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Found 257 results

  1. Have been wanting to cook a pizza in the akorn but hadn't gotten around to it until now. Mix of royal oak (in the akorn) and used about 1/3 a chimney of sugar maple to start it. Because of dietary issues I end up with a frozen cheese pizza as the base. I let it mostly thaw and add some left over smoked roast beef, chopped onions, sliced mushrooms and extra mozzarella cheese. 10 minutes at about 450 and we have this
  2. It's always stressful to cook something you have never done before. I had this packer in the freezer for quite some time and since we had a nice weekend, I defrosted it and of course, cooked it. 15LB packer, trimmed down... Texas style salt & pepper rub only. This was done in 8hrs, believe it or not at 230-250F, pulled out at 198F (probed like buh-uh) and foiled for 1.5 hours then sliced it. Burnt ends went on for another hour and change. I had really never tried good brisket before, most times it was dry and had no flavour. But holy freakin baman it was good. I'm never having brisket in a restaurant ever again. I never thought it would be THIS good. I brought samples to guys at works and they were fighting over it. The burnt ends are AWESOME. Anyways, if it wasn't for this site, I would have never known how to make this. Marc
  3. Howdy folks. I just purchased a used and neglected Akorn for next to nothing. I have not cooked alot outside the past few years and I can't wait to get going. I tried to reseason the grates last night and had a hard time holding a temp. of 350. Any advice for a newbie like myself on bringing the temp up slow and consistent ?
  4. in looking at the lower damper mod with winebottle shape http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/551-akorn-mods-fixes/page-25 I am intrigued by the various materials used - aluminum (very high heat resistance of course) - Nomex (looks like a little over 400 degrees Fahrenheit) Why wouldn't one just use one or two strips of Kapton tape to form the desired shape? Kapton appears to have a higher temperature tolerance than the more commonly used Nomex.
  5. Did a 8# turkey Christmas Day on the Akorn. First turkey done this way. Done lots of chicken but have done no poultry on the top rack before. Gets a little hot up there so i think next time i'll stick to the main grill level. if u made a vent adjustment it showed up within a minute and moved 20° or more up or down. When i cook on the main grate, I can make an adjustment and it takes 5 or 6 minutes for it to show up but it moves up or down a few degrees at a time. This bird cooked at 375°F to 165° internal. The outside wanted to cook quicker than the in so I think i'd place on the grill and go 350°F for a little longer and have much better temperature control. Skin was crispy and bird was moist though. I did the Thanksgiving one upright at 350°F and it was a better looking bird. The last pic is the Thanksgiving bird!
  6. I made the best Thanksgiving turkey ever on my Akorn,I am biased of course but when you have several family members at a Thanksgiving dinner say " This is damn good turkey ,how did you do it?" ,"This turkey is out of this world" or "This is the best tasting turkey I have ever had" that is all I needed to validate my bias. It was the best tasting turkey of my 53 years of life.I will explain in great detail in case anyone else wants to try my method. I started my thaw process 6 days before the cook on my 22.58 lb bird.On Thanksgiving eve I filled my Akorn up to the tabs with a 50/50 mixture of lump charcoal and Kingsford competition briquettes(made for ceramic smokers) I put my charcoal in the "ring of fire" set up. lit my coals and after letting the grill heat up for 1 hour and 30 minutes and adjusting my vents and my grill stabilized at 250 degrees.I put my turkey on the grates and put my wireless thermometer in the bird's deepest part of the breast(I also used a foil drip pan under my bird) on top of my stone that I use a s diffuser . After 4 hours of cooking at 250 degrees I chocked the heat down by closing my vents slightly more and dropped my temps to 200 then after 4 hours at 200 I closed off the vents and let the bird sit in there for 1 hour . My turkey prep is very simple and very tasty ,I take one stick of real butter ,1/8 of a cup of olive oil and 1 tsp of applewood rub mix up and heat up after mixed I put my solution into an injector and inject thoroughly all over the bird including the legs and then take the last little bit and rub onto the bird and used a heavy dose of pink Himalayan salt on the outside of bird.The turkey was not dry at all and the flavor was out of this world and it was seriously the best tasting turkey I have ever ate.
