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New to kamados so so I bought the Akorn to try them out. So far, I love kamados, if not my Akorn. the build quality is not so great, but I expected that, to some degree.

I have used it a few times for general grilling, but today, I am smoking my first Boston Butt. I bought the smoking stone (good deal from hayneedle.com) and a Kamado Joe water pan.

Kingsford Competition Briquets in a ring, water pan on the smoking stone, hickory chips (should have gotten chunks) soaked in water in an aluminum foil pouch on the main grill surface, butt rubbed and on elevated extender. Temps fluctuating a bit, and I'm shooting for a target temp of about 280. So far, so good.

Feel free to tell me I'm doing something wrong! I'm a noob when it comes to smoking meat. I discovered the wonder of crockpot BBQ this past winter (down to making my own sauce), and decided I needed to go down the road of making the real deal.

I will invest in a better build on a kamado once the Akorn rusts out.

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Welcome to Kamdo Guru and welcome to The Obsession!

May I suggest that briquettes are going to,product too much ash. Try using a quality lump charcoal in your Akron for optimal results.

I might also suggest that you loose the water pan. You don't need it in a kamado. Kamados are a relatively closed system that by themselves produce wonderfully moist cooks.

Finally, just dump the charcoal into the Akorn's fire bowl. Charcoal in a ring is completely unnecessary because kamados are so efficient at maintaining cooking temps and efficiently buring lump.

All three of those techniques you're using are great for drafty cookers like kettles, but they are entirely unnecessary to kamado cooking. You're working too hard! ;)

Here's to a great first low-n-slow butt cook!

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Thanks for the welcome, all, as well as the tips, CeramicChef!

Stuff I've figured out on my own:

-Grill surface never gets hot enough to get the wood chips smoking right.

-Water pan will become a drip pan, and I may reinject some of those drippings, possibly, provided they don't get scorched.

-Lump is king, and rings aren't necessary. Definitely producing some quantity of ash. The ring caused some dips in temp as the burn spread around. It did help keep from gaining too much temp, but I will learn to manage temps better over time.

Otherwise, a success for a first attempt. Learning how to balance airflow is definitely a combo science/art task.

I actually smoked two butts of different sizes and pulled the first off early because it was done, maybe slightly overdone. The second butt was ready about an hour later. The bark was just as I was hoping, not too crunchy, but not too soft. The meat was a bit dry, so reinjecting drippings or maybe some apple juice or cider vinegar would help. I think that was mostly due to some temp spikes.

All in all, I'm already obsessed. :-)

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Welcome to the guru, lots of great people and info to be found here. I'll second CC's recommendations. But will add chucks are mixed in directly with your lump to obtain smoke, soaking wood just produces steam. Copper T's to space the drip pan off the stone to help keep the drippings from scorching.

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