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14 Tips For Buying A Used Kamado Joe

Kamado Joe Used

A new Kamado Joe is a major investment, but from time to time, gently pre-owned models are sold in local ads or internet listings for a price that makes a used Kamado Joe more accessible to someone with a slightly limited budget.

Though like any time you are buying something pre-owned, you need to look for signs of a potential problem before you agree to the purchase.

This includes looking for hairline cracks, fractures, exterior glaze damage, signs of alignment issues, and other overt signs of abuse. Bear in mind that the original warranty doesn’t transfer when sold to a private party, you will be on the hook for the cost of any replacement parts.

Only the ceramic parts carry a limited lifetime warranty, all other components have either two or five years of warranty coverage.

This means that an older Kamado Joe is more likely to have flaws or damaged components that haven’t been addressed by the previous owner.

When negotiating with the seller, be sure to note that you are aware that the warranty coverage won’t transfer to you.  

Avoid any Kamado Joe with hairline cracks. The risk is very high that the cracks will get worse in transport. Though, you can always ask the original owner to contact Kamado Joe to exercise their limited lifetime warranty on ceramic parts before you consider the sale.  

When inspecting a used Kamado Joe, look at the vents and dampers.

Give the multi-piece firebox a close look for significant cracks and warped stainless steel.

Check the gasket and the condition of the bands. Flaws in any of these areas should be reflected in the price. Kamado Joe sells replacement parts on their website; you can use the prices listed when negotiating a discount.  


Buying a Used Kamado Joe

Ideally, you want a used Kamado Joe to be priced around 40 to 50% off the initial price tag.

Especially if it is more than 5 years old, which means the previous owner’s warranty has already expired on most of the parts that are prone to failure. This increases the risk that there are compromised components that haven’t been replaced.

The first step in wisely negotiating a price for buying a used Kamado Joe starts with casually letting the seller know that the warranty coverage doesn’t carry over to a private party purchaser like yourself.

Some people aren’t aware of this, but it can give you leverage in driving a hard bargain.

It’s also helpful to come prepared with an understanding of what common replacement parts cost.

Kamado Joe offers a wide range of replacement parts and accessories on their website. Some of the common parts and replacement costs include:

Gasket $20 to $89

Kontrol top tower vent $60

Ash drawer $40

Firebox base $25

Ceramic fire ring $29

Ceramic firebox $50

Stainless steel firebox ring $29

Replacement cart base $115

Multi-piece firebox $150


Should You Buy a Used Kamado Joe

A used Kamado Joe that has been gently used and is in good shape, can be found at a great value price.

Just bear in mind that since the warranty doesn’t transfer to a second owner, any damaged or missing replacement parts will come out of your pocket.

If you’ve done your research on replacement parts for the model you are considering, and it still looks like a good deal, you could be treated to a very versatile backyard cooking appliance.

If there are missing or damaged parts, the price is still a little too high, and the seller won’t budge, you should consider looking elsewhere.

The hidden prices of replacing Kamado Joe components can add up over time. Especially if the grill shows signs that the previous owner didn’t have a lot of pride in ownership.


How to Tell If a Used Kamado Joe Is in Good Condition

There are a few things you need to look at when purchasing a used Kamado Joe that go beyond obvious things like cracks in the ceramic body or lid.

You also need to check the bands and the alignment of the dome. This often manifests as an underbite or overbite. You also need to check the interior of the firebox for significant cracks or missing pieces.


Check the Lower Damper & Top Vent

A little bit of corrosion or rust on the cast iron components is understandable. Though significant rust, especially on the top vent is a sign that the Kamado Joe was likely stored outside uncovered for much of its life.

This can also be a sign of someone who doesn’t take a lot of pride in ownership, which could be a red flag for other potential flaws in the used Kamado Joe.


Check the Bands & Alignment

You should also check the compression force of the lid. If you place a dollar bill and close the lid the dollar bill should pull out with a few firm tugs. Perform this same test at all four points of the compass as well as on both sides of the hinge.

If one area is the bill holds too tightly, but slides loose elsewhere, there might be problems with the alignment of the lid, or the gasket itself.


