Note: This post is part of the “Kamado 101 – The Definitive Guide to Amazing Barbecue” series, in which I cover everything from the foundational aspects of Kamado cooking all the way through advanced concepts designed to transform you into a backyard barbecue pit master. View the entire series here.
Once you’ve got the basics down, the next step is learning how to properly experiment with your Kamado. Sure, there are literally thousands of different recipes you can use, but part of the fun of grilling is coming up with your own unique recipes that the neighbors and family will covet. After all, you don’t want to just grill, you want to be the best griller on your block, right?
The key is all in experimentation, and having a willingness to try it. Sometimes the most crazy things are the best. Sometimes they’re barely edible; it’s all about embracing that journey and coming up with a set of flavors and techniques which are all your own.
But where do you get started?
1. Test your taste buds
There are some combinations which are just classic, but that’s not what experimentation is all about. Push the limits and play with flavor combos. Combine things that you might not consider otherwise and see what happens. Play with sauces, rubs, and smoking flavor combinations until you find something that tickles your fancy.
2. Think beyond the meat
There’s more to grilling that just meat. Yes, I know, meat is the best part—but the Kamado grill especially is designed for way more than that. Try making a pizza, or even grilling a range of vegetables and other side dishes.
3. Side dishes are your friends
Grilling is all about mouthwatering flavor, and sometimes what can really kick things up a notch is not only having a perfectly grilled main dish, but having some awesome side dishes that will compliment the flavors perfectly. Making a rack of spicy ribs? Try grilling something that will add a refreshing cool smoothness to compliment the sharp flavors. The combinations are perfect.
4. Understand grilling rules
You gotta understand the rules before you can break them. After all, experimenting is great; getting sick is not. Make sure that you’re following all of the temperature guidelines and safety precautions.