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7 Things To Know About Kamado Joe Jr Mods

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Kamado Joe Jr Mods

Straight out of the box the Kamado Joe Jr. has very few engineering or mechanical faults that require modifying.

Though there are a few accessories you might want to add or upgrades that can help customize your Joe Jr. to your outdoor cooking style.

If you are thinking about integrating your Kamado Joe Jr. into part of your outdoor kitchen, you might want to install it into an aftermarket cart base.

If you don’t plan to use it as a portable grill, then you might want to consider attaching a more sturdy permanent stand underneath.

If your Kamado Joe Jr. came with a daisy wheel on the top vent, you might want to consider upgrading it to a covered model like the Kontrol Tower.

Not only will this prevent rain from making its way down the vent, but it also stays reliably in place during cooking if you need to frequently open and close the dome lid.

If you are planning to use your Kamado Joe Jr. as a portable grill, or you want more rapid preheating, you should seriously consider investing in the charcoal basket.

Not only does it increase the airflow around the charcoal to support vigorous combustion, but it also lets you take the coals out.

This can come in handy if you are using the Joe Jr. at a tailgate party or a trip to the beach and you don’t have time to put the fire out by suffocating it.  

Should You Consider Modding Your Kamado Joe Jr.?

While the Kamado Joe Jr. doesn’t need to be modified, there are a few minor changes and accessories to consider upgrading.

Things like replacing the daisy wheel vent with a Kontrol Tower vent, and adding a charcoal basket just make sense, as they add convenience.

Other modifications, like adding a sear plate, soapstone, or cordierite pizza stone add to the versatility of your Kamado Joe.

What Kind Of Mods Can You Use on a Kamado Joe Jr.?

There are a few different ways to modify your Kamado Joe Jr, starting with the cart base or holder.

There are a few different options that include building your own cart or ordering an aftermarket cart stand or table.

Just make sure that the cart is rated for the 68-pound weight of your Kamado Joe Jr.

Another popular mod of the Kamado Joe Jr. is the chimney cap. Some slightly older versions of the Kamado Joe Jr have a daisy wheel on the top of the ceramic domed lid.

If you don’t have your Kamado Joe on a covered patio, rain can get through the vertical holes on the daisy wheel, getting your meat wet, and potentially affecting heat control.

Upgrading to a covered vent is relatively easy. You can buy one in the accessories and parts section on Kamado Joe’s website.

Some of the larger brick-and-mortar retailers might also have one in stock.

Grill accessory upgrades like a pizza stone, sear plate, or soapstone can also help you sear in creative ways.

Though if you are going to get a pizza stone, you might want to prioritize a cordierite stone over a ceramic one.

Cordierite does a better job of handling high-heat and direct flame.

It is also less prone to the kind of thermal shock and the cracking that ceramic pizza stones can do when you are working with a cold, fresh dough pizza.

A grill expander can be placed directly on a Kamado Joe Jr. grill grates.

This is a great way to add extra vertical cooking space. It’s great for chicken wings, lamb chops, pork chops, and thin cuts of steak like a sandwich cut ribeye.

A drip pan is another simple modification you can make to your Kamado Joe Jr. when you want to use it for indirect heating.

This can be as simple as placing an old pie plate or a disposable aluminum foil baking pan under the piece of meat you are going to cook.

It will catch the drippings, excess marinade, and rendered grease to keep from making a major mess on your Joe Jr.’s heat deflectors.

You can even add water to a drip pan at the start of a smoking session to contribute steam to the equation and keep your meat from drying out.

Kamado Joe Jr Charcoal Grate Upgrade

Kamado Joe offers an accessory charcoal basket that is sometimes referred to as the “Kick Ash” basket that improves airflow around the charcoal, while also making it easier to extinguish.

It’s a great accessory for boosting your Joe Jr.’s preheating time, as well as times when you want to use it as a portable grill, and you don’t have the time to let the flames suffocate.

Kamado Joe Vent Mod

If your Kamado Joe Jr comes with a daisy wheel top vent, you should seriously consider upgrading to the Kontrol Tower vent.

It has a special lid that prevents rainwater from getting down the vent, which often happens with a daisy wheel.

It also stays reliably where you set it, even if you have to frequently open and close the dome lid.

When Should You Consider Modding a Kamado Joe Jr.?

There are some modifications, like upgrading to a cart base and adding an accessory charcoal basket that just makes sense to do right away.

Upgrading from a daisy wheel to a top vent like the Kontrol Tower also makes sense if you will be grilling with your Kamado Joe Jr without any sort of pergola or roof overhead.

Simple modifications like the soapstone, and sear plate can come later.

Especially if you want to get into reverse searing on your Kamado Joe Jr.

Other additions like using a drip pan just make sense and make for easy cleanup once your outdoor cooking skill expands into smoking meat slow and low.

Final Thoughts

A Kamado Joe Jr. is a very versatile outdoor cooking appliance from the moment you take it out of the box.

Though there are some simple modifications and accessories you can add to your arsenal to make it more convenient or to solve some of the Joe Jr.’s minor complaints.

If you’ve been dreaming about installing a Kamado Joe Jr. as the beating heart of your outdoor kitchen, then installing it into a cart base or countertop just makes sense.

Even if you’ve made up your mind and you don’t want to use it as a portable grill, then you might want to invest in a cart base. This will raise the height of the Joe Jr. to take it off your patio table or outdoor counter.

Some Kamado Joe Jr. models come with a daisy wheel on the top vent, which can let rainwater sneak into your firebox. In a scenario like this, you might want to replace it with a Kontrol Tower.

This will prevent rain from invading the vent. You can also trust the lever to stay put during cooks when you need to frequently open and close the dome lid.

A charcoal basket can be a great addition if you like to use your Kamado Joe Jr. as a portable grill.

Not only does it improve airflow around the burning charcoal for more rapid preheating, but it also lets you take the coals out.

It comes in handy for times when you need to extinguish the flames and you don’t have time to suffocate the charcoal. Instead, you just take the charcoal basket out of the firebox and extinguish it in water.

Just make sure that the basket is completely dry before putting it back in, as just a little water can cause a thermal shock crack in the ceramics.