All ingenious things are simple. So is tandoor.
Tandoor’s design has remained virtually unchanged for the past three thousand years. The recent modern technological modifications have merely improved tandoor’s heat conductivity and transformed the oven from stationary into portable. A fire is lit inside the oven. As wood chips are gradually burning and turning to coals they are generating strong long-lasting cooking heat while the oval shape of tandoor oven provides for superior heat conductivity making sure that food is cooked evenly.
Things you should know about your tandoor and Frequently Asked Questions
- Your Tandoor is an expensive product, please take your time to inspect it for visible damages before signing shipping acceptance documents to avoid any misunderstandings.
- When you sign the acceptance document from the shipping company, you confirm that freight is received in a good and working condition and the packaging is intact.
- In the extremely rare case of any damage:
- А delivery driver should confirm damage and add his/her signature. We recommend that you should reject the delivery.
- The Tandoor should not be unpacked if it has obvious signs of any damage so that it can be taken back by the driver who delivered it.
- Please note, in case the delivery is rejected for no apparent reason listed in the documents, we reserve the right to withhold shipping expenses from your refund.
- Failure to follow these instructions will result in denial of any claim or refund.
- We will not accept returns/refunds of the products damaged in transit if you have signed the shipping acceptance documents.
- Any manufacturing defects found after unpacking will be covered by our warranty. Photos of the defects should be taken immediately during the unpacking when you see them first time. All crates and packaging materials must be kept and used to repackage the product, ready for us to collect it.
- 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 slower you increase the temperature inside the tandoor during your first use, the fewer hairline cracks will develop.
A much more detailed guide is available in PDF format below
The cracks do not affect the longevity, operational properties and structural integrity of the Tandoor, rather they act as thermal joints during heating that are necessary for the efficient operation of all ceramic ovens.
Once the Tandoor has cooled down, these cracks will become almost invisible.
We cover that in our maintenance video.
For normal operation of your tandoor we recommend using firewood.
Once you have a small fire started, load your tandoor 2/3 full (or more) with firewood and wait for the fire to burn out. Softer type is recommended since it burns quickly and with higher intensity vs hardwood. You can find the perfect firewood in convenience stores at gas stations (in US and Canada).
In 40-50 minutes (for medium size tandoors) or 60-90 minutes (for large tandoors) that intensive fire will heat up your tandoor enough for the soot (black carbon on the inner walls) to turn white. That is how you know your tandoor reached high temperature and it’s ready for cooking.
At this time if you still have chunks of firewood left inside of the tandoor, you can:
- remove those through the top (using provided scraper and shovel),
- or just break up the remaining burnt wood inside your tandoor. Spread those ambers on the bottom, and you are ready to load your food.
If you are cooking a large piece of meat like a lamb leg, whole chicken or roast beef, you can add some lump charcoal on top of the ambers to extend your cooking time.
That’s how you know that it is ready for cooking meat on skewers. You see, readiness depends on many things, depending on what you are going to cook.
Here are some tips for you:
- Tandoor Mass/Size
- Smaller tandoors will cool off quicker
- More massive tandoors will retain heat longer
- Soft wood – burns more intense, but short period of time. Great to bring your tandoor up to cooking temperature.
- Hard wood – burns longer but produces less flame (heat)
- Heating time
- Stop and get rid of the fire/ambers right when your tandoor got white from the inside
- Continue to burn for a while to increase the temperature even higher.
- Fuel during cooking
- Remove ashes when you are ready to cook
- Keep ambers on the bottom and spread them up
- Add some lump charcoals to the bottom if cooking larger pieces of meat.
Generally speaking, a mid size tandoor is good for around 20-30 minutes of cooking time just from the radiant heat of the walls as soon as the walls turn white on the inside.
If you would like to cook larger pieces of meat or whole chicken for example, you would need to extend that cooking time using lump charcoals on the bottom.
Do keep them around the bottom of your tandoor to prevent any fat/juices from the skewers from extinguishing your coals .
Keep an eye on those coals and add as needed. A wireless temperature probe in the meat would assist you tremendously.
The objective is to heat up your tandoor evenly so it does not crack further (too cold on the outside and too hot on the inside – tandoor walls are very thick and it takes time to heat them up)
NEVER use water to stop wood or ambers inside of your tandoor. IT WILL CRACK BEYOND REPAIR.
Any residual food drippings or fat will burn out during the next time you will fire up your tandoor, so no internal cleaning is required.
NEVER USE WATER OR CLEANING CHEMICALS to clean your tandoor.
If food or fat stained the outside of your tandoor (which leaves a brown marking because of high heat of the tandoor body) you could try using a propane tourch to burn it completely off. Unfortunately this process leaves the area gray (and not the original color), but those brown spots will disappear.
The process is very similar to this:
Our tandoors are manufactured from a type of furnace clay with special additives called grog (Wikipedia link). A tandoor is reinforced with steel rings for additional rigidity and reliability of clay body.
Stainless steel hand FORGED skewers and there are some imperfections made on purpose and in line with the overall design of the tandoor. You could sand/polish them and they would be shiny like mirror, but most of the customers prefer a more rugged look. So you can wash them just like any other kitchen accessory.