I hear the Maks are amazing, and I believe it. But if you think the shipping price gets eaten by the company, think again. No company is going to eat 100.00. The shipping cost is priced in.First, welcome to the forum!
Any of those three will grill steaks.
What I don't care for with the PG500b is the zone design. One smaller zone is dedicated to grilling, another for smoking, etc. The design just isn't conducive to filling it up with pork butts if I wanted to do that for a larger cook.
The Yoder is a heavy duty, built-like-a-tank cooker with plenty of room. BUT there's a trade-off for the extra room and uber thick metal. It takes longer to warm up and uses more pellets. Their controller is hit or miss with people; some folks love it and some don't. We have some members here who love their Yoders.
The most versatile cooker is going to be the MAK 1 Star. They are known for putting out more smoke. Their PelletBoss controller is considered the best on the market, and the available options are incredible. The metals used are high grade (aluminized steel for the body and 304 grade stainless for all critical components). Their customer service simply cannot be beat.
Searing on the 1 Star is even better if you add either GrillGrates, the FlameZone and a MAK searing Grate, or if you like an overall sear (like you'd get in a cast iron skillet), then the MAK griddle is fabulous and very underrated.
Don't be deceived by its small footprint either. With the upper rack, it holds plenty of food. I have no problem cooking eight pork butts or 80 pieces of chicken.
The trade-off? Without a doubt you are going to spend a few more $$$ on the MAK. Is it worth the price difference? As a happy MAK 1 Star owner I will tell you yes every time. The difference is worth every single penny.
When comparing prices, keep in mind that standard shipping is already included with the MAK. That alone is worth at least $100.
But if you think the shipping price gets eaten by the company, think again. No company is going to eat 100.00. The shipping cost is priced in.