Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill Review
Versatility is an attractive attribute of any grill. The ability to grill over direct heat, indirect heat, or smoke with a single unit certainly increases its value in your cooking arsenal.
The Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill attempts to provide all these aspects in a single outdoor cooking appliance. It allows you to grill and smoke all in one compact unit.
It is designed with an easy to use airflow control. Fresh air enters the unit through a top-mounted and adjustable damper. The top mount is much easier to operate than past units that had a bottom mounted damper. Both the air intake and the top exhaust dampers have special settings ranging from 1 to 5 which allows you to control air and temperature with superior precision.
It offers two cooking surfaces which include a 142 square inch grate that actually slides out for easier access to both surfaces.
The lower portion of the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill has a holds a removable coal and ash pan. Since everything is easily contained it makes cleanup a breeze.
When you want to cook using indirect heat you place the water/drip pan over the firebox area. This pan can be filled with water for the kind of steam that allows barbecued meats to remain succulent and juicy.
If you prefer more of a dry smoke application, as you might see with Memphis style ribs, you can purchase an accessory stone, and place it in the pan. Wood chips or chunks can then be placed on top of the stone for extra smoky.
It also features a folding side table for quick an easy storage. A custom grill cover is available but always sold separately.
Construction & Ease of Assembly
With some basic tools and reasonable mechanical skills, the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill is easy to assemble and will likely take a little over an hour.
The components are all heavy-duty and the cooking chamber is made from double-walled steel. This helps both with heat retention as well as durability.
The Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill can be used in a variety of ways. Each requires some minor adjustments during your initial set up.
Direct heat grilling will require you to remove the water and drip pan to allow heat generated from the charcoal fire to directly affect the meat. Any drippings are then deposited onto the coals or into the removable ash pan.
Indirect heating calls for placing the drip/water pan between the charcoal fire and the food being cooked. In this configuration, the heat and smoke rise in the cooking chamber to slowly heat and permeate the meat. Adding water or excess marinade to the pan also increases the aroma, which may affect the flavor of the meat, while also providing steam.
For dry heat smoking, you need to purchase and install a special stone sold by Kamander. Then wood chips or chunks can be placed on the stone for additional smoke. Soaking any additional wood in water for 4 to 6 hours beforehand will reduce flare-ups and allow the stone to produce smoke for an extended period of time.
One thing to note about the design of the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill is that it is somewhat difficult to safely reload the charcoal firebox at the bottom. There is no lower access to the area, so in a very long smoking session, you would need to remove the primary grate, and water pan/stone to reach down and reload the charcoal. This, of course, comes with the increased risk for burning your hand or wrist.
The Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill offers 327 square inches of cooking area which includes a 142 square inch secondary cooking area in the form of a slide-out grate. This upper grate can also serve as a warming rack for times when you might be grilling and need to hold some piece of meat over while others finish cooking.
The grates are made from chrome plated steel which can be prone to sticking and might also suffer from long-term corrosion issues. To prevent these problems, you should lightly wipe down the grill grate with a lightly greased paper towel and tongs before placing the food being grilled. Be sure to gently scrape down the grate after you are done cooking to remove any stuck-on material. This will reduce issues with long-term corrosion.
Precision control dampers make it easier to adjust the temperature of the fire as well as the heat and smoke density inside the cooking chamber.
Folding side table makes for convenient storage when not in use.
Two cooking grates allow you to cook more food or hold cooked food over efficiently. The upper grate slides out easily to provide full access to both cooking areas.
Ease to Clean
The Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill was designed to be easy to clean and maintain. When you’re done using it you simply scrape down the grill grates. Then pull out the coal pan and ash bin and empty it into a metal bucket. Allow the ash to fully cool for 24 hours before disposing of it in the garbage.
The dripping pan will also need to be rinsed clean before storing the grill away.
The Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill comes with a 1-year limited warranty on all parts. However, the manufacturer may also offer an extended warranty for a small additional cost. At the same time, many retailers also offer additional protection plans at the time of purchase.
Being able to effectively grill, hybrid grill, and smoke with one single unit certainly makes the Char-Broil Kamander Charcoal Grill appealing for many backyard cooking enthusiasts. It’s versatility and relatively friendly price point are further encouraging. However, it would be nice if some of the additional accessories came with it.
With some forethought and making any necessary changes before you start cooking, you should be able to effectively prepare a wide range of foods, including roasting, searing, smoking, and even baking!
- Very versatile allows you to grill and smoke
- Charcoal’s smoky flavors and aroma
- Easy cleanup and convenient storage
- Precise air and heat control dampers
- Slide out secondary grate for easy access
- Efficient burning
- Difficult to reload charcoal and wood chips
- Stone for smoking sold separately
- Does not support any type of rotisserie
- Grill grates need diligent preparation and cleaning