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Unread 04-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #2
Is lookin for wood to cook with.
Join Date: 03-06-12
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Bennie, the CharGriller KingGriller/KamadoKooker/BigRed/Akorn/whatever the hell else it's been called is a fine rig and an outstanding value at $300. But your question points out the fact that they've done a turrible job of building any sort of brand awareness. Each distribution channel seems to have it's own name, branding, and features. And these seem to change from year to year.

The early models did have a silver top which was reported to be flimsy. My 2012 Lowe's model (Akorn) has the heavier black top vent. I think it's safe to assume that (at least thru the big retailers) the silver tops have worked their way through the system and won't be in stock this year.

I'm not sure about the center grate insert. The 2012 Akorn had the logo. I have seen pictures of no-logo inserts, but I'm not sure which model has them. Frankly I don't see the need for any type of removable insert but all models seem to have them.

Another twist: I've read that the current models have some sort of factory-applied sealant around the bottom air intake. Now this could be a good thing (no user mod necessary) or bad (one more user mod to remove half-assedly applied factory sealant).

Bottom line is you will have to do a little legwork to get the combination of features you want (metal vs. wood shelves is another variation). You may want to head over to John Setzler's kamadoguru site. They have a pretty active community dedicated to this cooker. Don't get discouraged though. As I said, this cooker is a tremendous value at $300. Good luck!
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