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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 04-25-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
Oldhoss
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Default WSM 22.5 or a CG Akorn Kamado Kooker???

I now own a Bradley digital Jim Beam, a New Braunfels Cheap Offset and a Weber 22.5 Gold Kettle.....I got them in that order as well. I like the Kettle the best but am now looking at adding to the stable.

I had convinced myself that it was a 22.5 WSM that I NEEDED next. Then I came across some good reviews for the $300 Akorn and I am wondering what I should do?

I realize the WSM is more expensive, has more capacity and is more of a one trick pony but this matters not. I have a propane grill and the Weber Kettle if I want to grill. What I want is the best smoked meat I can lay my hands on. The barbecue shows I have seen often feature the WSM but I rarely see Kamado cookers other that the BGE. I do not have the money for a ceramic cooker but since I am thinking of a WSM I must also consider the cheaper Akorn.

So which of the two.....WSM 22.5 or the CG Akorn Kamodo Kooker.....makes better smoked meat? I am thinking ribs, pork shoulder, jerk chicken and the like. Price, capacity, conservation of fuel, ease of use and broader range of uses matter not here folks....just the quality of product.

So anybody have one (or more) of each of these??? Which makes better smoked meat? Thanks for any and all feedback here.

I missed out on a used but never fired 22.5 WSM for $250. I would have grabbed it but it was gone when I called about it a few days ago. A new one will be twice that taxed out but I will do it if it smokes better than the Akorn.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
Jon David
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I say the acorn, then build a uds for like 100 bucks. The Akorn is more versatile IMO. You can do low and slow and 600 degree searing. And if you do a uds you've got a cheap yet large capacity smoker.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:04 PM   #3
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Which one makes better meat? I think that would depend on who's doing the cooking.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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Since you only care about the quality of the product. I say get the Weber. Weber is a damned fine company and the WSM will last for years to come.

As for which makes the best smoked meat. That's all on who's using the smoker more than anything.

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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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might also consider if you are ever going to need to move or transport it. if yes to those then i would say the wsm.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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22 WSM if you do low and slow. Hot and fast the Akorn.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbshop View Post
might also consider if you are ever going to need to move or transport it. if yes to those then i would say the wsm.
The stats on the Akorn at walmart say it weighs 110 pounds. That I can lift....a little effort as I am not young anymore but I could do a few stairs if rain makes cooking on the covered front porch necessary.

As far as the quality of the cook and barbeque tender.....assume everything is constant. I have only been smoking and cooking with charcoal a little under a year now - but have had some very good results. I have made males swear at how fine my meat tastes. I am learning all the time but I notice different qualities in the different smokers I have. I actually started with a converted gas barbecue with a charcoal/wood chip and chunk mix side cooking setup that produced some fine jerk chicken...on par with some of the real Jamaican stuff. The Bradley is really only good for jerky, salmon indian candy and for some reason any type of beef I have cooked in it. The cheap off set smoker is a pain to keep hot and maintain clean smoke. I can leave it alone for only short periods of time - it makes some very good pork butt. The Kettle is something I have only had for a few weeks now but I LOVE it. I can see and smell clean smoke almost all the time, fuel consumption and maintaining even temp is so easy, I can leave it alone for 25 minutes or so and predict how it is with some acuracy and the food is very good. I have had better barbecue at a few select locations and believe it was the equipment being used. I cannot have a open pit setup in the yard nor afford a fancy stick burner.....I can afford and fit in my yard a Akorn or WSM though..........haha. The wife is gonna be some pissed though.....I will probably be forced to sell the cheap off set....she bought me the Bradley and the Kettle is going nowhere. As per building a UDS....I can find a used WSM for about the same money as it would cost to build one. I also like the idea of that side door, being able to access the coal basket and water tray without removing the cooking grates. To achieve that with a UDS you would need a second barrel to slice off a larger piece to make the door. I do not weld nor cut metal so all that would be costing me all the parts OR paying someone. Getting a WSM used would be easier and maybe cheaper for me. If the WSM is on par with a UDS and both beat the Akorn the I will buy a new WSM if a used one does not pop up in the next little bit. If the Akorn makes equal or better quality smoked meat that the WSM then I will buy one new soon.

I need feedback from someone who owns one of each....I see so many sigs of folks who own multiple smokers so I know there are some of you here.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:50 PM   #8
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Your on the right track however I highly recommend the Pit Barrel Cooker. I don't have all my cookers listed but the PBC, Akorn and Mini WSM see the majority of use. Killer videos of cooking on the PBC on their website.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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I would go WSM unless you really want the ability to sear at a high heat. A WSM does not cook just like a UDS, they are different. I have a UDS and would like a WSM too. The Akorn seems to be a pretty good unit, and many people who have them love them. They are more charcoal efficient and a better cold weather cooker. But, the WSM definitely has them on capacity, and ease of lower temperature cooking.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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WSM would be the best bang for your buck. Awesome customer service best in any business imho.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 10:01 PM   #11
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I own a UDS, 2 Akorns and a 22.5 WSM. They all exhibit different cooking characteristics. Do a lot of Chickens? Get an Akorn. Smoke tough large pieces of meat? I would recommend a 22.5 WSM. Have little dough and on a budget? Build a UDS. Money no object? Purchase a Primo or Big Joe or maybe a cabinet smoker. I have owned two offsets over the years. I gave one away, and the other is relegated to the corner of the backyard. Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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why not do an 18.5 wsm and an uds?
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Unread 04-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedge View Post
why not do an 18.5 wsm and an uds?
^^^^This!!!!^^^^

I love my WSM!!!!
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Unread 04-26-2013, 05:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhoss View Post

I need feedback from someone who owns one of each....I see so many sigs of folks who own multiple smokers so I know there are some of you here.
You need to ask John at www.mancavemeals.com. He is a member here and has done reviews on the Akorn, uds, wsm mini and more.

I own a wsm 22" and recently bought a kamado joe big joe (setting up tomm) and have the same question.......do I sell my wsm 22?

I should have that answer soon.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 07:42 AM   #15
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I've had an Akorn for a couple years now, and I love it. I definitely wouldn't trade it for a WSM. I believe many of the people who don't recommend Akorns for low and slow bbq have never cooked on one. Mine holds temp like an oven for 8-10 hour cooks and I have done absolutely nothing to it except haul it home and cook on it-not a single one of those mods that everbody thinks you need to do for some reason. And it uses less charcoal than anything I have ever cooked on, I can get several long cooks out of an 8-lb. bag of lump. My several other smokers have been sitting idle a lot since I got the Akorn. Plus, it's a lot more than just a smoker-makes great pizza, and you can use it as a kettle-style grill, too. I don't use it a lot for high-heat grilling, (I like my barrel grill better for grilling a couple steaks or burgers or something,) but it rocks for good, moist, tender bbq, ribs, chicken, turkeys, pizzas, biscuits, and such. There are a lot of Weber cult members out there who wouldn't think of buying anything else. Weber is good stuff, but it's not the end-all better than everything else just because of the logo on it.
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