There is a lot of jargon out there circling around the kamado grill industry which may not be familiar to most people. Some kamado terms have been borrowed from other places, such as the word "firebox". Others come from a certain name-brand, such as an "egg" grill. Still others are just invented to describe a specific brand's product, such as our "Smokin' Chip Feeder". Frankly, it can be pretty confusing trying to know when different terms should be used. We hear a lot of terms when we talk to other people, so here is a simple guide to help clear up some of the confusion.

Kamado Grill Terms and Definitions

Kamado Grill Parts - Terms and Definitions

TermDefinitionExample Photo
Ash Door,
Air Vent,
Draft Door,
Bottom Damper
The bottom air control unit that covers an opening on the front of the kamado at the bottom. The ash door is used to control or dampen the cool air flowing into the grill, which slows down the air-intake in the grill and helps keep the fire cool. Most ash doors are all made of stainless steel because they can get quite hot. Some ash doors come with an extra, slotted or punched panel to prevent burning embers from possibly falling out and causing a fire hazard.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Ember Guard and Big Green Egg's Draft Door Screen are comparable items that fall within this category.

A bottom control pane for precision air-intake control
Grill Base,
Bottom
This is the bottom half of the grill, where most of the grilling occurs. The dome and the base are connected together by a hinge that attaches to the bands around each.winter smoking with a saffire kamado grill
Chimney Top,
Top Vent,
Top Damper,
Air Top Control,
Top Control
The top air control unit that covers an opening on top of the kamado. The chimney top is used to control or dampen the hot air exiting the grill, which helps to slow down the air-intake in the kamado and keep the fire cool. These can be made of various kinds of materials, from powder-coated metals like cast-iron or aluminum, to 304 stainless steel. Designs will vary among manufacturers as well: some use a daisy-wheel-like design, others a simple valve cutoff.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Chimney Top, Big Green Egg's rEGGulator, and Kamado Joe's Kontrol Tower Top Vent are all comparable items that fall within this category.

A 304 stainless-steel control top for maximum heat control
Grill Dome,
Lid
This is the top half of the grill, where heat is retained. The dome is pulled open and pivets with the hinge to allow you to access the food in the grill. The dome and the base are connected together by a hinge that attaches to the bands around each.winter smoking with a saffire kamado grill
Firebox,
Fire Box
In a kamado grill, the firebox is usually a ceramic insert that holds the burning charcoal while you cook. Kamado fireboxes often look more like a bowl than a box, matching the inside shape of the kamado they are designed for.

This term originated with steam-powered trains, which had boilers for burning coal and other forms of fuel. The term is also used in the fireplace and smoker industries.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Crucible Kamado Firebox and Kamado Joe's Advanced Multi Piece (AMP) Ceramic Firebox are comparable items that fall within this category.

Saffire's patented, ceramic firebox, with extra-wide ash capacity
Fire Grate,
Charcoal Fire Grate
The fire grate (not to be confused with the cooking grid!) sits toward the bottom of the firebox in a kamado grill, holding the charcoal up out of the ash area. These are usually made of cast-iron steel. The holes in the grate allow air to be drawn in through the ash door, through the grate and through the burning coals, to fuel the fire. Not all kamado fireboxes need fire grates.The top of a Large cast iron fire grate is shown, with thirty-five holes for the ash to fall down through
Fire Ring,
Ceramic Ring,
Ceramic Collar
The fire ring in a kamado is a ceramic insert that sits on top of the firebox. It serves to add height to the firebox without making the firebox more prone to breakage. Like the firebox, it holds the heat away from the sides of the grill. Some kamado fireboxes don't need fire rings, such as our Crucible Kamado Firebox.

This term originated from rings of non-combustible material, such as stones or metal, used to line campfires. With campfires, fire rings prevent the fire from spreading outside the ring.

