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Early Green Egg

I purchased what at the time we called a hibachi in 1968 while serving in the Navy in WESTPAC.  Brought it home on the ship and then to Tempe Arizona where my parents used it several times.  It then sat in storage for 40+ years.  I started seeing green eggs recently and thought I have one of those let’s use it.  It doesn’t have the bells and whistles, but do I love it.  Inside are one higher and one lower removable gratings.  Below that is a removable clay disc with holes in it.  I’m embarrassed to even ask this, but the charcoal goes on top of that ceramic disc, right— instead of a lower level that has a chamber that collects the ash but also controls oxygen/heat with the sliding door.  It is heavy as hell and you should have seen us trying to take that wooden crate down and up those deck levels on that ship.if I can manage it technically I’ll send a photo.


  • Old school. Love it. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • HeavyG
    HeavyG Posts: 9,993
    When I was a kid my dad (US Navy) got orders abroad and we lived in Japan for 4 years in the 1960's. He bought one of those at the Navy Exchange that we used while there and when we moved back stateside he bought 2 new ones. Only one survived the journey to the east coast intact and he/we used that for the next 20 years until he died. I used it whenever I went to visit my mom and she wanted something grilled. She eventually decided to get rid of it to get a gas grill that she could use (she didn't like messing with charcoal).
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Diçk

    @Cornholio called me a weirdo... can't say that I disagree.

    Camped out in the (757/948/804)

  • Cornholio
    Cornholio Posts: 1,045
    Yes, the charcoal goes on top of that. Cool kamado and story behind it!

    I’d keep it away from any structures/wood and on a concrete surface when firing it up. 
  • mEGG_My_Day
    mEGG_My_Day Posts: 1,652
    Welcome to the forum - great story and thanks for sharing.  I have only seen pictures of those old Kamados so no help here using it. 
    Memphis, TN 

    LBGE, 2 SBGE, Hasty-Bake Gourmet
  • WeberWho
    WeberWho Posts: 10,806
    edited April 2020
    Thank you for your service!

    I'd keep the temperature down on it as it's clay and not ceramic. It should make a great low and slow smoker for you. Also keeping any water or harsh weather off it should help preserve it for some time. 

    Cool to see you get it up and running. Ask away if you have any other questions!
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

  • 6baluts
    6baluts Posts: 249
    Sure looks like one of the older Kikuya Hibatchi Pots. My father retired Air Force bought one in about 1960 and flew it to Clark and cooked on it for yesrs. Run the clock forward to 1977 I bought one outside the gate of Yokota AB (PONY Store) as a Midn on cruise. Got it back to Conus in a 141. 
    Still have that cooker to this day. Keep a close eye on those bands they are a bit different. Does yours have rivets on it around the hinge? Watch those if it does.
    In the original Kanji translated to English it recommended no more than 25 Charcoal Briquettes or JN Sumi (lump). If yours has been stored without use for years I would light a very small fire in it to get rid of the moisture that no doubt that has collected in it. Yes you might see some steam.
    I think the Naked Whiz's site has some of the documentation on original clay Kamados. I still have all my documentaion on the one I bought and the Kanji translated instructions which are a hoot to read.
    My dads had the orange cart like yours, mine is black.
    I am still using the clay fire grate in my Kikuya and the ceramic ones in my 1998 BGE. If yours is intact no problems. If not if you want to restore to original pottery grate google Kamado King and contact Augie. He still had some for the old Imperial Kamados. I bought one a few years back as bulkhead mounted spare.
    You have a nice bit of history there. Good luck GO NAVY.

  • Mickey
    Mickey Posts: 19,667
    Good friend that flew as a navigator in the Air Force told me they would bring back a few each trip to Japan in the early 60’s. 
    Salado TX & 30A  FL: Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). Plus a couple Pit Boss Pellet Smokers.   

  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 30,625
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey with that heirloom rig.  Great story.  Thanks for sharing.  
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • Thank you very much for all your very helpful and encouraging responses to my new trip on the old pot, so to speak.  I’m taking the temperature and briquette info to heart. 
    It does have rivets on the band at the hinge point so will keep an eye on those.  This is a terrific site and I will look to it often for ideas and inspiration.  Good eggs all!
  • 6baluts
    6baluts Posts: 249
    @BuzzardJeff here is some info etc from the old Imperial Kamado site when Makosan owned it and hung this on his website.
  • Intersting site - thanks 6baluts. Curious about the name 6baluts.  Spent some time in the Phillipines (mostly Subic Bay) so familiar with a balut.  Any connection?

  • 6baluts
    6baluts Posts: 249
    Was actually born at Clark in the PI. Ate an untold number of Baluts as a child which played huuuuuge dividends later in life. Once I got Commissioned and entered the Navy I won billions and billions of gallons (maybe not that much but close) of beer on "bet you won't eat a balut bets" while running the streets Olongapo, the Barrio and Subic City. Oh the stupid things we do/have done for suds. So that is how the Balut part came about.
    The 6 part is 2 Kikuya Hibatchi Pots (NR5 & Nr3).  2 LBGE's, 1 MBGE, 1 SBGE hence 6 eggs so I figured 6baluts would work.
  • That my friend is an appropriate and well earned title.  Nicely done.  The Balut, as is Alongopo, is hard to describe unless experienced.  I first became acquainted with the Balut on one of my several Victory Liner bus trips from Subic Bay to Manila.  I’ve always felt the Navy should have issued service ribbons for crossing the bridge from the base to Olongapo and returning at some point.  You would get an additional oak leaf cluster for the Balots. Jeff
  • BuzzardJeff
    BuzzardJeff Posts: 11
    Getting ready to cook a whole turkey for the first time in my 50 year old  Kikuya clay Hibatchi. You have advised low and slow so what temp do I shoot for?  Also my parents used a small pan of water while using this pot.  Since it’s an old clay model is that advisable?  Thanks for advice on this.
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,598
    275-300 is a good temp for turkey - although the skin will likely be somewhat rubbery at that temp.   I probably wouldn't go much above that in the old egg. You might do it raised direct and do it with the skin down for 30 minutes or so to crisp up the skin.  

    There is no advantage to adding water in a BGE.  I'll assume that it true in your egg as well.  The potential disadvantage is that if/when the water evaporates your temp will rise very quickly.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • BuzzardJeff
    BuzzardJeff Posts: 11
    Thanks Foghorn.
  • BuzzardJeff
    BuzzardJeff Posts: 11
    I’m Cooking  that turkey now— does that clay lid stay on or do you cook with it off.?  I’m trying to control heat with the sliding vent on the bottom. Newbie questionI know. TI’m Thanks
  • BuzzardJeff
    BuzzardJeff Posts: 11
    Do I cook with the clay chimney top lid on or off?
  • BSR
    BSR Posts: 165
    edited May 2020
    Off... Ideally you would have some method to restrict airflow up there similar to the BGE "daisy wheel" but you can manage with the bottom vent mostly closed and that off for now.
  • BuzzardJeff
    BuzzardJeff Posts: 11
    Cooking spare ribs for the first time tomorrow - any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • BuzzardJeff
    BuzzardJeff Posts: 11
    Rib side up or down also temp striving for
  • Mattman3969
    Mattman3969 Posts: 10,457
    edited May 2020
    Meat up 275-285ish and indirect 


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.