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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 04-26-2013, 07:53 AM   #16
Wampus
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Well, I don't actually have either, but I've cooked on a 18" WSM and I do own an ECB, which (modified) is VERY similar, performance wise. I also am storing (and using) Dan Chambers' Big Steel Keg, which is similar (I think) to a Akorn since it's an insulated steel kamado style cooker. I also storing/using his LBGE.

I LOVE that BSK. LOVE IT.

That thing will get SCREAMIN hot.
Unless I need to do a lot of meat at once and use the UDS, I've been using the heck out of the BSK and the BGE. I just don't use my kettles much since I've been able to play with the kamados.


If I was making the choice you're making, I'd go with the Akorn since it's different than anything you have right now. Of course, I also already have the ECB and UDS.


What EVER you choose....don't look back. Make the most of it. I'm sure you'll be happy with either.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 08:02 AM   #17
NS Mike D
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I have three wsms

get the 18 unless you have a reason to cook for large crowds or do competitions

I think JM Seltzer did a great write up on the Akorn and it cooked low and slow perfectly, as well as hot and fast and high temp grilling.


Get an 18 or

sell the kettle and the propane and get the Akorn.



I've seen too may good reviews on the Akorn that have convinced me this should be the first purchase one makes after closing on their first home.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 08:14 AM   #18
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I say one of each and build a UDS. That's just me. Lol!
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Unread 04-26-2013, 08:46 AM   #19
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I have similar equipment to you. This is my humble opinion...

Get the WSM. If you are going to do more than the following at a time, say 6 racks of baby backs or two briskets or 100+ wings or, well you get the picture then you dont need anything more than a 18.5" WSM. If you are going to do more at one time than those capacities then go for the 22.2". The acorn will not hold as much food as the WSM 22.5. Not sure about the 18.5". Since you have the gasser and the kettle, you really dont need the acorn but you do need a smoker :)

I have a gasser, kettle, mini kettle, and TWO 18.5" WSMs. I have two because I wanted the ability to do smaller cooks (less fuel needed in the 18.5") and when I want to cook more, I can fire up both.

Hope this helps.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 09:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
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.
I deeply love my Akorn...however you hit the nail on the head...capacity..I think this weekend I am going to try and surpass the 24-hour advertised smoke time in the Akorn on one load of fuel.

The biggest pro is the Akorn is a beast at efficiency and maintaining temp.

I am making a 17.5# packer and 2 9.5# butts. The packer barely fits in the middle of the cooker...(although it isnt a small one).
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Unread 04-26-2013, 09:06 AM   #21
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Cajun Bandit Conversion kit for the kettle (You still have a grill) AND an Akorn for just a bit more than the price of a 22 WSM.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Cajun Bandit Conversion kit for the kettle (You still have a grill) AND an Akorn for just a bit more than the price of a 22 WSM.
This is a great idea :)
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Unread 04-26-2013, 11:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnaws on Pigs View Post
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.

X2^^^

You can tell from my signature that I love Weber products. However, since I bought my Akorn just over a year ago and the only times I've used my other grills is my gasser's side burner and a Weber kettle at our cabin.

I do cook high heat on mine and find it great for steaks, burgers, lamb chops, etc. I miss being able to set up for graduated heat levels.

I may get slammed for this, but it seems like the food out of the Akorn is a little more moist. Maybe because it is tighter and there is less air flow.

Some other things to note. The Akorn's insulation makes it very efficient, especially in the cold when a WSM will go through charcoal like pigs in slop. The WSM is also very susceptible to wind, there is a good chance you will need some type of wind block for it. Because the design of the Akorn is so contained I feel comfortable using it on my Trex deck. I would never have one of my Weber charcoal grills on a deck for fear of a fire.

I don't cook for large crowds. The Akorn won't have near the capacity of the 18.5 or 22.5 WSMs.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 11:52 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnaws on Pigs View Post
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.
These are my sentiments exactly. I was new to charcoal as my primary method when I bought the Akorn. from my very first use, I have had nothing but success. very easy to maintain temperatures. Versatility and I think it rivals LP in efficiency. Like the post above, I have done no modifications. It was suggested at one time that I purchase a BBQ guru, and I considered it, but decided there is absolutely no need.

Now all this being said, I have no experience in using a WSM.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #25
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I've been using an Akorn for a couple of years now. I do low and slow and high heat searing. It takes practice like any other cooker, but once you learn the tendencies of the cooker, you'll love it. The biggest draw back is the limited capacity.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 01:22 PM   #26
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Based on what you posted and what you already have, I say go with a 22 WSM. It holds bigger cuts of meat and is a pure smoker. HOWEVER, both will produce great smoked meat. I've done well using my kegs in BBQ comps, here in TX.. where just about everybody uses a stick burner. Smoke flavor isn't an issue here.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 01:31 PM   #27
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I do cook on a BGE from time to time, and love it for a lot of different reasons. I imagine the BSK is a lot the same. But, I recently did a 12 rack cook, which would simply not have been possible on the XL BGE that was sitting there. the two racks in a 22" WSM will allow for that (although just barely). In terms of doing three racks, the BGE would be my choice, I think the end product of ribs was better of the BGE. And I believe it is because of the nature of the insulated cooker.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #28
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Default Second on the Cajun Bandit Conversion kit for the kettle---

You mentioned that you already had a 22.5 Kettle, take a good look at the Cajun Bandit, with it, you will have the best of both worlds!!!
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Unread 04-26-2013, 02:14 PM   #29
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I have two electric bradleys, a gasser, a 275 gallon offset, and bought an Akorn about 5 months ago.I am still amazed at how the Akorn holds temps, how little lump it takes to do long cooks, its ability to cook in freezing weather with no problems, how little the wind affects it, and the way I can do a 5 hour low and slow on ribs and be searing steaks 10 minutes later with little effort.My other grills and smokers havent been used in months.

The cons to the Akorn are it doesnt hold a lot of food, Ive gotten 3 racks of ribs and seen people get up to 4 butts on one, and it will hold a fairly large brisket. If you cook more food than that often I would consider something bigger.And while it doesnt weigh as much as say an egg you still need two people to load it and unload it.

Never used a WSM si cant really comment or compare the two from personal experience.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 02:45 PM   #30
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I have both a 22" WSM and the Acorn, love them both. But from what you have described as your needs and current equipment I would say WSM. You can also hang chicken, ribs, tri tip etc.... like the PBC cooker in a WSM.
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