Wednesday, 15 January 2014

How to properly unthaw frozen shut ceramic cooker.



Well have you ever gone to use your ceramic cooker in the middle of winter and discovered the lid was frozen shut? I have experience this a few time with my Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg. It can be very disappointing in finding your cooker frozen shut. I will show you how easy it is to properly unthaw your cooker and get you back up and running within half hour.


Before we start I would like to mention the biggest mistake (The no-no) you can do to a frozen ceramic cooker:

  1. Trying to pry open you frozen shut ceramic cooker will end up in ripping apart your gaskets.

  1. Trying to separate the frozen shut lid with sharp objects will result in damaged gasket and can damage the ceramic.

Okay let’s get into the proper procedure on how to properly unthaw your ceramic cooker. You could bring your ceramic cooker inside to unthaw but doing this can be tedious and takes a lot longer to unthaw.










The preferred method is to unthaw it in its present location. You can easily unthaw your cooker by following these few simple steps:

  1. Unthaw the daisy wheel using a regular air blower/dryer or heat gun this can take a minute or two (if you don’t have access to electrical outlet you can use a torch but be very careful not to burn yourself) ounce unthawed leave open your daisy wheel and leave it in the wide open position;
 Unthaw daisy wheel
Unthaw ceramic cover
 Ounce Unthawed open daisy wheel fully
Ounce unthawed remove ceramic cap

  1. Now you want to use the air blower/dryer and unthaw the bottom vent. Ounce the bottom vent is unthawed place the bottom vent in its widest open position;
 Unthaw bottom vent 
Unthaw bottom vent
 Ounce unthawed open fully
Ounce unthawed open fully

  1. Its now time to pour in a little bit of cooking oil inside the cooker via the daisy wheel. I usually put about ¼ cup of  cooking oil (If your plate setter, heat deflector or pizza stone is still inside the BBQ skip this step!);
 Add a little bit of cooking oil through top vent
 Add a little bit of cooking oil through top vent

  1. Now place some crumpled up news paper under the fire bowl by using the access of the bottom vent. Its also a very good I deal to place a piece of paper towel soaked in cooking oil as well in the middle of the crumpled up news paper underneath the fire bowl;
 Place a few sheets of crumpled up news paper underneath fire bowl
Place a few sheets of crumpled up news paper underneath fire bowl

  1. Now very carefully light up the news paper underneath the fire bowl;
 Carefully light news paper
Carefully light news paper

  1. Let it burn for about 20-25 minutes.
How to video unthaw your ceramic cooker properly:


By doing these steps above it will eventually light up your left over lump charcoal usually within a few minutes. Now that your lump charcoal is light; it will quickly warm up your cooker and usually within 20-30 minutes it will be all unthawed and ready to cook but if you have a pizza stone, heat deflector or plate setter still inside the ceramic cooker it will take at least 15 more minutes to unthaw. After 20 minutes or so you can check on the lid to see if it is unthawed but be very careful when checking it. If it still take to much pressure to open the lid it means its still partly frozen. Use common sense!

To prevent your cooker from freezing shut in the near future. I found the best way was to place a layer of foil between the bottom section and lid when done cooking and to add a little bite of fresh lump before chocking the fire. Also its important to never store your pizza stone, heat deflector and plate setters inside the BBQ in case you have to unthaw the BBQ!

 Place layer of foil between lid and bottom

  Place layer of foil between lid and bottom

Lots of people will tell you just cover your ceramic cooker and you won’t experience this issue. Well from personal experience this is very untrue. I always used a cover on my Big Green Egg and it still managed to freezes shut from time to time. What lots of folks don’t realize when the ceramic cooker is covered there is usually a moisture build up that occurs due to the lack of air movement and this moisture will freeze. This moisture can also cause mold growth in the cooker in the summer time if the ceramic cooker is not used often.

Enjoy and happy grilling!


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