Do I Need to Season My New Kamado Joe

You’ve just bought a shiny new Kamado Joe, and you’re itching to fire it up. But hang on, should you season it first? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Many grill enthusiasts wonder about this.

In this article, we’ll answer that question, guide you through the seasoning process, and share some tips to keep your Kamado Joe in top-notch condition.

So, let’s dive in, shall we?

Understanding the Concept of Seasoning a Kamado Joe

Let’s dive into what it means to season your new Kamado Joe, shall we?

Now, you might be thinking, ‘Seasoning a grill? Isn’t that something you do to a cast-iron skillet?’ Well, you’re not wrong, but unlike cast-iron, ‘seasoning’ your Kamado Joe isn’t about building up a non-stick surface. Rather, it’s about preparing your grill for its first use and ensuring the longevity of its performance.

Here’s the thing: when you first fire up your Kamado Joe, the oils, dust, and manufacturing residues left on the ceramic interior can create unpleasant tastes and smells. Seasoning helps to eliminate these and primes your grill for optimal cooking experiences.

So, how do you go about it? It’s simpler than you might think. You’ll need to run your Kamado Joe at a low temperature, about 200-250°F, for about 30 minutes. Then, you crank up the heat to a high temperature, around 500-600°F, for another 15 minutes.

This process helps to ‘burn off’ any residues, leaving your grill clean and ready to deliver delicious, smoke-flavored foods.

The Importance of Seasoning Your Kamado Joe

Understanding the significance of preparing your ceramic grill for use is crucial for its longevity and performance. Seasoning your Kamado Joe isn’t a complicated process, but it’s an important one. You’re essentially setting the stage for all the fabulous grilling you’ll be doing.

Think of it as creating a protective layer inside your grill. This layer is not just about enhancing flavor, it’s also about extending the life of your grill. By seasoning your Kamado Joe, you’re helping to prevent rust and maintain the quality of the ceramic interior.

You’ve made an investment in a great grill, and you want it to last. But seasoning isn’t a one-time thing. You’ll need to re-season your grill from time to time. Recognize the signs when your grill might need a touch-up, like a change in cooking performance or the appearance of rust.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. It’s more than just a chore, it’s a commitment to maintaining your Kamado Joe. So take the time, do it right, and you’ll be enjoying delicious, perfectly grilled foods for years to come.

Step-By-Step Guide to Seasoning a New Kamado Joe

Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing your ceramic grill for its first use. You’ve made a significant investment in your new Kamado Joe, and it’s essential to season it correctly before diving into your grilling adventures. This process will ensure the longevity of your grill and improve its performance over time.

  1. Clean Your Grill: Before you start, make sure your grill is clean. This might seem like a given, but it’s a crucial first step. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s sparkling clean and ready for seasoning.

  2. Light the Fire: Fire up your Kamado Joe with the lid open. As the heat builds, you’ll feel the excitement of anticipation.

  3. Maintain Low Heat: Keep the temperature at a low 200°F for the first 30 minutes. This patience-testing stage will fill you with anticipation and hint at the delicious meals to come.

  4. Increase the Heat Gradually: Slowly increase the temperature to 350°F and maintain it for another 30 minutes. The rising heat is like your mounting enthusiasm for the incredible grilling journey you’re about to embark on.

Tips to Effectively Season Your Kamado Joe

To effectively prep your grill, it’s worth noting a few handy tips.

First off, don’t rush. It’s essential to take your time during the seasoning process to ensure longevity for your Kamado Joe. So, keep calm, you’re not just cooking; you’re creating a masterpiece.

Remember, use only natural lump charcoal for seasoning. It burns clean and hot, ideal for breaking in your new grill. Avoid using lighter fluid or briquettes; they could leave unwanted flavors or chemical residues.

As you light your grill for the first time, control the temperature. Start low, around 200°F and keep it steady for about 30 minutes. Then, gradually increase the heat by 50°F intervals every half hour until you reach around 500°F. This process helps the ceramic interior to adjust without cracking.

Finally, after seasoning, let your Kamado Joe cool down naturally. Don’t use water or any cooling agents. It’s just like a heat treatment process, and a sudden temperature drop can damage your grill.

