Plan on purching a MAK 2 Star, need some advice on options and accessories
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Plan on purching a MAK 2 Star, need some advice on options and accessories
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Thread: Plan on purching a MAK 2 Star, need some advice on options and accessories

  1. #1

    Plan on purching a MAK 2 Star, need some advice on options and accessories

    Hello all,

    First off I want to say how invaluable this forum has been in my research - more like a quest in helping me decide which pellet smoker I should purchase. I went through many threads and various other forums in my research. I originally started out looking at the Yoder YS640, then the Blazin, FEC, I also researched the Rec Tec, newer Traeger Timberline series, GMG, even the Pitts and Spitts, which seems to be very well made but rust long-term was a concern. I came so very close to pulling the trigger on the Yoder YS640; There is a local dealer near me. But something inside said it wasn't for me. Because of this I went to the official Yoder forums and spent a good time there reading through many treads about what issues old and new users were experiencing. Needless to say my hesitation was warranted and I didn't like what I read in regards to high pellet consumption, taking too long to get up to temp and too much pit temperate differences from left to right. I was looking for trends in threads rather than just one person having an issue. I don't like tinkering with things to always make them work. I felt that the Yoder is probable more suited for someone used to using stick burners. I want to spend time with my family and doing other things instead of managing my pit.

    Again, this is MY OWN perspective from my research. I'm sure Yoder is a fine product and there are many delighted users out there and reviews that support this, construction of their pits seem awesome, almost tank like! In the end I found myself always coming back to the MAK. I believe I've watched every Youtube video that I could find that showed the MAK smokers in actions. In my opinion I believe what sets the MAK pellet smokers apart from others is that it was designed and built from the ground up to be a pellet smoker. Others seemed to be stick burners with a controller and some type of auger/burner assembly with various size pellet hoppers. I really love the fact that newer/updated accessories are often compatible with older models, MAK cares about keeping their old customers happy. The PID controller in my opinion seems to be unparalleled to others and the MAK is made in the USA! I'm a stickler for quality and not cutting any corners and the people at MAK Grills seemed to have accomplished that in their product. There were so many innovations like the clean out door on the front right that I was not aware of when I saw some instructional videos. The folks at MAK don't seem to be resting on their laurels and always improving on their improvements.

    My only hesitation at this point is the price. I'm not new to smoking game, I would consider myself a serious hobbyist and have friends that are in the competition scene. I currently have a 22" WSM, an older stainless table performer and a Weber gasser. Upwards of 3K for a smoker is a lot and I first balked at the price; even though it's within my budget; the questions is do I want or need to spend that much to satisfy my smoking hobby? Knowing myself I don't think I would be happy with a smoker like a Traeger or a Rec Tec, even though I'm sure they're fine machines. The REC appears to be the bang-for-the-buck pellet smoker to go to if you're on a budget.

    Right now only the MAK 2 Star General is on my to buy list. I don't think I'll be happy until it's sitting on my back porch

    Here is what I need help on going forward.

    Considering getting the stainless shelf for the front, do any current owners have this and is it useful? My only concern is it might make it a little harder to manage the items on the smoker since one be further away.

    I want to purchase an upper rack with the MAK 2 Star, I'm thinking the half rack. I could get the full rack, but I plan on just leaving the half rack in place all of the time unless I have something like a turkey to smoke. I like the full rack, because it has 50% more space than the half, but don't like the fact that it makes it harder to move things around on the main rack when the full rack is always installed. Perhaps I could get the half and incorporate one of the older half racks with the legs on the left and right in the front to give me the space of a full rack when I need it? Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the 2016+ MAK 2's have the newer design where the upper rack slides into rails without legs. If I did this would the two different generation half racks be different heights?

    Do any of you have the cover lower shelf/door option, if so do you think it was money well spent?

    Is the wifi included?

    Can the pit boss be controlled via an app or only a web browser, I didn't see a MAK app in the apple apps store.

    Do any probes come with the unit, if not is there a big difference in between the standard probe and the heavy duty one?

    In about 60 degree weather, how long does the MAK 2 take to get up to max temp in minutes? I looked around online but couldn't find this information. Would be nice to see someone post a matrix showing ramp up temp/time scenario.

    Lastly, do the MAK smokers ever go on sale or yearly specials, what is typical turn around time from order to delivery?

    Thank you all in advance for your suggestions and input.

    -MAKintosh
    Last edited by makintosh; 01-31-2018 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Indianapolis
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    Have a coupe of answers: The WiFi is an add on accessory and the pit boss is controlled via a web browser. One probe comes with the unit. If you need an additional one get the heavy duty one. Half vs full rack decision can only be answered by the user taking into account the variables like how much meat you are wanting to smoke at one time etc... It's going to be different for many people. Have yet to see MAK's going on sale. Got mine from Big Poppa and highly recommend him. Otherwise I believe the only other source is MAK itself. MAK's are fantastic and you will not be disappointed. I'm sure others will chime in to provide more answers.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  3. #3
    mcschlotz, thanks for replying. After I posted I did read a post where someone discussed a 3/4 top rack. I don't recall seeing that on the MAK grills site, but I think the 3/4 top rack may be the ticket for me. Now that I know the wifi isn't included do you or folks that have the wifi has been beneficial. It's an expensive option and wonder if it would be better spent on other options?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    We have a full upper rack and half rack for our 2017 MAK 1 Star (same size as the 2 Star). Honestly though, the full upper rack is what gets used most often.

