Installing a Rutland Gasket On A Big Green Egg

Credits: The steps provided below are compliments of Ron Pratt (a.k.a. RRP), and are posted with his permission. This web page was originally created by Mike Brown, (a.k.a. Charcoal Mike) and was provided to nakedwhiz.com for hosting. With Ron's steps and Mike's pictures, installation of the Rutland Gasket on your ceramic cooker should be a snap.

Disclaimer: Many people have used this product and this procedure to replace the gasket on their Big Green Egg. However, we wanted you to be aware that BGE contacted Rutland and asked about the safety of using a fiberglass product around food. Rutland said that their fiberglass gasket should not be used around food. Note, however, that the gasket is only used on the bottom shell, and therefore is never being placed above the food. Also note that Kamado uses a woven ceramic fiber for their gaskets with no problems, even though ceramic fibers can be just a big a concern as fiberglass. Use your own judgement as to how you feel about this warning from Rutland.

(Note that all the pictures below are thumbnails. Just click them for a larger version)


This is the Part to purchase The Rutland gasket kit you want is the 5/8" flat 84" one and includes the adhesive needed. You can get these at Menards for about $6.00. You may be able to find the gasket in bulk in fireplace shops. You want the 5/8 flat, *not* the rope and the 84" is ideal length as I'll explain later. If buying it in bulk then make sure you buy the grayish-black gasket versus the white if at all possible. Also, if buying separately, be sure to get the Stove Gasket Cement and *not* Black Furnace Cement. NOTE: Ron still sells the kits pictured on this page for $11. You can contact Ron by posting on the Original Big Green Egg Forum.

All Tools Together Here is a picture of all of the parts you will need to install your gasket. Note that while Mike Brown used a rotary wire brush, RRP strongly discourages that based on failures experienced by other people. As the wire wears down it fills the minute pores of the ceramic and the edge becomes burnished to a slick polished surface that will not allow the adhesive to bond. Instead, use a 3M product called "Paint & Rust Stripper" that is attached to a 1/4" electric drill.

3M Paint Remover First you need to clean off the old gasket and that can be a real task. 3M makes a paint stripper that will fit the drill. The remover is real coarse looking, but does a wonderful job without damaging the ceramic edge.

Gasket Removal To make the edges perfect pick up a pumice stone in the cleaning supply section of the store too and that will even get the minute parts off the edge. Perhaps this is personal, but I'd rather use the pumice stone and elbow grease than to ever use acetone, MEK or any other chemical on that porous edge.

Gasket Removal Note that the cleaning WILL make a mess. Protective glasses may be a good idea. Since you'll be building a fire in a little while to cure the glue go ahead and put some lump in and then place old towels, gunny sacks or whatever on top your grate to keep the dirt, dust and crude from falling in to your lump and thus creating a horrible smelling fire later.

All Clean Here is the completely cleaned base.

All Clean (Lid) Here is the completely cleaned lid. NOTE: I did NOT put the Rutland on the lid/top - just the bottom portion of the cooker is sufficient, as the thickness of this Gasket is enough to seal the gap.

Sizing The Gasket into 4 parts Take your gasket and fold it in half and mark the center with a piece of masking tape and then do that again and mark those points as well so your gasket is now marked in quarter lengths. This will make sense in a minute.

Marking Four Corners of the Egg Mark the four "corners" of your egg with masking tape. This way as you move the gasket around you can compare the marks on the gasket to see if you are using the correct amount (more detail below).

The gasket is fiberglass and can be a bear to trim neatly but if you'll take your time with a sharp knife or razor it can be done. Be sure to not waste any gasket at this point. Even though the circumference of a large BGE is only 67 " versus the 84" in the kit when you get done "bunching" it back on to itself you'll only have a couple inches of scrap. The tape marks on the gasket and egg will be helpful as a point of reference of just how compressed your gasket should be in relation to where you are on the edge. Get it? 12:00 to 3:00 is one fourth etc. I even took a board and measured off 67" and then took the time to bunch (or compress) the braid back into itself to compress the 84" back to 67" so as to get a feel for what it should look like. This added work could probably be skipped as long as you know that the proper compression will mean that the 5/8" gasket will broaden enough to cover the entire width of your BGE's edge which is about 1-1/4".

Installing_the_Gasket.jpg (87706 bytes) It doesn't take long, but I'd suggest you make sure you won't have interruptions because the glue doesn't have a long open time. Starting at the back center spread some glue neatly on the edge. I buttered the edge for say 4"-5" at a time as I went and used a serrated blade so there would be no pools of adhesive to ooze out, nor too much to impregnate the gasket either as it has to stay flexible. When I say serrated I mean trowel like so there is a uniform amount of glue applied. A fine applicator would be an old sabre saw blade for wood with say 4 teeth per inch.

Using The Trowel I actually had a trowel lying around, and used this. It seemed to work just fine.

Now press the compressed gasket into the wet glue and if it covers the whole edge press it into the glue. Using a small flat piece of wood covered with wax paper isn't a bad idea, although I used a J roller designed for wallpaper or pressing Formica onto counter tops. Just keep going like this four or five inches at a time until you get to your quarter way point with masking tape. By then you'll have the hang of what it should be looking like for sake of consistency.

Job Complete!! When you get back to the starting point make a clean cut for butted ends and that's that. If you're the adventuresome type you could make your ends fit diagonally (like I did), but that also means more exposed ends. You'll probably have at least one half the glue left.

Curing_the_Gasket_250.jpg (68751 bytes) Now when you're satisfied you have pressed the gasket down well and no glue has oozed out the sides which need to be cleaned up before curing close the dome to provide uniform weight on the edge. Lift it and if nothing stuck to the top you're ready to remove your towels et.al. and start a fire. A low 225 to 250 for a couple hours should do it.



Troubleshooting Tips

RRP has stated that in correspondence with people who have had problems the application errors most in common were:

  1. The use of a rotary wire brush
  2. Not kneading the tube of adhesive first and squirting out until no watery appearance or the adhesive was old and thick. It must be fresh and tacky.
  3. Spreading out more than 4" to 6" at a time.
  4. Moving the gasket after first embeded - if you need to, then squirt more adhesive, but once the bond is broken you need more and quickly.
  5. Working in either direct sun or in rain because it is a latex product.
  6. Using out of date adhesive. The Rutland adhesive has a shelf life of 18 months from date of manufacture. To assure you have good product check the small code embedded in the crimped end of the adhesive tube. It is visible even in the bubble wrap. The first two digits are the day of the month of production. The third is a letter whereby B = 2003, C = 2004 and D = 2005 etc. The next two numbers represent the month and the last letter is the batch that particular day. Now add 18 months to that date of production and you will know if the product is still fresh.

Questions or comments should be posted on the
Big Green Egg Forum where they will be addressed by RRP.
Ron still sells the kits pictured on this page for $11, so if you wish to
purchase a kit, please contact Ron on the Big Green Egg Forum.


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