The Char Griller Akorn JR. Kamando Kooker is a charcoal only grill produced by Char Griller. This grill comes from the Akorn line which is known to be one of the premier charcoal grills for tailgating, locking in flavors and producing incredible results in charcoal cooking. Every element of this grill is designed for longevity and for producing a high-quality flavor. The only real detraction from this grill over the full-sized Akorn line of grills is that this one is slightly smaller than the full version of the other grill available. The Akorn line is synonymous with quality and this is an excellent entry-level version of the well-liked Akorn charcoal grill that’s perfect to travel with as well.
The Akorn Junior in this version also has a major difference from some other Akorn grills in the form of its Kamado grills. This style grill actually works to enhance the flavor of food and they can hold heat extensively better than other grill designs. This means that individuals can potentially grow with far less charcoal and under a much better regulated heat. Kamado style grills are the same type that you may find in a large-scale restaurant and they are known primarily for their even heating and their ability to really enhance the flavors of food. These types of grills are readily available on many types of grills making this Char Griller a real diamond in the rough.
The cooking surface on this grill will hold some people back, however it is primarily designed as an occasional grill or as a travel grill. You won’t have much luck with this product if you’re going to be regularly cooking for 4 or more people on it. It’s extremely durable and great for small traveling events but for a large-scale barbecue, you will definitely be looking for more grilling space. Surprisingly you can fit a decent amount on the 153 square inch cooking area but it really isn’t enough to complete with some of the larger grills or the full version of the Akorn if you have used this. As a travel grill though there’s really nothing that can stand in the way of this item in portability for charcoal.
What’s even more surprising in this miniature grill is the amazing care that Char Griller Akorn placed into the use of its materials, its features and more. Everything in this grill has been designed to be extremely intelligent and this means including things like an easy dump ash pan for the fastest in cleanup as well as top and bottom air dampers for easy temperature controls.
The big mark of this grill however is its quality, the Char Griller Akorn design has always been for holding the most heat and flavor possible into the grill. The construction of these grills is really designed for enhancing flavors and for locking all of the smoke into the items you are grilling. This design is no different and it’s built with extremely durable, affordable and lightweight materials. Certain ceramic grills in the same format would be extensively more expensive than this product which has been manufactured with quality and with portability in mind.
It’s truly amazing using this grill for the first time especially when you see how well it holds the heat. Temperature control is not only easier with this small grill but it is a device that remarkably holds heat into the items you are grilling for the future. This can lead to better controls over the grill itself and a much easier time with the barbecuing as a whole. With the amount of seed that this grill can also hold you find yourself using far less charcoal to barbecue your favorite food. This means that if you are only going to be grilling for two people, this is an optimal product for you because you won’t need to heat up an entire large grill worth of charcoal to cook a meal. For smaller families or even small gatherings, this is a great product that can help you conserve charcoal and really hone in on the flavors that you are going to bring to the table with the meal.
The dual flow dampers, hinged locking lid, heat gauge, thick walled insulation and more all separate this grill apart from its competition. These are features that you normally see on some of the world’s top charcoal grills and even in this portable format, this manufacturer has been sure to include them to make sure that users can access these premium features.
The materials and the insulation that this product has have always been one of the hallmarks of the Akorn design. Acorns are created using a 22 gauge steel wall which can maintain much higher temperatures than other grills. The grill and smoker can withstand heat from 200 up to 700°F leading to the chance to maintain very high temperatures for searing, or low and slow temperatures with extreme accuracy. At just 14 inches in diameter it’s very easy to control the heat while offering a decent amount of cooking space for some smaller items. Temperature adjustment can be made easy through the top and bottom dampers. The heat is held in extensively well through a triple walled insulation. Akorn uses its own proprietary insulation materials to keep heat in and to make sure that the entire grill runs as efficiently as possible. Other thinner grills and smokers are simply unable to offer the same type of support when it comes to heat retention and efficiency when compared to the Akorn line. The interior finish also works particularly well at reflecting heat back inside the design. Char Griller has created this item with a porcelain coated steel interior finish. This porcelain coat is often the same type of material that you might find in other grill designs such as grills that contain porcelain coated cast iron. This coating ensures that heat can radiate inside the device and that the entire device can be kept extremely efficient at all times. The exterior is completed with a powder coated exterior finish which helps to reduce the heat along the outside of the akorn design. It is important or remember however that the akorn itself does get quite high even despite the insulation and the powder coating. It’s never recommended to actually move the device while its in use but there are convenient handles on the sides for transportation after it cools down.
