Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Charcoal cookers (such as Weber Kettles)
Lovey
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Location: South Coast NSW

Post by Lovey » Fri May 29, 2015 9:29 am

I read on another forum that one poster shuts his bottom vent and controls the temp using only the top vent. Does this sound doable or practicle?
Also, do you close the latch when cooking, or will the weight of the lid suffice to keep it sealed up?


Gumb

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by Gumb » Fri May 29, 2015 9:39 am

NO, the air has to come in under the fire. The bottom vent doesn't control the fire as much as the top vent does. I notice absolutely no difference in control if the bottom vent is fully open or half open. But you can't say that about the top vent which has great control over the pit temp. I generally have the bottom vent half way for pit temps of 150c-200c when I do my grilled fish and low or high temp roasting. I adjust the top vent according to what i want and it's just a matter of learning your pit to get the hang of it.

If I'm doing a low and slow, I'll then have the bottom vent shut down more and the top only cracked open slightly. But I use the QMaster Senior for convenience so I don't need to worry too much about vent settings or pit temp for 12-14 hour cooks.

The rule of thumb is this:

Smokey fire : Top vent closed down - Bottom vent wide open
Clean fire, : Top vent wide open - Bottom vent closed down
(I don't mean fully closed in any of these, it's a matter of degrees depending on the fire you want)

I have the ceramic so the lid weight is enough but if you have a latch, best to use it.

stm
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:12 pm

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by stm » Fri May 29, 2015 10:56 am

WarmBeer wrote: I think you'll actually find that's a guide for the bottom ash collector to sit in. Unclip your ash collector, drop it about a cm, bring it forward towards the front of the cooker, and then it will easily lift up, and you can slide it back into place.

The assembly kind of works to stop the entire ask collector from dropping onto the ground if you unclip both sides without holding it from underneath.

If you need more info, I'll try to help out, but that's about as best I can do without drawing something. You don't want to see my artistry skills, believe me...
Spot on, Warmbeer, thanks. No need to draw anything!

urbangriller
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Location: Perth WA

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by urbangriller » Fri May 29, 2015 10:59 am

That Lamb looks fine! All was not lost!
Lovey wrote:I read on another forum that one poster shuts his bottom vent and controls the temp using only the top vent. Does this sound doable or practicle?
Also, do you close the latch when cooking, or will the weight of the lid suffice to keep it sealed up?
Yes you can.

My preferred method is the one described by Gumb:

Smokey fire : Top vent closed down - Bottom vent wide open
Clean fire, : Top vent wide open - Bottom vent closed down

However you can control a Kamado (or Kettle) by either Top Vent Bias or Bottom Vent Bias, the top vent being the favoured method (less bending) by people who use the Bias method.

I've just spent the past month testing the Tip Top Temp. It is a ventilation top with a spring loaded butterfly valve designed to automatically control the temperature in a Kettle or Kamado by manipulation of the airflow through the top vent only. Interesting engineering, but it works really well, and it's Cheap. Have a look at this thread on the BSK forum: http://forum.bigsteelkeg.com/index.php?topic=15085.30

If someone can measure the chimney external diameter (without the vent cap) and the chimney height, I can work out if it'll fit the Akorn/Dragon.

More about the Tip Top Temp after the weekend, I'm doing the last testing at the moment. I've rewritten the user instructions because the engineering speak that comes in the box with them is a bit hard to understand. I'll put all that up in my vendor section over the weekend.

Have a look at this post to see some good ideas for making the Akorn/Dragon airtight: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/1377 ... ado-kooker

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

Lovey
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Location: South Coast NSW

Post by Lovey » Fri May 29, 2015 3:06 pm

Hi Chris, the top vent is 130mm wide and 55mm tall.

urbangriller
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re:

Post by urbangriller » Fri May 29, 2015 3:21 pm

Lovey wrote:Hi Chris, the top vent is 130mm wide and 55mm tall.
Great thanks.

The TTT will fit a chimney 127mm wide (Damn!) but a little ingenuity should get it there.

Alimac....want to pay me visit and pick up a TTT and see if we can make it fit?

Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

Fents
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:34 am

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by Fents » Fri May 29, 2015 4:56 pm

I already got one 2 weeks ago sent direct from the US. I cant get it to fit. Not saying it wont but i sure cant get it to (im a bit of a tool retard)

Theres one guy on the kamado guru forum thats got one to fit on an akorn by tying it on with wire. Sure as hell isnt a permanent solution though. I really think they are more suited to a kettle and and the very leasy a BSK as you know the guys have that working on their forum.

heres the talk on the KG forum - http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/18820-t ... /?p=258533

If someone makes it work here on an akorn im all ears.

Michael_Dunn
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:11 pm

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by Michael_Dunn » Fri May 29, 2015 5:18 pm

have just finished putting the Dragon together, and for those still to assemble theirs,
these steps might simplify it a bit (slightly different, and sometimes a different order to the printed instructions):

1) look at the drawing on the cover page and you'll notice the handle (to lift and move the Dragon)
is on the same side as the wheels, so firstly work out which side you want the handle on.
If it's on the LHS, the tool-holder screws will be at the back, on the RHS table.
IF you want the handle on the RHS, per the drawing, you'll have to assemble the plain legs on the RHS,
and the wheeled legs on the LHS (which is different to the instructions).

2) steps 8(a & b) tell you to attach the legs with 2 each of screw/washer/split-washer,
yet there are 3 holes. If you use only 2 of each per leg, you'll end up with 4 sets over,
so you may as well attach the legs using 3 each of screw/washer/split-washer
(easier adding them all at once, rather than adding the extra one to each leg when all is built

3) step 9 shows you how to attach the bottom shelf, then step 10 shows you how to attach the wheels.
The order should be reversed, otherwise the legs are rigid making the axle/wheels/cotter pin assembly a bit tight.

4) the top vent is definitely too loose, but adding an additional washer under the screw-head (outside the vent), makes it nice and firm.

5) I followed titch's (?) advice and loosened the hinge screws to the dome, then, with a little pressure on the dome,
re-tightened the hinge screws, and it seems like it's a better seal

It's quite a tidy/tight unit when fully assembled.
I tried an old 40cm paella pan (as a deflector/water pan for low'n'slow) and with the handles of the pan, it's a perfect fit

Narmnaleg
Posts: 1323
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:45 pm
Location: Sydney, NSW, AU

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by Narmnaleg » Fri May 29, 2015 5:52 pm

Lovey wrote:I read on another forum that one poster shuts his bottom vent and controls the temp using only the top vent. Does this sound doable or practical?
Not sure, it could work, but I'd question why. I don't use any gadget or fan systems to control temperature in my BSK. There's absolutely no need in a kamado as far as I'm concerned unless you want unattended preset temp changes to be triggered by particular events (such as 110c until meat reaches X, then 2 hours at 180c, then keep warm until serving). I prefer using both vents for temp control and I always keep the top vent more open than the bottom vent (usually I keep the top vent open double the amount of the bottom). Kamado's have an amazing ability to retain moisture and whilst this is generally an excellent characteristic it can backfire if too much moisture builds up inside the kamado and makes the charcoal "dirty". This is particularly important for low and slow cooks. It also assists in keeping the air heading in a consistent direction: in at the bottom, through the charcoal, through the food and out of the top.

StoneX
Posts: 240
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:33 am
Location: Mornington Peninsula

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by StoneX » Sat May 30, 2015 1:19 am

Michael_Dunn wrote:have just finished putting the Dragon together, and for those still to assemble theirs,
these steps might simplify it a bit (slightly different, and sometimes a different order to the printed instructions):

1) look at the drawing on the cover page and you'll notice the handle (to lift and move the Dragon)
is on the same side as the wheels, so firstly work out which side you want the handle on.
If it's on the LHS, the tool-holder screws will be at the back, on the RHS table.
IF you want the handle on the RHS, per the drawing, you'll have to assemble the plain legs on the RHS,
and the wheeled legs on the LHS (which is different to the instructions).

