Use & Maintenance
Before lighting your Kamado Joe
It’s important to use enough charcoal and to properly regulate the airflow:
- In the Kamado Joe there is a ceramic firebox that contains the charcoal. A charcoal basket can also be used, Classic III models include this as standard.
- The firebox may be completely filled with charcoal.
- Make sure to always leave a few cm of air up to the bottom of the heat shields.
- It is important to use quality charcoal with large chunks, the so-called ‘lump charcoal’ (such as our ‘Restaurant Grade’ Charcoal, pure, high-quality charcoal ideal for daily use).
- Thanks to the large pieces of charcoal, there is good air circulation and stable temperature in the Kamado Joe, so you can focus on baking.
- Using poor quality charcoal or charcoal made up of small pieces will clog up the air holes in the fire grate and prevent you from reaching the high temperatures you need for grilling, baking and searing.
The temperature is controlled through two ventilation openings:
- At the base: ventilation opening for the supply of air to the charcoal.
- At the dome: precisely adjustable top vent through which the air can escape.
The Flexible Cooking Rack rests on the firebox. Above the fire, one or more grates can be placed on which the food is prepared. The thermometer can be found on the dome. It is used to check the temperature inside your Kamado Joe.
We recommend our customers to remove the ashes from under the firebox before each cooking session. Each Kamado Joe comes with an ash drawer, making it easy to remove the ashes.
Instructions for removing ash:
- Stir up the charcoal in the fire box or basket so that the ashes will fall through the fire grate.
- Open the ventilation slider at the bottom so that you can reach the ash drawer.
- Slowly pull the ash drawer out of the ventilation opening and discard the ashes.
- Place the empty ash drawer back.
Firing up your Kamado Joe
- Light the charcoal using Firelighters, Wood Wool Firelighters or a BBQ Torch.
- Use one to three firelighters depending on the recipe.
- Close the dome of the kamado after lighting but fully open the bottom vent and top vent for maximum airflow.
- Reduce the air flow when the desired temperature is reached.
- Only use natural firelighters to light your kamado. This prevents chemical smoke from sticking to the ceramics. Never use chemical firelighters, lighter fluid or other flammable liquids!
Charcoal can be reused for multiple cooking sessions. Stir up the used charcoal with the Ash Tool, so that the ashes fall through the bottom fire grate.
Always make sure that the air holes in the fire grate are not blocked with small pieces of charcoal residue. Top up the old charcoal with some new charcoal and you are good to go!
Maintenance of your Kamado Joe
To continue to enjoy your ceramic BBQ to the fullest, we recommend the following inspection steps:
Before and after first use and every 6 months:
Check whether the metal bands are still tight around the dome and base.
- Take an allen key and a wrench. Check whether you feel resistance when you turn the key.
- Is there any movement in the bands or handle when you lift or lower the dome? Tighten the loose screws at the back of your kamado.
Check if the top vent is properly secured.
- If not? Apply some extra gasket on top of the existing. Be careful not to clamp the top vent too tightly as this can damage the ceramics.
Verify that the metal bands are horizontally aligned.
- If not? Block the spring of the hinge and then loosen the bands so you are able to push them into place. Retighten the bands and unblock the spring.
Everyday protection tips
- We recommend that you cover your Kamado Joe with a Durable Grill Cover when it is stored outside or left unused for longer periods of time.
- Leave the vents open.
- Mould can occur when you do not cover the grill with a cover or when the Kamado Joe is left outside and unused for a long time. You can easily remove mould by performing the self-cleaning function described below. Never use chlorine or other cleaning products!
Self-cleaning function of the Kamado Joe
- Heat up the Kamado Joe to 350°C.
- Remove the grill grates.
- Let it burn for 30 minutes at this temperature.
- Shut off the air supply completely.
- Let the grill cool down.
TIP: this result can also be achieved in combination with baking pizzas.
Grilling with common sense
- Use your kamado only outdoors or in rooms with adequate ventilation.
- Put your kamado on a solid surface.
- Do not touch the metal parts of the kamadol when it is burning.
- Use tools that are specially designed for BBQs.
- Never light your kamado with flammable liquids (such as lighter fluid, petrol, kerosene, etc.).
- Use only lump charcoal as fuel (no briquettes or wood).
- Wait for your kamado to cool down before moving the grill.
IMPORTANT: Prevent flashback fires
When you are baking at a high temperature and you cut off the oxygen supply to the fire by completely closing the ventilation openings at the top and bottom, a flashback fire may occur if you then open the lid shortly afterwards.
How to prevent flashback fires?
- Open the top and bottom vents and wait 10 seconds.
- Open the lid around 2,5 cm for around 5 seconds. Then you can open it completely.
Extra tip: always wear your High Temperature BBQ Gloves!