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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 01-30-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
BBQdisciple
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Default Need help on a new purchase

I am ready to purchase a new Grill and wanted something of decent quality but on a limited budget. I currently grill on a 3 burner Charbroil quantum. I also do most of my smoking on an ECB modded to cook very nicely and efficiently.

The ECB does a good enough job on the low and slow, I wasn't even considering replacing it, so I was looking at another quantum or a Weber genesis series.

Well, that was until I discovered the Char-Griller Akorn. Looks like it is versatile enough to do all my smokin and high heat grilling. and the price point heck, will save me a few bucks.

I have not read a bad review on this cooker and haven't found any reason to talk me out of buying it. My only reservation is switching to all charcoal as I have been spoiled by propane for my grilling. Mainly because I have found propane lasts longer than coal so it is cheaper, less messy, and quicker to fire up anytime.. I've heard the Akorn is very efficient with coal and the typical turn offs to charcoal don't apply as much (as with any Kamado cooking).

My question to you, dear brethren, is "are there any considerations, suggestions, or recommendations to help me make my decision? Is there any other cooker I should look at?" again, I am looking for something to do high heat grilling with preferably low and slow capabilities with a $400-ish limit

I am pretty much sold on the Akorn, but thought I'd turn to you guys for some last minute thoughts

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
BBQ Bandit
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If you are talking new - The Akorn is certainly in that description; a multi-purpose/multi-temp cooker.

There are many options if you are talking buying used (Bubba Keg/Primo/Kamodo, etc)


Then there are the train of thought of getting a kettle - multi function, too when properly schooled.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:04 PM   #3
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Can't go wrong with the Akorn but if you are really picky about keeping to just propane, you can find propane fueled smokers too.

I would go with the Akorn though and I'd put money down that you will start using charcoal more than gas.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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I currently use an Akorn to cook pork on my competition bbq team. It's a very solid, low cost grill/smoker when compared to other ceramic grills.

Things I like about the Akorn:
Holds temps well for smoking. 250-275
Light-weight
Very stingy on burning charcoal.
Love the "raised" 2nd grate.

Concerns:

No idea how the metal will hold up. (Is it going to rust out after 2 years).

Temps tend to spike when the lid is opened and it's more difficult to get the temps back down because it's so well insulated.

If a Big Green Egg or other ceramic is waaaay out of your budget, the Akorn is a really good alternative.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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The Chargrill Akorn is a good product. ManCaveMeals on YouTube has very detailed reviews and cooks on the cooker.

Another product that you might want to use if you light the light and go method of propane cooking is the Weber Performer w/ gas assist start. It is a Weber Kettle which is one of the most versatile cookers, and you can load it up with charcoal and hit a button and the propane will light the coals for you. The Weber Kettles can be used for smoking low and slow, indirect and direct heat grilling, and capable of cooking pizza's. It utilizes the one touch cleaning system which makes clean up pretty easy, as the ash will fall into the catch pan (not tray) You can close the bottom vents as well as the top vent and it will snuff out the coals so you can reuse them as well. It isn't as efficient as the Akorn is, but another option that also offers a work table on the side.



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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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You have a few options in the 400 price range.

You can go with the Akorn. I've read good things about them, but you may have to do some slight mods to it.

You can also go with a combo package, 18" WSM + weber kettle.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:18 PM   #7
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I own two Akorns. I purchased them last year for $149.00 each after the 4th of July clearance sale at my local Kroger store.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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I would say 26.75 Weber Kettle. Smoke, Grill. It will do it all!
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #9
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I'd buy another Akorn in a minute. I've had one for over a year. I never modified the bottom vent cuz my target temps were always right on. My dome lid thermo is also exact.

It's versatile as can be. I also have a weber kettle and it can't come close to holding temps like the Akorn can for smoking. The kettle is a wannabe smoker. I'll be selling it in the spring.

Keep your gas grill. I use mine alot during the week for a fast grilled dinner.

Use lump in the Akorn for smoking.

Good luck.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #10
BBQdisciple
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
The Chargrill Akorn is a good product. ManCaveMeals on YouTube has very detailed reviews and cooks on the cooker.
Those vids are what sold me


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothsmoke View Post
You have a few options in the 400 price range.

You can go with the Akorn. I've read good things about them, but you may have to do some slight mods to it.

You can also go with a combo package, 18" WSM + weber kettle.
good suggestion, what any thoughts on grilling on kettle vs Akorn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakdung View Post
I own two Akorns. I purchased them last year for $149.00 each after the 4th of July clearance sale at my local Kroger store.
Man, I bet that was a no brainer, would make my decision a lot easier. OUCH. almost makes me want to wait until summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WineMaster View Post
I would say 26.75 Weber Kettle. Smoke, Grill. It will do it all!
Weber Kettle seems to be the biggest contender for my decision now and to think it all started trying to avoid charcoal.

thanks for all your suggestions, opinions and information.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 02:53 PM   #11
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duplicate, sorry

Last edited by BBQdisciple; 01-30-2013 at 02:54 PM.. Reason: duplicate post on accident
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Unread 01-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motley Q View Post
Keep your gas grill. I use mine alot during the week for a fast grilled dinner.

Use lump in the Akorn for smoking.

Good luck.
I am really leaning toward replacing the burners on my propane and getting the Akorn. I will own a kettle by the summer regardless. They are not that expensive and pretty easy to find on CL. The woman doesn't understand why I need so many grills, but I don't understand why she needs so many shoes, so ...
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Unread 01-30-2013, 03:16 PM   #13
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Kettle vs akorn for grilling ...

The akorn doesn't get hot on the outside, it has a convienent hinged lid with stove piping for insulation. It also has a cast iron grate with a removable 2nd grate on top. The vents are easiler to use and you can move them during the cook with your bare hands. None of those features are on a weber kettle.




The kettle is actually somewhat primative.
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Unread 01-30-2013, 03:17 PM   #14
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26" Weber Kettle
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Unread 01-30-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Akorns rock!

Very fast to bring up to temp. ....very fast.

I have zero complaints thus far.

7 months of heavy use on mine....wish it was bigger.

I never need gas again and am really impressed with the amazing efficiency of lump. Very little ash waste. Lights easy. Runs for 12+ hours at steady temps.

The Akorn is the best money I've spent on any grilling product.
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