Jump to content

Very Bad News


Buddha
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

But lets not kid ourselves.. buying ceramic over insulated steel is largely based on passion, beauty, tradition and not logic, cost and function. 

 

 

In my personal experience, having owned an Akorn for about a year, and now a ceramic for about a year (a Primo XL, but this goes for most ceramics), I find that the ceramic will hold a set temperature very easily, whereas my Akorn had a tendency to drift up or down requiring constant adjustments. So to use your SUV analogy, that's like comparing two SUVs, one with cruise control and the other without. Both SUVs can go slow and fast, but one takes more work to keep at a set speed. Is one better than the other - NO. It's personal preference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I have ever read a post where an Akorn is replaced by another Akorn. I'm sure there are cases, but surely not many. The majority move on to ceramic....that there says it all! It is about preference, function, durability and VALUE.

 

 

.....I would still buy a Weber Kettle before I would "invest" (?!?) in an Akorn. I do know of a lot of people who are happy with theirs though, and cook good food on them. They are just not for me. Ceramics are not an affordable option for a lot of people.  I have barbequed some good food over open flames and garbage cans. You do what you have to do, but if buying a good ceramic over a cheaper option is not "logical" there are a lot of "Illogical" people out there. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Andy says, "You do what you have to do..." There is a nitch market for the Akorn just as there is a nitch market for ceramic kamados. Let's not focus on superiority, or which grill is the better choice. You are going to chose your grill based on a number of factors, and those factors are different for each individual.

 

I guess what I am getting at, Agentgf, is that touting the superiority, or logic, of your particular grill in a Forum that is all about someone else's grill, doesn't generally set too well with a lot of folks around here who are particularly loyal to their brand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Andy says, "You do what you have to do..." There is a nitch market for the Akorn just as there is a nitch market for ceramic kamados. Let's not focus on superiority, or which grill is the better choice. You are going to chose your grill based on a number of factors, and those factors are different for each individual.

 

I guess what I am getting at, Agentgf, is that touting the superiority, or logic, of your particular grill in a Forum that is all about someone else's grill, doesn't generally set too well with a lot of folks around here who are particularly loyal to their brand.

 

I agree with you on the first part Ross, but I also have no problem with somebody stating what they feel are the strengths of their grills or the weakness of mine or any other brand. IMO that's one of the benefits of a forum. I know I am 100% satisified with what I have, and and if they are happy with whatever they have, I am happy for them to. If they don't like what I have, or think it is inferior to theirs, I could give a rats' @ss.   :-D  I don't care if someone has a $200 ugly drum or a $5,000 Kamado Rocket, I know I can grill, smoke or barbeque toe to toe with any of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agentgf - never ever forget that price is an excellent proxy for quality. While I know what it's like to cook on an Akorn, I seriously doubt you have any experience on a Kamado Joe, Primo, or any of the top ceramics.  Thus your conclusions are unfounded and based on pure conjecture, not experience.  There is a world of difference between merely thinking and KNOWING!

 

 

I understand you are rightly proud of your cooker, but there is a no substitute for experience.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going to straddle the fence on this one.  I own a Ceramic and an Akorn.  I often post the Akorn is a "gateway drug" to Ceramics, and I fervently believe it is true. 

* There are a few things the Akorn does better (in my circumstances).

1. When doing two pizzas on the Akorn, the upper 13 inch rack pivots out of the way for easy retrieval of the lower pie. This can include other things, such as flipping steaks or burgers.

2. With a pit adapter in place for a stoker, the Akorn has easier ash removal.

3. The exterior of the Akorn remains much cooler than a Ceramic for a given grill temperature. (Perhaps the refractory cement Komodo Kamado grills are just as insulated).

4. Lighter (and less fragile) to transport than most Ceramics.

 

* There are a few things the Ceramic does better (in my circumstances).

1. A split diffuser/rack solution from the factory makes complex cooks a bit easier.  It isn't all direct, or all indirect as the only option.

