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Hello there!  

 

I'm new to the world of Kamado cooking and to this forum, so I'm looking forward to some dialogue.

 

So I recently found a Big Joe for sale on fb marketplace for the irresistible price of $100!  The main body is in not terrible shape, but it's missing quite a few items, and will need some cleaning/repair.  I'm hoping the combined expertise hear can help me get this thing in good working order for the least amount of extra $ possible, and more importantly without damaging the integrity of the grill.

 

Condition Report:

The ceramic body itself is in good shape with no major cracks or chips.  There are a few issues that need to be addressed however:

  1. The upper part of the interior has some green staining.  I assume this is from algae/moss since I live in the PNW.  Any tips on how to gently clean this, or should I just do a burnout when I get the rest set up?
  2.  The felt gaskets are in pretty bad shape and will need to be replaced (tips on cleaning and removing gunk would be welcome too).  The wire mesh gasket is mostly intact but has come loose.  Does anyone know of an adhesive that would be safe to use to re-attach it?  
  3. I'm not sure what to call this, but the hole that helps align the hinge on the back side of the band has been worn quite a bit.  Making the hole about 1 1/2" long and the ceramic a bit crumbly there (see pic).  Does anyone know of any substance I could safely patch this with, and how best to reattach the bands?

 

Missing parts:

At that low of a price I wasn't too concerned about replacing a few parts, but after price checking I found I need approx $400-$450 in replacement parts.  I can get most of these from BBQ Guys, but I figured I would reach out to the community here and see if people had recommendations for third party replacements, custom ideas, or (fingers crossed) extra parts that they need to get rid of.  Here is a list of what I need:

  • Firebox
  • Deflector
  • Grill Grates
  • Flex cooking rack (is this necessary or is there another way to grill/smoke without it?)
  • Replacement Gasket kit
  • Missing the upper half of the cart, not sure if I will try and purchase that, or make a custom table

I will be focusing on grilling and smoking with this grill, so I don't really need some of the specialty items.

 

I know this is a lot of information/questions, so don't feel like you have to address everything, but if you have some advice on any of the subjects, I'd greatly appreciate it.

 

Thanks and happy grilling!

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:welcome:Not sure the elongated hole would be much of an issue if the band was tight?  Do you have a control tower?  Didn't see one in the pics.  I have a spare off a BJII, which that one appears to be. Some Weber grates will fit, they're not very consistent in their diameter.  I've had 2 that fit and 1 that was too big.  There's several aftermarket mesh gaskets on Amazon.  I've got a complete cart but I made a rolling table out of so you can't have that.:-D  Ever get down to Vancouver very often?  Good buy by the way.  Even if it cost you $450 to get it back on the road, it's still a good buy.  

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Thanks Burger Meister!  

 

No control tower, I bought it off a junk removal company (hard to believe someone was PAID to haul this thing away)  and I think they lost a bunch of the parts in the process of removing it.  

 

Good advice on the mesh gasket.

 

I don't make it down to Vancouver too often since Covid.  How do you like the Control tower?  I've read some complaints of paint peeling.

 

Thanks for the response!

-Cameron

 

 

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12 hours ago, cameronleespencer said:

Thanks Burger Meister!  

 

No control tower, I bought it off a junk removal company (hard to believe someone was PAID to haul this thing away)  and I think they lost a bunch of the parts in the process of removing it.  

 

Good advice on the mesh gasket.

 

I don't make it down to Vancouver too often since Covid.  How do you like the Control tower?  I've read some complaints of paint peeling.

 

Thanks for the response!

-Cameron

 

 

 

 

Good luck on your rebuild.

 

Some people recommend this Smokeware vent cap over the kontrol tower.


https://smile.amazon.com/SmokeWare-Vented-Chimney-Cap-Replacement/dp/B00THO4J0C/

 

 

 

I am a new Kamado Joe owner myself, but Ive read about the mold growing in the dome. That only happens when you dont cook often. So once you get the grill assembled and fired up, it should burn off.

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19 hours ago, cameronleespencer said:

I don't make it down to Vancouver too often since Covid.  How do you like the Control tower?  I've read some complaints of paint peeling.

