Build of the Kamado Joe BBQ
In addition to the outer ceramic shell there is a ceramic bowl inside the unit to hold the charcoal, the Firebox. On top of the Firebox rests the Fire Ring and on top of that rests the Flexible Cooking Rack.
There is a draft opening in the lower side of the unit to provide air to the charcoal, as well as a controllable vent in the top of the dome lid or air to exit the cooker.
Temperature is controlled by adjusting these two vents. One or more grids are suspended over the fire to provide the cooking surface(s) for the food. Finally there is a hole drilled in the lid to allow the insertion of the stem of a dial-type thermometer for monitoring the cooking temperature of the cooker.
Before lighting the Kamado Joe
It is important to use sufficient charcoal.
- The fire box can be filled completely with charcoal. Pay attention to always leave a few c
- m space between the charcoal and the heat deflectors.
- It is very important to always use charcoal of good quality with big lumps. Like our Restaurant Grade Charcoal we sell.
- Thanks to the big lumps of charcoal there is a good airflow in the Kamado Joe and the charcoal will burn evenly.
- You need predictable and evenly burning charcoal so you can concentrate on cooking.
- By using charcoal of bad quality with or charcoal with small lumps the air holes in the fire griddle might get clogged. Because of this you will not be able to reach the temperatures needed to grill and sear.
- Charcoal can be relit 2-3 times for multiple cooking’s. Use the ash tool to stir the used charcoal, so the ashes will drop through the fire grate.
- Make sure the air holes in the fire griddle are not clogged with small left over pieces of charcoal. Use some new charcoal to replenish your Kamado and you are good to go!
Lighting your Kamado Joe
- Light the charcoal with a fire starter cube or two, chimney starter, electric starter or other method. Only use fire starter cubes that are made of natural materials.
- Use one to three lighter cubes depending on the recipe.
- Open the bottom draft door and leave the dome up.
- Wait 5 to 10 minutes until the cubes are burned completely.
- Close the dome, open the top vent fully and adjust the air flow as needed as you near the target temperature.
! Tip to light your Kamado Joe: never use chemical fire starter cubes, fire starter fluid or any other liquid!
Most used techniques
‘Low & slow’ cooking & smoking
One of the benefits of cooking with a Kamado Joe ceramic grill is the ability to cook at low temperatures. There is nothing more mouth-watering than a moist and smoky Boston butt, brisket or baby back ribs!
- For ‘low & slow’ temperatures from about 100 °C start with one lighter cube, to obtain one hot spot in the charcoal.
- Close the dome and let the Kamado come up to temperature with the ventilation slide on the bottom and top fully open. Close the top and bottom vents almost completely when you reach approx. 100°C.
- Using this method will allow the charcoal to burn slowly and evenly over a long period of time.
! Tip for low temperatures: increasing temperatures is easy. Bringing them back down is much harder !
- Place the two Half Moon Heat Deflectors in the Flexible Cooking Rack.
- Fill the dripping pan as indicated in your recipe, this is possible with water but also apple juice, wine or combinations with fresh spices.
- Place the dripping pan on the heat shields and place everything in the Kamado Joe.
- Place the Half Moon Cooking Grates on the highest position on the Flexible Cooking Rack and allow more air flow so the Kamado Joe comes back up to temperature.
- When you reach the desired temperature (100°C) close reduce the airflow again to the previous setting to keep the temperature steady.
! Tip if you wish to smoke your meat, first put a few lumps of wood on the charcoal before you put the meat on the cooking grates !
- Put the meat on the cooking grates and insert the temperature probe of your BBQ thermometer into the middle of the meat.
! Tip This is easiest if you insert the probe horizontally. !
- When reached the desired core temperature remove the meat from the grill and let rest as indicated in your recipe.
Searing: roasting at high temperatures
How to do steakhouse searing on your Kamado Joe
One of the benefits of grilling on a Kamado Joe ceramic grill is the ability to sear steaks like a steakhouse restaurant. There is nothing more mouth-watering than a sizzling, juicy steak right off the grill.
- Light the charcoal with 3 lighter cubes so you will obtain 3 hotspots.
- Open the bottom and top ventilation vents.
- Close the dome.
- Let the temperature rise to about 260 to 370 °C.
- When the temperature reaches 10°C below your target temperature you can close the upper and lower ventilation openings half.
- To lower the temperature close the ventilation openings, wait until temperature drops and reopen but not as much as before.
Cooking of steak:
- Make sure the meat of your steak is thick enough, 4cm or more, a thin steak is hard to give a nice crust without overcooking the inside.
- Coat your steak with a thin coat of olive oil.
- Season with a generous coat of salt and pepper.
- Place the steak on the grill. (make sure you always close the grill)
- Turn with a BBQ tong, no fork as this will cause juices to escape.
- For a regular steak grill 1,5 minutes, turn 90° to make the grill marks, wait another 1,5 minutes and turn the steak and repeat the patern. If you like your steak rare turn faster and make sure your grill is hotter.
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 2 minutes. This way the juices can settle in the meat. Please not that resting will make the crust less crispy, you can also cut immediately and use a piece of bread to dip in the juices.
Your Kamado Joe is the ultimate pizza backing tool. Use it to make real wood fire flavored pizzas with the best crispy crust like only a wood fire oven can make them.
! Tip Make sure to use enough charcoal if you are planning to cook multiple pizzas. You can put more charcoal in the Kamado then for regular cooks. The heat shields are placed much higher for pizza anyway!
- Light 3 lighter cubes so you get 3 glowing cores.
- Close the dome and open the ventilation shaft on the bottom and top completely.
! Tip If you use good lump charcoal that burns fast it’s best to leave some more time for the ceramics to heat up.
- Place the star shaped Accessory Rack at its highest position in the Flexible Cooking Rack. Place the half-moon heat shields on the rack and on top of those the pizza stone. Wait till the temperature reaches 320°C at a minimum. Max. temp should be no higher than 400°C.
- Use the pizza peel to place the pizza on the pizza stone. Turn the pizza 45° after 3’ and check if the bottom is not getting black. If the Kamado Joe has a good temperature the pizza can be ready if not ready check on the pizza every minute. Make sure you keep the dome closed as much as possible.
! Tip When using two Pizza Peels you can always use one to prepare the next pizza whilst the first is cooking. This will save you a lot of time in between cooks, time which you don’t want to waste when you have a very hot kamado burning.