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Kamado Joe in The Winter


Canuck27
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Hello,

 

I have just purchased a Kamado Joe Classic 3 this summer.  I have really enjoyed my first cooks on it.  Summer is coming to an end where i live and the Winters can be rather cold.  Will the cold (-20 degrees Celcius +) affect the ceramics if I leave my Kamado outside or the winter?  Will the ceramics crack or break?  These grills are not cheap and i would have to find my grill to to be damaged.

 

Wondering if its ok the leave my Kamado outside for the winter?

 

Paul

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Have had both metal and ceramic kamados through Canadian (low as -35C) Alberta winters with no ill effects, though I was always careful with the ceramics to heat them more slowly to avoid any thermal shock.  Also made sure no moisture (from condensation etc) was left behind in case it froze - freezing water exerts a LOT of pressure if it seeps into a crack etc.

 

Some folks have reported felt gaskets freezing their kamados shut.

 

I often have to use a torch to open vents that are frozen shut though...

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I try not to do anything really high heat (5-600* pizza) when it is really cold, granted really cold here in southern Ontario is like -10, which isn't that cold.  I keep my LG24 covered up to keep the rain and snow out of it too.

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Coldest it has ever been here (while I lived here is 5 degrees) I cooked. But my experience is nothing compared to the Canadian guys who wear Ugg boots, shorts, and a parka to cook in sub arctic temps with a smile on their faces. There was a guy on here a while back that lived by a lake in Wisconsin and got seriously cold temps combined with lake effect snow. He had his Joes in a pergola behind the house and cut a path through what looked like ten feet of snow, with ice walls well above his head as he walked wearing crampons out to his grills. All these folks cooked year round.

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Hi. I also have cold winters. The cold will not affect your ceramic grill, putting a cover on is recommended. Using the grill is ok too, but it will likely take more fuel to bring it to temperature. That's what I found in the research.

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I left my KJ out in the back yard with a cover over the last NE winter. No problem at all. I probably would have cooked on it but after cleaning snow off a 100 foot driveway, I can't get motivated to clean off a 500 SF patio so unless the snow all melts off which it did not do much of last year I just cook indoors.

 

My advice if you want to cook in the winter is to heat the Kamado up slowly and make sure you keep the cover on when not using to keep moisture off the ceramics.

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Where I live the winter temperatures can get quite frigid.. like -40 Celsius. I keep my deflector plates /grills etc. in my home when not in use at that time of year… Keep them at room temperature and when grill is above 175F  start to insert…ff I’m looking ahead, I will load in a 5 gallon pail with some lump and bring it into my home, to allow it to sweat out any moisture prior to the cook..  Once cook is done I raise the temp in that time of season to about 500F to burn off oils/grease etc. and hinder mold growth.  When shutting down I do a quick rub down on the outside of the grill with some disinfectant wipes… ..I place a few piece of aluminum foil between the gaskets on the bottom and dome of the grill  to allow for non-sticking gaskets… Once cool down is completed I open the vents so they don’t stick/freeze.. If they do I use a heat gun gently to open them.. As time permits upon cooking I get rid of the ash.. Ash with moisture allows for rust on stainless steel, things like ash collector etc. . I find an old used shop vac I have makes that an easy piece to do.  Then cover for the next cook..

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I also find that with really cold dense air like I experience that fuel consumption of charcoal .. after initial warm up ceramics is not as big an issue as I thought it would be.. However... I always go slow with the warm up of the ceramics and plates when doing a "cold ambient temperature " cook.. And if I'm doing this ,figure load up more on charcoal in the box anyways.. It won't go to waste and can be used again if not burnt off ..Hope this helps

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