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Hi All,

 

Just thought I'd post my first real experiences on the Akorn, and in charcoal cooking in general.

Saturday night I cooked up a simple pizza, which came out a treat.  I already had a go to dough recipie but decided to go with the sticky on this forum and use a basic 70% hydration dough.  It was a great recipie.

 

Next time I might take it out a smidge earlier, the base was very crispy which was good, but it would have perfect if it was just a tiny bit less so.

 

Sunday I slow roasted a small brisket for my wife and I. I had a number of issues with temp control and have learnt to pay closer attention.

 

The temp got to high and then I ended up killing it accidentally. Re lit the coal and I had to duck out to the shops and the same thing happened.

 

Despite 4 major stuff up, it turned out bloody beautiful.  Basically did a dry run and then put it in a covered tray with some beef stock.

 

It still pulled pretty easily, and when mixed in the the leftover drippings and stock, was awesome for dinner in a roll with some coleslaw.

 

All in all it was a good weekend with a few lessons but still some awesome food.

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10 hours ago, AussiePhil said:

... I had a number of issues with temp control and have learnt to pay closer attention.

 

The temp got to high and then I ended up killing it accidentally. ....

Haven't we all?

 

Last last night, I tried something that seemed stupid - I shut the bottom vent completely. To my surprise, the lower vent on my Akorn leaks enough when shut that the fire still grew... as long as the top vent was wide open. Closing the top vent down to 20-30% resulted in nice control around 230F for the first ~8 hours, until the fuel ran out. Granted, it requires fine adjustments, but this Akorn is set up for it. Half a division - 5% - makes a difference in long-term drift. 

 

The other thing is starting a small fire inside a firebox-load of charcoal. Arrange the fuel so you can light a small area that will eventually spread to the rest, then restrict air flow drastically before the fire spreads. The "volcano" method is popular; I use a "log" fire lay, lighting the end opposite the vent, so the fire is drawn down the "log" toward the air. 

 

Note that I've checked out this Akorn and it seals as well as the design permits when the ash pan is properly seated. Closing both vents kills the fire; I love the way used coal lights!

 

Have fun,

Frank

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I put the pizza in at just over 300C degrees. Which is around 500F.

 

I had the heat deflector in and a pizza stone on the grill since start up.  It took about maybe 8 mins, which could have been minute too long.

 

 

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7 hours ago, AussiePhil said:

I put the pizza in at just over 300C degrees. Which is around 500F.

 

I had the heat deflector in and a pizza stone on the grill since start up.  It took about maybe 8 mins, which could have been minute too long.

 

 

Don't count on your thermometer being accurate.  They are not known for their accuracy.  They tend to read low.  

The metal Kamdos are harder to hold temps back than ceramic.

 

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On 10/16/2017 at 10:51 AM, K'man said:

Don't count on your thermometer being accurate.  They are not known for their accuracy.  They tend to read low.  ...

Perhaps ... My Akorn's dome is dead nuts. I checked in boiling water. Bought in July.

 

There's a tendency to put two thermometers in different places in the grill and call the one you don't like "inaccurate" when they read different temperatures. In most cases, the thermometers are good and the temperatures are different. Since mine are good, I now know something about temperature variation under the lid. 

 

The assumption that temperatures are always uniform inside your Kamado is false. Thermometer comparisons making that assumption cannot be trusted.  

 

Have fun,

Frank

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3 hours ago, fbov said:

Perhaps ... My Akorn's dome is dead nuts. I checked in boiling water. Bought in July.

 

There's a tendency to put two thermometers in different places in the grill and call the one you don't like "inaccurate"  

 

Have fun,

Frank

I lowered my maverick probe through the top vent making certain it was at the same height as the dome thermometer.  I took a series of recordings and tests, sent them to Char-Griller and they replaced my thermometer.  Neither of my Akorn therms are accurate but knowing where they are is helpful to stay in the range you want to be in.

 

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Thanks guys. Might check and calibrate the thermometer this weekend. Not too fussed interns of pizzas, but I'll be doing another slow cook again this weekend so might go off the grill temp using a digital thermometer. 

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On 10/17/2017 at 7:47 PM, K'man said:

... sent them to Char-Griller and they replaced my thermometer.  Neither of my Akorn therms are accurate ...

Was the replacement also inaccurate? I must have lucked out!

59ed0cd57612a_IMG_20170921_temptest212sm.thumb.jpg.e1bdbeaf84c0aaa41454ce2c0ace886c.jpg

 

FWIW, I generally find temps vary in this order: dome < grate < vent.

Putting a probe at dome thermometer level results in a much higher reading on the probe in my Akorn.

Putting both probes in a pot of gently boiling water results in equal readings. 

 

I guess YMMV. 

Frank

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21 hours ago, fbov said:

Was the replacement also inaccurate? I must have lucked out!

59ed0cd57612a_IMG_20170921_temptest212sm.thumb.jpg.e1bdbeaf84c0aaa41454ce2c0ace886c.jpg

 

FWIW, I generally find temps vary in this order: dome < grate < vent.

Putting a probe at dome thermometer level results in a much higher reading on the probe in my Akorn.

Putting both probes in a pot of gently boiling water results in equal readings. 

 

I guess YMMV. 

Frank

Your results were pretty much the same as mine.  The dome thermometer was more accurate at lower temps (boiling water test)than it was at higher temps although mine was not as close as yours for the water test and 80˚F lower at 400˚F.  What were your results at higher temps?

The new one is still out but it's only about 30˚F at 400˚F.     

 

With my Keg on the other hand, the B/K thermometer remained fairly accurate throughout the range of temps.  

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