Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the world’s toughest cast iron cooker and kamado grill.
Why Cast Iron?
Since the beginning of the Iron Age, iron has been recognized for its superior strength and durability. Its unique thermal properties have also made it the material of choice for cookware. Goldens’ Cast Iron Cookers capitalize on the enduring strength and even heating characteristics of cast iron to create a kamado grill without equal.
What About Rust?
Consider that our cooker is much like a tank or manhole cover. Even if it’s completely void of powder coating, it’s mostly 3/8″ thick, so it will not compromise like cheap imported box store grills. The exterior on our classic cookers is covered with a high temperature coating that protects the grill from rust. The interior of the grill will be protected as you use it – by giving all the interior surfaces a fine patina of smoke and flavor. Please review our cooker maintenance and rust prevention sections of this FAQs page.
So embrace the rust. It’s really not an issue. In fact, it’s rather popular. We are now selling a new “rustic” version of the cooker that has been highly popular in Europe, so if you’re worried about rust, be assured that our cooker is as durable as a manhole cover. It will offer a beautiful copper appearance, then turn to a deeper, darker and more dramatic color, again, much like a manhole cover.
How is the cooker shipped?
Goldens’ Cast Iron Cookers will arrive on a pallet. It will be strapped securely to the pallet and the tables will stacked and wrapped on the grill. Then the grill is boxed for protection. The dimensions of the box container, including the pallet are:
How long does it take to assemble it?
No time at all! The cooker is fully assembled! Only 8 bolts are needed for the cart and that’s it! When your cooker arrives, it’s securely strapped to a pallet and covered with a box. You just need to make sure you have someone there to assist you in removing it from the pallet and rolling it in place. It now has casters so you can roll it over relatively smooth surfaces! Then you put your tables on! That’s it! If you have your socket set handy, that takes 5 minutes and you’re ready to season your Goldens’ ! Here’s an image of what cart assembly looks like. It’s super easy to do! Cart Assembly Instructions
So while your ceramic friends take 2-3 hours to assemble their kamados, you’ll be rolling in smoke in minutes! When your friends are worn out from 3 hours of ceramic cooker assembly, invite them over and serve up the goodness! They’ll be really tired and hungry by then!
What's that oily stuff on my cooker?
The oily coating is just vegetable oil to protect the cooker during shipment. If you get the oil on fabric or carpet, it’s easy to clean with baking soda, baby powder or other means. Just YouTube a variety of simple remedies!
What are the cooker dimensions?
Cooker Dimensions Without Cart:
- Width – 22.5″ (outer width), 20.5″ (inner width)
- Height – 30.25″
- Depth – 29.75″
- Weight – 334 LBS
Cooker and Table Cart Specs (Trex and Stainless Steel):
- Length – 29.75″
- Width – 66″
- Height – 47″
- Weight – 460 LBS
Cooker and Handle Cart Specs:
- Length – 29″
- Width – 33″
- Height – 44.5″
- Weight – 435 LBS
WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?
YOUR SAFETY COME FIRST! PLEASE FOLLOW THESE SAFETY TIPS!
LOCATING THE COOKER: We highly recommend that you place your cooker in an open area while grilling and long after the cooker cools down after grilling.
NEVER use your grill next to or inside a structure, i.e., house, building, storage shed, garage, automobile, lawnmower, tractor, etc. Keep the cooker at least 10 feet from any structure or object.
NEVER use your grill under an overhang or covered porch area. Heat and flames can cause ignition.
NEVER use your grill on an uneven surface. That includes pallets that the cooker is shipped on. That is very dangerous.
NEVER use your grill on the porch or next to the building of an apartment or townhome.
NEVER use your grill near flammable materials. i.e. wood, gasoline, oil based products, paper pine straw, anything than can potentially ignite with little effort.
NEVER use volatile fuels that are NOT made for grilling, i.e., gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel.
NEVER use coal or similar ores that will create temperatures higher than the melting point of cast iron.
NEVER WALK AWAY after you have completed your cook. Like a campfire, ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR COOKER EMBERS ARE COMPLETELY EXTINGUISHED. The cooker is designed to create heat for a sustained period of time, given the amount of fuel that is maintained. Never assume that the cooker extinguishes itself. If is solely your responsibility to ensure that the cooker is properly extinguished.
