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Happy Grillmore

How long does it take to cool the Akorn down?

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Looking for some advice on how to proceed.  It finally stopped raining long enough today for me to do my initial season on my new Akorn (full size) .  Got it up to 400 around 11:30 AM and it held pretty well for the hour.  I think it may have been closer to 450 when I shut it down. No biggie I thought. 

 

When I started the grill, I used a Weber cube broken in half and lit in two different spots in a semi volcano setup.  Had the fire bowl about 80% full of lump. I spread the coals out after they got a bit white and tried to get the lit pieces more even across the grate surface during the seasoning.  I had both vents sitting around 1, maybe a little less, during burning, then shut it down after an hour. 

 

My question is, I checked the grill around 4pm, 3 hours later, and it was still sitting at 200 according to the dome temp thermometer (Thermo works smoke has not yet arrived). I did open the lid at that point to see if the coals were still lit (this may be a mistake not sure I should have done that). 

 

It's now about 5 hours after I shut it down and it's sitting at 100 on the dome temp. 

 

Is this normal?  Am I over reacting? Does it hold temp that long after shutdown, or is there possibility of leakage here? 

 

I did notice some minor leaking up around that thin silicone seal at the top, nothing around the main seal or ash pan seal during the first burn in and my parts seem to fit fairly snug.  My bottom vent does seem a little too loose for my liking, but I'm not sure I want to mess with it just yet. I could probably blow on it to open and close it. 

 

Any thought or suggestions would be appreciated! I'm not afraid to mod this thing if needed, I scored a great deal and got this new in box at Wally world for $100, so either way I'm still way ahead on this thing. 

 

 

Thanks, 

Happy

 

 

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Congrats on the Akorn!  Probaby no worries at all, the unit retains heat - it'll read 100+ on a warm day w/ no fire.  But these units are usually pretty tight, even if the bottom vent seems loose.

 

If you can keep your hand on the top vent 2 hours after shutdown without branding your palm, your Akorn is fine.  If you hear a sizzle, then it might be time to look at the mods.

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Finally around 7pm (6+ hours later) it was down reading zero degrees and was cool enough (for me) to put the cover on.  Seems extremely slow to cool down, but maybe I just need to get used to that?  

 

I'm also hoping the top vent will seal up better with more usage around the silicone seal.  I could definitely see it escaping around there.  Seemed kind of weird that it was running at 400-450 degrees with the vents set at 1, hoping I can do 250 low and slow when the time comes. 

 

It was around 85 degrees today but the grill was not in direct sunlight at all, so I dunno? I'm so new to this thing I don't really know what to expect. 

 

Does it seem normal to have to wait 6+ hours after using at 400 degrees to put the cover on? 

 

 

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Yes it takes that long.  It's a very well insulated efficient cooker.  You can try to help it cool fasterby opening the lid occasionally but that also introduces fresh supply of air and may make it worse!  Sounds like your Akorn is cutting off fine just close the vents and walk away :)

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When I shut mine down it does not get opened again till it is all the way cooled off. I can usually shut mine down from 400/450 and have it ready to put up in 3 to 4 hours. You either let some coals get fresh air or you have a small leak. Have you lit your smoker and thrown some wood on get it smoking well and then shut it off to see if it is leaking? If not do so next time you are ready to cook before putting the meat on.

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I have not yet thrown any wood on to test for leakage, just smoke from charcoal so far.  I think I might fire it up again today with smoke and play around with low Temps and check again for leakage. 

 

I see now that opening during cool down is a bad idea, I probably introduced fresh air and extended the cool down process. 

 

Thanks for the feedback! 

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Excellent responses so far. Akorn-style Kamados are a little unique, especially in their ability to heat up fast, and retain heat for a long time. I found all my gaskets sealed well, and it still took hours to fall below 200F. I started using cool down for cooking... bacon is particularly good cooked at decreasing temperature. 

