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Are you a Kamado Joe owner? Then you must know how to handle the heat deflector carefully. Otherwise, the ceramic plate could break in a blink and make the entire unit unfit for indirect grilling.
However, if the Kamado Joe deflector plate broke already, how can you fix it? Well, don’t fret! There are some easy quick fixes.
But first, let’s find out the possible causes of such a mishap and then look forward to the solutions.
Kamado Joe Deflector Plate Broke – What Are The Common Causes?
Truth be told, the most common cause of breaking the ceramic heat deflector is the misuse of the plate. Or you might be using it over extreme heat.
Nevertheless, let’s break down the common causes below.
Unsafe Storage: Sometimes, you might keep the deflector plate in an unsafe storage unit. As you know, the plate is primarily made of ceramic.
So, placing them in a metal or stone storage could badly affect the ceramic coating and resultantly, the heat deflector plate could be damaged.
Also, if you store the deflector plate in any place accessible to pets, chances are you couldn’t protect the plate from breaking or cracking.
High Temperature: Umm, we all know the heat deflector is built with ceramic stone. So, how could it break or burn from high temperatures?
Well, higher heat flow doesn’t cause any notable damage to the deflector.
But if you use the Kamado Joe for high-heat grilling for several years, the deflector unit will naturally be subjected to wear and tear.
That means it will struggle to retain high heat at some point, generally after years of heavy grilling. At that point, grilling over 500° might cause some damage to the heat deflector.
Heat Shock: What does the heat deflector do in the Kamado Joe? It basically controls heat flow by retaining high-temperature grilling. That means, they are built to sustain heat but in a natural way.
So, what will happen if you suddenly place the deflector plate on excessively high heat? Certainly, it will start to crack. This situation is known as temperature shock/heat shock
Poor Quality: Apart from the issues above, your Kamado Joe deflector plate could also break if you don’t use the original product. Sometimes, we are tempted by the cheap replacement of the plate.
Trust me, these are far away from the original one. If you do not cause any harm to the heat deflector, it could still break due to poor quality.
Careless Maintenance: As you know, the ceramic coating of the deflector is way more delicate than wood or plastic.
That’s why it needs to be handled with utmost care. Never leave the unit in adverse weather conditions. Also, if you shift the unit hastily, it might lead to the breakage of the unit.
Also Read: Kamado Joe Winter Storage Solutions
Kamado Joe Deflector Plate Broke – What Should I Do Now?
It is said that where there is a will, there is a way. Similarly, there are solutions to each problem.
Here I go with the possible solutions if you broke your Kamado Joe deflector.
Go for Safe Storage Unit: When you store the entire KJ unit or just its accessories, keep them in a safe cabinet. This will protect the accessories including the heat deflector from rain, snow, or high temperature.
Nevertheless, it would be better if the cabinet consists of some drawers. Then you can separate the delicate units like the deflector and store them in the drawers.
Most importantly, you should store the deflector where any heavy tool or falling debris could not harm the ceramic stone of the deflector.
Move the Unit with Care: You should always move the KJ unit with care. But sometimes, time doesn’t allow us to do so because of hostile weather.
In those cases, try to move the heat deflector first, store it in the storage cabinet, and then you can pull the grill.
As most KJ grills have wheels, it’s not that challenging to haul them slowly and steadily. But you must move the ceramic heat deflector carefully to maintain its integrity.
Focus on Heat Control: As I already stated, extreme heat flow could crack the ceramic stone badly. Therefore, focus on controlling temperature.
Please remember that ceramic stone is basically designed for indirect grilling. That’s why you should use indirect heat flow to cook your favorite food by adding adequate fuel.
Avoid Temperature Shock: Aside from maintaining the temperature correctly, you should also place the heat deflector suitably to avoid heat shock.
If you suddenly place a cold heat deflector plate over direct heat from coal, it cannot synchronize with the sudden heat rush. As a result, it’s bound to crack.
So, you should place the deflector after around ten minutes of lighting the fire. This will let it cope with the increasing temperature slowly.
Purchase a Genuine Replacement: When the old ceramic stone is broken, we usually replace it with a new one. That makes all the difference.
If you don’t buy the original product from an authentic seller, chances are you are using a knockoff.
So, always check the authenticity first even if that costs some more bucks. Do not compromise with the quality; the KJ heat deflector will last several years without any issues.
Where Can I Get A Kamado Joe Replacement Deflector Plate?
If you don’t cause any damage to the deflector plate and still it breaks, you can get a free replacement from Kamado Joe. so, contact their customer support team or the retailer you purchased the unit from. Of course, any misuse of the unit will void the warranty.
