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  1. I rarely cook steaks any other way now. 120 then searing in the pan works well. I do that occasionally but a light sear works for me as well, so most times I just crank the akorn up and sear on it. A Weber charcoal grate sitting on the firebox tabs works great for that. I start with 1.5-2" thick steaks, putting them on early (as soon as the dark smoke clears) then let the grill slowly rise in temp until it's in the 250 range. I flip and rotate the steaks around 70 internal temp, at 120 I pull the steaks and adjust vents for searing and remove the cast iron grate and butter the steaks while the fire is cranking up. After a few minutes throw the steaks on and flip after 45 seconds, remove after another 45-60 seconds. They come out a perfect medium rare every time, usually 130-132.
  2. Completely agree. My akorn is nearly 6 years old and I've only had to completely re-season the grate twice since I've had it. The first time was the first time my wife ever used it, she lit it, got the fire going well enough to shut the lid then walked away for way to long. When I went to check on how her burgers were coming along I noticed they were still raw and in kitchen and she was upstairs. Went outside and my poor akorn was well over 700 degrees. The second time was my fault, I didn't use it as much this winter as usual and we had a relatively mild winter which allowed some mold to grow on grate. So I stripped it and re-seasoned.
  3. Water can and will enter the ash pan but don't let that stop you from grilling due to the weather. It's a minimal amount of water in most cases and will evaporate if it enters while you're cooking. If by chance it is raining when you're done cooking close her up until you know the coals are extinguished and remove the ash pan, check for water. The ash pan leak isn't as big of a deal as some make out to be. My akorn will be 6 years old this July and I don't cover it nearly as often as I should. It gets rained on, snowed on, etc and has minimal rust on the inside of the ash pan, only where the seal meets the pan. Most of my rust is on the bottom shelf/support which can be fixed with a little Rust-Oleum.
  4. @Daz I have your pizza ring that I purchased a while back but have never actually used it. I moved and during the move I lost the hardware that holds it together. Is that something I can pick up at the hardware store or could you point me the right direction? Now that I'm settled in at the new house I'm dying to try it out this summer.
  5. I have an Akorn and actually prefer overnight cooks for big chunks of meat like shoulders and brisket. Typically I'll put the meat on around midnight on a Friday or Saturday evening and it's finishing up around 10am if it's a shoulder, let it rest a couple of hours and it's ready for lunch. Brisket takes longer and is typically ready for dinner after the rest. Akorns are a bit more thermal dynamic than ceramics but I've learned to just leave it alone. I know what vent settings get me what temps, if it spikes or cools down a little just let it be and it'll settle back in the target range on it's own 99% of the time. I have a thermoworks smoke that I use for those cooks in case things get crazy while I'm sleeping, but it's never had to wake me up yet.
  6. I was always a believer of that as well, but have a friend that told me he always cooks his shoulders to 165-170 because he doesn't want to wait out the stall. He cooks on a chargriller stickburner (which I also have myself) so I understood why he didn't want to deal with the stall. Those things turn out great food but can be a real pain to operate on long cooks. Anyway I was always sceptical about the tenderness of a shoulder cooked that way until he brought some to our camper last fall to snack on We even reheated it on a gas grill indirect, with a pot of water on the direct side to add some moisture to the cooking chamber. It was honestly super tender and flavorful. Ihave yet to try cooking it that way myself because everyone in my family always wants it pulled. But I was honestly a big fan of it and it doesn't take that long.
  7. To add to my post above I would talk to several companies and go with the one that fits your needs best. Price point for your clientele, reputation etc. To me Primo would be easier to market if you're in an area saturated with eggs, Joe's, etc though due to the oval design. It's a selling point you could work with as far as the advantages of the true dual zone cooking. Plus they are a well known company. Blaze would be somewhat easy to market as well due to the fact that they're damn near unbreakable, but it's been a while since I looked at pricing on those so I'm not sure where they land in comparison with the ceramic's.
  8. This is what I would go with if I were in the OP's position as well. Where I live we are somewhat limited in Kamado dealers, we don't have a Kamado Joe dealer for instance. That said, you see a lot more vision, akorns, etc I my area than the more expensive top of the line ceramics. We do have a BGE dealer as well as a Primo dealer in town though and honestly I see more Primo grills locally than I do eggs.
  9. Excellent! I've never thought about putting meat in them, but now I'll give it a try. We do this with pb&j sandwiches for the kids fairly often when we're at the camper, we call them hobo pies though. Regardless of the name they're great and we prefer them over smores when camping. I'll have to give it a try with meat, etc.
  10. Cherry is suitable for poultry as far as the smoke profile goes. The only reason I stay away from it is actually because of the color profile you mentioned. It doesn't bother me so to speak because I cooked it and know it's done. But when serving it for guests the color seems to throw them off a bit unless they're smokers like us hah.
  11. Just remember that no matter what brand you buy if you find pieces will bark on them either discard them or cut it off with a hatchet. If you're from Quebec I imagine you have a hatchet laying around somewhere hah.
  12. Unless you like a heavy smoke profile I would stay away from mesquite and if you do buy it use it sparingly until you know how much you really need. It's typically only good for beef, however I would use hickory for beef before I used mesquite. Most of the time I use Pecan for beef though. Apple and cherry are great for anything pork and the cherry will actually help give you a nice mahogany color to ribs, ham, etc. Both have a light smoke profile but if you must use wood for poultry a chunk of apple should be all you need. Poultry takes smoke much easier than most protein so I typically just use straight lump for it. Pecan is kind of a jack of all trades type of wood, you can use it with pretty much anything, though I still wouldn't use it myself for poultry. If I were just going to buy one type of wood it would likely be cherry, but I like to keep apple and pecan on hand as well.
  13. Wood chunks are wood chunks. I wouldn't worry about what brand you buy as much as I would consider the price per weight as well as the type of wood. I typically just buy the cheapest bags I can find that have mostly fist sized pieces in them. If I need smaller pieces I'll split them with a hatchet. Same with bark, some cheaper bags will have a few pieces mixed in that still have bark on them, just cut that off with a hatchet as well. Everyone will have their own opinions on types of wood to use, but apple, cherry and pecan are pretty much all I use. As far as storage goes, if stored in your garage the chunks will have a longer shelf life than you or I, hah.
  14. While we do a traditional Thanksgiving dinner we like to switch it up and do surf and turf for Christmas dinner. Turkey is great but the leftovers after Thanksgiving are enough to hold us over that we like something different for Christmas. So the beef will either be Prime rib or tenderloin, I prefer prime rib but it can be more difficult to find. Petite lobster tails, scalloped oysters and grilled then sauteed asparagus will also go on the grill. A seafood pasta with real lump crab meat will be a side my better half makes. Other sides and desert is still up in the air but either twice baked potatoes or scalloped potatoes will likely be on the table as well. Christmas dinner is our favorite meal of the year.
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