KEEP CHILDREN, PETS AND PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE COOKER. THE HEAT, FLAMES AND SPARKS CAN POTENTIALLY CAUSE INJURY. TIPPING THE COOKER CAN CAUSE PHYSICAL INJURY.
NEVER use your grill during extreme weather events such as high winds, thunderstorms, hurricanes, flooding.
NEVER use your cooker on a moving object, like a truck or wagon. Make sure that it is secure and level.
NEVER use a cooker that has been damaged, either by shipping or by mishap. If you damage it, contact us before you use it again.
ALWAYS BURP YOUR COOKER. Never fling open the top. You might be met with flames and sparks.
NEVER use a steel brush or any other metal device to clean your grates and searing plate. The shards could get into your food, then into you or family or friends. Metal shards can cause serious internal injury.
How do I move my cooker to a new location or residence?
Our Stand Alone cooker weighs 334 pounds. The 20.5″ Cooker with Trex® Table Cart weighs 460 pounds, or roughly the size of two grown men standing next to each other on your outdoor deck. For that reason, we highly advise that you take all precautions when moving your cooker.
SAFTEY FIRST! Before moving, you might consider a hoist or pallet jack or forklift to get it into and out of a pickup for example. A box truck with a lift gate and pallet jack is the safest method. We highly advise that you strap and secure your cooker to a pallet for safety. That’s how we ship them. Don’t cheap out! You and friends could be seriously injured or you could cause damage to a vehicle or property. Take common sense precautions! We want you in good health to enjoy your cooker for years to come.
ITEMS YOU CAN REMOVE: You can lighten your load by removing the grates, searing plate and divider plate. If you have a cooker with handles or tables, you can remove them but we advise that you keep them attached for maneuverability. You can always remove them for tight spaces, the reattached them for stability. You can also remove the firebox. But first, PLEASE go to this page. https://www.goldenscastiron.com/faq/ Once there, look for the question, “How do I remove the firebox?” You will find a detailed description of what is needed for removal. There are precautions as well. The firebox weighs roughly 150lbs. DO NOT attempt to do it by yourself.
ITEMS YOU SHOULD NEVER REMOVE: We highly advise that you never remove the lid. The patented springs are placed securely and removing them could cause serious physical injury.
How do I season my cooker?
Seasoning: Place searing plate and or grates on the cooker and use peanut oil or canola oil to coat them evenly. Set cooker at 350 degrees for one hour. You can repeat this process a second time for further seasoning before your first cook.
Can use my stand alone cooker on the pallet it was shipped on?
NO! For safety, we highly recommend that you REMOVE the cooker from the pallet and bolt it securely to a surface for safe grilling. NEVER grill while the cooker is on the pallet. The wood cannot withstand the heat and stress and will cause the cooker to tip over, creating a potential safety hazard.
How do I remove the fire box?
You will see a center hole at the bottom of the fire box. The threaded center hole size, for firebox removal, takes a 1/2-13 threaded eye bolt (included with stand alone cooker only). The OD is roughly 1/2″ and there are 13 threads per inch (TPI). If you have a table or handle cart, visit your hardware store and purchase a 1/2-13″ standard eye bolt. Screw it into the hole and carefully lift it out. You will need more than one person for this task.
CAUTION! The cooker and cart is potentially top heavy, once the firebox is removed, so please keep it on a level surface and don’t attempt to flip the lid open quickly, or move the cart around until the firebox is back in position. Please keep children and animals away from the cooker as you remove the fire box.
Mounting your cooker to an outdoor kitchen: If you are mounting your cooker to an outdoor kitchen counter, remove the firebox and you will see four bolts if it is mounted to a cart. Remove the bolts and lift the cooker from the cart. We advise that you have two or more people to assist.
If you purchased a stand alone cooker, meaning with no cart, there will be four holes for mounting. Make sure you have properly measured for bolts that are securely protruding from the mounting surface of your outdoor kitchen. NEVER place your stand alone cooker on a surface without mounting. It could tip and cause damage and injury. You must securely mount the cooker to a surface.