However, there are several authentic suppliers who provide OEM products for KJ. You can check them out to get a genuine heat deflector replacement.
On that note, you can go for the KJ classic heat deflector plate below. The key amenities of this product are as follows-
- Weight: 7.33 pounds
- Made of pure ceramic stone
- Includes two heating elements
- Suitable for KJ Classic l, ll, and lll
- Compatible with high heat retention
|Classic I, II, III
Here you get two half-moon heat deflector plates with ceramic coating. No wonder, they offer excellent heat retention even during heavy grilling. If you have a Kamado Joe Classic l, ll, or lll, you can go for this deflector.
Basically, you can try any cooking style based on these deflector plates based on your preferences.
You need to just place the plates accordingly. Whether you use the half plate for offset cooking or try the full plate for a better smoking experience, it never disappoints.
Moreover, the ceramic surface allows the preparation of different ingredients as well. That surely is a game changer in terms of outdoor cooking, isn’t it?
Best of all, it permits the creation of heat zones in your KJ grill to block off the open flame. Naturally, you get a steady smoke to bless your platter with absolute deliciousness.
Indeed, they work like the original ceramic deflector in your Classic Joe. Being very reasonably priced, there’s no single reason you shouldn’t go for this package.
How Can I Tell If My Kamado Joe Deflector Plate Is Broken?
If you ask, are there any troubleshooting steps I can take to confirm that the deflector plate is indeed broken?
Yes, there are. Sometimes, even after paying close attention, you cannot see any crack or chip on the deflector.
Then you should look for other signs of a broken heat deflector.
We already know how important a heat deflector plate is to distribute heat evenly.
So, if you experience uneven heat spread, hot spots, or burnt foods on the grill, probably the deflector is already broken.
Besides, a broken heat deflector stone makes it more challenging to control the temperature.
Thirdly, you can gently tap the ceramic stone with your hand. If there’s any crack, you will surely hear a rattling sound.
Can I Still Use If The Deflector Plate Is Broken?
No, I strongly suggest going for a replacement as soon as the heat deflector is broken. Because a broken ceramic plate cannot distribute heat evenly. Resultantly, you will endure uneven smoke while grilling.
Most importantly, the broken parts could fall into the KJ grill causing severe damage to the entire unit.
That’s how a damaged deflector runs a safety risk for both the grill and the griller.
Can A Broken Deflector Plate Affect The Performance Of My Kamado?
Of course, yes. As discussed earlier, a broken plate could never spread the heat evenly. As a result, there will be hot spots in the grill to burn your food.
A broken heat deflector cannot create a barrier between the coal and the food. Thus it hampers indirect cooking which also affects the food quality as well.
In some areas, food will be cooked faster than expected whereas some foods will remain undercooked.
So, you can never enjoy the authentic smoky flavor which an integrated deflector plate offers.
Are There Any DIY Or Temporary Solutions For Deflector Plates?
Yes, there are some temporary solutions to replace the deflector plate.
You can use a pizza stone as a heat deflector to create a heat barrier. A ceramic tile or brick will also get the job done.
Alternatively, you can fold some aluminum foils into balls and place them on the lower level of your KJ grill to create an indirect cooking zone.
Please remember all these are periodic solutions when you cannot access a heat deflector.
How Can I Properly Dispose Of A Broken Deflector Plate From My Kamado?
Once a broken heat deflector plate is cooled down, take it out of the grill carefully. Then wrap it in a puncture-proof plastic bag and seal the bag properly.
Now dispose of the bag following the guidelines from your local waste management authority.
Can I Prevent Deflector Plates From Breaking In The Future?
Apart from using the deflector plate carefully, you can wear heat-resistant gloves to prevent any accidental drops.
Also, using a dedicated storage cabinet minimizes the risks of accidental damage to the ceramic stone.
And if your KJ model permits, you can even use a heat shield to protect the deflector from the direct heat source.
How Long Does A Kamado Joe Deflector Plate Typically Last?
If you maintain the KJ deflector plate with proper care, it can last for several years.
Can I Use My Kamado Joe Grill Without A Deflector Plate?
Yes, you can still use your KJ grill without a heat deflector. But that will be a basic charcoal grill without the deflector. You cannot try indirect grilling without creating a heat barrier, right?
So, if you prefer direct grilling or high heat searing, there’s no need to use a heat deflector.
Hopefully, you found your answer about what to do when the Kamado Joe deflector plate broke.
Although there are some quick DIY solutions when you cannot access a new one, it’s always better to go for the replacement as soon as possible.
But if you stick to the preventative measures, the ceramic deflector plate will last for several years.
And who doesn’t know the saying, prevention is always better!