Yoder YS640 VS MAK 2 Star VS Memphis
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Yoder YS640 VS MAK 2 Star VS Memphis
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Thread: Yoder YS640 VS MAK 2 Star VS Memphis

  1. #1

    Yoder YS640 VS MAK 2 Star VS Memphis

    Hi all,

    I'm trying to decide between these three options. This would be my only grill, I'd probably use it weekdays for casual grilling (burgers/chicken/steaks/veggies) and then smoke on the weekend.

    So, I'm looking for something that can serve as an all-in-one.
    I've done a lot of reading here and other forums and so far I've found the following.

    Yoder YS640 w/Comp Cart & 2-piece diffuser:
    Pros:
    • Can get to high temps (~700F with grill grates) for searing, still has 2-zone ability
    • Good reputation as a company
    • Most basic setup, few parts to break
    • Cheapest of the 3

    Cons:
    • High pellet consumption
    • Rust/paint issues (grill would be in Houston, where that could be a problem)
    • No WiFi (not sure how much this matters)
    • No meat probe


    MAK 2-Star:
    Pros:
    • Great controller
    • Stainless construction, lower pellet consumption
    • Ability to cold smoke

    Cons:
    • Unclear how it will function as a grill - searing ability/functioning as a 2-zone seems low (this may be a dealbreaker)
    • More electronics/ parts to break
    • Smaller for the price


    Memphis Pro:
    Pros:
    • High end stainless steel construction
    • Appears to have a good reputation for grilling, high sear ability

    Cons:
    • Unclear if you can do 2-zone grilling
    • Price
    • Some reviews mention that it's not a great smoker, lacks smoke flavor


    I'd love to hear from you all what I'm missing, and what you'd choose if you were in my shoes

    I'm leaning towards the YS640 at the moment, just because it seems to be the best all-in-one option, but haven't been able to find much info on using the MAK or Memphis in the manner that I'm describing.

  2. #2
    I'm in the same position as you. I'll give you what I think and then I'm sure more will chime in.

    Yoder:

    My opinion, the best option for the money but.... the rust issue is my main complaint. To me, there is no excuse for Yoder not doing something about this. If I buy a grill to cook on and enjoy. If I take care of it, I shouldn't have to sand and paint rust issues every year. However, the competition cart that its on is pretty awesome! I don't know why MAK and Memphis for the price they charge can't have a more mobile cart. As well as the front doors that the MAK lacks. The controller is pretty basic. There are all kinds of good wireless probes you can buy that work well with your phone.

    Memphis Pro:

    There is a guy on here who just bought a PRO but I haven't seen him post anything about it. I was looking at an elite. Very big but expensive! Supposed to be the best grill. I'm not sure about it's smoking. It has a decent size second shelf so, plenty of room. Still, for the money, I hate the cart and small wheels on it for moving it around. Also, I'm not sure about this but I have heard some rumors about them having their operations moved to China? If that's so, then that might be a red flag?

    MAK:

    These are supposed to be the best at smoking. I wish it was a little bit wider. More like the 640. However, MAK is getting ready to introduce more shelving options which will give it more room for smoking. They have what appears to be the best controller on the market. 3 probe ports and programmability for cooks and actually controlling your grill from your phone. The new flamezone appears to get very hot for grilling. Bob has sent me some video of it in action. It looks like it works very well. Now, I know the Memphis and the Yoder are more over the flame of the firepot as the MAK has a diffuser plate under the flamezone. So, I don't know how the flavor there would compare to each other, or if you can remove the diffuser plate under the flamezone and it be similar? My main complaints for the MAK are: The cart and the wheels it's on looks cheap. It's main cooking area is small. I wish the cart at least came with the doors on it and the front shelf. If you want to charge me for a griddle and grates I get that. The others should be standard.

    Now, after saying all that. I am leaning towards a MAK. Besides size, I really haven't heard anyone complain about the MAK and its ability to cook great bbq. I've heard a lot on here praise the new flamezone and it's grilling ability!

    I think the most positive things I've heard about MAK is the customers service (very Important) and they seem like out of these 3 grills to be the only ones innovating. I really haven't seen Yoder, or Memphis really making improvements to their products. MAK seems like they care about its' customers and are making improvements to their product. So, MAK or Memphis is probably the way I would go. If not for the rust and it was stainless I would get a Yoder. All 3 are good. I know how you feel. It's hard to choose.

    That's just my 2 cents. I'm sure others will chime in with their experiences.

