Q. IS THERE AN EASY WAY TO GET COALS STARTED?
A. There are a couple of ways to get your coals started. First, start with good, dry charcoal made of premium hardwoods, because they light easily, maintain a steady cooking temperature, and burn longer. We recommend either a chimney-type starter or a starter stick. A chimney starter arranges the coals in a column allowing the coals to heat to a very high temperature in a short period of time. Place the chimney on the charcoal grate over crumpled paper or fire starters. With the PK lid open, let the coals burn until they have a coating of light gray ash which typically takes 10-20 minutes. Pour the hot coals onto the charcoal grate and arrange for Direct or Indirect cooking with long-handled tongs. To use a starter stick, simply arrange unlit charcoal in a pyramid and place a starter stick into the middle and light.
Q. WHAT IS THE PROPER SETTING FOR THE AIR VENTS ON MY PK?
A. The answer to this question depends upon the temperature you wish to operate your PK. For indirect (slow) cooking, it is best to arrange your coals and your food on opposite sides of the PK. On the bottom of the PK, leave the vent directly below the coals open and the vent directly below the food closed. Up top, close the vent above the coals and open the vent above the food. This configuration will draw air up through the hot coals and over the food. Closing the vents slightly will lower the internal temperature of the PK while opening the vents will raise the internal temperature.
For direct cooking, leave all vents open. Closing the vents slightly will lower the internal temperature of the grill while opening the vents will raise the internal temperature of the grill. Closing all the vents completely will put out the fire. If you have leftover charcoal, you can save it for next time. If you have leftover beer, you did something wrong.
Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DIRECT AND INDIRECT COOKING?
A. The primary difference between direct and indirect cooking is the position of your food relative to the heat source. Food which is placed away from the fire will cook indirectly, like a convection oven. Food which is placed directly over the fire will cook primarily via the heat from the fire below, however unique to the PK, direct cooking takes place with the lid closed which also provides valuable convection heat to all sides of the food producing a more flavorful result.
Q. HOW DO YOU CONTROL THE TEMPERATURE?
A. The 4-way adjustable vents (two on top and two on bottom) control the temperature by allowing oxygen to reach the fire. Open vents increase the amount of oxygen inside the grill allowing the fire to burn hotter. Closed vents decrease the amount of oxygen inside the grill which starves the fire and lowers the temperature. For new PK owners, take the time to experiment with different vent placements. When judging how much to open or close a vent remember that a little (vent movement) goes a long way (temperature change). Closing all four vents will put the fire out completely.
Here are some tips for increasing the temperature:
- You may need more charcoal to achieve a higher temperature. Also, some charcoal is better than others so you may need to upgrade your charcoal.
- If you're using lump charcoal, make sure you don't have too many large pieces. Smaller pieces will burn hotter.
- Make sure that you let the charcoal burn a little longer after you've dumped it in the grill.
- Keep all vents fully open. The PK360 bottom two vents are open when they are twisted all the way to the left so that the air can enter through the air intake tubes and into the grill.
- Make sure you start with a clean grill as the ash may build up around the bottom two vents.
- To get a more accurate temperature by the cooking grid, we suggest using an infrared digital thermometer. The Tel-Tru thermometers are better utilized for smoking rather than for hot and fast grilling for steaks or hamburgers.
Q. CAN I PUT CHARCOAL DIRECTLY ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PK?
A. No. Charcoal should always be placed on the charcoal grate and never directly on the cast aluminum surface of the PK. Replacement cooking surfaces and charcoal grates can be purchased on our website.
Q. MY CHARCOAL WON’T STAY LIT. WHAT’S WRONG?
A. Your vents are closed, silly. Open the vents and the lid. Keep in mind that when your vents are wide open, there is more oxygen to make the fire hotter. By adjusting your vents, you are adjusting the amount of oxygen that is feeding the fire. Now, crack open another adult soda and relight the coals.
Q. IS THIS THE SAME CAST ALUMINUM GRILL THAT MY FATHER OWNED 50 YEARS AGO?
A. PK Original Grill & Smoker is made using the original 1950s design. Our newer grill models that we’ve introduced beginning in 2017 have the same heritage of the original model, but with key feature updates making them easy to use and helping them last for decades.
