The Fundamentals of Surfaces and Kamado Grilling

Think of Kamado Joe cooking surfaces like your kitchen's pots and pans. Or like your most essential tools. Different materials (cast iron, stainless steel, ceramic stone) hold and transfer heat in unique ways. Finding the right heat transfer—from flame to surface to food—is the key to achieving a perfect finish, no matter what you're cooking.

Mastering Your Tools

The beauty of cooking over flame is that it's not complicated. You're well-equipped for success with just our standard stainless-

steel grate. But as you explore the kamado tradition and try new recipes or new techniques, you'll find that certain surfaces make certain foods sing. They will earn a place in your kit—like every good tool does.

A Guide to Surfaces

1. Standard Stainless-Steel Grate

This highly versatile cooking grate comes standard with the Kamado Joe for a reason: it's durable, easy to clean and well-suited for cooking a wide variety of foods. Stainless steel heats up very quickly and distributes heat very evenly. Many people use this as their all-purpose cooking surface. You can also get a half grate option if you want to cook with multiple surfaces.

2. Cast Iron

Nearly indestructible, cast iron is one of the oldest cooking materials in the world. Designed to withstand high temperatures, cast iron absorbs, retains and conducts heat extremely well—making it the perfect surface for high-heat searing. Use the cast iron grate or griddle anytime you're looking for a good sear, color and caramelization.

3. Laser-Cut Stainless Steel

Designed for even heat distribution and made double thick for durability, this smooth stainless-steel surface protects fragile proteins, like fish, from falling apart while cooking. Its laser-cut design is also ideal for roasting vegetables, since its small slits allow heat to pass through without risking your veggies dropping through a grate into the flame.

4. Soapstone

Thanks to its supremely even heat distribution, this thick, bacteria-and stain-resistant slab is ideal for keeping meat and fish moist as they cook in their own juices. Its slab-style construction absorbs and radiates indirect heat, preventing flare-ups along the way.

5. Ceramic Pizza Stone

Ideal for baking and browning, the ceramic stone offers superior heat retention and distribution. The ceramic draws moisture out of dough to create that perfect, slightly crunchy crust on pizzas and breads.

Good kamado cooking begins with a good foundation. Learn how to master the elements and control your grill – and you'll be on your way to incredible flavor. To learn more about the fundamentals of Kamado Grilling, check out our blog here.