Lighting and Temperature Control
Only natural lump charcoal should be used in Primo Ceramic Grills. Primo’s Natural Lump Charcoal is made from whole stock hardwood giving food a natural wood fire flavor. Natural lump charcoal burns cleaner and longer than briquette charcoal. Another advantage of natural lump charcoal is that it can be relit for multiple cooks.
How to Light the Charcoal
DO NOT USE starter fluid because it will be absorbed by the ceramics and impart a chemical or fuel taste to your food. Primo offers its own brand of paraffin fire starters that light the charcoal without any unwanted tastes. You may also use an electric starter, gas torch, chimney starter or even a paper towel crumpled into a ball.
For best results build a mound of natural lump charcoal. Use full firebox of charcoal for smoking and searing temperatures or half a firebox of charcoal for two-zone cooking.
- Light the charcoal using one of the above methods.
- Wait 5-10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.
- Close the dome, then fully open the draft door and fully open the top vent by sliding the top disk all the way to the right.
Tip: You can't have too much charcoal, but you can have too little.
Controlling the Temperature
- Close the dome and fully open the top vent.
- When you are 25°F (14°C) from your target temperature, close the top vent down to one-third open.
- Wait 1-2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize. Increase or decrease the airflow of the top vent as needed. A 1/4” (6mm) move can change the temperature by as much as 25°F (14°C).
- For "low and slow" temperatures like 225°F (107°C), start with a very small fire in one area of the charcoal.
- Close the dome after 5 minutes with the draft door and top vent fully open. Allow the temperature to come up slowly until it reaches 200°F (93°C), set the draft door to 1” (25mm) open (Fig. 3) and the top vent to 1/2” (13mm) open with the daisy wheel holes fully open. Adjust the top vent as needed to maintain the target temperature.
Tip: Allow the temperature to rise slowly up to your target temperature. It is easy to raise the temperature, but very difficult to lower it.