Does anyone own or has owned a PG500 AND a MAK 2 star? These are the 2 grills that I am looking at purchasing and I'd really like to be able to get a good side-by-side comparison of the 2. From my research, I feel that the PG500 will be a better griller, but that the MAK will be a better smoker. I'd like to do a bit of both and for the most part, I'd be cooking for just my family (5). Also, I've seen several posts on here about the PG500 blowing a lot of ash. Is this common? I know the "this grill" vs "that grill" posts probably get old, but as I narrow down my choices, I really want to learn every detail that I can. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Not a pellet griller, but after looking at the MAK 2 specs and how great it looks, and the accessories, I might become one. If you get it, please report back on how you like it.
Will do. That's the thing, I'm not a pellet griller either, but I'd like to be one!
I belong to several forums devoted to smoking and grilling and have been doing some research on the ash issue since reading this post. Ash is normal. With baffles and heat deflectors in place, very little should reach your food. Several people reported having a lot of ash flying around on very windy days. Also, grill lids/doors not closing properly and open seams allowed more air in contributing to the problem.
They and the manufacturers state that it is important to keep the fire pot clean before each long cook or maybe every other short cook; and to periodically clean the ash outside the fire pot every few cooks. Also, sifting the pellets in a large hole colander before filling the hopper can remove dust and small particles. Quality of pellets is another factor. Seems some pellet brands produce more ash than others regardless of pellet grill brand while some grills (or owners) prefer a particular brand of pellet.
It is not too difficult to find reviews and forums devoted to pellet grills from low end models of a few hundred dollars on up to several thousand dollars. You will find pros and cons on just about every imaginable pellet pooper out there.
I get the itch for a pellet grill every few months and for my money I would go with the PG500 or 1000. Designed by Fast Eddy and all stainless; no paint to chip and no rusting. In the old format forum, there were a lot of postings on these two models with very little reported problems outside of operator error. But that is just me. I hope this helps.
Thanks for the insight, Sarge. On the topic of ash, I wonder if putting actual grease or event water down in the ash "tray" would help trap it and keep it there, kinda like the Rainbow vacuum cleaners?
I have done a fair bit of reading on various forums about pellet grills. The PG series and the MAK are 2 that I have had a very hard time finding anything negative about. I know Memphis is another high quality grill, but to me, they are too much $. I'm not a rich guy, but I DO like to purchase quality products when I can, especially if it's something that can last a lifetime if taken care of. The MAK and PG grills seem to fit that category without being "overpriced".
Regarding ash and such, here is a link from our own forum:
Man, seems like everyone is moving operations to China... boo.
Thanks for the link, good info.
Check out BBQ Brethren to see the letter they sent to dealers.
@JAY1924 I ended up purchasing the PG500. If I'd have gotten the MAK 2, it would have been last year's model at a discount from Big Poppa's, but they are out of stock now, so my decision was made for me! From what I've read and heard, I would've been perfectly happy either way I went, but truthfully I was leaning toward the PG500 anyway because I like the idea of smoking, then searing without having to remove hot parts from the grill to convert it for searing. With the PG500, I can just toss the meat into the warming drawer and crank up the heat until it's ready for searing. I know that might sound petty...
Someday, maybe, I too will get a PG500. Enjoy yours!
Enjoy and post some pics!
It finally shipped yesterday and should be delivered on Friday! I'm very anxious!
Looking forward to your review and impressions. And the results of you first cook
Received the grill today and cooked dinner on it. Took some pics of the grill, but forgot to take pics of the food! But it cooked everything we threw at it to perfection! We did bacon wrapped asparagus, onions and peppers, corn on the cob and cheeseburgers. After one cook on it, I'm definitely a happy camper.
Sweet! Thanks for sharing!!
Just a quick update, I cooked dinner on the PG500 Friday night, Saturday night and last night (Sunday night). I'd say my grilling experience has always been average. I grill from time to time, but have never been a fanatic. And I've never owned a smoker in my life, so take this with a grain of salt. But I'm 40 years old now and personally I feel like every piece of meat that came off the PG500 this weekend has been the best tasting meat I have ever cooked. Last night I did two, 2-inch thick bone-in ribeyes using the reverse sear method. Seasoned them with sea salt and fresh crushed black pepper. Cooked them to a medium rare using the hickory pellets that came with the grill. DELICIOUS!!!!!