How To Cool Down Kamado Joe

How To Cool Down Kamado Joe (Step-By-Step Guide!)

If you’re reading this, you probably know that most foods require ‘slow and low temperatures’ to achieve perfection.

However, if you’re using the Kamado Joe, you might find it getting too hot to handle at times.

Many people face this problem.

That’s why if you go to many of these bbq forums, there are threads of people asking how to cool down a Kamado Joe. 

To cool down a Kamado Joe grill, you can make adjustments to the vents and dampers. Open the bottom and top vents wider to increase airflow and decrease heat. Gradually close the vents and dampers to prevent sudden temperature drops. 

There are many other methods of cooling down a Kamado Joe that I will go over in detail later on. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the art of cooling down your Kamado Joe grill.

Let’s begin!

How To Cool Down Kamado Joe (Key Takeaways)

  • Managing Kamado Joe Temperature: Adjusting the vents and dampers is crucial for controlling the temperature inside the Kamado Joe grill.
  • Opening Vents: To lower the temperature, open the bottom and top vents wider to allow more airflow and reduce heat.
  • Closing Dampers Gradually: Close the vents and dampers slowly to avoid sudden temperature drops, which could lead to temperature fluctuations.
  • Removing Fuel: Removing unburned charcoal or fuel can help decrease the heat output and cool down the grill.
  • Using Heat-Resistant Gloves: When making adjustments, use heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands from the hot surfaces.
  • Adding Cold Water or Ice: Adding a pan of cold water or ice to the grill’s interior can help lower the temperature effectively.
  • Patience and Practice: Cooling down a Kamado Joe takes time and practice to achieve the desired temperature for cooking or storing.
  • Monitoring and Adjusting: Continuously monitor the temperature and adjust the vents as needed until the grill reaches the desired coolness.

The Quest for Optimal Temperature

How To Cool Down Kamado Joe


Temperature control is the holy grail of successful cooking on a Kamado Joe. 

Maintaining the right temperature is crucial because different foods require specific heat levels to achieve desired results. 

Too hot, and your delicate salmon may end up charred; too cool, and your sizzling steak might come out disappointingly undercooked.

So basically, in order to unlock the full potential of your Kamado Joe, you need to grasp the art of temperature management. 

Understanding Kamado Joe’s Heat Retention

A Kamado Joe is like a culinary fortress made of ceramic. 

This unique material is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill stuff; it’s the secret behind the grill’s exceptional heat retention capabilities.

The beauty lies in the ceramic’s ability to absorb and radiate heat evenly, ensuring your food gets cooked to perfection. 

You see, when you fire up that Kamado Joe, the ceramic walls start absorbing all that intense heat energy.

It acts as a sort of thermal battery, storing and distributing that energy evenly throughout its domed structure. 

Think of it as having built-in insulation that keeps the temperature steady as you grill those mouthwatering steaks or smoke those succulent ribs low and slow.

A Tight Seal for Sizzling Success

Now, let’s talk about one more superpower possessed by our beloved Kamado Joe – its impeccable seal. 

The tight-fitting lid on this grill is like a superhero cape swooping in to save the day (or rather, meal).

When you close that lid down, it forms an airtight barrier between your food and the outside world. 

This seal plays a vital role in retaining heat within the Kamado Joe’s cooking chamber.

It prevents any sneaky drafts from messing with your carefully calibrated cooking temperature. 

No unwanted gusts of wind are going to sabotage your grilling game!

Factors Influencing Temperature Control

In order to effectively cool down a Kamado Joe, it is crucial to understand the various factors that influence temperature control. 

One of the most significant factors is airflow.

The way air circulates inside the grill greatly affects its temperature. By manipulating the airflow, you can either increase or decrease the heat output.


The airflow in a Kamado Joe plays a pivotal role in maintaining and adjusting the desired cooking temperature. 

The design of this grill allows for precise control over oxygen intake and heat output, which directly impacts how hot or cool your grill will be.

When it comes to controlling airflow, Kamado Joe grills offer three main vents: the primary vent, top vent, and daisy wheel system. 

