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Fishtails

Replace metal firebox with ceramic

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Just signed up yesterday. Got a warm welcome in the introduction forum. 

 

My firebox is rusting and has developed several holes the size of a half dollar. I purchased a kick ash basket, removed the cast iron charcoal grate and gave it a whirl.  Love the basket, but with the extra holes in the box it's difficult to regulate temps, so no lo & slow and just steaks and such for now. And more holes are inevitable. Me and ol Bubba have been friends going on 10, 11 years,  but I think I may have to put him out to pasture. Before I do, though, I was wondering if anyone has replaced theirs with a ceramic firebox from say, BGE or KJ etc, and if so was it a good idea. If not maybe some feedback on if it's possible (size, supports, etc). Thanks.  Meanwhile I'll pester the powers that be for a new kamado

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@prowe - Any input on this one, Bubba?  :)

 

22 minutes ago, Fishtails said:

Just signed up yesterday. Got a warm welcome in the introduction forum. 

 

My firebox is rusting and has developed several holes the size of a half dollar. I purchased a kick ash basket, removed the cast iron charcoal grate and gave it a whirl.  Love the basket, but with the extra holes in the box it's difficult to regulate temps, so no lo & slow and just steaks and such for now. And more holes are inevitable. Me and ol Bubba have been friends going on 10, 11 years,  but I think I may have to put him out to pasture. Before I do, though, I was wondering if anyone has replaced theirs with a ceramic firebox from say, BGE or KJ etc, and if so was it a good idea. If not maybe some feedback on if it's possible (size, supports, etc). Thanks.  Meanwhile I'll pester the powers that be for a new kamado

 

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50 minutes ago, KismetKamado said:

@prowe - Any input on this one, Bubba?  :)

 

 

Oh, my, put me on the spot. No, I don’t know. I love the keg but as it is steel, corrosion will be an enemy. Give a ceramic firebox a shot. I would love to hear how it works. If not ten...eleven years....a pretty good run. 

I suspect it may be difficult to find a nice fit on a ceramic firebox, but if you can do it on the cheap, try it out.

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1 minute ago, prowe said:

Oh, my, put me on the spot. No, I don’t know. I love the keg but as it is steel, corrosion will be an enemy. Give a ceramic firebox a shot. I would love to hear how it works. If not ten...eleven years....a pretty good run. 

 

Sorry for putting you on the spot, but just not that many of us have had the honor of piloting a Bubba Keg.   :)

 

Thanks for giving your 2 cents. And for once, I agree with you....  it’s definitely had a good run at that age. 

 

Good of luck with whatever direction you go, @Fishtails!

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Curious to know how you made out?  Broil King is pretty good with their service however the Bubba may not ever have had a 10 years warranty.  If the rest of your cooker is in good shape might be worth considering a new fire box.  Broil King has a flat rate shipping fee or did of $14.95 for whatever.  

 

They did make some changes to the now Keg but I don't think the actual dimensions are any different.  They have their advantages.....mainly fuel misers, but harder to hold back at low temps.

 

It would be interesting to know....how many people on this site have a 10 year old ceramic cooker without having a cracked firebox?

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I missed seeing this topic, can offer my recent experience with my Bubba Keg (2010). The Keg was starting to look a bit worn, so I decided to look into the rust and at least give it a repaint. It was much worse than I expected.

 

Here it is off the stand -

 

20180905_131840_zpseklyt0in.jpg

 

and the stand itself -

 

20180905_124408_zpsvdwrze4u.jpg

 

Not looking great underneath and the firebox does have a lot of rust flaking off but it's not rusted through -

 

20180905_124424_zpsl4pwuek7.jpg

 

20180905_124749_zpsqpauyr8a.jpg

 

20180905_153909_zpskkaumtj0.jpg

 

I used an angle grinder and my sander to get the stand back to bare metal -

 

20180908_154421_zpsj8hv6mw2.jpg

 

And then fabricated some aluminum pieces and JB Weld to fill in the holes underneath once I cut them back to sound metal. I had to really do a bit of cutting to get back to stable metal -

 

20180911_100548_zpsni9obzv1.jpg

 

20180911_110700_zpsulgjlap7.jpg

 

Riveted everything into place -

 

20180911_125603_zpshzjra4oz.jpg

 

20180912_123046_zps3paxaal0.jpg

 

And repainted with a high heat automotive paint -

 

20180912_122005_zpsuecxo7r2.jpg

 

Replaced the original gasket with a Nomex one -

 

20180913_124303_zpspchwvsjh.jpg

 

Bubba lives to see another day and takes its place alongside the Goldens' and the Weber -

 

20180913_130543_zps3a2lzmai.jpg

 

So far, so good. My repair is holding up, the Keg is back in the rotation these days and grilling as well as it ever has. I even bought a very high quality Broil King cover to keep it out of the elements. 

 

I did send pics of the rust through to Broil King but never got a reply. I wasn't expecting them to cover a Bubba Keg under their warranty, especially since the original Bubba Keg warranty wasn't for 10 years, but it was worth a try. I bought the Keg at a significant discount when HD was discontinuing them, so this grill owes me nothing and it was worth the time and effort to repair it. 

 

-lunchman

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