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Char-Griller 16619 Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black

85% Positive Reviews
Rated #6 in Ceramic Smokers


Pros: Great price, easy ash cleaning, new model improvements

Cons: must contact Char-Griller for accessories

The new model with the black top vent is an improvement over the previous stainless steel silver vent (older) model. The new black cast aluminum top vent now has a large o-ring washer to seal it air tight to the top of the Kooker. Make sure you buy the unit with the black top vent and you will have the new model. The bottom of this unit drops down and comes off completely after releasing the two latches to clean the ashes out. Much easier than digging in the vent hole to clean the ashes. The unit has a metal exterior, triple insulated including the bottom, with a porcelain interior. Like most grills and kookers the temperature gauge is not accurate so cheers for the Maverick ET-732. My unit was 70° off. I can keep the temp at 200° to 250° by closing the bottom vent completely and the top vent open very slightly. Start the coals using the minion method and watch the amount of air you let in the unit. The bottom line is that this unit has done a great job for me so far. It is priced right and is built very well. The two drop down tables are a nice standard feature. This unit comes in Black and Red depending where you buy it.


Pros: Price

Cons: Quallity

​I am the king of bargains and finding deals. So you can image how excited I was when I found this at my local big box store. The first 6-8 month were great, I smoked everything, life was great. Then I started to notice the handles were splitting and eventually completely broke. The lower ash pan completely rusted out after the first year. Not kidding, the vent you slide to control the air is nothing but a huge gap of rusty shards of metal. There is a bracket that supports the ash pan after you unlatch the latches on both sides, Welds Broke long before it rusted out. $300 and only got a year out of it???  Kinda sucks. Ill push it out with the trash and let some sucker think he found gold.


Pros: Price and seems to be of decent quality

Cons: None so far

I was going to go out and buy one of those expensive ceramic Kamado grills having never actually used one or even seen one in person. I have always wanted to smoke ribs, fish, chicken and these things seem to be able to do it all! I stumbled across a review of the Char Griller Akorn and started doing research. It seems like most people that buy them, really like them! I decided to purchase this lower priced unit, learn how to use a Kamado and when it dies, I will replace it at that time with whatever my cooking skills deserve.


Pros: $248, light and manueverable, no spring assisted lid opening device, insulated, elevated rack, removable ash pan, triple wall insulated pit area

I was limited on the pros so to continue:  no extreme high heat thermal cracking like ceramic models in winter, no chipping, cracking, breaking, shattering, comes with a stand, accessory tray and side trays,  1/4 the price of other ceramics, I can keep temps below 200*F up to 800*F, have had mine three years no issues, (I cover when not in use since it's metal with hollow walls and wood stove insulation needs to be kept dry,)



Pros: Low fuel usage, MOIST tender meat, Super high heat available for pizza, seraing steaks, etc., Very HIGH Value considering the LOW COST!

Cons: Needed a few minor mods to seal perfectly

This excellent smoker/grill almost makes producing the best smoked meat I've ever tasted too easy. On previous smokers, I was forced to brine and/or inject most meats or they would dry out in the smoker. The Akorn kamado smoker/grill however those extra steps are not necessary. Because this smoker seals up so well, there is a much lower amount of airflow that moves across the meat. The meat stays moist WITHOUT the brine and injections. I have smoked pork roast, beef roast - both sliced and pulled, pork loin, ham, and turkey so far. Steaks, pork chops, hamburgers and pizza at high temps. Everything turned out nearly perfect!


After adding some Nomex at the top and bottom seals - it is totally sealed when I close it down. I also added a much better thermometer compared to the stock thermometer.


Highly recommended.


Bottom line = 95% of the performance of the Big Green Egg at 1/4th the cost!


Pros: Fully insulated unit keeps the outside cool while cooking. You can grill, smoke, or bake all on one unit. Very strudy compared to other CG cookers.

