Paul is a barbecue enthusiast. He is currently grilling and smoking on a Komodo Kamado Ultimate 23.
Be Aware: Kamado Barbecues Break Down
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 the company doesn't go very far when they won't return your calls or respond to emails.
Problems with the Kamado
- Problem 1: My first major problem with my Kamado happened when I opened the grill and the entire top fell off with the band.
- Problem 2: When it hit the ground, the weight from the top caused the internal triangle that holds the screw piece in the top to bend.
- Problem 3: 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.
How We Fixed the Kamado
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.
Doug on February 02, 2012:
I think we need to cut Kamado Grills a bit of slack. They are a small start up who, I think, didn't quite realize what they were getting themselves into. There are unconfirmed stories that Richard Johnson, owner of Kamado, tried to screw Kamado Grills after the sale. I believe he tried to take back the Kamado.com domain from them and Kamado Grills had to fight to get it back. If I had to bet, I'd say Kamado Grill's heart is in the right place and they want to be a legitimate maker of tiled kamados with a good reputation. Time will tell.
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on February 01, 2012:
Kamado Company is right Doug. The company was terrible. Unfortunately Kamado Grills hasn't been much more help then the company they bought, although they do return emails. So that's an improvement I guess.
Doug on February 01, 2012:
"kamado" as a generic term does refer to many brands of "ceramic" charcoal cookers like Big Green Egg, Primo, etc. However, there was a Kamado company. That is the make of the cooker which is the subject of this article. Kamado sold their assets to "Kamado Grills", a new startup that may be able to help out owners of cookers from Kamado company. Then there is Komodo Kamado, which is yet another company, probably the very best in the industry.
john on November 14, 2011:
which company do u refer to ? kamado's are sold by MANY different companies ? We have had two original Imperial Kamados for over 20 years , we have broken them many times many ways & always repaired them ourselves - no big deal. They cook better than anything else EVER ! and my Jamaican wife say's the jerk off it is de best ! Imperial Kamado's originally mftr in Japan are next to extinct I believe , but many many clones are out there under various brand names, the best know being Big Green Egg. Bad customer service always sucks , but don't let that stop you from enjoying a kamado ! Irie !
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on September 12, 2011:
@slowmoww. I think your are talking about the Kamado Co has having bad customer service. From what I know, Komodo is a different company that is supposed to be very good.
Don't count on Kamado getting back to you. I've been on them for a while and still don't have the parts I paid for...very frustrating.
slowmoww on September 12, 2011:
Very helpful! I have a similar problem with the top damper on my Komado. Additionally, I have a had no luck contacting anyone at Komado or getting responses to my emails. In fact I found a web site dedicated to their poor service when looking for info for this repair, the web site is: kamadofraudforum.org. They are also on Ripoff Reports too.
Thanks for the help,
Carolee Samuda from Jamaica on July 05, 2011:
I don't think I'll be getting one soon....lol
At lease now I know what to do if I ever got one.. Cool hub Paul, thanks for the tips..but I'll stick to my Jamaica grilling techniques, thank you!
mattdigiulio from Los Angeles on July 05, 2011:
Paul- very interesting hub. I'll be sure to stay away from these!
Best, Matt D