The Kamado Joe won’t shut properly because it is getting old, perhaps, or you just happen to be misusing it.
Chances are none of the aforementioned reasons are real and it just happened to be loose.
If and when the Kamado Joe won’t latch it is likely to be a problem of rough moving, loose connections, or wear and tear.
With years of opening and closing the lid, closing it shut will likely become a problem.
This fantastic grill is a favorite among many who prefer traditional, charcoal cooking methods.
If the Kamado Joe won’t latch, there are a few glitches that could’ve caused this.
Kamado Joe Won’t Latch? – Causes
Most causes of the grill not latching involve mechanical issues and rarely have anything to do with the build quality.
When moving to store the grill elsewhere or perhaps relocating, there is a likelihood at things go out of place.
It means the lid of the Kamado Joe might not stay in place with rough movements.
Seeing as the lid is not welded on, the latch will come out of place if the entire unit is not handled properly.
Moving can also cause the dome to be dropped which inevitably causes the latch to move out of place.
Time isn’t friendly on anything, including hardware like latches on grills.
With time, the latch will become loose regardless of use.
Even during long periods of storage, a latch can either become loose or too tight.
The latch, not closing could be due to excessive dirt between the top and bottom lids.
Anything that sits for a while and is meant to have movement, i.e. closing and opening, will develop problems with time.
Grills need regular maintenance which involves cleaning too.
With time, dirt and grease accumulate in and around the grill.
Excessive dirt could be the reason the Kamado Joe won’t latch, and other parts don’t close either.
It is necessary to have limited space between the top and bottom lids.
The adequate space is no space at all. If you can slide a credit card through when the lid is closed, it needs tightening.
Some bands help secure the latch along with other nuts on the back.
If they are loose, the latch will never shut tightly.
Other parts of the lid can affect latching the grill but loose nuts and screws are the main culprits.
It is part of maintenance and any time it takes long to check these parts, there will be such issues.
This is entirely relative to your grilling needs and what is deemed little, average, or optimal grilling.
When the grill is overused, the top lid will be opened regularly.
It might also get slammed more than it needs to be, based on who is using it and its urgency.
Anytime something of this nature is mishandled, its structure will crumble.
The integrity is only as good as the users behind it.
Kamado Joe Won’t Latch? – Solutions
Clean out your grill as often as possible removing all remnants and dirt.
If the Kamado Joe won’t latch and dirt continues to accumulate there will be other problems too.
A non-closing latch means mediocre grilling due to inadequate temperature control.
The cleaning procedures you apply should include removing ashes wherever possible.
If the latch still won’t close, try out the below procedures to ensure a card won’t slide through it.
Tighten the bands using the correct size wrenches.
These can be adjusted accordingly and unless they are worn out, they can be tightened to the finest mm settings.
Bands do get worn out with time and might need replacing too.
Purchase gaskets and sealants online to make the space go away.
Sealants compensate for much larger spaces.
It means if the latch isn’t reducing the space to less than half an inch, a gasket might help.
These are easy to find online but your genuine hardware supplier might have them too.
After removing the top and realigning the lid and the bottom, it is important to check the spring.
This could be damaged or quite simply just old.
It means it is not bouncing as it should and likely needs to be replaced.
If the spring is broken entirely, it could be the reason the Kamado Joe won’t latch, and warrants a new one.
Replacing such parts should be done using OEM suppliers.
The results of using cheaper alternatives usually lead to the same adjustment problems.
There is a hex or Allen key head directly above the latch on the front.
This can be adjusted clockwise or counter-clockwise to adjust the latch.
Once it is perfectly adjusted, the latch should close properly with little need for further adjustment.
This little 2.5 mm head is difficult to spot unless one cleans the entire dome including outside areas.
It can be a problem to identify it if it is also covered in grime and dirt.
Being small makes it hard to spot, yet it is significant in how it affects the lid.
Tighten the Lid
At the back of the lid is a nut used to adjust the air hinge.
Although the latch isn’t affected directly, if the nut is too tight, the latch will never work.
It means the lid won’t reach the lowest level, which is where it is completely shut.
This nut can be easily adjusted using a wrench.
Turn it clockwise to tighten it as much as possible.
Once tight, the lid should go all the way down and the air hinge will work perfectly.
Lastly, it is important to move the grill slowly and relocate only when necessary.
As you move the grill, make use of the wheels accordingly.
It is also best to add wheels that you can purchase online to reduce haulage difficulties in the future.
Moving can also be accomplished through the use of proper carts.
Avoid dropping the grill at all costs.
If possible, move it yourself to avoid such problems in the future.
A Kamado grill won’t latch because of simple misuse and mishandling.
Any rough mishandling leads to the same problems of having to tighten bands, and nuts and replace latches or an entire hinge altogether.
Replacing an entire air hinge is way more expensive than simply cleaning the grill when necessary, or moving it carefully when the need arises.
Make the Kamado grill experience better with smoother maintenance procedures.
The best way to ensure longevity and usage of the grill is to prevent such problems from occurring.
The Kamado Joe is not an automated grill with self-cleaning features.
It requires the same amount of discipline applied to grill meat to be applied when cleaning it.
For newbies, it might not seem necessary at first to clean regularly.
However, between increasing temperatures, grime, and dirt along with grease, there can be considerable damage done to a grill.
Problems begin when the Kamado Joe won’t latch but might end with you replacing the grill entirely.
Happy grilling and remember to practice proper maintenance schedules moving forward.