Kamado’shistory and first time instructions.
Ruby Kamado’s is a ceramic grill/smoker/oven. This charcoal fueled device is a modern version of the Japanese kamado, an earthernware cooking urn whose original design is probably at least 3,000 years old. Ruby kamado’s are made of ceramic, the kind of stuff used to make kilns and crucibles, extremely good insulator. If you don’t drop them, they can last a very long time.
They are superb smokers and roasters, the best outdoor ovens going. They are unmatched as backyard pizza and bread ovens because the sides and domes absorb heat and radiate it back like a professional brick oven so the pizza and bread can cook properly from above. They are also ideal for paella and tandoori cooking.
Easy to start in all wind and weather conditions, the insulation means that they need very little charcoal or oxygen, even in far northern winters. The thick sides retain and radiate heat very efficiently. That means less charcoal and oxygen are needed so there is not a lot of airflow out of the chimney. When meat heats up a lot of liquid evaporates from its surfaces, and the more airflow the more the meat dries out. Since ceramics have low airflow, meat remains juicier. Other smokers have thinner walls and many leak a lot so they require more charcoal and airflow, which means that airflow out the chimney and the leaky doors carries away more moisture than the ceramics. It is not unusual for a pork shoulder to lose 30% of its weight in an offset smoker. Water loss on a ceramic is often under 20%.
Ceramics are so well insulated and the interior absorbs and radiates heat so evenly that they are very good at holding steady temps. The meat is usually higher up above the coals than normal charcoal grills, so there are no flareups, and temperature control is easy once you get the hang of it with intake dampers down low and outflow dampers on the top. Get your Ruby kamado started, bring it to the desired temperature, and there’s no further need to touch it until the meat is ready.
When you are done cooking, close the dampers, and it is easy to starve the coals and you have leftover coals for the next cook. The interior is more or less self-cleaning so it does not need to be scrubbed. In fact, wire brushes can damage the surface. The only cleanup is to brush the ash out the bottom, and scrape the cooking grates.
Your Ruby kamado comes with a deflector plate that can be placed between the coals and the food for indirect cooking. You need it. A lot of the cooking you will do with it, especially smoking, needs this plate.