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Mak 1 Star vs 2 Star

cubansmoker

New member
What's up

I have been debating on which one to get for the past 3 months and I am still undecided.

I guess living in Miami FL and not having any dealer for Mak is making it difficult for me not being able to see the units in person, so that I can make a better decision.

My final outlet is to get some advice from you guys in hoping to make my decision.
I am currently using a Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5 for smoking and a Weber one touch gold for grilling.

I want to add a pellet smoker because I heard it makes it easier for longer smokes like briskets and butts.

I need to know is the price difference between both grills worth it, will I regret buying a Mak1 vs the 2?
I need some advice from you guys?

Thank You
 

Salmonsmoker

New member
Best advice I can give you is to call Big Poppa Smokers and talk to Big Poppa. I'm sure he knows the diffences down to the tiniest detail.
 

RatTail

New member
I recently went through the same process. Eventually, I decided to go with the MAK2. It was definitely the right decision for me. I did not think that I would ever need the additional space, but I have already stretched capacity to the point that I am considering getting the upper shelf option. Three months ago I would have bet money that would never happen. I also moved up from the WSM and a Weber Genesis. I have used the Genesis since I got the MAK, but have only used it for burning food particles off the MAK parts. I may never use the WSM again. Need some charcoal?
 

JD McGee

New member
First of all...congratulations! Both are outstanding smokers/grills. We own both and have found over the years that the 2 Star General is our go to for most everything now...much more versatile for our needs. Best of luck with your decision.. and welcome to the MAK family!
 

sptucker

New member
I struggled mightily on this myself, so I can appreciate your dilemma. I was all set on getting a 1 Star and I'm sure I would have been very happy with it. BUT, I got a supergreat deal on a floor-model 2 Star at my local dealer that he was dying to get rid of, and the rest is history.

To me, there were only three reasons to go with a 2 Star at the time: The pellet dump door, the cold smoking drawer, and the Flame Zone. The sizes are not that much different, and as TentHunter can attest, the 1 Star is plenty big. Everything else on the machines is effectively the same. You probably already know this.

Well, turns out I do love the convenience of the pellet dump door, but I -could- live without it. And I wound up buying a Super Smoker Box for the cold smoker drawer, and I am so glad I have it now. It lets me hang 5lb bacon slabs vertically and smoke them for hours and hours without having to use an AMAZIN smoker tube or anything.

You can always spend more $$ on the innards of a 1 Star to get the Flame Zone. If this is important to you, you should do the cost analysis of upgrading the 1 Star with the Flame Zone. I was not too worried about this feature, and I don't use it THAT often because I have really nice charcoal grill for grilling. Having said that, the FZ does a fine job grilling.

So, if you don't mind scooping pellets out of the hopper, and you don't think you'll ever want to do any cold smoking, I say go for the 1 Star. But if you are hesitant at all on either of these points, save your money and get the 2!

Good luck in your decision.

BTW, I jettisoned my WSM within days of getting my MAK... And you should get rid of the gas grill just as a matter of principal. ;)
 

cubansmoker

New member
Thank you guys for the responses

You don't know how much it helps in getting any kind of feedback.

I noticed some of you guys have upgraded from a WSM. How is the taste difference in the food going from WSM to Mak?

Also I think I might as well go for the 2 star, either way I am waiting on my tax refund to finally come up with a decision.

Thank You
 

Tomsmccann

New member
I have a 1 Star, and it has suited my needs just fine. I usually only cook for my wife, a few friends and myself at any given time. I would love to buy a new 2 Star because of all of the features listed above, and likely will at some point. Instead of getting a refund, I'll be paying taxes this year so the purchase will have to wait.

The pellet dump feature would be nice as I find myself questioning if I'm putting in too many pellets when I'm filling it up. The ability to cold smoke would also be nice, but not the end of the world with the tube smoker. I rarely ever grill, so the flame zone feature isn't a big deal to me personally. If you plan on grilling with it, I'd go with the 2 star because the flame zone kit is just so dang expensive when you could get the 2 star which comes with it. Plus you get more space underneath to store pellets, and more space to put trays down when you're putting meat on or taking it off.
 

sptucker

New member
I noticed some of you guys have upgraded from a WSM. How is the taste difference in the food going from WSM to Mak?

