10 Common Reasons Kamado Joe Not Getting Hot Enough (With Fixes)

Are you having trouble getting your Kamado Joe to reach the desired temperature? If so, you’re not alone. 

Many people have experienced this issue and it can be incredibly frustrating. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to get your Kamado Joe up to the perfect cooking temperature. 

In this article, we will discuss common causes of why your Kamado Joe is not reaching its optimal heat level and provide some helpful tips for fixing the problem quickly and easily. Read on to learn more!

Kamado Joe Not Getting Hot Enough

Kamado Joe Not Getting Hot Enough

1. Insufficient Airflow

Insufficient airflow is one of the most common causes of a Kamado Joe not reaching its desired temperature. 

Without sufficient airflow, the heat generated by burning fuel will not be able to reach the cooking surface, making it difficult for you to cook your food. 


To prevent this from occurring, make sure that your firebox is always open during use and that any vents or dampers are wide open as well. 

Additionally, clean out your firebox regularly with a vacuum cleaner or stiff brush to prevent ash and debris buildup which can impede airflow. 

If your Kamado Joe still isn’t getting hot enough after doing these steps, consider adding additional vents or installing an outside fan to help move air through the system.

2. Improper Charcoal Placement

If you are using a Kamado Joe, but it needs to get hotter, one of the possible reasons could be improper charcoal placement. 


To get your Kamado Joe to reach its optimum temperature, it is important to ensure that the charcoal is placed in a single layer inside the firebox and evenly distributed. 

The bottom vents should also be partially closed so that the heat is focused on the cooking surface and not wasted up the chimney. 

If too much heat escapes through the vent, this can affect how hot your grill will get and result in an unsuccessful cook. 

You can also adjust the top vent to control how much air enters as well as how quickly, which can help you further control the temperature.

3. Inadequate searing zone

If the Kamado Joe is not getting hot enough, an inadequate searing zone could be one of the possible reasons. 

The searing zone of a Kamado Joe is the hottest part of the grill, and it should reach around 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit or more. 

Temperature variation throughout the Kamado Joe can prevent proper searing. 


To correct this issue, make sure that all vents are open so that heat can properly disperse across the entire cooking surface and ensure that there is an even distribution of charcoal or wood fuel in order to provide consistent heat output. 

For optimal results, use a thermometer to check for proper temperature levels and adjust accordingly.

4. Ventilation issues

Ventilation issues can be a cause of Kamado Joe not getting hot enough. 

If there is not enough air entering the grill, either from a lack of airflow or an improperly-sized draft door, heat buildup is limited and the overall temperature may not reach its desired level. 


This issue can often be resolved by ensuring that all vents are open and that there is no blockage preventing airflow into the grill, as well as adjusting the size of the draft door. 

It may also be wise to invest in an adjustable vent or air control system to allow for greater control over air intake levels when trying to maintain a more consistent temperature.

5. Low-quality fuel

Low-quality fuel can lead to a Kamado Joe not getting hot enough. Low-quality fuels such as charcoal briquettes may lack the proper heat output needed to reach the desired temperature. 

Additionally, the improper size of the charcoal may require more airflow to ignite and burn which may result in inadequate heat output. 


To ensure your Kamado Joe is getting hot enough, it is recommended to use high-quality lump charcoal or hardwood that will burn hotter and provide superior heat output. 

Be sure to use only the recommended size of charcoal pieces, as smaller pieces will burn faster without providing sufficient heat for cooking.

6. High humidity levels

High humidity levels can significantly reduce the temperature of a Kamado grill, as it hampers air circulation and prevents the burning of fuel. 


To solve this problem, it’s important to reduce the moisture in the air around the grill. 

This can be done by using a fan to move air around and direct it away from the grill, or by placing a dehumidifier close to the kamado to reduce moisture levels in the surrounding area. 

Additionally, sealing any areas where air could enter or escape near the kamado can also help keep humidity levels under control. 

Keeping an eye on humidity levels can help ensure that your kamado stays hot enough for grilling and smoking recipes with ease.

