Note: This post is part of the “Kamado 101 – The Definitive Guide to Amazing Barbecue” series, in which I cover everything from the foundational aspects of Kamado cooking all the way through advanced concepts designed to transform you into a backyard barbecue pitmaster. View the entire series here.
Kamado Joe grills will create delicious meals for years if you take care of them properly. That includes both routine cleaning and maintenance including replacing gaskets. However, once you have it for a while you may need to replace Kamado Joe bands and hinges. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult and not something you’ll need to do all that frequently.
Unlike some of the other maintenance things, however, you’ll probably want to have a friend over when you go to do this–especially if you have one of the bigger grills. It’s not 100% necessary, but it will certainly make things easier.
What You Need
- Replacement band assembly
- Heavy duty plastic zip ties
- Wrench (fixed or adjustable; as long as it fits the nuts)
- Hex wrench
Steps to Replace Bands and Hinge
1. Remove handles
Take your wrench and remove the handles from the old band. If you have tables on the side, you’ll want to remove those as well.
2. Secure the hinge with strong plastic zip ties
Clamp the hinge shut with zip ties to prevent it from popping up once you get the band loosened. You may choose to relax the tension in the springs if you like, but I’ve never needed to.
3. Have a friend hold the assembly, loosen the bolts on the bands, and slide them off
You may need to completely remove the bolts to get it off, so make sure you’ve got someone hanging on to the assembly. Have them keep an eye on the zip ties as well to make sure they don’t break and cause the band to pop up. Remember there’s a lot of tension there, so be smart.
4. Lift the dome and have your friend wrap the new band around it
You can also completely remove the bolts and try sliding it over the top. Either way, you’ll need a friend to help keep things steady. Watch your fingers!
5. Check the closed dome to make sure that everything is aligned properly
You can always make adjustments if you need to, but make sure that it’s aligned properly the first time and save yourself some trouble. It should be flush in order to get the best results.
6. Tighten both bands with your fingers, and then the tools.
You’ll want your friend to hold on to everything and make sure it doesn’t move while you’re tightening. I always prefer to finger tighten both of bolts first and then alternate between the top and the bottom with the wrenches to make sure that the tension is even. If you tighten one all the way, you’ll run the risk of messing up that beautiful alignment you did in step 5. Make them as tight as you can.
7. Replace the handles
Grab the handles you removed from the old band and put them on the new one. If you have tables, reattach them as well.
8. Lift lid to check spring tension, and adjust to make sure it will stay open.
Your lid should stay open all on its own. If the Kamado lid won’t stay open, then you’ll need to take a large hex wrench and tighten the bolts on the hinge until it stays open on its own.