It is inevitable that your Big Green Egg gasket will melt, it’s just a matter of when. The gasket that comes with the Big Green Egg is a felt gasket that honestly cannot stand up to the extremely high temperatures the Egg can achieve. Well after a few years of use, it was time to replace mine. So instead of getting another OEM gasket, I got a high performance self-stick Nomex gasket. There are several third party vendors selling replacement gaskets, so there is no doubt you will find a gasket that fits your needs and budget.
Installing the gasket is actually a fairly straight forward process, but give yourself about an hour or two if this is your first time. You’re going to have to take apart your Egg a little bit, so you will want to take your time and make sure you do it right.
Things You’ll Need:
- Replacement gasket, obviously
- Razor blade, for scraping off your old gasket
- Acetone, for cleaning the surface of your Egg after you remove the old gasket
- Small steel brush, to clean the surface of your Egg along with the acetone
- 1/2″ wrench, to loosen the steel rings that join the top and bottom Egg pieces
I dove right in to replacing my gasket without any instruction on how to disassemble my Egg. I probably didn’t do it the most efficient way, but I learned what worked and what didn’t. For example, I didn’t remove the steel rings until after I took off my old gasket (you should remove the rings first!). So, the pictures I post may not follow the instructions below verbatim because I am posting the CORRECT step-by-step process (not the one I actually used). The pictures should still be very useful in showing the process, however. In the end, I learned a few lessons for next time I replace my gasket. Here are the steps I should have followed:
Separate and Remove the Lid of the Egg:
The first thing you need to do is disassemble the Egg so that you have easy access to both gaskets. The lid is the first thing to go. Locate the two bent screws near the back of your Egg (yes they are supposed to be bent). These screws tighten the steel rings that go around your Egg and keep your lid in place. Using your 1/2″ wrench, loosen just the top one. Do not completely remove the screw, just loosen it enough so that you are able to expand the ring enough and remove the lid of the Egg. Carefully remove the lid of your Egg and set it aside. I forgot to take a picture of this step while I was working, so I went back after the fact to take the picture. That’s why the gasket is already installed in that picture, sorry!
Remove the Steel Ring from the Egg Base:
Use your wrench to loosen the bottom screw and remove the steel rings from the Egg. Be careful, because the top and bottom rings are joined by the Spring Hinge! The Spring Hinge has two strong springs in it, which can easily ruin your day if your finger gets caught in there. Carefully set the steel rings aside, and you now have access to your gaskets.
Remove the Old Gasket:
Use your razor blade to scrape off the old gasket. Try to get as much of the glue and gunk off as possible. Be careful with your razor blade!
Clean with Acetone:
Soak a rag in acetone and scrub the surface where the old gasket was. Use a steel brush if you need to, but make sure to get rid all the stuck on glue. The surface should be smooth and free of debris so that the new gasket can stick to it.
Install the New Nomex Gasket:
Peel the backing tape from the Nomex gasket and press it down on the freshly cleaned surface. Go slow, and peel only a few inches back at a time. The adhesive on the gasket is sticky, so you really only get one chance at putting this thing on.
Re-Assemble the Egg:
After you install the gaskets, the last thing to do is put your Egg back together. Just do this in the reverse order that you dis-assembled it. First attach and tighten the steel ring on the Egg base. Remember, the Steel Hinge and the steel rings are joined together so be careful near pinch points! Make sure the ring is where you want it before you tighten it down. Next, slide the Egg lid through the top steel ring. Position it correctly, and tighten it down.
Let the Adhesive Cure:
Before you are ready to cook, you have to let the adhesive cure. Let the Egg rest with the lid closed 24 hours to allow a strong bond to form, then you’re ready to let it rip!