Check the Internal Fire Bands

The interior of most Kamado Joe uses a multi-piece ceramic firebox, which is updated from solid fireboxes which were prone to cracking.

The is a small gap between the four sections to allow for expansion and contraction. The four pieces sit over a ceramic O-ring at the bottom.  

If you are buying a used Kamado Joe, you want to see all four pieces and the O-ring inside the lower portion of the keg chamber.

If they are badly damaged or missing, it should be reflected in the price the seller is asking. A cracked or missing O-ring replacement will cost you between $25 to $50.


The Metal O-Ring For The Grates

At the top of the ceramic pedestals inside the firebox, there is a metal O-ring. This is what the heat diffusers and some other accessories sit on. Look for signs of significant warping.

If this metal O-ring is badly warped, it can make it very difficult to use the Kamado Joe for cooking with indirect heat.


Inspect the Gasket

The gasket on a Kamado Joe is a part that is known to wear out with use. Though it might be a point where you can drive a harder bargain in negotiations.

If the previous owner had a bad habit of storing the grill over the winter or for long periods with the lid latched the gasket is likely to wear out sooner.

It’s not a big deal to replace, but if the gasket looks flat, you will be on the hook for the replacement cost. Depending on the Kamado Joe model, a replacement gasket can cost between $20 to $89.


Consider The Accessories

Kamado Joe is innovative and sells a lot of accessories like the Divide & Conquer system, soapstone, Joetisserie, and more.

If the seller is including them in the purchase price, you should also keep that in mind.

Kamado Joe offers a wide range of accessories on their website, which you can use to help gauge how they might affect the price of the used Kamado Joe.


Used Kamado Joe Hairline Fractures

Hairline fractures are always possible with a ceramic Kamado Joe and depending on the model the replacement cost can be as high as $200 to $300.

There’s also a good chance that any hairline fracture in the ceramic is going to fail further when you move it.

Unless the previous owner is offering a full refund in case of a catastrophic failure, it’s best to walk away from a Kamado Joe with a hairline fracture.

Of course, Kamado Joe’s come with a limited lifetime warranty on the ceramic components.

However, that warranty only applies to the original purchaser. If the seller is the original purchaser, you should ask them to contact Kamado Joe to have a replacement ceramic sent out under the warranty coverage.


Do Used Kamado Joes Have a Warranty?

Kamado Joe states that their warranty coverage only applies to the original purchaser who registers the warranty.

The warranty coverage is also void if you purchase it through an unauthorized dealer or retailer.

This means that unless you buy a new Kamado Joe from a certified dealer, the warranty coverage is voided. This policy is very similar to a lot of Kamado Joe’s direct competitors as well.


How Much Do Used Kamado Joes Usually Cost?

A used Kamado Joe that is worth investing in so long as the asking price of 40 to 50% less than the new price tag.

Especially if the model you are considering is more than 5 years old and the original purchaser’s warranty on all but the ceramic components has expired.


Final Thoughts

Buying a used Kamado Joe can be tempting, though it’s definitely the sort of thing you should do with a heavy dose of skepticism.

Since the original warranty doesn’t transfer when sold to a private party, you will be on the hook for the cost of any replacement parts.

With this in mind, you should only consider a used Kamado Joe with an asking price of 40 to 50% off the cost of buying it new.

When negotiating with the seller, be sure to note that you are aware that the warranty coverage doesn’t transfer.

Even if they aren’t aware of this fact, it can still give you some negotiating leverage.

You should stay away from a model with hairline cracks. The chances of that crack getting worse in transport is high.

Though, you can always ask the original owner to contact Kamado Joe and require a replacement under the limited lifetime ceramic warranty coverage.

When inspecting a used Kamado Joe, look for signs of pride in ownership, such as clean vents and dampers. Inspect the multi-piece firebox for significant cracks and warped stainless steel. Make note of the gasket and the condition of the bands.

Flaws in any of these areas should be reflected in the price. Kamado Joe sells replacement parts on their website complete with pricing to help guide your discount request.