Due to reasons unknown to me, the Big Green Egg has utterly dominated the kamado-grilling space since its popularity explosion in the early aughts. For the uninitiated, a kamado grill as we know them stateside is a very heavy egg-shaped outdoor grill that performs like an oven, smoker and high-temp grill rolled into one. The oval design allows heat to rise from its source at the base and flow up through the grates to your food, then up to the roof of the dome, where it’s promptly ushered back down the walls, into the base, to repeat the process again and again.

These types of grills are traditionally made of insulating, but fragile ceramics; this is where Char-Griller’s Akorn kamado differentiates itself. The Akorn opts for three layers of 22-gauge steel with a porcelain-coated interior and powder-coated exterior. The result is a kamado that’s significantly lighter, significantly more affordable and, for most grillers (myself included), and unnoticeably different cooking experience. Char-Griller also throws in cast-iron grates (this should be more commonplace than it is) and a removable heating rack, both of which do not come standard with a Big Green Egg, which already runs almost $600 more than the Akorn.

Char-Griller’s affordable Akorn kamado is $45 more frugal today on Amazon.

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