    Yes it makes reaching food on the back of the lower rack a bit harder, but it's rarely ever an issue since most of the time when we need to full upper rack, it's because we have something large on the lower rack such as a chicken, turkey, roast, etc.and need to put something on the upper rack.

    If you're unsure, then get the 3/4 upper rack. It should work for most things you want to put on the upper rack and you can always add a second full upper rack later.
    <><
    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2014
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    Northern Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by makintosh View Post
    Right now only the MAK 2 Star General is on my to buy list. I don't think I'll be happy until it's sitting on my back porch
    I came to the same conclusion after a ton of research several years ago. The MAK 2 is one of the best purchases I ever made and I would definitely do it again. About the price: do some mental amortization -- $3k is nothing when spread out over time, and in this case I mean forever. Plus (as far as I know) you only live once, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by makintosh View Post
    Considering getting the stainless shelf for the front, do any current owners have this and is it useful?
    I have the shelf. I can't imagine being without it. Extremely useful, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by makintosh View Post
    Do any of you have the cover lower shelf/door option, if so do you think it was money well spent?
    I have the cabinet kit. It was definitely money well spent. Really tidies things up and keeps accessories like the upper rack, griddle, etc. out of the elements. Those items were getting really dusty and grimy sitting on the open lower shelf.

    Quote Originally Posted by makintosh View Post
    In about 60 degree weather, how long does the MAK 2 take to get up to max temp in minutes?
    I replaced the battery in my infrared probe just this past weekend, and with the new flame zone my grill grate was 625F after 15 minutes (and it was 28F outside). The internal probe was measuring around 400 at this point.
    I usually turn the grill on before I prep my food and it's always ready to grill before I am. If you have the flame zone covers removed, you can see fire coming through the holes and the grill grates get super hot pretty darn quick.

    Just do it.
    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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    I have to agree with sptucker, just do it.

  7. #7
    MAKIntosh---thanks for your intense interest in our grills. I've been cooking on pellet grills since 1991, and even if I didnt work for MAK, my opinion of the grills would be the same---they are in a class all by themselves. The dedication to innovation and improvement of the MAK models is what sets us a part from the other pellet grill brands---many of which have copied what we've introduced to the pellet grill world.

    To answer your questions about the upper grate---the 3/4 size is the most popular. It provides plenty of room for additional meat, yet allows easier access to the back portion of the main cooking chamber. The upper racks for the 2016 and beyond 2 Stars use the slide-in type.

    The cabinet door adds a "finished" look to the grill. And as has been stated, it does help to protect additional MAK accessories and keeps them out of sight, for a cleaner apperence.

    The Wi-Fi is one of our most popular accessories. The many functions on MAK Grills Mobile(tm) again are beyond what any other pellet grill brand offers. It allows unlimited cooking programs and steps in each of those programs, plus the ability to chart/log your long term cooks and ability to specifically name each meat probe are also great features.

    The new FlameZone system, introduced in 2016 is the very best FZ we've ever had on a MAK. And I know, I've been cooking on 2 Stars ever since 2009. beginning with ole #26.

    As has been pointed out, your purchase is really an investment. If you take reasonably good care of your MAK, it should outlast you. We look forward to welcoming you to the MAK family. Order through BPS and they will get your order processed extremely quickly.

  8. #8
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    Indianapolis
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    Quote Originally Posted by makintosh View Post
    mcschlotz, thanks for replying. After I posted I did read a post where someone discussed a 3/4 top rack. I don't recall seeing that on the MAK grills site, but I think the 3/4 top rack may be the ticket for me. Now that I know the wifi isn't included do you or folks that have the wifi has been beneficial. It's an expensive option and wonder if it would be better spent on other options?

    Thanks again.
    The wifi is a good option and I use it a lot especially in cold or wet weather. It's a very handy add-on.

    FYI: a word of caution to anyone using it for an overnight smoke. If it looses connection and does not reconnect, the MAK will revert to the smoke setting i.e. ~180. This poor logic was pointed out to MAK but they immediately pulled the 'safety concern' card which really doesn't make sense given you can set the pellet boss to 270 and it will stay there as long as there is fuel. It should be the same under wifi control. This misguided logic almost ruined a private wedding reception for me with a 17 lb. Wagyu Brisket that needed to be smoking at 270 but sat there in the MAK at 180 until 6am when I got up and checked.
    Last edited by mcschlotz; 02-01-2018 at 02:28 PM.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    188
    Quote Originally Posted by mcschlotz View Post

    FYI: a word of caution to anyone using it for an overnight smoke. If it looses connection and does not reconnect, the MAK will revert to the smoke setting i.e. ~180. This poor logic was pointed out to MAK but they immediately pulled the 'safety concern' card which really doesn't make sense given you can set the pellet boss to 270 and it will stay there as long as there is fuel. It should be the same under wifi control.
    I agree 100%. It should stay at the temp it was set to before the connection loss. I don't see why that is less safe than SMOKE mode. In the case of a big piece of uncured meat, it is probably LESS safe to revert to SMOKE mode (potential for food poisoning)...
    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
    If your grill was set to 350 degrees for an hour then was going to switch to 250 and you lost connection you wouldn't want it continuing on at 350 degrees...

    Smoke mode is not unsafe for cooking any foods cured or uncured it is an average of 170 degrees well above the 145 unsafe temperature for storing meat.
    Superior Wood Pellet BBQ Smoker Grills!
    www.makgrills.com

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