The fire ring rests below the cooking grid elevator, distancing your cooking grid from the fire
Cooking Grid,
Grate,
Grill
The grid that food will sit on in your kamado grill. These come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on your grill. Some kamados have multiple cooking grids, grid extensions, or even half grids. (The cooking grid is not to be confused with a Fire Grate! We much prefer the term "grid" over "grate" or "grill", to avoid any confusion. Consider: "Hey, my grate broke," or "My grill has a crack in it!")

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Multi-Grid, Big Green Egg's EGGspander Half Grids, and Kamado Joe's Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System Half Grids are all comparable items that fall within this category.

Secondary Cooking Grid in Grill
Cooking Rack,
Elevator
A metal rack that holds the cooking grid up further away from the charcoal, in some cases near the rim of the grill for easier access to your food. Not all kamados come with a cooking rack, and most that do have their own unique name for their specific version.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Multi-Rack, Big Green Egg's EGGspander Racks, and Kamado Joe's Divide & Conquer Flexible Cooking System Rack are all comparable items that fall within this category.

The new Saffire multi grid rack is shown
Temperature Gauge,
Thermometer
The temperature guage that attaches to the dome on a kamado. These come standard with virtually all kamado grills, although additional thermometers can be purchased that do not attach to the grill dome itself. It may be helpful to refer to the temperature guage that attaches to the dome as a guage, and all electronic thermometers as thermometers.A temperature gauge showing heat ranges for smoking, roasting and searing, for premium kamado cooking

Kamado Grill Accessories - Terms and Definitions

TermDefinitionExample Photo
Heat DeflectorThe heat deflector is a heat-deflecting plate that sits between the charcoal and the cooking grid. The heat deflector is used to allow smoking and baking in a kamado grill, as it redirects and slows the rising hot air so that the entire grill heats more evenly. This means instead of cooking the bottom of the food first, the bottom, top and sides all cook relatively at the same time. Heat deflectors are usually made of ceramic, although other materials are possible. Some heat deflectors come in one piece, others in two. Sometimes two-piece heat deflectors are called "half moon" heat deflectors.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Two-Piece Heat Deflector, Big Green Egg's conEGGtor (previously called the Plate Setter), and Kamado Joe's Half-Moon Deflector Plate Set are all comparable items that fall within this category.

Saffire two-piece heat deflector is shown
Pizza StoneThe pizza stone is like a ceramic heat deflector, except that pizzas and other breaded foods are meant to be cooked right on the stone. The ceramic, once up to temperature, helps to draw the moisture right out of the dough as it cooks.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Fire Stone, Big Green Egg's Pizza and Baking Stone are comparable items that fall within this category.

Saffire's fire stone is great for cooking pizza; for medium grills acts as a heat deflector
Secondary Cooking GridsThis is an extra cooking grid that sits on top of the main cooking grid, giving you extra grid space to cook with. A few companies sell this now, but it was Saffire who invented and designed the original.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Saffire's Secondary Cooking Grid and Kamado Joe's Grill Expander are comparable items that fall within this category.

Secondary Cooking Grid in Grill

Kamado Grill Miscellaneous - Terms and Definitions

TermDefinitionExample Photo
Kamado Grill Build-In Kit/Build Kit,
Ceramic Feet (with or without a heat shield),
Nest,
Stand
Kamados need to sit on a non-combustible surface. These stands are usually made up of three ceramic feet that hold the grill up. In some cases a metal heat shield plate may also be used. They help to keep the grill cooler on the bottom, and prevent burn marks and fire hazards when the grill is placed immediately over combustible surfaces.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Big Green Egg likes to call all of their carts, ceramic feet and tables "nests", to go with their egg theme.

A blue build kit consisting of a protective shield and red feet; lets you set a Saffire grill on a wood surface without the risk of burn marks
Kamado Grill Cart,
Nest,
Buggy,
Stand,
Trolley
We prefer to call our mobile stands carts, as they have wheels, and they don't have enough top surface to be classified as tables.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Big Green Egg likes to call all of their carts, ceramic feet and tables "nests", to go with their egg theme.

