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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #31
John I. Que
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The Akorn is unlike ceramic kamados. It has a very low thermal mass. It heats up and cools very quickly (internally) compared to ceramic kamados which tend to "soak up" heat energy and release it. This acts like a thermal buffer. The Akorn is two thin metal shells with insulation (probably just air) in between. It is built like an Igloo cooler or a double pane window.

The trick I've discovered is to accurately control how much charcoal is burning at any one time. If you simply dump charcoal into the firebox and light it in one spot, the amount of charcoal available to burn increases as the burn progresses. We get away with this in most other cookers, but the Akorn is uber efficient.

Try the Ring of Fire method shown in this video:
. Basically, I place a metal pail (2.5qt) filled with sand in the middle of the fire grate. This acts to control where the charcoal lives and also to act as a thermal mass. Then I place charcoal around the outside of the pail and light one end. The fire then burns slowly around the ring, keeping the amount available to burn relatively constant throughout the cook.

Another thing I recommend is a ceramic heat diffuser, either the one available from Chargriller, or a home made one like I show in the video.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #32
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great video. Was it able to hold temps at 225 with the lump charcoal? The video skipped over the results of the lump and went straight to that ring of briquets. In the video when attaching the adapter to the air intake it looks as if the hole is not centered on the piece of metal that gets mounted. Would it work to put the side with more metal exposed on the other side so that the door can close over it better? Just wondering if that would help close up any leaks better.



This is the part that I was talking about.

Last edited by foppa78; 11-13-2012 at 10:55 PM..
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Unread 11-14-2012, 09:24 AM   #33
John I. Que
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foppa78 View Post
great video. Was it able to hold temps at 225 with the lump charcoal? Would it work to put the side with more metal exposed on the other side so that the door can close over it better? Just wondering if that would help close up any leaks better.
1. I've only ran 3 tests with the Akorn. In the first 2, I started the fire too hot/large and ran into the same troubles Rackovanz did. Close the lid, temp shoots up, IQ doesn't blow, fire goes partially dormant, temps fall, IQ blows and blows to resurrect the fire, temp shoots up, over and over. This cooker doesn't need much fuel. Starting it like a ceramic kamado doesn't work, at least for me. The Ring of Fire method controls the amount of fuel available to burn consistently throughout the cook. It solved the oscillations. I ran out lump and used briquettes, but I expect lump would work well also. I'll test lump this weekend. Regarding sand in the bucket, thermal mass is always a good thing for thermal stability.

2. The adapter is our "small adjustable kamado adapter". It fits Akorns, small BGEs, and others. It is best to orient it like you say, but the Akorn door track extends about 1" farther left than the hole in the cooker and so the adapter had to be rotated 180 to get the air injection tube over the hole into the cooker. That said, it may still be better to orient it like you say since so little air is getting injected and it would seal better. In that case you would widen the top track, not the bottom. Perhaps someone will try it this way and share.
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Unread 11-15-2012, 09:03 PM   #34
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Thanks for the input and ideas John. I look forward to reading your results using lump.

I've not yet been able to use the IQ to ramp my Acorn up to temp without significantly overshooting temp. I've been able to stabilize the Acorn temp manually at 275F+ and then connect the IQ with the inlet closed to 25% open (setting 1) and the IQ maintained the temp.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogFan View Post
I've not yet been able to use the IQ to ramp my Acorn up to temp without significantly overshooting temp. I've been able to stabilize the Acorn temp manually at 275F+ and then connect the IQ with the inlet closed to 25% open (setting 1) and the IQ maintained the temp.
The key thing is that you have a system that works for you. Every cooker/fuel/chef combintaion makes for a completely different situation. But, the main thing to remember is to not start with much charcoal burning. The Akorn doesn't need but a small handful at any one time. That's why I really like the Ring of Fire method. And it's cool to say!

There's also the stepped startup approach: Set the IQ to 225. If it overshoots, let it stay red for 10-15 minutes. Then set it to 250 or 275 and it should go there without much if any overshoot.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 02:55 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John I. Que View Post
The key thing is that you have a system that works for you. Every cooker/fuel/chef combintaion makes for a completely different situation. But, the main thing to remember is to not start with much charcoal burning. The Akorn doesn't need but a small handful at any one time. That's why I really like the Ring of Fire method. And it's cool to say!

