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Komado cooker

Does anyone have an old one, also known as a green egg cooker. Got one a yard sale. A pilot brought one back from Japan to Alaska for each of his stewardesses in the late 60's. Anyone cook in theirs regularly? Any ideas for a substitute for my lid or something to repair my lid, its split into three pieces. I'm guessing something the right size inverted.... but my cooker is all clay and I worry about expanding too quickly. She said to be careful..... what do you use for fuel?? Sure is a pretty BBQ.
THanks for the info

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  1. I believe this is the website for manufacturer, or USA distributor..and call or email your questions..

    http://www.kamado.com/

    I am considering, taking my time, making this purchase.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Jesdamala

      Others will know better but the Big Green Egg and the Kamado cookers are not the same manufacturer. Here is a link to the Big Green Egg..

      http://www.biggreenegg.com/

      I have no experience with either...simply considering as we tossed out our ancient gas BBQ, and this coming spring/summer will be getting a new version/and or a Big Green Egg or Kamado....or both a gas version and a charcoal version of something. Open to thoughts/ideas/suggestions.

      1. re: Jesdamala

        THanks - havent emailed them but I will. This is so old its made of clay and is huge ( Gray pitted clay with orange band, metal hinges). THe materials are different than the new ones so I figured repair would be different.
        Different manufactures but same concept in cooking??? Komado - green egg ?? Slow cooker ?

        1. re: coastie

          Don't know what you have...I know they are different manufacturers...and I think you should email/call one or the other or both to determine what you have and what can be done as far as repairs. Both small, personal companies, but maybe have gone thorugh changes since yours was made. Still, you may have a great find, or not, but the only way you will figure this out, in my own opinion, is contacting the companies direct. Again to the best of my knowledge, these are different companies..

      2. re: Jesdamala

        Jesdemala, we bought a Kamado last summer. It's fabulous! I think its finest moment so far has been the slow-cooked Thanksgiving duck, but my husband grills, slow-cooks or bakes delicious things in it all the time.

        It can take a long time for your order to be filled, though, so keep that in mind while considering the purchase. Like, a couple of months.

        1. re: maryv

          Thanks Maryv....we are now in So Cal BBQ less...I have been going between three cities for three years, and finally home, and found the old gas BBQ to be not worth the repairs. I realize that no single cooker will satisfy all needs...thinking of starting with a medium gas Weber Genesis, for those weeknite grilled dinners. I am not feeding crowds these days. Then, truly thinking of going the Big Green Egg or Kamado for other yummy stuff. I used to smoke turkeys, chickens, offset roast, did so much and miss much of what I did and have not been able to do in a long time!

      3. My dad has one, special ordered from Japan, decades ago. I remember the drive up to San Jose when I was a wee one to pick it up from the importer. The ceramic cap toppled off and broke right away. He found a porcelain rice bowl of the right size as a substitute. I do remember the completely carbonized chicken, turned into a hunk of charcoal, that was the first experiment cooking with it.

        1. The BEST grill/smoker I have ever owned. Got the gas burner option but rarely use it. The grid bars are almost as thick as pencils.

          1. My father bought a Japanese import kamado over 30 years ago, and it began to deteriorate either because of constant use or exposure to the elements. He would patch it with some kind of concrete--QuikCreet, maybe? My brother is still using it, so I guess it worked. There is also an epoxy-type adhesive out there that is specifically meant for stone--that might work.

            If not, find out where you can get a Big Green Egg and buy one. Without question, it is one of the best cooking devices out there--when we moved from an apartment to a house, it was one of the first things that we bought, and I use it mostly to smoke ribs and turkeys. It is faster than any other type of smoker, leaves the food moist, with mellow and complex flavors.

            BTW, I bought it with a stand on casters--even though BGE claims that the ovens are made with modern materials that won't deteriorate, I keep it in the garage when I'm not using it. It is still in perfect condition.

            1. I have a Kamado #7. It is a great cooker. There are a few companies making these big ceramic cookers. In addition to the BGE & the previously linked Kamado, there's also an outfit called Imperial Kamado. There might be one or two others. The original Kamados (from back in the 60s) were made by the same guy who makes the new Kamados. If you go to their website they have some forums where you can ask about repairing the one you recently bought. One thing I have read is that you shouldn't get the older ones over 400/500(?) degrees.

              1. Ty for the info - it came directly over from Japan in the 60's - I"m just dying to cook something in it.

                1. My pals Barbie and Ken (yes really) in Vancouver B.C. have one and I have cooked a few jolly meals on it,and second the general opinion that it is for long,slow roasting not grilling. It is sensitive to extreme heat,and don't forget to let the creosotes burn off any aromatic wood (esp. hickory)before adding the meaty goods. Pork shoulder is a great choice.

