Mangal, the Russian barbecue

- Categories : Hobbies

So, what is mangal ?

Mangal is a rectangular metal structure, without a grill, designed to cook shashliks (marinated grilled meat) on shampours (long skewers) or on a special grill. It appeared initially in the Middle-East, and soon became popular in Eastern Europe, including Russia, and in Caucasian countries.


Mangal is used in open air as food is cooked on ember.

The concept of mangal is rather simple. It looks like a metal case, whose walls and bottom are resistant to heat. This case is welded onto metal legs. Cooking is performed on ember, without flames. The air does not reach ember only from the upper side of the mangal, but also through the holes on the lateral walls. The main difference between a mangal and a classical barbecue which is familiar in Europe comes from the use of long skewers (shampours), specially designed to cook meat in this way. Several slots are added in the upper part of the lateral walls to lay the shampours.

The differences between mangal and barbecue:



Use of shampours (skewers)

Use of a grill


Round or rectangular

Simple design

Variable design, with models fixed to the walls

Shampours at a fix height

The height of the grill is variable and adjustable

No cover

Some models have a cover


Mangal is mostly used to cook marinated meat, then put onto the shampours, or occasionally the meat is cooked using a double-face grill, in particular to cook marinated cutlets or chicken wings.

Shampour is a flat metal spindle, with a variable length, and looking like a non-cutting blade. One of the ends is sharp, while the other end has either a metal or a wooden handle.

In most cases, the shampour has a flat and rectangular shape, so as to avoid that meat moves around it while cooked. The size of shampours ranges from 30 to 100 cm.

Classical shampours with metal handle

The double-face grill is a metallic structure, thicker than the ones used in Europe. It is used to cook flat meat or fish pieces. Contrary to the barbecue whose grill generally does not rotate (pieces of meat are usually turned one by one), the grill used on mangal allows to have the same cooking on all pieces as they are turned simultaneously.

We propose a selected range of shampours and mangals on our website in order for you to taste this different way of cooking meat on ember.

Bon Appétit !


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