DO NOT set it and forget it. We implore you to bolt it securely in place for safety. Once bolted in, then you can place the firebox back into position. See the notch at the 12 o’clock position in this photo? There is a gap at the bottom of the fire box, so when you put it back in place, it will sit properly within the bottom part of the cooker. You may need to rotate it into position. Once in position, and the fire box is back in place, you can add your searing plate, grates, etc. That’s it! .
How do I clean out the ash?
- Use a shop vac specifically for your cooker. You should first stir the lump coal to get rid of any charcoal fines.
- Open up the sliding vent on the bottom of the cooker so that your vacuum hose is going under the firebox.
- Then you simply stick the vacuum through the open slide gate and all ash will be gone in 3 seconds.
- Reset vents to your normal setting based on the cook plan.
- DO NOT VACUUM HOT ASH! This is very important. Make sure there is no heat in the cooker when you vacuum it out.
You shouldn’t have to scoop out any lump, unless there are large pieces. Going in from the top and vacuuming out the firebox is easy. Then, open the bottom vent (door and screen), and you’ll notice that the firebox is raised above the bottom by probably about 4-5 inches. So there is a large area beneath the firebox that you will have access to with your shop vac. All you have to do is place the nozzle inside that area, vacuum it out, and you’re good to go!
I got rust on my grates and searing plate. What should I do?
We would advise not to use industrial solvents. They can off gas chemicals into your food. Vinegar is not recommended because it gets into the iron and causes deterioration.
NEVER NEVER use a steel brush or any other metal device to clean your grates and searing plate. The shards could get into your food, then into you or family or friends. Metal shards can cause serious internal injury.
A more natural way of doing it is when you have time, fire up your grill. Set your cooker at 350 degrees for an hour or two so it will burn off the rust. Then coat them with peanut oil or canola oil. On occasion you might have this problem but the best solution is that once you’ve completed your grilling session, always spray your grates and searing plates with peanut oil or canola oil to coat them evenly. That way, they are protected from potential rust patina that will naturally develop.
Seasoning Maintenance: Place searing plate and or grates on the cooker and use peanut oil or canola oil to coat them evenly. Set cooker at 350 degrees for one hour. You can repeat this process a second time for further seasoning before your first cook.
What do I use to scrape my grates and searing plate?
Use a wood grill scraper or equivalent. NEVER NEVER use a steel brush or any other metal device to clean your grates and searing plate. The shards could get into your food, then into you or family or friends. Metal shards can cause serious internal injury.
Grate and Searing Plate Maintenance: For post cooking, use a wood scraper only. NEVER use metal on your grates and searing plate. Clear the grates and searing plates of cooking debris. Before the cooker cools down, spray your searing plate and grates with cooking spray or canola oil to protect them from exposure to the elements.
Cooker Maintenance: To avoid exposure and moisture, keep your cooker top closed, the top vent closed and for good measure, cover your cooker once at normal air temperature. Consider storing your cast iron accessories indoors until the next cook. Get your cooker cover* here! *Our covers are made to cover your cooker in a sheltered environment, and will not withstand constant, direct sunlight.
Ash removal: Just remove your grates, searing plate, and firebox divider, if you have one, and simply use a shop vacuum to remove the ashes within the firebox. You can also open the lower vent and place your vacuum hose in that area to remove more ash. That’s it!
What happens if I scratch my cooker and cart? Can I touch them up?
The cooker is specially powder coated with a high performance, high temperature gloss, however like any metal that is covered with paint, which is essentially pigmented glue, the metal surface can be scratched and rust can appear. That’s an easy touch up with the right high temp paint you can purchase at your hardware store. Keep in mind that the cast iron is so thick, even cookers with no powder coating, which we sell by the way, the cooker will patina orange but will settle to a dark color like a manhole cover. https://www.goldenscastiron.com/rustic-kamado-grills/ The cooker will stay that way for years and never rust through. We’ve been in business for over 140 years and people still discover our syrup kettles and cane mills that are well over 100 years old! They look great!
