Rebuilding My Kamado

When I bought my first house (gosh, maybe seventeen years ago?) one of the first things I wanted was a Kamado. These are ceramic barbeque grills, like the Big Green Egg, that can produce almost magical results grilling, roasting, baking, and smoking. Over the past few years I found myself going to the more convenient gas grill, but after my recent BBQ Fantasy Camp, I wanted to try using the Kamado again.

Unfortunately, my Kamado was pretty run down after so many years outside plus a few moves. The metal hinges and cart were rusty, the firebox was cracked, and the paint very faded. Drawing inspiration from netizens in similar situations, I ordered new replacement parts and spent the weekend rebuilding my Kamado.

Here's my Kamado pre-rebuild. You can see all the rust (and rust stains) on the metal parts. The thing under the grill is the cracked grate (usually inside).
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Here's a shot of the cracked firebox inside.
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The faded and peeling label.
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I took the grill apart and repainted the pieces with black spray paint made for use in high temperature applications. (This is easy to find at hardware stores.) The rectangular hole in the red section below is where I took off the old draft door. The screws holding the draft door assembly on were so rusted I had to cut the heads off with my Dremel; this was probably the most time consuming part of the whole job.
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Here's the finished product, with the new hinge band and draft door (at the bottom). I also repainted the wagon and replaced the rusty and bent casters with new ones. Even though I didn't do a great job with the spray paint, I think it looks much better. I ultimately used a little over a can of spray paint for the whole job. I probably should have put a second coat of paint on, but I was too lazy.
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This is the interior with a new firebox and grate (the old ring on top of the firebox was still fine, so I'm still using it.) You can also see the nice new lid gasket. I haven't had a gasket on the Kamado for years after the original one burned off. This one is supposed to be a high temperature gasket that won't burn. We'll see.
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All told, I probably spent about $300 repairing the grill (replacement cost is about $600) and 4-5 hours. I ran out of time this weekend to cook anything in it, so I'm dying to give a whirl.

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7 Comments

Theresa Reply

I'm out on the web learning more about Imperial Kamado. I have the base of one almost exactly like yours. I've seen a lot of reno posts and photos and just wanted to comment what a great job you have done restoring yours. I am surprised there are no other comments!

Take care!

Ivan A Tunon Reply

Thanks for sharing the info. I have had Kamados since 1977 when I lived in Texas (Plano) and there was a pachinko palace which sold them and fell in love with them. For years I had one in "halves" on the patio and recently strated to rebuild them. Howver, I am at lost trying to figure out where to get the firebox and crate. Later on my wife bought me a Big Green Egg but I would like to rebuild the old Kamado. I already painted with high temp green and black paint.

Thanks for your time and help

Ivan

305-812-8119
ivanatunon@gmail.com

Jim Miller Reply

I also am getting ready to repair my old Kamodo which I have had for over 30 years. I need to find a new draft door, where did you find yours?

John McGlaughn Reply

I found all the parts I needed to repair my Dad's kamado here..
http://www.kamadobbq.com/Shop-PARTS---ACCESSORIES.html

Stephanie Reply

Where were you able to purchase parts? I have an old Hibachi brand from the 1960's. The original company was Kikuya, Ltd. Apparently, out of business. I need all of the guts, and a new stand.
thanks.

Mike Welsh Reply

I have a Type 3 Kamado that I bought in 1979 at a Pachinko Palace in San Mateo Ca.
I have epoxied the firebox a couple times to keep it going. I need to by a new one but all I see is a Type 5 ceramic. Is that the only size and type out there these days.
The Kamado cost me $149 back in 79 and I thought that was high.

Thanks

Tony Reply

I bought the parts on kamadobbq.com.

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