 

I bought a daisy wheel from a fellow Kamado owner and I like it better than the control tower that came with it, but mines all covered in my BBQ shack so rains not an issue.  A lot of people just let the paint peel and wind up with a bare control tower.  You can file a claim if you bought it from a dealer or KJ direct but it's gonna peel again.  Wasted effort in futility.  The Smokeware vent cap that PHEAD mentioned is also a good way to go.  I put both my Kamados in a table top counter in my shack so I got shelves, and cart for a JR and BJII that are taking up space but like I said I turned the one into a roll around picnic table for extra table space when we have a BBQ party.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome, glad to have you with us. The damage to your KJ does not look  to be too serious, I am thinking you got a prize and  you will be up and cooking pretty quick . All the green mold will easily disappear after you bring it up to about 500 degrees for probably 45 min to an hour. After you heat it up and let it cool, wad up a baseball size ball of aluminum foil and use it like a scrubbier to clean the inside of your kettle and dome. All the burnt/charred  mold will fall to the bottom of your kettle where you can pick it up with a shop rack. Just run the shop vac over the kettle and dome surfaces and all will be well.Happy cooking. I cook on a BGE but I use a Smokeware cap, can't beat em in my book. Their made out of quality stainless and clean up easily and don't rust.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So It's been slow going on the restoration as I hunted down all the replacement parts I needed.  Got everything and started assembling today, only to find a not-so-small problem.

 

The dome is smaller than the body, and worse... too small for the upper band to tighten around it!

 

Now I'm at somewhat of a loss as to what happened and what to do next.

 

I'm wondering if it's possible that I wound up with a different model dome/body?  the lid appears to be almost an inch smaller in diameter than the body.

 

either way, the only band replacement I've been able to find was $450, and I don't know if it would actually fit the lid.

 

I think my best bet now is to try and shorten the top band, drill a hole for the bold and bend it in the same configuration, just an inch or so shorter.  

 

Any thoughts or advice are welcome..

 

Thanks,

 

Cameron "wish I was grilling" Spencer

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, good news/bad news....

 

I found a 1/2" thick rubber strip that I am successfully using as a spacer for the top half, and was able to get the dome fully supported.

 

Been having some problems aligning the bands under tension however, so I keep ending up with gaps in between the dome and base.

 

Also banged myself in the head when I undid the dome band without first securing it to the base... those springs are powerful, watch out! lol.  I'm allright, just some damage to my ego.

 

I'm going to try to re-align this weekend if I can get a few buddies to help.  

 

Wish me luck!  I've got two racks of ribs in the freezer that need to be kamado-cooked!

 

-Cameron

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19 hours ago, cameronleespencer said:

Well, good news/bad news....

 

I found a 1/2" thick rubber strip that I am successfully using as a spacer for the top half, and was able to get the dome fully supported.

 

Been having some problems aligning the bands under tension however, so I keep ending up with gaps in between the dome and base.

 

Also banged myself in the head when I undid the dome band without first securing it to the base... those springs are powerful, watch out! lol.  I'm allright, just some damage to my ego.

 

I'm going to try to re-align this weekend if I can get a few buddies to help.  

 

Wish me luck!  I've got two racks of ribs in the freezer that need to be kamado-cooked!

 

-Cameron

Yeah, kamado springs can kick like a mule. You can use plastic zip ties to hold them in place. Glad it was only your ego that took the bruise, those usually healed quickly  with a medicinal dose  of a couple brewski's. 

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  • 1 month later...

So I was finally able to get this thing put together, properly aligned, and even fired it up this weekend!

 

For those interested, I chose to first attach the band/hinge assembly to the dome which I had removed and had upside down on the ground.

 

Once that was attached firmly I was able to hold the dome in the air while my wife aligned the band to the base and tightened it.  Definitely a tricky process, but due to the size difference in base and dome, I found this to be easier to align than the more traditional method.

 

After a "curing" fire to fix the gasket adhesive on Saturday, I did my first cook on Sunday.

 

A single rack of ribs that was too fall-apart-tender to get a photo of before we ate them.  

 

Temperature held really well throughout the cook, and I was really pleased with the results.

 

Thanks for the advice over the last few months, now I look forward to being able to discuss cooking techniques etc!

 

I've attached a photo, and I know this kamado isn't well secured lol.  Don't worry I've got a table housing coming soon!

 

Thanks,

Cameron

 

Kamado Pic.JPG

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