The primary vent, also known as the lower vent, is located at the bottom of the grill.

It serves as an inlet for oxygen to enter. 

By adjusting this vent’s opening size, you can regulate how much oxygen flows into your grill and consequently impact its temperature.

The Role of Vents In Controlling Oxygen Intake and Heat Output

The top vent on a Kamado Joe functions as an exhaust system that allows hot air and smoke to escape from inside the grill. 

By adjusting this vent’s position and aperture size, you can control how much heat escapes and indirectly regulate your grill’s overall temperature. 

Another essential component of Kamado Joe grills is the daisy wheel system.

It is usually located on top of the grill’s lid and consists of multiple small vents arranged in a circular fashion that resemble flower petals (hence its name). 

These vents allow you to fine-tune airflow by adjusting their individual positions or rotating them as needed.

How To Get Kamado Joe Really Hot

Before we talk about how to cool down a Kamado Joe, let’s first talk about how to make it really hot.

While many grilling techniques require moderate temperatures, there are instances when cranking up the heat becomes essential. 

Achieving high temperatures on your Kamado Joe grill unlocks a whole new realm of culinary possibilities.

Whether you’re aiming for that perfect sear on a steak or seeking to achieve crispy-skinned poultry, intense heat is your ticket to flavor-packed results.

Preparing the Kamado Joe for High Heat

To prepare the Kamado Joe for high heat, follow these steps. 

  • Clean the grill and remove any ash buildup
  • Use Quality Lump Charcoal for Optimal Heat
  • Arrange the charcoal in a pyramid shape for efficient airflow
  • Light the charcoal using natural fire starters or electric starters
  • Allow sufficient time for the fire to spread evenly
  • Adjust the top and bottom vents to increase oxygen flow
  • Monitor temperature with built-in thermometer or digital probes
  • Use heat deflectors or ceramic plates to distribute heat evenly
  • Close all gaps and ensure a tight seal on the grill lid

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How to Cool Down a Kamado Joe

Here is a step-by-step guide detailing how to cool down a Kamado Joe.

1. Adjusting the Vents

One of the most effective techniques that I’ve found for cooling down a Kamado Joe is by adjusting the vents to control airflow. 

The vents play a crucial role in regulating oxygen intake and heat output, allowing you to fine-tune the temperature according to your cooking needs. 

If you find that your grill is running too hot, opening the vents wider will increase oxygen flow and lower the temperature inside.

By allowing more air into the grill, you create a higher rate of combustion which helps bring down the overall heat. 

On the other hand, if you need to reduce heat output and cool down your Kamado Joe, partially closing the vents will restrict airflow and decrease combustion.

This will result in less oxygen reaching the charcoal fire, leading to decreased burning efficiency and subsequently lower temperatures. 

It’s important to note that small adjustments can have a significant impact on temperature control, so it’s recommended to make changes gradually and allow some time for it to stabilize before making further adjustments.

2. Opening vents wider to increase oxygen flow and lower temperature

When your Kamado Joe is running hotter than desired, opening up those vents can be an effective way of increasing oxygen flow and lowering temperatures. 

By doing so, more fresh air enters the grill and fuels combustion at a higher rate. 

Since combustion requires fuel (charcoal) as well as air (oxygen), increasing oxygen supply directly affects how hot your grill gets.

To open vents wider, start by removing any obstructions or debris around them. 

Then systematically adjust both primary vent (located at the bottom) and top vent or daisy wheel (located on top of lid) using their respective controls or mechanism available on your model.

Gradually open them up by turning counterclockwise or lifting each flap until you achieve the desired airflow. 

Remember, it may take a few minutes for the temperature to stabilize after making adjustments, so monitor your grill closely.

3. Partially closing vents to restrict airflow and decrease heat output

If your Kamado Joe is running too hot and you need to cool it down, partially closing the vents is an effective technique to restrict airflow and reduce heat output. 

By decreasing the amount of oxygen reaching the charcoal fire, you can control combustion and lower temperatures. 

