How to Clean Kamado Joe?

Food cooked in a dirty smoker is not appealing and can pose health risks. One of the ways you can ensure that you are grilling safely on your Kamado Joe is by cleaning it.

Now, your kamado joe smoker has kept its promise of always providing you with mouthwatering meals. But, do you remember to look back and show some love to your smoker?

One of the ways by which you can appreciate your smoker is by keeping it clean. This way, you will be breathing life into your kamado grill hence improving its lifespan. 

Also, a clean smoker assures you of clean meals, thus protecting you from foodborne illnesses.

This guide will see how to clean Kamado Joe smoker in detail. So, without further ado, let's go deep!

How to Remove Ashes from Kamado Joe

Too much loose ash will block the tiny holes in the kamado joe charcoal basket, thus interfering with the airflow in the grill. As a result, it won't be easy to get the desired temperature.

Therefore, you should empty the ash after every cook. So, how do you remove all the ash from your kamado grill? Here are the steps:

1. First, allow your kamado grill to cool down after cooking. You don't want burns on your skin by cleaning a hot grill. So, ensure the heat has completely gone down before cleaning the kamado grill.

2. After the charcoal grill has cooled down, please open it and use a rod to stir off all the loose ash in the kamado joe charcoal basket. Remember that the Kamado Joe grill has a removable ashtray at the bottom that catches all the ash from the firebox. Therefore, it's very easy to empty the ash from your grill.

3. Place a basin directly under the bottom door. The basin will help in preventing ash spillage on the floor.

4. Pull out the ashtray and empty it into the trash bag. For a thorough ash removal from your grill, you can use an ash vacuum.

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How to Clean Kamado Joe Top Vent

With every kamado cooking session, there is some grease build-up in the top vent of your grill. This grease locks the vent, which can be annoying.

One of the cleaning solutions for the vent includes a degreaser; just dip a cloth into the degreaser and clean the vent.

Another way of cleaning the top vent is by having a self-cleaning session. Here, you will heat the kamado grill to 500F for an hour. The high temperature will burn up all the grease build-up in your Kamado Joe.

How to Clean Kamado Joe Grill Grates

Here are the two ways by which you can clean your kamado grill grate:

1. Soak the cast iron grate in warm water to remove grease or food debris, then use a clean cloth to clean the grate.

2. Place the cooking grate in the kamado grill during a self-clean session; this burns grease and food leftovers stuck on the grates.

How to Clean Kamado Joe Deflector Plates

Kamado Joe classic uses a heat deflector plate just like other kamado grills. The heat deflector allows you to use indirect heat for cooking your food, i.e., away from the direct heat or flames.

Now, the heat deflector gets dirty with every cook since it comes into contact with charcoal and drippings from your food.

You can clean the kamado joe heat deflector through the self-cleaning process. Here you will heat the kamado grill for 30 minutes at a temperature of 500F with the heat deflector in the smoker.

How to Clean Kamado Joe Ceramic Plates

The pizza stone is a ceramic plate, just like the heat deflector. As such, you need to handle both ceramic stones with care. Keep in mind that you should not soak the ceramic stones in water or use a wire brush or soap to clean them.

Now, what do you do since your pizza plate is dirty? Here are two ways through which you can clean the ceramic stone:

1. Use a kitchen scraper to remove dirt from the plate gently. Then use a damp towel to wipe out all dirt from the stone.

2. Flip the plate on fire before cooking; this will burn off the dirt sticking on the pizza stone.

How to Remove Mold from Kamado Joe?

When last did you use your grill? If it has been a while, then the next thing you need to check after ash removal is mold in your grill. Mold loves dark places; it will build mansions in your grill when you take too long to use it. 

Winter months promote mold growth. So, during these times, you will find mold on ceramic parts of your grill and the cast iron cooking grates. 

However, it's very easy to get rid of mold from your grill using its self-cleaning capability. So, what is kamado self-cleaning for mold removal? Here are the steps!

1. Ensure all the internal parts of the grill are intact. These parts include cooking grates, drip pans, and all-ceramic parts like heat deflectors. 

2. Fill the firebox with enough lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes. These coals should be enough to last an hour. Also, ensure you don't use toxic lighter fluid on your coals; using an electric charcoal lighter is better.

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3. Heat the grill to 500F to 600F. Ensure you don't go beyond this heat level for the safety of the ceramic parts of your grill. Do this when the door and vent are open to facilitate air inflow.

4. Once you get the desired temperature, close the bottom vent and door after 15 to 20 minutes to ensure that no air gets in.

5. Shut the top vent after another 15 to 20 minutes; this will lock all the heat in and help cool down the grill.

6. Once you are sure that your grill has cooled down, grab your grill brush and brush away the debris on the grates. Also, use a towel to wipe the ceramic parts of your grill.

Remember not to use water to clean your ceramic grill's interior; water can cause thermal shock on the ceramic parts of your grill. 

Also, don't use chemicals to clean the interior of your kamado grill since you wouldn't want to tamper with the integrity of your kamado.

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How to Clean Kamado Joe Exterior

Now that your kamado grill's interior cooking surface and parts are clean, it's time to clean the exterior.

You can use a clean towel soaked in a mild detergent and water solution to clean the kamado exterior, then wipe it with a dry cloth or paper towel. 

Also, you can use a glass cleaner to clean the exterior of your kamado grill.


1. Do you have to season a Kamado Joe?

Seasoning a new kamado is not essential. All you need is to observe some hygiene practices and use your smoker straight from the box.

2. Can you use Kamado Joe in winter?

The kamado joe's ceramic materials make it fit to use in all seasons, including winter. Therefore, the cold air outside cannot affect your cooking temperature. 

3. Does the Kamado Joe grill come with a heat deflector?

The Kamado Joe package comes with the accessories you will need for cooking. These accessories include the heat deflector that creates a different heat zone.

4. Is Kamado Joe good?

Kamado Joe is one of the most recommended grills by BBQ experts. You will love its high-quality construction, spacious cooking space, and flexible cooking system.

In addition, you can make a kamado joe comparison between Joe Jr (classic I), classic II, and classic III to see which best suits your needs.


Kamado Joes are widely known for their outstanding features, plus the many recipes you can cook in them. However, you will have to take good care of your smoker to enjoy a lifetime grilling experience.

Above, we have seen how to clean Kamado Joe smoker. Just follow the guidelines we've spoken about, and you will have a clean grill in a little while. 

In addition, ensure you cover your kamado grill whenever it's idle. The grill cover will keep pollutants away from your charcoal grill. Also, the grill cover will protect your grill from harsh weather conditions.

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