  7. Today's turkey cook went exceptionally well in spite of the weather today (24°F with light snow falling here in Norther Colorado). I had put the bird in brine yesterday mid-morning. This morning, after parking the Akorn on the driveway and lighting up the lump (Rockwood) I prepped the bird for the cook. After taking it out of the brine I patted it dry, tucked the wings back, and slipped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme) between the breast meat and skin. Then I rubbed it all over with soft butter and olive oil, sprinkled with sea-salt and dried herb blend and tied the leg ends. I got it on the grill by 8:45 AM. My dual-probe temp monitor (Maverick ET-733) showed that even during cold weather my kamado maintained decent temperature (320-335 °F) during the two and a half hour cook. I gave myself more time than I needed as this is my first time doing a cold-weather cook. Smoke wood used was peach and pecan. By 11:15 the deep breast temp was 165°F. I brought it in and covered it with foil and a towel so the temps could even and and it would cool a bit so I wouldn't scald my fingers while carving (I gotta get some grilling gloves). The overall quality of the turkey meat was superb. Not too much smoke flavor, very moist and tender. The dark patches on the breast skin are where I had the fresh herbs tucked under. I had always wanted to smoke the turkey for Thanksgiving. Until I got a kamado it was not possible in cold weather. After today's success in less than ideal weather conditions, I think I'll be smoking the Thanksgiving turkey from here on out.
  8. Hey everyone. Been reading here lots but this is my first post about a recent cook. Around Father's Day this year I got a new Akorn Kamado and have really liked it after many cooks on it. For years I've always wanted to smoke the turkey for Thanksgiving. Now that I have the Akorn this becomes attainable (Northern Colorado can get cool in November). Over the weekend I wanted to test out the process I'll use to cook the turkey. I brined two chickens for around 14 hours (brine: salt, brown sugar, sage, rosemary, thyme, bay) then added fresh herbs to the cavities of each (sage, rosemary, thyme) and cooked them on my Akorn for about 4.5 hours at around 230°F using three small chunks each of peach and pecan. Internal temp was 165°F when I brought them in for a 20 minute rest before carving. We served the chicken with mashed potatoes with parsnips and broccoli and cauliflower casserole. These chickens were the most moist and tender birds I've ever prepared. The flavor was very nice as well. The herbs came through enough and the smoke was a good accent flavor. This cook was also my first opportunity to use my new Maverick ET733 (dual-probe temp. monitor). That sure helps to keep an eye on temperatures without having to open the top. I also bought a bag of Rockwood premium lump to use for these cooks. Normally I use whatever I can get for around $0.50 / lb. at Costco or Lowes. The Rockwood is more expensive but I do like it. This cook helped me to make sure that I'm ready for the Thanksgiving bird. Depending how big of a turkey we get I suspect I'll need to get up pretty early to get it started. Cheers!
  9. Hey guys, New Akorn owner here from Springfield Mo. I am assembling the grill tonight and want to do everything possible to ensure great cooks and the longest life possible. I have heard that I may need to seal up the ash pan to avoid air leaks with some kind of silicon. I have also read to season the grates to avoid rusting. I am reaching out to you Akorn masters for set up tips. Any knowledge would be appreciated. Thanks in advance. JKapp
  10. Hey there other kamado dragons, I just picked up my first grill ever. It was a tough choice and I was a hair away from choosing a texas style smoker grill. I'm glad I saw this sexy thing first. Gonna start er' up today! Quick question can I smoke anything without that dang 35 dolla stone?
  11. Name's Joel. McKinney, TX area. I bought an Akorn a month ago and I couldn't be happier. I've used it to smoke brisket, pork and chicken, grill just about anything and make pizza. I posted a lengthy account of my adventure over on the Akorn forum, but it's awaiting moderation - I probably should have posted it here. Thanks for all the wisdom and knowledge you share on this forum!
  12. Cooked my third brisket on the Akorn. About 10 hours for this 10 pounder (before trimming) at about 230F. This time, I decided to go through the stall without foiling or finishing it in a cooler. The point was also small so I didn't separate it before cooking. The flat was a little drier than I like but the point was nice and moist. Like they say "it's barbecue so it's ALL good!"
  13. I have been cooking thing on the Akorn for a while and it's all been fine. But at temps below 300 I get absolutely no smoke. I've put chunks in there, chips and today I covered the top completely in pellets. They all seem to burn but I get absolutely no smoke and no smoke flavor. Is this normal in kamado style smokers?
  14. i walked into my local Walmart and I see a lady pulling an Akorn into the customer service area. I go back to the grill area one left that was put together with a clearance tag that says $249.00. I thought thats not a clearance price and it was that price last week. As I was leaving with my purchases the lady that had the other one earlier was checking out and as the clerk scanned her Akorn I saw her tag say $144. So my wife took our stuff out to the truck as I proceeded back to the grill section. I asked one of the workers if this price was right. He had one of the gals back there scan it and it came up $144 so off to the check out I go. He said all grills were half off, originally $288. So I have added to my collection of Akorns.