There's also the stepped startup approach: Set the IQ to 225. If it overshoots, let it stay red for 10-15 minutes. Then set it to 250 or 275 and it should go there without much if any overshoot.
I use a similar stepped approach with my stoker and bubba/big steel keg. I think the key is to anticipate the overshoot and set your initial target temp at least 50* lower than what you really want. I think it's also important to allow the temp to stabilize after it overshoots, then bump your temp up.

I don't suppose you may be coming out with an Ique controller that allows for temp. adjustments smaller than 25*? Most other cookers this is no big deal but in kamado type cookers it could be really helpful.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 04:04 PM   #37
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Quote:
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I don't suppose you may be coming out with an Ique controller that allows for temp. adjustments smaller than 25*?
The temp adjustment is to a single degree. In other words, you can set the temp to any value between 175* and 375*, although the resolution of the dial is only 25*. If you set it to half-way between 225 and 250, the IQ would target 238*.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John I. Que View Post
The temp adjustment is to a single degree. In other words, you can set the temp to any value between 175* and 375*, although the resolution of the dial is only 25*. If you set it to half-way between 225 and 250, the IQ would target 238*.
And I learn something new everyday! Thanks. Hmmm...
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Unread 11-17-2012, 06:49 AM   #39
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I don't have an iQue or anything of the sort, but I can tell you the settings that keep my Akorn right around 240. I have the bottom vent completely closed (I didn't do any extra work sealing my Akorn at all), and the top vent is extremely close to being closed. I don't recall the number measure on the cap, but I'm sure it's less than 1.

I can tell you that every millimeter more or less makes a significant difference in the temperature though, so it took a bit of practice. I've done it enough times that now I just light it (by simply dumping in the lump, then making a small hole and tossing in a lit oil-dipped cotton ball and covering with some large chunks of lump) let it come up to about 150-175 opened up relatively wide, then just close vents to my sweet spot and I'm good. I've done this now probably 30+ times.
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:33 AM   #40
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Quote:
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I've done this now probably 30+ times.
In BBQ as much as anything else, practice makes perfect!
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Unread 11-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #41
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I use an iq110 with my wsm. No problems here. Can run 12 hrs on lump and 14 hrs with kingsford with a solid green light
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Unread 05-24-2013, 05:24 AM   #42
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So I recieved my Ique adapter for my Akorn yesterday and decided to try the ring of fire technique to do a low and slow burn. I put the adapter in with the longer side to the right and moved the blower hole to where it would blow straight into the ash pan. I then took a small piece of BGE gasket material and placed it to the left of the adapter to seal the end of the damper track. This allows the damper to slide over the end of the adapter and completely close any air gaps. I have BGE gasket material on my ashpan and around the top lid of the cooker so it is air tight. I then placed a ring of RO charcoal briquettes around the fire pan. No bucket of sand as shown. I started just the 1st 4 coals and then placed my diffuser (a water pan) on top of the coal on a grate. I turned the Ique on and set it for 225. Like this it ran for 13 hours and held a temp of 240-250 the entire time. I have a 1st generation model and had all the blower vents taped off except for 1 of them.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 06:30 AM   #43
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I've been having nothing but problems. Used 4 times, and the fire went out every time after about three hours. Have my top vent at one half, and the damper at 1. Use a ring of fire (tried volcano on first cook and it skyrocketed)with my new charcoal basket. Last cook I walked it up and everything was great for around 2 1/2 hours, then it overshot to 300 (set at 225), and then it killed the fire. I've been using Mali lump, which, according to the lump review website is very hard to light, so maybe that is part of the problem, so I'm gonna try with some Frontier or Stubbs briquettes. I have been trading emails with Matt, but if this keres up, I'm just going to return it.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 09:05 AM   #44
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I read the website on the IQ yesterday - set the top to .2-.25; 1 is too far open.
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