                  1. Sounds like you've got one of the older Kamados.

                    http://www.kamado.com/history.htm

                    If it's cracked, I wouldn't use it. The earlier models were pretty fragile and don't hold up to high heat for extended periods. The more recent models are made from reflective ceramic, the kind used in pottery kilns, and are much more durable. For fuel, any charcoal will do. I use regular lump charcoal and Kamado extruded cocoanut when I can find it. It's ideal for low-and-slow barbecue, but can be used for grilling as well. Just use more charcoal. It's also a pretty good pizza oven.

                    1. Thanks for the info - I m a little leary of its first firing but.... The history link was very helpful - I do have an old original. Its my little lid that cracked - not part of the actual structure. We were very careful moving it and I was concerned about winter so its been a piece of furniture. I want to try smoking in it, a " clambake" and some hawaiian slow cook favorites. I'll post how it goes for me and appreciate all the help.

                      1. Hi Coastie,

                        My father bought a Kamado in Japan in the early 60's and brought it back to the USA. It was broken in a move and he could not find a replacement until we moved to Hong Kong in 1967. He loved these things and never wanted to be without one again, so he bought three.

                        I inherited the last surviving unit. It is made from fired clay with a metal hinge and a metal dampner. It sounds as if you have a similar unit.

                        The best stuff to repair cracked and broken clay I have used is a steel epoxy. It is a two part material that looks a little like Play-Doh that is dark grey when cured. It has the equivalent strength properties as cast iron when it is cured. It will even cure under water. I repaired my lid and the upper half of the egg with it. After the epoxy dried, I painted the Kamado with spray paint and it looks pretty good.

                        I use it on a regular basis and have burned kingsford charcoal, mesquite type charcoal, and mesquite wood in it. The best results are with Kingsford charcoal and some wood chips that have been soaked in water for 2-24 hours.

                        There are a number of web sites that have cooking instructions I have tried and they all produce an excellent result. Pork sholder / pork butt, ribs, chicken, etc all turn out superbly.

                        Oh yeah,. the steel epoxy can be found in just about any hardware retailer like Ace (if you can still find one) or Home Depot for $4.00 - 5.00 per tube. One tube should be enough for your lid project.

                        Have fun with your Kamado hibachi. If you're like most people, you will come to treasure it.

                        Sundance

                        1. Dear Coastie:

                          Don't Dispair! Try a lid repair. Just 3 pieces-- No Problem!!!!

                          I have had two Komados break. The first was under my patio which collapsed following a massive snow and totally pulverized it. It was beyond repair. I had used it for about 25 years Everyone loved it when I cooked on it. Insurance got me a new Big Green Egg.

                          I was really proud of my new Big Green Egg (BGE). I use 20 to 30 times a year.
                          I had the lid fall off my fairly new BGE and really break a few years ago when the lid support band had loosened over the course of about 3 years and let the top fall about 3 feet to the concrete sidewalk. I had 16 peices of lid. It did a real "humpty dumpty" and I was devistated.

                          I got several small tubes of "J-B Weld" high temperature epoxy glue. It comes on a small card with two tubes that you mix. My repair took about 5 kits, but it was well worth the ~$15.00 that I spent on the glue. It is good to ~ 600F and is used for engine and machined parts etc. (I think I got it at either home Depot or Checker Auto .) Make sure that you look for the high temprature epoxy.

                          When cooking my unit seldom goes over 300F so the 600F glue is just fine. Most of the time that I am cooking my unit is about 225-250F.

                          First, I build a scaffold to help preserve the dome shape during gluing. I simply used a few pieces of styrofoam that I got out of the alley trash piles. I think is was for a computer printer or something and they were good size chunks. I stacked the pieces and whitttled where needed with a steak knife. It was just high enough to help support the pieces while the glue cured. Next I created a tension ring out of some old web belts to hold the base of the dome together and to keep the parts from sliding off the scaffolding. The belts are the type that the Army, Airforce, & Navy use with a infinately adjustable little brass buckle. I suppose a piece of rope would work too, or you could use the hinge ring from the unit. It just has to establish the right size circle and maintain the parts.

                          Then I figured out the puzzle of fitting the 16 pieces and set them outward from the bottom ring such that they radiated outward around the circle in the order that they would be glued. After the glue set for a day I looked it over and saw that I still had a few areas that would be a source os smoke leakage as there were small shards that I was missing. I used some black Rectors chimney cement to rub into the small imperfections and to smooth out the cracks just like one would use grout on a mosaic.

                          Yes, my unit looks like the dome of rock with mosaic like joints but I have been cooking on it for several years since the repair with out problems. When I reinstaled it I made sure that the hinge tension ring was wel tightened and I used a little epoxy to join the lid to the ring as well as to keep the nuts from backing out due to thermal expansion.

                          Always make sure that when you open the lid that you pull the hinge guides forward a little to "lock the knee" so to speak and not allow the lid to slam shut.

