Took the plunge.  MAK #1396 arrived.  My cooking will never be the same.
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Took the plunge.  MAK #1396 arrived.  My cooking will never be the same.
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Thread: Took the plunge. MAK #1396 arrived. My cooking will never be the same.

  1. #1

    Cool Took the plunge. MAK #1396 arrived. My cooking will never be the same.

    Hi folks,

    I've been stalking the forum for many months, researching the world of pellet grills. I have to thank you all for sharing pictures, reviews, and cooking techniques, it has been very helpful.

    My old gas grill died a year ago, and I knew the world must have more to offer than just buying a Weber gas unit. I took the plunge into pellets. After much deliberation I settled on a MAK 2-Star General, and it has been an interesting experience (and learning curve). Below is my humble review to share with those in a similar position or considering a unit themselves.

    The unit came to me from BPS, their combo deal is a great package of equipment. The grill arrived unscathed and well packed. My local freight carrier is incompetent and loaded the skid onto a full size tractor trailer with no lift gate service. I'm sure if anyone buys one you'll have correct service, but be assured the entire pallet isn't that bad to move around if you had to. The driver, myself and a friend moved it to the ground and were able to push it around with an industrial hand truck. This is no mark against the BPS or MAK, it's just luck of the draw w/ my local service.

    Craftsmanship of the unit is absolutely superb. The entire hood, rail system, internals, hopper cover, warmer cover, main "tub" surfaces are almost all polished 304 stainless. Amazingly thick stainless, a lot of which appears to be robotic press-brake bent and welded at their facility. The flamezone must weigh 10 pounds on it's own. It's a beast to assemble. Once laid on it's back you can attach the legs and complete the assembly. The hardware is all stainless hex head with lock washers and a retail package of "Allen" brand keys (nice touch!). The legs are pre-assembled with casters on the feet and are very thick gauge (14ga / 2mm or so) with a great industrial powdercoating. The side hopper, warming box, legs, bottom shelf, and back cover are all very nicely powdercoated. Great job, built to last for sure!

    Start-up and burn-in is an easy and straightforward process. Once complete I did a couple of small tests at a fixed temp as a traditional grill, but will be taking pictures once I get into the thick of it with some long duration adventurous cooking. I'm surprised at how juicy the first few meats I cooked turned out, I'm not sure if that is due to the direct and convection style cooking or something else.

    The wood pellet fuel and usage is a lot different than a gas grill. Just walking up and opening the hood is a wake up call to wood vs. gas in the form of stinging eyes as if you stumbled into a campfire. Once you learn to stay clear you appreciate the voluminous smoke produced by this unit and how it reacts to your foods. It isn't odorless "clear" boring propane, it's got more body and soul. Not quite the same level as a a raging brick fired oven, but you know you are using something unique. I have a few flavors of pellets in stock and it's interesting to see the nuances from each burn on various types of food. 16-qt food safe pet containers hold about 15lbs, fit nicely under the grill and keep pellets weather tight.

    Looking forward to the wireless module coming out soon, and reviewing the grill over Wi-Fi connectivity. Can't beat the innovation from this company.

    This has been a fun journey. Keep the pellets flowing!

  2. #2
    Senior Member MossyMO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Glenburn, ND
    Congrats on the MAK... your 2-Star General is a beauty!

  3. #3
    Looks gorgeous!! So glad you managed to unload the grill despite UPS.

    I'm sure we are all looking forward to seeing the amazing food you and #1396 produce.

  4. #4
    That grill's a real beauty! Welcome to the forum and to the MAK Family!
    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
    Welcome to the MAK family from #1366, you will definitely enjoy it.
    MAK 2 Star General #1366
    Weber Charcoal Grill
    Old Gasser

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tatonka3A2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Glenburn, ND
    Congrats!! I can see you spending many of hours enjoying the "smoke" on your deck!

  7. #7
    Senior Member RickB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Atlanta Ga
    She's a beaut and I am so jealous of the journey your headed to. Been there but like they say...your first time you always remember!
    Keep Smoking My Friends

    Mak 2 Star General #1319
    2 Star Full Flame Zone
    Mak WIFI
    Weber Performer

  8. #8
    Moderator scooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Welcome to and to the MAK family!! You take beautiful images. Can't wait to see your cooks using that camera!

    BTW: you go high heat with those bins there and the lids will never be the same!
    Last edited by scooter; 05-03-2013 at 04:24 PM.
    - MAK owner for life! -
    2015 2 Star General prototype #0 with WiFi and beta FlashFire™ Ignition System
    2009 2 Star General #28
    2 BPS Engineered Drum Smokers, steel & stainless steel
    Smokin' Yankee's Competition BBQ Team

  9. #9
    Yeah I've been keeping an eye on the lids. So far up to 350-400° they are OK with 2-3" air gap. If I go nuclear hot I'll pull them out for safety.

  10. #10
    Welcome from a somewhat new 2 Star owner, you will find much enjoyment cooking on a MAK.
    MAK 2 Star #1374

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