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Kamado Joe Cooking Tips

Written by Appliance Dude | July 1st, 2015

Shop for Kamado Joe Grills at Curto’s

Four weeks after I received my Kamodo Joe Grill I continue to grill (and drink ice cold beer) at a pace that would make any Texan pitmaster proud…and I am happy to say I am doing a helluva job (go ask my wife).

I was anticipating a steep learning curve with multiple ruined dishes but that hasn’t been the case. So far I’ve only scorched a beef shish kebob, a pork chop and a few hamburgers. To make your grilling lives easier I will post my mistakes and victories here, and to start you off check out this guide that Kamado Joe supplied me with. It’s a great one-sheet on best practices to get the most out of your Joe. My comments where warranted follow in italics.

A Cross Section of the Exclusive Kamodo Joe Divide and Conquer Cooking System.

Kamado Joe Charcoal & Air Flow Tips

1 – Build a mound that starts just below the holes in the side of the firebox with the peak of the mound poking just below top of the fire ring
2 – Build mound with large chunks at the bottom and smaller ones as you build up I’ve learned that if you just dump the charcoal in without arranging it like a mini mountain, smaller pieces can block the air holes which will prevent you from reaching grilling and searing temperatures
3 – Charcoal can be re-lit 2-3 times for multiple cooks. Use the ash tool to stir the used charcoal so the ashes fall through the fire grate. Add 1/3 new charcoal to existing and build a new mound. A full firebox of fresh charcoal is recommended for smoking and searing temps.

Kamodo Joe Lighting Tips

1- Light the charcoal with a fire starter or two and open the bottom draft door and open the dome up I use 2 fire starters and it typically takes me about 10-15 minutes to get to temperature so it’s not that far removed from a gas grill in terms of waiting time for the right temp
2 – Wait 8-10 minutes for a small bed of embers to form
3 – Close the dome, open the top vent fully and adjust the air flow as needed as you near the target temperature


Controlling the Kamodo Joe Temperature

1 – Close the lid and fully open the top vent
2 – When you are 25 degrees from your target temp close the top down to about 1/4 open We call this coasting to your temperature
3 – Wait one minute and close or open the top vent to lower or increase the temperature. A 1/4″ move can alter the temperature by as much as 25 degrees

Achieving Low Temperatures on Your Kamado Joe Grill

1 – For low and slow temps like 225 degrees start with a very small fire in one area of the charcoal
2 – Close the lid and allow the temperature to come up slowly with the draft door open 2″ and the top vent open 1/2″ and the daisy wheel holes fully open
3 – This method should take 30-45 minutes to reach your target temp and it will ensure a long, slow, steady cooking period. key point – it’s easy to raise the temp but tough to lower it if you overshoot it

Posted in: Kamado Joe, Outdoor Grills,

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