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Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill Review

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Kalamazoo is the ultimate maker of grills. The Kalamazoo Gas Grill is the best in the world. It is also the most expensive. Kalamazoo makes all its products by hand in Michigan from the highest quality materials. So when they set out to build a Charcoal Kamado Grill, it was always going to be something excellent. This rectangular Kamado throws out all the rules and yet does everything any Kamado Grill can do, only better.

Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill
Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill

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Specifications

  • 432 square inches of grilling space
  • Dual layers of stainless steel body with high-performance insulation
  • Laser-cut stainless steel plate grill grates
  • Cooking grates are hinged for easy access to the fire
  • Three-position fire grates
  • Temperature range of 200 to 1,200 degrees F
  • Four leg design
  • All metal components are 304 stainless steel (316 marine-grade stainless steel is available)
  • Firebox has dividers so you can build an offset fire for indirect grilling
  • Ipe wood frame and handles
  • 290 pounds total weight
  • Dual top and bottom vents
  • Removable ash catcher
  • Manufactured in the United States by Kalamazoo Gourmet

Full Review – Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill

I don’t make a secret of the fact that I love Kalamazoo Grills. They are better than anything else on the market. They are also some of the most expensive pieces of cooking equipment you can buy. The Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill is a simple charcoal cooker. There is no electronics or fancy technology. You light a charcoal fire and cook. And yet it costs over $7,000USD. While that might sound like a hefty price, it is actually very reasonable considering what this grill can do.

The word Shokunin roughly translates from the Japanese as Artisan. The translation is more complicated than that and can also mean devotion to craft and nature.

Kalamazoo Shokunin Construction

Before we get to that, let’s talk about construction. This grill is hand-made in Kalamazoo, Michigan from high-quality stainless steel. The cooking grate is a laser-cut, quarter-inch thick stainless steel plate. The body is two layers of heavy stainless steel with two inches of insulation between the layers. The wood is Ipe wood from Brazil. What is Ipa wood? It’s a hardwood so hard you can’t drive a nail through it. It’s things like this that make this grill so expensive.

The main body of this grill is two inches thick. Heavy gauge stainless steel sandwiches high-performance insulation. This charcoal grill can hold a temperature of 165° F for up to 65 hours. That’s two and a half days. If you wanted to smoke barbecue brisket you could go very low and slow for as long as you want without having to make a single adjustment.

All of the parts are engineered to withstand incredible temperatures as well. The cooking and coal grates are 1/4-inch laser-cut stainless steel. They will not deform under high heat and can last for decades of serious use. This grill will reach temperatures of up to 1,200° F without damaging the grill. The Ipe wood frame is insulated from the heat so it will not burn. Like all Kalamazoo grills, every part is made under one roof and tested to ensure performance and longevity.

Cooking on the Kalamazoo Shokunin

Kamado grills are known for their versatility. Their ability to sear at high temperatures or hold very low temps for a long period of time. It’s what makes them one of the most versatile pieces of outdoor cooking equipment you can buy. The Shokunin takes this to a whole new level. The coal grate can be set in three different positions. Use the bottom position for smoking. The fire will be far enough away to prevent burning or foods from drying out. The middle position is for roasting. And the upper position is for searing. This grill can produce an incredible steak.

Further, the firebox has charcoal fences so you can do indirect grilling easily. This is also part of the reason for the rectangular shape. And this can be done in any of the grate positions. This is true two-zone cooking that will let you sear steaks while roasting vegetables. There are also four vents (or air shutters as they call them), two on either side, two supply vents in the main body and two exhaust vents in the lid. So the grill can be configured for a cross ventilation, improving the smoking capability of the grill.

So, is it worth it? If you can afford it, yes. Definitely. This is one of the best grills ever built. Truly a joy to cook on and it looks like a piece of art. Let’s talk about why.

Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill

Derrick Riches

Construction Quality
Temperature Control
Smoking Capabilities
Features
Durability

Summary

Kamado Grills are frequently described as luxury products. Kalamazoo has elevated the kamado grill to a work of art. But don’t be fooled. This kamado-style grill isn’t delicate. This is 290 pounds of thick, high-grade stainless steel with Ipe wood accents. It is designed to hold temperatures of up to 1,200°F without damage. You can even get this model in marine-grade stainless steel.

The Shokunin has precise temperature control so you won’t need one of those computer-controlled management devices. The grilling surface is stainless steel plate. You can pound on it with a hammer and it won’t damage them.

4.9

Final Note: Because of high demand and the custom work that goes into the Kalamazoo Shokunin, the delivery may be several months after ordering.

Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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Recipes

  • Skillet Gochujang Brussels Sprouts
    Easy, skillet brussels sprouts flavored with gochujang, honey, bacon, and a hit of smokiness from the grill.
  • Smoked Beef Back Ribs
    These fantastic smoked beef back ribs are tender, smoky, and spend a mere 3 1/2 hours on the grill.
  • Smoked Au Gratin Potatoes
    Smoked au gratin potatoes are the new and improved version of a comfort food classic. A delicious, easy recipe!
  • Smoked Venison Tenderloin
    Tender, marinated smoked venison tenderloin served with a delicious pineapple, ginger, and rum sauce.
  • Smoked Onions
    These delicious smoked onions, are easy to make, and have a fantastic smoky, caramelized flavor.

One response to “Kalamazoo Shokunin Kamado Grill Review”

  1. Thanks for the though provoking, in depth review if this grill. I was deciding between an equally impressive Komodo Kamado which ended up being pretty close in price to the Shokunin after you add all the extras in. Spending this much money on a grill, I did not want it to be fragile so ceramic was out. I also liked that on the Shokunin, the food stays on top…the fire moves up or down. I don’t want to be reaching down in a blazing hot oven to cook burgers! I also liked the Shokunin insulating properties that the outside does not get super hot, a lot of other grills are like furnaces and being in S. Florida, I don’t need any more heat on me while I am trying to cook. Finally because its hand-built with the best materials, that’s why it’s expensive and that’s why I ended up purchasing it. Can’t wait for it to arrive!

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