia. Today's Kamados are modern evolutions, crafted from high-quality ceramics, designed for insulation, heat retention, and consistency - the key ingredients for the low 'n slow cooking method.

2. Setting Up Your Kamado for Low 'N Slow

Charcoal Matters: Start with high-quality lump charcoal. Not only does it burn cleaner than briquettes, but it also imparts a purer smoky flavour to the meat.

Vent Control: The Kamado's two vents (top and bottom) are your primary temperature control tools. For low 'n slow, open the bottom vent about an inch and adjust the top vent to achieve desired temperatures, typically between 225°F and 275°F.

Water Pan: To ensure your meat remains juicy, place a water pan on your grill's deflector plates. This adds humidity, aids in temperature regulation, and captures any dripping fat.

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3. The Magic of Wood

For that authentic smoky flavour, add a couple of hardwood chunks to your lump charcoal. Depending on your palate, you can choose from a range of woods:

  • Hickory: Strong and smoky.
  • Apple or Cherry: Mild and slightly sweet.
  • Oak: Medium strength and great for red meats.
  • Mesquite: Very strong; best used sparingly.

4. Preparing the Meat

Choose cuts that benefit from the low 'n slow method: pork shoulder, beef brisket, ribs, or even a whole chicken.

Seasoning: A good dry rub can work wonders. Salt, pepper, paprika, brown sugar, and garlic powder are common ingredients, but feel free to get creative. For best results, apply the rub and let the meat sit overnight.

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5. The Cooking Process

Placement: Set your meat on the grill grates above the water pan. If you're cooking multiple pieces, ensure there's ample space between them for even cooking.

Monitoring: A good-quality digital thermometer is your best friend. Keep an eye on the internal grill temperature and make minor vent adjustments as needed.

Turn & Baste: For longer cooks, consider turning your meat occasionally and basting with a mop sauce or spritz.

Internal Temperatures: Your meat's internal temperature will determine its doneness. For instance, a beef brisket is perfection at around 200°F to 203°F.

6. Patience is the Key

With the Kamado taking care of consistent temperatures, your main job is to be patient. The beauty of low 'n slow is in the breakdown of fats and connective tissues, resulting in incredibly tender meat.

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7. Rest, Carve, and Serve

Once cooked, always let your meat rest. This allows juices to redistribute, ensuring every bite is succulent. Slice against the grain, serve with your favourite sides, and watch the smiles light up around the table.

Conclusion:

Low 'n slow barbecue on a Kamado is an experience, a journey through time, flavours, and textures. The Kamado, with its unique design, facilitates this journey, making every barbecue session an adventure. Whether you're a seasoned pitmaster or a BBQ newbie, the Kamado promises and delivers. So, light up that grill, and let's get barbecuing!

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Posted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand