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Kamado Joe Usage During Cold Winters

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Hi everyone,


Wanted to ask here as I have a QQ specific to the KJ Classic 3 - how much will the cold weather and ambient temp affect the ceramic with respect to cracking?  I'm hesitant to use it in temps below 32F/0C and being in S.Ontario we can get pretty cold here.  Where I am we are not sheltered from the wind, which was the bane of my old smoker.  I've read that starting a small piece of coal and letting the ceramic come up to temp slowly before piling more coal on will work, but wanted to gauge opinion. 


One thought I had was taking a low wattage lightbulb in a work light hanging in my garage and placing that on the coal and letting it go for a few hours - letting the low heat output of the lightbulb warm the inside but I haven't tried it yet.  I'm worried if I grill in temps below freezing I'll crack the ceramic. 


Any ideas, thoughts and experiences welcome.  I waited a long time for this grill and I'm not willing to attempt anything that will damage it.  :)


Thank you!

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My temps rarely get into the teens (°F) but I just build the fire as normal and let it cool off as normal.  I don't see how you could thermal shock the ceramics unless you let the fire build to max temp and then threw ice water inside.  I've seen pics with snow still accumulating on some eggs during low and slow cooks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fired up the KJIII last night for NYE and the temp was hovering around -7 C with a mild wind.  I let it come up slow with one KJ fire starter and had no problems.  Thank you all for the recommendations and tips!  I'll be firing it up again tomorrow for some rotisserie turkey.  :) 

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Turned out great!  I did one turkey with a bbq rub on the joetisserie for an hour, then it went into the fryer for 3 min/lb.  This one stayed on the joetisserie for about 3 hours or so with a butter lemon herb mix.  Temp was between 300F and 320F (I used the flame boss to try and keep it dialed in, as it was windy and quite cold yesterday).  Both birds were fantastic but I prefer this one.  I'd say it even beats spatchcocking.  :)  


One note for other newbies out there that I want to mention - adjust your rotisserie clamps every hour or so. As the bird cooks/shrinks you may have to reseat and push them together more during the cook to get a firm grip.


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