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Received my PG500 today for evaluation and will add to this as I use and evaluate it. I am attempting to do a dual type evaluation. 1st as a backyarder and second as a competion grill. This could prove interesting.

1. The unit was well packed from the factory and arrived in excellent condition.
2. Bring help as the weight as somewhat more than a 69 year old, and for that matter a 20 year old, should attempt to load onto and off a pickup. (It can be done and I will probably pay tomorrow)
3. FFF (fit, form, function) appear to be excellent with some observations.
a. there are some sharp and ragged edges around the legs.
b. the wheels do not roll well on grass.
c. Lifting one end to move it may be ok if you are 6 foot but at 5'6", it is awkard to say the least.
4. The assemble was simple
5. The hopper holds 20 pounds of pellets
6. Don't open the little door that has a slotted screw on the bottom of the hopper if there are pellets in the hopper. If you do, be prepared to catch them or have a broom handy. (The book probably mentions this, but who reads them)
7. The surfaces of the outside housing above the grill line can be used as a grill as well. Their temps are in the 300 to 350 degree range above the fire pot when the indicated temp is 400. (It does and will burn you!)
8. Fired the grill with factory settings and a setpoint of 400 degrees.
9. Took less than 2 minutes from an initial start to smoke and fire.\
10. At 4 minutes indicated 270 degrees
11. At 10 indicated 378
12. At 14 indicated 406
13, Ranged between 385 and 410 (25 degree swing) for 30 minutes.

More tomorrow as I cook on it.
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It was a curiousity moment for me. I used my screw driver to open the little flap. OOPS, got it closed quick. 1 person can do it, just have a bus tub below the hopper to catch the pellets.

The wheels do not lock. There are wheels on only the legs on the hopper side, there are no wheels on the shelf side.

Since this is an evaluation unit, there were no goodies included but that does not mean there won't be on future ones.

Got some wings on mine with a sp of 300 and find that the area above the fire pot is way too hot. Moved them to the smoke side before crispy crittering them all. LOL :-)
Several additional observations.
1. The grill spacing on what I call the smoker side, are a little too wide and some food can fall through. Cooked some chicken wings with great results.
2. The moment of inertia when moving up an incline will require further testing .
3. Bone in, skin on chicken breast appear to retain more moisture when cooked on the PG500 al la green egg.
4. When the doors are opened, the feed rate of the pellets increases due to heat loss and the grill section becomes extremely hot. Will work on settings to try and minimize this but it may require a design change with a switch to throttle the feed when the doors are open.
5. Unit lights in less than two minutes
6. Unit takes less than ten minutes to come to a 300 degree setpoint
Due to the Christmas holidays, café schedule, new (to me) work-n-play toy hauler, evaluation will be slow but steady with reports as they occur. Any questions, just ask. My first impressions are it is a well built unit that will last longer than most on the market and is so simple to use that my wife uses it without my input. That is bothersome as it’s a man’s hobby.
Here is a photo of the first time fired. Loaded pellets and the smoke you see took less than 1.5 minutes.


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  • 018a
Thanks Smokin ice. One question I have and maybe you or Smokin okie or another member who has the 1000 could answer is when you set cook temp I'm assuming it is for zone 4 so if you are searing a steak what temp would you set it for?

I hope this question makes sense. I'm trying to get a handle on this 4 zone cooking.

I'm assuming if I set zone 4 to 225 to smoke a Butt then zone 3 would be a bit hotter and zone 2 quite a bit hotter and zone 1 hotter than hell-- is this hot enough to sear or would it need to be cranked up to max
A C | E G I
B D | F H J

SP – set point
Ind. – indicated temp on the unit
A is the left rear – fire grill
B is the left front – fire grill
E is the left rear – smoker grill
F is the left front – smoker grill
Etc. hope this makes sense. Used an ir and measured the temp of the grill grate surface in each of the indicated points. The internal temp probe is located about 6 inches above the point I labeled G.

SP 400 250
Ind. 400 275
A 444 241
B 436 303
C 428 303
D 410 327
E 399 255
F 407 221
G 232 174
H 222 169
I 226 170
J 233 182
cooked a beef tenderloin today for the family Christmas dinner. Set temp at 400 and seared the loin on all sides on the grate side and then transferred to the somoke side at 350 set point. Cooked to an internal of 125 (approximatly 30 minutes) and removed to a platter for rest. this was a great piece of meat. The unit lends itself to this type of sear/cook due to the design of the areas.
Hey Mack,

I got a question. I ordered a pg500, but wasn't gonna have the shelf put on the front, they are $100 more. My thoughts were that since the doors swing open, it wouldn't be much of an advantage, since whatever you put on the shelf would get hit by the door.

What is your thoughts about this, since you have had a chance to cook on the grill?...thanks!
I guess I haven't thought about a shelf on the front. I'm not sure how it would work but suspect that unless you had a turkey on a stand, the doors would not hit anything due to the swing/slope design.

One other side comment about the doors, there is a potential to burn your arm as you open the wide side door. It has not happened to me but my son-in-law figured that one out. The arc of the door while holding the handle allows the edge of the door to come into contact with the underside of your arm unless you move with the door. I know this does not make sense but it appears that the taller you are and the longer the arm lenth the more likly this is to occur. I'm vertically challenged so it wont happen to me. Just an observation.
For those that like numbers:
Approximately 6 pounds untrimmed, 4 pounds trimmed prime beef tenderloin. Used a light coating of olive oil and a rub mixture of fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic, cracked black pepper and Mediterranean Sea salt and allowed the roast to come to room temperature
Used hickory pellets and a set point of 400° yielded a sear grate temperature of 450° left front to 550°left rear and 600° right rear after preheating for 15 minutes. Seared the tenderloin on all sides, reduced the set point to 350° and moved the roast to the center of the grate on the right side of the grill with the deflector in place. Grill temps ranged around 230° on the left side of the roast and 190° to 200° on the right side. Rotated the roast end to end and over every 10 minutes until an internal of 125° in the thickest section which took about 30 minutes. Removed to a carving board and allowed to rest for 15 minutes prior to slicing.
There was just a slight smoke flavor which enhanced the overall experience. My son-in-law, who is a classically trained Cordon Bleu chef who works at SMU, was impressed with the performance of the gill and the ease of use.
I got rid of a Traeger SM070 and now I suspect that the propane grill will leave the patio as well.


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  • tenderloin

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