So I have myself an Akorn for about 4 years. Through a couple moves while building a new house, it was pretty neglected... sat outside, uncovered through winter, rain, etc. Needless to say due to the metal build, it rusted something bad. I ended up getting rid of it and decided I'd see what the Weber Kettle hype was all about. I picked myself up Kettle Master Touch.......... wow...
I freaking hated it. Was horrible to keep temps. Took forever to get up to temp. Was terrible to use with lump (as it fell through the grates)... just a bad overall experience. Cooked on it about 4 times then sold it. Now... I live in a VERY windy area. Like 10-15 mph winds almost constantly.... so I'm sure that played a part... but it was no enjoyable.
I decided to pick myself up a new Kamado Joe Classic from Lowes for $650..... I'm in love.
I joined this forum last year not long after getting my Char Griller Akorn used. I love that little steel beauty, but I've had ceramic fever and been seeing them all over the place the past year. Costco was about to have me parting with $600 for the Louisiana Grills 24" Kamado (just another rebranded Auplex like Vision), but my dad who works for a hardware store told me the owner wanted to sell off the stores XL Egg since they didn't really use it. I got what I think is a great deal on this beauty, paid less for this than you would for a stripped out XL with no accessories and definitely less than a Costco roadshow Big Joe. Came with the table, ConvEggtor, ash tool, and grate gripper. They couldn't locate the ceramic cap when we brought it home, but I'm sure it'll turn up. It's under an awning anyway and I'll be getting a cover to further protect it.
To be fair to the Akorn it is a fantastic cooker! Just since the apocalypse started, I've done at least one decent cook a week on it. I've done ribs at least 3 times, pork butt, brisket, a turkey, soda can chickens, wings, steaks, and various veggies for sides. I absolutely do not regret the Akorn purchase. If you're unsure if kamado bbqing is right for you the Akorn is a fantastic place to start, it's relatively cheap and a good design. I've been eyeballing the extra space the Big Joe and the XL Egg offer and ultimately couldn't resist. Just judging by my short not even 1 year of ownership I doubt my Egg will cook any better than the Akorn. This was purely a decision based on the total cooking surface and potential cooking surface with mods. I've done 3 racks of ribs on my Akorn before, but it gets tight and those were baby backs no easy way to get that many spare rib racks on there. 2 upright soda can (beer can) chickens really pushes the limit with my probes contacting the dome.
TLDR; just wanted to brag on my Eggscellent deal and write a love letter to my Akorn. I'm hoping this will be the last grill I ever have to buy, not saying I won't want to buy more, but this should be with me a long long time. I wish I could keep the Akorn, but I have 3 grills now and between the 22" Weber Kettle and the Akorn, I can probably get more for the used Akorn. If you're in the market for a well used Akorn, but still in fine cooking shape and you're in the Jacksonville, FL area, hit me up.
Have been busy with my other toy projects so the pellet Akorn has been cold for a while. Today kids want to eat pizza so I fired up the pellets akorn. It heats up to 500+ degrees in less than 10 min and the pizza was perfect. I fitted a WiFi PID controller and was going to tweak the algorithm but...too many projects!
Right now the temperature overshoots 50-80 degrees if set below 300 degrees, but gets better as it goes higher.
Anyway here is the pizza and the good looking grill haha.
Dumped in the last of my Cowboy lump for a Saturday night pork butt. If you've seen any of the negative comments on Cowboy I didn't have any problems with the bag I had. It was definitely a lot smokier start than my old KJ Big Block, but produced good food. See you smoke Cowboy! Up next is a bag of RO XL cut should be fun. For now I've got a pork butt to cook.