Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by zemm, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. zemm

    zemm Newbie

    I know there are is threads regarding the Akorn and I have read them but I still cant figure it out. Im using lump charcoal filling it up with chuck of hickory. I start it using 2 cotten balls, I get it up to temp great. I cant hold the temp for long though. I adjust it while the temp is rising, half it and then half it again till I get it where I want it. But then either It shoots up, or I end up putting it out and rockets down. I just for the life of me cant keep the temp in the 250s. Ive so far cooked a boston butt, which went up to 300 down to high 100s and back and forth. Finally I killed the flame and I moved to the oven after 6 hours. Today I did spare ribs, I had to keep going out and adjusting, Would climb to 300 Id adjust the vents and then would snuff out, would have to open everything up to keep it going and then adjust it all again. They did turn out amazing, but I still have to go out every 20 mins and fiddle. I do use an external prob so I know the exact temp. Any help would be awesome!
  2. Dear Sir,
    I have the same smoker and have experienced this same issue. The advice I can offer is as follows:
    1. For slow and low you do not need to light alot of coal, just a few pieces, arrange it so that it lights other pieces, but you dont want alot lit at once.
    2. For slow and low, the lower vent should be open about 2 inches and the upper vent about 1/4 inch. If alot of coal is lit you may have to close them more than this.
    3. Do not open the smoker very often! Everytime you open it air rushes to the coals and makes them hotter.
    4. Do not fiddle with her so much, set the vents how I have said and leave that little black beauty alone.
    I hope this helps!
  3. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Great advice above! I have an akorn as well which likes to coast around 300. So just go with it. You can make great ribs, butts, brisket, at that temp!
  4. Hi Zemm, 

    I'm new to the Akorn and in the learning curve as well. I had a ATC that was bought for mu UDS experiments and have been working with it on the Akorn. I need remote monitoring. Spent 3-4 days last week working with the really nice people at Flame Boss on getting control of things. They did an update or program mod to make their unit more Akorn friendly. Here is the graph of a 24 hour burn that I'll be closing down shortly as a test. https://myflameboss.com/cooks/28587

    What amazes me is the thing will burn 24 hours and it is hard to tell from the charcoal used it has been lit. And isn't that cotton ball trick a neat clean way to start it. I'm really liking the Akorn and it'll probably cause retirement for several of my smokers and grills. It'll go super hot for pizza and burgers or long and low as needed. But is so different from other cookers that it does take a little learning time. I did do a seal job on the lower vent. High temp silicone and thin felt, seems to be working fine so far.
  5. I have had an Akorn for 4 years now and getting the temps under control is one of the major learning experiences. First you need a good remote temp monitor, like the Maverick ET732 because the dome temp gauge is usually way off and is slow to respond. For low and slow start with just one cotton ball in the center of your charcoal. Leave the top open for about 5 minutes and then shut it, with all vents wide open. If you shooting for 225° then when you grill temp gets to around 150° shut the bottom vent almost completely, only about 1/2 inch open, set the top vent so that only the small circle at the bottom is open.

    Let the grill temps stabilize, about 15-20 minutes and see what the temp is reading. Make all your adjustments with only the top vent and make them very small, allowing about 15 minutes for any changes to stabilize. One of the biggest problems is not letting changes stabilize and you end up chasing the temps. Lots of people have had good success with this device  http://www.yardandpool.com/maverick-tip-top-temp-grill-temperature-regulator  This is the best deal on it I have found. I just tried one recently and it worked great for me. It takes a little getting use too, it works on the temp difference between outside air temp and your desired cooking temp. You may want to give one a try at this price.
  6. lemmy

    lemmy Newbie

    The cotton ball method works wonders.

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