First time smoker, thinking Mak, couple questions
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First time smoker, thinking Mak, couple questions
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Thread: First time smoker, thinking Mak, couple questions

  1. #1

    First time smoker, thinking Mak, couple questions

    Hello Everyone,

    Looking to get into pellet grills and have been doing a lot of research. This got me down to Yoder vs Mak. Even within Mak, I have a couple questions about them. Leaning towards MAK because of the controller and the flamezone as probably 50% of my cooking is grilling (or I like it sear then go indirect heat)

    1) Can you turn on the unit with the mak mobile app?
    2) With the latest models coming out right now, what are the main differences between 1/2 stars? I'm struggling with the extra cost, but I know I would want the flame zone. (size difference and cold smoker aside)
    3)If I want to sear, then do indirect, do you have the put the deflector over the flamezone in after doing your sear? If I sear on high, how long does it take to drop the temp back down to 300 or less?
    4) On the 2 star if you do the top shelfs, can you do two 1/2 shelfs to give more flexibility when you don't need the full top rack until really needed?
    5)Are there other meat probes that can be bought that aren't $85?
    6) (Found my answer)
    7)How do you control the temperature in the smoke box? Can you shut off the smoke from getting in there? Can you use one of the probes to monitor temp in the cold box?

    I think without considering $$, I'd go with the 2 star. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the extra money. Can these be found used anywhere? Anyway to find deals on them?

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by rehab; 05-06-2016 at 07:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rehab View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    Looking to get into pellet grills and have been doing a lot of research. This got me down to Yoder vs Mak. Even within Mak, I have a couple questions about them. Leaning towards MAK because of the controller and the flamezone as probably 50% of my cooking is grilling (or I like it sear then go indirect heat)

    1) Can you turn on the unit with the mak mobile app?
    2) With the latest models coming out right now, what are the main differences between 1/2 stars? I'm struggling with the extra cost, but I know I would want the flame zone. (size difference and cold smoker aside)
    3)If I want to sear, then do indirect, do you have the put the deflector over the flamezone in after doing your sear? If I sear on high, how long does it take to drop the temp back down to 300 or less?
    4) On the 2 star if you do the top shelfs, can you do two 1/2 shelfs to give more flexibility when you don't need the full top rack until really needed?
    5)Are there other meat probes that can be bought that aren't $85?
    6) (Found my answer)
    7)How do you control the temperature in the smoke box? Can you shut off the smoke from getting in there? Can you use one of the probes to monitor temp in the cold box?

    I think without considering $$, I'd go with the 2 star. I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the extra money. Can these be found used anywhere? Anyway to find deals on them?

    Thanks for the help!
    1. Don't think so, but really haven't looked. Since I remove the cover, load pellets & plug it in, I'm right there so hitting the on button isn't an issue for me.
    2. Best way is for you to go to MAK's site and spend some time to review.
    3. There are two plates, remove the left one for direct & keep the right one on for indirect. Haven't timed it but open the hood and the temp drops very fast!
    4. Newest 2 Star has a slide in top shelf. Older versions used either the 1/2 or whole rack. 1/2 IMO is a bit more convenient but 2 of those cost a bit more than the whole if I remember correctly.
    5. No
    7. Assuming you are referring to the optional large smoke box, sorry I don't have it so no help there. However you certainly can put a probe in there to monitor the temp.

    Don't see too many in the used category but they do pop up on occasion. Unaware of any discounts running but highly recommend buying from Big Poppa. Only you can decide which MAK best suits you needs but remember to think about how you will use it over the next number of years prior to finalizing your decision.

    MAK smokers are exceptional. Mine has turned out to be one of the best pieces of equipment I've ever owned. Whichever one you choose, you'll be genuinely pleased.

    Matt
    Last edited by mcschlotz; 05-07-2016 at 07:40 AM.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by rehab View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    1) Can you turn on the unit with the mak mobile app?


