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paulleve

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Massachusetts
  • Grill
    Akorn

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  1. I used to track the amount of charcoal I burned, and my Kamado Joe went through double the amount that the Akorn needed for similar cooks. The Akorn does a great job of keeping the heat inside the Kamado!
  2. I'm glad the information was helpful! It's been over two years since I repaired mine, and I've had no issues with either the new rivnuts or the originals I was able to reset.
  3. There are two possibilities: 1. The fire is not going out quickly. 2. The fire does go out quickly, but the Akorn is losing heat slowly. To determine which, open the cover after a while and see if there’s still a glow to your coals! The Akorn is insulated, so it loses heat slowly compared to a ceramic Kamado. This is great for efficiency, but also makes it difficult to dial back if you overshoot temperature.
  4. I've had my Akorn for just over four years now, and thought I'd give quick review as to how it's holding up. First some details. I picked up this Akorn for $250 at Walmart in March of '15. (It still had a clearance price tag on it from the previous fall/winter.) In the last four years I have lit the grill 270 times. If I had to describe an average cook, it would be at about 400F for around 1 hour. (Sometimes I really get the heat cranking with the pizza stones or cast iron wok, though!) During the first year I kept close track of charcoal consumption, and I was averaging 20-23 burns per bag of Royal Oak lump. That is efficient! I live in Massachusetts and keep my Akorn stored on a covered porch. I don't have a cover for the Akorn, but it rarely gets wet where it is located. I store it with all vents closed and keep whatever charcoal is left from the last burn sitting in the fire bowl. The ash bin only gets emptied out after each complete bag of lump is burned. Durability: It seems like every review of the Akorn questions its durability. Here are some pics showing what mine looks like after four years and almost 270 burns: The enamel in the ash pan is still shining!  There is a little surface rust starting to show where the inner and outer shells are riveted together and on the very outside edge of the ash pan.  The fire bowl has most of its original enamel intact. There is a little rippling toward the bottom where the fire burns hottest, and light rust is visible where the standoffs are welded to the bowl.  I gave the inside of the lid a once over with a brush and was surprised to find most of the carbon buildup turn to dust, revealing a shiny interior underneath! The only rust that is starting to really show is on the bottom shelf that does occasionally collect snow and water. At this point it's only surface rust, but if I decide to eventually replace this part, it's only $13 from Chagriller! Water really is the enemy of this grill! Mine is holding up great so far, considering it's been outside for over four years. I have two friends, however, who both have Akorns purchased about the same time as mine who are not so lucky. In both cases, the grills spend much of their time exposed to the weather. Even though covers are used, both are showing considerable rust at the connection between ash pan and body of the Akorn. Overall I'm still very happy with this purchase, and look forward to at least another four years at this rate!
  5. My Akorn fell and had a dent in the front. I removed the inner shell in order to bang the dent out from inside, and this also made it easy to remove the old rivnuts by tapping them out. A buddy of mine had a problem with the rivnuts in his, and we managed to fix it without removing the inner liner. Paul
  6. I had the same happen to my Akorn a few years ago, and replaced the pulled out rivnuts pretty easily. I picked up a rivnut tool at Harbor Freight for about $13 and made the repair in an hour or so. If you search the forum, I posted pics and all the details. Paul
  7. There's a huge difference between how the two cook! I've got a Weber Performer that takes about 1/4 bag of charcoal per cook. I still use it every once in a while, and I'm now amazed at how much smoke is given off by the charcoal chimney when compared to lighting the Akorn! At one point I figured out just how much I saved getting 20 cooks per bag of lump vs. 4 cooks per bag of briquettes. I think the Akorn paid for itself in the first year! Not to mention versatility and flavor, of course.
  8. Water is definitely a problem with these grills. The more you can keep the water away, the longer it will last. I have no doubt mine will last another 3 years easily if I keep it on the porch. 6 years from a $250 grill that I use all the time is a win in my book! (My poor Weber Genesis sits pretty much unused, and my KJ Classic gets ignored a lot of the time because I just know the Akorn better and it's easier for me to hit specific temps!)
  9. Akorns tend to show surface rust faster than a Weber kettle. As far as rust that makes a grill inoperable, the Akorn is at a disadvantage due to its more air tight nature. When water gets into a kettle, it can flow out the bottom and end up in the aluminum ash pan (If equipped) that won't rust. On an Akorn the water either collects in the ash pan and sits mixed with ashes or collects on the rim that the ash pan mates with. It's not easy for the water to evaporate out, so it sits. On badly rusted Akorns, it's this mating surface that ends up so worn through that the ash pan no longer seals.
  10. I've had my Akorn for almost three years now, and thought I'd give quick review as to how it's holding up. First some details. I picked up this Akorn for $250 at Walmart in March of '15. (It still had a clearance price tag on it from the previous fall/winter.) In the last three years I have lit the grill 227 times. If I had to describe an average cook, it would be at about 400F for around 1 hour. During the first year I kept close track of charcoal consumption, and I was averaging 20-23 burns per bag of Royal Oak lump. That is efficient! I live in Massachusetts and keep my Akorn stored on a covered porch. I don't have a cover for the Akorn, but it rarely gets wet where it is located. I store it with all vents closed and keep whatever charcoal is left from the last burn sitting in the fire bowl. The ash bin only gets emptied out after each complete bag of lump is burned. Durability: It seems like every review of the Akorn questions its durability. Here are some pics showing what mine looks like after two years and almost 230 burns: The only damage I've had to worry about was caused by me. Lesson learned: never tilt the Akorn to remove winter slush from the bottom tray because it just might get away from you and slam into the deck! The result was two riv-nuts for the hinge pulled out from the body. Luckily it was an easy fix with a cheap tool from Harbor Freight. (I posted a step by step a while back for others who may need to replace the riv-nuts.) The enamel in the ash pan is still shining after holding the remnants of 10-12 bags of lump! There is just a hint of surface rust showing where the inner and outer shells are riveted together. The fire bowl has most of its original enamel intact. There is a little rippling toward the bottom where the fire burns hottest, and light rust is visible where the standoffs are welded to the bowl. This is the interior of the Akorn with the fire bowl removed and ash pan installed. That lighter colored ring is where Akorns tend to rust out. So far no rust to be concerned about. The fire grate has been warped sine I gave the Akorn its first really thorough cleaning two years ago. It hasn't changed much since then, so I don't plan to replace it. Water really is the enemy of this grill! Mine is holding up great with no rusted parts or areas of concern. I have two friends, however, who both have Akorns purchased about the same time as mine who are not so lucky. In both cases, the grills spend much of their time exposed to the weather. Even though covers are used, both are showing rust at the connection between ash pan and body of the Akorn.
  11. They're usually with the grills. It doesn't seem like these are carried by as many stores. When the sale started, there were very few locally. I spent some time today seasoning both the Jr and the Blackstone. Looking forward to trying this one out!
  12. I bought these in Northampton. Prices are still all over the place in MA with some stores at $146, some at $74, and others at $35. Brickseek.com is a great place to start the search, but the quantity on hand can be somewhat inaccurate, especially if a store is listed with "limited quantity".
  13. They all had homes by the time I got them loaded into the truck! One for me and the others for friends who use their full sized Akorns all the time. I even left a few on the shelves for the next bargain minded kamado shopper. I even assembled them for my buddies. Kamado Minions!
  14. Prices dropped again this morning at some Walmarts. Original Akorn as low as $69, and Jr. for $35. Also found a Blackstone 17" griddle (SKU 170589501) for $25. I'll have some happy friends tonight!
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