SmallBBQr

Divide & Conquer Keg

21 posts in this topic

(Apologies in advance if you already saw this over on the Keg forum site)

 

Some time ago I started getting Kamado Joe Divide & Conquer envy and I finally couldn't resist any longer.  I went to a local BBQ shop and measured everything up on the D&C system and compared to the keg firebox dimensions and determined it would be a perfect fit....with a bit of modification.

Ordered the parts and they were delivered today.


Step one:  Drill out the rivets holding the existing firebowl/grate mounts.   I might have been able to get away with leaving them in (and making this more easily reversible, but I wanted the capability to slide everything in/out easily (even when hot).  I'll fill in the holes with new rivets when I figure out my final firebowl mount.
 
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Step two:  Cut/grind the top off the firebowl/grate mount and then rivet the lower portion back on.  Filled in the remaining two holes with two new rivets.  I drilled an additional hole and added a third rivet just to add extra strength.

 

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Step three:  Drop in the firebowl and the D&C system.  As I hoped, it fits as if Kamado Joe designed it for the keg firebowl - perfect.  The top grate now sits level with the rim.  I like this more than the lower position that the factory grate sits at now.  I was going to add brackets so the factory grate would sit higher...but no longer needed.

 

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...and of course you can't do this and not cook on it.  I can already tell I like this grate system much more than the Keg factory one.  Much more flexible, easier to lift out (even with food on), and the stainless should be a little less maintenance (though I don't do very much with the CI now).

 

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Edit:  Added half-moon skillet shot after it cooled down a bit....

 

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what a great mod.  A buddy of mine picked one of these up, I may get him to do this.  Will it fit without the mods?  You mention it to be a bit tighter?  

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SmallBBQr - kudos for even thinking of this and MAJOR kudos on the successful mods! Way to go! I seriously doubt I could have successfully done that mod. Very nicely done!

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what a great mod.  A buddy of mine picked one of these up, I may get him to do this.  Will it fit without the mods?  You mention it to be a bit tighter?  

 

 

The problem is the three mounts that hold the firebowl and grate.  They extend out from the sides, then in again, and then back out again....this create the two levels for the grates to sit on.

 

I think the upper level of the rack mount could likely interfere with the outer ring of the divide/conquer rack.  I should have checked first, but I already had in my head what I was going to do, so I just removed them without really checking first.

 

At BEST, the D&C rack might squeeze in between the two levels, but it would not easily allow it to be removed during a cook, which is one of the reasons I wanted the D&C rack...so I can add wood chunks without having to disassemble my entire cook to lift the Keg grate out.

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your right CC that is a pro install!!!

 

Way too much credit guys, but thanks.  It was not difficult - at this point it was just drilling out 12 rivets.  Depending on how I finish the riveting and if I can get the firebowl to sit solid/even will be a bit more challenge as I may have to grind/modify the factory grate mounts, which then makes this irreversible.

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can you fill those holes with refractory cement perhaps???  that should seal it up nice

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One of my ideas for mounting/strengthening the fire-bowl brackets is to re-use all 4 existing holes but that may/may not work - I don't have much in the way of metal working equipment - just hand tools for the most part.  But at this point, any hole I don' re-use I was just going to fill with a rivet or perhaps a pan-head bolt.  But, who knows....I don't know if I could get cement to stay in there.

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That looks like it was made for the Keg. Nice mod.

 

Pop rivets are the way to go. The Akorn would just be a pile of pieces with out them. Some of the pop rivet guns on the market are junk and will not even do one rivet. They are also a bit pricy.

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Anyone out there work with metal?  I have to go purchase some rivets today to mount the fire-bowl brackets back on, but I can choose from all aluminum, aluminum with steel mandrel, all steel, and stainless steel.  I know it is not a good idea to mix metals due to galvanic corrosion, but I don't know if the inside of a keg would be a corrosive environment or not...a bit moist, but also pretty greasy.  I am thinking steel/steel rivets just to match the steel bowl (not that they are the "same" type of steel), but I think they are stronger as well? 

 

Edit....also thinking I could use Rivnuts as well.  

CeramicChef likes this

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The inside of your Keg will be corrosive in nature as ash is, as I remember, rather basic in nature.  Moisture helps the process.  And you are right about the galvanic couple - try and find out what the metal is in the Keg and get rivets to match.  I'd call Big Steel Keg customer service and they should be able to help you.  

 

All the best on this.  Very interesting!

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