Cons: Requires some learning compared to basic charcoal cookers. Temps can be difficult to control. Not much support from Char-Griller site.

 I got my first look at the Char-Griller Akorn at Lowes.com and further research lead me to a great YouTube video series about the cooker in early 2013. Initially, I was interested in a Big Green Egg but was not willing to spend over one thousand dollars on a kamado grill without having used one before. After a few solid weeks of watching videos, reading reviews, and finding a very dedicated group of kamado cooking aficionados over at Kamadoguru.com, my wife and I decided that we would purchase the Akorn. Very few things that are offered at a great discount over their competitors rarely turn out to meet or exceed my expectations but the CGA was completely opposite of that. Not once have I regretted the purchase or thought that I could have done better for the money, the Akorn performs as well as several ceramic kamados priced much higher. Food cooked on the Akorn is moist and delicious, the cooker can smoke for hours on very little fuel, and looks great all while doing so. I recommend the Akorn to anyone who is the slightest bit curious about cooking on a kamado or who wants to get into this kind of cooker but doesn't have a grand to drop on the competition. To this date, my only complaint about the CGA is that Char-Griller seems to have not put much faith in this product and isn't doing a better job marketing and supporting it on their site or at their authorized retailers. Honestly, I think a lot of folks would walk right past a ceramic cooker that costs three times as much if they really knew just how capable and excellent a cooker the Char-Griller Akorn really is.


Pros: Easy temperature control

Cons: None so far

I have owned the Akorn Kamado grill for about three months now. I use it all the time and I have smoked chicken and turkey so far. I have used it to grill one of the best ribeye steaks I have ever had. Grilled it at about 600 deg. with no problems. my smoking has been done at about 225 deg. I get it up to temperature and adjust the inlet and outlet air ducts and it holds the temperature very well. I don't depend on the grill thermometer, use a Maverick remote thermometer to keep track of the grill temp and the meat temp.


Pros: Smokes really well. Its been a good cooker for the time I had it.

Cons: Had a cooking grate issue and found NO PARTS after looking everywhere. You will find a cover, and a cooking stone. But no replacement parts.

Really disappointed in trying to find parts for this grill


Pros: Efficient for cooking small quantities of food, well insulated, very flexible, classic Kamado performance but it's STEEL and not fragile Ceramic!

Cons: Needs a Charcoal Basket, and a Water Pan on top of the Included Diffuser/Baffle, and you have to source both of those yourself.

I picked up my 2013 Char-Griller Kamado Akorn Grill Model #96619 at BJ's for $280 last month. It has a 19.5" round cast iron cooking grate and triple wall STEEL insulated shell. It came with a very thick ceramic interior smoking diffuser/baffle for indirect-heat smoking and a nice fitted cover. So it has 300 square inches of primary cooking area not counting the additional 143 square inch (13.5" diameter) warming/upper grill. About the only things I needed to add were a round charcoal basket, and a 10 - 13 inch diameter water/drippings pan to place on top of the ceramic smoking baffle. The new model seems like they improved some of the seals. During assembly I noticed that the oven-door style seal around the lower edge of the upper hood, and the oven-door seal around the lower edge of the fire bowl (where the removable ash bowl goes on), were not compressing very much when I latched them down. I simply unscrewed the latch hooks and secured them tightly in a bench vise and then tapped with a hammer on the hooked end, and slightly bent it further over around 1/8 - 1/4 inch more. When I reinstalled the latch hooks and latched down the latch hooks the seals were much more nicely compressed by the slightly bent-over latch hooks.


The first couple of smokes were great with amazing control as it's quite tightly sealed with precise draft controls that make a huge impact, and it's a STEEL body and NOT Ceramic so it's not fragile if it accidentally gets bumped or knocked over (and very repairable even if damaged), and it won't crack over time like sometimes happens with Ceramic. I noticed that you need to build up heat to only slightly more than the temperature you want, and then close up the air intake almost all the way, and also close down the exhaust partially (and not leave the exhaust wide open all of the time like I’m used to). It was interesting to me that there was such a wide range of opening on the air intake (several inches of movement) but I was either using it all the way open to get my fire going, and then almost all the way closed (maybe 1/8 inch open) while cooking.


