I had a very similar experience. Did maybe 20 slow cooks over 5 years on my Bayou Classic (I was based overseas for much of that period). A couple months past the 5 year warranty the piece of junk shattered when I took it up to 500F - I had a full circumference crack around the grill, and when I moved it about 12" in its rolling stand, it shattered and dropped the lid.. Barbour Intl, which owns Bayou Classic Cypress couldn't run fast enough to distance themselves from covering anything. They refused to even consider they had any obligation whatsoever for a grill that failed after light use. They also like to play a game and get you all confused as to the many internet sellers using the name Bayou Classic that they claim are not affiliated with Bayou Classic, expecting you to believe they would allow some unrelated company to use their name. I feel I paid 75% of the cost of a BGE, and got a piece of junk - its like having a car for 5 years and 5,000 miles and the engine falls out and Ford/GM/Toyota pretends they have no obligation for your car with 5,000 miles and no engine. Buy a legitimate kamado, like BGE or Primo, which are legitimate companies that stand behind their products.