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View Full Version : Replacing Akorn with PK Grill?


Fishwater2002
03-23-2019, 08:45 AM
I absolutely love my Akorn as it was my introduction to Kamado cooking. I use it 90% of the time now since it does all of my weeknight grilling, burgers, steak, chicken & pork as well as low & slow on the weekends, it even does pizza when I feel the urge. Truly a Swiss Army knife of cookers IMO but I’ve always admired the PK Grills once they launched the 360. The Akorn is portable, we take it in the back of the truck bed camping & does an incredible job with lump efficiency. When I’m done cooking I shut the vents & let it cool down so I can cover it which is something I was never able to do with my kettle & performer. Once you load them with charcoal what you have left over the next day isn’t much plus they don’t handle the New England winter cooking as well as the Akorn.

We just purchased a fifth wheel to replace our travel trailer so as I look to the upcoming camping season I realize I won’t be able to take my beloved Akorn camping anymore which has me seriously looking at the PK again. Currently I take the Akorn for extended weekend or week long trips & use a Jumbo Joe for short weekends but it is a little small for our family of four.

So my questions are how is the PK with charcoal management? Can I shut the vents & let it cool off within a few hours so it can be covered overnight? Will there be lump or briquettes leftover for the next cook like my Akorn? How’s the PK for pizza? Obviously I’ve read a ton of comments on how it’s a steak cooking machine but how about the other aspects of the Kamado I’m looking to replace. How’s it work as a smoker? Can it be a solid replacement for my Akorn? It’s easier to pack & will fit in the bed but I don’t want to loose too much functionality vs what I already have. Finally OG PK vs the 360? Is it worth the up charge?

rexster314
03-23-2019, 09:25 AM
How many will you be cooking for? Whether the PK or the 360 depends on how much space you will need. I had a PK OG for a number of years. It did everything I needed, but never really tried a long smoke with it, because, well, look at my sig. When the 360 came out, I drooled over it for several months and finally took the leap. My old PK just sat looking forlorn, for I never used it again. Sold it a couple of months ago. Closing all the vents on the 360 will extinguish the charcoal very well, but have no idea how long it takes to cool off enough to handle. I usually have charcoal left over to load back into my chimney starter. Haven't needed to travel with it, but it can break down into pieces very easily.

Fishwater2002
03-23-2019, 11:57 AM
We are a family of four when we camp & my mother inlaw lives with us so I cook for five at home. The Akorn fits enough meat when I grill since I like to cook enough for left overs during the week. I think the OG PK would work but the 360 being a little bit larger would give me the extra room just in case.

On our week long vacation we usually do a rib cook off with friend's, typically the five families all cook a few racks & last year I barely fit three racks on the Akorn, I'm thinking the PK will do at least two racks easy?

70monte
03-23-2019, 09:10 PM
The PK 360 does great as a smoker. I use a charcoal basket in mine that I fill with unlit charcoal and than add about 20 lit briquettes and it will go for about 5 or 6 hours before it needs to be refueled. I re-use charcoal in it all of the time.

Av8er
03-24-2019, 07:09 AM
Just curious as to why you will not be able to take the Akorn with you anymore? I know by going to a fifth wheel you lose the bed space for cargo but add a carrier to the back of the RV and all is good. Thats what we did when we had ours. We have since bought a Class A so its no longer an issue.

I understand the want for a new grill, TRUST ME but it sounds like you really like your Akorn. Just something to think about.

Mikhail
03-24-2019, 07:36 AM
for traveling I think I would go with the original PK. Not sure if they offer a folding stand for the 360. Plus the smaller size should be an advantage for travel. Besides, the 360 is only 20% bigger for double the price. I bought the cookmore grate which works very well.

My PK classic cools down to touch quickly if you kill the air. Oh, and it is great for low and slow smoking as well.

Fishwater2002
03-24-2019, 10:27 AM
Just curious as to why you will not be able to take the Akorn with you anymore? I know by going to a fifth wheel you lose the bed space for cargo but add a carrier to the back of the RV and all is good. Thats what we did when we had ours. We have since bought a Class A so its no longer an issue.

I understand the want for a new grill, TRUST ME but it sounds like you really like your Akorn. Just something to think about.

Originally I was hoping to use the rear carrier for the Akorn but realized the kids bikes need to be back there because there isnít enough room in the truck due to it being a short bed. On some trips Iíll be able to use the carrier for the Akorn but Iím looking for a long term solution that works regardless of bikes or not.

Fishwater2002
03-24-2019, 10:29 AM
for traveling I think I would go with the original PK. Not sure if they offer a folding stand for the 360. Plus the smaller size should be an advantage for travel. Besides, the 360 is only 20% bigger for double the price. I bought the cookmore grate which works very well.

My PK classic cools down to touch quickly if you kill the air. Oh, and it is great for low and slow smoking as well.

I was wondering about the price difference as well, seems like a pretty steep jump to get the 360. The vents look nicer & easier to manage airflow with but itís not much bigger to possibly justify the cost.

Huskres
03-24-2019, 12:43 PM
Have you looked at the hasty bake ranger? Can fit more than you think on there. Stainless and easily moved.

Fishwater2002
03-24-2019, 03:52 PM
Have you looked at the hasty bake ranger? Can fit more than you think on there. Stainless and easily moved.

I haven't looked at them, I didn't even know they existed? There isn't much info that I could find with a quick Google search?

STLBBQer
03-24-2019, 04:22 PM
Just bought a PKGO. Absolutely love it. Itís a true miser on charcoal. Once you close the vents, the coals are out fast.

I did chicken on it indirect with a mini chimney of coals. Kept 300 steady for hour+ before I shut it down. I didnít mess with the vents once. Fired up a full chimney and did reverse sear lamb chops last night. Closed the vents down and itís still loaded with ashed coals. Itís fantastic.

70monte
03-24-2019, 08:39 PM
I was wondering about the price difference as well, seems like a pretty steep jump to get the 360. The vents look nicer & easier to manage airflow with but itís not much bigger to possibly justify the cost.

It is quite a bit more expensive but the advantages are these: Better lower vent system, stainless steel grates, the 360 sits up higher which to me is pretty nice. Two large work tables, comes with a Tel-tru thermometer, ash doesn't fall out of the bottom of the grill. The classic PK is nice but I prefer the 360 for the above mentioned reasons.