To partially close the vents, start by turning them clockwise or adjusting their mechanism as per your model’s design.

Be careful not to close them completely as this could extinguish your fire. 

Instead, make small adjustments incrementally until you observe a gradual decrease in temperature inside the grill.

It’s important to note that reducing airflow means less oxygen available for combustion, which may result in decreased burning efficiency. 

Hence, closely monitor your grill during this process and adjust vent positions as necessary until you achieve the desired temperature control.

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Utilizing Heat Sinks for Rapid Cooling

When it comes to cooling down your trusty Kamado Joe, one of the most reliable techniques is to make use of heat sinks

Now, don’t worry if you’re not familiar with this term – a heat sink is simply a tool or device that helps absorb and dissipate excess heat. 

In the context of your Kamado Joe, this means utilizing certain objects that can absorb the intense heat generated during cooking and thereby lower the overall temperature inside the grill.

Explaining What a Heat Sink Is (e.g., Water Pans, Ceramic Plates)

Let’s delve into some examples of commonly used heat sinks that can work wonders in cooling down your Kamado Joe. 

One popular option is using water pans as effective heat sinks.

You may wonder how a simple pan filled with water can help cool things down – well, let me explain! 

When placed strategically inside your grill, a water pan acts as a barrier between the intense flames and your food.

As the water gradually heats up, it absorbs excess heat from the flames, preventing it from directly impacting your cooking surface. 

This process significantly reduces the overall temperature inside the Kamado Joe, allowing you to maintain better control over your cooking.

Another effective type of heat sink for cooling purposes is ceramic plates or tiles. 

These flat pieces made from high-quality ceramic materials are known for their excellent ability to distribute and diffuse heat evenly.

By placing ceramic plates strategically within your grill setup, you create an additional layer that absorbs excessive thermal energy and spreads it out more evenly across your cooking surface. 

This even distribution helps decrease hot spots and lowers overall temperature fluctuations within the Kamado Joe – resulting in better control over your cooking process.

Using Water Pans as Heat Sinks

When it comes to cooling down your Kamado Joe, I’ve found that using water pans as heat sinks can be a game-changer. 

These simple, yet effective tools help absorb excess heat and maintain a moderate temperature inside the grill.

Placing water pans in strategic locations ensures that heat is evenly distributed and controlled during cooking. 

One popular method is to position the water pan directly underneath the cooking grate, between the charcoal fire and your food.

This placement allows for indirect cooking, where the heat from the charcoal radiates upwards, hits the water pan, and then circulates around your food. 

The water in the pan acts as a buffer, preventing intense direct heat from reaching your ingredients while adding moisture to enhance flavor and tenderness.

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Benefits of using water pans for indirect cooking methods

Using a water pan offers numerous benefits when employing indirect cooking on your Kamado Joe. 

Firstly, it creates a more gentle and consistent environment for slow-cooking or smoking delicate meats like ribs or brisket.

The presence of moisture from the pan helps maintain an optimal humidity level that prevents drying out of your food while infusing it with flavor. 

Furthermore, by introducing a water pan into your Kamado Joe setup, you can achieve better temperature control.

The evaporation process cools down the grill’s interior while simultaneously preventing sudden temperature spikes that could overcook or burn your culinary creations. 

This indirect method also allows for longer cook times without constantly adjusting vents or worrying about flare-ups.

Water pan placement tips for optimal cooling effect

To maximize the cooling effect of your water pan in a Kamado Joe grill, proper placement is key. 

Aim to position it near or below where you plan to cook by placing it on one side of the charcoal fire source. 

This arrangement assures that the heat from the fire radiates towards the pan, leading to a gentler cooking environment.

Another suggestion is to use a large, shallow water pan rather than a small one. 

A shallow water pan allows for increased surface area, maximizing evaporation and cooling effects.

Additionally, keep an eye on the water level throughout the cooking process and replenish as needed to maintain its effectiveness as a heat sink. 

Incorporating water pans strategically into your Kamado Joe cooking setup provides numerous advantages.

