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"The Akorn-Maverick question:" Does Ceramic really matter?

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For what its worth, as someone who currently has 2 ceramic Kamados, if i could have my time again, I would have picked up the Weber Summit Charcoal over my Big Joe 2 

As nice as the Big Joe is, The advantages of a ceramic cooker are not offset by the weight and fragility of them given what is currently available in the market 

Once you factor in add ons like Pit Controllers, the thermal stability of a large ceramic cooker is almost redundant for the average cook.


I'm not a huge fan of the Akorn Kamado due to a few areas I consider design flaws, but as its a cooker largely built to a specific price point, this is not unexpected.

The Blaze Kamado looks very interesting, but i doubt I'll ever see one, let alone cook in one.

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3 hours ago, Polar Bear said:

.<snip> If i could have my time again, I would have picked up the Weber Summit Charcoal...<snip>


Yup, I've been thinking about what my next grill would be and then Weber Summit is certainly a top contender.  I've also been heavily drawn to the PK as well...  No where near as efficient, but seems like a grill I would really enjoy using.

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FWIW...and I don't claim to be an expert much less  a heavy user like some here...I had a LBGE and an Akorn simultaneously.  After several butts and multiple pizzas on both as well as a brisket or two  and several racks of ribs, all of which turned out pretty well, I gifted my son-in-law the LBGE (I got it as a gift and put $500+ into it). 


I like my Akorn with all its flaws --it cooks well and shows no signs of rust after three (? this is the third summer) years. I'd buy another before I would pay $2k for something that can (and does) break, repeatedly...and often for no apparent reason.


Just my opinion...YMMV

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  • 3 weeks later...

$0.02 worth I've been a charcoal-er for over 60 years seen the quality of grills going down hill for a while my last one made me ponder when does sheet steel becomes tin foil ? I looked at the Akorn very hard even tracked the Akorn people  down and spent a while talking to them and researching them on the web seen a lot of posting on mods to make them work better. That was one of the reasons i bought my Classic II the other a guilty wife when i sent her to Hawaii to be with grand kids  . With a few learning mistakes it works as good as the day it came out of the box. I'm not bad rapping the Akorn my grand son has one and i see nothing wrong with his.. It boils down to do you want an ecomany car or a Coupe de ville ( for the young-uns that an old Cadillac that seemed about 80 feet long when you were driving it )  or something in between There is no bad or best Kamado there is something for everyone. And by the way charcoal is the only way to go uuuum this might start another argument


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29 minutes ago, len440 said:

And by the way charcoal is the only way to go uuuum this might start another argument



Ding ding ding......And we have a winner.  Just wanted to be involved when the gasr aficionado's attack.  It is if written right, a 4 letter word.:rofl:

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As someone who has owned an Akorn for almost 9 years IIRC,  I have been quite satisfied with mine and see no reason to go ceramic at this time.  It takes all my abuse as just keeps on going. Per other previous comments, my Akorn also has a sweet spot at around 240 degrees as well, so  for many cooks I have no issues whatsoever.  The only add-ons that I would consider would be a controller and possibly a rotisserie. 


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I'll weigh in to say that my Akorn Jr. is perfectly satisfactory – I don't feel the need for ceramic at all.  (It's one of the very few good things that I ever bought at Wal-Mart.)


As others have said, I enjoy the fact that the grill is lightweight and indestructible ... easy to take on camping trips ... and also that the bottom comes off.  I store it with the bottom flipped upside-down beneath the main body, with a small piece of wood to provide air circulation under it.


I treat the grill as "a charcoal-fired convection oven."  (If I want "sear," I do this in a cast-iron skillet on my kitchen stove.)  I know the settings by heart that will take the grill to a 300ºF cooking temperature and "park" it there without requiring further attention from me.  My external-probe electronic thermometer tells me very reliably when the food is done.  Smoking is easy with soaked wood-chips in an envelope made of aluminum foil with a few fork-holes.  The thing that I like absolutely-best about this grill is the effortless control.  As somewhat of a "cast iron junkie," I also appreciate that the grate is cast iron, which I seasoned and now treat exactly like a skillet.

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  • 1 month later...

Do you need ceramic ?
does it cook better ?

things being equal, no


I started with a used Akorn for a couple of years that I paid not much money for , it’s getting a little old and tired but I still use it quite often 


bought a classic 1 a couple of years ago when there was a bargain sale 


Kj is easier to hold a stable temp but that’s about it for me 


Kj uses a lot more charcoal than the Akorn , all that ceramic sucks up a lot of heat which obviously helps with temp stability esp with long cooks 


I prefer the Akorn for hot and fast as it gets up to temp faster without heating all that ceramic 


it’s better for doing 2 zone  reverse sear steaks , use a weber charcoal grill at the high point where the heat deflector sits , throw in a chimney of lit coals onto 1 side and good to go


much prefer the cast iron grill grate 


easy to move around Kj has to stay where it is 


Akorn is easier to clean out 


prefer the more open charcoal grate in the Akorn , less issue with airflow problems with the smaller charcoal pieces v the Kj grate 


definatley on the look out for a Akorn jr 

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