It's been a while since I've posted, but life has been in flux, and family health issues and job changes have pretty much demanded my focus and time. But the dust is settling, as am I, and I'd appreciate your feedback.
So, I'm wondering whether or not to pull the trigger on a Kamado Joe Classic 1 on sale through Walmart at $649. Seems like a pretty good deal even though they're just moving discontinued inventory. I've been using an Akorn for the past 5 years and have enjoyed it, though it's getting a little bit worn through use. Have been dreaming of owning a KJ for some time but never was in a situation to think about having something so heavy (that I'd have to move when changing residences) and priced over 1k. Now, I'm finally settled in a house and intend to be here for some time. I saw this pop up online last night and after kicking it around, think it'd be a good move to make. But my question is whether the II and III are so much better that it's better to forget the 1 and start aiming for 2 or 3?
Anyone out there still using their Kamado Classic 1 and loving it?
I really do love the new firebox design and having the peace of mind that I'll probably never see this thing crack. Great concept, looks great, etc... That said, cleaning the Big Joe used to be such a simple proposition of removing the ring and firebox, vacuuming, and replacing them. Now, it is much more of a hassle- so much so that I definitely clean less and even then, try to do so when I have another pair of hands available to reset all of the pie pieces (let's call them) in place. I am also a clean freak and the ash that finds it way into the cracks between the pie pieces drives me nuts.
Not wishing to go back, just bemoaning the additional hassle somewhat.
Also wondering, has anyone successfully bent their ash collector flaps in order to reduce the air gap between it and the firebox? Just wondering. May just be a byproduct of using the Kick Ash Basket but, a lot more ash is finding its way around the collector.
My ash tray is also bent a little (off skew) and I may try to bring it back to square the next time it's heated.
New to the forum, but I'm hoping to get some info from you guys. To those that have upgraded to the new multi-piece firebox, how has your experience with it been? I received mine this weekend, and I just can't seem to get it to fit tightly together. I have gaps in almost every piece. The tongue and groove is not locking together at all. In it's current state, ash and embers will be everywhere inside. I can't believe this is how it's intended to fit together. The only install videos I've seen online have been for the smaller model KJ. Anyone that has a 2016 model Big Joe, have you installed the new style firebox? Do you have gaps, or did it fit snugly together?
Took these pics last Thurday. have a few cracks starting in my Big Joe firebox. Some are very fine– others, more pronounced. Just posting as a reference so that I can refer back to how long the box remains useful before there is a need to contact KJ for replacement.
At rear of firebox...
same place, different view...
bottom front left.. this pic is looking from rear of Big Joe...