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SPD500
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I find my Akorn likes 250 degrees better than 225.  At 250 it will go for 12-15 hours easily on a full bowl of lump.  At 225ish, it’s been known to choke itself out on occasion so I tend to watch it more closely when I am down there.  Yours may have done something similar. 

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13 hours ago, len440 said:

Best advice about controllers is to learn how to control the grill without it never can tell when the power will die

I definitely want to be able to control it manually and have been playing with it. Last night I grilled some burgers with a little pecan for added flavors and they were great. I was able to control the temp pretty well for the shorter cook. I have a Pork Butt that will be going on over the weekend for practicing a longer cook, hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can supervise from the hot tub. The little handle on the top vent broke off the second time I used it and Char Grill has been a huge pain to deal with for warranting the little part, so I opted to just order the Tip Top Temp and upgrade it. This looks like a pretty cool little deal to play with and I would probably have ordered one eventually anyway.   

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12 hours ago, JeffieBoy said:

I find my Akorn likes 250 degrees better than 225.  At 250 it will go for 12-15 hours easily on a full bowl of lump.  At 225ish, it’s been known to choke itself out on occasion so I tend to watch it more closely when I am down there.  Yours may have done something similar. 

I will play with it some this weekend with a pork butt and see if I have better luck fine tuning the temperature. I am good with 250 if that is where it settles in and doesn't snuff itself out. I think part of my problem is learning how to stack the lump in the chamber for it to keep itself going without restricting the airflow. Looking at videos online I have learned that even with all of my old kettle grills I was never really doing it right, I always just filled the pot with coals and doused them with fluid with no strategy for a long cook. All of my slow and low cooking experience is on offset and reverse flow smokers and charcoal has always been reserved for steaks, chops, and fast cooks. 

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You'll learn just takes time I'm not familiar stacking charcoal Sounds like Jeffieboy does what I do on my Joe just dump the bag till the bowl is full, maybe we can get more info on this. I read a few post also that the Akorn seems to like 250 but then each grill is different. Your kettle starting reminds me of my son and his starting technique till I bought him a chimmney. Hang in their.

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I always go with the simplest way.  Dump in Charcoal, dig a hole in the middle down to the grate. Then I drop the lit starter into the hole and cover it with some of the larger pieces from around the outside.  Smoking wood always goes into the bowl first and gets peppered around the sides of the hole under the charcoal.  Then the smikin’ stone goes on and the cooking grate last.  Install the temp probe on the grill, cover and wait.

 

As for Pork shoulders (butt), I like the 250 degrees as it tends to render out the fat better.  If it’s a picnic shoulder?  Then 275 is even better as the meat tends to be fattier.

 

Hope this helps you.

 

 

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Decided to go with a nice stainless table that I will cut a hole in for the cart for the Akorn Jr. I have plenty of cabinet space with the outdoor kitchen and I think this will fit in well with the stainless appliances and cabinets in the kitchen island. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/GRIDMANN-Stainless-Commercial-Kitchen-Casters/dp/B016CIGRE6/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1E3GEBPTC7955&dchild=1&keywords=24+x+36+prep+table&qid=1608132617&sprefix=24+x+36+prep%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-13

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@SPD500  i am curious to know if and how this top surface will support the weight of your Akorn.  It seems to me that the rigidity is around the edges, not in the centre where the weight will be.  You might need to find some “U” channel and JB weld it to the underside to keep the top from flexing.  
 

Let me know how this goes for you!

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34 minutes ago, JeffieBoy said:

@SPD500  i am curious to know if and how this top surface will support the weight of your Akorn.  It seems to me that the rigidity is around the edges, not in the centre where the weight will be.  You might need to find some “U” channel and JB weld it to the underside to keep the top from flexing.  
 

Let me know how this goes for you!

I went with this table specifically because the lower shelf can be adjusted to any height. I plan to leave the legs on the Jr and have the weight supported by the lower shelf. I am trying to decide if the height of the lower shelf will allow me to add some drawers on one side and have the grill on the other side. The one thing that I wish I had in my existing outdoor kitchen is drawers. I found these on Amazon, but I am not sure how well they will fit the Jr dimensions: 

https://www.amazon.com/yuxiangBBQ-Outdoor-Kitchen-Drawers-Stainless/dp/B07VZC1C29/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=stainless+double+drawers&qid=1608219083&rnid=2528832011&s=lawn-garden&sr=1-9

 

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On 12/16/2020 at 9:37 AM, SPD500 said:

Decided to go with a nice stainless table that I will cut a hole in for the cart for the Akorn Jr. I have plenty of cabinet space with the outdoor kitchen and I think this will fit in well with the stainless appliances and cabinets in the kitchen island. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/GRIDMANN-Stainless-Commercial-Kitchen-Casters/dp/B016CIGRE6/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1E3GEBPTC7955&dchild=1&keywords=24+x+36+prep+table&qid=1608132617&sprefix=24+x+36+prep%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-13

You might want to put a brace from the bottom of each corner on the undershelf down to the top of the caster. This way, the shelf can not slide down.

20201217_115433.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Tspud1 said:

You might want to put a brace from the bottom of each corner on the undershelf down to the top of the caster. This way, the shelf can not slide down.

That is a very good idea. I was thinking I would probably try to drill through the shelf and the legs to add a self tapping screw, but this may be stronger. I really like the looks of your table, do you have pics with the grill in it? 

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3 hours ago, SPD500 said:

That is a very good idea. I was thinking I would probably try to drill through the shelf and the legs to add a self tapping screw, but this may be stronger. I really like the looks of your table, do you have pics with the grill in it? 

here is a similar one with drawer underneath

EGT bgeBrent b.jpeg

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