The Kamado, Up Close & Personal…
Greetings grilling friends!
So even after all this time and I’m talking about well over thirty years since the Big Green Egg made its debut in North America there are literally millions of people world wide who still have no idea that the kamado cooker even exists and honestly as much as I love the the product it doesn’t surprise me in the least. After all, the Bbq industry as we know it sells over 18,000,000 types of grills, if you can believe it, every single year and that number is growing all the time as people all over our continent engage with the notion of hang time on their decks with those who matter most in life and simply grill, chill and live life to the fullest!
I’m certain that after spending as much time as I have with these weird and wonderful ceramic based cookers going back to the beginning of the last decade the main reason people don’t know more about them is three fold. First off, almost none of these cookers have ever really been marketed very well, until very recently that is and secondly and more importantly its incredibly difficult to find someone at retail these days who can really speak intelligently about them.
Now before anyone takes issue with my words understand one thing, I do not mean what I say in a malicious manner whatsoever even though my words are bold, few in my opinion at the manufacturing level would be able to disagree with me. On the contrary as a matter of fact, I say what I say because I desperately want to witness and be a part of the kamado cooker reaching its tipping point one day for both personal and business reasons alike. I mean it from my heart and from my soul being a twenty-five year seasoned sales veteran who’s fascinated with the art of sales and marketing and who has learned through the years that by taking ownership of something you love and crafting your passion for it, it can and will pay dividends both personally and financially in the long term but only if you are really and truly committed to the task at hand.
The third reason in my view is an obvious one. The sheer amount of selection one has to choose from these days is not only jaw dropping but can be confusing as all hell when you in fact hit the road to go shopping. From the very cheap and cheerful to the very opulent there’s a grill to fit virtually every budget and every smoke filled desire one has, hence the reason I STRONGLY advise and suggest you find the best and most passionate not to mention informed retailer you can before you spend any cash whatsoever and especially if its going to be on a kamado cooker! That or purchase your cooker factory direct which is also an option today with three companies being GrillDome and Kamado King at the low and mid range price points and at the very high end with the likes of Komodo Kamado.
There are gas grills, electric grills, portable grills, charcoal grills, pellet grills and even grills that are combination oriented and then there’s the kamado! Like that weird and different kid in the school yard, the one the bullies whispered about but who never had the nerve to confront. Smaller, but well put together, one the girls could approach and wanted to approach because flirting was fun and safe and there was no intimidation factor whatsoever. This kid was comfortable in his own skin knowing he was different, weird and able to stand alone and face the world. This kid was also very misunderstood on the grand scale of things but so simple in his physical make up. Fact is the kamado represents less than probably 2% of the total sales of this massive industry called Bbq and its no wonder that it gets lost in translation somewhere along the way.
It would also appear that the people who purchase these kamado styled cookers ( myself included) are also a bit different in the way they approach their purchases, grill or no grill. These people aren’t afraid to zig when the rest of the world is zagging. It would seem that with the growing popularity of the kamado and the “it” factor that they seem to sporting these days this little cooker that can has a very, very bright future ahead of it for many a good reason.
I’ve spoken to hundreds if not thousands of people over the last decade who have either purchased a kamado or are planning to invest and the reasons for the investment are not simply because they perform well and make food taste great although this is certainly key! No, these people care about quality even if they have to pay more for it and they care about having the product a long, long time and the smaller footprint it will leave on earth over the longer period is top of mind as well.
These people ( myself included) care about low maintenance and even lower fuel costs, durability and the ability to perform in all types of weather without the fear of a major malfunction on game day. Then there’s the magical and perhaps even spiritual and primal act of lighting the fire! This is truly awesome and the kamado’s fire is unlike any other cookers fire, self contained in its fire box or bowl that acts as a lung to draw air into its inner cavity and bring life to not only the party but the deck as well. The kamado for me comes to life when lit and as crazy as I may sound (which for the record I’m ok with) is so much a part of what I like or rather love about cooking with them.
No two fires are ever the same and as smoke dances with flame I often find myself transported back to ancient times as I gaze deep into the centre of the glowing embers before getting under way with the days cooking festivities. The smell of smoke, a constant reminder of the simple things in this life that we must hold onto and keep close to the heart. After all, in these turbulent economic, social and political times its reassuring knowing that we can get back to simple, delicious, easy cooking in the confines of our own living spaces where ever they may be.
Come to think of it, perhaps this is the very reason why the kamado cooker is becoming more and more popular with every passing season and year, its just so simple. Mark my words friends when I say, if you have a kamado you already understand and if your about to invest in a kamado, be prepared to get get up close and personal with the magnificent cookers they are!
Until we meet again, feed the fires!