7. Wrong lid/damper settings

Wrong lid/damper settings can be a common cause of your Kamado Joe not getting hot enough. 

Without proper control of airflow, the temperature inside the grill can struggle to reach the desired level. 

People often make mistakes such as not opening both top and bottom dampers fully or closing them too much. 


It is important to have both dampers open about 25 percent for a good heat flow, allowing just enough air in to keep the fire burning but not too much that it will be negatively affected. 

Additionally, make sure that the top damper should always be slightly opened more than the bottom one in order to keep proper airflow.

8. Ignition problems

When it comes to Kamado Joe not getting hot enough, one of the more common causes is ignition problems. 

Ignition problems can be caused by a number of things, including worn spark plugs, improperly adjusted air and fuel mix, or clogged filters. 

A technician should inspect the entire system to determine the cause before attempting any repairs. 


The most common repair for this issue is to replace the spark plugs or adjust the air and fuel mix as necessary. 

It’s important to also check for any blockages in the exhaust system, as these can prevent proper ignition from occurring. 

Proper maintenance and tuning can help prevent these types of issues from occurring in the future.

9. Too much fuel used

The Kamado Joe not getting hot enough could be caused by using too much fuel. 

As a Kamado-style grill, the Kamado Joe operates best with a specific amount of fuel to ensure efficient heat production and temperature control. 

When too much fuel is added, this can lead to difficulty in controlling the temperature of the grill, as well as a reduced ability to evenly distribute heat throughout its chamber.


To prevent this issue from occurring, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely when using your Kamado Joe – use only the amount of fuel specified in the manual and never add more than that amount. 

Further, make sure that the coals are spread out evenly throughout the chamber before lighting them up – this will help your Kamado Joe heats evenly and efficiently.

10. Overloading the grill grate

One of the most common reasons Kamado Joe grills are not getting hot enough is that the grill grate may be overloaded. 

This could be because too many ingredients were placed on the grate, or because the ingredients are stacked too closely together.


To fix this issue, it is important to make sure that there is plenty of room between each item, allowing air to circulate and heat up evenly around the entire surface area. 

Additionally, using a charcoal basket can help with coals being spread out more evenly and reducing unneeded fuel while increasing airflow. 

Finally, if your grill is still having trouble heating up properly, you may need to clean out any ashes or debris from in between your grates as this can prevent proper airflow as well.


If you’re having trouble getting your Kamado Joe up to the desired temperature, it’s important to take a few steps back and assess what might be causing this issue.

 From checking for any blockages in the air vents or ports, adjusting the dampers, inspecting for damages and cracks in the ceramic shell, or even making sure that there is enough charcoal being used – these are all possible factors that can contribute to not achieving optimal cooking temperatures with your Kamado Joe. 

By taking time out of your busy schedule to troubleshoot these potential causes one by one, you’ll soon have delicious meals cooked on your Kamado Joe at just the right heat!


Why is my Kamado Joe grill not getting hot?

There could be several reasons why your Kamado Joe grill is not getting hot, such as inadequate or insufficient airflow, obstructions in the vents, or a problem with the igniter. 

Make sure all of the vents are open and clear of debris and check that the igniter is working properly.

 If none of these resolve your issue then you may have a more serious problem and should contact a technician for assistance.

How do I increase heat in my Kamado Joe?

Increase heat in your Kamado Joe by ensuring adequate airflow and open vents, checking the igniter is working properly, and adjusting the air intake for more airflow.

How long does it take for a Kamado Joe grill to heat up?

The approximate time for a Kamado Joe grill to heat up is about 10-15 minutes depending on ambient temperature, airflow, and the type of fuel used.

What is the best temp for Kamado?

The best temperature for a Kamado grill is between 225-400 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re grilling at higher temperatures, like 400+, you’ll want to use indirect heat to help protect your food from getting too charred or burned. 

Low and slow is the name of the game for most Kamado cooks!

Pit Boss Display Not Working

Nexgrill Not Getting Hot Enough

Big Green Egg Not Closing Properly

Big Green Egg Not Smoking

My Charcoal Won’t Light

Scroll to Top