Ah, Kansas City! Our town is famous for its rich history, jazz music, and barbecue. For Kansas Citians (and, we suppose others in various cities in the country), barbecue isn’t just a method of cooking; it’s an experience, a tradition, and even a rivalry.
While there are many ways to barbecue, incorporating a Big Green Egg® or Kamado Joe® or Big Joe® into your outdoor kitchen can take your barbecue game up a notch or three. Doing so is an investment, as Kamado-style grills are more expensive than their traditional gas or briquet-burning counterparts. And, if you’re going to build a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe into your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want the expertise of our team to ensure it’s done correctly, safely and protects your investment.
Understanding the Basics: The Kamado-Style Grill
Before diving into the construction details of integrating a Kamado-style grill into your outdoor kitchen, it’s a good idea to grasp the fundamentals, if you’re not already familiar with them. Kamado-style grills, like the Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe, go back to ancient times and offer a unique cooking experience that sets them apart from other BBQ methods.
Origins: The Kamado-style cooker traces its lineage back to ancient clay cooking vessels used in Japan. The word “Kamado” in Japanese translates to “stove” or “cooking range.” These grills have been modernized over the years but retain their basic egg-like shape, which is key to how they function.
Material: Modern Kamado grills are constructed from a variety of materials, including high-fire ceramics, double-wall insulated steel, and even refractory materials. This composition allows for excellent heat retention and distribution, ensuring even cooking.
Versatility: One of the standout features of the Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe is their adaptability. They can function as grills, smokers, and even ovens. You can sear a steak at high temperatures, slow roast a brisket, bake a pizza, rotisserie a chicken, and more. The ceramic construction allows these grills to achieve a broad range of temperatures while maintaining consistent heat for extended periods.
Heat control: Kamado grills operate on a draft system. By adjusting the top and bottom vents, you control the airflow, which in turn controls the temperature. A closed vent system will lower the temperature, while an open system raises it. It might take a few tries to master, but once you do, you’ll have total control over your cooking temperature.
Fuel source: These grills predominantly use lump charcoal, which is different from briquettes. Lump charcoal is pure wood, ensuring a clean burn. The distinct shape and construction of Kamado-style grills allow for efficient fuel use, meaning you can cook for hours on a minimal amount of charcoal.
Flavor: Due to their design and the use of lump charcoal, Kamado grills often impart a smoky flavor to the food, enhancing the BBQ flavor. Additionally, you can add different types of wood chips or chunks to impart various smoky nuances to your dishes.
Understanding the basics of the Kamado-style grill will not only help you maximize its potential but also turn every grilling session into a culinary experience.
Our Experts Think Ahead and of Everything When Building a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe into Your Outdoor Kitchen
There’s more to installing a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe in your outdoor kitchen than one might expect. Our experts think of everything when building a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe in your outdoor kitchen. This level of expertise is imperative because, without it, you might end up limiting your cooking options down the road or risk diminishing performance.
Depending on your outdoor kitchen layout and your goals, our team will start with some basics, create a plan, and design and install accordingly, which ensures you’ll never have to think about the “what ifs.” We help homeowners think into the future — You don’t want to discover that you need an electrical outlet built in a specific location when you buy the rotisserie attachment down the line.
Choosing the Right Spot for Your Kamado-Style Grill
Location is everything, especially in terms of safety and protection. A Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe must be positioned a certain number of feet away from any flammable materials. Plus, the surface below the grill must be stable and heat resistant, like stone or concrete.
Kansas City weather can be a bit unpredictable and extreme in temperature. Your grill should be protected from the elements. We take the guesswork out of locating the perfect spot for your grill.
Creating a Dedicated Space for Your Grill Means Looking at the Entire Outdoor Kitchen Layout
Our experts design your entire outdoor kitchen setup and account for ventilation, counter space, and storage. Ventilation is essential for safety and temperature control. We have the expertise to leave enough ventilation room so your grill performs at its best. Counter space matters when it comes to the flow of your outdoor kitchen. Storage cannot be overlooked, especially considering all the charcoal, smoking woods, and grill accessories you will want to preserve and keep dry.
Preparing for Installation is a Heavy Lift Best Left to the Experts
The weight of the Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe is substantial, requiring a robust, fire-resistant base. Our team reviews the best options for your outdoor kitchen design, Kamado-style grill’s size and weight, and budget so that your base fits your needs.
Investing in a few essential accessories can make the grilling experience even more enjoyable. Count on us to recommend the essentials, as well as those to keep on your radar for specific cooking types or nice-to-haves.
Maintenance and Care to Ensure Longevity
Once your Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, or Big Joe is installed maintenance and care is critical to protect your investment. Our experts have a few tips…
- Clean. Use a ceramic-safe grill brush to clean the grates. Empty ashes after every couple of uses to avoid moisture build-up and potential corrosion.
- Protect: Even though these grills are sturdy, consider getting a cover to protect them from Kansas City’s winter weather.
- Inspect: Periodically check for any cracks or signs of wear.
Incorporating a Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe/Big Joe into your outdoor kitchen not only adds a touch of elegance and versatility but also brings home the traditional art of barbecue. Every time you fire it up, you’re not just cooking; you’re honing a craft.
The experts at Complete Home Concepts Kansas City are here to guide you through the process. Ready to get started? Stop by our showroom or contact us today.