|The Chimney Sweep Online|
Fireplace, Stove, and BBQ Shop
The Primo Story
Somewhere around 3,000 years ago, the Chinese invented the kamado cooker. Made of fire clay, these domed, charcoal-fired cookers made it easy to create moist, flavorful dishes while cooking at a wide range of temperatures, adjusted by controlling the airflow through the charcoal via manipulation of the clay cap.
About 2000 years later, the Japanese adopted the "mushi-kamado", and charcoal cooking rapidly became a mainstay of Japanese cuisine.
Enamored with the simplicity of operation, versatility and gourmet results produced by these kamado cookers, American GIs brought them back from Japan after WWII, and a brisk import business was born.
But there was trouble in paradise: fire clay is a relatively fragile material, and many kamados were lost to breakage. And even the ones that made it to the patio unscathed would easily break from thermal shock if fired on cold or rainy days. And, there was worse news: fire clay can only withstand being heated and cooled so many times, so even if they managed to survive the impacts and temperature fluctuations of normal use, the imported kamados would eventually crumble away.
The kamado had established itself across many cultures over many centuries as an amazingly simple way to cook a variety of foods at a variety of temperatures, while retaining moisture and improving flavor with accents of charcoal and wood. What was needed was a more durable material!
And, sure enough, a better material came along. Thanks to NASA research, a recipe for a highly insulating, super-strong ceramic material that would not break from thermal shock entered the public domain, and the modern ceramic charcoal cooker was born.