WHAT IS A TANDOOR?
When you think of a tandoor, the first thing that comes to mind is likely the famous Indian dish, tandoori chicken. However, a tandoor is not just the style of that deliciously seasoned barbecue chicken. A tandoor is actually a type of oven and also method of cooking for preparing and baking breads and other varieties of Asian and Indian dishes.
Traditionally, the tandoor is heated with charcoal or a fire creating high heats in it's circular, convection construction. Heats can get up to 480 °C (900 °F) and they are commonly left on to maintain high temperatures.
Ultimately, the tandoor is a combination of a make-shift "earth oven" and a horizontal-plan masonry oven.
THE 4 TYPES OF TANDOORS
These are the most commonly used tandoors when it comes to eating out and Indian restaurants. Powered by gas or charcoal and sometimes electricity (which we'll be diving into), these ovens are excellent at pumping out your favorite Tandoor cooked dishes quickly and efficiently.
Charcoal is generally the preferred methods of power for these ovens since it produces a delicious smoke-infused flavor in cooking. However, charcoal isn't necessarily the safest way to cook indoors. That's why most household tandoors are electric for safety reasons.
Gas tandoors are very similar to square tandoors. The only difference is these are powered with a gas burner with petroleum or propane gas.
The oven has several gas burners built into the floor of the oven and a plate that evens out the surface of cooking. This technology allows you to evenly distribute the flame from the gas powered oven into your favorite dishes.
For those of you who want to keep it really traditional, this is the oven for you. Dirt is a bit of a harsh way of saying...well..clay.
You can actually make your own traditional clay if you have the right dirt/mud to make it. Check out how to make your own tandoor here.
An interesting thing about these ovens is they're actually made from a steel drum. An earth pot is actually fitted into the steel drum and insulated so that the inside gets really REALLY hot. This simple but effective mechanism can actually get up to 1000 degrees.
Check out a dedicated blogger who ended up making his own oil drum tandoor here.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ELECTRIC TANDOORS
Even though you're probably really excited to upgrade your outdoor kitchen, it is very important to make sure you really know what you need from your new built in gas grill. Here are a few factors that can help you choose the best grill for your backyard.
Choosing the right size tandoor can really make or break your decision. Be sure to get the tandoor that can fit comfortably in your kitchen and that you can store away when not using. Also, keep in mind the size depending on how many servings you want to make.
It's no surprise that new technology in cookware is leaning towards non-stick surfaces. Non-stick surfaces are easy to clean, easy to cook with, and generally last longer. Be sure you have the proper silicone utensils if you want to use non-stick.
Depending on what country you live in, you want to make sure that the electric grill will work properly in your power outlet. Even though you may have an adapter, you want to make sure you use the proper convertor if . it's a device that's out fo your country's electrical range.
In order to get the proper execution of a tandoor, a lid is necessary to get the high heat cooking environment you need. Be sure to find an electric tandoor that has a lid or else be prepared to check the size and have a lid at hand that can cover the tandoor cooking surface.
THE BEST ELECTRIC TANDOORS
GARLIC NAAN RECIPE FOR TANDOOR COOKING
- 1/4 cup warm/hot water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 4 cup all-pupose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter or ghee
- 1/2 cup minced garlic and cilantro
Combine water, sugar, and yeast – stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to rise.
When the yeast is foamy, add milk, yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix the with a silicone tool it forms dough. It should be sticky.
Divide into baseball size spheres
Cover and let sit for 1 hour
1 hour before cooking: start the fire for your tandoor
Raise the temperature to 750° – 900° F
Make into a flattened dough by patting down
*Add garlic and cilantro
Hold cushion in manner you will use to apply to the tandoor wall
Apply dough to other side of cushion (garlic/cilantro side touching cushion)
Pat down side that will touch the tandoor wall with dabs of water
Apply to tandoor wall (use glove if necessary)
Watch as the bread bakes
After about 60-90 seconds, remove with bread removal skewers and place on surface
Apply dabs of butter or ghee to bread
Let sit for 1 minute
Cut into pieces and serve
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