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.
Saturday pizza has become a regular thing at our house, per my son’s request. I had a good thing going with the KJ Classic and a 15” stone setup, down to a science. But a few weeks ago decided to change it up and try pizzas on the Akorn Jr, half to use less charcoal on the high temp and half cause I had a steel I’d never used. And half just for the challenge....okay that’s three halves. But I digress....first couple weeks went okay, a little learning curve with the AkJ getting to temp MUCH faster and the possibility of overshooting temp, coupled with the steel getting and retaining heat much easier than the stone.
Last weekend I burnt the crap out of the bottom of three of four pies (finally got it to cool down a bit by the last one...should have given more time after I charred the first). Having to wait a week for redemption is killing me, but I ordered the canning rack I’ve seen many use on here for the Junior setup, so fingers crossed tonight goes better. And I’ll definitely be watching my temps and shooting the steel with an IR thermometer. I’m hoping more separation of the steel and deflector in addition to getting the stew up higher in the dome makes the difference.
I have an Akorn. I cook pizza like other people. Place deflector on the grill grate, put stone on top of it and make sure there is around 1-2 cm gap between them. I am still new in cooking pizza. After 6 times tries, I want to share some idea.
1. The temp is between 300-350°C is all right. When someone say, the best temp is 300, whereas the other says 350. They may not consider the stone temp. See below.
2. If you just cook one pizza, that's fine. Tonight I cook 4 pizzas for my family. I see a problem, when I cook the first pizza, the kamado reaches 300°C, in theory, it is a good temp to cook, but the base is white, the second is perfect, the base is lightly smoke, the third one is terrible, the base is burned. The fourth one I close both vents, it still in between 300-350. the base still burns, but not as heavier as the third one. Because the stone's temp doesn't climb as fast as kamado's temp, the base cooking is faster than the topping cooking, that's why the first base is undercook and the last 2 are overcook.
I make a dough with 500 grams flour and split into 4 pizzas. I cook them one by one. To next time when kamado reaches 300°C I will wait a couple of minutes until the stone temp goes up. For the rest of the pizza, I may check the base during the cooking, once the base looks perfect but the top doesn't, I will place something flat like cast iron crepe pan in between stone and pizza until the pizza fully cooked.
Does anyone cook more than 1 pizza and have the same problem? What's your solution?
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.