Experiments with Kamado Cooking

As has often happened with the desk project, a short “intermission” project in the workshop has intervened in progress.

My wonderful family got me a great combination birthday/father’s day gift…  A ceramic grill/smoker from Primo Grills and Smokers.    I have long enjoyed grilling, and as my wife says “The ceramic cooker should allow for many hours of your obsessive experimentation”….she knows me well.

From their website  “Ceramic Cooking has been practiced in Asian countries for over 3,000 years. It remains a popular cooking method. Ceramic allows food to cook evenly with minimal moisture loss.”    The image below is credited from the Primo website explaining how these cookers work.

This is also known as a “Kamado” cooker and I have been wanting to try one out for awhile.    The better known “Big Green Egg” brand ceramic cooker is of the same type as the Primo.  My wife chose the Primo for its larger size, and I think that she made a very good choice (she knows that bigger is usually better in my book!).  Both the Primo and “the Egg” get excellent reviews on-line and I do not think that she could have made a bad choice.

I have found the website “The Naked Whiz” , that provides a great deal of information on the Ceramic Cookers.   The Naked Whiz also provides an interesting review of lump hardwood charcoals. These seem to be hard to find in Pittsburgh, and will require some research.

Unfortunately,  due to demand this time of year and limited distribution, my Primo has still not arrived (they are made in small batches in the US).    But that’s OK, because it will give me time to build a work-stand/cart for the grill prior to its arrival.   Its always great when your hobbies can collide in this manner!

The grills come designed to be free-standing, but it seems that almost all owners either build or buy a stand to raise the grill to a convenient  height, and to allow for work surfaces  (again, see “the Whiz”).  The pre-made stand that Primo sells is made from Cypress, and I briefly considered building one out of Cypress also…..but  I decided to go with less-expensive and easier to find treated-lumber structural components with Trex-brand manufactured decking material as the work surfaces.

I know…..normally I would go with all wood also, but in this case I am being practical…strange but true.

I bought the material yesterday, and will begin construction shortly and post photos.  Once I start work on this, I expect to be able to finish the cart in one long afternoon.  An easy project.

About mattsanf

Matt Sanfilippo is the Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Co-Director of its Engineering Research Accelerator. In this role, Matt coordinates and enables strategic and sponsored research opportunities across the college, and stewards the development of proposals for major research opportunities along strategic themes. Additionally, he enables collaboration among the college's research institute/center executive directors, and industrial and government relations personnel in the pursuit of opportunities with industry, federal and state governments. Before becoming CPO for the College, Matt was the Senior Executive Director for Research Initiatives, the Executive Director of CMU's SII (Smart Infrastructure Institute) and ICES (Institute for Complex Engineered Systems), and Associate Director of PITA (Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance) and RAMP (Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania). Before CMU, Matt was Managing Director of Applied Technology for Michael Baker Corporation, an engineering and energy services firm. Matt managed Baker's technology division including Geographic Information System (GIS), software and web development, multimedia, virtual reality, visualization, Global Positioning System (GPS), mapping and surveying services. Before joining Baker, Matt was an Innovation Director for Redleaf Group, a Venture Capital/Operating Company focused on information security, supply chain and mobility solutions. While at Redleaf, Matt managed technical due diligence for seed-stage investments and coordinated relationships between Redleaf and their partner companies. Prior to Redleaf, Matt was CIO of GZA GeoEnvironmental Technologies, an infrastructure engineering firm, and operations manager for their Internet start-up that focused on web-technologies for health and safety and manufacturing metrics. Matt is on the board of Larson Design Group (LDG), past Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, current board member of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), current Vice President of the Sewickley Heights Gun Club (SHGC) and former member of the Information Sciences and Technology Advisory Board for the Pennsylvania State University Beaver. Matt is also former Vice President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association of Internet Professionals and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Baker Combined Charity of Pennsylvania.

Posted on June 14, 2007, in Food and Drink, Grilling, BBQ and Smoking, Woodworking. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Experiments with Kamado Cooking.

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