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Before I cook - first time


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Hey, JSarratt, welcome. There shouldn't be a whole lot of break in needed for your Akorn, I think a quick initial seasoning on the grates is all you need. Simply spray them down with cooking oil before and after each cook, you are good to go. You might hit the >> button at the page track link on the bottom of the Chargiller Forum, which will take you to the very first posts for the Akorn in the Forum, there you will find a ton of info and opinions from folks who also just bought their grills.You might check the link below.

 

http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/235-how-to-season-correctly/

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I would burn the greasy shipping coating off the grates first - mine smelled like petroleum grease.

 

Then spray them down with any vegetable oil and start cooking anything.  Always keep them oily before and after cooling and they will season themselves without any other lengthy hot prep.

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I took a basting brush and generously coated the grate in oil and then brought it up to about 375 for an hour.  Cooled it off, did it again, let it cool and then started cooking. I do that about two times a season. Darned grate is like non-stick teflon now.  Mine is three years old this summer.

 

People will tell you to do all kinds of mods on your Akorn.  Don't.  Cook with it and see what you like and what you don't.  If you have issues getting down to and holding 220 or below, then you might want to add some silicone to the lover vent.  That happens on some, but not on others, so you may not need that.  Personally I did add the high temp Permatex Red around the vent and it did help, but is noticeable.  but try a cook or two first.  Most issues that occurred when the Akorn first came on the market have been improved upon in newer generations and no longer require mods.  Things such as the upper damper seals etc.

 

More important?  Learn how to cook on it and gain your confidence doing the pickier things, then worry about mods. :-P

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I took a basting brush and generously coated the grate in oil and then brought it up to about 375 for an hour.  Cooled it off, did it again, let it cool and then started cooking. I do that about two times a season. Darned grate is like non-stick teflon now.  Mine is three years old this summer.

 

People will tell you to do all kinds of mods on your Akorn.  Don't.  Cook with it and see what you like and what you don't.  If you have issues getting down to and holding 220 or below, then you might want to add some silicone to the lover vent.  That happens on some, but not on others, so you may not need that.  Personally I did add the high temp Permatex Red around the vent and it did help, but is noticeable.  but try a cook or two first.  Most issues that occurred when the Akorn first came on the market have been improved upon in newer generations and no longer require mods.  Things such as the upper damper seals etc.

 

More important?  Learn how to cook on it and gain your confidence doing the pickier things, then worry about mods. :-P

Excellent advice. I have only had my Akorn for about a month but I have cooked on it at least 5 times a week. I have not done any mods at all. It's a very competent cooker.

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I agree with the advice not to mod the Akorn until you use it. 

 

i bought mine in April 2012 and cooked with it for at least a month before doing any mods. In 2012 mine came with the new cast vent and most likely all of them now sold have the cast vent. With this vent you absolutely can control the temp. Think of a hot air balloon. If you close it down to just the half circle you absolutely will get a low and slow temp. The only possible problem is the o ring that seals it. Sometimes it does not seal when you assemble it. I had to re-do mine due to assembly error.. High temp silicone will also seal this.

 

If you do your first cooks at 350 to 400 you will find that the AKORN is easy to use.

 

The bottom end as of last year when I checked the display models had a lot of variation as to how loose the bottom slide was. One of them was perfect in every way and equal to the most expensive ceramic. Most of them ranged from slightly loose to  very loose.

None of this matters if you like the results that you get with the top vent closed way down.

 

If you want to open up the top more and have difficulties--then how loose the slide is--(felt behind it)---gaps between the stainless slide and the ash trap--( high temp silicone)--and if you still do not get what you desire--check the round ash trap bottom where it meets the flat top for gaps--( HTS). Finally with the top latched try to move it from side to side and try the same with the ash trap--if you get movement and still are not happy with the temps you get with the top vent open where you want it--- then bend the latch slightly.

 

I have stock gaskets on mine going on three years and I can hold temp just fine. I have no desire to mod the gaskets.

 

Again stock from the factory you can control the temps by closing the top vent until you get what you want. If you are happy with your results keep it stock.

 

I really can not see altering something before you even use it. For one thing-- for me--- seeing the change that something made was part of the fun.

 

The Low and Slow definitive thread and the Mods thread are pinned at the top of the Chargriller Akorn section. I suggest you read the L&S D. It will help you if kamado cooking is new to you. I would not even look at the Mod section unless you need something after using it for a while.

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I did a three-fer break-in.  I have seasoned lots of cast iron, so I treated the grate like a dutch oven.  I ran the temp up to the 400-450 range according to the dome gauge and held it there a while to burn off any preservative/chemicals from manufacturing.  This is also when I experimented in temperature control. 

 

While the grate was still warm, I coated top and bottom with Crisco in a heavy dose.  I then ran the grill back up to 400 for a while.  (again practicing temperature control.)  I shut it down, and while very warm, put on another coating of Crisco, and ran it up to temp for a while again.

 

The grate is now seasoned, and I simply burn it off when it needs it, and I put a light coat of Crisco on it after most cooks.  No rust, no stick.

 

Agree with no mods until you have run it awhile.  I have put an IQ temp controller on mine, but have done nothing else.

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the o ring should it disappear when installed or be slightly visible?

It should fit in the channel for it and be flush with the vent and dome. It took me a few tries to get mine on right, it kept riding up on one side so what I did was loosely fit the vent on, get the gasket in there, then I tightened it all down.

As for prep, follow the instruction manual and prep the grate as instructed. I've had my Akorn for just shy of a year and have done nothing to it but use it, clean it, and have a good time with it. Congrats on joining the kamado community, you're gonna love what that little cooker does.

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I wonder why there always sooo many posters saying to NOT modify your Acorn when the original posters never even asked that question?  What matter is it of yours what anyone wants to do or not to do with something they paid for? Now if someone asks a question looking for answers, then sure post your opinions. But to keep coming out with posts like that where no questions were even asked. 

You guys can have it.

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I wonder why there always sooo many posters saying to NOT modify your Acorn when the original posters never even asked that question?  What matter is it of yours what anyone wants to do or not to do with something they paid for? Now if someone asks a question looking for answers, then sure post your opinions. But to keep coming out with posts like that where no questions were even asked. 

You guys can have it.

 

Ebijack I absolutely admire the mods that you have done. They are awesome. I have no regrets what so ever on the mods that i did either. They are not as well executed and extensive as yours but serve my purpose.

 

In this thread the OP asked for directions on how to find--" how to prepare his Akorn"  This could have been taken as what to alter. One reason that I took it that way was---  the manual is pretty good about telling you about seasoning the grill and various ways to set it up and there are even some good recipes in there.

 

I totally agree that one should do what they want with what they have payed for.

 

I certainly do not understand an almost religious do not mod approach. Last year I inspected some that I would have modified before even using them and I saw some that looked fine. CharGriller is well known for not having consistent quality.

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I'm certainly too new at this to give anything remotely resembling advice. All I have commented on are my experiences in the month or so that I have owned mine. I think I got a good one. If I hadn't I'd have modified it until it worked to my satisfaction. By all means it's yours and do what you will with it.

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