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Gil017's Achievements

  1. Hi All -- Between having a full summer with lots of activities and waiting for different Akorn Kamado accessories to arrive, it took me over a month from purchasing to assembling my Akorn. The good part of that is I was able to absorb info about Kamado cooking from different sources -- this website, a kamado cookbook and YouTube videos, so I was familiar with a few details when I finally did a trial cook a couple of weeks ago. I call it a "trial cook" because it was the middle of August and I knew I wanted to cook out for Labor Day. For the trial cook I decided to do the chickens shown in the first two photos below. I also did pre-made turkey burgers, hot dogs and a smoked sausage, which don't take much skill to do. I wet-brined and butterflied the chicken and it came out great. After the burgers and dogs were done, I was impressed that I seemed to have guessed at a perfect amount of charcoal because my coals were about spent as I finished up. Yesterday was the cook I was concentrating on more. It's shown in the rest of the pictures -- I did pulled pork, grilled veggies, meatloaf and not pictured are salmon and hot dogs. My dad always cooked a few different items when he barbecued and I've followed his example. Again, I liked the results. Due to starting later than I'd hoped for yesterday, I pulled the pork off the kamado after 4 hours and let it finish in the oven. (I think it had gotten to 185 degrees at that point). Then I pulled out my stone, (heat deflector), opened the vents and let the heat build so I could cook the veggies and the salmon. As it was getting close to time to start the meatloaf, I could see that my fuel was depleting, so I started some more charcoal in a chimney and added it just before putting on the meatloaf. It was getting late by then. The meatloaf recipe, (from Chis Grove's book The Kamado Smoker and Grill), said after 45 minutes at 350 degrees the meat should be done. It wasn't. And I could see from the kamado temperature that I was depleting the charcoal I'd added. So, I gave the meatloaves about another 30 minutes and with the hour getting late - about 8:30, I brought them in and finished them in the oven. Although I didn't finish everything off using the kamado, I'm still happy with my results, what I especially like about the kamado is that I seem to have more control over temperature and that it holds heat so well. I'm thinking for yesterday's cook I probably didn't use enough charcoal to get through all the cooks. I probably started out with my firepan 1/4 to 1/3 full (should I use more?) I imagine in time I'll get a better feel for how much charcoal to use.
  2. bel - thanks for the suggestion about contacting Char-Griller, I sent them the info when I put up this post. Augustus - thanks for the suggestions about storing the grill. The grill I've been using has lasted several years but would get mold sometimes. I was good about dumping the ashes and thought keeping it covered between uses was the best thing to do. I think if I don't use the Akorn for a while, I should uncover it from time to time - especially if it won't be rainy.
  3. I bought a new Akorn kamado a few weeks ago. I waited to put it together because I had some accessories coming later. I started to assemble the Akorn yesterday morning and I saw some small imperfections on it. On the hood of the grill, along the edge where it meets with the bottom of the grill, some of the porcelain coating is chipped. I've included some pictures -- are these a bit deal? Will the chipping off spread out from that area? If it's a minor detail, please forgive me -- I just want to start with a top-notch Akorn. Also, I'm going to keep the Akorn on my screened-in porch under a vinyl cover. I'm in North Florida and it's pretty humid. Anyone else live in a similar climate, does the Akorn hold up ok? Thanks, Gil
  4. Hello - I really like all kinds of cooking but my appreciation for grilling comes from my dad. I've been grilling on my own for more than 30 years, as a casual, spare time thing. I've finally gotten to the point I want better temperature control when I cook on the grill, so I'm going to retire my boxy Royal Oak grill and purchase a Char Griller Akorn. I was actually eyeing the Portable Kitchen grill but I got used to the height of the Royal Oak which was like working at a stove. Earlier this summer, when I noticed the Akorn at my local WalMart it was a revelation, it just checked several boxes. The grill sits high in the Akorn and everyone says it retains heat like an oven. I was pretty much sold right then but after plenty of internet research I'm pulling the trigger, in fact, I've ordered Chris Grove's cookbook, a grill cover, the smoking stone and the adjustable fire grate. I hadn't thought about a kamado because the ceramic ones are way out of my price range, plus I need something I can move from my porch to outside but the price of the Akorn let me buy extras to go with it. I just have to buy the actual Akorn, I'd like one of the color models but I can't justify the price when I can get a black one for $247 at WalMart. I intend to get the Akorn in the next day or two and put it together once all the extras arrive, then I'll start cooking a dish at a time to get used to using a kamado. I've probably gone on about this too long but this seems like a new chapter in my cooking life and I'm looking forward to it -- I'm glad this forum has a bunch of folks who can understand how I feel. Gil
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