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So thinking along the lines of the divide and conquer set up, I wanted to create a cool zone area in the Akorn for use when grilling and wanted your thoughts. I have no problem at all with the Akorn standard setup getting 700-800F at grate level but I just want to create a cool area I can move burgers and steaks to when things need to back off the heat a bit.  I was thinking of using a couple fire bricks or piece of metal to divide the standard Akorn fire grate to keep the fire on one side. Problem with that is I think since the fire is so far away it won't really create much of a cool zone at cooking grate level. My other idea was to use the weber charcoal grate on the three tabs as everyone else seems to do, but with some type of half moon deflector sitting on it to create a cool zone above it. Has anyone done either of these and/or does it work ok? Any other suggestions? Thanks

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In any kamado there is really no such thing as a cool zone. What you can get is two zones, a direct heat zone and an indirect heat zone which I guess is what you are trying to accomplish. Your idea for webber grate on the tabs with a half moon deflector will basically get you two zones. You could then sear on the direct side of that and your indirect would be on the upper swing grate over the half moon area. Just keep in mind anything in the indirect area is going to keep cooking just not as fast as the direct area. 

 

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Yeah I guess I meant dual zone or indirect zone when I said cool zone. Now that I've been looking around I see that's basically the setup some other kamados use so I can't imagine why it wouldn't work on the Akorn. Thanks. 

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It's hard to set up an Akorn for dual-zone cooking; no one makes custom parts (split grates, split deflectors, multi-level support) for it. There's no reason you couldn't, you just need the right parts. Well engineered, dual-level systems are one of the draws of some ceramic Kamado product lines. 

 

What can you do? Start at low temps with deflector, and partially cook the food. Then pull the deflector and crank up the heat for the second, searing phase. The rest while you crank it up isn't a bad thing, either!

 

The Akorn is a great deal, not a premium product, so you put up with a few minor shortcomings or upgrade. My Akorn has been handed down.  

 

Have fun,

Frank

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You can either just put lump on one side or use Weber indirect charcoal basket to have the 2 zones. When I'm cooking steaks, chicken breasts, or pork tenderloin I set up this method, let grill heat up and place meat on indirect side. The grate will be hot enough to sear your 1-2" steaks and indirect cook to perfection at the same time without scorching the meat. Lowes now sells Kamado Joe, I was in store the other day and put the divide and conquer system in the Akorn. It fit well but the cooking grate was about 2" above where the Akorn grate would be . 

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There was a setup in the Mods section that works pretty well.  You put a grate on the lower tabs and cut/bend some expanded metal to get a half-moon searing basket.

 

Use about a chimney of lit to fill the basket.  It'll burn like a blast furnace and last 20-30 minutes, enough time to reverse sear some steaks.

 

 

2zone.JPG

steaks.JPG

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