Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 158
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JeffG Fantastic Results at a Great Price
I bought this grill in June and love, love, love it.
I recommend that anyone considering this type of grill (a kamado), do some research first. It is not as easy as a gasser or even a kettle charcoal grill. There is a learning curve to all kamados but once you dial it in, the results are outstanding. In other words, if you just grill on occasion and "good" is good enough, stick with the other grills. If you want steakhouse quality steaks, pizza that tastes like it came out of a high end pizza oven, and the ability to smoke pork shoulders for 14 hours and have the best pulled pork ever for the neighborhood party, then you want kamado cooking. Not to mention...ribs!
Most kamados, like the Big Green Egg (BGE) cost three times this one and do not come with a cart. Why? Well, they are ceramic kamados. Does that make them better? Yes and no. I have eaten food off of both and know pit masters who have used both. Most will say that the quality of food is the same. I agree. The biggest difference is that the BGE will last forever as long as you are careful with it. The ceramic does come with a downside however. They way a ton, so they take a small army to move unless you buy their cart that costs another small fortune. The Akorn is made from three layers of insulated steel. It is much lighter and will last many, many years if cared for. Keep it inside or covered. Water kills, especially if it gets down into the ashpan, gets the ashes wet, and sits there. When people complain that "Mine rusted!", that's why. It is light, so very mobile. The cart is a huge convenience. Take all of this into consideration, especially if deciding between an Akorn and a more expensive brand like the BGE.
The cooking experience: I love it. As mentioned earlier, there is a learning curve to all kamados (there are websites to help you). For example, if you plan on doing a spatchcock chicken at 350, don't throw a bunch of charcoal in and let it go up to 700 degrees. They are a lot easier to ease up to temp than to bring them back down. Once you get a feel for the vents, you will be cooking excellent food.
Accessories: Like all such grills, you will need other things for the best experience. It adds a little to the cost, so you should be aware. This is true of Akorn, BGE, and all brands. I suggest:
The Akorn Cooking Stone ($35 from Home Depot)-Used to create an indirect cooking environment. For example, when smoking a 10 lb pork butt for 14 hours.
A good cordierite (because of the high temps) pizza stone if you want to make pizza.-Can be $50+ but I found a great quality one for $12.95 on Amazon. Just look for deals.
A dual probe grill thermometer that has a probe for the grill temp and another for the meat.($30-$40)-Mandatory for low and slow cooking. When I did the 10 pound pork butt, I monitored it from inside the house, as mine has a remote that the base signals. I know the grill and meat temps at all times without going outside.
TipTopTemp (optional $20-$35): One of the things the Akorn does not do quite as well as the more expensive cousins is hold low temps steady for long cooks. You might have to run out every couple of hours to adjust the vents. The TTT sits on top of the top vent and does it for you. I can literally put a pork butt on at night, go to bed, and leave it all night without a worry. It stays within 10 degrees of my target 225.
A charcoal grate from a Weber 22.5 inch kettle grill.($11)- You put it on the tabs for the smoking stone and put the charcoal on there. It brings the coals closer to the cooking surface for the best steak sear ever.
Is a charcoal mizer! It is so efficient, the small amount of charcoal it uses is amazing.
Versatile. Whole chickens, duck, turkey, pizza, bread, the best wings you will ever have. There are forums with kamado recipes for just about anything you can imagine. Many have video recipes as well. There is an included top rack that you can put corn and other veggies on, or even better, more meat!
Easy clean up. It uses little charcoal, so little ash. The ash pan is VERY well designed, better than the competitors.
The side table and underneath storage is incredibly convenient.
Spacious-I will be doing four 10 pound pork butts for my kid's cross country team's concession stand next month. Three on the grill surface and one on the top rack. Yes, 40 pounds of meat!
Cons-Is it as well built as a BGE? No, but is a Ford a Mercedes? No, nor does it cost as much!
The built in thermometer is terrible. BUT, use a reliable grill thermometer like I mentioned above anyway.
You will get fatter eating all that delicious food!
I have included a picture of the 10 pound pork butt from last weekend. Notice the wonderful bark (the blackened outside which is not burn, it is flavor!) I got on this grill.
September 23, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by JAZZY Works as advertised
Easy to use, heats up quickly to high temps. Food tastes great using this grill.
August 14, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Chris Very Happy I went with the Akorn with the cart from Home Depot
With the cart there is no chance of it falling over when moving as does the ones from Walmart and Lowes. The cart also gives more room and support during the cooking. I'm extremely happy I got it all at the same time and was amazed how easily it cooks.
July 19, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by PM13210 Excellent Product
The grill/smoker was a breeze to assemble. The temperature is easy to control. All items cooked so far have been delicious!
June 28, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by ahajr Great grill
Did my first run with low and slow with a 20 lb. brisket and a 6 lb. pork butt. Ran at 220F with only a couple of adjustments and finished the pork shoulder and the flat brisket cut in 12 hours and the point part of the brisket in 14 hours, which was faster than I expected. The results were excellent. I used the Weber charcoal grate form the 22" kettle grill and an aluminum foil wrapped pizza stone as the heat deflector as some have suggested. Very satisfied with the grill and some envy on the part of some "egg" owners. I was able to assemble the grill by myself but I needed to reverse a cart panel because I had put one on and the holes didn't line up for the table part.
August 30, 2016
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by ElRudy Pretty Good Purchase
Part 22 'Fire Bowl, 3 Handle, Porcelain " arrived slightly damaged. I had to paint over one of the hinges inside and unbend it. Additionally, part 32 "Hinge Assembly" is misaligned. The issues will be apparent when you look at the pictures attached below.
June 2, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Jeff Great Smoker
You cannot beat the price of this grill! Hold temp as long you you don't mess with the vents once you lock in temp you want. I had it hold temp for 9 hours straight to cook 2 pork butts & an 10 lbs brisket. Remmeber, low & slow when smoking and if you're lookin you're not cookin! So far quality materials, I did drop the center removable piece and it shattered but my fault, don't drop it! Really great buy, I love mine.
August 7, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Smokey Best Bang for the Buck
I bought this grill after researching all of the expensive ones. I was a little skeptical and scared to buy the bargain grill. When I got it home, it had a part that was broken in shipping. I called the Akorn people and they put my fears to rest. First of all, they were very responsive to my desire to have a new part sent to me. It arrived in just three days . Second, they told me that they stock all of the parts for this grill, and if I ever need to replace a part, they will help me. They were cordial, polite and helped me quickly. I'm impressed with their customer service. It is the BEST! Next, the quality of the grill. I have used it for many weeks now, and it delivers! It cooks great, maintains heat as well as my son's BGE. The recipes in the owners manual are wonderful. The pizza is the best I have had in years, anywhere. I had a steak last week that was better than AI could have had at a local steakhouse. Maybe better. This grill compares to any BGE. If the quality is not there, in a few years I can buy a new one and be many dollars ahead of the game. I plan to just replace parts as needed. This is a BEST BUY!
August 18, 2016