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  1. I wasn't a thermodynamics major so take this FWIW. But I have to imagine that a 650 degree fire in a very small, mostly closed space generates an enormous amount of force/pressure, whatever you want to call it as that heat looks to escape. When I get my big Akorn that hot and then close the vents it will belch smoke out of every possible orifice. Doesn't affect her performance though, I can still hold temps and shut the fire down with the vents. As others have said, pinch the gaskets and cook on.
  2. AugustusRooster

    Preventative maintenance?

    That helps, but you can still get condensation and even mold if you leave it covered like that long enough. I detach the ash pan if I'm not sure when I'm going to grill again.
  3. AugustusRooster

    Beef filets from Sam's Club

    That picture was well worth the wait. Great looking meal. That cut of meat might be a good candidate for a reverse sear. Smoke at low temps until the IT is around 110. Then open up the vents and finish on hot cast iron to get a crust on the outside.
  4. AugustusRooster

    Pizza with the top vent removed

    There's nothing wrong with the spirit of experimentation. There's also nothing wrong with people weighing in on how this experiment might go badly awry and offering up alternative solutions. You shouldn't take it as questioning your cooking prowess or experience. Personally I don't want to be in a situation where I can't just snap the vents shut to regain control over a potentially runaway fire situation. But that's me. I'm an err on the side of caution guy. I'll be interested to see how this turns out.
  5. AugustusRooster

    Ceramic Akorn

    There have been a few topics posted about it but not a whole lot. The search function toward the top right of the page is a great tool for finding old topics.
  6. Interesting. My fire will snuff out in about 30 minutes to an hour.
  7. A few random observations: *You got a harmless but valuable lesson about kamado cooking. Don't leave it alone with the vents wide open. These things are incredibly efficient and can go from zero to towering inferno with a quickness. *Don't try to control your temperature by adjusting the amount of fuel. Fill up the firebox, especially for long cooks. Temperature is entirely determined by your lighting method and vent control. *You aren't snuffing the fire when you open the lid, actually the opposite is happening. Your thermo reads lower because you are letting heat escape and your thermo on the dome is (somewhat) reading ambient temp when the lid is open. But in reality you're feeding a ton of oxygen into the fire. I know food has to be turned or adjusted but keep the lid open time down to a bare minimum. *You now know that three cotton balls in the coal pile produces big heat in a hurry. And that's fine for fast cooks. But you're going to have to dial that way back when you try for a low slow cook. You're getting there. Keep working and experimenting. Even when you make mistakes you can get tasty results.
  8. AugustusRooster

    Smoke Ring

    I always use a combo of chunks at the bottom of the pile and soaked chips on top. I feel like it helps, certainly worth a try.
  9. AugustusRooster

    Asian Ribs

    Looks good, how did they turn out? On John's Facebook site he was talking up gochujang sauce. I bet that would be a good finishing glaze on Asian wings.
  10. This seems like a classic YMMV cooking discussion. As Sir Robin says, lump charcoal should be carbonized until you can't discern a difference in the types of wood. But this doesn't always happen with the larger pieces. It could be that people with more sensitive palates can taste mesquite, especially in something like poultry. I would follow the advice to let your fire burn clean before adding food. If it's still too smoky you may want to try a different charcoal for the yardbird.
  11. Think of it like that famous stamp with the plane upside down. This thing will be worth millions someday!!!
  12. You may want to try a natural briquette like Stubbs or Kingsford Competition.
  13. AugustusRooster

    **Noob Question** Cleaning The Akorn

    Since we live in the muggy South I take the extra precaution of storing it with the ashpan detached. If you leave it "buttoned up" and covered long enough the ambient humidity will condense inside the grill and cause mold and/or rust. Most folks on this forum cook several times a week so it's not an issue. But if you use the grill less often it's something to consider.
  14. AugustusRooster

    vent settings for pizza

    Not sure there's a hard and fast answer since evryone's cookers and lighting techniques are a little different. When I'm cooking at hotter than low and slow temps I just light like normal and wait longer to start "walking down' the vent settings. Generally speaking having the vents at 1 will hold whatever temp the cooker is at. YMMV though.
  15. AugustusRooster

    Acorn vs The Others

    My Akorn is 6 years old and showing no signs of giving up the ghost. I suppose it takes a little more TLC than a ceramic, but if cared for properly an Akorn can have a considerably longer life than the 3-5 years. I would liken the difference in operating the two types of cookers to the difference in driving a stick shift versus an automatic. Steeper learning curve, but as you can see from this forum, plenty have managed it. Since you're an experienced cook I'd give the Akorn a try. Plenty of resources here to help you get started.