New to Pellet - Advice on upgrade smoker
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New to Pellet - Advice on upgrade smoker
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Thread: New to Pellet - Advice on upgrade smoker

  1. #1

    New to Pellet - Advice on upgrade smoker

    Hello I am new to this site and have found a lot of helpful forum posts. My personal dilemma unfortunately I have not been able to pinpoint. I had my Traeger Lil Tex Elite destroyed in a windstorm and my insurance is paying for a new one I was not 100% pleased with the results from the lil tex elite so I am wanting to upgrade my unit. I have narrowed it down to Traeger Timberline 850, reasons why; ease of use, set it and forget it, new technology and build are a huge upgrade from my current smoker, Traeger has tons of recipes and support due to their name recognition, and lastly I can finance the unit 0% until 2020 through a local retailer. The other unit I am considering is a Yoder YS640, reasons why; I live in Kansas and only a few hours from a local retailer that sells Yoder, they are built like a tank, but a lot of people say that can be a negative. I am a amateur cooker at best, and plan to add a grill grate to either unit, as I will grill 60% of the time and smoke the other 40%. I want something that will make the best food, with the least effort. Thanks for anyone's advice on these two smokers.


  2. #2
    I had a friend who had the Yoder. After about a year he ended up so frustrated he sold it cheap just to get rid of it, bought a MAK 2 Star and hasn't looked back. In fact he just bought a second used MAK 2 Star. One of his complaints with the Yoder was because of super thick metal, it took much longer to get up to temp, which translated to more pellet consumption. And that was with him mainly doing Low & Slow stuff. If you plan to grill 60% of the time with one, then plan on going through some pellets!

    Before deciding, you should at least take a serious look at either a MAK 1 Star and add the FlameZone kit, or the MAK 2 Star (which already includes the FlameZone).

    Are you going to spend a little more? Yes, but will you be getting more? Absolutely! You will be getting the most versatility, the best quality and customer support, of ANY pellet grill out there. Once you cook on it a few times you will see exactly why they are on the top. And it doesn't matter that they are farther away, because you will not pay one dime extra for shipping.

    Here are a couple reviews I did to show you some of the MAK features:

    2017 MAK 1 Star General - Review & Testing

    2017 MAK FlameZone, Searing Grate & Griddle - Detailed Review!

    This shows just how fast the FlashFire ignitor in the MAK grills is:

    The New FlashFire (tm) Ignitor from MAK Grills

    And no I do not work for MAK. I'm just a very satisfied customer for 8 years!
    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
    TentHunter gave great advice. I'll add that Big Poppa Smokers has a layaway plan for MAKs to help with the money situation.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    It is very easy to get caught up going through different pieces of equipment. The problem is that in many cases you end up spending more than if you had researched and ultimately bought the top of the line to begin with. Ergo the adage: "Buy once, cry once". As another VERY satisfied MAK customer I do recommend spending time reviewing the 1 Star or 2 Star models, just as TentHunter suggests. With the flame zone kit you have everything you need to grill or smoke.
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hall View Post
    TentHunter gave great advice. I'll add that Big Poppa Smokers has a layaway plan for MAKs to help with the money situation.
    Also, if you use PayPal, there is PayPal credit. Six months interest free if you pay it off before the six month deadline. That's how I bought my 2017 2-star. I haven't looked back!

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