How accurate is the controller?
1st mine is a 2011 PG 1000,the insulated version. The controller is accurate. If what you mean by accurate is if you set it at 225, will it maintain that 225 all the way through your cook you need to dig a little deeper into the controller. It has settings you can adjust the pellet feed for different ambient temps and variances in a temp spread you might desire. Yes it can hold a steady temp.
Is it a PID?
How is it as a smoker?
Understand that all Pellet Grills will have a lighter smoke profile than offsets. If your preference is a heavy smoke profile, really do your research and get a taste test before purchasing so you won’t be disappointed, no matter what mfg you ultimately choose. Do they smoke good? Yes definitely, many competitions are won by using Pellet grills.
Putting ash in Food
In the begging it will put out some ash. After it is seasoned this cuts down until it usually only spreads on startup. Let it come to temp and it stops. Ash is also worse if you don’t regularly clean your fire pot and empty your ash drawer. Also your choice of pellets can impact ash production. I have always used (since 2011) until recently, Fast Eddy 100% Hickory and never has problems. There is more to the story than that particular dealer either knew or wanted to share.
The heat was uneven in the indirect zone due to...
Well I can’t even finish retyping that statement. If I can find it I will post a picture of zone 4, the 18x18 indirect zone with biscuits covering the entire zone. They are evenly brown, even ALL around the perimeter. The 500 by the way is just like the 1000 except the insulated top that lifts back and the 500 has doors that swing open. Zone 1 and 2, the lower and top direct zones and zones 3 and 4 the indirect zones are the same.
The lack of WiFi, lack of built in meat probe, and possible uneven heat are all concerns
WiFi, a great tool to monitor your pit and progress. Now a little opinion, I prefer my WiFi temp monitoring to be separate my my pit mfg. WiFi technology has always been improving or changing and in my case since the PG1000 has been serving me greatly since 2011 I know WiFi frequencies have changed. I want to be able to stay on top of that without having to go back to the mfg whose primary focus I want to be on producing a good pit. Depending on how many probs you would like or need would dictate which mfg to research on that. If I need to smoke 3 briskets at once I use my electric smoker and have 6 probes + a pit probe WiFi connected. Tappecue for 4 probes and a FireBoard for 6 probes and there is the Thermoworks Smoke if you only need 2 probes. All excellent mfg with excellent customer service.
The picture again will quell the uneven temp statement.I can get my temp direct temp to around 700 in 8 minutes. I can put a pizza stone in zone 4 and have it heated to 500* in right at 20 minutes. The pizza will be done in exactly 8 minutes and I best not let it stay longer. I can spatchcock a 22#turkey and smoke it for 3.5 hours in the indirect zone and get raving reviews. I could keep on and I hop others will chime in and contribute as well. And clarify anything they might find In need of it.
Don't know or remember the pellet consumption on the FEPG, but they are on the website and all I know is back in 2011 it had one of the best consumption ratings on the market. For me 7 years of none breakdown enjoyment and production says something. Last Christmas we did a Brisket a day 3 days in a row, not bad for a pellet grill that old. I speck it will be handed down when they won’t let me play with fire anymore. Should it ever be needed, the Cookshack Customer service is top notch as well.
Look at the unique heat flow diagram.
Listen, I hope this is helpful to you in making your decision. Pictures in next post. Sorry for the long ramble and possible typos.