  15. I just finished rebuilding a "hand-me-down" Grill Dome which I will be using as my "deck-top" winter griller (the Komodo Kamado is boxed back in its crate for the winter since I don't feel like shoveling through 10 feet of snow). I did some research on "cheap big green egg tables" and happened upon a photo of an inexpensive IKEA kitchen cart. I decided to add my own mod by incorporating an IKEA spice rack and hangers for added storage. I finshed it with SiKKENS Cetol cedar tint stain and voila! (See attached photo). Here's the list of items used: 1. IKEA Bekvam Kitchen cart: $59.99 http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30240348/ 2. IKEA Bekvam Spice rack (note I relocated the placement of the base to act as a backboard - see photo): $3.99 http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40070185/ 3. IKEA BLECKA hooks: $4.99 for 4 http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40031373/
  16. Hey guys! I'm a Kamado newbie and this is my first post here. I recently decided to upgrade grills (I've been using a 18" Weber Kettle for a while) and got an Akorn on sale at a local Lowes. I got one in a box and assembled it myself because I'm picky about these things. During assembly, I noticed quite a few manufacturing defects and cosmetic issues. Quite frankly, I was disappointed at how rough my unit was. Now, I'll admit, I'm a little picky when it comes to new purchases: if I buy something like this new, I want it to be in almost perfect condition (within reason) and I expect it to last me a while. The couple of things I found caused some concern, so I did some online research and came across this forum and found where quality control isn't really one of Char-Griller's strong suits. So here's my question for you guys with Akorn experience: Is it possible to get a new Akorn that is well-made, or is there a good chance that each one will have its own quality issues? I'm trying to figure out if I got a bum unit that I need to return. I definitely don't want something that will be more prone to issues in the future. I realize that most of these things are minor, so is there any specific issue I should look for that has given people grief in the past? So far, these are the issues I've found: Multiple bolts were unable to be completely tightened on the frame One of the leg supports was poorly welded The U shaped ash hanger partially broke and it's only a matter of time before it fails completely - this is the most concerning problem IMO Many random scratches on the exterior shell as well as the side rack that I definitely didn't do A couple of small dents on the top shell As a note, I've already got a decent bit of time invested in my Akorn from assembly, seasoning, and a few cooks. I'd like to avoid doing all this again with a new unit if there is nothing to be gained.
  17. It's been a few weeks since I've cooked anything, so I've been looking forward to being off today for a while. I picked up a 6 lb brisket flat the other day, and grabbed a turkey breast while I was there. Last night, I injected the brisket with some butter and balsamic vinegar, and rubbed it with Lysander's meat rub and a little Dinosaur BBQ's Cajun Foreplay for sone spice. Before anyone got up this morning, I tossed it on the grill This is also the first time I really used my new Maverick as well. I knew the dome thermometer ran a little low, but its been consistently about 50° lower than the Maverick. I also have the turkey breast in brine, and will put that on shortly. I am looking forward to a tasty turkey sandwich for lunch...
  18. I have a kitchen table that we made out of prefab pine legs, a pine frame, and spare pine flooring as the top. Made over a year ago, it has never been stained or treated, and is sitting out in the shed against the wall. Then, fate brought me the Akorn and an idea... I normally don't need a table, the side tables do me just fine, but with football season starting next weekend, I'm thinking about cutting a U-shape out of this table and treating/painting it (possibly Razorback red/white) so I can just slide the U around the grill during ball games at the house or tailgate. I'll probably put it back in the shed when it's not a game day because I really don't need the excess surface area and would want to preserve the table for as long as possible. Also, the U will still be there if/when I upgrade to a more expensive kamado. For the woodwork savvy people, a few questions: 1) Can this pine even be treated enough to withstand the humidity and elements of Arkansas? 2) Will the flooring end up splitting/shredding a lot when cutting across it? 3) Are there other issues I may run into that I'm not aware of? For everyone else, does the U-shape seem like a good idea? It makes more sense to me than having to reassemble the grill every time I want to move it somewhere without the table.
