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Kamado Grill High Temperature Burn Off for Cleaning


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I understand it works kind of like a self-cleaning oven where the oven runs at a high temperature for a longer period of time to burn off all the grime that can accumulate in the oven.

 

I tried about 1 tried this on my BGE for about 1hr and 15 minutes at 500 degrees.   Afterwords, I would not call my grill clean.  It did remove the grease and grime from my stainless steal grate.  The grate is dark bronze in color but not greasy.  It also burned to char the grease on my half moon ceramic surface that I use as a heat deflector while cooking.  I presume that char will crust scrape off and leave at least a smooth dry surface.  

 

First off.  Is it recommended to do this burn-off?  How long should the burn-off take to do a good cleaning?  Other thoughts or suggestions?

 

Thank you. 

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Depends on the temp for both length of time and how much residue you have to brush off afterwards. The better results and shorter times are at higher temps ime. I tend to do burn offs a lot less frequently than and at lower temps than in the past. I find the high 500’s and low 600’s the range I prefer now. As for time, I just give it an extra 15 to 30 minutes after the thick white smoke goes transparent. 

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I really shoot for a temp above 600 to burn the crud off everything inside my Joe.  Residential self-cleaning ovens shoot for a temperature of 880 F;  I have been close to 800 on a pizza cook on the Joe with a really high Eeek! factor in there.  There was a lot of ash where crud had been before after that cook, though.  So as high as you are comfortable with is going to leave the most easily cleanable ash behind.

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On 10/4/2021 at 11:40 PM, CentralTexBBQ said:

yup that's about how I used to do them- open it wide and feel my gonads suck up into my throat after realizing I was approaching 900°. :-D

 

I don't mind getting into the 700's but, warranted or not, I tend to feel a lot better in the 600's.

I did this once too and the gasket was never the same, agree with the 700's.

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I've never used "high temperatures" to burn-off my (cast iron ...) grill.  Just a wire brush or kitchen "scratcher," soap and water, and elbow grease, followed by "re-seasoning" if very-occasionally necessary.  My grill never operates at a temperature over 400ºF.  Food never sticks to properly-seasoned cast iron.

 

The next day after every cook, I thoroughly clean the (Akorn, Jr.) grill inside and out.  To this day, my grill looks mostly just like it did when I first brought it home.  And, "I like it that way."

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On 10/7/2021 at 1:46 PM, easternsmoker said:

I did this once too and the gasket was never the same, agree with the 700's.

 

exactly, that's why I dialed it down initially. However with the mesh gaskets I have now, that's no longer an issue.

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Just curious. I just bought a used Grill Dome and it's in pretty rough shape. It's whole on the outside but the fire box was toast and the finish is worse. I replaced the fire box with a BGE part. It is so desperately filthy I cringed before putting my hands in it. Was completely full of ash and had 2-3" hanging threads of nastiness coming off the cast iron grill. The gasket is barely there. I have ordered everything I need to bring it back to life but I am wondering if I can do a burn off to make sure everything is great before I replace the gaskets?

This is my first Kamado and we have a Kamado Joe Jr on the way to use as well.

Any advice is very much appreciated.

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:welcome: TamiP.  From what you describe, a cleansing burnoff or two is probably a very good idea.  I wouldn't worry too much about the deteriorated gaskets--use your top and bottom vents to prevent your temperatures from getting out of control--although some use temperatures considerably higher for a burnoff, I find that 600*-650* does the job just fine.

After the first burnoff, I'd scrape the interior walls, top and bottom, with some balled up aluminum foil, get rid of any ash/crud that comes off, then do another cleansing burn to really clean up the interior. After the kamado is cleaned to your satisfaction, you can install the new gaskets.

 

Sounds like you're pretty well prepared to complete the restoration.  Let the adventure begin!

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Yeah, I find that cooking a couple Pizzas at 650 will turn the bottom of my pizza stone and the inside of my fire box and fire ring a nice clean chalky white. The inner kettle wall and the inner surface of your dome will remain black. When my Egg is cool,  I take about a yard of aluminum foil and crumple it into a softball size ball which I press into a burger shaped  scrub pad, and use this pad to scrub down the inner surface of my kettle and dome. Then I use my ash vac to vacuum up the carbon flakes of the kettle floor. Whole process including removing the ceramic components takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and after completion of this process my kamado is what I consider sparkling clean and ready to go. I usually do this once or maybe twice a year if I have done a number of low and slows. The more pizza you cook, the cleaner your kamado will be. I am not a fan of temps over 650. Happy cooking. 

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Thank you so much, both of you! It's going right now. I filled the charcoal basket and left the vents wide open. It's already at 700F and I did remove the thermometer so I'm just going to let it do what it does. I will check it and scrub as you suggested in the morning and start it all over again. I can already see from the upper vent the grill is looking fabulous. Fire ring not so much. I scraped out a 4 gallon bag of nasty from the inside before I even started it.

Do I need to re-season my grill when I'm done?

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51 minutes ago, TamiP said:

 

Do I need to re-season my grill when I'm done?

If you mean the cooking grate, and if the cooking grate is cast iron, I'd say yes, re-season.  If the grate is stainless steel, then it should not need "re-seasoning" in the traditional sense; just oil it well before your first cook.

If you mean the ceramics, then I'd say no, no need to "re-season", although I'm not sure what "re-seasoning" the ceramics would involve.

 

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Dunno – I don't want to incinerate my cast-iron seasoning.  A few minutes with a wire brush and maybe a metal putty-knife gets rid of the residue.  Then, let it dry completely in the air and zap it lightly with canola-oil spray.  Quick check for rust that would require re-seasoning.  Done.

 

Full disclosure: I never subject my (not-ceramic ...) grill to temperatures over 350ºF or so.  I do any "searing" that I want to do in a cast-iron skillet on my kitchen stove.

 

Lodge Corporation – a major manufacturer of cast iron products whose headquarters is very close to me – has many excellent web-pages and videos on the subject of seasoning.  If you properly season a cast-iron grate and maintain it, nothing will stick to it anyway.  You hit it fairly lightly with your wire brush and the stuff just falls right off.  "Seasoning" is not a surface coating: it is a polymerization which actually binds to the metal.

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