A ceramic kamado is a great investment. But is there much to looking after them? After all, you don’t want to spend all weekend giving them a treatment. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning a ceramic kamado and the good thing is there’s not much to it.
Ceramic grills (AKA kamados or EGGs) come in varying sizes — I wrote about how to choose one based on burger capacity. But no matter what the size, they all need some care and cleaning after use or before storing.
What you should know in caring for a ceramic kamado grill, is to never use lighter fluid or fire starters. The reason is that the ingredients in these can contaminate the inside of kamado and so taint the food you cook.
For a thorough cleaning of built up grime and soot of the kamado or EGG, see below.
cleaning a ceramic grill
The few ceramic grill parts that need cleaning basically means wiping the ceramic grill cover and cleaning the grates. That’s all you need to worry about after use. But from time to time and probably before storing it’s best to do a more thorough clean.
Outside the EGG
Wipe the outside of the kamado with a soft sponge or cloth dipped in a little detergent diluted in water. Rinse the cloth or sponge in water and wipe over the outside again, then dry off.
Inside the dome
Run the kamado at over 400 °C (752 ºF), or the temperature given for your particular model, for 1–2 hours to burn off soot and grease that accumulates on the inside of the dome and the grids.
Clean the ceramic grill crates
After the burn-off of grease and residue, simply scrape the grill grates to remove remaining bits. Brush as needed. The charcoal compartment and chamber below will collect the excess ash.
Remove the ash
Clean away any ash that falls to the bottom of the Kamado with an ash tool.
In relevant models, you can easily slide out the ash pan to discard the soot and scrapings. Removable ash pans make this step a breeze.
Care of ceramic grills
Check vents: From time to time, check to see if any charcoal or soot has blocked air holes and if so, remove the blockage to clear the vents.
Calibration: Do this once a year, if the design requires it. Using an EGG as an example, there’s the Tel Tru thermometer that you place in boiling water to check that it measures the right temperature, ie. boiling point of water — 100 ºC (212 ºF). To adjust any discrepancies, you would turn the nut on the back of the dial so that it matches. Verify calibration by placing the tip in boiling water again.
Bolts: Check the bolts of the kamado from time to time and tighten them where they’ve worked loose. Grease or oil them to protect them.
Gaskets: From time to time, check any caskets. Replace if badly damaged or sticky and causing problems when opening the dome.
Cover: Protect your grill from the elements — I wrote about options in Why Get a Ceramic Grill Cover When You Can Do This.
Having a Kamado grill means entertaining and meal prep that’s lets you enjoy company and delicious BBQed meals outdoors. Some clean up and care will mean your kamado will be ready and presentable the next time you go to use it.