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How to Move a Kamado Joe
Moving a Kamado Joe is typically a two-person job, and often requires lifting straps, a premade lifting cradle, or some other type of manual lifting equipment.
If you need to lift one of the modest size Kamado Joes like the Classic or the Joe Jr. you should remove all the internal accessories.
Then the best handholds are the back of the air hinge assembly and the front, lower damper door.
If you need to move a Kamado Joe Classic or another heavy model, more than a few feet, you should use a lifting strap or a premade lifting cradle.
This will transfer the weight to your legs and your back, rather than your arms. This is how professional movers manually transport heavy furniture and appliances.
How Do You Lift a Kamado Joe Classic?
A 200-pound Kamado Joe Classic needs special equipment, like a Kamado Joe lifting strap, or a premade lifting cradle.
It’s best to remove all the accessories and internal components from the Kamado Joe before attempting to lift it.
A lifting strap or a premade lifting cradle constructed from heavy-duty lumber and threaded rods let you use your legs and back to move the Kamado Joe.
This gives you the ability to carry more weight than your arms can manage, while also freeing your arms to do things like help balance the load or hold an open door.
If you do need to lift a Kamado Joe for a moment or to reposition it, the best handholds are the back of the airlift hinge assembly, and the lower damper door.
Kamado Joe Lifting Strap
Lifting straps are used by professional movers to manually transport heavy items including Kamado grills, refrigerators, and washing machines.
The strap is worn by two people attached to body harnesses, which allows you to use their legs and back to lift the Kamado Joe.
Your arms don’t do any actual lifting, and only help to balance the load as you walk.
How To Make a Lifting Cradle to Move a Kamado Joe
If you are handy, you can make your own lifting cradle out of heavy-duty 2 X 4 lumber and threaded rods. You need to cut the interior of the cradle to the contoured shape of the Kamado Joe. The size of the curvature will vary by model.
Step One: Cut an 8-foot long 2 X 4 in half to create two four-foot-long sections.
Step Two: Cut a 6-foot long 2 X 4 in half to create a pair of 3-foot-long pieces of lumber that will serve as the cradle base that will contact the Kamado Joe’s body.
Step Three: Lay the 3-foot-long sections flat and trace out a curved pattern that closely matches the curvature of the Kamado Joe’s lower ceramic body. Ideally, you want this curve to match the contour of the Kamado Joe 6-inches down the lower lip.
Step Four: Use a heavy-duty jigsaw or a reciprocating saw to cut out the contours.
Step Five: Lay the 4-foot sections of lumber together with the 4-inch sections facing up, making sure they are flush at the ends. Then drill a 5/8” diameter hole through both boards, roughly 10 to 12 inches from each end.
Step Six: Place the contoured boards standing up on the 4-inch faces of the 48-inch-long boards and secure them in place with wood glue and 3-inch wood screws. Make sure that the contoured boards are in the same location on each of the 4-foot-long boards. Let the glue dry overnight.
Attaching A Lifting Cradle to A Kamado Joe
When you want to move your Kamado Joe, you set both sides of the cradle against the lower part of the grill body, about 6 inches down from the lower lid.
Then run the threaded rod through the 5/8” holes to connect each side. Tighten the threaded rod on both sides with washers and nuts. This will create a chariot-style lifting cradle.
From here you can head lift the cradle and Kamado Joe using the lumber for handholds. Though the better option is to run a pair of lifting straps under the end of the lifting cradle, to ensure you are moving it with your legs and not your arms or shoulder muscles.
How Heavy Is a Kamado Grill?
Kamado grills typically weigh between 150 to 250-pounds or more. In the Kamado Joe lineup, the Kamado Big Joe III is the heaviest model and weighs a whopping 487-pounds.
The Kamado Joe Jr. is their lightest model, but it still weighs 68-pounds. Other models vary in weight, size, and accessories.
Kamado Joe Big Joe – 352 lbs.
Kamado Big Joe II – 372 lbs.
Kamado Big Joe III – 487 lbs.
Kamado Joe Classic – 200 lbs.
Kamado Joe Classic II – 232 lbs.
Kamado Joe Jr. – 68 lbs.
Pellet Joe – 197 lbs.
Kettle Joe – 121 lbs.
Moving a Kamado Joe is not something to take lightly. Even the mid-range models weigh as much as 200-pounds or more.
Building a homemade lifting cradle is relatively easy and provides you with handholds for deadlifting the Kamado Joe, or a secure place to hang a pair of lifting straps.
This allows two people to use the strength of their legs to manually move a Kamado Joe grill.