19 Inch Cart
Grill Head,
Egg
The grill head is the grill itself, without any kind of cart, table, stand or side shelves. The grill head may or may not include the chimney top, temperature gauge or handle, depending on if they are on or off the grill head. Technically, the grill head is strictly the combination of the grill base and the grill dome, with the hinge as the connection point.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Big Green Egg likes to call all of their kamado grills "eggs", hence the common usage of that word for all kamados.

19 inch platinum kamado grill head -- sapphire blue
Kamado Grill Table,
Nest,
Buggy,
Trolley,
Stand
In the past we have offered grilling tables with casters, which offered a nice working surface to put food and/or tools down on. A grill table is a stand or mobile cart with a significant amount of continuous work surface. If the work surface is split between two sides and/or attached directly to the grill, we would classify that as side shelves.

Name-Brand Synonyms: Big Green Egg likes to call all of their carts, ceramic feet and tables "nests", to go with their egg theme.

An SG18 Black grill is shown in a grilling table

Kamado Cooking - Terms and Definitions

TermDefinition
Direct HeatDirect heat in cooking refers to heat that rises directly under your food. Direct heat is always referred to as opposed to indirect heat.
Electric Charcoal Starter,
Electric Starters
Electric charcoal starters use a filament that gets extremely hot. You can start charcoal by covering the filament with charcoal for a few minutes until the charcoal starts to pop and ignite. Because they are electric, you would need a power outlet nearby to use them.
Fire Starters,
Starters
Fire starters are usually tinder-like material that may or may not be combined with wax to slow their burn rate down, for a more consistent start. They burn easily, hence the name. You may find fire starters in the shape of squares, cubes, sticks or even tied bundles. These are great for at home and on the go.
Indirect HeatIndirect heat in cooking refers to heat that reaches your food in a path other than straight up. Any food that is cooked not directly above the heat source is said to be cooked using indirect heat. Indirect heat is always referred to as opposed to direct heat.
Thick White SmokeThick white smoke is a term used to describe smoke that is very smokey and hard to see through, and has a distinct white color to it. This smoke will add a very strong smoke flavor to food, but is higher in carcinogens and the chemical compounds of smoke that can give food an acidic flavor. Thick white smoke is achieved by burning dry wood at lower temperatures, with a low amount of oxygen available to the wood. In most cases thick white smoke is not the ideal smoke to use, as it is often very overpowering. Compare this with white smoke and thin blue smoke.
Thin Blue SmokeThin blue smoke is a term used to describe smoke that is opaque, almost invisible to the eye, but which usually has a very slight blue tint to it. This smoke will only add a weak smoke flavor to food, but is low in carcinogens and the chemical compounds of smoke that can give food an acidic flavor. Thin blue smoke is achieved by burning dry wood at a high temperature, with a high amount of oxygen available to the wood. Thin blue smoke does use more wood than thicker forms of smoke. Compare this with white smoke and thick white smoke.
Two-Zone Cooking,
Dual-Zone Cooking
Two-zone cooking is when you have two separate sections in your grill, one where food cooks with direct heat, and another where food is cooked slower with indirect heat. Some kamados include a two-piece heat deflector which allows for two-zone cooking, but keep in mind that the ceramic walls of the kamado hold in and radiate heat like an oven, so food in the indirect zone won't need to be turned constantly to cook evenly like in other grill types.
Thin White SmokeThin white smoke is a white smoke that is in between thick white smoke and thin blue smoke. This may be your ideal smoke, or thin blue smoke may be, depending on taste. The best smoke won't be too smokey and hard to see through. Smoke opacity and color can be controlled by raising or lowering the amount of heat and oxygen that reaches the burning wood that is producing the smoke. Compare thick white smoke with thin blue smoke.