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I think it would be a good experiment.  Maybe when my Akorn is nearly dead I'll try it out.  My solution for getting more airflow is just cooking at a higher temp.  The Weber summit is something I'd love to own, if I was going to spend that kind of money, I would definitely consider the Summit over a ceramic cooker.

 

Edit:  Note I've never had a problem with keeping the fire lit in the Akorn, but more airflow means better smoke flavor, better smoke ring, and better bark.

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The point Lensi is driving at is that the insulation makes the cooker almost TOO efficient, resulting in the following issues:

  • Difficulty maintaining a very low temperatures such as 225 without snuffing out the fire
  • Reducing the amount of airflow through the cooker, which effects the quality of the food (reduced smoke ring, reduced smokey flavor, less bark)

These issues are somewhat but not completely solved by cooking at a higher temp such as 275.

 

Now, we all know the Akorn is a wonderful cooker and does a really good job, but the question is, could it be better?  My opinion is that yes, with less insulation, you would get better results.

 

I believe the best type of smoker is a good offset smoker, reason being, they have an immense amount of airflow through the cooker, so your food turns out smokey, barky, and has a nice smoke ring.  The downside of the offset cooker is it burns an large amount of fuel, and you have to constantly babysit it.

 

I don't have time for babysitting a smoker all day, and I like not having to burn through bags of fuel every time I cook something.  So right now, the Akorn is a great choice and does a fantastic job.  But it could be better.

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Thanks Moloch16. I use my Akorn all the time. I got the idea when I had to dismantle my Akorn to repair the hinge by replacing the rivnuts. I saw the insulation. I also remembered a YouTube video by Baby Back Maniac. In this video, Justin explains how the Weber Summit uses an air gap to emulate a ceramic cooker. Justin does great videos.

 

It’s just an idea I thought I’d put forward. 

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I get the concept, while I'm not going to cannibalize my Akorn to test this theory, I agree with cooking in the Akorn at slightly higher temps to get more airflow for smoke flavor at least initially.  The last time I did a butt @ 225 it came out moist and tender, but didn't have that great of a smoke flavor, same with my last rib cook.  I attributed this to the fact that I got a controller and was actually able to hold a lower temp than I could by manual adjustment.  The Akorn is so well insulated, my fire will be out and it will still hold temp for a few hours after a cook.   The theory of it just not needing to burn that much fuel and thus not flowing that much air is probably right.  I've watched a few Youtube videos where guys cooked slightly higher in the Akorn.  I am planning on a 250 maybe even 275 cook tonight for a pork butt and maybe pulling it back to 225 when I go to bed or when it hits the stall, I think that will get the nice smokey bark on the outside then let the inside finish the job in the wee hours.

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58 minutes ago, Lensi said:

Thanks Moloch16. I use my Akorn all the time. I got the idea when I had to dismantle my Akorn to repair the hinge by replacing the rivnuts. I saw the insulation. I also remembered a YouTube video by Baby Back Maniac. In this video, Justin explains how the Weber Summit uses an air gap to emulate a ceramic cooker. Justin does great videos.

 

It’s just an idea I thought I’d put forward. 

Justin's videos have changed my mind on the Summit.  At first I was appalled at the price, Weber had the nads to ask $2000 for that thing plus the little table, but it kind of makes sense when you're aiming for the XL Egg plus the cost of a table.  I don't know, I think the table model should have been $1500 and then non-table $1250.  He broke it down as an XL Egg costs $1600 and a table cost $400, but I think you can even beat that for a few hundred.  It's still a hard pill to swallow for a big name grill when Akorn's brand new are so cheap and every week on FB Marketplace and Craigslist one pops up for half or less that has barely been used.  

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