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  1. Serious question. If all types of lump indeed had no discernible taste, why would companies even bother marketing to label what kind of lump was in the bag? Edit... NVM. Read the entire link. Its a really long YMMV due to lots of factors involved.
  2. I second the idea of briquettes if you're having issues with fire. I've used Kingsford competition briquettes when I ran out of lump one time and was pleased with the results.. They seem to burn more consistent than lump, although I still prefer lumps since it burns hotter and I enjoy the taste. I know everyone is different but one thing that helped me learn is to NOT use smoking stone until I figured out how to stabilize temps . I can get my Akorn running smoothly now with the stone in place now, but it helped me learn with it removed so that I could see the coals and gauge where my temps were headed. For me, 1) I fill the my RO lump to top (just so its below the smoking stone) 2) dig a 2" diameter hole in the center so I can see the bottom grate 3) drop a fire starter in the hole 4) lays 2-4 sharpie sized lumps over the starter and light ( i usually make a tee-pee) just make sure you can still see a bit of bottom grate as good air flow allows you to control temps via the bottom adjustment) 5) wait 10-15 min (coals in the center near should be softly glowing) fire will spread up and then out so ideally some lump near the center should not be lit but very close to glowing/burning coals. Again make sure you left some space to allow air to flow from bottom to top. 6)Place grate and temp probe at grate level. 7) Close lid and leave both top and bottom vents wide open till 190 8 I usually cut vents in half till it reaches 210-215 9)After 215 I usually leave about .5 in to 1in on the bottom and leave a tiny crack on top(the size of the metal part on a cheap bic pen) 10) temps usually settle around 235-250. 220-235 is doable too but takes a lot more practice. Anything below 220 is difficult without a PID IMHO as I could never get enough air flow to keep my fire alive more than 1-2hrs. Note that 7-10 vary in times due how fast the temp is climbing. Ideally you want a very slowly rising temperature as Akorns are hard to get the temperature down and extreme cut backs usually lead my the fire to starve. One of the biggest mistakes was not compensating for thermal mass of the smoking stone. If you do choose to add it while lighting the fire you have to remember it takes time for it to heat up the stone and the probe will show a lower temperature than expected.
  3. I've had good success putting smoking chunks at the bottom(above the grate, not under the grate), and then layered my lump on top. I agree with other posts about the more fuel will give more smoke.. Although I'm more on the cautious side as too much smoke over powers my food.. If you need more smoke you can also wrap the smoking wood in aluminum foil which prevents the wood from burning (its like a cheap smoking pot).. I believe there's a post by John S. (smoke what you need to know) has some good info on all of this too)
  4. I dont think I've ever attended to my Akorn 100% of the time when smoking any meats. When I go off to run errands I usually place my Thermopro in front of my Wyze Cams. That way when I'm away, instead of logging into my phone to see my patio door, I see my temperature probe. FYI, if you dont have internet connectivity on your probe I highly recommend the Wyze cam. They're basically a 20 dollar drop cam with no monthly fees. They also have an audio alert so if my prob goes off I'll get a notification from my Wyze app. The downside is they're less secure, but I'm okay with someone hacking into the account to see the patio/ and or my brisket temp) .
  5. I was surprised how long a good insulated cooler and towels can keep a brisket hot. I also had a pair of bricks warmed up for extra thermal mass to keep the brisket above the 145 food safe temp. (although mine touched 140 at the very end)
  6. Every piece of meat is a different. My last brisket I smoked @ 230 degrees was 13.5lbs and cooked in 9.5hrs.. No stall. Although I'm guessing it has to do with the fat/water content and marbling in the brisket. Brisket came out great despite being a select cut! It just sat in my cooler for 7hrs after it finished cooking...
  7. I'm a long time lurker on the site, but never registered.. I just registered to say thanks to KenM for posting his settings. I bought a used Auber 1615 for my Akorn and dialed in the settings on Sunday. After partially covering up the intake my fan. (Unit came with a 10CFM) I had the Akorn sit at 225 (+ or - 5 degrees)for 10 hours, needless to say I was ecstatic. I'm currently waiting for my 6.7 CFM to come in the mail so I dont have to use a fan with duct tape..
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