Q. DO I NEED TO SEASON MY GRILL?
A. It’s not necessary to season your grill, but you certainly can. Click here to watch Johnny give us some seasoning advice.
Q. HOW DO I REFUEL WHILE SLOW COOKING?
A. Your PK grill includes a hinged cooking grid to allow for easy refueling without removing food. When slow cooking, remember to place your food on the fixed portion of the hinged grid. When you need more fuel, just raise the hinged portion of the grid and place 3 to 5 pieces of charcoal into the fire using long tongs. You might want to wear a heat proof glove as well just to be safe.
Q. WHERE CAN I FIND SOME REALLY GOOD BBQ RECIPES TO TRY?
Q. WHERE CAN I FIND EDUCATIONAL FUN VIDEOS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MY GRILL?
A. We hear you! PK has an educational video series called PKEdu that is very popular. Check them out!
Q. CAN I COOK A TURKEY ON MY PK?
A. Yes. Depending on which PK Grill you own, you can cook a 15-19 lb. turkey.
Q. WILL THE CURRENT COOKING GRID/CHARCOAL GRATE FIT MY VINTAGE PK?
A. Several different models of the Portable Kitchen® were previously made and are still cooking fantastic meals today. You will need to measure the cooking grid or charcoal grate that is being replaced. If the cooking grid that holds the food measures 14 3/16 inches x 21 1/2 inches and has rounded corners, then it is replaceable. Here is a link to that cooking grid and charcoal grate.
Q. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY NEW GRILL?
A. Once we receive your order, it will ship out within 1-2 business days. We’re centrally located in Little Rock, AR, so the shipping time will vary from 1-5 business days, depending on where you’re shipping it to. When the carrier picks up your order, you’ll receive an email with the tracking number and shipping information.
Q. HOW DO I CLEAN MY GRILL?
A. For regular cleaning, we recommend a mild detergent such as Dawn dish detergent (about a teaspoon in a gallon of warm water) using a soft cloth to wash the surface. You can also spray it with a degreaser such as Simple Green. Avoid using any type of abrasive cleaner or abrasive pad as these could mar or scuff the surface. Always avoid Easy Off or cleaners with bleach.
For tougher stains use 1 tablespoon of vinegar to two cups of water and using a soft cloth wipe it down and repeat as necessary. Stains are best removed when the grill is still a little warm.
Q. HOW DO I CARE FOR MY PKGO CAST IRON COOKING GRATE?
A. Cast iron is a great cooking surface for searing and grilling but does take some special maintenance. Prior to the first use, season the cast iron grates to prevent rust and sticking. First wash with a mild soap, rinse and completely dry with a soft cloth. Spread a thin coating of vegetable oil over the entire surface of the grate. Place them back on the PKGO, with prepared lit charcoal, and close the lid. Allow them to heat for at least an hour then close the vents and allow them to cool. To prevent rusting, repeat this seasoning process, especially during the first several uses of the PKGO. If you do find rust, brush with a steel wire brush and wash with a mild soap. Completely dry with a soft cloth and repeat the seasoning process with a thin layer of vegetable oil and heating with the lid closed for at least an hour.
Q. I CAN’T FIND MY PK GRILL MANUAL.
A. Easy peasy! Click here to find all our PK Grill manuals.
Q. PK HAS A GREAT WARRANTY! HOW DO I REGISTER MY GRILL?
A. PK Grills does have a great warranty! Hang on to your receipt because you’ll need it to register. To register and learn more about our warranty click here.
Q. HOW CAN I SUBMIT A WARRANTY CLAIM?
A. To submit a claim for a replacement part please click here to provide the specific information requested. You can see the required information below that you’ll need to complete the form. This information will help us understand the issue and assist you in a quick efficient way. Once we receive your claim, we'll review it and get back with you.
Required Information to complete and submit your claim:
- Proof of Purchase or PK Grills order ID
- Description of Issue and the PK product affected
- Shipping Address
- Phone number
- Pictures or video that show the issue
Q. MY FRIENDS WON’T STOP COMING OVER TO MY HOUSE FOR DINNER SINCE I GOT MY NEW PK. WHAT DO I DO?
A. PK’s make nice gifts for friends. However, having lots of friends at your house is a common side effect of owning a PK. We say embrace it, take lots of videos, post them to Instagram, Facebook and TikTok and tag us @pkgrills.