Can a kamado-style grill like Big Green Eggs, Kamado Joes, and Akorns function as a tandoor? Yes they 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 (aka “Big Green Tandoor”) as a tandoor for skewered meat. Credit Neghae for coming up with this. Also take a look at this forum thread on the Big Green Egg Forum; the pitmasters there have tried similar techniques.
- Obtain skewers that can be hung from the top vent of the Big Green Egg. We used these.
- Prep your meat. We recommend using our own Texas Tandoori Rub.
- Skewer the meat. Consider using something dense (a potato or onion) at the end of the skewer that will face down toward the heat. This can help prevent meat from sliding off. We’ve also noted that using fresh rather than previously frozen meat help prevent the meat from sliding off, maybe because previously frozen meat may still have too much internal moisture (just a hypothesis).
- Light the Big Green Egg (or whichever Kamado you have) to get a dome temperature of around 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the top vent (e.g. daisy wheel) off. In an Akorn kamado, the top vent needs to be unscrewed…make sure to do this well before lighting it up.
- 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.
- Cook until meat is done. For the chicken cubes in the pics, it took about 20 minutes.
- Wearing heavy duty gloves, slowly lift each skewer (one at a time).