Kamado grilling is a great way to infuse rich smoky flavor, with natural heat convection that will cook food thoroughly. Kamado grills work much like traditional coal ovens. For beginners, they can take some getting used to.
If you’ve just purchased a Kamado grill, or if you’re thinking about buying one soon, learning how to light the grill is one of the first steps to take. We’ve broken the process down so that you can get started with the amazing flavor of an authentic Kamado outdoor grill.
Choose the Right Fuel
You’ll get the best results when you use natural lump hardwood charcoal. Hardwood burns more efficiently, gets hotter, and is easier to light.
Make sure the charcoal you buy is free of additives. This Eco Charcoal Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal is a great reference point to start with.
Steps to Light Your Kamado Grill
A chimney starter works great with a Kamado grill, but the unique design means you don’t need to use one. With our steps, you can start the charcoal manually using nothing but your lump charcoal and a starter brick.
Fill the charcoal tray of your Kamado grill with as much charcoal as you need for the cooking session. Don’t overfill, or it will become harder to light and will produce excess heat.
When filled, make space in the center of the tray and place a charcoal starter brick inside. These Midwest Hearth 100% Natural Charcoal Starters are perfect for outdoor grills.
Light the charcoal starter using a long match or a standard gas lighter.
Open all of the vents to their maximum position, and keep the lid up. This will allow airflow while creating the perfect conditions to start the charcoal.
Wait around ten to fifteen minutes and check on the coals, they should now be glowing and producing smoke. Mix the coals using grill tongs so that they are evenly distributed. If you need more time to get all of the coals lit, wait another five minutes before checking again.
Your coals should now be lit and ready to get up to temperature. Close the lid on your grill, and monitor the temperature gauge as you preheat. When you hit the mark, gradually close the vents until the heat is consistent.
You’re now ready to start cooking with your Kamado grill. Remember to check the manufacturer instructions in your user manual before using your grill for the first time. Some grills have special lighting procedures or convenience features added to make the job easier.
A Kamado grill is perfectly suited to roasting, baking, and top-down grilling. You can enjoy flavorful foods and impressive temperature control.
You can even add wood chips right on top of the coals to infuse rich smoky flavor.
Kamado cooking isn’t for everyone, but if you want to try something unique, you’ll love this style of outdoor grill.