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MAK Grills Tech Talk, Igniter

MAK DADDY

Moderator
Where to Start… up until 2 years ago this was the weak link in an otherwise bulletproof MAK Grill. From the beginning the constant goal was to make the igniter last longer. Depending on frequency of use the average life of these igniters was about a year, which is terrible in my book. Here you have a very expensive BBQ and a simple part stops it from working, unacceptable! I worked with, and helped design/improve, more than a dozen igniters (Cartridge Heaters) with half a dozen different manufactures since launching MAK Grills in 2010. Even though price was not an obstacle for us the companies just couldn’t make one to MAK’s standards and expectations. We had them made from different materials, reduced the “hot zone”, increased the coil size, decreased the wattage, changed the potting, changed the welding, changed the cap on the end and on and on and on. We made a ton of progress but it wasn’t good enough, I knew there had to be a better way.

Along the way I had learned of ceramic igniters getting super-hot super-fast but the drawback was always how fragile they are. They can’t touch anything or they will break which means they can’t be in the firepot like a normal igniter. I started researching different brands and shapes that were more durable and found a company that made them with a hole in the center to ignite natural gas. I bought some samples and started designing prototypes of holders that would not only protect the igniter but funnel the air from the induction fan, we were already using on the MAK, to super-heat the air and ignite the pellets. After a few designs and prototype tests we had it nailed, the new system worked great and was really stable. These new igniters have an approx. twenty year lifecycle, now that meets MAK standards and expectations! A great side effect to this igniter is how fast it lights the pellets, if there are pellets in the pot it can light them in 30 seconds! This allowed us to change the ignition cycle in the controller to get your MAK up to cooking temperature way faster than before. We dubbed the new igniter the “Flashfire” and proceeded to make retrofit kits for all our existing MAK customers (which consists of a new fire pot, new igniter, new igniter holder and hardware) and offer a lifetime warranty.

Tips:
Keep your firepot cleaned out!
Ash builds up over time covering the air holes in the firepot that feeds the fire with oxygen needed to burn efficiently. Once the grill is out of ignition mode the igniter turns off so you need good airflow to maintain a good smoking fire. This is especially true of the MAK vs other brands because we slow down the fan speed at the lower temps to create more smoke and maintain tighter temperatures.

Did you know:
The temperature of igniter is over 2000 degrees!
Since 2016 all new MAK Grills are built with this Flashfire igniter.
 

rwalters

New member
I love the Flash Fire igniter! I love the innovation that comes from MAK!! I love my MAK!!! Thanks for sharing the cool story/details behind the FF igniter :)
 

mcschlotz

Member
Having used a 2014 2-Star and now the latest 2-Star, the difference in ignitors is significant. What a great improvement to an already fantastic smoker grill.
 

mrbbq

New member
And, let's add LIFETIME WARRANTY on the FlashFire igniters as well. Once you switch over from the old school cartridge igniter, you'll be amazed at how fast your grill starts, Full fire in the firepot within 3 minutes. Simply AMAZING!
 

BBQDad

New member
I just purchased and installed the new FlashFire ignitor... i have a huge cook this week and am excited. Thx Mak Grills customer service for your help!!!!
 

jimsbarbecue

Moderator
We have the flash fire In Our MAK grills. Pretty much never think about igniters anymore. That and the newest flame zone made MAK grills the only choice in my book.
 
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