I recently posted a question about a replacement part and want to take a minute to introduce myself to this fine community of like-minded chefs.
I have been cooking on Kamados for 45 years, my first at age 13 was a family friend's large size Imperial that fascinated this young science geek with its simple insulation and drafting properties, stark contrasts with the ubiquitous Webber grills. In college my roommate and I bought a small Imperial for our apartment deck, though since I graduated first the Kamado stayed. In my late 20's, the family friend gave me a large Imperial as a wedding gift which lasted 14 years until "the dog" knocked it over three weeks after I moved out of the house when the marriage failed. A year later, 2002, I bought a new house in Sacramento and picked up a K7 from Richard Johnson which has not experience any of the quality issues others have encountered. It has never had a cover and I am lax about cleaning it, letting the box fill up with ash and the dome stream inside and out with creosote. Cooked hard, not put away at all...
I use the Kamado to grill healthy meat and fish over mesquite lump 3 or 4 times a week -- easily 2500 times. I have cranked it up to more than 800 degrees, sometimes making pizza at 700 degrees. I also go low and slow for briskets and pork shoulders, which are widely appreciated at neighborhood gatherings. Lately I have been cooking thick steaks (2"+) sous vide to 125 degrees and searing them on the Kamado at 700 degrees, finishing the uniform, tender sous vide doneness with a tasty maillard char.
Enough about me, here is the picture of the Kamado on the kitchen deck designed for it, with a roof overhang and grill light. Though outside, the Kamado is closer to our refrigerator than the range in the kitchen. It is not just a cooking tool, it is part of our family home.
Thanks for listening.