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John Setzler

How to light a fire and get HOT QUICKLY in a Ceramic Kamado

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I still see a lot of newer kamado owners struggling to get HOT in an hurry.  This video shows you how to light up and get hot as fast as possible in a typical ceramic kamado grill.  I don't believe there is a faster way to do this that I would actually recommend.   You should be able to speed it up a little by possibly using 4 or maybe even 5 fire starters.  

 

 

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I’ve not ever been interested in an electric starter (looftlighter). As with everything, personal preferences  are always a factor.  

 

I, for one, like the process lined out in the video. It documents some of the anomalies of the startup procedure, such as the “temp drop” that happens when the starter goes out.  Excellent reference for new kamado owners to start out with.  As we know, we all find our own ways once our feet are wet. 

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I like starting it this way on super windy days so I can keep my lid closed and not have my starters blow out. Also, its nice to start this way when it is super cold out to help get the ceramic heat soaked a bit faster.

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13 hours ago, KismetKamado said:

I’ve not ever been interested in an electric starter (looftlighter). As with everything, personal preferences  are always a factor.  

 

I, for one, like the process lined out in the video. It documents some of the anomalies of the startup procedure, such as the “temp drop” that happens when the starter goes out.  Excellent reference for new kamado owners to start out with.  As we know, we all find our own ways once our feet are wet. 

 

Fair enough. For me I’ve found that with the lighter you can more clearly create a burn path. 

 

I light a small but hot circle in the middle of the charcoal and let the egg come up to temperature which I’ve found for long low and slow cooks keeps the fire in the centre burning straight down which self feeds it’s self with the coal from the sides as the fire drops down. 

 

Helps not have a wandering fire that sneaks around the protection of your heat deflector potentially creating a hot spot that could burn longer meats like ribs or brisket etc. 

 

 

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The only thing that deters me from using looft lighters,  other forced air heat guns, torches is the amount of sparks they create. I live in the heart of wildland fire country (5,800 ft in a dry Pinion / Juniper / Mesquite habitat in Prescott Az) and sparks floating on the breeze are definitely not anything I want. I use the method that John demonstrates in his video using 3 or four BGE starter cubes. Minimal sparks to start the cubes and then you close the lid. Generally when I do a high heat cook it is for pizza so I put my deflectors in before shutting the lid. With the deflectors in, even with the top vent removed and the chimney wide open, I don't get any sparks out the top. So for anyone in fire country, IMO, John's method is much safer as a handful of sparks on the wind can do unthinkable damage. 

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2 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

The only thing that deters me from using looft lighters,  other forced air heat guns, torches is the amount of sparks they create. I live in the heart of wildland fire country (5,800 ft in a dry Pinion / Juniper / Mesquite habitat in Prescott Az) and sparks floating on the breeze are definitely not anything I want. I use the method that John demonstrates in his video using 3 or four BGE starter cubes. Minimal sparks to start the cubes and then you close the lid. Generally when I do a high heat cook it is for pizza so I put my deflectors in before shutting the lid. With the deflectors in, even with the top vent removed and the chimney wide open, I don't get any sparks out the top. So for anyone in fire country, IMO, John's method is much safer as a handful of sparks on the wind can do unthinkable damage. 

 

I do have several shirts/jackets with holes burnt in them from an airborne spark flying out of the grill so I definitely agree that in any circumstance where the surrounding environment / property is at risk of catching fire that a chimney in the kamado or the method in the video with the starter cubes significantly reduces the risk of creating a fire outside of your intended location inside the grill 

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