Written by Leonie

How do I turn on my kamado BBQ?

Are you going to use your kamado bbq for the first time? Then it is useful to master the lighting of a kamado. Lighting a kamado is actually quite easy, but you have to get a handful of it. I tell you in this article how to best light your ceramic bbq in the most secure way. You do that in 9 steps.

Lighting a kamado in 9 steps

Step 1. Fill the kamado with coarse pieces of charcoal.

Step 2. Place 1 to 3 firelegs or crumpled paper between the charcoal.

Step 3. Light the firelighters or the paper with a long match or burner of your choice.

Step 4. All ventilation holes (top and bottom) are completely open.

Step 5. Leave the blocks or paper to burn for 15 minutes with the lid open.

Step 6. The coals around the fire are now white and glowing: the grill grid can be put on and the lid is closed.

Step 7. Give all coals in the kamado about 30 minutes to get to temperature.

Step 8. To get the right temperature reach, regulate the air supply as desired with the ventilation holes.

Step 9. Wanted temperature? Grilling!

*Use large lumps of charcoal for the BBQ

In a kamado BBQ, you should only use large lumps of coal. Why? First of all, because charcoal doesn't contain any chemicals that would harm the ceramic. In addition, the big lumps will prevent the vents from getting blocked. By placing the lumps of coal in the kamado by hand, you can make sure that there's enough room for air to flow through. It also prevents dust from the bag blocking the vents. Blocked ventilation grids make it impossible to reach high temperatures. Finally, charcoal burns in a very predictable way. That enables you to control the temperature very precisely for a longer time. Note: place the charcoal up to the edge of the fire bowl for direct grilling and ⅔ up to the edge for indirect grilling.

**Lighting a kamado BBQ with firelighters or paper?

Should you light the charcoal in your kamado with firelighters or with wads of newspaper? That depends on what you prefer. Do take care to always use environmentally-friendly firelighters. Choose the brown variety and avoid the white, chemical ones. These can harm your kamado's ceramic and mess with the flavor of the meat. Put 1 to 3 firelighters or wads of paper in between the charcoal. Light them to get the charcoal to the right temperature. Don't use a charcoal starter to light the charcoal in your kamado. Emptying the starter in the bowl of your ceramic BBQ could actually make the ceramic crack.

***Controlling the temperature to heat up the kamado

When you light your kamado BBQ, both the daisy wheel and the bottom vent will be all the way open. The lower vent will draw in as much oxygen as possible and feeds this to the fire. The daisy wheel blows out burned gases and acts like a chimney to get your barbecue nice and hot. When the ceramic BBQ is how, you can very precisely control the temperature you want by changing the airflow. Close the vents a little more when you want to lower the temperature and vice versa. For instance, direct grilling is done at higher temperatures than indirect grilling.


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