Big Green Egg Vs Char Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker

In the grilling world, Char-Griller is a name that’s synonymous with “cheap.”

The company specializes in making the most inexpensive grills on the market by using low-cost materials and finding ways to reduce expenses during production. This can cause a noticeable drop in grill quality.

But Char-Griller’s latest kamado grill offering seems to deliver results while costing just a fraction of a similarly-sized Big Green Egg ceramic grill. How do the two compare?

Char Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Vs Big Green Egg

ProductCooking SpaceGrill MaterialWeight
#1. Akorn
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447 square inchesSteel-wrapped insulation97 pounds
#2. Big Green Egg452 inchesCeramic219 pounds

#1. Akorn Kamado Grill

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The previous model of this grill was called the King-Griller KamadoKooker. This updated design is a steel egg grill with a double-wall design and built-in insulation.

The most defining feature is that it’s much lighter in weight and lower in price than ceramic kamado grills on the market.

Char-Griller is a brand best known for making cheaply-manufactured, cheaply-priced grills. They’re not often on the forefront of grilling design innovation because their business model is geared toward consumers on a shoestring budget.

But the company’s manufacturing process, combined with the design of this egg grill, may be a winning combination.

Kamado-style grills have been made with ceramic for millenniums. The tradition of kamado-style cooking goes back far further than many people can conceptualize.

But rather than using the traditional design materials, Char-Griller has executed the same concept with modern materials that weigh and cost much less.

The grill performance doesn’t seem to suffer, which means that the company has created a kamado-style grill that can compete with forerunning companies but be manufactured at barely any of the cost.

Char-Griller didn’t pioneer this steel design concept. Other companies have been using higher-quality steel materials to achieve roughly the same effects.

The main surprise is that people who bought the grill for the low price tag found that the performance was much better than expected.

The grill’s lid and main body are made from one-inch thick insulating material that’s been wrapped in layers of steel.

The outside is coated with powder to help it stand up against the elements for longer, while the interior is coated with porcelain.

The bottom and top of the egg have calibrated dampers, with the bottom being a piece of an easily-removed ash pan. The pan and lid are secured to the body through latches made of metal.

The dampers and gaskets in the grill aren’t the highest quality. They tend to leak, which leads to temperature fluctuations.

They also don’t have strong enough attachments. If you cook your food at 700 F or higher, these parts of the grill are liable to degrade or melt. That said, the gaskets are easily replaceable if they become damaged.

Though the grill comes with a thermometer that’s supposed to indicate the lid’s heat, it doesn’t provide very accurate temperature readings. You’re better off buying your own digital thermometer.

The grill’s three-legged cart tends to be sturdy, featuring two wheels for portability and one locking mechanism for stability.

Two light side shelves include utensil hooks. The interior of the grill has a cast iron grate with 302 square inches of grilling space.

A kamado-style grill is meant to retain and maintain temperatures for long periods of time. The Char-Griller model achieves this basic principle by using steel and insulation to get the same effects as heavier ceramic.

You should keep in mind that cooldown takes a while, so be careful not to heat the grill too hot to avoid frustration.

The Akorn isn’t built to last. It’s built to be the most affordable kamado-style grill on the market. If you’re curious about kamado grilling but not committed yet, the Akorn may offer a good test run.


#2. XLarge Big Green Egg

In terms of cooking area, the XLarge Big Green Egg is the closest grill in size to the Akorn. The Akorn’s total surface is 447 square inches, while the XLarge’s is 452 square inches.

Though the difference in surface is negligible, the XLarge weighs more than twice as much as the Akorn and costs about four times as much.

The XLarge’s grate is 24 inches in diameter, and the grill’s dome is large enough to house two turkeys weighing 20 pounds. The design is made with traditional ceramic and includes a limited lifetime warranty.

The outside of the grill has been treated with a green glaze that’s easily cleaned. According to the manufacturer, the ceramic can withstand temperatures reaching up to 2000 F, though people should be careful not to knock the grill over since ceramic can crack.

The cooking grate rests on the fire ring above the grill’s fire pit. It is hinged in place with two metal bands. Side tables are optionally available to attach to the outside of the grill.

Both the base and lid have been covered with specialized felt material to ensure the grill is sealed, which means it’s not susceptible to the same leakage as the Akorn.

The grill’s temperature can be controlled by opening or closing the vents to maintain or release heat. Because the materials aren’t prone to leakage, the BGE has much better temperature control capabilities.


Final Thoughts

The Akorn performs well enough for a kamado-style grill, especially considering it’s half the weight and 1/4 the price of a similarly-sized BGE model.

However, the cheap construction materials leave the Akorn prone to heat leakage, fast degradation, and even melting of grill parts under high temperatures.

If you’re a beginner who just wants to try a kamado out, the Akorn is a great choice. But if you plan to use your grill frequently and precisely, the traditional construction of the BGE is basically flawless.

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