                          The kids, neighbors, in-laws etc. love it when I cook on it, and I really enjoy using it. I cook big batches and feed quite a few people when ever I use it. I use Kingsford charcoal bricquets as my primary heat source. I use about 20 of them ( about 3/4 of a # 10 can) and I start them outsde of the unit. I put them in one of those steel charcoal starter chimneys to get them going. (I start mine over a propane flame cooker, but I could use starter fluid in the chimney.) I d not advise using starter fluid in the Komado as it will pick up the petroleum flavor and it could over heat your lid. I have several plastic trash cans and boxes in my garage where I store some dfferent types of fruit wood. (Cherry, Apple, appricot, & Pear) Various friends with fruit trees save me some of their spring prunings and eep some off my own apple tree. These will provide a nice flavored smoke and additionly provide a bit of the heat. I cut the small prunings into about 3 inch pieces with my lopper shears soon after they are cut. (Don't let the prunings age as they will be rock hard and hard to cut.) I have a #10 can that I fill with a hand full of wood so that it is about 1/2 full. I add some water and let it sit for about 1 minute and then pour off all of the water. Turn the can side ways and let it drain while you are starting the charcoal and it will ave just about the right amount of moisture.
                          When the cahrcoal in the chimney is started, place them in the Komado. Let them sit for a few minutes( 2 or 3) to reestablish the grey char layer before placing the wood on top of the carcoal. Leave the lid open and ensure that the bottom draft door is open.
                          Replace the grill and you are ready to go.

                          I usually cook 2 or 3 pork picnic shoulders or 2 or 3 turkey breasts, or about 10 pounds of chicken at a time. I have some of those perforated metal baskets and trays to support the meat. This allows the smoke to circulate, and can stack a basket then a tray and then a basket. I use a deep dish pizza pan under the bottom one. I put water in the solid pan. This tempers the direct radiant heat from the coals and ensures that your meat will be moist as it smokes. I use a small housplant watering can to add water to the tray after I put the meat on to cook. When the meat is done I can just lift it all out using the handles on the basket and nothing falls down in the fire. It also keeps the meat juices from burning and flaring the fire. The prevention of burning the fat reduces the carcenagenic concerns of eating barbequed meat. Two or three hours on the BGE will give you great flavor.

                          I always par boil my meat first with my seasonings until I am sure that the internal temperatures has been reached to assure it is done. Then I put it on my smoker. The smoke will tend to make the meat (pork ) to turn pink on the outside of the roast. This keeps the meat moist, and lets flavorings permiate the meat. The BGE provides the finish flavor of smoke and a golden brown varnish like finish on the meat.

                          I also smoke my chilie peppers on the BGE in the fall with apple wood. Then I freeze them in zip lock bags. If you like the flavor of Chipoltle you will be in heaven when you make an omolete next winter and throw in some of your home-grown home-smoked chilies.

                          I have a "dasey wheel" top that allows me to adjust the air flow escaping from the top. If you don't have ne I would suggest that you get one from BGE. They really allow you to regulate the temperature. I tried various contraptions (flower pots, ceramic chinees hat looking lids, metal plates, etc. ) for the first 25 years of Komado cooking. The dasey wheel is a great option and allows good temperature regulation. I recommend it highly as well as a thermometer mounted in the lid.

                          Plese note that the BGE is not your average GRILL. A grill fast cooks and tends to toughen and dry meat over an open flame. If you want to grill, then buy a grill. It takes time to cook on a BGE, but it is well worth the effort. You are very lucky to have one, even if it is broken. A BGE Komado gives you a whole different cooking experiance, flavor, and type of meal.

                          Your friends and neighbors will love you if you learn to use it.

                          Kenhi

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kenhi

                            somehow I missed yoor post - it is so informative and Im breaking out the egg this weekend - ty for all the info

                          2. Coastie,

                            It is probably way too late to be of any help, seeing all the excellent responses you have already gotten, but just in case, for replacement parts for the old Japanese made Kamados, the people to talk to are at:

                            http://www.imperialkamado.com which is the main website for the last source for the original earthenware type Kamados. Their site will direct you to the current distributor, in NY state at http://www.kamadoking.s5.com He has replacement parts for the #3 and #5 Kamados, and can probably help you out with almost any issue.

                            (disclaimer) I have no financial interest in Imperial Kamado, but I know they are good to work with, and I love my Japanese made #3 Kamado which I bought new about 15 years ago along with a 1960's version which is almost identical.

                            I do know that the ceramics used for the Big Green Egg and Kamado Co. Kamado, may not be compatible with the expansion rates of the old style earthenware, so it is best to use the correct earthenware replacement parts for things like fireboxes etc.

                            Indeed, the earthenware models do require a bit more care in use than the hi-temp ceramics, but then again their original use was for steaming of rice, not grilling at 700 degrees.

                            Hope this helps