PLEASE NOTE: I do not care about brand flame wars - I am asking about the physics/chemistry of cooking.
Many people talk about the importance of clean smoke in kamado cooking. Many people say the Akorn and other double-wall insulated kamados are too well insulated and are hard to run at low temps (say 225) because they can go out, and they produce bad smoke. Smoking Dad talks all the time about the importance of clean smoke, raving about the new KJ 3-series being slightly less efficient which he loves because it produces cleaner smoke. Many people say stick burners are superior because the fire runs hotter and produces cleaner smoke.
And yet the Komodo Kamado brags about its efficiency, saying it can go 85 hours on 16 lbs of charcoal. This is in direct conflict with everything above. What is going on here? Is everyone except KK wrong, and more efficient really is better? Or is there something about the KK that allows it to burn cleanly at such slow rates?
One fundamental difference in a KK is that 100% of the air flows through the coals - there's no path around the inner basket. This reduces the wasted airflow through the grill, which should keep more moisture in the grill, however it also means you need a cooler fire too keep the same temp so I don't see how this explains the contradiction above. Are there other advantages? I'm curious to know why other cookers allow this airflow around the firebox. Is this just to keep the ceramic from cracking, and not because it's best for cooking?
I really want to avoid a brand war. But it's driving me nuts that no one can explain to me why so many people say you don't want to be too efficient, and yet the most expensive kamados brag about it, and their owners love the food they produce.