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Leaky Akorn gasket


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My fairly new Akorn has a very leaky lid gasket.   I see smoke coming out in all directions.   I suppose I could contact them and get a new gasket but I wonder about the value of replacing a leaky one with an identical but new OEM gasket.

Are there aftermarket gaskets that will do the job properly?

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Can you snuff out your fire and retain coals?  Can you maintain a 225 - 250 temperature?  The Akorn gasket is actually pretty good, but they all leak.  You can always drop some felt gasket on the lower lip to help it seal it up better, but I did that and it still leaks at least during the getting it to temperature phase.  With my temp controller I can hold temp probably until it runs out of charcoal which would be a very long time.  After I close the vents and plug the controller port the fire goes out and the grill will still maintain a fairly warm temperature for hours after the cook.

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You could create your own custom seal by applying hi-temp RTV silicone to the base, covering loosely with foil, and closing the lid.  The silicone will conform to the gaps in the lid gasket and create a better seal.  After it dries, remove the foil (or just leave it).  Note I haven't done this with the Akorn but have applied this technique with other smokers.

 

Low temps like 225 are problematic for the Akorn due to the insulation, fixing the gasket will probably not solve that issue.  I cook at 275 with great results.

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47 minutes ago, moloch16 said:

Low temps like 225 are problematic for the Akorn due to the insulation, fixing the gasket will probably not solve that issue.  I cook at 275 with great results.

Not if you have a temp controller.  I can hold 225 probably until the coals run out, which is a long time for an akorn.

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On 1/24/2020 at 9:10 AM, Tarnation said:

Not if you have a temp controller.  I can hold 225 probably until the coals run out, which is a long time for an akorn.

 

It's not just holding the temp, it's also the amount of combustion you get at that temp (very little) which affects the quality of the smoke flavor.  Offset cookers give you the best results due to the amount of combustion gases moving through the chamber.  In my experience when the Akorn is holding a temp that low, there isn't much smoke happening.  This is just my experience, maybe it's different for you :)

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/27/2020 at 6:25 AM, moloch16 said:

 

It's not just holding the temp, it's also the amount of combustion you get at that temp (very little) which affects the quality of the smoke flavor.  Offset cookers give you the best results due to the amount of combustion gases moving through the chamber.  In my experience when the Akorn is holding a temp that low, there isn't much smoke happening.  This is just my experience, maybe it's different for you :)

 

Could this be the reason why my brisket never gets a good smoke ring?  Can you elaborate a bit more on the combustion part? ELI5 preferably lol

 

I feel like my Akorn holds a low temp very very well, but i also feel that i don't see much smoke.

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On 4/22/2020 at 1:51 PM, lowbee said:

 

Could this be the reason why my brisket never gets a good smoke ring?  Can you elaborate a bit more on the combustion part? ELI5 preferably lol

 

I feel like my Akorn holds a low temp very very well, but i also feel that i don't see much smoke.

 

Good source of reading on this topic is at amazingribs.com:     https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/grill-and-smoker-setup-and-firing/what-you-need-know-about-wood-smoke-and

 

But basically what you said about the Akorn - at very low temps you see very little then blue smoke which is what you need for smoke flavor and smoke ring.  This is because the Akorn is so well insulated you don't need to burn much fuel to hold temps.  I both love and hate this aspect.  I love not spending a fortune on charcoal and wood chunks, and I love the set-it and forget-it aspects of using the Akorn.  But I realize I'm sacrificing some flavor for these conveniences.

 

To get really good smoke flavor and the coveted smoke ring you need a lot of combustion gases moving through the cooker.  To get this on the Akorn, upping the temps to around 275 seems to provide a good balance of low-and-slow cooking while also generating enough combustion to get smoke on the meat.

 

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I find this entire conversation very interesting because with my Akorn "I just let it coast up to 300 degrees."  And it very happily stays there.  In fact, every time I use my Akorn, that's how I use it every time.  (If any guest really wants "sear flavor," I do it with a cast-iron skillet on my kitchen stove.)

 

Truth be told, I generally think of it as a "charcoal-fired convection oven."  Which gives me very precise, repeatable results that no other "charcoal grill" could ever do.

 

For "smoke," I put soaked smoking-chips in a wrapper of aluminum foil, poke a few holes in it with a fork, and get a very nice smoke flavor.

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