  19. TLDR; I am thrilled with my Akorn after 10 uses in a month. I have not modded it and it has smoked, grilled and made pizza and naan better than I dared to hope given the $300 price. Construction good-ish; adequate for the task. ---- I picked up an Akorn a month ago and wanted to post my experience for others weighing their options. I was in the market for a dedicated smoker, had mostly settled on a Weber Smokey Mountain (I already had a kettle grill and think highly of the Weber brand), then a friend talked me into holding out for a BGE. But I'm impatient and cheap so (thanks mostly to this forum) I took a flyer on the Akorn. I bought it at Lowes. They had it in stock. It came in a big box, had a little trouble hefting into the trunk. Assembly took about 90 minutes. I also picked up a Weber 17" replacement grate (the lower grate on a standard kettle grill) to hold a heat diffuser. You'll want one of these if you are going to smoke and aren't going to buy the $40 heat diffuser. It has no clay insulation like the BGE or Kamado Joe has, just an inch of air between 2 layers of enameled steel. As it turns out, air is a very good insulator. There are actually 3 layers of steel in the lower portion. The innermost is basically a heat shield so the 2 outer walls aren't anywhere near fire. Think of it like a fire in a coffee can set inside a vacuum thermos. The result is that you can touch almost anything on the outer body of the cooker no matter how hot the fire is, The exception is the top vent. It got quite hot. Controlling temp took practice. I get better at it each time and have managed to hold it at 225 for hours, but I've had a few spikes along the way. As others have noted, the construction isn't exactly laser-beam precision, but it's sturdy. My main complaint is the ash pan seems like it should hold tighter to the body - it feels like it is not tight enough to form a good seal. That said, when I batten down the hatches, the fire goes out, so it must be sealed pretty well. First thing I made was brisket (salt and pepper rub, lump charcoal and hickory chunks, that is all). I used the base of my stone cloche baker for a heat diffuser (it's like a pizza stone with a lip). I had trouble with the temp. It shot up to 350 before I could stop it and it took most of an hour to get it back down to 225 after I closed both vents completely. Temp came down so slowly that I didn't realize that the fire was actually out so I had to relight, so I'd say the insulation is pretty good. The temp problem aside, OMG it was amazing. Maybe the best thing I've ever eaten. I guess brisket is pretty forgiving. Also smoked a pork shoulder, also quite good. Got decent smoke penetration. I smoked a chicken too. By my third time I was getting better at controlling the temp, but it still got briefly up to 300, which did affect the outcome. Still very good. Breast meat dried out a bit, but everything else was perfect. I'll get that temp control figured out, so help me.... It's also a very competent grill. Vs. the Weber it's got some advantages. The coals are a little farther from the meat so flare-ups aren't so problematic. My grilled chicken had fewer charred spots than I usually get. Also the insulation means I can touch just about any exterior surface no matter how hot the fire is. AND you can shut it off when you're done and save the remaining charcoal. I made pizza by putting a pizza stone near the front of the grate, propping open the lid about 3 inches and closing the top vent. I figure that creates air flow over the back of the stone and across the top of the pizza on it's way out the front. I rotated the pizza 90 degrees every minute or so. It came out great - better pizza than my kitchen oven makes. So my original thinking was I'd buy this cheap thing to get by on until I can afford the BGE, but honestly, I find no significant shortcomings in the Akorn and if mine ever gets carried off by a twister and my wife authorizes $1000 to buy a new kamado, I'd probably skip the BGE again, buy another Akorn and use the remaining $700 to buy meat (you know you can buy whole prime briskets at Costco, right?) .
  20. I'm going on vacation at the end of August, and if I get it cleared with the condo I'm staying in I'd like to take the Akorn with me. We'll be down in the gulf, so I'd like to give some fresh seafood a try on this thing. I don't see what it could hurt, but just in case, is traveling ~10 hours strapped in the back of my truck a danger to the Akorn? I'd also like to take it to Razorback tailgates, so this will be good to know for that, too.
  21. Looking for a new grill brush for the Akorn because mine rusted and is trying to spread rust on my grate. This looks like a design that would be perfect for it since I end up turning my spiraled brush sideways to get in between the gaps better. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T95H1PE?psc=1 Good design? Good quality? Price seem reasonable?
  22. I love flanks and salt & pepper just isn't enough for me. Flanks with Mustard and hot horseradish rub, Oil based wet rub with fresh cracked spices. Chimichurri (used immersion blender with chopping bowl) Akorn with Tiptoptemp.
  23. I crack my pizza stone a while back, and was looking at just buying a cheap metal pizza pan to use as a heat shield. We were back home visiting my mother over the 4th of the July, and I was going through my Dad's garage. My dad died a couple of years ago, and I like spending time in his garage, not only because being around all his stuff makes me feel good, but he also had acquired some pretty cool things I found a stack of various sized cast iron skillets and smaller griddles, but also found this beauty: A 14" cast iron griddle with a bail handle. It had a little rust on it, but cleaned up well. With a few minutes of internet searching, it seems like it was made around the 1940's. It's a good size for a heat shield, and I can use it as a grill top griddle as well. I might make some breakfast on it this coming weekend.
