Congratulations on the purchase of your Luxury Tandoor. With proper care and maintenance, you can continue using your clay oven for many years to come. Before you get started we’d like to share some tips on how to properly care for and take full advantage of your new tandoor.
A much more detailed guide is available in PDF format : Download a PDF copy of this user guide
IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ BEFORE USING.
- The first time you use your tandoor, ensure that you gradually increase the temperature to condition the interior of your oven. This step is crucial in ensuring the longevity of your tandoor. This can be done by starting with a very small fire and slowly adding fuel to gradually increase the amount of heat inside the tandoor.
- You may notice some hairline cracks forming in during conditioning but don’t be alarmed, this is normal and will not interfere with the performance of your tandoor oven. When your oven cools off, the hairline cracks will barely be noticeable. They are essential in allowing the clay body of your tandoor breathe. Please see the following link for some more information (thermal expansion and contraction)
- The more slowly you increase the temperature inside the tandoor during your first use, the fewer hairline cracks will develop.
- When the tandoor is hot, avoid spilling water or any other liquids inside.
- In windy conditions the flames coming from your tandoor while it is heating can shoot up several feet above the oven, please use caution.
- When not in use keep your tandoor under a cover (available for purchase in case you do not have one) or in a covered area like a shed, garage, or other enclosure.
- The tandoor body and metal work get EXTREMELY HOT during use which can cause severe burns. Exercise extreme caution and make sure to use heat resistant gloves or oven mitts.
- Never leave children or impaired individuals alone with a hot tandoor as this may lead to injury or severe burns.
- When using your tandoor in extremely cold weather, heat it up gradually by starting a small fire and adding wood a little at a time. If heated too quickly in cold weather, the tandoor can crack.
Cooking with a Tandoor Oven
1. First take off both lids and rest them on the lid stand or ground. Place the ash grate on the bottom of your tandoor and place a stack of dry hardwood inside on top of the ash grate. You can fill the tandoor ½ to ⅔ full depending on the amount of cooking time you will require. Your tandoor is now set up and ready to light.
2. When you are ready to light your tandoor, remove both lids and place them on the lid stand or ground. Remove the ash pit door and place it on the side. If your tandoor has two doors, the ash pit door is the lower of the two. Light the wood inside your tandoor from the ash pit door opening. A fire starter and/or some kindling can be helpful at this stage. Once the fire has started, you can sit back and enjoy the warmth, or just let the fire take it’s course while you check on it periodically.
3. You will know your tandoor is ready to use when the wood has burned down and there is no soot on the walls of the oven. The walls of your tandoor will look white at this point.
Rake or shovel the coals to evenly distribute them and try to smother and remaining flames. Some people get rid of the coals or ambers completely. Tandoor cooks food with the radiant heat of the walls and not the heat from the coals or ambers. Most of the ambers will die off as soon as you close all of the openings and lids
Your tandoor is now ready to use. Slap some naan’s on the inner clay walls or hang skewers with your favorite marinated meat and vegetables inside.
4. Once your tandoor is loaded, close the ash pit door and place the lids back on top of the tandoor. Now you can relax and enjoy the aromas that will be filling your backyard.
For longer cooking sessions (like cooking a lamb leg, roast or whole chicken) you may need to either re-heat the tandoor with firewood again or add some lump charcoals around the bottom right after the fire is out (so that they can catch on). Food will drip juices to the bottom, so spreading the ambers or charcoals around would be a good idea. In this case, make sure there is a least some airflow. Otherwise, the charcoals might not have enough oxygen to burn.
Cooking on a tandoor is simple, but does require some practice. Do not be discouraged if you burn your whole chicken the first time – we all did that 🙂
Cooking Times Guide
Use the chart below as timing guide for the most common items cooked in a tandoor
|Naan or Roti||3 to 5 minutes|
|Soft or thinly sliced vegetables including mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.||3 to 5 minutes|
|Hard or thick cut vegetables including including squash, parsnips, carrots, and potatoes||8 to 10 minutes|
|Fish or Steaks*||10 to 12 minutes|
|Meat kebabs*||12 to 15 minutes|
|Chicken kebabs*||20 to 25 minutes|
|Roast beef or lamb leg||40 to 50 minutes|
* The second batch usually cooks twice as long.
The small lid and ash door can be used to control airflow inside your tandoor in case you have live coals on the bottom that you would like to generate heat from. You can open the ash pit door and remove the small lid for the last couple of minutes of cooking to increase the temperature of the direct flame and caramelize the food you are cooking.