How to Cook Overnight on the Auto-Kamado™

Char-Griller Ambassador Steve Dotson shares tips for overnight cooking using an AKORN Auto-Kamado grill.

Today we are going to talk about what has re-become my favorite thing and that is the overnight low and slow smoke on the Char-Griller AKORN® Auto-Kamado! It’s sort of funny the natural progression of BBQ cooks in the past decade has been to start off fighting and learning to cook low and slow, then move on to hot and fast, and somewhere along the way we go back to a more traditional low and slow. Especially when low and slow can be done so easily on cookers like the Auto-Kamado, I can't help but set it up to run overnight and wake up to an almost done, incredibly well rendered BBQ. While relearning the best ways to cook low and slow here are a couple tips I’ve found that make the whole process more enjoyable.


To begin with if you’re going low and slow overnight, we’re talking six to eight hours of unwrapped smoke, that temp really better be 225 or lower. The Auto-Kamado can do this but I’ve got to warn you, while it is first coming up to temp you will be tempted to cut the top vent back lower the the setting of 1 it tells you to put it at. Don’t do that! Trust the controller. I have tried to cut it back before to avoid the overshoot but what happens is I accidentally snuff out the fire and what should've taken twenty minutes to come up to temperature has to be entirely restarted a second time. When I listen to what the controller says, what I often find is that when I come out to put the meat on, the cooker is up around 250 degrees, but by the time I open it to put the meat on it stabilizes back out at 225 and cruises there all night.

The second tip is because of the nature of low and slow, the easy rendering of all that fat over a prolonged period of time, you can finish your cook with a pretty dirty pit. On the Auto-Kamado I end up with lots of grease buildup on the heat diffuser or around the sides of the internal basket because the fire was so small the grease didn’t burn up. To combat this what I like to do is use the original Char-Griller AKORN Smokin' Stone which is flat, and place a water pan on top of it. There is enough room for the water pan to sit under the grate and now it will catch all of the grease drippings, and the water will keep that grease from burning up. It’s a simple solution that saves a lot of cleanup.

I hope that you’re enjoying your overnight smokes on the Auto-Kamado and if you give these tips a try let me know how it goes for you!