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How to do a super deep clean.. (and other maintenance/fixy questions)?


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All the videos I've seen online say "you should do this about twice a year". I just bought a used Big Joe 2 for $850 from a dude that never did a high temp cook (or clean) and had it for 3 or 4 years. There's layers of grease built up inside. The first "clean" I tried to do I couldn't even get it above 400*F because the air holes in the firebox were nonexistent (completely filled with ash/grease buildup into a solid layer). There's probably a good 3/4 centimeter of buildup on some parts of the firebox.

I've gone through two high temp cycles and the inside of the lid still looks a grease trap. The cleaning videos I watched had it nice and burnt off / white after a good clean. Should I just overfill the basket and light it up and let it do a long high temp burn?

Also any recommendations for how to give a really good clean to the control tower? This dude had it basically encased in one solid piece of grease. I was able to finally rotate the top after letting the heat build up a bit, and finally able to get the top off. He had broken one of the wings on the top spinner by using pliers and trying to turn it (probably with little to no heat). But the "lid" is still pretty thick with grease. Similarly the control tower basically spins freely in place on top of the grill--how do I fix that. That being said, once it's cleaned up, it should be completely fine to use. He included a smokeware chimney replacement with the grill--can I just use the "tape" that it came with to reattach the original?

The lid of the grill is also slightly askew. It seems to still seal well enough, but how much heat should I feel around the seal? What can I do to verify that the seal is still completely functional?

Soapstone should be safe to clean with soap water / nonabrasive brush right? What about the heat deflectors-the dude used them as drip pans. How can I safely clean the heat deflectors?

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I would get a wire brush and clean off as much of the showing crud from the surfaces as you can.  I would completely disassemble the inside parts of the grill and just scrape out everything you can.  Once you have everything removed that you can scrape out, then put it all back together and then do a 500-600 degree burn until there is no smoke coming from the grill.  Get it clean before you start worrying about the top vent and the dome fit.

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Thanks. I did disassemble it after the first burn to clean it out a bit. I gently scraped off of some it and freed up the holes on the firebox, but I was hopeful a high heat burn would take care of the rest (it didn't lol). So it's safe to use a wire brush on the inside of the grill and on the firebox?

Is there anything I should worry about damaging with a wire brush (other than the soapstone, I know that part at least).

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1 hour ago, claudekennilol said:

Thanks. I did disassemble it after the first burn to clean it out a bit. I gently scraped off of some it and freed up the holes on the firebox, but I was hopeful a high heat burn would take care of the rest (it didn't lol). So it's safe to use a wire brush on the inside of the grill and on the firebox?

Is there anything I should worry about damaging with a wire brush (other than the soapstone, I know that part at least).

 

No.. i think you will be fine... you CAN do a burnout if you want to but be very careful going over 500 degrees with it.  Flashbacks are real problems when you have that heavy white smoke from grease burning off.  Maybe if the thing is that cruddy inside it might be best to go ahead and burn out what you can... just keep the temp from going too high... no more than 600 and I would not put the heat deflectors in for that... or maybe jsut one at a time and have it at TOP grate level on a cooking grate....

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Are you talking about the holes in the bottom plate or the sides of the fire box? If you are talking about the holes in the bottom plate I would just take the plate out & get a charcoal basket. The basket will function better in the long run & allow you to to get the air flow for a burn out. Put the steel plate in to burn the grease off that also.

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31 minutes ago, IMAVGAN said:

Are you talking about the holes in the bottom plate or the sides of the fire box? If you are talking about the holes in the bottom plate I would just take the plate out & get a charcoal basket. The basket will function better in the long run & allow you to to get the air flow for a burn out. Put the steel plate in to burn the grease off that also.

I'm talking about the holes in the center of the 6 curved sections of the firebox

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I agree with John I am not a fan of going over 500f for any reason. I have had my BJIII for over a year and the kontrol tower has not peeled except for a tiny bit under the vent hole.

 

I think high heat burns do more harm than good

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Food for thought, every high temp burn I have done in the past resulted in replacing gaskets, warped rings and it can be flat out scary.  This would apply to my BGE not the my Joe.  Was told the Joe gaskets will hold but I'm not confident.  Now I simply let the Kamado run after pulling my food from it for another 30 or so minutes and that has helped me over time from accumulated grease build up.  Good luck. 

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