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What causes cracks in the firebox?

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  • What causes cracks in the firebox?

    I've had my Kamado Big Joe since last December. Love it. Use it as much as 5 times a week.

    I developed a crack last summer. They replaced it quickly. I've now developed a new crack. Reported it. And I am awaiting replacement. So Kamado Joe does a great job on warranty replacement. No complaints there.

    But I am wondering why the cracks? Am I do something wrong? I do some high temp pizza cooks. Maybe twice a month. But most of my other cooks are in the 400° range. And not long at that temperature.

    So am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I have read about shutting the Kamado down while it is at high temp. I shut mine down gradually. I hope this helps.

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    • #3
      I'm curious on how you gradually bring your Joe down in temp? I'm on my third firebox and would love to avoid replacing these.

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      • #4
        " IF" it is due to improper shut down ,I would hope that KJ would chime in so they wouldn't have to keep replacing them .

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        • #5
          I agree I close the vents up on mine once I am done cooking regardless of what temp I was cooking at

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          • #6
            Originally posted by trblmkr13 View Post
            I agree I close the vents up on mine once I am done cooking regardless of what temp I was cooking at
            I do the same

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            • #7
              I doubt there is a "proper" way to do it. Cracks are inevitable. Physics, thermo dynamics, whatever you want to call it. Even metal would eventually fracture.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SteveInStL View Post
                I doubt there is a "proper" way to do it. Cracks are inevitable. Physics, thermo dynamics, whatever you want to call it. Even metal would eventually fracture.
                I don't know. I have owned mine for less than 12 months. And just cracked it a second time. I love my Big Joe. No I LOVE MY BIG JOE. I am not complaining. But if there is some way to do things differently I would sure like to know it..

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                • #9
                  Keep in mind just because it is cracked does not mean it is unusable. If it is still in one piece just keep using it. I have a firebox that has had a crack for over a year and haven't even bothered to make a warranty claim to replace it yet.

                  That first crack is just natural stress relief.

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                  • #10
                    My firebox crack keeps expanding. Yes I am using it. But I want to make sure I have it to do my Thanksgiving turkey!

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                    • #11
                      My issue is these cracks keep expanding. What ends up happening is when I take the firebox out to clean all the ash it will literally just fall apart. It's not a game-breaking issue I wish it would just happen a little less frequently. I should state that the Joe support has been amazing turning around new fireboxes to me in no time at all.

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                      • #12
                        Is anyone having the cracking issue using a KAB?

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                        • #13
                          Has anyone had thoughts about the cracks being related to placement of the deflector plates. Maybe lower placement is more apt to crack?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hoochblues View Post
                            Has anyone had thoughts about the cracks being related to placement of the deflector plates. Maybe lower placement is more apt to crack?
                            From another web site:

                            https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/223...comment-294645

                            Mods or John, please feel free to add whatever to this post and possibly make this a sticky. There are several new members buying KJ and not knowing deflector placement during certain cooks. I have made this post as an educational tool for members who own a KJ.

                            I too have been the victim of a cracked fire bowl. It baffled me as I thought that I did everything right. I followed on line videos and others directions and still cracked two bowls. I really was starting to believe that it may have been an issue with ceramics, however, other members were not cracking bowls..... I began thinking that maybe it was something that I had done or was doing to cause this???

                            So after replacing my two bowls, and since purchasing another 3 kamado Joes I have learned through trial and error and have not yet cracked a bowl in over a year and well over 200 cooks on my kamado's. A few simple tweaks and I am happy to report that I am crack free in over a year.

                            So here are some things that I have changed:

                            when shutting down the grill, I shut the bottom vent and leave the holes open, gradually closing them to allow for heat to escape when the kamado is hot. I always wondered what the sudden closure of both vents would do with the heat continually building when the fire is snuffing out.

                            For different temp cooks I place my deflectors in certain positions:
                            • 300 or less - deflectors in low position
                            • 300 to 500 - deflectors on top of xrack (sits them a bit higher allowing for more heat to escape the fire box)
                            • 500 and above - deflectors on top of the grill in top position (creating max room for heat to escape the fire box)
                            • Nuclear for high heat burn - deflectors separated resting on top grill so two half moon resting on the top grill not joined together
                            • for indirect cooking, I double stack the deflectors to one side, allowing for 2 zone cooking and free movement of heat. (2 zone for me is usually between 350-400)
                            The most common time that I hear of a bowl cracking is during a pizza cook. Here is my set up for pizza now, not saying it is the right way, but it works and no more cracks. I put the deflectors on top of the grill with copper T plumbing fittings and the pizza stone on top of the fittings for air flow.





                            Anwyas, this is not the gospel, and sometimes things just fail.... but a few small tweaks and you may have similar outcomes like I have had over the past year

                            You, John Setzler, wsmith6.2000 and 11 others like this Unlike this








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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 997cab View Post

                              From another web site:

                              https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/223...comment-294645

                              For different temp cooks I place my deflectors in certain positions:
                              • 300 or less - deflectors in low position
                              • 300 to 500 - deflectors on top of xrack (sits them a bit higher allowing for more heat to escape the fire box)
                              • 500 and above - deflectors on top of the grill in top position (creating max room for heat to escape the fire box)
                              • Nuclear for high heat burn - deflectors separated resting on top grill so two half moon resting on the top grill not joined together
                              • for indirect cooking, I double stack the deflectors to one side, allowing for 2 zone cooking and free movement of heat. (2 zone for me is usually between 350-400)
                              The most common time that I hear of a bowl cracking is during a pizza cook. Here is my set up for pizza now, not saying it is the right way, but it works and no more cracks. I put the deflectors on top of the grill with copper T plumbing fittings and the pizza stone on top of the fittings for air flow.
                              Great post! Thanks!

                              For pizza cooks now I put grill in highest position, deflectors on top of the grill, expander on top of the deflectors, pizza stone on top of the exander.

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