Welcome to the Primo Frequently Asked Questions page. Below you will find answers to the most common questions asked about Primo Ceramic Grills. If you don't find an answer to your questions here please feel free to contact us using one of the links above based on the type of question you have, or visit the Primo Grill Forum to get answers from Primo Grill users.
Do I Need to Season or Break In My Primo Before I Use it to Cook? +No. Every Primo Ceramic Grill is ready to use immediately. Do not apply oil or any other substance to the interior of the exposed ceramics. After extended use of your Primo the interior will develop a build-up of black residue called creosote; it is the same substance that develops in a wood fireplace chimney over time. Prior to cooking and while the grill is cool, you can use a soft bristle brush to remove most of the residue.
My firebox is cracked and I need to file a warranty claim. +
You Have Two Options:
- Continue to Use it Without Filing a Claim. It will not affect the cooking performance, it is completely safe to use, and may not crack further. This option reserves your right to file a claim for a replacement firebox in the future and avoids the current cost of shipping.
- Continue to Use it and File a Warranty Claim. Primo highly recommends that you store the replacement firebox and continue to use your existing one. This option allows you to replace your firebox immediately if a separation occurs in the future, however, you are responsible for the shipping cost. To avoid shipping costs you may pick up your firebox at the Primo factory after your warranty claim is approved.
Why Did My Firebox Crack? +
It is not uncommon to experience a crack in the firebox over the life of your grill. A crack can occur due to the stresses placed on it from the expansion and contraction from repeated heating and cooling.
The two main functions of a Primo firebox are to hold the lump charcoal and to protect the ceramic grill base from exposure to the high heat of the lit charcoal (1,500°F+/815°C).
It can be alarming to see a crack. A crack actually serves as a “relief point” for future expansion and it may not crack further. Even if the crack expands the full height of the firebox it will not affect the cooking performance and it is completely safe to use.
Learn more about firebox cracking.Firebox information from the Naked Whiz Web Site
Why Doesn’t Primo Use a Fire Ring? +
The design of a firebox with a fire ring is an old design when Kamado grills were made out of fire brick material. It was very difficult to achieve searing temperatures with this type of material without the firebox or base cracking. The design allowed a customer to remove the fire ring to place the cooking grate closer to the charcoal fire.
What is the Difference Between a Primo Ceramic Grill and a Gas or Charcoal Grill? +
There are two main differences:
- Primo grills are ceramic and act like an insulator to hold in the heat and retain the natural moisture of food, so foods are incredibly juicy. Metal grills radiate heat and pull moisture from the food.
- Primo grills can be used as a grill, an oven, a roaster, and a smoker. Simply adjust the cooking configuration and airflow.
What is Covered Under the Warranty? +
- Limited Lifetime Warranty Backed by a 20-year guarantee on all ceramic parts.
- Five years on all metal parts (excluding cast iron parts).
- One year on all cast iron parts.
- 30 days on thermometers and felt gaskets.
How Long Does it Take to Heat the Grill Before I Can Begin Cooking? +
About 15 minutes. About the same time it takes to preheat a gas grill.
Will the Ceramics Crack Under Extreme Heat, Cold or Rain? +
No. Primo ceramics are very sturdy and there is no danger of cracking due to extreme heat, below zero temperatures, or rain. Do not pour water into the grill while it is hot to extinguish the lit charcoal. It may crack the ceramics, and it will definitely create a mess inside your grill.
The outside of my grill looks like it has small cracks on the surface. Is this a defect? +No. The "crazing" effect on the surface of your grill It is not a cracking or defect in the glaze. It is the natural result of the very high temperatures we use to fire our ceramics, and the gloss black finish for the glaze. Other ceramic grill companies use a dull finish, because it reduces the visibility of crazing and also hides surface blemishes. If you look closely at other ceramic grills you will see some level of crazing. A gloss black finish just makes it stand out more.
What Kind of Charcoal Should I Use? +
Only natural lump charcoal should be used. Primo Natural Lump Charcoal is made from whole stock hardwood. It gives food a natural wood fire flavor, burns clean, and burns longer than briquette charcoal. Also, natural lump charcoal can be relit for multiple cooks.
Can I Use Briquette Charcoal? +
Yes and no. You can use standard briquette charcoal but it will not achieve the high temperatures or extended burn times of natural lump charcoal. Do not use “Instant light” charcoal because the fumes will be absorbed by the ceramics and impart a “fuel taste” to the food.
How Do I Light the Charcoal? +
Primo makes it own brand of paraffin fire starters. You can also use an electric starter, torch, chimney starter, or even a paper towel crumbled into a ball. Do not use starter fluid because it will be absorbed by the ceramics and impart a chemical or fuel taste to your food.
My Grill Will Not Heat to Over 400°F (205°), What is Wrong? +
Heat source, amount of charcoal and airflow are likely one or more of the issues.
Make sure you are using dry and fresh natural lump charcoal. If you live in an area with high humidity or the charcoal has gotten wet it will not perform well. Also, mixing fresh charcoal with other charcoal that has been used in a previous cooking can reduce the temperature.
Solution: Purchase a fresh bag of Primo Natural Lump Charcoal or other premium brand. Also, make sure you are making a mound of lump charcoal that is at least halfway up the height of the firebox. Make sure that ash or small pieces of charcoal are not restricting the airflow of the lower draft door or the bottom of the fire grate located at the base of the firebox. Finally, fully open the draft door top vent for maximum airflow.
How Do I Clean the Grill? +
Primo grills are self-cleaning. The interior will blacken, but it does not need to wiped off. To clean the grill and main grate of food residue, heat the grill to 600°F+ for 30 minutes. Heat deflector plates and heat deflector racks can sit on top of the cooking grates for this procedure (Do not leave in the default position). The exterior can be cleaned with soap and water or a household cleaner.
What Accessories Will I Need? +
Heat Deflector Plates and Heat Deflector/Drip Pan Racks are an essential accessory for indirect cooking like baking, roasting and smoking. Other popular accessories include: Baking Stone, Extension Racks, Grill Table, and Grill Cover. In the end, it really depends on what you plan to cook and the available space.
Do I Need a Grill Cover? +
Primo grills are made to live outside. Many owners prefer a grill cover to reduce occasional cleaning of the outside, or to protect the surface of their wood grill table from the sun and elements, or for off-season storage.
Are the ceramic feet included with each Primo Grill? +
No. If you purchase a Primo wood grill table they are included. If you are building your own grill table or having your Primo Grill placed in an outdoor kitchen you can order them through your Authorized Primo Dealer. Alternately, you can call Primo and order them at 770-492-3920.