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Sputnik

Hello from east Tennessee

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Good morning, I'm about ready to buy a kamado cooker. I grilled our Mothers day burgers on the Weber using lump charcoal. I was impressed with the flavor. It was very close to cooking over wood. I have looked at the big green egg and hesitate to invest that much cash in a new adventure. At this moment I'm thinking the Akorn might be the best starter unit. Any advise or input on this or other aspects of Kamado cooking will be accepted with gratitude.

                                                                                                   Thanks. Sputnik

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Welcome, glad to have you with us. Kamado cooking and  the flavor enhancement of hardwood lump charcoal is a beautiful thing and  that's why we all come to this forum to have various discussions about it. The Akorn is an amazingly capable cooker, and I have seen some truly fantastic cooks come off them. Ceramics kamados are  ancient traditional  outdoor ovens and  have a mystique and  many benefits all their own, however they are expensive. Lot of folks go with the economic alternative Akorn to explore what kamado cooking is, before they plunk down a big wad of cash. Only you know what you can and want to spend on a barbecue. You came to the right place to explore kamado cooking, as well as your options. 

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Welcome!

 

I started out on an Akorn that we bought at Lowe's. I loved it! I wanted a Big Green Egg but it was way too expensive for us at the time so my Wife says,"let's get this one". I cooked on it A LOT in the first few months and pretty regularly thereafter but it left some things to be desired, at least for me anyway. 

  1. It lacks a true multi-level cooking solution out of the box; sure you can rig something up but that's not how I roll.
  2. It doesn't hold up well to weather exposure.
  3. It was not big enough for me to cook for large parties/events like I often do.
  4. Some worked out of the box, some needed modification to work well. I think this has been addressed with the more recent models and the warranty has been extended to 5 years, mine was only covered for 1.

When my Akorn finally gave up the ghost, I got a Kamado Joe Big Joe and have not once regretted the purchase. I got the capacity, which I now need even more thanks to the success of my food business, and it has a LIFETIME warranty backed by a reputable company. I didn't want to pony up all that cash to get into the ceramic game but Conn's in Knoxville had a great offer, 0% APR for 36 months on the purchase with free delivery! I just intended to stop in and see what they had, didn't think I'd be walking out a new KJ owner but it was that simple! Kamado Joe offers a high quality product with EVERYTHING you need to do all the things a kamado does; no need to buy accessories so you can smoke, bake, and grill because it's all there from the start. Plus they have great new add-ons like the Joetisserie, the various cast iron pieces, and all that. Nothing wrong with the other brands, it just costs a lot more down the road to get the comparable setup. 

 

You really can't go wrong with either choice as the kamado is going to be so much more flexible than any other cooker you can buy, it does a lot of things pretty well. The factors you should weigh are cost, warranty, service life, and size then go from there. I don't think anyone has regretted buying the better/bigger cooker, it's just a matter of what you're comfortable spending. Go look at the ceramics and the steel kamados, really check them out and see what you like. Heck, I'd even go as far as calling a local dealer to see if they have a demo unit you can see working, it's not an unreasonable request when spending that much coin. Best of luck! 

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12 hours ago, UTVol said:

Welcome aboard and GO VOLS!

Yes we do the "GO VOLS". I'm 25 miles east of Knoxville there is always draft beer and grilling on football days. Next time you are in the motherland you have a game day invitation. Orange attire required.

 And thank everyone for the replies. That is what I must decide on, A grill with lesser ability for less cash. Or drop the cash for a grill with greater ability and develop my skills. The trusty Weber has been with me about 15 years, 6 years ago I bought an all stainless and cast iron gas grill.

 Last falls hog and Moomar Cowdafi are in the deep freeze saying "eat me, eat me". It is very cold and dark in there, they want out.

                                                                                               Thanks again. Sputnik

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28 minutes ago, Sputnik said:

Yes we do the "GO VOLS". I'm 25 miles east of Knoxville there is always draft beer and grilling on football days. Next time you are in the motherland you have a game day invitation. Orange attire required.

 And thank everyone for the replies. That is what I must decide on, A grill with lesser ability for less cash. Or drop the cash for a grill with greater ability and develop my skills. The trusty Weber has been with me about 15 years, 6 years ago I bought an all stainless and cast iron gas grill.

 Last falls hog and Moomar Cowdafi are in the deep freeze saying "eat me, eat me". It is very cold and dark in there, they want out.

                                                                                               Thanks again. Sputnik

 

I'm going to take you up on that offer and I will be decked out in Orange.

 

My $0.02 on the grill dilemna you're in is this.  If you can afford the ceramic, go with that, if you can't go for the acorn.  If you go with the acorn, you will most likely convert to a ceramic at some point in the future.  Its almost unheard of where someone gets the ceramic and says they shouldn't have and returned it to then buy an acorn.  Acorns are great for entry level Kamado cookers and the food it produces will be similar to ceramic however the longevity and management gets easier with the ceramic (no leaks, no rust, etc.)

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I read the thread about the rusted out akorn. I understand the concept, I got tired of buying a gas grill every 3 years and bought one that would last. I'm going to look at some grills today. I've put a lot of overtime in at the hydroelectric plant this spring, we have had some rain...

                                                                                      Thanks again. Sputnik

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This is a great deal on an akorn that was posted in sales bargains and giveaways.

 

Also somebody posted that KJ classics (last year model) are going for 700 at some Ace hdwr stores. Both great deals.

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Sams has the Vision grill for a option between the Akorn and the BGE. I have one at the lake and one at home and love them. Found a deal on the second one so I have 2 for less than the cost of one BGE.


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