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Just bought the Akorn last week, and I need some pointers

- I have never cooked with charcoal before

- Lowes put it together for me

I did my seasoning cook, and the dome temp never got past 300. I thought I did not use enough charcoal. A day later I cooked some pork chops, and the dome temp never got past 375 with the bottom vent and top vent wide open.

So my question is why is the grill not getting as it should with the vents open ?

Also, I am using stubbs lump charcoal..

Thanks for any advice..

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Welcome, 65phinpack.  Are you lighting enough charcoal at the beginning?  Are you allowing the charcoal to get a good start by leaving the lid open for 7-8 minutes before closing the lid ?  I'm sure others will have more suggestions.  We're glad you found us.

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It could be one more more of the following three:

 

1. Not enough charcoal. Do not be bashful when loading the firebox up with lump. Pour it in. Do not try to calculate in your head how much charcoal you need. Grilling on a kamado is a different process. Just dump a LOT of charcoal in, the kamado will burn only as much as is needed to maintain the temp you want. You can reuse whatever lump charcoal is left over.

 

2. Too many small pieces of charcoal were blocking airflow. I always make a little space somewhere in my pile of lump charcoal to where I can see the charcoal grate. This ensures good airflow to the charcoal.

 

3. You had bad charcoal. This happens sometimes. I've never used Stubbs, so I can't comment on its quality. However, I can comment on Royal Oak. I've never had a bad bag of RO.

 

Since you're a newbie to all this, I cordially invite you to peruse my newbie's purchasing guide. I think it will be of benefit to you: http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/6517-a-purchasing-guide-for-the-kamado-grilling-newbie/

 

And please, NEVER, EVER open the Akorn's vents all the way and walk away. It will go nuclear and quite possibly turn your grill to molten slag. This is not a ceramic grill where you can open the vents all the way and everything's fine.

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One more thing...my wife questioned this purchase...so need I need to produce some results!

Thanks again

Chicken is an easy thing to start with, isn't temperature sensitive within reason and doesn't take very long to cook. 

 

On the temperature thing, did you have a thermometer probe to measure the kamado or did you use the dial in the lid? They can be somewhat inaccurate.

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One more thing...my wife questioned this purchase...so need I need to produce some results!

Thanks again

 

Ske1eter is right. Chicken is a great way to prove the grill's worth. Just do a spatchcock chicken, it'll work wonders.

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Thanks for the responses!

My thought is that I am not using enough charcoal.

So is there multiple start up procedures depending on what you are going to cook?

I used lighting blocks so far..

 

In a way, yes. If I am doing low and slow (anything less than 400F), I don't light a whole bunch of charcoal in my chimney starter. For those low & slow cooks, the lighting blocks are probably your best bet. Higher temp cooks (400F+), I tend to light maybe half of a chimney starter then dump it in the firebox.

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