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My First Kamado "The Original Hibachi Pot"

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Congrats on your 'new' old kamado!  It looks great!  I don't read through this topic often, otherwise I would have responded sooner - but I have a Japanese Imperial Kamado (#5) from the late 1950s. I would never let the fire go above 425º or so, don't overload the firebox (don't go higher than the vent holes,) and never dump a load of hot coals into the firebox from a starter chimney - always start your fire in the firebox.  Build a pile of lump charcoal and soak a cotton ball or two in 91% isopropyl alcohol. Press these into the coals about 1" and light.  This will allow the fire to start slowly and gives the firebox time to gradually adjust to the temperature change...

 

If you have any other questions feel free to ask, I have done a lot of research on these units...including Hibachi Pot.

 

--Matt

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Congrats on your 'new' old kamado!  It looks great!  I don't read through this topic often, otherwise I would have responded sooner - but I have a Japanese Imperial Kamado (#5) from the late 1950s. I would never let the fire go above 425º or so, don't overload the firebox (don't go higher than the vent holes,) and never dump a load of hot coals into the firebox from a starter chimney - always start your fire in the firebox.  Build a pile of lump charcoal and soak a cotton ball or two in 91% isopropyl alcohol. Press these into the coals about 1" and light.  This will allow the fire to start slowly and gives the firebox time to gradually adjust to the temperature change...

 

If you have any other questions feel free to ask, I have done a lot of research on these units...including Hibachi Pot.

 

--Matt

Matt,

 

Thanks for all the advice.  I will surely drop in on you for some helpful hints.  And I will start now.....haha.

 

I have been reading in some of threads and there was some mention of "breaking-in" the earthenware" type Kamados like ours.  If this is necessary for the safety and longevity of my beloved Hibachi Pot, what are the proper proceedures to carry out this event.  

 

I have been reading that the earthenware Kamados are not HIGH heat tolerant, so I will surely take that to heart.  My biggest problem know is finding time to fire-up this bad-boy...or gal.  

 

Haha, that would be an interesting thread to start...(why not, I'm curious)

 

Aloha,

Carl

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Hello Carl,

 

I got a few links that may be of interest together for you.  You will find these below.

 

With regard to breaking in the kamado I did not have to go through that myself.  The Imperial I am using was purchased by my Dad in the late 1950s and was used off & on until the early 1980s whereupon it sat dormant until spring of this year.  I cleaned it up the best I could and fired it up with the vents at a reasonable setting (about 1-1/2" on the bottom and the top cap tilted back) and let the fire burn out. I did not want it to get too hot. Everything is still fully intact and I want to keep it that way!

 

Here is a little blurb I wrote up for someone who had acquired an old used kamado:

"If you've got no major cracking on the inside all you should have to do is clean it up really good - avoid using water if possible since these earthenware kamados are porous.  If you do use water be sure to let it dry out 3-4 days before firing it up.  You'll also want to get a nomex gasket for the base so you have a good seal when you close the lid. Give the hinges a few drops of Tri-Flow (or similar oil) at the pivot points.  Give the draft door a few drops as well to ensure smooth operation.  If the firebox is cemented in place don't attempt to remove it. It is fine just where it is. When you do get it fired up try not to let the temperature go above 450º and avoid temperature extremes and rain - these units are extremely susceptible to cracking if 'mistreated'!"

 

Links

The NakedWhiz link has some older manuals online.  There are none specific to the Hibachi Pot but still worth a read. I did not look at them all - there may be a break in procedure mentioned in one.  His page in general is very informative.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/infocentral.htm#olderkamadocookers

 

Some interesting reading on BBQ-Brethern website.  I believe someone here mentions breaking in a never used Hibachi Pot by spraying with Pam inside:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91274

 

And further interesting reads on a Forum run by Augie Longo - he ended up purchasing Imperial Kamado when the company went up for sale a number of years ago:
http://www.kamadobbq.com/blog/2011/04/25/Augie-Talks-Kamado-and-answers-YOUR-questions.aspx

 

*********************************************

 

I hope this helps out - I realize you have likely encountered most of these links in your research.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