Stick with these guidelines, and you’ll have a well-seasoned grill ready for epic BBQs. It’s about patience and precision. Your Kamado Joe deserves it.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Seasoning a Kamado Joe

You’ve seasoned your Kamado Joe and you’re ready to get grilling. But before you dive in, let’s discuss some common pitfalls that could throw off your game.

One mistake you might not even realize you’re making is overusing charcoal. This can dramatically impact your cooking results. It’s important to find the right balance and not go overboard with the amount of charcoal you use.

Another crucial aspect to consider is temperature control. Neglecting this can lead to undercooked or overcooked meals, which can put a damper on your barbecue experience. Make sure you pay attention to the temperature and adjust as needed to ensure your food is cooked to perfection.

Overusing Charcoal

It’s important not to overuse charcoal when seasoning your new Kamado Joe. Overdoing it can create too much heat and potentially cause damage. You’re aiming for a slow and steady heat increase, not a fiery furnace. This can warp the internal parts, leading to a premature breakdown of your grill.

Here are three tips to avoid overusing charcoal:

  1. Use just enough charcoal to cover the firebox.
  2. Don’t pile the charcoal high. Remember, less is more.
  3. Let the Kamado Joe heat up gradually. Quick, high heat can cause harm.

By keeping these points in mind, you’ll ensure that your Kamado Joe serves you well for years to come.

Neglecting Temperature Control

Neglecting temperature control can be another pitfall for grill enthusiasts. Maintaining a consistent heat is crucial for optimal cooking results. It’s not just about firing up your Kamado Joe and throwing on the food. You need to be dedicated to keeping a watchful eye on the temperature gauge.

If it’s too hot, you’ll end up with charred, overcooked food. Too cool, and your food may not cook thoroughly or evenly.

So don’t be hasty. Take your time to preheat the grill to the right temperature before adding your food. Adjust the vents as needed to increase or decrease the heat. Remember, patience is key when it comes to controlling temperature on your grill. It’s a skill you’ll develop over time, and it’ll take your grilling game to the next level.

How to Maintain Your Seasoned Kamado Joe

Maintaining your seasoned Kamado Joe isn’t as hard as you might think. Sure, it requires a bit of time and effort, but it’s all part of the experience, right?

You’ve got to clean the grates after each use. A simple scrub with a wire brush will do the trick. Don’t let the residue build up, as it can affect the flavor of your food.

Next, you have to clean out the ash. Your Kamado Joe has an easy-to-use ash drawer that you can empty after each cook. You don’t want ash blocking airflow, so make sure you’re keeping it clean. It’s best to do a deep clean of the interior a few times a year. It’s messy, but it’s necessary.

Lastly, remember to check the gaskets. They’re responsible for maintaining temperature control, so if they’re worn out, you’ll have trouble keeping your heat steady. If you notice them wearing thin or cracking, it’s time for a replacement.

Expert Advices on Seasoning Kamado Joe Grills

You’re probably wondering how to get the best flavor out of your grill, and experts have some advice on that front.

Seasoning your Kamado Joe is key to ensuring succulent, flavorful meals every time.

You’ll start by cleaning your grill thoroughly. Next, apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the interior ceramic parts. Don’t worry about the exterior; we’re focusing on flavor here, not aesthetics.

Then, you’ll want to fire up your Kamado Joe, aiming for a low temperature around 200 degrees. Maintain this heat for around two hours. Let it cool down naturally. Repeat this process a couple of times, gradually increasing the temperature each time.

Why do this, you may ask? It’s all about sealing in the flavor. Seasoning your grill this way allows the oil to penetrate the ceramic, creating a non-stick surface that enhances the taste of your food.

Remember, patience is key here. You can’t rush perfection. With regular maintenance and proper seasoning, your Kamado Joe will reward you with the delicious, smoky flavor you’re after.

Enjoy the process and, most importantly, enjoy the results.


So, you’ve got the scoop on seasoning your new Kamado Joe. It’s crucial for its performance and longevity.

Remember to take it slow during the initial fires, avoid high temperatures, and keep it clean.

After seasoning, regular maintenance is key. Don’t be daunted, it’s a fairly simple process.

Happy grilling!