A review of the Akorn Char Griller Grill

Here is my review after a year of using the Akorn Komodo Style Grill

So last year for my birthday I really wanted a KOMADO style Grill. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a charcoal grill in the style of a KETTLE.  You can buy the high end ceramic expensive one for around $800 (known as the BIG GREEN EGG) – me, I opted for the same style, steel drum – AKORN GRILL $300.

I have grilled forever !! Love it – but I am so used to the gas style propane grill, I really had to shift my thinking when it came to the AKORN Komando. The shift in thinking is due to the use of charcoal, establishing ones temperature, and maintaining it – anywhere from 200 – 650 degrees.

Since I had worked with this grill for almost a full year an accurate assessment/and review of the grill is now in order.

So let me start with the good …

1. The food is fabulous, when you do everything right, the food it juicy, fantastic and has a wonderful unique flavor from the charcoal and smoke.
2. I love that I can cook a HUGE variety of things from the 200 degree smoker, 350 degree chicken, 550 degree oven fired pizza – it’s very versatile.
3. No need to worry about gas.

What is a big BUZZ KILL about this style grill

Akorn Grill1.  It is a PAIN to start,  get to temperature and maintain – it either takes forever to get to temperature or I go and check and it’s at 700 … ugh, I have definitely developed some strategies, but it takes some planning.
2.  Storage and organization HORRIBLE – When you own this grill you will have 2 large grill grates, and a stone to manage, However, there is not space to put anything down.  on my deck I have an old stump that does the trick, or I lay them on the ground. It seems that there hasn’t been much thought on a users work flow.
3. If you don’t cover your grill after use it it will accumulate a TON of fluid and moisture in the bottom drum, be sure to dump this prior to grilling as it will effect your time and temperature.
4. Beer can chicken … seemed like a good idea – but I had to squeeze it shut (not as much vertical space as I thought).

Originally this grill was to replace my propane, but to tell you the truth, when I come home from work, have 30 minutes to get dinner organized my Propane grill really fits the bill. I tend to use this on the weekend with family when I know I have plenty of time.

Now I might seem a bit negative, but truth be told, I absolutely love this grill, however it comes with a commitment to planning and ensuring you can take full advantage of what it has to offer. I have to admit, I’m glad I didn’t purchase the BIG GREEN EGG.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it as a gift, but I really got a chance to explore this style grill for a fraction of the price.  Perhaps when it finally dies and/or rusts out I will replace it with BIG GREEN EGG but till then I’m happy with my setup.
For Char Griller (the manufacturers of this grill) Everything about it is good, but a HUGE FAIL on the workflow portion of it. There is no where to put anything when you are getting setup and organized and it makes a MESS.

I think I’m going to go ahead and build this table this spring. I found this design online from the Markson Blog I love the way he made the left side extended so it is a solid work surface with wheels.  I think I would add some sturdy hooks to the front or side for when you take the grates off and you need them to NOT be on the floor while your getting organized.

It’s funny I read through this post – as a reader it would be hard to know where I stand with my Komado Style Grill – bottom line, it’s a labor of love … and if you don’t want the labor stick with the Propane. If you don’t mind and enjoy the adventure, go for it, you won’t regret it.

Here’s a video I did on smoking a Brisket…MMM… don’t be intimidated Brisket is a piece of cake.