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How To Repair a Kamado Barbecue When the Top Breaks
Kamado Company Barbecues breakdown
If you've purchased a Kamado barbecue (Kamado Reviews) and tried to get customer support to get a missing part or repair it, you may have experienced what I consider atrocious customer support. My Kamado came with a broken grill and many of the pieces I ordered were missing and have never been delivered. While I wish I had put the extra money up and purchased a Komodo Kamado, I figured I better learn how to repair my Kamado if I am going to maintain it. A lifetime guarantee from Kamado doesn't go very far when they won't return your calls or respond to emails.
My first major problem with my Kamado happened when I opened the grill and the entire top fell off with the band. When it hit the ground, the weight from the top caused the internal triangle that holds the screw piece in the top to bend. When I placed the steel band back on top, I couldn't screw the top all the way down which makes it almost impossible to keep the temperature at a low enough heat for low and slow cooks. I ended up taking the piece to a muffler shop where they welded the internal piece and then shaved down the ring so it would close. The total for this repair was about $60.
My neighbor also has a Kamado that is about seven years old. The piece that holds the top also broke or wore out, but the piece that holds the top of his is cemented in the ceramic interior. We first removed the piece from the ceramic bbq. Then we took it to a welder. The welder put the original pieces back together. If this hadn't worked, then we would have taken the pieces to a machine shop to get it made. After we got the part, we also picked up some kiln cement. Kiln cement can withstand very high temperatures, but we were instructed to make sure it cured before cooking food on the grill. We placed the part back in the grill, cemented it with the kiln cement and then let the cement cure. Total cost for this repair was $30 for the welding and about $15 for the Kiln Cement. You can get kiln cement at local pottery stores or order it online.
My experience with Kamado has been extremely poor. If you purchase one of these, be prepared to do the maintenance work yourself.