So my daughter is getting married tomorrow. A smaller wedding (98 guests) taking place at his family farm. The groom and his brother own a distillery business on the farm and the wedding will be held outside between the home and the business. The meal will be catered and the boys wil have the wood fired oven going for late night pizzas. Think they can do four or five at a shot. At the last minute she has asked me to provide a 60-70ish pulled pork sliders. So I snuck out of work early today, managed to find five nice pork shoulder “partial bone-in roasts” totalling about 10kg (22 lbs), raced home, rubbed them up, injected with apple juice and loaded up the Akorn. Going to finish them tonight, pulled and pack the meat and get into bed. Tomorrow I need to pick up the slider buns that I ordered, slice the tomatoes and onions, prepare some sauce and away we go! Meat will be rehated in the pizza oven prior to serving.
i had done three 8 pound butts before and they were actually a better fit than these five smaller roasts. More photos to follow. Wish me luck!
I recently added a BBQ Guru PartyQ fan to my Akorn to get my temperature issues under control. I've made bone-in, skin-on Chicken Thighs twice now but they taste way too smoky and bitter. I'm using lump charcoal, put a weber fire starter near the top of the heap and let it flame for a bit, then shut the lid, crack the top vent and set the PartyQ for 350. Once at temp, the thighs go on for about an hour.
Am I lighting it correctly, should I use a different temp?. I'm all for a bit of smoke taste but these have way too much
I've had my Akorn for almost three years now, and thought I'd give quick review as to how it's holding up.
First some details. I picked up this Akorn for $250 at Walmart in March of '15. (It still had a clearance price tag on it from the previous fall/winter.) In the last three years I have lit the grill 227 times. If I had to describe an average cook, it would be at about 400F for around 1 hour. During the first year I kept close track of charcoal consumption, and I was averaging 20-23 burns per bag of Royal Oak lump. That is efficient!
I live in Massachusetts and keep my Akorn stored on a covered porch. I don't have a cover for the Akorn, but it rarely gets wet where it is located. I store it with all vents closed and keep whatever charcoal is left from the last burn sitting in the fire bowl. The ash bin only gets emptied out after each complete bag of lump is burned.
Durability: It seems like every review of the Akorn questions its durability. Here are some pics showing what mine looks like after two years and almost 230 burns:
The only damage I've had to worry about was caused by me. Lesson learned: never tilt the Akorn to remove winter slush from the bottom tray because it just might get away from you and slam into the deck! The result was two riv-nuts for the hinge pulled out from the body. Luckily it was an easy fix with a cheap tool from Harbor Freight. (I posted a step by step a while back for others who may need to replace the riv-nuts.)
The enamel in the ash pan is still shining after holding the remnants of 10-12 bags of lump! There is just a hint of surface rust showing where the inner and outer shells are riveted together.
The fire bowl has most of its original enamel intact. There is a little rippling toward the bottom where the fire burns hottest, and light rust is visible where the standoffs are welded to the bowl.
This is the interior of the Akorn with the fire bowl removed and ash pan installed. That lighter colored ring is where Akorns tend to rust out. So far no rust to be concerned about.
The fire grate has been warped sine I gave the Akorn its first really thorough cleaning two years ago. It hasn't changed much since then, so I don't plan to replace it.
Water really is the enemy of this grill! Mine is holding up great with no rusted parts or areas of concern. I have two friends, however, who both have Akorns purchased about the same time as mine who are not so lucky. In both cases, the grills spend much of their time exposed to the weather. Even though covers are used, both are showing rust at the connection between ash pan and body of the Akorn.