  24. So I've had my Akorn for a little over a month and I've really been loving it. I cook on it 2 or 3 times a week and have quickly been learning how to master this little guy. One of my first struggles when I bought it was getting it to maintain temp. I've done all the things everyone has mentioned on here and had some luck but was still struggling to get a good and steady temp. What finally helped solve this issue is when I used up my first bag of lump tried out a different brand. I started to use B&B oak lump charcoal and have seen a drastic improvement. The lump pieces are a lot larger than my first bag. Most pieces are golf ball to baseball sized lump and even have a few that are softball sized. There are very few smaller pieces in the bag. I don't remember the brand of the first bag, but it was really my only choice at Lowe's when I purchased my grill. All the lump in that bag was golf ball sized or smaller. The smaller lump was great for grilling because it would get the grill to very high temps, something I've struggled to do with the larger sized lump in my newer bag. When it comes to smoking my food, I've found I've liked the smoke flavoring from wood chunks as opposed to wood chips. I've had hickory, oak and mesquite chunks that I've used in my cook and the food that has come off of those cooks has had amazing smokey flavor. When I have used chips (mesquite, pecan, apple) I haven't noticed nearly as much smokiness to the food. I feel like they are burning off very fast and not really making as much of a difference. I've seen some people swear by both methods so this may be more of a personal preference type of thing. My favorite thing I've been cooking so far is chicken. I've spatchcooked a couple of birds and smoked them that way. I've gotten leg quarters and even just thighs and drumsticks. Wife and I are doing a Paleo(ish) diet right now so I'll cook up a bunch of chicken on Sunday and then pull it and add it to salads to take to work every day the last couple of weeks. I've done 3 pork butts so far and they've improved each time. I think the thing I'm trying to learn now is what do I like best when it comes to bbq pulled pork. I never thought of myself as someone who liked hickory but I've honestly enjoyed the cooks I've done on hickory the most. I also am wanting to tweak my bbq rub and bbq sauce to what I like best and also in a way that complement each other. I've had really good rubs and really good sauces but sometimes they don't necessarily go together in the best way. I've cooked a lot of veggies on the grill. I love cooking them over really high heat and getting a good crispy crunch to the outside. Last night I cooked steaks and okra on the grill and it might have been the best okra I've ever had. Some other veggies I've cooked and had success with have been green beans, asparagus, zucchini, squash, and bell peppers. Usually I just hit with a little olive oil and some Sea salt and coarsely ground pepper. I feel like the Akorn has been holding up pretty well. I'm curious how long it's going to last though. I clean it regularly and put a cover over it and keep stored under under my roof overhang. The gasket seems to be in good shape. The only leaks I see are when I am using my thermometer to keep an eye on the grill/food temp. Some smoke leaks out where the wires run through the lid but it doesn't seem like enough to really mess up the cook. How have other people's Akorn's held up? Do they wear out and rust after a couple of years? Anything I should be doing differently to better maintain it? I'm loving how efficient this smoker is. I love that I can load it up with some lump and then not have to worry about adding anything to it during an 8 to 10 hour cook. It does take a little bit to get used to but I feel like the learning curve isn't that steep. I'm getting to the point where I think I'm comfortable enough with temperature management to try a brisket without fear of ruining it. Anyways, I think that's all of my thoughts I've collected so far. I'll post any more to this thread if I think of them throughout today. I'll also try and add some pics from my cooks. I just put on a boneless pork butt this morning that I'm going to cook it till 175 or 180 degrees and then slice it instead of pulling it. Hopefully it turns out delicious.
  25. Hi all! I am a Brit living over here in the states for 3 years and have just picked up an Akorn on offer at Target - $230 for the new model! I was about to go all in on a BGE when the conscience got the better of me; looking at my 8 month pregnant wife and 3 year old son - so glad I read the forums here and did a bit of shopping around to find the deal on the Akorn. I already have the smokin' stone and have tried a couple of cooks. Still on the learning curve but getting so much great info from this site and a couple of books I bought. Am very interested to build my own remote thermometer and maybe even an auto PID controller in the future - once i learn how to master the charcoal use and temperature control manually that is! Just want to say thank you for all the great posts on this site -it has made the conversion to Kamado cooking a very enjoyable one. SandyB
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