Can a Kamado grill function as a Tandoor oven?

Can a Big Green Egg function as a tandoor (aka “Big Green Tandoor”)? Yes it can!!!

For reference, a tandoor is a clay oven shaped like a pot. Charcoal is lit at the base of the tandoor and skewered meat is lowered into it to cook via radiant heat.

Another use for a tandoor is to cook naan, which is slapped onto the walls of the tandoor. We previously tried making naan on the walls of the Big Green Egg with limited success (read about here and here).

Below is the method to use the Big Green Egg as a tandoor for skewered meat. Credit Neghae for coming up with this. Also take a look at this forum thread on EggHead; the pitmasters there have tried similar techniques.


  1. Obtain skewers that can be hung from the top vent of the Big Green Egg. I used these.
  2. Skewer meat. Consider using a lemon/lime at the end of the skewer. The lemon/lime can help prevent meat from sliding off.

    Skewers with meat and lime
    Skewers with meat and lime
  3. Light the Big Green Egg to get a dome temperature of around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the top vent uncovered.
  4. Once at a time, carefully lower a skewer into the open top vent so the handle rests on the rim. Four-to-six skewers can probably fit. Wear grilling gloves (unlike what I did in the below pic) because allot of heat (and sometimes fire) escapes from the top vent.
    Lowering skewer into egg
    Lowering skewer into egg. Make sure to wear gloves (unlike what I did)
    Top view
    Top view of skewers inside Egg

    Side view of skewers in Egg
    Side view of skewers in Egg
  5. Cook until meat is done. For the chicken cubes in the pics (marinaded like Karachi Bam Chicken), it took about 15 minutes.
  6. Wearing heavy duty gloves, slowly lift each skewer (one at a time).

    Final chicken from "Big Green Tandoor"
    Final chicken from “Big Green Tandoor.” Note the chicken higher up in the skewer actually cooks faster than the lower chicken closer to the charcoal.

12 thoughts on “Can a Kamado grill function as a Tandoor oven?

  1. That’s a good question.
    For white meat, it takes about 15 minutes, I’m guessing it would take a few more minutes for thigh meat.
    I would recommend experimenting with the first one …..maybe try 15 minutes, remove and check doneness. Cook longer if needed


  2. YOU GUYS! You are an inspiration! I followed your method this the other night and it’s BRILLIANT. I don’t normally write in all caps, so I’m serious here. I used chunks of boneless skinless chicken thighs, marinated for ~4 hours, total cook time was about 15 minutes. I used “sacrificial potatoes” at the end of the skewers, which worked perfectly. I had marinade leftover, so last night, I used fresh halibut chunks, cooked for less time, maybe 5 min, and the results were equally brilliant. Thank you, and I’ll keep following your exploits!

    Liked by 1 person

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