It is fun to grill on a Kamado Joe grill, but you have to clean it when done and this guide is all about how to clean a kamado joe grill.
This beginner-friendly guide covers everything on how to clean a Kamado grill and if you own a Kamado Joe then this is a must read.
Kamado Joe grills are heavy so it is only right that you know how to clean a Kamado Joe Grill thoroughly and how frequently you should clean a Kamado Joe grill.
Kamado grills are made mostly of ceramics meaning they weigh a lot and some people might be afraid of purchasing one because they do not know how to properly clean them.
Well, lucky you because this post will talk about all the steps that you will need to take in order to get rid of all the common dirt that is associated with Kamado Joe Grills.
Kamado is a style of cooking that was invented in China. It uses clay to create an oven-like environment and it has now made its way around the world.
People thought that ceramics are more durable and can be used repeatedly so more and more companies are creating their own versions of a Kamado-style grill.
Kamado Joe is one of the top producers of Kamado-style grills and the company includes innovative designs and features that help improve the cooking capabilities of their grills.
They have features unlike any other so you will need specific instructions on how to clean them.
Nonetheless, it is not that much of a hassle and you will eventually realize that it is a necessity.
So without further ado, here are the different steps on how to clean different kinds of dirt from your Kamado Joe Grill.
A Regular Cleaning
This is just a simple issue but if left unattended, it might cause more problems.
We are talking about the ash from your firebox that is gathered when you are cooking in the Kamado Joe.
Ash is not that big of a problem but it does pack some inconvenience that you will need to get rid of.
This way, the Kamado Joe will function the way it is supposed to.
Every time you use your Kamado Joe, there will be an ash build-up at the bottom of the firebox which might seem harmless at first, but if it is too much, then there would be some issues.
You see, the firebox is not merely a firebox.
It is the intake of the grill for air in order to heat up and reach the desired temperature to cook your food.
Now, ash build-up clogs the small holes in the firebox where the air is supposed to enter.
That is why it is recommended that you do ash cleaning every time you finish cooking.
How to clean a KAMADO JOE GRILL
Step 1. First, let your Kamado Joe cool down after cooking.
Do not start the cleaning process unless the heat has totally died down to prevent accidents.
Step 2. After the grill has cooled down, open it and then using a rod, stir the firebox and try to remove as much ash as you can and let it fall in the vent.
Take note that Kamado Joes have their own ashtray at the bottom vent so you can let the ash fall from the firebox and it will go straight to the ashtray.
Step 3. Then, place a bucket right under the draft door as it will be the outlet of the ashtray inside.
This way, you will avoid spilling ash from the draft door.
Step 4. Remove the ashtray and then empty out the ash on a garbage can.
Clean the ashtray and then put it back in the draft door.
If you are still not satisfied with this process, then you can pull out your shop vac and gather all the remaining ashes from the firebox to have a clear path for the airflow.
You see, there is nothing hard about removing the ashes from your Kamado Joe.
So we really recommend that you do it after every cooking session.
However, that is the simplest way to clean a Kamado Joe and we are about to step into the harder-to-clean residuals so keep on reading to see the next one.
Getting Rid of Molds
This is for the unlucky event that your Kamado Joe gathered some molds.
This does not usually happen and molds will only occur if you have not used the grill for a long time.
Molds grow in dark places where they build up from moisture and lack of air.
The accumulation of molds usually happens during the winter months where the Kamado Joe is in storage.
Mold build-up is not that big of an issue as it will not destroy your Kamado Joe but it begins to be a problem when it builds up inside the grill itself and into the ceramics and the grates of the grill.
Not to worry, this is also easy to clean and the job will not be solely on you.
See, the Kamado Joes have a self-cleaning feature that will help you get rid of molds.
So here are the steps:
Step 1. Get all the parts of the grill including the grates, the heat deflectors, and all the ceramic parts into the grill.
Step 2. Loaded the firebox with a decent amount of charcoal.
Enough to last for at least an hour of continuous heating.
Step 3. Fire up the grill and let it reach 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do this while the vent and the draft door are open to gather the air needed for it to heat up.
Try not to go any higher than this temperature as it may shock the ceramics of the Kamado Joe which might lead to breakage.
Step 4. Once you have reached the desired temperature, wait for 15 to 20 minutes and then close the draft door or the bottom vent so no air gets in.
Step 5. After that, wait for another 15 to 20 minutes before closing the top vent to lock all the heat inside the grill and then let it cold down.
Step 6. Once the grill has cooled down, grab a brush and then clean the grates and the ceramics with it.
Never use chemicals in cleaning the Kamado Joe to maintain its integrity.
Also, do not use water as it may cause thermal shock to the ceramics.
This method is called Pyrolyzing and it is the process of burning up the residuals inside the grill so they can be easily brushed away without the help of any chemicals or water.
This way, your food will always taste great without the taste of any chemical and the ceramics will be safe from thermal shock.
Cleaning the Heat Deflector
Kamado Joe grills, like any Kamado-style grill, have a heat deflector to keep the flames from burning your food before it is even cooked properly.
These heat deflectors are responsible for creating a convection heat that will cook your food as well as producing the smoke from the charcoal below.
Oftentimes, these heat deflectors get dirty since they come into contact with the charcoal as well as the grease and other drippings from your food.
That is why it is important to clean them in order for them to function properly.
The Kamado Joe has a unique and innovative heat deflector unlike any other called the SloRoller Hyperbolic Insert.
This feature is found on Kamado Joe Classic 3 and the Kamado Joe Big Joe 3.
It is made out of Teflon-coated cast aluminum so it is highly durable.
Cleaning it is simple and not necessarily recommended after every use:
Step 1. You can do the pyrolyzing technique to get rid of the food residuals from the SloRoller. So fire up the grill and let it heat up with the SLoRoller inside it.
Step 2. Then let the grill cool down and take the SloRoller out.
Step 3. Simply brush away the residuals and you are good to go. Do not use soap and there is no need to get rid of the grease.
In fact, the grease will condition the SloRoller and make it more durable after every use with the grease on it.
Yes, we have mentioned these above but it is worth reminding that when cleaning any Kamado-style grill, never use water or any chemicals in doing so.
Even when you are cleaning the pizza stone and the grates, all you need is to pyrolyze. The heat that the Kamado Joe grills exert is enough for the residuals to burn away.
This way, you will not risk having your grill destroyed or adding unnecessary and unwanted taste to your food.
Keep the grill open
When storing the Kamado Joe grill in a dark room during the cold months, leave the draft door and the vent a little bit open for air to get in and out of the grill freely.
This way, you will lessen the risk of accumulating molds inside the grill.
Kamado Joe grills are very amazing.
They contain a lot of features that cannot be found in any other Kamado-style grills and they are very durable.
They can cook a lot of recipes that is why you need to take good care of them.
If taken care of properly, Kamado Joe grills can last a lifetime and they can be passed down from generation to generation.
It is not that hard to clean a Kamado Joe grill especially when it has a self-cleaning capability to help you lighten up the work.
Just follow the steps above and you will have a clean Kamado Joe in just those simple steps.
Do it regularly to keep the Kamado Joe grill in shape and for it to maintain its peak performance.