Maintenance is key! For a touch up on the dome, we would recommend a high temperature paint you can buy at most hardware stores, similar to Rustoleum Black High Heat Ultra Spray Paint. It is heat rated at 1200 degrees. Or you can choose Rust-Oleum Automotive Engine Enamel It is heat rated at 500 degrees and is more of a true gloss black.
For your cart, we would recommend that you de-rust the area, then primer the area. After that, select Rustoleum High Performance Enamel Gloss Black Spray Paint to ensure that the damage will not continue.
Important note: The cart is thick tube steel and also powder coated. But you should always inspect the cart and use Rustoleum high performance paint to keep and potential rust from developing. You must also make sure you remove any ash debris that settles on the cart from the front vent. Moisture can build up in the ash and cause deterioration of the steel surface. So the key is maintenance of your cooker, inside and out. Also make sure you remove ash debris from the bottom of the inside of the cooker. A shop vac will work nicely and we now have a new ash removal combo tool. You can clean the bottom of the cooker and use the tool to pick up grates and searing plates. Check it out! https://www.goldenscastiron.com/ash-removal-comb-tool/
Coverage is key. Not everyone can keep their cooker stored in a carport or garage when not in use. Proper coverage of the cooker is very important. Our grill covers are adequate in indirect sunlight but for better coverage options for cookers out in the open, https://classicaccessories.com/ is a great source for better cooker coverage.
How do I install the kamado in my outdoor kitchen?
Once you have received your cooker, and are ready to mount it to the kitchen, you will need to remove the fire box first before mounting. Here’s how and be careful! Once the fire box is removed, it changes the balance of the cooker when the lid is open. Keep the lid closed and secure the cooker from tipping before mounting. Keep the kids and animals indoors. Please make sure you have help getting the cooker into position. Don’t do it yourself.
Fire Box Removal: The threaded center hole size, for firebox removal, takes a 1/2-13 threaded eye bolt (included with stand alone cooker). The OD is roughly 1/2″ and there are 13 threads per inch (TPI).
1/2-13 threaded eye bolt (included with stand alone cooker only). If you don’t have an eye bolt, purchase one from your favorite box store.
The eyebolt is tightened securely to the bottom of the fire box. Then hook and hoist the fire box out of the bottom of the cooker.
CAUTION! Once the fire box is removed, the cooker and cart is potentially top heavy, so please keep the cooker on a level surface and don’t attempt to flip the lid open quickly, or move the cooker around until the firebox is back in position. Please keep children and animals away from the cooker after you remove the fire box.
Once the fire box is removed, you’ll see four bolt holes at the bottom of the cooker for mounting to your outdoor kitchen surface. Bolt size is 3/8-16 x 2.5 in long, stainless steel hex head bolt. (They do not come with the stand alone with no cart.) Keep in mind that you might need longer bolts, depending on your surface design. After the bolts are cemented and cured, then you are ready to install your cooker. We strongly advise that you have two or more people to assist you with mounting the cooker to your outdoor surface.
Mounting your cooker to a surface: Make sure you have properly measured for bolts that are securely protruding from the mounting surface of your outdoor kitchen. NEVER place your stand alone cooker on a surface without mounting. It could tip and cause serious damage and injury. DO NOT SET IT AND FORGET IT! We implore you to bolt your kamado securely to a surface for safety!
Gently lower the cooker over the kitchen surface bolts. You will need several strong people to position it, given its weight. Tighten the hex nuts to the bolts at the bottom of the cooker and then reinstall the fire box. IMPORTANT! While installing the fire box, see the notch at the 12 o’clock position in the photo below? There is a gap at the bottom of the fire box, so when you put it back in place, it will sit properly and level within the bottom part of the cooker. You may need to rotate the fire box into position. Once the fire box is securely in position, you can add your searing plate, grates, etc. That’s it! Then you can season your cooker!
Doesn’t cast iron make it really heavy?
