BBQ Guru PartyQ and Akorn
I've had my Akorn for a while now and really love the versatility. I can do high temp cooks and low-n-slow. Temp control is easy if you follow the basic tenets of kamado cooking. However, I have found that wind can affect smoking temps. Also, I work a lot of weekends and am looking to be able to set it and forget it while I am at work. Enter the BBQ Guru PartyQ. My wife gave me one for our anniversary and I absolutely love it. I was looking for a quality, battery-powered controller and the PartyQ fits the bill nicely.
It is very nicely made. All of the basic features are there: Heavy-duty temp probe, LCD screen and adapter specifically made for the Akorn intake vent. You simply clip the temp probe to the grate, enter your target temps and let it go. My smoking set up on the Akorn consists of Royal Oak Chef's Select briquettes and 2 chunks of either pecan or hickory. I light the briquettes with a Weber starter cube, put on the smoking stone/drip pan, and close the lid. Once I get within 50*F of my target smoking temp (usually 275*F), I plug in the PartyQ.
With the RO briquettes and the PartyQ, the Akorn will hold rock solid temps for 12 hours or longer with temp variations < 5*F. Here are a couple of things I have learned when using the PartyQ:
1. Close the Akorn's top vent to only 1/16" or so open. Leaving the top vent open too much can allow airflow into the Akorn and cause temp variations.
2. When opening the grill, I turn off the PartyQ and leave it off for about 5 minutes after closing the lid. That will allow the Akorn to come back to an equilibrium.
Hope this helps.
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