Wayne Yoshida en Barbacoa Barbecue BBQ, DIY (Do it Yourself) Technical Writer, Agility Fuel Solutions | Brand Ambassador, beBee • Agility Fuel Solutions and beBee 25/9/2016 · 3 min de lectura · +200

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Photo above: The old gasket is charred and no longer provides a good seal. If you look closely at the lid, you can see where the gasket looks like it pulled away from the rim and got sucked into the dome

My Big Green Egg (BGE) ceramic cooker is about six years old. I cooked a lot of meals and enjoyed great company with my networking BBQ events. But, like any item that wears, the felt seal started leaking after about four years. 

So I replaced the original gasket with a new one from the BGE factory.

After about two short years, the replacement seal failed. This was probably my fault. I wanted to avoid re-fueling the BGE when smoking a large brisket. Although the lump charcoal did last more than 10 hours, I paid for it by burning a section of the BGE table. This is a story for another time.

I decided to replace the gasket with an "aftermarket" gasket, based on the reviews on various BGE chat rooms. The new gasket is a woven fiberglass material and is thicker than the original felt-like material in the original gasket. It is available from Ron - also known as "RRP" on the Big Green Egg message boards.

Ron has sold over 2,812 gaskets in all 50 states and 10 foreign countries since he started doing this favor for BGE fans. 

The most difficult thing about replacing the gasket is the adhesive. The recommended adhesive is a 3M spray called number 77, which is a contact cement. However, because the ceramic surface is porous, the spray-on stuff just does not adhere properly. I think the high temperatures do not help adhesion, either.

The Rutland gasket comes with instructions to use a better adhesive: An automotive gasket sealer (Permatex Ultra Copper), commonly available from auto parts places just about anywhere.

The gasket material comes in giant rolls which Ron measures and cuts up for sale to individuals. The gasket is thicker than the original felt-like material, so only a bottom gasket is needed. The temperature rating is 2200 degrees F. Here are some pictures of how I installed the new gasket on my large size BGE . . . 

The process will be easier if you remove the top dome. Since the lid is hinged and under spring tension, it is safest to open the lid and then loosen the top lid "hoop" near the hinge at the back, like this . . . 

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Removing the old gasket may be difficult. Use a plastic putty knife or scraper to remove the old gasket. My gasket was very loose, since the adhesive failed. The gasket was brittle but came off in one big piece. Remove both top and bottom gaskets.

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

After removing the old gasket, I used my random-orbit sander with a 40 grit disc to remove the junk around the rim.

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Ron suggests that you mark the gasket into four sections, to make sure you have enough gasket material to go around the entire circumference of the bottom shell. This is because the woven maerial stretches and as it does, it "shrinks" its width. However, for the BGE, the gasket must be "bunched up" or squeezed together to make it wide enough to cover the width of the rim. Here is a picture of a "dry run" without the adhesive:

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

You can see some excess material at the back. But remember, the gasket must be bunched up to make it wide enough to fill the width of the rim.

I started at the back of the cooker, since it would hide the seam. It is a messy job, so wear gloves. Here is a close-up of the seam in the back. The excess fibers will be trimmed with a sharp pair of scissors.

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

I hate it when this happens. You squeeze out the goop, and the tube gets punctured near the bottom, squeezing stuff out in un-wanted places, wasting the glue. .  . Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

This is what it should look like. The gasket is bunched together and the adhesive is nice and thick underneath.

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

After going around the rim, apply even pressure around the rim to ensure proper adhesion. This is most easily done by closing the lid. I was afraid of having the top and bottom stick to each other, so I placed some aluminum foil between the two halves. Wax paper may be better for this, and I thought the foil might get stuck, but none of those worries came about.

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Ron says he does not know how long the Rutland gaskets last. He reports the gaskets on his BGE are around 13 years old.

Now to get something cooking on the refreshed Big Green Egg!

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

Here are links to Ron's instructional pictures for installing the Rutland gasket:

The gasket material

Compressing the gasket material

What the "bunching" looks like

Replacing the Big Green Egg BBQ Gasket

About Wayne Yoshida
Wayne Yoshida is a technical writer and education advocate with sales management experience. Wayne currently works in the alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) industry and has worked for a wide variety of high technology companies, including aerospace and defense, photonics, lasers and opto-mechanics, two-way radio, telecommunications and a non-profit, educational organization. His personal passion for electronics and Amateur Radio opened many doors to some very interesting personal and professional experiences. Working as a ham radio consultant for the NASA Johnson Space Center during Space Shuttle mission STS-9 is his most memorable experience. Connect with him on LinkedIn and beBee, and for a look into his personal passions, follow his blog.

Wayne Yoshida 25/9/2016 · #2

#1 Tony - thanks for reading and commenting. The Weber kettle is the standard for a lot of folks. I had a "fake" kettle while in college, and it rusted out. Back then I just made burgers, dogs and steaks and direct-grilled.

FYI, I chose the BGE after doing some restoration of my parent's old ceramic cooker. I do not know the manufacturer, but it was purchased when I was a kid, over 30 years ago. I looked online for parts and discovered the current Big Green Egg and their story. They are made in Georgia but based on the ancient Chinese and Japanese cookers from a looooooong time ago....

On the BGE maintenance - this is a good question. Here are a few things:
1) Glad to know you like real fire and not gas, although gas is convenient.

2) I use all natural lump charcoal (Royal Oak) and it not only burns hotter and longer, it burns cleaner - that is, when I am done cooking, I scrape off the grill grate (the unit comes with a ceramic-coated grate, but lately, stainless steel is being provided), and oil it. Then I close all vents and snuff out the fire. This will burn off the reamaing junk on the grill -- and, there is always some useable coal for the next cook.

3) Since there is less ash, there's not much to throw out.

Other than keeping the grill clean - there really is no other maintenance for it. I used to store it inside my garage, but my car project fills my 2-car garage, so now I just leave it on my patio outdoors. I just wipe the outer shell every now and then.

Here is why I chose the BGE over the other charcoal grills: It is much more than a "smoker." It can be used like an oven, a smoker and a grill. The two-piece shell - an inner fire box and an outside shell -- are insulated, so the fuel lasts longer. I can smoke a brisket for as long as 8 or more hrs. I also think there may be more moisture retained inside the ceramic cooker because I really do not have to baste.

I think the best thing is the temperature control and the stability I get. I

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Tony Brandstetter 25/9/2016 · #1

Thanks for the information Wayne, sound like there is a lot of work involved, as with any charcoal grills, they are not as quick or convenient as gas/propane. However the flavor of charcoal is outstanding, personally I would never go back to propane, my taste buds will not let me.

I own a Weber kettle grill, I have had it for a number of years and has served me well., just look at the size of my waste. I have had to do zero maintenance on the Weber, so let me ask you... Is the egg that much better?

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