2. The increased weight of the dome gets a better "crush" on the lid seal, resulting in less leaky smoke.

3. I didn't have to spend an hour "sealing" my Big Joe, I had to seal my Akorn (but it was time well spent, it's temperatures are quite stable now).

4. The Ceramic has few parts where rust is likely to become an issue.  A little rust on the upper damper is remedied with a bit of steel wool and some canola oil. 

 

As long as you select a ceramic Kamado seller, who gives a life-time warranty on the ceramics, and covers the cost of shipping, much of the concerns are moot. 

I have owned my Ceramic grill less than a month, warranty covered my issues, to include shipping.  The only pain was the wait for replacement parts. 

I am quite happy with both, for their respective strengths.  Unless someone makes me an offer I can't refuse, the Akorn is sticking around till the bottom of the firebox rusts out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I chose a Broil King Keg after a lot of research.  I satisfied myself that it would get good results (sort of table stakes) but the real deciding factor was mobility and durability.  It lives at a cottage on an island on the top of a granite bluff.  My wife and I had to schlep it into the boat, then out of the boat, into a UTV and then up some stairs and onto the front deck.  Every winter I move it into a covered porch and the reverse each spring. I move it around the deck a lot to to catch or avoid sun, wind, etc.  So, those fewer pounds and not having to worry about Humpty Dumpty were important to me. 

 

Would I like a Big Joe or Primo XL?  You bet.  They look like real quality pieces and that always gives me a kick, and I'd love the experience of cooking on them.  (Might some day anyway, and soon, if I can rationalize it to myself).  My main point, though, is to really think about how you are going to be using a cooker, what features are important to you, reputation of the manufacturer (read these pages and other sites) and what your budget is. Add up the pluses and minuses and sometimes one choice will be better than the others... for you in your circumstances.  But that doesn't mean its best for everyone. 

 

PS  this is a long way removed from the OP.  Sorry!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you know what you're doing, you can create great BBQ with a can of sterno and two big clay flower pots.  It's not the cooker, it's the cook!

 

I can let a rank rookie use The Beast and he'll do ok with some help; with me running The Beast through his paces, now we've got something to write home about.

 

I don't mean to brag, but my point is great BBQ and backyard cooks are more art than following recipes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apologies on the wording (ie illogical). I did not mean to offend anyone nor do I think anyone is illogical (ie stupid) for buying a ceramic grill especially from such manufactures as Primo or Kamado Joe.

I mean the Big Joe and Primo are absolutely gorgeous... way better looking than the Akorn and that could easily be justification for some people.

 

I have to wonder though why more manufactures don't explore steel. IMHO if I had serious money I would just skip to the Pro Joe:

 

ProJoe's shell design is a three-component system with a thick inner ceramic core averaging 2" in thickness, which is wrapped in a ceramic fiber insulation blanket, then housed in a 304 stainless steel outer shell. The advantage is superior heat retention, which reduces the exterior temperature by more than half that of the interior temperature. For example, a 400°F inner temperature only yields an exterior temperature of 140°F.

 

 

It seems The ProJoe is basically an Akorn on steroids. If only Kamado Joe would make a grill 1" on the ceramic interior or some other composite materials, use more ceramic fiber insulation and use coated steel instead of polished stainless steel I would probably be more likely to buy it then say the big joe and I bet it would be cheaper and less prone to breakage.  I love the KJ company and I love their parts (Akorn's aka Char-griller's future seems dubious).

 

EDIT: It appears the ProJoe has exposed ceramic in the interior. My mistake. I was confused with some other hi-end kamado.

 

Let me explain my (mis)use of the word logic:

  • My criteria for grilling is I need a cost effective charcoal grill that is semi portable that can maintain a relatively steady temperature (ie Kamado).
  • My constant problem is I don't have enough grilling space that I can control at a different temperature. ie I'm smoking something at 225 but I also need to cook something else at 325.
  • I can buy two grills at $800 or I can buy one really  nice grill at $1200 and sort of get two temperatures

At some point you need more grilling area that can be controlled independently. Is it really worth buying a oval or massive enough grill that supports a split box which is still not *really* two different temperatures (ie direct and indirect is still not the same as having two indirects at different temperature). Or maybe its better just to own a two lighter cheaper grills that pretty much operate the same way that I don't need a crane to open the lid with.

