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Undertoad's Achievements

  1. You should be concerned about the rust visible in your vent area. Fix that by drilling out the rivets, separating the halves, converting the rust to blue by boiling, and then spray coating both with high-temp paint. Then, glue the two halves together with high-temp epoxy (and filling the rivet holes with same). Grease buildup may be a fire hazard, but it is not a rust hazard.
  2. I am on my second Akorn, too. The first, I bought even though I was cleared to buy a BGE. I had cooked on BGEs before, and a couple things bothered me, so I bought an Akorn, instead. Unfortunately, I did not also buy a cover for it. It suffered through four winters of near-constant use in Bezosgrad before finally rusting out. The second I bought in spring 2016. I bought a cover and keep it covered. It has yet to show any signs of rust. I still believe it to be the overall most efficient and therefore arguably best kamado on the market.
  3. The only way to guarantee against water intrusion is to keep the Akorn covered. Else rain *will* get in, if rain is a regular occurrence where you live. I live in Bezosgrad, and it has rained over 3 inches this week. None of it got into my covered Akorn. If you want that ash pan to last, you must do two things: 1) keep the ashes from getting between the top half and bottom half; and 2) Keep the water out. To accomplish 1), seal between the upper half and lower half with high-temp silicone *and* be careful to keep the vent side up when emptying ash. Tonaccplish 2) #### all your vents at the end of each cook and keep it covered. I put on my cover immediately after closing the vents, and it has never melted.
  4. I swim against the flow, here, but I prefer a curved blade over a flat blade for virtually all cutting tasks. I have a nice slicer but we're I buying today, I would go with the 12.5-inch Shogun-series scimitar from Dalstrong.
  5. I made a similar knife by cutting the front radius off a cheap chinesium cleaver I bought on Boston Chinatown 25 years ago for $10. It transformed the cleaver into a whole new knife.
  6. Pay close attention to temp. Grate temps are typically higher than dome temps by 50 degrees F or so.
  7. Just pull the CI grate and replace it with a stainless grate from Amazon.
  8. Thanks. Been here, on and off, since sometime in 2013. Been away taking care of parents for most of the last two years, so that has definitely kept me away.
  9. My other Akorn rusted out as a result of leaking where the rim of the inner tray is riveted to the outer tray. To prevent that, I sealed my new one. I've owned two Akorns. One from September 2913 through May 2019 and now a replacement, bought in late May. My old one lasted 5.5.years completely exposed to the weather in rainy Seattle. I'd still be using it but the outer shell of the ash tray rusted through. Hoping to extend the life of the new one, I set out today to seal the leak point that killed my last one. That leak point is the rim of the inner ash tray where it is riveted to the outer ash tray. See below. Clean it off well with alcohol, and then seal it with whatever sealant you like. I used shoe goo. That leaves three more leak points on the ash tray (which I also sealed on my last one): 1) the gasket surface, 2) the sliding vent, and 3) the screws affixing the latching bracket. To help seal the gasket, bend the bails on both sides. See the photo. Posting from phone, so not at all sure where it will show. Sliding vent on both of mine were very loose and had multiple visible gaps, despite factory sealant. Pull it off, clean off the old goo, clean with alcohol, and apply new sealant. I used shoe goo. I also peaned the rim to reduce gaps around the slider and gooped sealant around the closed end of the slider to positively seal it when closed. Screws on the bail brackets also leak both water and air. I sealed mine with Permatex thread sealant. Ashtray done, time to move on to the cover, which has two prominent leak points: the gasket surface and the top sliding vent. To better seal the gasket area, ovalize the holes on the hinge, so you can push down on the cover to better squish the gasket before tightening the screws. See the photo. The O-ring surrounding the top vent is an unreliable seal. Augment it with some silicone or shoe goo. While you have the vent off, use a file to mark fine gradiations for more precise vent control. See the pics. While you are at it, put a bend in the front latch, to put additional sqish on the gaskets. See the photo, wherever it ends up. Thusly sealed, an Akorn operates much more efficiently, and it goes right out when you shut all the vents. Bend bail to tighten up ashtray gasket. Ovalize holes from the bottom to allow more squeeze on the top-cover gasket. Seal o-ring area with sealant and file in some precision vent indexing. Also bend front latch to tighten gesket gap at front.
  10. I bought my first Akorn in September 2013. For 5.5 years, it was perfect. Then, I suddenly, in June 2019 the ash tray rusted out. This was stored outside in the full range of elements in rainy Seattle. I bought a second one and have modified it based on what the first taught me. Most important: seal around the perimeter ot the ash tray, to keep water from accumulating in the outer shell. So far, no water has accumulated there.
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