    Thanks for the help!
    1) The grill can not be turned on with the Wifi. Too much liability for MAK. Very dangerous to turn on the unit remotely!
    MAK II Star #1605

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mcschlotz View Post
    1. Don't think so, but really haven't looked. Since I remove the cover, load pellets & plug it in, I'm right there so hitting the on button isn't an issue for me.
    2. Best way is for you to go to MAK's site and spend some time to review.
    3. There are two plates, remove the left one for direct & keep the right one on for indirect. Haven't timed it but open the hood and the temp drops very fast!
    4. Newest 2 Star has a slide in top shelf. Older versions used either the 1/2 or whole rack. 1/2 IMO is a bit more convenient but 2 of those cost a bit more than the whole if I remember correctly.
    5. No
    7. Assuming you are referring to the optional large smoke box, sorry I don't have it so no help there. However you certainly can put a probe in there to monitor the temp.

    Don't see too many in the used category but they do pop up on occasion. Unaware of any discounts running but highly recommend buying from Big Poppa. Only you can decide which MAK best suits you needs but remember to think about how you will use it over the next number of years prior to finalizing your decision.

    MAK smokers are exceptional. Mine has turned out to be one of the best pieces of equipment I've ever owned. Whichever one you choose, you'll be genuinely pleased.

    Matt
    2) reading the BPS specs, it says the one star increased it's size to be the same as the 2 star, 429 sq inches. It always states is now has slide in top shelf. Added a pellet dump door.Looks like they brought it up to the 2 star, with the main difference being build materials and cold smoker, is this all correct? The mak website doesn't seem fully updated or BPS has it different/wrong...
    3) Makes sense. I mean, is it unreasonable to sear, then put the covers in and let it drop in temp to go indirect without the food cooling off?
    7) No, i was talking about the default, smaller cold smoke box.
    Last edited by rehab; 05-07-2016 at 09:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by onionhead View Post
    1) The grill can not be turned on with the Wifi. Too much liability for MAK. Very dangerous to turn on the unit remotely!
    Makes sense, that's what I figured. Although, this would be the main thing I would look for, to be able to warm up the grill before going outside....not sure how valuable the wifi is, other then alerting for food temps?

    Can you program it to alert and then go down to a warming setting? Or can you program it to shut off?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Indianapolis
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    You can shut the unit off from the app. Remember, this is a pellet smoker and you really don't want to leave pellets in it for any extended time. Ergo my comment about filling it and turning on. The wifi comes in pretty handy doing a 10 hour or more smoke when the outside temp is 20 deg �� There are no controls or shut offs for the std side box. I use it as a warming/holding zone. Putting the zone plate back on requires removal of the grate section first. You can do it but it takes more time and the unit will cool significantly vs just moving meat to the other side.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rehab View Post
    2) reading the BPS specs, it says the one star increased it's size to be the same as the 2 star, 429 sq inches. It always states is now has slide in top shelf. Added a pellet dump door.Looks like they brought it up to the 2 star, with the main difference being build materials and cold smoker, is this all correct? The mak website doesn't seem fully updated or BPS has it different/wrong...
    3) Makes sense. I mean, is it unreasonable to sear, then put the covers in and let it drop in temp to go indirect without the food cooling off?
    7) No, i was talking about the default, smaller cold smoke box.

    2.) BPS has the correct information for the new 2016 1 Star grills, and they're available for pre-order only through dealers, not through MAK, which is why our website has the information for the older models. There will be more pictures, etc. coming soon, but Big Poppa's has all the right information on their site.

    The 3 big differences between the 1 and 2 star now that they're the same size is the 2 Star has the all stainless steel body, the warmer/cold smoker box, and the Flame Zone set up comes standard. The Flame Zone will be available as an upgrade accessory for the 1 Star in the future, but it is still being re-designed to accomodate the bigger grill size.

    7.) The probes are not long enough to reach into the warmer/smoker box on the two star, even with just the standard set up as the grill comes.
    MAK 2 Star #2639
    MAK 1 Star# 819
    Sales and Support at MAK Grills
    www.theroundsfarm.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Yes, I was looking at the new bigger 1 Star on the BPS website... and salivating!
    <><
    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.

  9. #9
    Due to the price of the 1 star by the time you add the flame zone, and since the flame zone is a couple months out from being sold I went ahead and purchased a 2 star. What's another $500, right? I am interested in trying to smoke cheeses and whatever else I can do in the cold box. Can't wait!

  10. #10
    Administrator Big Poppa's Avatar
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    DId you buy it from BPS?

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