For me, the taste is better with the MAK on long smokes. I don't know how to quantify this, but it just seems "cleaner" tasting. Maybe it's the charcoal constantly lighting during the Minion method on the WSM, but to me, the pellet smoke flavor is more focused. Don't get me wrong though, I still LOVE charcoal, and for shorter cooks the WSM provides fine flavor.

My biggest knock on the WSM is the user interface. Just a pain in the a$$ to setup and tend, IMHO. Fiddling with the shelves and the airflow and all that. I'm so glad that thing is gone and I don't have to burn my fingers on a damper ever again! :eek:
 

RatTail

New member
Thank you guys for the responses

You don't know how much it helps in getting any kind of feedback.

I noticed some of you guys have upgraded from a WSM. How is the taste difference in the food going from WSM to Mak?

Also I think I might as well go for the 2 star, either way I am waiting on my tax refund to finally come up with a decision.

Thank You


The WSM would sometimes give a "sooty" taste. I get nothing like like with the MAK...always a smoke flavor, but never over the top. Like sptucker I am happy to be done with the hassle of setting up, monitoring the WSM. I never used it as much as I could have because of that. It would do a good job with proper attention, but it can't touch the results and operating ease of the MAK.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
As a MAK 1 Star owner, and someone who has also cooked on my friend's 2 star a few times here's my take:

If you want all of the 2 Star's features up front, and have the $$$, then by all means go for the 2 Star. If you want to get into a top notch pellet grill, but would like to do so for a little less up front, then go with the 1 Star and add the FlameZone, and some other features as budget allows.

Either way, trust me, you will be happy that you went with a MAK.


P.S. One of my favorite features is the MAK Griddle, which is an add-on with either grill.
 

sandyut

New member
A couple of you guys posted that the smoke flavor on the Mak was cleaner, more focused etc. from a WSM... Well I am a WSM user and I hate the fiddle set PITA... On a different forum on guy said the smoke flavor on a Mak was much lesser than a WSM. I found that somewhat hard to believe. The Mak 2 have seen running was pushing out good consistent smoke.

Any further discussion on converting from WSM to Mak would be appreciated.
 

mrbbq

New member
A couple of you guys posted that the smoke flavor on the Mak was cleaner, more focused etc. from a WSM... Well I am a WSM user and I hate the fiddle set PITA... On a different forum on guy said the smoke flavor on a Mak was much lesser than a WSM. I found that somewhat hard to believe. The Mak 2 have seen running was pushing out good consistent smoke.

Any further discussion on converting from WSM to Mak would be appreciated.

I think one of the MAIN differences, IMHO, having once been a total WSM guy, who became a pellet addict in 1991, is the fact that pellet grills burn at a higher rate of efficiency Vs charcoal or stick cookers. So you are getting purer wood smoke, Vs creosote laced smoke, which happens when wood does not burn completely or efficiently.

The creosote adds a bitter, greasy aftertaste to meat.

It's also been my experience that you get the best smoke flavor by doing 2 things: Smoke first, cook second. And if you can, once you cook the meat, refrigerate it over night, then warm-up and enjoy the next day. It seems that refrigeration helps the smoke "stick" to the meat. Also, smoking for a longer amount of time---like 7 hours for ribs---does result in a smokier flavor. At least that has been my experience.

One of the things I really like with my MAK is the fact that you can set-it and forget-it. The grill does all the heavy lifting. I dont have to adjust the airflow or exhaust. I dont have to add fuel or water. it frees me to do other things while cooking on the MAK. And the fact that the food is always fabulous. Once you go pellet, you dont want to cook on anything else.
 

mrbbq

New member
The smoke on a MAK will be cleaner because the grill burns wood @ 98% efficiency factor. This reduces creosote from contaminating the smoke on the meat, which leaves a bitter aftertaste. Usually stick cookers or charcoal/wood cookers will have creosote intermixed with the smoke. Not so on a MAK.
 
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