I bought my Akorn to use at the restaurant. I needed a insulated smoker and couldn't afford a Spicewine yet. I have a small BGE and use that when I have time. With you living in CA, you really don't need the mass to hold the heat like we do in colder climates. I have had great success cooking butts and brisket overnight. I put them on at 9 pm before I leave and they are done when someone gets there at 9 am. Even though the Akorn does not have the mass like the ceramics it is a very efficient cooker. The thing I really like about the Akorn is how the ashes are cleaned out of the smoker. You basically take the detachable bottom off and dump it. Check that feature out on one that is set up.
If you want one right now, go with the Akorn and save for a larger size ceramic. I hope they make the Akorn in a bigger size. I would get one.
Team: Pyle's BBQ; Good-One "Trail Boss" 60T; Homemade rig; 22" Weber Kettle w/rotisserie ring; Big A$$ Rotisserie; BGE-Small; Weber Kettle Gold, Weber OTS, New Braunfels offset smoker.
Saddles BBQ Bistro