A new member of the family…

Some of you who know me will think I have gone mad.

I had a new grill delivered yesterday. Yes, in addition to the pellet grill and the Weber Kettle.

It is a Kamado ceramic cooker. These are beginning to come onto the popular market, in the UK, with names like Big Green Egg and Kamado Joe. Made of ceramic, they have extremely good heat retention, and are good for both low and slow cooking, and grilling at high heat. They are also at the high end of the market – the well know brands come in at about 600 quid for the basic cooker, after which you have to add accessories – at minimum, a stand. The one I have bought is of unbranded Chinese manufacture (imported from the Netherlands), and comes complete for half that cost.

I first spotted it a week or so back, and mentioned it on a BBQ forum, in case it was of interest to anyone. I didn’t need a new grill, but thought it was worth mentioning. However, after some thought, I decided that although I didn’t need it, I’d quite like it.

But do I really need a new grill, given I already have two?

Well, the Weber Kettle is about to go out on loan to a friend again, it is doing them a favour (hopefully!) and helping me rationalise my purchase (I actually offered to lend it before I had even seen this new toy).

The Traeger Pellet Grill is absolutely wonderful at what it does – smoking and low controlled cooking, using indirect heat, but its temperature range is 180-450 degrees F. That means that it cooks perfect pulled pork, and is even good at slow smoking burgers; you can roast a couple of chickens, plus all the veg you need; but you can’t sear a steak on it. It can reach suitable temperatures for baking bread, but isn’t really hot enough to cook a proper traditional pizza.

The new Kamado is – in theory – also good for slow cooking, although I don’t intend to use it that way, at least at first. What it will be used for is grilling at high temperature, using direct radiant heat. It should easily be able to get up to 700 degrees – the temp gauge goes to 900, but I can’t quite imagine that. This easily gives me searing heat, 10 minute pizzas, and will even be hot enough for mock tandoori-style cooking (complete with naan).

I see myself usually cooking with just one or the other grill, but when I have a crowd here (as happens on game sessions and other gatherings), it will be handy to be able to do steaks chicken etc on a hot grill, while the pellet grill gets on with its low and slow stuff.

More than anything else, I intend to have fun with it.

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