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    • John Setzler

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    • John Setzler

      Let's Take Sides Challenge!   12/06/2017

        Enter your best side dish in this month's challenge!


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  • Location:
    Seacoast NH
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  • Grill
  1. If they confirm for sure that the new hinge & gasket works I'm placing an order but I still understand that it's still in development. I also wouldn't worry about the new firebox & would add the kontrol tower if I purchased so once we hear on the band I'm good to go. The worry is that all the old units are gone by then....
  2. I have been staring at this for two days already & cant make up my mind whether I’ll be content with the “old” version or the new 2017 version since the upgrades are pretty substantial.
  3. 3rd Annual Free Table Giveaway

    Pretty sure I added my screen name, or at least I hope so!
  4. Thermometer Probe Accuracy Question

    I shoot for a range now. In the past I was obsessive about maintaining that perfect 225 but now as long as I’m in the range of my target temp I’m good. Made myself stop chasing temps & my bbq not only improved (because I just focus on the food now) but my smokes are more enjoyable, win-win.
  5. That’s a good looking grate for reasonable money, thanks for the heads up.
  6. Aura Prozone does not fit?

    From what I can see it looks like the diameter would be fine for the Akorn but I’m not sure about the height. The fire bowl sits higher in the Akorn than the typical ceramic cooker so I’m thinking once the Aura sits on the lip of the Akorn fire bowl it may interfere with the lid when closed, for now without being sure I guess I’ll have to pass.
  7. Akorn vs 18.5 wsm

    I own the WSM & just picked up the Akorn. I grilled steak last night at 550 degree's, it was 25 degree's last night & windy. The WSM is an incredible smoker but it's pretty much a one trick pony in that regard, also it struggles in the cold where the Akorn happily chugged along. You'll get more versatility out of the Akorn but if you want to do straight BBQ & nothing but BBQ or maybe even compete someday the WSM is the better choice.
  8. Aura Prozone does not fit?

    Awesome thanks! I’ll measure the Akorn when it cools down later to see if the Aura will fit.
  9. I used the Lava Rock 7/8” X 1/8”, unfortunately I ordered a 15’ roll & only used an inch of it to tighten the slider on the lower vent. I also inspected the ash bowl better & found where the RTV needed to be placed. The edge over the handle was split open allowing air to leak right into the ash pan. Sealed it with high temp RTV & now running it again to see how it does. Correct, no need to mod until you know exactly what you have for issues if any, I’m pretty sure it will be fine now without any further mods necessary.
  10. Aura Prozone does not fit?

