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My Big Joe froze shut!


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So I got up at 6am yesterday to make Clay's Pulled Beef BBQ.  


I have to say, this is an amazing recipe.  I don't bother with the tomato based sauce but other than that I followed the recipe word for word and it was amazing. But that's another thread.


My problem is that I couldn't open my Big Joe!!!  It was in the mid 20's with a "Real Feel" of 19 degrees, so sure it was cold.  But I couldn't get the Big Joe open.  I tried a hair drier for about 10 minutes but it wouldn't budge.  I didn't have it covered, which was obviously my mistake.  

I had to wheel out my Akorn, which still did a wonderful job. 


Has anyone else had this issue?  Does this basically mean that I have to cover it all the time?  The reason I didn't cover it was that I had it covered for about 2 weeks in the very rainy spring (I travel for work and don't get to use it all the time.) and I had a huge mold issue.  I figured that the cover made it difficult for any of the moisture to leave, and it caused an environment for mold growth.  I had to do a long, hot burn just to get rid of all the mold.  So my answer was to leave it uncovered, but now I have learned I can't do that!  


I'm going back to covering it for now.  But has anyone else had this issue?  I didn't want to force it because I didn't want to rip the gasket.  But that was a bummer!!


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Sorry, sounds annoying. 


I have had freezing gaskets before.  Open the top vent and light I fire in the bottom vent. 


My KJC II sits with the dome open by 1/2 inch once the fire is out and I am not using the grill.  

Some people place a dowel between the base and dome of Gen1 joes to prevent the gasket from freezeing. 


Airflow and constant use are the best way to prevent mold. 


Good luck! 

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You can buy a cheap heat gun from Amazon to unfreeze it.  You need at least 300-400 F to thaw the ice.   It’s tough to get from a blow dryer. 


The Fiberglass gasket do absorb more water than the felt.  They’re going to be more prone to freezing in ice rain and wet snow.

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