--Matt

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Oh yeah,  I highly recommend one of the Maverick OT-03BBQ thermometers for one of these kamados - it is cheap and effective.  You'll know exactly what the temperature is at grate level (just don't let the temp go too high as it could burn out the probe - read the specs in the manual, it should be able to go a bit higher than you'd want to take the kamado anyway.)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-OT-3BBQ-Kitchen-Thermometer-Black/dp/B000P895XA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409324181&sr=8-1&keywords=Maverick+OT-03BBQ

 

 

And a nice heat deflector with 'feet' is a good thing to have so you can do low & slows without burning up the meat too much.  And turned upside down the 'feet' will allow an air pocket between the deflector and the grate. Something like this (and I'm not promoting any seller - this happens to be the same one I have for my Imperial)

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/121128275904?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

 

--Matt

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Aloha? Saw your post. You made a fine investment. I have been cooking on a Kamado pot since 1967 and have enjoyed every minute of doing it.

In 1967 I was fortunate to participate in a mission with the USAF to Vietnam. We stopped off in Kadina, Japan an the aircraft commander reluctantly agreed to allow me to purchase a "Hibachi" pot knowing that we would have to load it on a bus, then onto the aircraft, and then offload it from the aircraft onto another bus and the into a BOQ on each of the remaining legs of the mission. It was the best investment I ever made ... $17.50! I used it for a year and a half and was transferred to CCK on the island of Taiwan where I immediately bought another ($19.50) and used it for my 1 1/2 year duration. I was told that since the pot was an earthenware pot, it would break very easily and may not survive the trip back home; therefore, just before departing, I purchased a new pot and had it included in my return shipment. To my surprise, both made it back to the states in excellent condition. I put the new one in my garage and continued to use the one I had used while stationed in Taiwan. This was March 1970.

During my professional years, I was transferred from Washington state to Texas, then Louisianna, then Ghana (Africa), back to Maryland, then West Virgina, and finally ended up in San Antonio. My used Kamado survived all the transfers as well as the unused pot because it was still in it's original packaging. During the years of us in all kinds of weather, including snow and rain, the Kamado became cracked both on the inside and outside. Several times doring its life, I had to use high temperature epoxy to repair the cracks on the exterior and the fire box on the inside. I would occasionally paint the exterior with high temperature engine paint keeping it in its original green on black appearance ... Hence the development of the "green egg"; in later years, I painted it red on green.

Two years ago (2012) the firebox collapsed and I tried to repair it, but it was beyond repair. I considered buying a replacement firebox from the green egg company but decided against it because I had a NEW Kamado in my garage. It was painful having to take a hammer to a cooker that had produced some tremendous meals for my family and friends.

These cooker are amazing! By adjusting the draft and selecting the correct amount of charcoal, you can cook at temperatures from 225 - 650 degrees! The original Kamados didn't come with temperature gauges; initially I used an oven thermometer on the grate to determine how to adjust the draft to attain the temperature I wanted. With experience, I no longer needed the temperature gage.

I want to wish you well as you learn the versatility of cooking with the Kamado "hibachi".

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Aloha! I'm excited to share that I have just recently acquired my very first Kamado Grill/Smoker. I found one unused and stored away in a garage closet since the 1970s. My Kamado is an original "Hibachi Pot" Made in Tokyo, Japan. It is EXACTLY what I was searching for! Woohooo....can you feel my excitement. I dropped some photos of my find in the Introduction Section of the forum and then found this "Other Kamados" section to share as well. I see that there are many original kamados still going strong and that's great news to know that they can stand the test of time.

Now, its time for me to learn how to utilize this special (to me) Kamado. I'm all for learning from the best folks who are passionate about smoking foods and treats that they love....for their loved ones. Looking forward to reading through the threads and posts to start my learning. I hope to make a few Kamado guru friends along the way.

 

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I have the exact Kamado, scored it on craigslist. All it needed was a gasket kit. I can't get over how good your looks I restored mine- new grill, paint, damper and thinking about a therho gauge, but a little paranoid about digging out the drill. Have you heard anyone adding a gauge to the old K? I'm worried about cracks if you know what I mean. Thanks

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