This BK (BK=Barrel Kamado) was handcrafted for Peter (PM@HOME) for which we are grateful.
The Barrel Kamado (S/N: BK02) was commissioned by Nigel Fenton and built by Jane Bryan and Gwyn Morris, at Barrel Kamados production facility in Devon, United Kingdom. It was ready for delivery July 2021.
BK02 was one of the very 1st to be delivered within our first year of operation. As with all Barrel Kamados, it was crafted in accordance to our company standards based on durability, beauty and functionality
Congratulations Peter on your new Barrel Kamado. Inside the barrel includes bbq accessories that help you maximise and enjoy the BK cooking experience. In addition, we have also provided you with a rotisserie unit (with a Swiss compatible plug), a bag of quality charcoal created by our local farm, and our custom wood sealant to refresh your BK. This will revive the classic oak look when needed and provide years of protection.
All the best from the BK team Nigel Fenton, Gwyn Morris, and Jane Bryan.
We changed the ID number system – The first faithful customer and proud owners receive a special serial number – so this is your barrel at the start.
For the stainless-steel strengthening screws, we drill a 2.5mm hole through all the galvanized steel hoops and into all the 30mm French white oak staves.
Then we drill the steel hoops (again) with a 5mm hole to allow the screw to pass through the steel.
Next, we countersink each hole to remove any burr. We are now ready to insert the many stainless-steel screws.
Because the staves are subjected to a wide range of weather conditions, unlike cellar environments, we need to ensure the integrity of the barrel. Every stave is secured by at least four screws, and in some cases as many as eight. Each stave is unique in its width, so the spacing of the screws follows the staves. This ensure all staves are individually secured and maximises the stability of the barrel form.
Oak is a timber variety cherished in many cultures.
Along with its rich history, tradition, longevity, steadfastness, durability and strength; across centuries we’ve characterised the ‘great Oak’ tree and its timber, believing it represents us and that our lives are inextricably linked.
In timber form, Oak is, of course, a hardwood. It is known for its golden yellowy-brown colouring but this has variations depending on its origin and grade. The sap and heartwood are contrasting colours. The sap is easy to see but is also a nice creamy colour and can be incorporated into projects if appropriate. The annual growth is strongly marked and the quarter sawn boards show a glistening flame pattern through the grain called Medullary Ray.
Oak grain actually has an enormous range, although technically documented as medium coarse, it is possible to find tight, narrow, straight and smooth grain but also with broad, coarse and wild grain. Oaks origin, age, soil properties, weather conditions… all these things contribute to the visual and mechanical properties of Oak.
Essentially Oak is known for and has proven to stand the test of time…Just look at castle doors, galleons and of course, barrels and casks for ageing some of the world finest beverages.
Super Prime Oak
The term Prime has always been used to indicate the top grade of timbers. The Barrels we choose for a Barrel Kamado, are made with the very best Prime Oak.
Important criteria are used to verify the mechanical properties of a stave by visual means and although Prime graded oak is fit for a specific purpose, namely high-quality furniture making, Bordeaux Barrels go a step further and use Super Prime Oak.
In this way, the grading of Prime timber is about what is allowed within a stave outside of straight grain, even colouring and good quality wood husbandry.
In Prime Oak, it is allowed to have one inter-grown knot* up to 20mm diameter or several small knots up to a 20mm combined diameter. One small bark pocket is allowed. Small sap bands are allowed – the French convention of ‘one in, one out’, the underlying principle is to provide a ‘fair measure’.
Prime Oak colouring is relatively even but for particular consistency of colour, the best method of selection is to choose boards from the same origin, and ideally from the same boule.
It is with pride that we have to admit, Super Prime French White Oak has superior qualities that cannot be replicated by other grades or timber species. For this, we are grateful as it is a joy to work with, a pleasure to select the handmade barrels, and a thrill to see them in the finished form of a Barrel Kamado.
First and Last look inside.
Cutting open a barrel is both a shame and joy at the same time. The shame is we are cutting into a barrel, that to me at least, is like picking a flower or breaking a beautiful pot.
The joy is when a rush of wine and oak aromas takes over the whole room. It is heavenly. I so wish I could bottle this and send it to you. No one has seen the inside of this used wine barrel until this moment.
Unlike a broken pot this goes on to be an object of desire – and unlike the picked flower goes on to live another day bringing pleasure to you, the pit-master, and your friends and family. Something to be proud to own for generations.
Internal forms complete the base.
A few stages later, we see the dense refractory (rated at 1800°c) which is over 100mm thick. In addition, surrounding the firepit are several layers of insulation, designed to withstand the heat of a charcoal fire. The fluting at the top of the firepit support the heat deflectors whilst allowing the fire to breathe efficiently.
Here are the final stages of the build.
We thought you might like a few of the early pictures taken during your BK construction. It is very unlikely that anyone will ever again see the inside of the barrel before we make it into a Kamado. I like the idea of knowing when and where it was made. Because there are several different skills and processes involved, there is not a single craftsman that creates a Barrel Kamado, we are proud that to produce a BK involves skills from different craftsmen and is the result of a team effort