There is a right and a wrong way to do everything, and while some things about the Kamado are up to personal preference, one thing that I maintain is always a terrible idea is using lighter fluid. It’s just gross and an absolute waste of not only time but food. I feel very strongly about it. In fact, I’ve written about this before. But, if you don’t use lighter fluid, then how do you properly start a fire in a Kamado?
As it turns out, it’s actually pretty simple. There are multiple different methods, and you’ll eventually find one that you prefer. Personally, I like to stick with the simple method of using a firestater. You’ll find the steps below.
How to start a fire in a Kamado
- Remove any leftover ash so that it doesn’t clog up the air vents.
- Open the bottom vent. I usually open it all the way and adjust it once it gets going strong, but it really only has to be open about half way to get a good fire going.
- Place the largest charcoal pieces on the bottom that way your air holes are less likely to become clogged..
- Dump in the charcoal. If you’re using any hardwoods, add them as well.
- Place the firestarters and light them. If you’ve got a large Kamado, you may need to use two.
- Wait for the fire to get going, then place the grate assembly.
- Lower the lid and adjust vent openings. You’ll need to monitor the temperature closely until you get it stabilized.
I’ve heard of both paraffin firestarter cubes and the Kamado firestarters being used successfully. Personally, I prefer the firestarters, but that’s mostly a preference thing as far as I know.