It’s definitely heavier and more durable than ceramic kamados. Our Stand Alone cooker weighs 334 pounds. The 20.5″ Cooker with Trex® Table Cart weighs 460 pounds, or roughly the size of two grown men standing next to each other on your outdoor deck. By comparison, a “large” ceramic kamado is feather weight at roughly 160 pounds, but made of lighter, more fragile foreign made ceramic. So if it tips over, it’s destroyed. If our Goldens’ gets knocked over, which would take a lot of force, you just pick it up and keep cooking. Just knock the dirt and ash off the meat unless you’re a beast!
How do I set up my cooker for low and slow?
Low and Slow: Fill the firebox up with Goldens’ Cast Iron Lump Charcoal. During that process, add in your favorite chucks of smoking wood. Then take a single starter cube, light the charcoal in the center of the fire box. Give it 3-5 minutes for the fire to get started. Add your searing plate, and grates. Close the lid. If you are trying to get to 225 degrees, Brentley recommends for you to set your bottom vent about 1/4 inch open. Set your top vent roughly about 1/4 to 1/8 inches open. Each cooker has a little different personality, but that’s the basic starting point for low and slow.
Is it just good for smoking?
Heck no! It’s versatile!
- Smoking – Slow cooking at a low temperature is easy. The Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker can hold temperatures for more than 12 hours without having to add additional lump charcoal.
- Grilling – Just like a traditional charcoal or gas grill, but with the added benefit of radiant heat which means more moisture is retained in the food.
- Searing – The Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker can easily reach temperatures above 600 degrees. Using the searing plate means you can sear steaks to perfection.
- Baking – Yes, baking! Anything you can bake in an oven you can bake on the Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker. Anything? Yes… turkey, pizza, cake, chicken, mac & cheese, casseroles, and more.
Can I double and triple stack my grates?
Our veteran cooker experts here at Goldens’ say yes! You can easily double stack on both sides and close the lid with no issues, but triple stacking is best on one side, if you want to close the lid. See video for double stacking! CLICK HERE!
Will the Trex® Shelving Melt?
Trex® is a very robust material and will last many years, however it is made of a composite material so if you place your grates or any other super heated item on your Trex, you will score it and leave marks. We suggest that you place something on your Trex that will not transfer heat. It could be a serving tray or a hearty fabric to protect from super heated items like grates, searing plates, serving plates, etc.
Can I get colors?
First, black is a color. In fact, it’s our most popular color. If you want to ask about a different color combination, you better give us a call.
Is the handle really made of wood?
Yes! Goldens’ Cast Iron offers a beautiful American-made wooden handle with parallel grains that offer strength and durability. The handle has a custom branded logo and is protected with a clear polyurethane finish. The handle is attached to the lid or top section of our 20.5″ Kamado Cooker.
Is the top easy to open?
Yes! Your cooker can be opened or closed with two fingers! With our engineered spring and hinge design, the 22.5” diameter lid can be easily opened with one hand. How did we do it? One word – Science. We know that usability is just as important as durability. We use our cookers all the time. So we have been designing and engineering with our users in mind.
Is burping rude?
Not when you are cooking on the Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker. When you are cooking at temperatures above 250 degrees, you should burp your Cooker. Simply open up the dome a couple of inches, close, and repeat three times. By burping the grill, you are preventing potential flare ups.
What happens if I don’t burp the Goldens' Cast Iron Cooker?
This really is a safety issue. The trapped heat can quickly exhaust if the grill is opened up too fast. The result can be spontaneous combustion! If you don’t want hair on your arms, however, this can get the job done fast.
Since it’s made out of metal, won’t it get really hot?
Let’s be clear, if you’re grilling over high heat so that you can perfectly sear those t-bones on our cast iron searing plate at 800°, the outside of the grill will be hot – just like it is for all cookers with a grate temperature of 800°! But unless you have both poor judgment and a leaf blower you won’t be upwards of 800° much of the time (seriously, put down the blower). So you’ll need to use the same care you use around any other grill or cooker.
Can you start the cooker in an extremely cold environment?