Not only does it aid in indirect cooking methods by keeping food moist and tender, but it also helps maintain consistent temperatures throughout your culinary adventure. 

Experiment with different placements and observe how your Kamado Joe responds to achieve optimal cooling effects for your grilling and smoking endeavors.

Employing Ceramic Plates as Heat Diffusers

Another effective way that I’ve found to cool down your Kamado Joe is by using ceramic plates as heat diffusers. 

These plates are designed to distribute the heat evenly across the cooking surface, ensuring a consistent cooking experience. 

The ceramic material has excellent thermal properties, allowing it to absorb and radiate heat effectively.

When placed inside the grill, the ceramic plate acts as a barrier between the intense heat source and the food, preventing hot spots and promoting uniform cooking. 

This results in perfectly cooked meals with a deliciously balanced flavor.

Proper placement of ceramic plates within the grill

To make the most of ceramic plates as heat diffusers, proper placement is crucial. 

I’ve found that it’s best to position the plate directly above your Kamado Joe’s firebox but below the main cooking grates. 

This allows for efficient heat distribution without obstructing direct access to flames or hindering airflow within the grill.

The size of your Kamado Joe will determine how many plates you can use for cooling purposes.

For smaller models, one plate may suffice, while larger grills can accommodate multiple plates placed side by side for enhanced cooling effects.

Advantages of using ceramic plates to cool

Using ceramic plates as heat diffusers provides several advantages when it comes to cooling down your Kamado Joe. 

Firstly, they help regulate temperature by acting as buffers between the hot coals and your food, reducing direct exposure to intense heat and preventing potential flare-ups or burnt spots on delicate dishes.

Secondly, these diffusers promote even heat distribution throughout the grill surface, ensuring that all portions of your food are cooked uniformly without any uneven charring or undercooking issues. 

They offer versatility in cooking methods by enabling indirect grilling or smoking techniques that require lower temperatures over longer periods, allowing you to experiment with a wide range of recipes and flavors.

Watch this:


How To Cool Down Kamado Joe (Conclusion)

Cooling down your Kamado Joe is not an impossible task. 

By employing ceramic plates as heat diffusers, you can effectively regulate the temperature and ensure even cooking results.

These plates distribute heat evenly, creating a consistent cooking environment throughout the grill. 

Proper placement of the ceramic plates is vital for optimal cooling effects, allowing them to absorb and radiate heat efficiently.

The advantages of using ceramic plates include temperature regulation, preventing flare-ups, and promoting versatility in cooking methods. 

So go ahead and try using ceramic plates as heat diffusers to keep your Kamado Joe at just the right temperature for enjoyable culinary adventures!

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How do I lower the heat on my Kamado Joe?

To lower the heat on your Kamado Joe grill, start by adjusting the vents and dampers. Opening the vents wider increases airflow and reduces heat. Gradually close the vents to decrease the temperature. Removing unburned charcoal or fuel can also help cool it down. Remember, these adjustments need patience and practice to achieve the desired temperature.

How long does it take for Kamado to cool?

The time it takes for a Kamado Joe to cool down depends on factors like the cooking temperature, the amount of charcoal, and the airflow adjustments. Generally, it can take a few hours for the grill to cool to a safe touch.

How do you cool down a grill?

Cooling down a grill involves adjusting the airflow by opening vents and dampers, using heat-resistant gloves, and being patient as the temperature gradually decreases. Adding ice or cold water to the grill’s interior can speed up the cooling process.

Why do you need to burp a Kamado Joe?

“Burping” a Kamado Joe involves slowly opening the lid to release any built-up pressure or heat before fully lifting it. This prevents sudden flare-ups or temperature spikes, which can be dangerous and potentially damage the grill. It’s a safety measure to ensure a controlled cooking environment.


As a passionate enthusiast of smoking, grilling, and BBQ, Mark has dedicated his life to perfecting the art of outdoor cooking. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has honed his expertise and authority on all things related to meat smoking, grilling, and BBQ. From mastering the perfect cut of meat to choosing the right wood for the smoker, Mark has the knowledge and experience to help you become a pro at outdoor cooking.

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