I've seen some old Eggs that have spent years uncovered develop the spider cracks in the glaze. Brother Oakpit has one.
As for the "soot", that sounds like a problem caused by excessive moisture and lack of use. Apparently the moisture seeps into the ceramic drawing the gunk from the inside with it & out of the sides of the Egg (the little cracks providing easier access out). With how long Dan has been away from his cookers I wouldn't be surprised about the moisture.
Here's a post
elsewhere reporting this problem. Here's another
And a link
to something about those hairline cracks.
, Large BGE
, Small BGE
, Mini BGE
, Superior Smokers SS-Two, Hasty Bake Gourmet, Imperial Kamado, UDS (Darth Maul), Thai Charcoal cooker, Webers: 18.5" WSM, WGA, Summit S-620 NG; Stoker, Stealthy Black
Thermapen, custom BGE & Weber handles
by brethren martyleach
CLICK HERE to join us in a BBQ Brethren Throwdown!