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Mak or Memphis
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Thread: Mak or Memphis

  1. #1

    Mak or Memphis

    I know this has been brought up a time or two but I know Mak has updated a few things lately. This being a BigPoppa Sponsored forum might bring a little bias but that's ok

    I only smoke 4-6 times a year, but I grill probably once a week (chicken, burgers, steak). I love the flavor smokers give meat even when they grill, so that's why I lean towards pellets as opposed to a lesser expensive gas grill. That being said, I know Maks have their "Flamezone" which intrigues me a little; if I'm in the mood for a little char or bold grill marks I have that option.

    Now the Memphis seems more like a grill and less like a smoker, imo. Temps get higher, maybe retain heat better? Both Mak 2 star and Memphis Advantage are $2700. Through forums seems like most tend to lean towards Mak, but if I'm grilling 95% of the time perhaps the Memphis has the advantage? (see what I did there). Coming from a Green Mountain which has been okay, computer problem 2 years into it, and now an igniter issue (4 years into it). Unreliable temps (computer says 375, thermopro says 340). Looking to upgrade to something that will last and better consistency.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by SweatyButcher View Post
    ...I know Maks have their "Flamezone" which intrigues me a little; if I'm in the mood for a little char or bold grill marks I have that option.

    Now the Memphis seems more like a grill and less like a smoker, imo. Temps get higher, maybe retain heat better? Both Mak 2 star and Memphis Advantage are $2700.
    Years ago I looked hard at the MAK versus the Memphis. MAK won out for a few reasons, one of which was it's versatility is unmatched by anyone.

    You are exactly right about the Memphis being more of a grill than a smoker. It used to be that the Memphis was a little better at grilling than a MAK, but that is no longer true, IMHO. MAKs with the new 2017 FlameZone are grilling beasts, PLUS it's a better smoker for when you do want to smoke some low & slow BBQ.


    Something to consider (since you don't smoke much); if you don't want/need the cold-smoke chamber that the MAK 2 Star comes with, and aren't attached to the idea of a stainless cook chamber, then the MAK 1 Star with the FlameZone kit would run about $2075. It's the exact same size & FlameZone as the 2 Star, and all the critical parts are still 304 grade Stainless steel, same as the 2 Star. That'll leave you some cash to get a couple searing grates and an upper rack. That's what we have and absolutely love it.


    Here's a write-up I did of the new FlameZone, searing grate and MAK Griddle being used on our MAK 1 Star: 2017 MAK FlameZone, Searing Grate & Griddle - Detailed Review!


    Don't get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with the Memphis line of grills. They are a quality product and if you go that way, I'm sure you'd love it. It's just that the MAK is more versatile.


    Hope this helps!


    P.S. You should also take a look at a MAK griddle. I still think it's the most underrated MAK accessory!
    <><
    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.

  3. #3
    Thanks TentHunter!

    You have some good points in there. I have read your review on the FlameZone and it is top notch. I do like the stainless of the 2 star over some of the scratch prone powder coat of the 1 star but dunno if it's worth a grand (I know it has the included FlameZone and a few other things as well.) . The wife really likes the looks of the Memphis and I can't blame her, aesthetically it is a notch or two above Maks.

    Have some pondering. Do you or anyone know if BigPoppa ever has sales on Maks? Not in a huge hurry, will be looking around Black Friday and likely the holiday season..

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    I don't have either but have researched both. I would add that yes the Memphis does look better. However, The Memphis top shelf is pretty lacking. On the MAK you can get a half rack, 3/4 rack or full upper rack for more space. You can't get that on the Memphis. The MAK Lid is also tall to allow for more room. Tent is great and full of great information!!. If you look at a lot of his threads he has a lot of information and pics of all of the food he fits on his MAK. It's pretty impressive. Best of luck in your search.

  5. #5
    Thanks Wolverines! Good point about top shelves...something I hadn't really thought about. I usually cook for 4-6 people, maybe twice a year do I need a lot more, but still something to consider. I will continue to read threads and lose sleep

    As of now leaning towards Mak 1* but still have a month before I pull any triggers.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    188
    I've never used a Memphis grill, but would like to give you one more datapoint on the MAK as a grill (mine is a MAK 2).

    I originally bought my MAK as a pellet-smoker only, as I was doing a lot of smoking on my two dedicated woodburning smokers (offset firebox and WSM ) and was getting tired of constantly tending the fires. I liked the idea of hands-off wifi-based controllers, as well as the multiple pellet species that were available. I already had a fantastic Lynx gas grill and a couple charcoal grills, so I had grilling covered. I looked at a bunch of brands, but settled on the MAK once I got to check one out in person at a local dealer. Like all of us here, I was immediately hooked on pellet smoking and have not looked back.

    Fast forward to the present... I upgraded to the 2017 FlameZone awhile back. I no longer own a gas grill and my remaining charcoal grill remains covered most of the time. The FlameZone is THAT good. AND, incredibly, the smoking capabilities of the MAK got even better with the updated hardware and firmware. So, I've effectively gone from 5 grills/smokers to 1 that does it all.
    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

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