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Ogopogo

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Finally registered; got a lot of good advice from here before and since purchasing my Akorn. In the past I've used stick burners, vertical water smokers, improvised smokers made out of flowerpots (worked well but burned out the heating element after 1 butt), and a truly sad gasser that nevertheless worked well for pork smoking, not so much for brisket. I was considering a pellet pooper until my uncle, who's been using an Egg since forever, pointed out that when you ask Kamado users how their cookers are they'll write you love sonnets for hours about them, and the best you get from pellet owners is, "yeah. it works I guess." I've had it for 3 days, done 3 cooks on it, and am trying to learn how to finely control the thing before I commit a brisket or shoulder clod. So far I really like it, even knowing it's got a pretty limited life cycle, and it's definitely preferable to not having a Kamado at all.

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The Akorn is a very, very worthy kamado and definitely has it's place as far as price point, portability and no humpty dumpty moment fears.  I have an Akorn Jr., which convinced a buddy to get an Akorn Jr.... and then a full size Akorn.  Pretty sure he never would have gone ceramic, so without good 'ol Akorn he wouldn't be part of the kamado club... which would just be sad.    No need, in my mind, for any Akorn owners to lament not having a ceramic.  Many might desire a ceramic after their original Akorn goes to pasture, but just as many or more are going to just go out and buy another Akorn.  You'll know what camp you're in after awhile.  And each individual's choice in that matter is the right one for them and that's all that matters.  :)

 

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Welcome aboard Ogopogo. I am sure you will learn to love your Akorn. I have had mine for just over a year and probably already cooked more on it than my 10yo gasser! With a quick wipe down mine still looks brand new, and I definitely don't make any real effort to keep it that way. Will I replace or augment it with a ceramic, definitely but only because I like new toys.

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I think what I'm learning about the Akorn in general is that it doesn't drive like a ceramic, since a ceramic is a giant heat sink and Akorns seem to rely more on reflection. Been having a hell of a time trying to find a balance between 225-240 holding temps and just snuffing the thing out; it's REALLY sensitive to little things like breezes stoking the lower vent. It's ridiculously efficient, almost too efficient; again, fine line between low holding temps and sooty incomplete combustion. But in 4 days I've turned out 4 respectable meals so I'm definitely liking it.

 

I talk with my uncle regularly and he bought an Akorn for one of his sons. He commented about the differences; he prefers his Egg, but there are some features in the Akorn's design he really likes.

 

As far as durability I've been pretty religious about the ashpan and putting a cover on, so I hope that helps. I'm sure I could be lazier with a ceramic, which is a big selling point for me, but wasn't worth the price jump just yet.

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I found, for me at least, the biggest variable with controlling temps has been the lump that I use. I have now settled on Ironbark for most of my cooks, and that stuff seems to hold it's temp and burn forever... and, if you let it, it gets really hot... redgum, on the other hand, will not hold a low temp, it just goes out.

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13 minutes ago, AntinOz said:

I found, for me at least, the biggest variable with controlling temps has been the lump that I use. I have now settled on Ironbark for most of my cooks, and that stuff seems to hold it's temp and burn forever... and, if you let it, it gets really hot... redgum, on the other hand, will not hold a low temp, it just goes out.

 

It's been so long since I've done this much charcoal cooking that I don't think the differences in lump will impact me (except plywood and green-treated lumber and crap, which I haven't run into yet). I figure I'll get some different kinds once I feel competent with Royal Oak and see how they perform.

 

Just today I figured out that my bottom vent was facing a prevailing breeze which kept stoking my fire by over 50 degrees; that was never a problem on a stick burner or gas box. Something new every day it seems.

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38 minutes ago, daninpd said:

Welcome to the forum  Let us know what you've cooked, so far.  There's a whale of a difference between brisket and roast chicken.

On the Akorn just some test burns, burgers, veggies, smoked chicken, and steaks. In the past I've done packer briskets, butts, matambres (need to find another butcher who can butterfly a skirt because those are amazing), beef and pork ribs, etc. I'm trying to get a grip on Kamado fire control before big smokes and big cuts. One day I'd like to do a clod if I can find one.

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14 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

I've used stick burners.

AKA matches?

 

14 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

vertical water smokers.

AKA bongs?

 

14 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

improvised smokers made out of flowerpots.

AKA a rubbish bong you knocked up when your good one broke?

 

14 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

a truly sad gasser.

AKA someone who's regretful about their flatulence?

 

14 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

when you ask Kamado users how their cookers are they'll write you love sonnets for hours about them.

:rofl:  nicely put!!!

 

 

Welcome to the forums!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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8 hours ago, AntinOz said:

I found, for me at least, the biggest variable with controlling temps has been the lump that I use. I have now settled on Ironbark for most of my cooks, and that stuff seems to hold it's temp and burn forever... and, if you let it, it gets really hot... redgum, on the other hand, will not hold a low temp, it just goes out.

good to know ... i was trying the exxie redgum we get here and had really struggled with it in my pro q

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5 hours ago, Ogopogo said:

 

On the Akorn just some test burns, burgers, veggies, smoked chicken, and steaks. In the past I've done packer briskets, butts, matambres (need to find another butcher who can butterfly a skirt because those are amazing), beef and pork ribs, etc. I'm trying to get a grip on Kamado fire control before big smokes and big cuts. One day I'd like to do a clod if I can find one.

thank you... you just taught me something today.,. i had to look up what matambres means.  Sounds delish. Not sure if it's just because I'm Australian but thanks anyway LOL :-)

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