Mak 1 Star vs 2 Star
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Mak 1 Star vs 2 Star
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Thread: Mak 1 Star vs 2 Star

  1. #1

    Mak 1 Star vs 2 Star

    What's up

    I have been debating on which one to get for the past 3 months and I am still undecided.

    I guess living in Miami FL and not having any dealer for Mak is making it difficult for me not being able to see the units in person, so that I can make a better decision.

    My final outlet is to get some advice from you guys in hoping to make my decision.
    I am currently using a Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 for smoking and a Weber one touch gold for grilling.

    I want to add a pellet smoker because I heard it makes it easier for longer smokes like briskets and butts.

    I need to know is the price difference between both grills worth it, will I regret buying a Mak1 vs the 2?
    I need some advice from you guys?

    Thank You

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Best advice I can give you is to call Big Poppa Smokers and talk to Big Poppa. I'm sure he knows the diffences down to the tiniest detail.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    North Fort Worth TX
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    I recently went through the same process. Eventually, I decided to go with the MAK2. It was definitely the right decision for me. I did not think that I would ever need the additional space, but I have already stretched capacity to the point that I am considering getting the upper shelf option. Three months ago I would have bet money that would never happen. I also moved up from the WSM and a Weber Genesis. I have used the Genesis since I got the MAK, but have only used it for burning food particles off the MAK parts. I may never use the WSM again. Need some charcoal?

  4. #4
    First of all...congratulations! Both are outstanding smokers/grills. We own both and have found over the years that the 2 Star General is our go to for most everything now...much more versatile for our needs. Best of luck with your decision.. and welcome to the MAK family!
    Wine Country "Q" Competition BBQ
    PNWBA Team of the Year...2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2016
    We cook on MAK Grills!
    Proudly sponsored by MAK Grills, Kosmo's Q, BBQr's Delight, and Ravenswood Winery!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2014
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    Northern Colorado
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    Cool

    I struggled mightily on this myself, so I can appreciate your dilemma. I was all set on getting a 1 Star and I'm sure I would have been very happy with it. BUT, I got a supergreat deal on a floor-model 2 Star at my local dealer that he was dying to get rid of, and the rest is history.

    To me, there were only three reasons to go with a 2 Star at the time: The pellet dump door, the cold smoking drawer, and the Flame Zone. The sizes are not that much different, and as TentHunter can attest, the 1 Star is plenty big. Everything else on the machines is effectively the same. You probably already know this.

    Well, turns out I do love the convenience of the pellet dump door, but I -could- live without it. And I wound up buying a Super Smoker Box for the cold smoker drawer, and I am so glad I have it now. It lets me hang 5lb bacon slabs vertically and smoke them for hours and hours without having to use an AMAZIN smoker tube or anything.

    You can always spend more $$ on the innards of a 1 Star to get the Flame Zone. If this is important to you, you should do the cost analysis of upgrading the 1 Star with the Flame Zone. I was not too worried about this feature, and I don't use it THAT often because I have really nice charcoal grill for grilling. Having said that, the FZ does a fine job grilling.

    So, if you don't mind scooping pellets out of the hopper, and you don't think you'll ever want to do any cold smoking, I say go for the 1 Star. But if you are hesitant at all on either of these points, save your money and get the 2!

    Good luck in your decision.

    BTW, I jettisoned my WSM within days of getting my MAK... And you should get rid of the gas grill just as a matter of principal.
    MAK 2 Star General #3001 w/Super Smoker Box
    Hasty-Bake Gourmet 256
    Oklahoma Joe 16" offset stick burner (90s vintage - gathering dust)
    Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe Charcoal (for camping)
    Former owner of: MAK 2 #1795, 27" Lynx gasser, 22.5" Weber Performer, 18" WSM, Smokin' Tex

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RatTail View Post
    I have used the Genesis since I got the MAK, but have only used it for burning food particles off the MAK parts.
    This is one of the funniest things I ever read on this forum. Thanks for brightening my day, RatTail!
    MAK 2 Star General #3001 w/Super Smoker Box
    Hasty-Bake Gourmet 256
    Oklahoma Joe 16" offset stick burner (90s vintage - gathering dust)
    Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe Charcoal (for camping)
    Former owner of: MAK 2 #1795, 27" Lynx gasser, 22.5" Weber Performer, 18" WSM, Smokin' Tex

  7. #7
    Thank you guys for the responses

    You don't know how much it helps in getting any kind of feedback.

    I noticed some of you guys have upgraded from a WSM. How is the taste difference in the food going from WSM to Mak?

    Also I think I might as well go for the 2 star, either way I am waiting on my tax refund to finally come up with a decision.

    Thank You

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
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    I have a 1 Star, and it has suited my needs just fine. I usually only cook for my wife, a few friends and myself at any given time. I would love to buy a new 2 Star because of all of the features listed above, and likely will at some point. Instead of getting a refund, I'll be paying taxes this year so the purchase will have to wait.

    The pellet dump feature would be nice as I find myself questioning if I'm putting in too many pellets when I'm filling it up. The ability to cold smoke would also be nice, but not the end of the world with the tube smoker. I rarely ever grill, so the flame zone feature isn't a big deal to me personally. If you plan on grilling with it, I'd go with the 2 star because the flame zone kit is just so dang expensive when you could get the 2 star which comes with it. Plus you get more space underneath to store pellets, and more space to put trays down when you're putting meat on or taking it off.
    MAK 1 Star General #587

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubansmoker View Post
    I noticed some of you guys have upgraded from a WSM. How is the taste difference in the food going from WSM to Mak?
    For me, the taste is better with the MAK on long smokes. I don't know how to quantify this, but it just seems "cleaner" tasting. Maybe it's the charcoal constantly lighting during the Minion method on the WSM, but to me, the pellet smoke flavor is more focused. Don't get me wrong though, I still LOVE charcoal, and for shorter cooks the WSM provides fine flavor.

    My biggest knock on the WSM is the user interface. Just a pain in the a$$ to setup and tend, IMHO. Fiddling with the shelves and the airflow and all that. I'm so glad that thing is gone and I don't have to burn my fingers on a damper ever again!
    MAK 2 Star General #3001 w/Super Smoker Box
    Hasty-Bake Gourmet 256
    Oklahoma Joe 16" offset stick burner (90s vintage - gathering dust)
    Weber Go-Anywhere and Smokey Joe Charcoal (for camping)
    Former owner of: MAK 2 #1795, 27" Lynx gasser, 22.5" Weber Performer, 18" WSM, Smokin' Tex

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubansmoker View Post
    Thank you guys for the responses

    You don't know how much it helps in getting any kind of feedback.

    I noticed some of you guys have upgraded from a WSM. How is the taste difference in the food going from WSM to Mak?

    Also I think I might as well go for the 2 star, either way I am waiting on my tax refund to finally come up with a decision.

    Thank You

    The WSM would sometimes give a "sooty" taste. I get nothing like like with the MAK...always a smoke flavor, but never over the top. Like sptucker I am happy to be done with the hassle of setting up, monitoring the WSM. I never used it as much as I could have because of that. It would do a good job with proper attention, but it can't touch the results and operating ease of the MAK.

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