  3. #3
    Here's my 2 cents:

    I own a MAK 2 Star now. I seriously considered the Memphis Pro, but not the Yoder. I live near the ocean (SoCal) and rust is a major concern, so the Yoder was out just on that criteria.

    I chose the MAK over the Memphis, but frankly I think both are superior smokers/grills. At the time, both were made of 304 Stainless although with the Memphis it is an "option" that costs more. As Memphis is moving their production to China, I fear they may go entirely to 430 Stainless (nowhere near as rust resistant as 304). The Memphis grill area is somewhat smaller than the measured size due to using a traditional drip tray (gap around the edges), but for me this was not a concern.

    The MAK, with the new Flamezone, does quite fine at grilling. Really, steaks, burgers, chicken, chops, frajitas - the new FZ does an excellent job of producing very hot temps for grilling if that is what you desire. My disclaimer is that I have a Weber Summit gasser with Grill Grates that I use for grilling - the gasser gets to high heat very quickly, whereas the MAK takes about 30 minutes, for me, to get to grill temps. Just my preference.

    So, the MAK is just an outstanding smoker. I love the Wifi capability to monitor/change temps, alert me to conditions in the pit. that is another reason I would not have chosen the Yoder. The Memphis comes with Wifi, so that is not a major differentiator.

    one of your Cons on the MAK is about "More electronics". I do not understand this as the Memphis actually has more ( 2 fans, not 1). Both MAK and Memphis augers, fans, controllers, ignitors. I do not know about Yoders, but I I suspect they have pretty close to the same electronic footprint.

    Hope this helps.
    --Sam

    MAK 2 Star #3634
    Weber Summit E450 gasser
    Blackstone 17" griddle

  4. #4
    Thanks to you both.

    I do feel a little put off by the nickel and diming for getting a full cart from MAK, but also understand that they are built like tanks.

    Appreciate the info on how long it takes for the MAK to heat up. I need to find similar info on the others I'm looking into. Also, great point on the electronics - maybe I'm overthinking it there.

  5. #5
    I bought a pre-flame zone MAK 2 Star several years ago and was able to upgrade my grill with it - something else to think about when you consider MAK.

  6. #6
    I have a question. I'm not going for total flamezone temp coverage for this question. The Memphis has a type of flamezone cover over its middle when grilling. If one wanted to, could you remove the diffuser plate on the MAK then put the FZ cover on and cook over an open type of flame? Would this ruin the FZ cover? Just wondered how this would work for grilling over more of an open flame? I wouldn't want to ruin the grill or FZ cover doing this. Maybe a stupid thought. IDK??

  7. #7
    Not sure where this question was asked before, but the answer was "do not do it". Apparently the concern is that the FZ cover is not designed to take that direct heat.
    --Sam

    MAK 2 Star #3634
    Weber Summit E450 gasser
    Blackstone 17" griddle

  8. #8
    Thanks. I didn't know if that was feasible or not.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    272
    Grilling: the new flame zone design has significantly improved the already great high sear temps. No worries about searing, you've got with the MAK. Yes you can create a 2 zone grill. Remove the back zone cover and you have a high sear zone. Leave the front zone cover on and the temp in this area will be lower although that area is still fueled vs a gas grill where you can turn a burner off.

    Wheels: For the most part my MAK 2 Star stays in one location although I do turn it about 45 when in use. Been doing this for quite some time, never had a problem regarding the wheels.

    Size: Smoking/grilling volume, how much do you actually put on at one time? I can easily get 8- 9lb pork butts in mine. 4 on lower & 4 on upper grate.

    Electronics: MAK has the best controller on the market, no fear here....

    Matt
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Roseville CA
    Posts
    207
    My thoughts in a nutshell after studying the market to death... or so it feels... lol.

    Memphis: Great all around pellet grill. That said, they are moving manufacturing to China. There is no way in the world I’d pay current pricing for a Chinese made grill.

    Yoder: Nice unit, but to finicky for me. From the way the controller works to the super frequently reported paint/rust issues, to the uneven temps across the grate. Not for me.

    MAK: I have been cooking on MAK’s for a few years now. Are they perfect? No. Do I believe they are the best in the biz? 100% yes!

    Pitt and Spitts: Another solid contender if you are looking for only a smoker. I do not believe that they are strong in the grilling dept.

    Summary: Out of all of the pellet grills on the market, it is my strong opinion that you will not beat a MAK for overall performance, innovation, customer service and quality of construction.

    Just my 2 cents
    MAK 2 Star -- 26.75" Weber kettle -- Camp Chef FTG900

    I am not a vegetarian, but I eat animals that are...

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