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I have had my grill for a bit over a year and love it. However, the top vent has become stuck with black soot every time I try to start a fire and I have to use a hammer to open it. Anybody got any tricks to cleaning this stuff, as it is down in a hole basically, its difficult. I already tried wiping it with paper towels. I have also bought a cover a few months ago that prevents rain from getting on it now, which keeps water out of the thermometer. The first time it rained the thermometer got filled with water and the warranty people told me to ignore it cause the grill still works... My only real complaint so far other than the fact that there are no temp control fans that fit this thing... Thx for any help.

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Have you tried a high temp burn off?  If you're lamenting about a controller setup, sounds like you do a lot of low and slow.  I've not ever had issues with my grills (BGE, Vision, KJ), but I always do a fair number of higher heat cooks....

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Sticking top vents aren't uncommon on other kamados also. Usually tho, once they get warm enough they move freely once the grease remelts.

 

I don't have a Blaze but looking at photos it appears that the moveable part of the top vent is held in place with that acorn nut. Could you loosen that nut and totally remove the sliding part? If so you can easily clean the gunk off. I find that a paper towel just moistened with distilled white vinegar wipes soot off of the parts of my Karubecue that get "sooted up" and need periodic cleaning. I would be careful not to drip vinegar on the exterior shell of the Blaze tho - not sure how it would react with the acidity of the vinegar.

 

I notice that the bottom vent of the Blaze is hinged allowing direct access to a small rectangular shaped opening. It shouldn't be too difficult to rig up a way to connect a blower fan there.

 

Some blower fans are rectangularly shaped at the end and have a builtin clip to attach them to an opening like this:

 

 

 

Depending upon the size of that opening in your Blaze you may need an additional adapter plate. Some exist in various sizes but it is just a piece of sheet metal and would be easy to make one to the proper size to fit your opening.

 

Here's a couple resources:

 

https://www.fireboard.com/shop/20-cfm-blower/

 

https://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_27&products_id=344

 

 

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I've got a Keg, but my top vent is always jammed/gummed up (much more so in winter than summer).  I find this is good for air-flow though...nice tight seal.

 

My regular startup process is to pull off the cover, use the blow torch for 10-15 seconds on the top vent (which loosens it right up), open the top vent, then start the charcoal etc.

 

Like mentioned, a few high heat burn offs tends to clean it up for a while too....

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So I have a Blaze and HAD the same problem. I started power washing my kamado and the problem no longer happens. If you do not have a power washer I would say use some degreaser/dish soap and a sponge/scrub pad every season. I would be careful with messing with the acorn nut since the threads experience so much of a temperature difference and I do not trust this thing to not strip. Then again, that might be covered under warranty. 

 

The Blaze does not get hot enough to clean the top via heat. I currently have a huge brisket smoking; about 10 hours in. 

 

Also, my thermometer also acquired moisture after being exposed to rain (forgot to cover it). The next time I smoked something, it evaporated. This also happens when I wash the thing. It's just a minor annoyance and fixes itself.  

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