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    Holly Springs, NC
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  1. You could create your own custom seal by applying hi-temp RTV silicone to the base, covering loosely with foil, and closing the lid. The silicone will conform to the gaps in the lid gasket and create a better seal. After it dries, remove the foil (or just leave it). Note I haven't done this with the Akorn but have applied this technique with other smokers. Low temps like 225 are problematic for the Akorn due to the insulation, fixing the gasket will probably not solve that issue. I cook at 275 with great results.
  2. I have the Gateway and it works well for me. Not perfect, not extremely intuitive, but gets the job done. I can setup my cooker and the go to the store, go to the neighborhood pool, basically live my life and still keep an eye on how things are cooking at home. It also does a good job of logging the cook which is handy. I use an Android phone, maybe the app has issues on iPhone?
  3. I would recommend cooking at 275 on the Akorn in order to get a good smokey flavor and smoke ring. Technically you don't need a smoke ring for good food but it is an indicator of how your food cooked. Reason for 275 is that the Akorn is so well insulated if you cook at 225-250 you aren't getting much airflow, therefore not much combustion, and that impacts the flavor of the food. If you watch your smoke output at 225 and then compare it to 275, you'll see what I'm talking about. You get a nice steady flow of blue smoke at 275, and barely a trickle, if any at 225. I usually aim for a "high" 250 meaning if I overshoot to 275, awesome, but if not I can slowly raise the temps. Additionally, I start with a dry drip pan and if things get a little crazy and I need to bring the temp down, I add an inch or so of water to the drip pan. This will reduce the temperatures back to where I want them.
  4. Never heard of dry aging pork. Also, I'm not sure it sits long enough to "dry age" like is done with beef. Anyhow, I recommend buying one of each, cook them both at the same time, and then let us know the results
  5. Thermoworks Gateway is 50% off (lowest price I've seen) and the Smoke is 30% off. Pretty good price if you've been waiting for a deal.
  6. If fasting doesn't work out try Keto. With Keto you can eat and eat and eat, and still loose weight. It's an amazing diet, I'm pretty much on it for life at this point.
  7. My gas grill sits next to my Kamado and few things make me happier than when both are fired up and cooking at the same time
  8. Dome temp will be similar to grill level when things level out, which can take a while, and it's easy to overshoot the desired temp waiting for the dome gauge to move. More important is measuring the temperature of your meat. From looking at your pics, it seems the meat was left on the Akorn well after it had reached the ideal internal temperature of 195-205. Ideally you want: Temperature probe on the grate Temperature probe in the meat When the meat probe shows about 195, start probing the meat with a handheld thermometer. When probing, you're looking at the internal temperature of the meat but also feeling how the meat probe goes in the meat. If it slides in like going into warm butter, you're meat is done. This usually happens somewhere between 195-205 (usually closer to the 205 mark).
  9. They look very similar and get similar reviews, so it may come down to price and availability. Also remember the Akorn has been around for a long, long time, so might be easier to find accessories that fit, and there is going to be a lot of info on the internet about the Akorn. As far as rust goes, I've had mine for about 2.5 years and there is zero rust. I live in NC so there is a steady supply of rain and humidity, but still no problems. I keep it covered religiously, and when it does happen to get wet, I let it dry thoroughly before covering it back up. Also, water tends to gather in the ash pan, so if it gets rained on, take the ash pan out, empty it, and make sure it's nice and dry before putting it back on. So I think rust is not a big issue if you are diligent and take care of the cooker. If you want something that you don't have to worry about as much, go ceramic
  10. After each cook are you burning off the crud with some high heat before storing? Mold doesn't grow on clean metal, so if you have a build up of grease and gunk on the grates/cooker, need to burn that off with a long hot burn (400+ for 30 minutes or longer, depending on how much buildup you have) then scrape charred remains off the grates. After each cook I open the vents and let the cooker get nice and hot for 10 - 15 minutes, then after it cools, scrape of the grates before putting the cover on. You want those grates nice and clean before letting it sit.
  11. The point Lensi is driving at is that the insulation makes the cooker almost TOO efficient, resulting in the following issues: Difficulty maintaining a very low temperatures such as 225 without snuffing out the fire Reducing the amount of airflow through the cooker, which effects the quality of the food (reduced smoke ring, reduced smokey flavor, less bark) These issues are somewhat but not completely solved by cooking at a higher temp such as 275. Now, we all know the Akorn is a wonderful cooker and does a really good job, but the question is, could it be better? My opinion is that yes, with less insulation, you would get better results. I believe the best type of smoker is a good offset smoker, reason being, they have an immense amount of airflow through the cooker, so your food turns out smokey, barky, and has a nice smoke ring. The downside of the offset cooker is it burns an large amount of fuel, and you have to constantly babysit it. I don't have time for babysitting a smoker all day, and I like not having to burn through bags of fuel every time I cook something. So right now, the Akorn is a great choice and does a fantastic job. But it could be better.
  12. I think it would be a good experiment. Maybe when my Akorn is nearly dead I'll try it out. My solution for getting more airflow is just cooking at a higher temp. The Weber summit is something I'd love to own, if I was going to spend that kind of money, I would definitely consider the Summit over a ceramic cooker. Edit: Note I've never had a problem with keeping the fire lit in the Akorn, but more airflow means better smoke flavor, better smoke ring, and better bark.
  13. I get a kick out of cooking some barbecue overnight, there's just something fun about setting up the cook, going to sleep, and waking up and the food just magically cooked itself overnight Last night I cooked a pork shoulder to contribute to a work picnic. Also played with the Night Sight mode on my Pixel 2 phone. Logged the temps with my Thermoworks Smoke, the Akorn held the temps wonderfully between 250-260, climbing at the end as the meat got up to temp.
  14. Get a new cover? It shouldn't collect water if the cover is on.
  15. Was of course too busy to remember to take pics of the finished product but everything turned out excellent. Had one of the best smoke rings ever produced on my Akorn. I believe the smoke rings was a result of much more airflow through the cooker, which happened because the amount of food in the cooker made me keep the top vent open more than usual. Also impressed everyone that the cooker started at 6:30am and didn't need any additional charcoal even though I cooked all day, and cranked the heat up at 4pm to grill chicken with plenty of charcoal left for that task
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