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treeguy

Pit Boss vs Akorn?

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I've had an Akorn for the last 4 years. It's about done though. The rust is rendered it almost useless. I'm considering the new Pit Boss at Costco. Anyone owned both and care to make a comparison? I would assume the Pit Boss is a step up, but also at an increased price. I've tried to browse the threads here, but you can read yourself in circles with too much information.

The Akorn obviously has a short life expectancy, any thoughts as to how long the Pit Boss can be expected to survive? ( stand, legs, hinges)

Any thoughts are welcome.

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I have had good experience with the grill and company.  They stand behind the product when there are issues.  Stand is very beefy, no issues whatsoever. I've also not had an issue with the hinge as well.  I did get a cracked firebowl in which they sent a replacement, and the bottom bowl developed a crack which I exchanged for a new one.   It also cooks very well, with minimal issues.  

 

The main downside is the odd size, so it is hard to find parts and accessories for it compared to BGE or KJ, but a lot of us have done the braindamage and there is a lot of resources here to tap into for accessories that do fit.

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Since this is my first Kamado grill,so I can't really compare the akorn to my PB24.   I really (so far) like what it does and the ease of controlling the temperature.   I haven't had any major problems so far, but my fire box did crack near the bottom.   No big issue though.  Hinge seems to work ok, but if something goes South with this thing, I will probably step up to the Big Joe because of what Benm3 said, odd size and someday I might like a rotisserie attachment.   Maybe.

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I have spent a boatload on kamados over the last couple years trying to find a cheaper option than the thing I knew I really wanted (big joe and joe Jr.)

 

Ive bought an Akorn, used grill domes, bge on sale (plus a bunch of accessories) and now finally got my big joe and joe Jr. I got good deals on all of them but still spent far more than I would have if I just started out where I ended up. 

 

3 biggest factors I would consider

 

1. Is it a quality unit that is going to last and be worth the investment. This includes the quality of the warranty and the strength of the company standing behind it

 

2. How much does it cost with all the stuff you need/want to accessorize it. I spent $650 on my Large BGE, but over $1200 by the time I had all the stuff to go with it, including a bunch of CGS gear to expand the cooking surface. I could have just bought a big joe or XL and not needed to spend that $250. 

 

3. Are there aftermarket accessories that will fit that cooker or are you stuck with the factory configuration 

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I went straight from a gasser to the Pit Boss think it's pretty good. The entire package has held up really well with the exception of some rust on the hardware attaching the casters to the legs (which were missing from the original packaging). I've had some problems like fire only burning to one side and fluctuating temps, but since it's my first kamado I always wonder if the issue is me or the unit (very likely my fault).

 

If I had to do it again, I'd go straight for a big or classic joe... if I could have convinced my wife back then lol.

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I am coming up on a year with mine. The old Fire bowl was partially slit and prone to cracking g the rest of the way (but still 100% functional) but the new ones are fully split and should not have the same cracking issues. Everything else seems very solid and durable. Keep it covered and it will not rust out like a steel grill where the metal is exposed to extreme heat. The size is very comparable to the Akorn. Just under 21" for the lower grid and 20" for the second grid. Ignore the 24" BS.  

 

The size is odd from a BGE/KJ perspective, but not that odd. CGS has a spider and stones for it (many stone deflector options from various vendors).  There is a Kick Ash basket that fits.  There are raised grates that fit etc. and any accessories that don't require the exact diameter will work on it including all the major controllers and things of that nature. 

 

Is the 2017 Big Joe a better grill?  Yes. Do I wish I spent 3x the price so I could have the improvements?  Not a chance. The PB will cook as well as any other ceramic Kamado.  Functionally it's dual layer is not as slick as divide and conquer and it doesn't have a single finger stop anywhere hinge, but those are luxuries.  If spending $500-$1000 more is no big deal for you, look at the KJ, Primo, or BGE lines. If you only want to (or can) spend so much on a grill, I think the PB is a great buy at its price point. Same factory as Vision and Grilla and others so look around for deals on those as well. 

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No regrets after upgrading about 2 months ago from the Akorn to the PB K24.... PB is fired up right now for some pizzas.B) I love the PB and feel like it provides a ton of bang for the buck.

 

With that being said the Akorn is great ... in fact I just ordered a Akorn Jr. to add to the arsenal. B)

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I don't actually know the pricing of PB kamados, so this is just my .02, but having owned a BGE and now a KJ, KJ at roadshow prices is a tough value to beat. Terrific quality, excellent setup out of the box with the divide and conquer, and a great company/warranty/customer service 

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16 hours ago, afingerhut said:

I don't actually know the pricing of PB kamados, so this is just my .02, but having owned a BGE and now a KJ, KJ at roadshow prices is a tough value to beat. Terrific quality, excellent setup out of the box with the divide and conquer, and a great company/warranty/customer service 

 

The Pit Boss K24 at Costco B&M are $599 with a cover and diffuser. IMO it's hard to really touch that price. The PB K24 is based on exterior measurements so, it's kind of in between size and there isn't a direct size comparison in the KJ line of kamados... IIRC the PB K24 grate measurements are 21.5" on the lower and 19.5" on the top.

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Thanks for the info so far. I'd say 75%-80% of the time I'm grilling on the Akorn, and smoking the rest of the time. That said, does the Pit Boss do as well as a quick grill as it does for smoking?  I can have my Akorn fired up and ready to grill within 20-25 minutes most times. Is the Pit Boss similar, or take longer to come up to grilling temps?

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Very similar. 15-25 minutes depending on how you light and how hot you want to get. 

 

If you have a turkey fryer propane burner and a chimney, you can do it even quicker. Blast a chimney of charcoal on the burner until most of the charcoal is lit, pour that on the bottom of the Kamado and add more charcoal on top. Within a few minutes with the vents wide open it will be going strong. 

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