2017 MAK 1 Star General - Review & Testing
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2017 MAK 1 Star General - Review & Testing
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Thread: 2017 MAK 1 Star General - Review & Testing

  1. #1

    2017 MAK 1 Star General - Review & Testing

    As I mentioned in another thread, we got the new MAK 1 Star General with some of the options: Full Upper Rack, 2017 FlameZone (including the blank grease tray insert), the new style MAK Griddle and Searing grates.

    Please note: This will be an ongoing review done in stages, so be sure to stay tuned for updates as I test features & add-ons!

    First Impressions
    First things first, here's the new 1 Star all assembled and looking way too shiny!

    Some of the features for the 2017 1 Star General include:
    • Bigger cook area: (22” Wide x 19.5” Deep x 14” High)
      Grill Surface area = 429 sq. inches (doubles to 858 sq. in. using full upper rack)
    • FlashFire Ignitor - now standard on all MAK grills.
    • New sturdier casters (they are nice!)
    • Pellet Dump Chute - for easy changing of pellets.
    • Black powder coat finish - to make future touch-up easier.
    • Will accept the new 2017 FlameZone kit, and new style Griddle & Searing Grates.

    * Overall Build quality - Weighing in at 160 lbs, to say this thing is built like a tank is an understatement! There are no corners cut whatsoever on this grill!

    * New Black Powder Coat Finish - I think this was a smart move by MAK. This black powder coat finish should not only be easier to touch up (should the finish on your MAK get scratched) but easier to maintain. As much as I liked the Silver Vein color scheme of the previous model, no matter how clean you attempted to keep it, it was easily stained from grease & smoke.

    * Changing Pellets via the Pellet Dump Chute - Even though changing pellets on the previous model was NOT a big deal, I have to admit this is a truly nice feature!

    Here you can see The thumbscrew for the Dump Chute is easy to locate on the underside of the hopper towards the front.

    Just place a pellet container underneath, release the thumbscrew and pull the chute insert out.

    Empty the pellets, replace the insert, and you're ready for a new pellet flavor!

    Test #1 - Hot-Smoking

    OK the first test is to see how the new MAK 1 Star does as a hot-smoker (Smoke Mode - temp range = 170 - 190). What could be better for this test than a couple slabs of fresh homemade bacon?

    Here are a couple slabs of my Cider Mill Bacon going on the upper rack for a couple hours of cold-smoke (using a "Smokin Wedgie" Pellet smoker and 100% Apple Pellets).

    Then I turned on the MAK for a 7-hour ride in "Smoke Mode" using a 50/50 mix of Apple/Oak, until an I.T of 150 was reached. The color and smell was exactly what I've come to expect from a MAK; phenomenal!

    A couple days rest before slicing and tasting... and the results are in:

    Result - The MAK 1 Star as a Hot-Smoker: √ PASS!

    Test #2 - Low & Slow BBQ

    For the second test let's see how the 1 Star handles some pulled pork, using the standard drip pan.

    For this test I used a half pork butt with 1/4 cup of my brown sugar rub. It was cooked on smoke mode for about 45 minutes, then bumped up to 245 for 3 hours, then foiled with a little vinegar until done. This same test will be repeated with the other half of the butt using the FlameZone & covers.

    The bark had great even cooking and coloring all around. The shredded pork was very moist and flavorful with a nice, but not heavy, smoke profile like I expected with a pork shoulder*.

    Results/notes - The MAK 1 Star for Low & Slow BBQ: √ PASS!

    *Ribs, which have a much larger surface area to meat ratio, will have a more pronounced smoke profile.

    Stay tuned for further testing/reviewing as I go along!

    Last edited by TentHunter; 01-19-2018 at 05:57 PM.
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  2. #2
    Nice job Tent! Can't wait to hear/see more.

  3. #3
    Thanks Cliff. Looking forward to more!!

  4. #4
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    La Quinta California
    great review!

  5. #5
    Looks great.

  6. #6
    Thanks very well done
    MAK Grills ,BPS Drum Smoker, Ole Hickory Pits Ace BP, Hasty Bake Legacy KCBS CBJ


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