Slow and steady is the rule! It’s best for you to raise the temperature gently, especially when temperatures are as low as -20F or even lower, for example. You’re swinging hard from an extremely low temperature to a much higher temperature, so slow and steady is best. Our advice is to add a little lump charcoal, not a lot, then light it and let it slowly warm. Watch the temperature climb, then keep adding more to continue increasing the temperature in increments. You might be hungry but don’t overdo it! Once you build the temperature past 50-100 degrees, you can add the rest of your lump to get it up to 200-300 degrees or whatever temp you’re recipe calls for.
Can you cook in extremely cold sub-zero weather?
That’s a great question. Our cooker is safe to cook on at the most extreme temps. Our iron is a proprietary blend of ductile and grey iron that allows the iron to flex with extreme temperature shifts, so it won’t crack! See this review from a Goldens’ owner from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin! Youtu.be/XLR3Xy7Qazk
My replacement gasket won't stick!
Removing your old gasket: The tape is heat activated. So first off, you want to heat your cooker or use a heat gun to heat the old gasket and remove it. Actually just heating your cooker is the easiest approach! Just make sure that you thoroughly clean the cooker top and bottom surfaces where the gasket is applied before you apply your new gasket. Use a scraper tool and scrape the surface of any residual gasket material. Make sure that all the old gasket is removed and the surfaces are smooth. Once removed, you’re ready to apply the new gasket.
Applying your new gasket: As previously mentioned, heating your cooker is the easiest approach! Let your cooker do all the work for you! Or you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to heat the back side or adhesive side of the gasket, then apply it. Once it’s hot, just carefully apply the gasket! That’s it! You’re good to go!
Why is it expensive?
You get exactly what you pay for. When we say, “The highest quality, always”, we have more than 140 years of experience to back it up. Our Goldens’ Cast Iron Cookers are top quality, not the typical disposable and fragile ceramic grills on the market. What you are buying is a well engineered, durable, American made product that never needs assembly, never needs adjustments, and more importantly, never fails. Consider your purchase of a Goldens’ Cast Iron Kamado as an investment for generations.
Cooking with cast iron offers advantages over alternative kamado cookers such as increased durability and less moving parts. Additionally, cast iron’s radiant and thermal properties provide even heating and precise temperature control. The thermodynamics of cast iron are far superior to ceramic, giving you a long and consistent burn with less fuel.
We build our cookers right here in Columbus, Ga, USA. We are never “out of stock”, as many ceramic companies appear to be these days. Imported ceramic is in short supply.
More and more former ceramic owners are joining the Iron Age, and when they buy Goldens’ Cast Iron, they support American manufacturing, and support American families. We appreciate that very much. Trust when we say, “If you actually see the cooker in person, it will immediately change your mind, as it has with many former ceramic owners”. You’re welcome to visit us or any authorized dealer. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, as many customers have.
Our cookers are affordable! We offer a great opportunity for you to pay as you go! We provide easy and affordable financing through our partner, Bread, so you can pay for your purchase over time. Take a look!
How do I reach Customer Support?
If you need any help with our cookers, fire pits and weights, just go to our Customer Service page!
Is there a User Manual or Warranty Info on the Kamado?
Why is there a hole in middle of the searing plate? Does it create a hot spot?
The hole is for safely lifting the searing plate out of the cooker with the grate lifting tool. Yes, the hole can create a hotspot so here’s a simple solution that works really well. Take a piece of aluminum foil, wad it up, and cover the hole before or while cooking. That will eliminate the hot spot!
Getting Down to Details...
- The Cooker Cart Combo weighs in at 450 lbs. That’s a 330 lb Cooker and a 120 lb Cart.
- The total dimensions of the Cooker and Cart are 66″ wide, 47″ tall and 27.75″ deep.
- The available cooking surface is 21″ which gives you 330 square inches of cooking space!
Life is fragile. Your grill doesn't have to be!
Did somebody ask about durability? Unlike ceramic grills, the cast iron kamado is Made in the USA and is built to last. Goldens’ Cast Iron Cookers come with a lifetime guarantee. Our family has been pouring iron and machining castings for five generations. Solid cast iron construction and engineering allows us to truly say that the Goldens’ Cast Iron Cooker can go from our fifth generation to yours!
Don’t take our word for it. Ask your Grandma – just watch that she doesn’t smack you in the head with her cast iron skillet for asking stupid questions!