So I have myself an Akorn for about 4 years. Through a couple moves while building a new house, it was pretty neglected... sat outside, uncovered through winter, rain, etc. Needless to say due to the metal build, it rusted something bad. I ended up getting rid of it and decided I'd see what the Weber Kettle hype was all about. I picked myself up Kettle Master Touch.......... wow...
I freaking hated it. Was horrible to keep temps. Took forever to get up to temp. Was terrible to use with lump (as it fell through the grates)... just a bad overall experience. Cooked on it about 4 times then sold it. Now... I live in a VERY windy area. Like 10-15 mph winds almost constantly.... so I'm sure that played a part... but it was no enjoyable.
I decided to pick myself up a new Kamado Joe Classic from Lowes for $650..... I'm in love.
Ive had a few pizza sessions on my kj classic 2. Although the last time i warped the steel firebox ring so not sure that should count as successful! I thought it aould be good to ask a kj specific question.
My set up is deflectors on the grill in top position. Spacers on top of that with pizza stone then on top.
So my question/s is when doing high heat cooks:
1. How long do u let the kj heat sink for? I have just opened the vents and let it ride. When up to 650/700 put pizzas on.
2. Where do people set their vents? How open is the bottom and top? As above i nlrmally just open them up and stick the pizza on at above the 650/700 mark.
3. How long should this sort of temp last or is safe for the kj? If i had a pizza party how long could this keep up for eg.
I joined this forum last year not long after getting my Char Griller Akorn used. I love that little steel beauty, but I've had ceramic fever and been seeing them all over the place the past year. Costco was about to have me parting with $600 for the Louisiana Grills 24" Kamado (just another rebranded Auplex like Vision), but my dad who works for a hardware store told me the owner wanted to sell off the stores XL Egg since they didn't really use it. I got what I think is a great deal on this beauty, paid less for this than you would for a stripped out XL with no accessories and definitely less than a Costco roadshow Big Joe. Came with the table, ConvEggtor, ash tool, and grate gripper. They couldn't locate the ceramic cap when we brought it home, but I'm sure it'll turn up. It's under an awning anyway and I'll be getting a cover to further protect it.
To be fair to the Akorn it is a fantastic cooker! Just since the apocalypse started, I've done at least one decent cook a week on it. I've done ribs at least 3 times, pork butt, brisket, a turkey, soda can chickens, wings, steaks, and various veggies for sides. I absolutely do not regret the Akorn purchase. If you're unsure if kamado bbqing is right for you the Akorn is a fantastic place to start, it's relatively cheap and a good design. I've been eyeballing the extra space the Big Joe and the XL Egg offer and ultimately couldn't resist. Just judging by my short not even 1 year of ownership I doubt my Egg will cook any better than the Akorn. This was purely a decision based on the total cooking surface and potential cooking surface with mods. I've done 3 racks of ribs on my Akorn before, but it gets tight and those were baby backs no easy way to get that many spare rib racks on there. 2 upright soda can (beer can) chickens really pushes the limit with my probes contacting the dome.
TLDR; just wanted to brag on my Eggscellent deal and write a love letter to my Akorn. I'm hoping this will be the last grill I ever have to buy, not saying I won't want to buy more, but this should be with me a long long time. I wish I could keep the Akorn, but I have 3 grills now and between the 22" Weber Kettle and the Akorn, I can probably get more for the used Akorn. If you're in the market for a well used Akorn, but still in fine cooking shape and you're in the Jacksonville, FL area, hit me up.
Saturday pizza has become a regular thing at our house, per my son’s request. I had a good thing going with the KJ Classic and a 15” stone setup, down to a science. But a few weeks ago decided to change it up and try pizzas on the Akorn Jr, half to use less charcoal on the high temp and half cause I had a steel I’d never used. And half just for the challenge....okay that’s three halves. But I digress....first couple weeks went okay, a little learning curve with the AkJ getting to temp MUCH faster and the possibility of overshooting temp, coupled with the steel getting and retaining heat much easier than the stone.
Last weekend I burnt the crap out of the bottom of three of four pies (finally got it to cool down a bit by the last one...should have given more time after I charred the first). Having to wait a week for redemption is killing me, but I ordered the canning rack I’ve seen many use on here for the Junior setup, so fingers crossed tonight goes better. And I’ll definitely be watching my temps and shooting the steel with an IR thermometer. I’m hoping more separation of the steel and deflector in addition to getting the stew up higher in the dome makes the difference.