Note: This post is part of the “Kamado 101 – The Definitive Guide to Amazing Barbecue” series, in which I cover everything from the foundational aspects of Kamado cooking all the way through advanced concepts designed to transform you into a backyard barbecue pitmaster. View the entire series here.
While it may seem like a daunting task at first, controlling the temperature of your Kamado is actually pretty simple. There is a learning curve, of course, but with a little bit of practice— and some instruction— you’ll easily be able to achieve and maintain the temperature you’re looking for.
What You Need
- Fire starter cube / electric starter
Steps to Controlling Temperature
- Make sure the dome is closed, and top vent is fully opened.
- After lighting the charcoal, let your Kamado naturally heat up until you get within 25 degrees of your target temperature.
- Close the top vent until it is only 1/4 of the way open.
- Wait one minute, check the temperature.
- Close/open the top vent to lower/increase temperature.
Steps to Achieve Low Temperatures
- For smoking temperatures, about 225 degrees, start with only one area of charcoal lit.
- Leave the top vent open 1/2″ and the draft door open 2″, but close the dome.
- Now you wait! This can take about 45 minutes to get to temperature, but its perfect for slow cooking periods.
- For high temperature searing, use fresh charcoal. Otherwise, charcoal can typically be lit at least twice.
- It’s a lot easier to raise the temperature than to lower it, so be mindful!
Using your Kamado grill properly will give you plenty of opportunity to take barbecue and grilled foods to the next level. Happy cooking!
Mike Miller says
Do I put additional charcoal in after it reaches 225 or keep it the way it is? I’ve ruined each brisket that I have attempted because I have a very difficult time controlling the temp.
Kamado Mary says
Hi Mike! You should not need to add any more charcoal, in fact for smoking (225°) you might consider starting with only a small portion of the charcoal lit.
at what position is the bottom vent?