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 pit master. View the entire series here.
When operating your Kamado, not only is it important to operate it properly and keep it cleaned, there are some additional safety guidelines you should be following. Arguably the most important thing to keep in mind is how to avoid flashbacks, which is basically a big flame surge that can occur when you’re opening the lid. Here’s how to avoid that:
- Open both vents and wait about 5 seconds.
- Raise the dome slightly, about 1″, and wait about 3 seconds.
- Fully open the dome!
It’s a really simple process to take to ensure your safety, all you have to do is make sure your fire is getting enough oxygen before opening the dome.
Here are some other safety tips for operating your Kamado:
- Keep your Kamado outside, it is not made for indoor cooking. Your Kamado is unaffected by rain and cold, though you should keep it covered when you aren’t using it.
- Wait until your ashes are completely cooled before trying to remove them or cleaning your grill. Never try to discard warm ash.
- Do not try to move your Kamado while it is in use OR if it still has hot ash in it.
- Do not take your Kamado off of it’s grill table— other surfaces could catch fire and/or become damaged.
- Avoid combustible liquids when lighting your Kamado. It can get absorbed by the ceramic and cause issues later on. It’s recommended to use an electric charcoal starter or a charcoal chimney starter.
- While operating your Kamado, keep children and pets out of the way.