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Grill Dome Rebuild Project


KamadoCobra
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Last summer, I was given a "hand-me-down" Grill Dome which had chipped under prolonged exposure to extreme weather.

 

I decided to do a complete overhaul. This included repairing chips, rebuilding missing sections, and a full repaint using a high-temp wrinkle finish.  I also ordered a brand-new kevlar/nomex weave gasket which was custom-sized for the Grill Dome (more on that in a separate post).

 

The owners of Grill Dome graciously spent a lot of time with me by phone and via email to explain in detail all the considerations for my project. Below are pictures of the various stages - from stripping paint, to resurfacing, repainting, through to the final build.

 

It was a fun project and I learned a lot!  As a result of my first success, I inherited a second cooker which I plan to strip down and re-build this summer. I plan on applying a new high-heat ceramic paint and if all goes as planned, this cooker will look like nothing you have ever seen!

 

Enjoy.

 

KCobra

 

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Looks great, what did the new hardware cost?

 

Hey philpom

 

Cost was about $280 in paint and supplies (JB Weld, refractory cement for filler, finishing tools, gasket etc.).  I was able to re-use the existing hardware since the cooker had never been fired.  I had to sand down the ceramic lining to remove mold build-up due to prolonged exposure.  I also refinished the handle with a cedar stain.

 

I used the GD as my "winter griller" and added a side cart for just $69 from IKEA (see my previous post in the forum here). I also ordered the newer GD charcoal grate and added a Smokeware Vent which resulted in really responsive performance (photo of it here in this post).  I really like it for the spacious lid: you can fit three large beer-can chickens without worrying about touching the top when it's closed.

 

I was told by the owner of GD that their ceramics can absorb up to 4 litres of water - which makes for much moister meats.  This is both a blessing and a curse, as I found out. The GD has to be "bone-dry" before painting.  Otherwise, any remaining moisture in the ceramic will "bleed" through the surface resulting in blistering of the paint.  Re-installing the hinge is a bit tricky but once you figure it out, it's straightforward.  At first I wasn't a big fan of the hinge but since I've been using it for several months, I now appreciate the sleek, compact design.  

 

Overall, the GD's roomy lid and the ceramics are top-notch. These are the 2 advantages it has over other brands.

 

IMHO, if Grill Dome bundled more standard accessories (e.g. stand, multi-level grill, pizza stone), it would be a compelling "buy" for new customers.  If it also included a Smokeware cap, it would provide very responsive temperature adjustment performance.  

 

Unfortunately, their dealer support near me in Canada is limited.  That being said, Grill Dome are again graciously helping me out with my second re-build which will include some serious hardware upgrades.

 

KCobra

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Is the grill dome less stable to the elements than glazed kamados?

 

This past winter was very harsh for extreme weather and I did find it very stable. The GD gets up to heat quickly due to the high absorbency of the ceramic. It also seems to hold heat for several hours after a shutdown.  No real difference there.  The painted exterior needs a bit more care than a glazed Kamado in that Grill Dome recommended I keep it covered when not in use. 

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