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    • John Setzler

      Let's Take Sides Challenge!   12/06/2017

        Enter your best side dish in this month's challenge!

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I became the proud owner of a new Akorn earlier this week and have been dying to get this thing fired up. I seasoned the grate earlier this week with some lard and then put it in the oven at 350 for an hour. I bought an 11lb. Boston butt and a few racks of pork spare ribs but they had to go into the freezer for the time being because I just didn’t have time this weekend for a long smoke.       

  I did however have time today for some burgers and Italian sausage but before that I wanted see how well I could hold lower temps. I started off with lump in the volcano formation lit by an alcohol soaked cotton ball in the middle. After grate level temp got to 160 I went to about half closed on top and 2 on bottom. At 200 I was about 1/4 open top and about .75 on bottom. After this I didn’t touch again and it settled in at 270. I was shooting for about 250 but I was pretty happy at how it responded, next time I think I’ll close the top vent a little more when my temp hits 200. It held steady between 265-270 for an hour before I shut it down just to see if indeed it would shut down which it did flawlessly. Oh and this was done on an out of the box, no mods Akorn (Who would have thunk it right?) I was worried about the sloppy lower vent but this just goes to show you it’s all designed this way to work with no mods needed. Anyway here is a few pics of my cook and I can’t wait to do a low and slow on this thing. I love this thing!!




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I added marks to the vents for repeatability.  10% points on top, 0.25 points from 0-1 on the bottom. It's documented in the Akorn mod thread. 


I also found mine (7/17) of good build quality compared with a Chargriller 2-barrel; no issues killing 650F fires when I'm done. I love the ash pan design, the removable fire box and the deflector. My thermometer is accurate; the temperature range as advertised.


One can ask no more from a steel Kamado at this price point... except you also learn what you give up. The downside of light weight and fast heating is the stability that's only found in 250 lb. of ceramic. The downside of steel, that it neither runs as hot, nor re-radiates heat like a ceramic. We'll see about rust. 


Some lessons can be expensive, but this one also tastes really good. 


HAve fun,


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On 12/7/2017 at 7:49 AM, Irish Smoker said:

Thanks...hopefully I’ll have some free time this weekend to try my first ribs. 

Good luck, took me 3 tries before I started to get good ribs lol.   Tried the first 2 attempts volcano and it didn't work for me, seemed to get crazy temp swings and took forever to smoke food.      Now I do big pieces on the bottom ,medium on top of that, small on top of that pretty much to the tabs.   Make a little hole and drop a cotton ball in.   

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