2) steps 8(a & b) tell you to attach the legs with 2 each of screw/washer/split-washer,
yet there are 3 holes. If you use only 2 of each per leg, you'll end up with 4 sets over,
so you may as well attach the legs using 3 each of screw/washer/split-washer
(easier adding them all at once, rather than adding the extra one to each leg when all is built
1) I thought the stainless thing was a handle too but the left tray actually is curved underneath to be a handle... I think the stainless bar might be to hang something off, no idea what though... Tea towel?

2) I noticed that too. The text said 2 of each part for each of the four legs but the diagram showed 12 total used.

Sjcampbell
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 10:40 am
Location: Armidale, NSW, Australia

Re: Re:

Post by Sjcampbell » Sat May 30, 2015 10:10 am

urbangriller wrote:
Lovey wrote:Hi Chris, the top vent is 130mm wide and 55mm tall.
Great thanks.

The TTT will fit a chimney 127mm wide (Damn!) but a little ingenuity should get it there.

Alimac....want to pay me visit and pick up a TTT and see if we can make it fit?

Chris
Ingenuity = bigger hammer :D

Cheers
Steve
Cheers
Steve

Jackaroo 6 burner gasser, Dragon Kamado,
QMaster Junior and Maverick 735

mcdive
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:47 pm

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by mcdive » Sat May 30, 2015 2:27 pm

StoneX wrote:I'm struggling to keep temps down on my Dragon... I'm trying to cook at 100-110C but it won't stop climbing. I had the bottom vent open 1/2 way between closed and the number 1 marker, about 5mm, and the top on 1, barely open. It's at 145C :(

Now I've pretty much closed the bottom vent and it's still climbing.

Also, dome said 95C and Maverick on the grill said 135C with a deflector in place.

[edit] Closed bottom vent completely now as it's at 154C (110C dome). I don't understand.

[edit 2] Took food out. Going to wreck my dinner if this thing doesn't stop going up. It's at 170C with the bottom vent slid all the way closed and the top vent on 1 (barely open).

[edit 3] This is how the vents are:
http://i.imgur.com/sbQBPkY.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/e8g8W7P.jpg
And it's now at 180C.
I was having pretty much the same issue as you. It would go up to around 350F and stay there even if i completely shut the top and bottom vents. I bought this red silicon gunk from Masters, removed the bottom vent, put it around the edge of the metal bit and screwed it back on. Then I had to clean it off around the edges. Also everything on the kitchen table that I managed to get it on. Testing the other day I was able to get my temperature stable around 234F for a couple of hours, but trying to get it any lower seemed to kill it.

I just bought some ribs from costco this morning and it's heating up now so I'm going to cook my first ribs on it and see how it goes.

urbangriller
Posts: 9453
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by urbangriller » Sat May 30, 2015 2:42 pm

Ok, it sounds like a few of these leak, and that makes maintaining temperature difficult!

Do a leak test:
Light a small charcoal fire and let it get fully lit.
Put something non poisonous and non pungent on the fire (remember putting green leaves on the campfire) you are wanting to make a heap of smoke, but you don't want to fill the kamado with bad tasting fumes.
Close the lid and shut the vents.
Now look for leaks. These are the things you need to fix.
If your kamado is new, the top vent will leak a bit, this will become less as the vent gets a nice coat of cooking gunk, don't worry about it too much, unless it is going nuts!

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

titch
Posts: 5798
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:51 pm
Location: Sth East Melbourne

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by titch » Sat May 30, 2015 2:58 pm

Have you guys , that are having trouble with temp.
Closed the lid and loosened off the hinge then retightened it?
Both my Acorn and Dragon needed this.
The seal was not sitting flat with the top lid closed
Cheers
Titch

mcdive
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:47 pm

Re: Akorn and Dragon General Discussion

Post by mcdive » Sat May 30, 2015 5:27 pm

titch wrote:Have you guys , that are having trouble with temp.
Closed the lid and loosened off the hinge then retightened it?
Both my Acorn and Dragon needed this.
The seal was not sitting flat with the top lid closed
No I did not. I might have a look at that tomorrow.


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