7 Best Tips for Cooking with a Big Kamado Joe

In the world of outdoor cooking, there are few things more impressive than a big kamado grill. These hefty hibachi-style cookers feature an egg-shaped chamber and a heavy, rounded lid that locks in moisture and heat. They’re also known as gobos, cobb grills, or egg grills. No matter what you call them, kamado grills have become incredibly popular with outdoor cooks because they produce high heat and smokeless charcoal performance that is completely unmatched by any gas grill or traditional smoker. The only catch with these beasts is that it takes some practice to get the hang of using one. Fortunately for you we’ve put together 7 tips for using a big kamado Joe so you can up your BBQ game.

Know your fuel and your airflow

The best way to start cooking on any grill is to know your fuel and airflow. This means knowing how much fuel you’ll need, where to put it, and how to manage airflow. The airflow of your grill is critical to how your food cooks because it will control how much smoke and heat gets inside your grill. The airflow of your grill can depend on a couple of things. First, it depends on what kind of grill you’re using. Kamado grills have very specific airflow requirements, which aren’t as common in other grills. Second, it depends on the type of fuel you’re using. Charcoal, wood, natural gas, or propane all have different rates of burning and different ways of producing smoke. This means you can manipulate airflow by controlling the source of fuel.

Don’t ignore the temperature probe

While the big kamado Joe is incredibly efficient at locking in moisture and creating even heat, it can take some time to get to the desired temperature. This can lead to some anxious moments as you wait to get started. To help you relax, don’t ignore the temperature probe. Use it to keep an eye on the temperature and make sure your grill isn’t climbing above the desired temperature. If it is, it’s time to start rotating your food to avoid burning. If you notice your grill is taking a while to heat up, try putting a foil shield over the food grate. This will help your grill build up heat more quickly and efficiently. And, if you’re using a charcoal grill, a foil shield can also help you avoid over-burning your charcoal.

Use lump charcoal and wood chunks

If you get serious about using a big kamado Joe, you’ll quickly discover that kamado grills love lump charcoal and wood chunks. These sources of fuel are incredibly efficient at producing dense heat and smoke and are the best way to get the most out of your grill. Lump charcoal is made from pressed charcoal briquettes that have been broken up. It’s far less processed than briquettes, which are made from ground wood fuel, coal, and chemicals. Lump charcoal is less processed, so it produces less toxic emissions. Lump charcoal also burns more evenly than briquettes, meaning you don’t have to constantly keep an eye on your grill to avoid burning.

Try not to cook above 500 degrees

The greatest thing about the big kamado Joe is that it’s designed to create heat and smoke with very little fuel. This means you’re not burning your charcoal, which creates a lot of waste. Instead, you’re using the heat inside the chamber to create smoke. While this might seem like a good thing, it can actually lead to charring if you let your grill get too hot. To avoid charring, try to keep your grill below 500 degrees. This is a nice happy medium between efficiency and avoiding charring.

Rotate your food as it cooks

It’s important to understand that the big kamado Joe is designed to create even heat throughout the chamber. This means your food will cook at the same rate from top to bottom. To make sure your food cooks properly, you’ll want to rotate it regularly as it cooks. This will ensure everything cooks evenly and nothing gets left behind. To help things along, you might want to use a grill basket or a couple of grill forks. This will help you lift and rotate your food without burning your hands or leaving you with a bunch of tiny scratches on your big beautiful kamado Joe.

Go easy on the salt and pepper

Salt and pepper are essential ingredients for many dishes, but they can wreak havoc on a big kamado Joe. When you sprinkle salt or pepper on your food, it will slowly fall onto the bottom of your grill. This is great for your food, but it’s terrible for your grill. Eventually, the salt or pepper will build up enough to fall through the grate and onto the coals below. When this happens, the salt or pepper will create a sticky layer on your coals that will be almost impossible to clean out. It can also clog up the air vents on your grill and make it far less efficient. To avoid this problem, go easy on the salt and pepper and make sure to clean your grill regularly.


A big kamado Joe is an amazing tool for outdoor cooking, but it can be challenging to master. The best way to get the most out of your kamado grill is to know your fuel and airflow, don’t ignore the temperature probe, use lump charcoal and wood chunks, try not to cook above 500 degrees, rotate your food as it cooks, and go easy on the salt and pepper. When you know how to use your big kamado Joe, you’ll be able to cook almost anything on this versatile grill. You can smoke everything from fish and ribs to pizza and veggies. And, when it comes time to cook, you’ll be able to choose between using charcoal, wood, or natural gas. What’s not to love about that?

This article is provided by https://www.creativegardens.com/products/brand/kamado_joe

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