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@Drains - Some of the factors that led me to choose the FEPG over the many other units I researched:

  • Stainless steel heavy duty (but light) construction - I want this to be a lifetime purchase
  • Versatility - literally zero changeover req'd to go from direct char grilling to low temp smoking
  • Made in USA

The closest contender was the Yoder smoker.  I think price was pretty similar.  It didn't like how dang heavy it was.  At the time, there was some special steps that you had to take to switch from grill mode to smoke mode and I didn't want to screw with that.

I've owned my PG500 for 2 1/2 yrs and have no regrets.

If you have any specific sticking points other than price, I would be happy to discuss.

I wish the control system was more modernized.  Over the past couple of years, I have learned the tricks, but in this day and age you shouldn't have to monkey with things like that IMO...  Setpoints 300 and above will hold all day long, but smoking around 225, I have to play with the parameters to account for ambient conditions otherwise I get pretty wild swings.  It's not difficult, just something to be aware of and plan for.

Yes, I wish the direct grill side was a bit larger, but I'm usually just cooking for 2 so it is not a big deal.  Also, it takes a VERY short time to get a good sear on a thick steak and then you can move over to the indirect side to finish it off, so it all usually works out good.

I wish I would have sprung the extra cash for the insulated PG1000, but I've rigged up some cheap DIY blankies so it's all good.

All that being said, I am overall happy and would buy it all over again.

I also wanted to see one before purchase.  I had a work trip last week in Tulsa and went to the factory and I tell you what I was sold....what a great company and smokers are there business.   The grills are 2nd to none and going in thinking 500 I came out thinking 1000.    Yes more money but double wall stainless is hard to pass up.   Karen helped me she is a 36 year veteran of the company.    I also looked at Yoder and Pitts.   This is by far the best built and yes may be missing WiFi but no biggie for me

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