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Here’s How to Start Your Kamado Joe

Here’s How to Start Your Kamado Joe

Outdoor cooking on a grill is a surefire way to get consistently flavorful food that everyone loves. For grilling enthusiasts, trying out different types of grills is a great way to attain different results for their food. For those who wish to try ceramic grilling, the Kamado Joe is a popular choice, but if you have no idea how to start your grill, it can be challenging.

Starting your Kamado Joe grill can seem overwhelming the first few times you use it, especially if you have never used this type of grill before. Following step-by-step instructions can assist you in taking the guesswork out of starting it. 

Knowing how to start your Kamado Joe depends heavily on which version of the grill you have purchased. Keep reading to learn more about what a Kamado Joe is and the steps you can follow to start your grill.

How To Start Your Kamado Joe

Once you have chosen your Kamado Joe style and brought it home, there are many decisions you have to make, such as where to put it and when to start using it. If you are like most people, starting it up right away is your first choice. Keep in mind that you need to make sure you understand how to start and operate your new Kamado Joe.

If you have never used a ceramic grill, following a few instructions can help ensure that you do it right to prevent harming your grill or yourself. It is recommended that you follow the instructions that came with the grill to keep from voiding any warranties you have.


Before you are ready to start firing up your grill, there are a few things you need to ensure are taken care of and are ready to go. This includes making sure you cleaned out the ash pan from the previous use, have your charcoal on standby, heat-resistant gloves are on, and you have a lighter nearby

Place Your Charcoal

Using your gloved hands, place your lump charcoal in the fire basket in an even manner. It is recommended that you put the larger charcoal pieces on the bottom while placing the smaller pieces on top. This allows the air to flow more freely and evenly throughout the basket. 

Ignite Your Charcoal

Before you light your charcoal, you need to ensure that the vent on the bottom is opened completely and that you have the grill lid opened as well. Instead of using lighter fluid, it is suggested that you use fire starter cubes and place them evenly around the charcoal. Then you can use the lighter to ignite the fire starter.

Wait For the Temperature to Rise

While you are waiting for the temperature to come up to what you want it to be, you can take care of a few other things that will make your grilling experience better. For example, this is a good time to put on the heat defectors on the grilling grates and then close the lid but ensure the top vent is open. 

Steady the Temperature

Once your Kamado Joe has reached the desired temperature, you will need to take a few steps to ensure that it stays that way. While you do not want to close the vents entirely, closing them a little can help stabilize the heat. Keep in mind that this may be an ongoing process of continuing to ensure the temperature stays balanced.

What Are the Types of Kamado Joe Grills?

Depending on how much grilling you plan to do, you may want to consider the various features of the different types of the Kamado Joe grill. This is because this grill comes in several different sizes to accommodate various grilling needs.

Here are the different Kamado Joe models you may want to consider:

  • Joe Jr is the smallest size of the Kamado Joe grills. The small size makes it great for taking along to various events such as camping, tailgating, and more.
  • Kamado Joe Classic II is similar to the classic version but has great added features. This grill is 18 inches in height and has added protection to prevent the ceramic from cracking.
  • Kamado Joe Classic III is the newer version of the classic design that is also 18-inches but features a smoke chamber insert and some other added features.
  • Big Joe II is 24-inches and works great for those big events you may be grilling for. 
  • Big Joe III is also 24-inches for those bigger gatherings but has added features like a smoke chamber insert, a divided charcoal basket, and more.

Final Thoughts

Altogether, starting your Kamado Joe can be a simple task if you follow the recommended steps completely. Additionally, you need to make sure that you have read through the owner’s manual carefully before you decide to operate your grill.