If you have reached this page it is because you have probably heard about the Josper charcoal oven and how effective it is for preparing food in the traditional way on a grill, but in an enclosed system. The concept has been around for more than 53 years and is still going strong. Why an enclosed grill? Because it enables chefs to fully control the embers and also allows the ovens to be installed in professional kitchens.
The charcoal oven has become an essential tool for the best restaurants in many corners of the world, those that intricately handle the entire process of preparing dishes, from the quality of the raw ingredients to the presentation of the dishes, and, of course, the cooking. But… did you know that the first charcoal oven was designed and manufactured in Barcelona? If you want to know more about this marvel, available in renowned kitchens all over the world, including the most humble and discreet ones, read on…
The beginnings of the charcoal oven
The 1960s. At the age of 21, the young Pere Juli opened his first restaurant, Mas de Pi, in Pineda de Mar, Barcelona. This was no small project: the restaurant offers a thousand seats and specialises in dishes made in the most traditional way, on the charcoal grill. Pere heard his father talk about how, after turning firewood into embers, they were traditionally kept in a closed ceramic container in the farmhouses, to prevent oxygen from entering and thus promote calcination and durability, and this planted a great idea in his head. An idea that led him to contact Josep Armangué, the blacksmith from Pineda de Mar. How do you preserve the embers in a container for an entire day, where you can also cook the food in the same way as on a grill? To achieve this, it is essential to be able to control the equipment’s air inlets at will.
No sooner said than done, Pere and Josep worked together to create the first charcoal oven in history, so you can finally cook inside kitchens without smoke, making the most of charcoal and cooking products in the most traditional, almost ancestral way. Meat, fish, seafood and vegetables… Everything is tasty and juicy in this invention, which will eventually be patented. The only thing missing was a name for the team, so Josep and Pere combined the beginnings of their names to create their legendary brand, which is today known by chefs and diners across all five continents: Josper, the leading brand of charcoal ovens. This is the world’s only patent for a charcoal oven, a piece of cooking equipment that has been imitated all over the world.
A grill and an oven in one machine
The idea is perfect: the Josper charcoal oven is a very safe appliance that makes the best use of charcoal and does not dry out the food. But above all, it gives dishes that smoky touch and special flavour provided by the more traditional grills. The Mas de Pi restaurant served as a testing laboratory for years to perfect its charcoal oven, reaching the highest levels of state-of-the-art technology in its construction, technique and materials. And these ovens are today an elegant combination of a grill and an oven in one machine. They cook entirely using charcoal, with a unique enclosed barbecue design, different grilling levels, an agile, robust and user-friendly front door system, and temperature control using a vent system.
Professional chefs love Josper ovens: braising the products at a high temperature of 350 degrees means that the food is sealed on the outside, maintaining all the juiciness and tenderness on the inside, to braise the product rather than cook it all the way through. And both friends and strangers will be blown away by the aroma of embers, which is so popular all over the world, along with the textures that are achieved. And it’s not just meat: vegetables, seafood, fish, desserts, and everything else can be braised in a Josper charcoal oven, and all the great chefs know it.
Charcoal ovens all over the world
The Josper charcoal oven is an object of desire for chefs all over the world. In fact, the Josper brand exports 70% of its production. The Josper charcoal oven can be found in the best kitchens across the United States, Great Britain, France, Australia, Italy, Russia and many other countries (more than 120 countries offer their guests dishes prepared in a Josper oven). Thousands of charcoal ovens in kitchens around the world delight the most demanding diners and help chefs to prepare their best dishes.
The Josper brand continues in Pineda de Mar, where its factory, warehouses and offices are based. A huge showroom is used to show chefs from all over the world the benefits of its charcoal oven, which has been used by a number of world-renowned professionals.
Charcoal ovens to suit everyone
The charcoal ovens from Josper are suitable for all types of restaurants. The basic ovens are available in a wide range of sizes (both the HJX PRO and HJA PLUS ranges), offering options to suit many types of venues, from small dining establishments with up to 80 diners (for example, with the Josper HJX PRO S80), to restaurants with more than 175 diners, for which the HJX PRO L175 (50 charcoal oven models) would be suitable. The record ignition time and optimised charcoal consumption (even better with the brand’s own coals) ensure high performance, with brazing temperatures of 250 to 350 °C.
Whereas the legendary HJX has been replaced by the Josper HJX-PRO range, the Josper HJA–PLUS range now includes various improvements to improve efficiency, such as a hydraulic door retention system, full thermal insulation, an improved tempering area, greater accessibility, a more compact design and an easy-to-clean system. These updates significantly improve the quality and quantity of your production and the final performance of the charcoal oven. And in any case, both ranges meet all the specifications that have made Josper charcoal ovens the formula 1 of the kitchen.
So now you know, if you’ve made it to the end of this article, we ask you: are you going to deprive yourself of the opportunity to cook with real embers in your kitchen? The Josper charcoal oven is unquestionably the future of gastronomy.