If you shut down the air intake and the exhaust all the way the fire will go out, and unburned lump and charred chunks will be left over for the next fire! This proves it is tightly sealed. I am using a charcoal basket which I can shake the burned ash out of to re-use the leftover fuel. 


I did grill/sear on it a couple of times too, and still you end up building heat while the intake is wide open, and then when the temp reaches slightly above the desired temp you need to shut the intake way down to like 1 or even less on a scale of 1 - 5. Again the intake draft control has a lot of movement range - but seems you don't ever use the mid-range settings of the movement at all. However, I found that while grilling/searing there was never a need to use other than wide open on the exhaust stack. BTW, the 2013 model #96619 exhaust stack has no markings on it to calibrate how much it’s open but looks otherwise the same as pictures I've seen of the older calibrated exhaust stack model(s).


I also have a pretty large side-burner (OK Joe - 20" X 40" cooking chamber and 20" X 20" firebox with searing/grilling grate) that's single wall STEEL, and works great for smoking/grilling in moderate weather - but does burn a lot of fuel which is really only a concern when I'm only cooking a small quantity of food. It is a very flexible rig and allows continuous fuel feeding during long smokes with no rearrangement like a Kamado would, and even allows simultaneous searing/grilling on the cooking grate in the firebox side. A Kamado like the Akorn can do anything (smoke low and slow, grill hot, etc.), but it can only do one thing at a time (cook one way at a time without physical rearrangement). I bought the Akorn to have a smaller secondary rig that's unaffected by cold weather (well insulated and sealed) and is smaller sized for the times when I'm only cooking smaller quantities of food to conserve my fuel/effort. The Akorn's fuel efficiency is very high and the outside surface only gets warm (you can put your hand on it, but not keep your hand on it very long). You can indefinitely hold your hand 18 inches above the exhaust stack. Because of these characteristics I am experimenting with using my Akorn in a sheltered area under a roof overhang for cooking in the rain - with a fan behind me blowing the smoke out from under the roof. I also don’t leave it cooking unattended and have a fire extinguisher nearby. This more protected outdoor cooking is new to me as I'm used to always being right out there in the rain...


Pros: great way to fully smoke turkey or pork sholder

Cons: rust is inevetable....temp control is an art learned over a long time

My dad had one of the origional ceramic eggs from Japan and wouldn't cook on anything else.  I'm beginning to see why.  I have a gas grill too for quickies like hot dogs and burgers but any quality cooking is done on the Acorn.  Over the years I've had aluminum gas grills generic charcoal grills and even a Hibatchi. The Acorn is like 'the next step"and will likely be my 'go-to' grill from this day fwd.

Char-Griller 16619 Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black

Kamado style cooking comes from ancient cooking methods that used large clay ovens for insulation. Kamados of recent years are made of heavy ceramics. King-Griller by Char-Griller has developed this product for Kamado style cooking using innovative technology to make it more durable, convenient, affordable and lighter weight than traditional ceramic Kamados. This Kamado Kooker can cook anything from burgers to fish to ribs to pizza. Truly the best food you will ever cook on a grill.

BindingLawn & Patio
FeatureFeatures locking lid, 2 folding wood shelves; easy dump ash pan; double wall insulation, heat gauge
Is Autographed0
Height47.2 inches
Length43.3 inches
Weight90 pounds
Width28.7 inches
List Price$399.00
Package Quantity1
Product GroupLawn & Patio
TitleChar-Griller 16619 Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black
WarrantyRepair or replace for a period of 1-year
Part Number16619
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
SmokingMeatForums.com › Smokers & More › Smokers › Ceramic Smokers › Char-Griller 16619 Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker, Black