 

Its like HiFi audio. I don't have the ears to tell the difference between a $25k system and $1k system. And as CeramicChef pointed out I probably don't have the culinary skill/experience or taste buds to tell the difference between true ceramic and insulated steel. Please don't take it as an insult but rather my lack of experience or skill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me jump off topic for a moment.

I would love to see Chargriller produce an insulated steel, stick burner with proper gaskets to make it a sealed grill. I'd pull the trigger just to try my hand at stick burners.

OK sorry - now back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I have to wonder though why more manufactures don't explore steel. IMHO if I had serious money I would just skip to the Pro Joe:

 

ProJoe's shell design is a three-component system with a thick inner ceramic core averaging 2" in thickness, which is wrapped in a ceramic fiber insulation blanket, then housed in a 304 stainless steel outer shell. The advantage is superior heat retention, which reduces the exterior temperature by more than half that of the interior temperature. For example, a 400°F inner temperature only yields an exterior temperature of 140°F.

 

 

 

Maybe the reason more manufacturers don’t explore steel is that the benefits may not be there. On my Komodo Kamado, I can put my hand on the exterior when the grill hits an interior temperature of 400-500ºF. I don’t know exactly what the exterior temperature is, but it’s not 140ºF.

 

If you ever come into serious money, you may want to take that into consideration. The Pro Joe lists for $7999. The comparably sized KK 23” is about $4300-4500, depending on the finish. For once I’m happy that Komodo Kamado seems to be the value proposition. ^_^

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a lot of purchase justification going on here.  If everyone is happy with their cookers then it doesn't really matter.  I don't need a Big Joe.  I am unmarried and rarely cook for more than 4 people.  I bought it b.c I value things that will last a long time and companies that stand behind their product.  I am happy with my Big Joe so it really doesn't matter to me if the Classic would have been a better value for me.     

 

All I can add is that you cannot fully understand the benefits ceramics have until you have cooked on them.  I have cooked on a variety of gassers, Weber kettles, WSMs even have some minor experience with electric smokers and I can honestly say I am never going back.  Only time I cook on my gasser is to just give it some use so I can justify the purchase in my head but in reality I should just sell the darn thing.  I already gave away a Weber Genesis to my brother and my beloved Performer (that I swore I would never part with) to a neighbor. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, it may just be yourself, but all it takes is perhaps 1-3, gatherings in the course of a year where all that extra space really comes in handy, KM. Believe me, day to day, my Vision is quite adequate for cooking for the family. However, On those occasions where I am hosting a kid's birthday party, or my brother and sister come down to visit (doesn't happen often, but it has a few times), you really long for that extra space..

 

Some years ago, a gentleman I worked with hosted his own retirement party at his home. He and his wife own a beautiful, modest ranch-style home in Napa Valley. This gentleman had a decent career in the grocery business. He was a store director for several years, and after a decade or better in that hot-seat, he stepped down to take a position as the wine and spirits manager at our Sonora store. My first thought was that it was a little arrogant hosting your own retirement party, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Face it, with most retirement parties hosted by your company or your coworkers, everyone is invited. So, although you are enjoying the company of your friends, you have to endure the company of your adversaries, and those in your company you did not particularly like. Then you have to spend the day/evening sucking up to these people and pretending that you like them when you really don't. Anyhow, back to my point, this guy had a Weber Ranch Kettle, and he really knew how to use it. We ate some outstanding chicken and sausages, that day. The highlight of the day was this guy's wine cellar. He built his own wine cellar in his shed, equipped with a humidore and the right amount of refrigeration for the perfect wine environment.  

 

Although it was just him and his wife, I remember him saying that he would never part with that kettle. It was incredible the amount of food that cooker held. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...