 

As long as you're seeing big hunks of residual fuel after short cooks, yours is behaving like mine. 

 

Have fun,

Frank  

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Mine will take a few hours from 450 to cool down. Lately I have been cooking in the dark (well with a light on) so I can take a sneak peek and the lump is pretty much out but it still reads quite hot. I often just shut it down and put the cover on next morning. Normally I can touch the top vent comfortably after about an hour. Mine is not super airtight. You can see smoke at most of the seals when running the SmartFire but it still holds low temps fine. When cooking low and slow at 225 I have the top vent closed to the little half-moon notch on the top and the bottom vent almost closed so don't stress too much.

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That does seem like a bit longer time than normal to cool down from  450F.  As far as shutting down though, if you can put your hand comfortably on the side, I find that it is fine to put the grill cover on and you don't have to worry about anything.

 

As an aside, I thought that mine was pretty well sealed up with the stock gaskets/seals, but decided to mod it anyway because I don't like stock things.

 

Three things I've found after extensive use:

 

1.  The upper O-ring will die at some point.  Replacement O-rings die just as easily.  I'm testing out just using the nomex to seal it.  Results are still pending.

 

2.  Adding some hi temp nomex to the bottom dome to seal against the stock gasket is well worth doing and improves the seal there immensely.  I don't think that a leak there is affecting anything, but it just seals so much better for $12.

 

3.  Sealing the slider does help, but it is not a super noticeable impact.  Very small amount of improvement for the effort involved (which isn't that much effort to begin with).

 

My next step is building a DIY controller.  I think this will be the most bang for buck modification.  I can control my Akorn well, but it's fun to experiment and I need something to keep my hands/brain busy.

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My thermoworks smoke came earlier in the week and I had off today so I finally got a chance to play around with low and slow temps and checked for leaks some more.  The leak up top around the dome wheel appears to be going away the more I use it, I'm assuming from soot buildup.  I was able to hold around 250-255 for about 4 hours which I was really pleased with, and this is without any mods so far. I shut it down after the fourth hour and this time didn't open the lid and did notice it cooled down much faster, although the temps weren't that high to begin with. 

 

I did notice to maintain low Temps you really have to keep both top and bottom vents barely cracked, almost to the point where it seems you're going to snuff the fire. It's a fine line, I can see where a temp controller would come in handy, although I'm not ready to pull the trigger on that just yet. 

 

I still may do the gasket mod, it is pretty cheap and certainly can't hurt and will be easier to do with a newer grill.  I don't see how you can hold temp below 250 without this. 

 

All in all I'm really pleased with the Akorn, for the price I paid I was able to get the smoking stone, cover, and Smoke thermometer and I'm still under the $300 retail price. 

 

I'm cooking some St. Louis style ribs on Sunday and can't wait to see how they turn out!

 

Thanks for the input so far.

 

Happy

 

 

 

 

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When you're finished cooking, close both the vents, top and bottom.  My experience has been that the charcoal will take about another half-hour to burn out, then the oven will take about the same amount of time to realize that it has cooled down.  Temperatures drop very quickly after that.

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After doing a burnin on my new one, I decided to see what she could do.  My thermocouple burned out at 700 degrees but it maintained something above that for awhile before I tried to shut it down.  
The casualty was the the damper gasket.   I was leaking where the gasket was before melting and as such could not shut down. 
I have since replaced it with a neoprene high temp gasket and no problems since.  I love this thing.  
The cook was my other pit running, not relevant to the conversation.  

brisket flat.png

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"Gee, this sounds complicated."  I simply close both vents, top and bottom, before going inside to eat dinner.  Tomorrow morning, I'll first recover a considerable amount of unburned charcoal.  Then, I'll remove the bottom pan, wash it thoroughly, set it upside-down beneath the rest of it, and then turn my attention to scrubbing the top portion until it's as clean (and dry) as it was the day I bought the thing.  I've given it all night to cool down completely, without a second thought as to how long it takes.

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