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Step-by-Step: How to Light your Kamado Grill for Delicious BBQ's

Step-by-Step: How to Light your Kamado Grill for Delicious BBQ's

A Kamado grill is a type of ceramic grill that's been around for centuries, and with good reason. It's like the Swiss Army knife of grilling; it can do it all. With the ability to cook at a wide range of temperatures, the Kamado grill can give you a smoky, low and slow brisket or a seared, juicy steak that melts in your mouth. Imagine biting into a perfectly cooked, juicy burger that's so packed with flavor, it feels like a party in your mouth. That's the kind of magic that a Kamado grill can work.

In this guide, we'll show you step-by-step how to prepare and start your Kamado grill, as well as tips for maintaining it throughout the cooking process.

So, whether you're a seasoned grilling pro or new to the Kamado game, let's get started and elevate your BBQ game to the next level!

Preparing the Grill

Cleaning The Grill Before Lighting It

Alright, before you light up that Kamado grill, it's important to give it a good cleaning first. I know, cleaning sounds like a drag, but trust me, it's worth it.

Think of it this way: you wouldn't cook a fancy dinner on a dirty plate, would you? The same goes for your grill. A dirty grill can give your food a funky taste. Plus, it's just not pleasant to look at.

Cleaning your grill is pretty simple. First, remove the cooking grates and ash pan. Use a wire brush or scraper to remove any leftover food or debris. If you're dealing with stubborn grime, you can use a putty knife or a scraper to help loosen it up. Then, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the inside of the grill. You can also use a mild detergent to clean the grates and ash pan. Make sure to rinse everything off thoroughly with water and dry it before you start grilling.

It's also a good idea to clean your grill after each use, so it's ready for your next cookout. And remember, a clean grill equals a better-tasting meal. 

Materials Needed To Light The Grill

Now that your grill is all cleaned up, it's time to get it lit!

The materials you'll need to light your Kamado grill are pretty simple: charcoal, fire starter, and a chimney starter. Charcoal is the fuel that will make your grill hot, so make sure you have enough to get your desired temperature. 

If you want the best results use 100% natural hardwood lump charcoal. It lights quicker, burns hotter, offers greater temperature control, creates less ash and eliminates chemical transfer to food. 

Charcoal briquettes may be less expensive, but they are manufactured from compressed sawdust and additives that assist in lighting. The additives in briquettes produce a chemical smell and taste that transfers to food and produces significant ash. 

A fire starter is what you'll use to light the charcoal. You can use things like lighter fluid, electric starters, or even newspapers. A chimney starter is a handy tool that helps to get the charcoal hot and ready faster. It's a metal cylinder with a handle on top and a grate on the bottom, you put charcoal on the grate and light it from the bottom.

Lighting the Grill

Step-By-Step Instruction For Starting The Grill

Alright, now we're getting to the good stuff! Let's light that Kamado grill.

Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to light your grill:

  1. Fill the chimney starter with charcoal. You'll want to use enough charcoal to get your desired temperature.
  2. Place the chimney starter on top of the fire grate.
  3. Put some fire starter or newspapers in the bottom of the chimney starter and light it up.
  4. Wait for the charcoal to turn gray and ash over. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once the charcoal is ready, carefully pour it into the grill and spread it out evenly.
  6. Make sure the bottom vent is open all the way, this will allow oxygen to flow in and light the charcoal.

Vision Kamado Grills have electric starters. This makes lighting the grill 10 times easier.

  1. Open all vents.
  2. Insert electric starter in Pro Zone Electric Starter Port.
  3. Add charcoal, plug in starter.
  4. Wait for charcoal to light, smoke.
  5. Unplug, remove starter.
  6. Spread charcoal out level.
  7. Close lid, adjust vents for temp.
  8. Wait 10-20 minutes for temp to "set" before cooking.

How To Adjust The Grill's Temperature Once It's Lit

Great, now that your grill is lit and ready to go, you'll want to adjust the temperature to cook your food to perfection. Here's how:

  1. Keep an eye on the temperature using a thermometer. This will give you a good idea of how hot your grill is getting and how much heat you need to add or remove.
  2. Adjust the top vent. This is the primary way to control the temperature of your Kamado grill. The more you open the vent, the more oxygen will flow into the grill, making the fire burn hotter. Conversely, the more you close the vent, the less oxygen will flow into the grill, making the fire burn cooler.
  3. Adjust the bottom vent. The bottom vent controls the amount of air that flows out of the grill. The more you open the bottom vent, the more air will flow out of the grill, making the fire burn hotter. Conversely, the more you close the vent, the less air will flow out of the grill, making the fire burn cooler.
  4. Experiment with different vent positions. Every Kamado grill is different and will respond to airflow differently. You'll need to experiment with different vent positions to find the perfect balance for your grill.
  5. Keep in mind that it takes some time to get used to adjusting your grill's temperature and to find the right balance. Practice makes perfect!

Remember that the key to great grilling is maintaining consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. This will help to cook your food evenly, so take the time to adjust your grill's temperature as needed. 


Alright, we've covered a lot of information on how to light and use a Kamado grill. To sum it up:

  • Clean your grill before lighting it to get the best taste and avoid fire hazard.
  • Use charcoal, fire starter, and a chimney starter to light the grill.
  • Adjust the temperature by controlling the airflow with the top and bottom vents.

Now that you know the basics, it's time to get out there and start grilling! Don't be afraid to experiment with different techniques and recipes to find what you like best. The Kamado grill is a versatile tool and can cook a wide range of dishes. From slow-cooked ribs to seared steaks, the possibilities are endless. Happy grilling!

If you're ready to buy Kamado grill, please check Vision Grills' collection.