My Imperial Kamado No 5 Restoration

  • Hey everyone, I inherited this Imperial Kamado No 5 from my grandparents a few months back. Poor old thing was buried in the back of the shed under a tarp for the last 20 years. My Grandparents brought it down with them from Sydney in the early 2000s and it never saw the light of day again until a few months back when I came across it. My grandparents know I'm into Japanese stuff so they gave it to me to do what I want with it.

    I went down a rabbit hole researching Imperial Kamados trying to find out what I could about restoring them and came across a number of different forums and guides (couple from SFaF as well).

    At first there wasn't really anything major to fix or repair. In my research through old forum posts almost all of them mention the Kamado base/dome/damper top or firebox being cracked or broken into pieces. Thankfully my grandparents never really used it too much so there wasn't any major cracks in the base or dome and the firebox, fire ring and fire grate were all in one piece.

    The metal parts had seen better days, all the nuts and bolts were completely rusted and stuffed and took a lot of effort to get them off, felt like I was going to crack the base.

    Here's the basic rundown of what I did:

    Washed the outside of the dome and base to remove all the years of dirt and dust.

    Repainted the outside surfaces with high temp resistant spray paint.

    Cleaned the rust off all metal parts and repainted them with the same high temp paint.

    Replaced all the nuts, bolts and washers with stainless steel ones.

    Added a Lavalock Nomex gasket.

    Painted the text on the dome as best I could. I can read the katakana near the bottom but I can't make out what the kanji says, can't find much info online either, my guess is a makers mark.

    Made a new handle, the original one had rotted away and was also too small to grab comfortably so I used the metal handle on the band to trace out a channel on two pieces of wood and just glued the two halves into places.

    I've done a few cooks in it now and I'm finding it very fun and rewarding each time. I'm hoping the old girl will last for a long time still but I wouldn't mind something more modern like a Kamado Joe or something.

    Feel free to ask any questions about the restoration or anything, happy to answer or help out anyone else restoring an Imperial Kamado.

  • That has to be one of the imperials in the best condition I've ever seen. Congrats on the excellent restoration. I'd stick with it rather than go with a new Kamado to be honest. The imperial has so much more history and charm.


    Masterbuilt Gravity 800 | Maximus Pizza Oven | GMG - Daniel Boone | Cyprus Grill | Big Steel Keg | Blackstone Griddle | Fire Pit | Weber Genesis |

  • Thanks mate, as much as I love the history and style of the Imperial it gets annoying when tryin to find certain parts. For example I've been looking for a while now to try and find some way to put a heat deflector in, like the D&C system in a Joe. From some dimensions I found online the Kamado Joe Flexible Cooking Rack SHOULD fit but I don't want to buy it and waste money if it doesn't fit and I can't return it.

    Have you got any ideas?

    Thanks again!

  • That looks very neat mate - good job on the resto.

    I use a pizza stone as a heat deflector on mine , it does the job but not ideal.👍🏼

    Never enough BBQ

    Primo XL, Imperial Kamado, Pro Smoke Offest, Pot belly stove, Flaming coals Spit , Jumbuck 'Rondo' Med spit, Webber Kettles, Small SS battery spit , 5 Burner beefmaster, gasmate portable bbq,

  • Have you got any ideas?

    To be honest, I keep my Kamado deflector very simple. I have a bsk and place the right size paella pan on the firebox with the grill resting on the pan's handles. Not pretty to look at, but it works.

    Because the bsk allows two grill heights I also have the higher option so the grill doesn't touch the handles, but here it is on the lower position, directly on the pan handles:

    Masterbuilt Gravity 800 | Maximus Pizza Oven | GMG - Daniel Boone | Cyprus Grill | Big Steel Keg | Blackstone Griddle | Fire Pit | Weber Genesis |

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