If you own any brand of ceramic smoker, such as a Big Green Egg, Primo, or Kamado Joe, you will eventually need to replace the gasket seal.
Our pitmaster, Doug, has done this several times and now wants to show you how to do it on a Big Green Egg.
If you are smoking your favorite protein, only to discover smoke seeping out around the seal of your ceramic smoker, it is time to change it.
Tools You Will Need to Replace Gasket
A new seal for your corresponding brand and size smoker
Small whisk broom
Acetone & rag
Bucket for old charcoal if necessary
Summary instructions on how to replace the gasket seal
Make sure to watch our accompanying video.
Empty the contents of your smoker, include charcoal, ash, grates, and firebox. Use the whisk broom to remove any remaining ash from the bottom of your smoker.
Read about it by clicking HERE!
Remove the banding off of your smoker. Do not use a ratchet wrench for this. We recommend using a manual wrench.
When removing the lid of the Big Green Egg, place your hand inside, through the top opening and lift with your other hand underneath the lid.
Lift the bands straight up and off the base of the smoker and place to the side.
Using the paint scraper, remove the old gasket from the base of the vessel. Do not use pressing force.
Next, using the new razor blade, scrape the edge of the vessel, removing any residual glue from the old gasket.
The ceramic edge of the base should be smooth. Use your steel wool, buff the edge of the base, removing any loose gasket particles.
Place a small amount of Acetone on a rag and wipe the edge of the vessel to remove any residual grease, carbon, or debris.
The Acetone will evaporate quickly and leave no harsh chemical residue behind.
After prepping the base, place the lid of the vessel upside-down in the base, so the gasket edge is facing up.
This creates a convenient workspace, especially for those larger models.
Repeat the same process on the lid, as you did for the base of the Big Green Egg.
Open the packaging of your new gasket. Uncoil the gasket and allow it to sit flat, so it will be easier to install.
Remove the lid from the vessel and using your shop vac or vacuum, remove all the debris from the bottom of the base.
Return the lid, upside-down to the base.
Wipe the edge of the lid, one more time, with Acetone and your rag.
Dry-fit the new gasket on the lid. Allow a few extra inches. One gasket package should be plenty for a lid and base of one vessel. Make sure you purchase the appropriate size for your particular Big Green Egg.
Once you have dry fitted the lid, use a safety-knife to cut the seal.
To Apply the New Seal
With the lid, upside-down in the base, start at the back of the lid, opposite of the temperature gauge, but off-center.
You DO NOT want the lid seam and the base seam to be directly on top of each other.
Start off-center, removing only 4-5-inches of adhesive, and placing the new seal on the ceramic edge of the lid.
Make sure to keep the new gasket centered along the edge.
Gradually move forward, peeling off a few inches at a time. Turn the lid in the base when necessary.
As you word forward, press the new gasket on and rub the small bumps down.
Avoid creasing the gasket badly. Use your thumb to go back over the new seal to confirm good contact.
When you arrive back at the starting point, slightly overlap, 1/2-1-inch; using a new razor blade, cut straight down both the top portion and the bottom portion of the new seal, creating a clean cut through both.
You may need to use a sawing motion to make a straight clean cut. Peel off the bottom, overlapped portion. Press down and force the adhesive to make contact.
Remove the lid from the base. Sit the lid, on the new seal, off to the side.
Repeat the process for the base.
Remember to apply a quick rub of Acetone to the base, just prior to applying the new gasket.
Reattaching the bands to the Big Green Egg
Set the bands on top of the base. You may need to spread the bands apart slightly, or wiggle the bands onto the base.
Make sure to properly orientate the bands so the handle is above the front vent.
Set the top on the base, making sure to properly orientate the temperature gauge in the front.
You may need to slightly twist the top to properly align.
Starting with the bottom bolt, tighten the two bolts down, but not all the way tight.
Make adjustments to the bands, so the top is on the top rim and the bottom band is on the bottom rim.
The bands should NOT be touching each other.
The bands should be apart, about the thickness of the gasket you just replaced.
Tighten the bolts. Make sure they are very tight, alternating between the two bolts.
Brace the lid through the top smoke hole and verify you have the bolts tight enough, by opening the lid.
If the lid opens properly and does not slide, you have the bolts tight enough.
Test your installation by doing the dollar bill test, as demonstrated in the video.
Please wait 24 hours before firing up your Big Green Egg.
The first several cooks, after installing the new gasket, avoid temperatures above 350ºF.
High temperatures can compromise the adhesive glue until allowed to set.