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Unnecessary Gasket Replacements


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This is my Kamado Joe Classic "go to" grill that gets used for a majority of my cooking videos AND my personal cooking.  This grill is over two years old and has well over 200 cooks on it. This spot on my base where the gasket is worn off completely just shows one spot.. there are several more like it on this grill.  

 

Of all my Kamado Joe grills, I have replaced a gasket ONCE.  I replaced a gasket on a Big Joe and the reason I did that was because Kamado Joe wanted me to make a video on how to do it.  It didn't need replacing.  

 

Does the one in this photo need replacing?  Let's think about that...

 

Last week, I did something I hadn't done in a LONG time.  I cooked with a temperature control system one day and a remote thermometer on another day.  I ran the probe wires for those in under the dome lid.  On both of those cooks, I noticed a little smoke leaking from between the dome lid and the base.  The probe wires were creating just enough of a gap that I could see a little smoke coming out while the grill was warming up.  After the grill got to temp and the draft was working properly I didn't see that smoke anymore.  The smoke was pretty much leaking all the way around the front 2/3 of the dome lid when it was leaking.  That leak does not occur without the probe wires running under the dome lid.  These worn gaskets still seal the grill well enough that the temp can be controlled at any level I like. 

 

This makes me want to do an experiment.  First of all, I do intend to replace this gasket just for the sake of doing it.  But before I do it, I intend to remove the gasket completely and fire up the grill.  I will set the grill at 225 degrees and let it ride and see if I have any issues holding it there with no gasket in place.  

 

I'm really curious to see what the 'driver' is when it comes to replacing gaskets on kamado grills.  I see it done a LOT and I'm trying to figure out (just for my own curiousity) why or what makes us replace a gasket.  I have heard people comment that they could not control their temperatures anymore because of gasket failures but I'm not seeing it.  

 

What was the reason you last replaced a gasket on your Kamado grill?

 

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I just did a gasket replacement this weekend on my classic.  Due to sloppy brushing on my part I had torn the gasket in a few places.  On my last butt cook I had lots of smoke leaking around the seal.  But now that I read you logic, it makes sense that the draft just wasn't up an going yet.  I also had a lot of trouble holding temp as it was a windy day.  When I scraped the old gasket, a couple of spots were pretty much gone.

 

After replacing the gasket with a nomex one, I did a 250 deg heat with some left over lump just to get the gasket to set.  I tossed in some hickory to create som smoke.  As temp was starting to come up, I still had some smoke leaking out the front, but not near as much as before.  I loosened the upper hinge joints, let the lid settle then retighten them.  This stopped the leak.  I think the new gasket was a little thicker than factory and the lid was closing too quickly in the back.

 

For me, a gasket replacement is a cheap easy replacement to keep my classic running optimally.  

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My gaskets on both Kamados look like that and I haven't really noticed much difference in performance either... truthfully I just haven't replaced them because I haven't seen the performance change enough to put the new ones on. (Which I have just sitting)

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Mine was a cheap felt gasket from Vision. I replaced mine due to a high temp pizza cook burned about 3 spots around 4 inches long completely gone. I couldn't get the Vision to shut down nor hold a steady temp with it gone.


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gasket.jpg
 
This is my Kamado Joe Classic "go to" grill that gets used for a majority of my cooking videos AND my personal cooking.  This grill is over two years old and has well over 200 cooks on it. This spot on my base where the gasket is worn off completely just shows one spot.. there are several more like it on this grill.  
 
Of all my Kamado Joe grills, I have replaced a gasket ONCE.  I replaced a gasket on a Big Joe and the reason I did that was because Kamado Joe wanted me to make a video on how to do it.  It didn't need replacing.  
 
Does the one in this photo need replacing?  Let's think about that...
 
Last week, I did something I hadn't done in a LONG time.  I cooked with a temperature control system one day and a remote thermometer on another day.  I ran the probe wires for those in under the dome lid.  On both of those cooks, I noticed a little smoke leaking from between the dome lid and the base.  The probe wires were creating just enough of a gap that I could see a little smoke coming out while the grill was warming up.  After the grill got to temp and the draft was working properly I didn't see that smoke anymore.  The smoke was pretty much leaking all the way around the front 2/3 of the dome lid when it was leaking.  That leak does not occur without the probe wires running under the dome lid.  These worn gaskets still seal the grill well enough that the temp can be controlled at any level I like. 
 
This makes me want to do an experiment.  First of all, I do intend to replace this gasket just for the sake of doing it.  But before I do it, I intend to remove the gasket completely and fire up the grill.  I will set the grill at 225 degrees and let it ride and see if I have any issues holding it there with no gasket in place.  
 
I'm really curious to see what the 'driver' is when it comes to replacing gaskets on kamado grills.  I see it done a LOT and I'm trying to figure out (just for my own curiousity) why or what makes us replace a gasket.  I have heard people comment that they could not control their temperatures anymore because of gasket failures but I'm not seeing it.  
 
What was the reason you last replaced a gasket on your Kamado grill?
 




I have done one High-Que on my MBGE coming up on four years, it is still working fine, the Primo has a high temp kevlar installed when new, replacing the dome/base shipping protector.
I like a gasket for just what you noted, running the probe wires into the grid level. The gasket cushions the grid wires IMO.


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I've only had my KJ for a little over 6 months, and I don't notice any bad spots on the gasket so far. But as a rule I'm an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of guy, so I will have to see actual performance issues before I replace it. (Same as if/when I eventually get a crack in the firebox; you guys all say keep cooking on it, so I will.)

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I have replaced a couple gaskets in my time owning a BigJoe.  My one yr old Jr is still looking great and now gets way way more use than the BigJoe.  Without knowing it, I destroyed my first gasket. Hi temp pizzas burn off the adhesive.  Then the grill brush followed by probe wires and BBQ sauce. The last straw was a frozen gasket one winter morning... I ran a whole winter without a gasket. Temp control was no problem, but shutdowns were lower and I assume used slightly more lump. 

 

 

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Interesting topic...my gaskets look similar to John's and I've been too lazy and distracted to replace them...I've been cooking like this for months and though I'm leaking some smoke, I haven't really noticed any difference in temp control, performance or ability to shut down...I'll eventually replace the gasket, but I am in no rush...So far, based on my utterly non-scientific gut-feel analysis, it doesn't seem like a big deal.

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Years ago I saw some of the old timers on the Big Green Egg forum say that gaskets were never about temp control when they were added. The whole point was to project the ceramic when the lid closed.

 

I don't know if that's true or not, but seems apropos to the discussion since the lack of gasket doesn't seem to effect temps. 

 

 

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So super anal new to Kamado grilling me immediately ordered the high que gaskets in my first season grilling euphoria accessory spending spree. But, by the time they arrived it was pretty chilly out, so I figured I would wait for spring. Then 2nd season me decided I really didn't feel like messing with it, so I've never replaced the stock gaskets on the Vision or mini BGE.   I like to think of those charred and missing sections as "character" marks now.

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I just contacted KJ for a new gasket and its my 2nd one in a year and a half.  The leaking smoke was concerning but the temp control on my last low and slow was rough which is when I called them for a replacement.  I also took the probe wired off to see if it was the issue when and they are not running into the grill in this pic.  When you say you had some smoke leaking, how did it compare to the photos below?

 

20161209_074054.jpg20161209_075126.jpg20161209_075134.jpg

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