    @just4fn is there any way you can measure the outside diameter of the wire rack & inside diameter where it sits on the firebox? I’m wondering if this will fit in my Akorn, I sent a message to Aura but they haven’t responded. I really like the simple design & price point, figure this would be perfect for the Akorn if it fits. Thanks!
  11. I’ve been reading all I can here while shopping for a Kamado & decided to pick up an Akorn. While I still lust for a Kamado Joe I decided to buy an Akorn figuring I can always upgrade later & can throw the Akorn in the back of the truck for camping. I picked it up at my local Walmart & asked them to match the $247 price online but now I see that price may or may not be for the unit I bought? Anyway, back at home I took my time to assemble it using Loctite on all the bolts. I’ve been looking at these grills for a few months & honestly for the price I think they are better than expected. I own Weber everything, WSM, Performer, Genisys & a Q220, the Akorn is obviously not at the same level of quality but still much better than I expected. Long term use seems to be 3-5 years which for $250 is fine by me. The grill went together easy, no stripped threads, everything lined up easy & once assembled feels rock solid, easy to wheel around the garage where it will stay until the spring. The one thing I did notice is that the lower vent slide was loose, really loose but more on that later. Prior to picking up the Akorn I read all 34 pages of the mod thread, too bad 90% of the images are unavailable, especially since I’m still not exactly sure where everyone was sealing the ash pan. Regardless, seems like most of the mods focused on the earlier units with the general consensus that the newer models have better quality control. Regardless I still ordered some Nomex gasket material for the BGE off of Amazon & the smoking stone. So without doing the dollar bill test & noticing that my ash pan is loose but compressing the gasket when I latched it I decided to season the grates. Fired it it up with a bunch of Royal Oak lump using a Weber starter cube since I wanted to hit the 400 degree mark vs the low & slow method. Left the top & vents open while the cube burned down, once the starter cube was almost gone I closed the lid. Watching the thermometer on the dome it happily chugged up to 400 in about 15 minutes. I attached my grill probe on the grate & was surprised to see the grate temp within a few degrees of the dome thermometer! I dialed the vents back & let it season for a while, it stayed right at 400 & didn’t budge, impressive. If I shut the vents a little it dropped a couple of degrees, if I opened them it rose a few degrees but the entire time it was completely controlled. Impressive, very impressive & nothing like I’ve read about these things taking off burning women & children, pillaging the lands & stealing the last cookie. Overall the test fire was rock solid & completely controlled so I threw some Kielbasa on the top rack & let it go for dinner, delicious & I consider it a success! Sure there will probably be times where it doesn’t go as easy as this test but that’s half the fun of it right? After dinner I decided to open it up & see what I can get for grate temps, the Akorn happily obliged cranking up to 550 or so in minutes, this is going to be AWESOME for searing. I dialed the vents down & watched the temp slowly drop down towards 300. I have smokers, I mostly use my pellet smoker now so I don’t really need a Kamado for smoking but seeing how the Akorn will more than likely be my camping rig I will want to smoke with it so the smoking stone should come in handy. I dialed the vents way back & watched it drop towards the 250 zone, again, rock solid, happily sat at 250 for as long as I had time for last night. By the way, it was 25 degrees out last night with a brisk wind & the reason I bought a Kamado was so I can grill in the winter up here. Also for the record I noticed the spread between the dome thermometer & grate temps getting wider, like I read about 30-50 degree difference as it gets closer to smoking temps. So getting late I decided to shut it down, closed all the vents including the sloppy lower vent, left my probe on the grate & went inside. Checked the temp in an hour & hmmmm, at 192 degrees? Interesting, peek down the vent, burp the lid & can see some lump still lit? Ok, these Kamado’s retain heat, can run for years on lump but I’m thinking that lower slide is my issue so make sure the vents are closed, wait another half hour & then check the temps. Come back in a half hour & yep, still at 195 degrees, not bad for smoking but it’s getting late & I'm a working man. Decided to grab some all weather duct tape & loosely tape that pesky lower vent. Came back a half hour later & the temp read 145, bingo! Sloppy lower vent will get you every time. When assembling I could see some RTV sealant from the factory around the vent assembly but that slide door is pretty bad. I didn’t do a flashlight test & will later today but figure I have new gasket material that will be here today so no big deal. Overall with my few hours of testing I’m happy, really happy in fact. I think this is going to be a fine cooker once I seal up some air leaks. My introduction to Kamado life was pretty good thanks to all your contributions on this site. I’m glad that this isn’t the unwieldy beast some reviews had made it out to be, maybe I lucked out, maybe my previous history with WSM’s & kettles helped? Who knows, who cares, I’m happy with my purchase, all your contributions helped & im looking forward to Kamado life!
  12. Thanks for the suggestions. The Weber grate will work & probably what I’ll end up doing but I was hoping something like this would fit, seems like a better overall solution to me. https://auraoutdoorproducts.com/products/the-m-z-multi-zone-cooking-kit
  13. I'm thinking about picking up an Akorn as my first Kamado since I can also throw it in the back of the truck for camping. I like the idea of a two zone cooking set up but don't see anything like the divide & conquer style set up from Ceramic Cooking store with a spider & half stones. What are people using in the Akorn for a two zone set up?
  14. WTB- Kamado in New England

    Thanks for the generous offer but that's what is getting me in trouble already. I checked out the KJ's at Cabela's & then Kitchen & Company a few times. Really REALLY nice cookers but I should keep my eyes on an Akorn since that really makes more sense for me budget & use wise.
  15. New Kamado Joe owner in MD

    Welcome from NH, I’m new here too, enjoy!