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b22777

Akorn Jr. Caught Fire

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I recently purchased a chargriller akorn jr. The fire for the seasoning of the grates went fine. But when I tried to use the grill for the first time the heat got up to 600 degrees so in order to reduce temp I closed the vents. Fire started coming out of the bottom of the akorn jr. and the bottom of the akorn jr. got completely charred. Due to the flames I was not able to cook anything. Aside from a charred outside bottom the grill looks to be in good shape, no other damage. My question is what went wrong? what did i do wrong to cause the flames? I am reluctant to use the grill again but I have the hardwood, I can't return the grill so I am considering giving it another try? Any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated.  

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This took me a while to get, more often you see smoke, but sometimes flames.  Imagine you have a big fire going and you choke it down. The fire will basically “breathe” in and out the bottom vent.  It can be surprising the first time you see it. 
 

Start you fire slowly, you will have the best temp control too. 

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For the OP:

 

It's a great grill but it might take some cooks for you to get used to it. By "hardwood" do you mean chunks and do you mix that with charcoal or are you burning straight wood?

 

Do you know the care to be taken when opening a hot kamado style grill?

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Could you explain how you start your fire slowly? Did I use too much hardwood possibly? I am using Royal Oak hardwood chunks of different sizes. Maybe I used too much which led to the temperature getting so hot?

 

I almost learned the lesson of opening the grill too fast in a very hard way. The flames shot up pretty fast. Will open slower next time. Honestly, the way the flames came out the bottom and then shot up high when I opened the top somewhat gives me pause about using it again. Maybe too much downside risk for me to use. 

 

Anyway, thank you for the replies. 

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Oh, don't give up on the Akorn.  It's a good little unit and there are a lot of owners on this site that can give you first-hand advice.  Who knows?  Maybe there's one near you that will invite you over for a quick demonstration.  

 

Thinking of demontstrations...perhaps your dealer can fire one up and coach you a bit.

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K

3 hours ago, b22777 said:

Could you explain how you start your fire slowly? Did I use too much hardwood possibly? I am using Royal Oak hardwood chunks of different sizes. Maybe I used too much which led to the temperature getting so hot?

 

I almost learned the lesson of opening the grill too fast in a very hard way. The flames shot up pretty fast. Will open slower next time. Honestly, the way the flames came out the bottom and then shot up high when I opened the top somewhat gives me pause about using it again. Maybe too much downside risk for me to use. 

 

Anyway, thank you for the replies. 

Is it charcoal you are burning? 

Also maybe the ash pan isn't seated correctly and it is getting air from there? 

I agree that you might get a bit more heat when you first cut off the oxygen supply and it leans out but that should happen quickly and then the fire should snuff out. 

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3 hours ago, b22777 said:

Could you explain how you start your fire slowly? Did I use too much hardwood possibly? I am using Royal Oak hardwood chunks of different sizes. Maybe I used too much which led to the temperature getting so hot?

 

 

I think most people replying to you are referring to using lump charcoal and not chunk hardwood.  My favorite way to start a fire slowly is with a cotton ball and alcohol.  Placed right it gets things going low and slow.  Takes a while. 

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5 hours ago, Polar Bear said:

@pesto3 had his catch fire too

I think it was due to grease collecting in the ash pan during a low temp cook and then catching alight when he tried to up the temp, though 

Yeah that’s right mate. I made a rotisserie for it and spun some beef shorties. They took around 5 hours from memory. Then kept it going and cranked it up for a steak sear. A bit of charcoal must have fallen threw the grate, hit the fat and up she went. Totally my fault.....and I was blind drunk so it was a good show :-p

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