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You certainly can’t call the glossy black Yakiniku an ordinary barbecue. It’s an all-rounder that should really be referred to as a kamado. A kamado is a ceramic barbecue which, owing to its unique shape, thick ceramic casing and ventilation grids at the top and bottom, allows the air to circulate perfectly, making it so much more than an ordinary barbecue. This is not entirely illogical, given that thousands of years of development and perfecting went into creating the kamado as we know it today. Your Yakiniku, which means ‘grilled meat’ in Japanese, is not a barbecue that stands in the garden and is only used on sunny evenings. It’s an appliance that you will use all year round and that will make the most appetizing dishes and preparations, even in winter. It’s not just suitable for grilling saté! It comes up to temperature in no time at all and this temperature is perfectly maintained thanks to the ventilation grids. Then it’s up to you whether you want to smoke at a low temperature, prepare a perfect, crispy pizza or grill that delicious steak and add a little extra smoke. Be aware that you have just found yourself a new hobby and from now on, you will use your ordinary cooker less and less!
Meat, fish, pizza, bread and even desserts in an instant
The Yakiniku is the ultimate kamado for everyone who loves that smoky grilled taste. With the wood chipper, you can easily give meat and fish – as well as the pizza or bread that you bake on the pizza stone – a smoky flavour. And even desserts. Just think of grilled pineapple or gooey brownies. Without having to open the lid and lose the heat from the Yakiniku! The Yakiniku is also the right kamado for lengthy preparations. Use the Yakiniku for perfectly cooked pulled pork or juicy spare ribs in an instant.
Yakiniku vs the rest
· The Yakiniku is a kamado grill made of extra thick ceramics of the highest quality combined with very strong mineral cordierite and quartz. On the 19-inch model, the ceramic casing is 33 mm thick. So the Yakiniku can withstand all weather conditions and temperature changes. Even in winter, this kamado grill is ready to be used.
· All the stainless steel used for the Yakiniku is type 304. This is the best steel to choose when it comes to heat resistance. In short, this kamado can withstand all weather conditions like no other.
· The chimney of the Yakiniku is also made of 304 stainless steel and, unlike the cast iron versions often found, it will not rust at all.
· The ash tray of the Yakiniku is wide, so you can store more ashes than with the average kamado grill.
· The felt edge supplied is made of non-flammable material to ensure that the Yakiniku is fully sealed.
· The oxygen input of the Yakiniku is divided up into measuring units. This means that you always set the same air supply. And it has a grid to prevent the loss of charcoal.
· The wood chipper is airtight and has dual insulation so that you can use this kamado without burning your fingers. The wood chipper is easy to open and close without damaging the ceramic casing thanks to a bayonet system.
It was originally derived from the Asian tandoor. A hole was made in the ground in which a fire was lit. Stones were used to conduct the heat. When the flames died down, glowing coals remained on the bottom and bread was baked against the side of the hole. Once people had learnt to fire pots, they were obviously also used in these clay ovens. It was still open at the top and was in fact used more as a source of heat on which a sort of pan or pot could be placed to cook rice, for example. It was only at the start of the last century that people in Japan found a way to close the kamado so that it could be used for cooking at a gentle heat, as well. The kamado with a lid that could be opened and closed did not yet exist. We owe it to American soldiers that we can now benefit from this on a daily basis. They came across this ‘kamado’ in the making in Japan during the period after the Second World War. The American fondness for barbecues was combined with the age-old knowledge and technique from Japan and just the right refinement gradually led to the kamado as we know it today.
The thick ceramic casing keeps in the heat perfectly and by adjusting the size of the openings in the ventilation grids you can maintain a lot of heat or deliberately keep the temperature very low. And then there is the wood chipper that allows you to add wood chips at the front of your Yakiniku to enhance the smoky flavour of your dishes.
Always use good quality charcoal in pieces that are a little larger so that the oxygen can circulate better. Light two or three good firelighters – i.e. not the white ones – and open the valve at the bottom wide. Leave the lid open for 10 minutes and then shut it. Open the upper valve for another 10 minutes and then the Yakiniku is ready for use. The bottom ventilation grid only needs to be open 2 or 3 centimetres, together with a small opening in the lid, for slow preparations at a low temperature, such as making pulled pork or slowly cooking spare ribs.
If you want a somewhat higher temperature, open the ventilation grid in the lid wider and you can roast a whole chicken or gently cook a side of salmon.
Especially in combination with the heat reflector, you have full control over your preparations and you won’t promptly overcook or burn them. If the lower valve is open a little wider, you can bake bread or even make brownies or apple pie and roast juicy steaks.
Do not be afraid to experiment and play around with the opening and closing of the ventilation grids to see what effect this has on the temperature. You can see this on the thermometer in the lid.
Once you have finished cooking, close both ventilation grids and the Yakiniku will go out very quickly. You can even often use the coals again the next day.