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Uneven burn in Akorn


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Hey there, 

 

I just picked up an Akorn Kamado and did my seasoning burn today.  I arranged the lump charcoal and wood in a volcano type arrangement and lit with a weber lighter cube.  Something I noticed after a few hours, is the pattern of burn, it spread from the center towards the back right of the chamber. It eventually burned out with 3/4 of the charcoal not being used.  I lit the fire again more towards the bottom left of the chamber and after awhile it once again spread in a back right pattern. 

 

I leveled the grill out as the deck is a little angled, but I suppose the grill being at alight angle wouldn't cause this anyways.  I have some nomex gasket type material that I will use to seal the ash tray and lid later on.  And I will be sealing up the intake slide as there is obvious smoke leakage from the area when I close the top vent completely. 

 

Any insight to the issue would be great, thanks! 

 

Zach

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That is just the way it burns. The fire picks a direction and moves that way. You didn't do anything wrong.Not sure why it would burn out for you though. Did you fill up the fire bowl? I just about always top mine off up to the tabs for every cook.

Adding nomex won't change that. If your coals snuff out in a reasonable amount of time the then your are good to go. The rest of controlling your temps is up to how much coal you light and your vent settings

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No it certainly wasn't full.  Maybe a 1/4 way full just for the seasoning burn.  Temps were ok, I was able to keep it at about 240 without the PID, with the Auber PID temps would not get below 255, just convinced the air intake is leaking quite a bit around the edges so at the very least I need to seal that up. Thanks for the info, glad that the uneven burn is not an issue  

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To properly season the CI grate you need about 400* for an hour or better. I would fill it and do it again at a higher temp

Over time you will notice strange burn patterns from time to time. I never worried about it. If your burn pattern is consistent you can just light it in the proper starting spot.

As for burn times - I've had my akorn go for 24+ hours at 250* on a full firebox.

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No it certainly wasn't full.  Maybe a 1/4 way full just for the seasoning burn.  Temps were ok, I was able to keep it at about 240 without the PID, with the Auber PID temps would not get below 255, just convinced the air intake is leaking quite a bit around the edges so at the very least I need to seal that up. Thanks for the info, glad that the uneven burn is not an issue  

 

You can always fill up the firebox for each and every cook on the Akorn. I do and I suspect most other KG members do as well. There's no reason not to. The Akorn will burn what it needs to burn to maintain the temp you want. You can reuse whatever is leftover for your next cook. Fill er' up!

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Zach - I wouldn't get your knickers in too big a twist over this.  You've discovering that fire goes where it will. Whether you have an Akorn or a KK, predicting how lump will burn is problematic, at best.  And that is a problem when it comes to distributing your smoking wood.  About the only thing you know is that lump burn patterns are going to follow the air flow path of least resistance.  And on an a priori basis, you simply don't know which way lump will burn, especially on a new cooker.

 

My advice right now would be to do several cooks and note how your lump burns.  If after something like 30 cooks you have a really identifiable pattern, well, at that point in time you can decided to do a mod that may or may not fix the "problem" or you can use it to your advantage, leave it alone, and then you know how to place your smoking chunks!

 

Congrats on the new Akorn!  Welcome to the addiction!   :congrats:

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On my Akorn it goes from back to front (assuming I lit it in the back). My Akorn Jr always goes left to right especially if I am doing a really high heat sear.

No issues. I always lite the akorn in the back and lite the akorn Jr on the left.

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Thanks for all the info guys! I do have the Akorn diffuser and I did get the grill over 400 for a few hours.  I just filled her to the brim and started her up for the maiden voyage.  I might be starting a little too ambitious but hope it goes well, putting in a 9lb pork shoulder.  I've got her coming up nice and slow in temp and so far it seems like a very controlled evolution.  Hope it stays this easy all night

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In my haste and due to my lack of knowledge, at first I didn't realize that this still had skin on the pork shoulder.  Apparently picnic shoulder does not equal standard boston butt.  Dumb me, so I am smoking this picnic shoulder with the skin still on which apparently isn't a bad thing.  I'll separate the skin after it is done and go from there.  Grill did a pretty good job of holding temp all night. Woke up at 4 and the acorn was at 235 and when I woke up it was in the high 240's.  Did some tending and back down to 230.  Pork is at 181, so getting there slowly but surely 

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