The grill design has been made for the best in longevity. While many smaller grills use thin walled still or a stainless steel grill construction, the Char Griller Akorn opted for a cast-iron grill without coating for the best in heat efficiency. This extremely thick cast-iron grill is designed for the best in holding heat. If you have ever used a cast-iron pan, this grill can do the exact same thing as well as leave beautiful grill marks in whatever you are going to be cooking. Cast-iron has become one of the biggest tools for these grill manufacturers. This does add to the overall weight of this grill but it ensures that the grill design is made to last. With proper care and cleaning the grills on the Akorn Jr may never need replacement. The process of caring for cast-iron grills is relatively simple. Between uses make sure that they are properly cleaned, you can do this with a quick wipe down and a scraping. It’s also extremely important that the grills are regularly boiled between uses. Rub the grills down with an oil product to retreat them between each use. The grill treatment with oil works to prevent the grills from making food stick between uses. As the grills continue with treatment between uses they will start to build up a strong oil coating over time. With this coating in place it will be possible to enjoy a strong and stick free operation between uses.
The grill has also been made with quality in its sturdy construction. The handles are designed to screw directly into the frame and this ensures you can always have confidence when you are picking up the grill. With handles which are built out of a strong material as well as a durable locking mechanism that seals the heat inside, you can be sure that this is a grill that can travel very well. The short and sturdy legs on the Akorn Junior are also way better than many other types of frames on portable charcoal grills. The problem that many people face is that their frame simply falls apart after they regularly travel with their grill. The strong materials available in the Akorn Jr are designed for the best in operations in almost any environment. The sturdy design is great for camping, tailgating as well as grilling in the park. The three prong frame makes it easy to set up and be stable anywhere.
Damper adjustments with this Char Griller product give the user the best in control. Within the instruction manual for the Akorn Jr, you can find a variety of presets for the dapper adjustments which are optimal for each grilling style. Adjusting these dampers allows for the perfect smoke, the ideal sear on a steak and more. This level of customization also coupled with the idea of a quality temperature gauge really helps users to get the most out of their smoker and to have the best experience possible. Moving the adjustable top damper can work to maintain airflow as well as help with the process of searing. In most cases the top damper will not need to be used too often, unless the goal is grilling poultry or searing steaks. It can affect the temperature most of all as well as lead to high flareups. The bottom damper is where the vast degree of control is available to users. With the bottom damper only slightly open and a top damper closed for example, it is easy to create a nice low smoke for smoking items and adding lots of flavor. Closing up the bottom damper and opening the top damper little bit will deliver a perfect 300° temperature for grilling burgers and ribs. Opening the bottom damper a quarter of the way and leaving the top damper open a quarter of the way is ideal for grilling poultry. The bottom damper halfway open and the top damper completely close is the ideal way to slow grill roast beef and pork. To maximize the seat efficiency of this grill to the fullest, open both dampers and leave the bottom damper with at least a quarter closed. This is an ideal way to sear steaks at over 450°. Opening both dampers and letting the full air in can often lead to temperatures in excess of 700° and this can make cooking a little more difficult. By having the ability to play around with the damper adjustments and to get precise temperature control, this grill is perfect for really taking your outdoor bbq meals to the next level.
All of these incredible features are available on a grill that you can easily pick up and take on the road. Other types of grills would be very difficult to store, very difficult to bring along with you to the park, and tough to set up if you’re going to be tailgating. The Char Griller Akorn is one that takes just a few minutes to set up, a grill that’s easy to clean and something that can be brought with you almost anywhere. The grill weighs in at around 38.9 pounds and this makes it quite portable as far as charcoal grills go. It could be easily lifted onto a truck or even moved by the handles by two individuals. Bringing along a small bag of charcoal is all you will need to get a camping party or tailgate party started with this great grill!
Many users are absolutely blown away by the way that this grill is able to cook as well. The grill can often reach temperatures of over 700° with just 12 pieces of charcoal inside. The 14 inch grill offers a fairly usable size and it cooks items extremely fast. Many have reported that a small stake will cook in just 3 min. with half a minute sear on each side, burgers can be ready in a flash and it works amazingly well as a long-term slow smoker. One person can easily move this grill around if needed.
If you plan on leaving this grill outside regularly there is a bit of a word of caution. Most suggest that through the top temperature control the grill can often start to take on water. With the help of a grill cover however it’s possible to prevent this grill from retaining water when it is closed. Even though the temperature control damper may be responsible for taking on water from time to time, the grill itself can also be stored inside between uses. Because it’s fairly easy to pick up and move inside or cover up, you can work at preventing water from getting into the grill. Leaving it outside and uncovered will allow water to often pool at the base of the grill which can make the process of lighting the charcoal very difficult. Water pooling and falling through the grill will also regularly start to leave rust and corrosion on the grills which can be extremely dangerous to health. Rather than taking the risk it makes sense to consider getting a small grill cover or at least sealing the grill into a garbage bag when left outside.
If you are interested in picking up this grill you should also strongly consider ordering off of Amazon. For a small extra fee you can have expert assemblers complete construction on the Char Griller, Akorn Jr before it ships. This means that it will be ready use out of the box. This type of convenience is well worth the extra fee especially when you are in a rush for some tasty food off this fantastic grill !