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    New Akorn

    Just finished the seasoning process. Looking forward to the first cook....just in time for Christmas! I'd love suggestions and ideas

    #2
    Show us a picture of that new rig!

    Comment


    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree, we need pics!

    #3
    You could always do a pork butt. Even if you encounter a learning curve it'll probably turn out great.

    Comment


    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      2nd

    #4
    Agreed on the pork butt. Love my Akorn, I'm sure you will also. Did you get the smokin stone? They really do make a huge difference. I have both the stone and the Bbqube heat deflector https://www.amazon.com/BBQube-Deflec...ef_=ast_sto_dp personally prefer the Stainless Steel version plus a lot less fragile.
    Last edited by JohnPaul; December 15, 2021, 04:38 PM.

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    • PaulRH
      PaulRH commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes I did get the stone. My son highly recommended it. Haven't even opened the box yet

    #5
    Pulled pork was my first cook on my Akron. I would get a digital thermometer like a Maverick ET733 as I found the dome thermometer not very accurate. Good luck.

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    • PaulRH
      PaulRH commented
      Editing a comment
      Got the digital thermometer used it with my old offset smoker.

    #6
    Hi Paul, is this your first introduction to smoking and low and slow barbecue? I was in that situation with my Akorn ~May of 2020.

    1) Pork butt is a great way to get familiar with the cooker. It's really hard to mess up enough to be inedible and it gives you a lot of time to play with controls.

    2) You can reliably follow most advice for any Kamado style cooker as long as you view them as general guidelines and not gospel. Vent settings, placement of grates, etc is going to vary considerably, but the basic idea is the same. No need to limit yourself to Akorn advice.

    3) The Akorn is a lower price point than most Kamado cookers. While it's an unbeatable value for a really good cooker, there are fit and finish issues that may need to be addressed to get the best out of it. For example, mine did not latch very tightly in the closed position at first. Took a few adjustments to get where I like it. Try to get it as airtight as you can.

    4) If you're doing low and slow, you should build a smaller fire than you're thinking. The ideal is a "small, hot fire." The Akorn is so well insulated that you do not need very much heat to maintain smoking temperatures. If you build too big a fire, you will either have the temperature be higher than you want or you will have to choke off and smolder the fire, which gives you dirty smoke. The fire should essentially be just big enough to sustain itself and light the next bit of charcoal and no more. If you build it too hot, it's tough to get it back down again without starting over.

    5) 225-250F will be very, very small settings on the vents.

    6) The Weber 7441 replacement grate fits pretty much exactly on top of the smoking stone tabs. It's great for hot and fast and you can get a pretty decent dual zone setup going. You can get amazingly hot sears this way.

    7) built in dome thermometer is unreliable. You will want something more accurate. I spent nearly as much money on a 4ch thermometer as the cooker itself. You don't have to spend that much, but you should have something accurate. Lots of recommendations on this site.

    8) Don't chase exact temperatures. Allow time to see how your adjustments have affected the cook. If your setpoint is 225, getting as close to 225 as you can is ideal, right? Maybe, but you will drive yourself MAD trying to adjust to keep it exactly there. +/- a few degrees is fairly insignificant over the course of a long cook. If you want to make an adjustment, wait until the adjustment takes effect before you make another one. Increasing or decreasing the airflow will change the temperature read on your grate probe SLOWLY. If you make an adjustment, think it didn't do anything, adjust further, still think it didn't do anything, etc, you will find the temperatures running away with you after the delay time has elapsed.

    9) I light my Akorn with either paper towels soaked in scrap fat (used cooking oil, bacon grease that's not good enough to save to eat for whatever reason) or using a $12 heat gun from harbor freight. Using a chimney to start your coals is too big a fire and you're going to get frustrated.

    That's all I got for now, but I'll add more if I think of anything else.

    Happy to answer more specific questions here or private message me if you want to spitball any ideas.

    Cheers, happy smoking, and welcome to the new world of awesome smoked food from your backyard.
    Last edited by gboss; December 15, 2021, 07:15 PM.

    Comment


    • PaulRH
      PaulRH commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks so much for the detailed advice. I've learned the hard way not to trust thermometers from my old offset smoker.

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Great advise! Thanks!

    #7
    Congrats!

    Comment


      #8
      Welcome to The Pit and congrats on the new cooker.

      Comment


        #9
        Congratulations!

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          #10
          Congrats on the Akorn. Ditto on the Butt fer openers. If ya didn’t get the diffuser stone I have one new for sale, cheap.

          Comment


            #11
            Photo. Click image for larger version

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              #12
              Former Akorn owner here. First: congratulations on your new acquisition! It’s a great entry level kamado.
              Recommendations:
              l1) Learn vent settings for various temperature settings.
              2) Run the cooker at 350 or so, with some smoking wood. When good and smoky, check for leaks around the lid, and the ash basket. Highly recommend gaskets for air control. One around the lid, and one for the ash catcher.
              3) If you store your Akorn outdoors, keep it covered, and always remove the ash catcher. Any moisture will collect there, and eventually rust out the ash catcher. (Ask me how I know this.)
              4) Always fill your firebox. It isn’t how much fuel you have in there, it’s how big of a fire you make. A filled firebox means you don’t run out of fuel.
              5) If you are going to cook at higher temperatures, consider getting a stainless steel grate. The higher temperatures for pizza, bread baking, etc, will cook off your seasoning, and eventually crack the cast iron grate. (Again, ask me how I know this.) 😜
              6) Above all, enjoy! Learn and have fun! And as always, pictures or it never happened!!

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