Purchasing a used 2 Star

jssaylor2007

New member
Found a 2 star in a Facebook market group that is in really good shape. The asking on it is VERY reasonable, and the guy says nothing is wrong with the smoker, he just doesn't use it. It has been kept in a barn, and appears to be in perfect shape, if not a bit dusty. He claims it is 5-6 years old, but it has the newer style controller on it. My question is how much updating would need to be done on it to bring it close to the 2017 smokers?
 

TentHunter

Moderator
The upgrades I would recommend to make it like the newer 2017's are:

1) Upgrade to the new FlameZone, and...

2) Upgrade to the new FlashFire ignitor.


A couple of Add-ons:

1) If it doesn't have the upper racks, then I'd add those. As scooter mentioned, which ones you order will depend upon the serial number/year model. Big Poppa Smokers should be able to get you whichever ones you need.

2) If you're getting the new FlameZone, then the newer MAK Griddle & Searing grates are very worthwhile add-ons!



Here's a write-up on the FlashFire ignitor: http://www.pelletsmoking.com/mak-central-14/new-flashfire-tm-ignitor-mak-grills-8172/

...and the new 2017 FlameZone, as well as the griddle & searing grate here: http://www.pelletsmoking.com/mak-ce...e-searing-grate-griddle-detailed-review-8450/



You're going to love that new-to-you MAK!
 

jssaylor2007

New member
Ok guys, I have the grill now, this thing is in immaculate condition. If I had been told he bought it a week ago and it just needed cleaned I would have taken his word. My serial number on the grill is 1680, and my firmware says -2,4. As far as additional accessories that I can identify, it has the full upper grate, the full blank grease pan (not sure if this is included or not), and what I believe may be the flamezone, but I'm not sure.

Edit: I have what would be called the flame zone pan, but I don't think I have the funnel thing that would be a part of the newer version.
 
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onionhead

New member
My MAK 2 is #1681, and I love it! I do have the wifi, upper grates (2 halves), Flash Fire, Flame Zone, and cover. Good score on your part, and welcome.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
Edit: I have what would be called the flame zone pan, but I don't think I have the funnel thing that would be a part of the newer version.

Yep, it sounds like you have the original FlameZone, which is perfectly fine.

However, if you like to do actual grilling often, then the newer FlameZone is worth getting. I enjoyed our older MAK 1 Star with the FlameZone, but the new FlameZone gets so MUCH hotter at the grate level (because the heat is funneled upward), and makes pellet usage even more efficient. And as I mentioned above, the new searing grate and griddle make it better yet.

With the newer FlameZone I truly feel like I have an all-in-one grill/smoker.

It sounds like you got a heck of a deal!
 
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jssaylor2007

New member
Yep, it sounds like you have the original FlameZone, which is perfectly fine.

However, if you like to do actual grilling often, then the newer FlameZone is worth getting. I enjoyed our older MAK 1 Star with the FlameZone, but the new FlameZone gets so MUCH hotter at the grate level (because the heat is funneled upward), and makes pellet usage even more efficient. And as I mentioned above, the new searing grate and griddle make it better yet.

With the newer FlameZone I truly feel like I have an all-in-one grill/smoker.

It sounds like you got a heck of a deal!

Yea, I'm pretty sure I did, and I realized I never even told the price. I only ended up giving 500 for the 2 star.
 

scooter

Moderator
You should throw in a nice bottle of something for the guy who sold you that grill at a steal of a price!! Welcome to the MAK family #1680!!!
 

jssaylor2007

New member
You should throw in a nice bottle of something for the guy who sold you that grill at a steal of a price!! Welcome to the MAK family #1680!!!

Ha yes I should have. Any suggestions on what to cook? Never really smoked before so I'll be learning. I was thinking something simpler that won't be easy to ruin. Any thought on an arm roast/shoulder clod?
 

mcschlotz

Member
Smoked Pork Butt

Definitely start with a pork butt. Very forgiving, and hard to mess up. Here's a good one to start with:

Smoked Pork Butt

Recipe By: Alton Brown but modified

Summary:

This recipe for pulled pork has never failed to delight who ever we served it to. …Matt

Ingredients:

9 pounds Boston butt, bone in, prefer not moisture enhanced
Canola spray
apple juice, in spray bottle
- - -
Brine
8 ounces molasses grandma's
1 cup pickling salt , use only 3/4 cup if meat is "moisture enhanced"
2 quarts bottled water
2 1/2 gal. zip-lok bag
- - -
Rub: this makes more than what a usual butt requires
2 tsp whole cumin seed
2 tsp whole fennel seed
2 tsp whole coriander
2 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon paprika, not smoked

Directions:

1. Brine the Butt for 15 hours Combine molasses, pickling salt, and water in a 2-1/2 gallon zip-lok bag, dissolve completely. Completely submerge the Boston butt in brine by squeezing out the air and sliding the zip-lok. Place the bag with meat into a very large mixing bowl and weigh the top down with 2 cans of beans from the pantry to keep everything submerged for marinating. Let sit in refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. 15 hours is ideal.

2. Prepare the RUB Place cumin seed, fennel seed, and coriander in food grinder and grind fine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in chili powder, onion powder, and paprika.

3. Wearing latex gloves Remove Boston butt from brine and pat dry. Lightly spay the butt with canola oil. Sift the rub evenly over the meat and then lightly pat down to make help the rub adhere. I use a small 2” dia mesh strainer for this, tapping it on the side to sift the rub onto the meat. It gives a very even coating this way. More rub will adhere to the meat if you are wearing gloves during the application. Cover every inch of the meat.

4. SMOKE at what Temp Alton suggests preheat to 210 ºF then smoke the butt for 4 hours. I use the smoke setting 185º for 1-2 hr, then @225 until IT reaches 160º (155-165º is fine), usually takes 5-6 hours. SPRAY w/APPLE JUICE every hour starting after hour 2. If wanting stronger smoke flavor add the tube smoker.

5. SMOKER FINISH Instead of the oven, continue using the smoker. Your choice: either place butt in pan and cover with foil OR, leave as it. Pan & foil will get done quicker and if doing so I raise the heat to 300º. Bark will be soft but plenty of juice *. If left alone running at 225º, total smoker time should take 10 to 12 hours, maintaining smoker temp. Begin checking meat for doneness after 10 hours. Be aware though it could take longer i.e. 16 hours or so. Meat can’t tell time, it’s done when it wants to be.

* If the butt is unwrapped in a covered pan be careful when attempting to remove. Last one I did this way was full to the top with juice and you’ll need to syphon some of it out before moving.

6. OVEN FINISH - Alton Method @ IT 160º’ish: Remove, insert an electronic meat thermometer making sure it’s not touching the bone, double wrap in alum foil. Note: after 4-6 hours of smoke, the meat won't absorb much more, so you are essentially cooking it until done at this point. Put wrapped butt into a large tin foil container (11.5 x 9.25 internal), and place in oven at 300 ºF. Continue the cook until 200-205 ºF. Meat is unpredictable, make sure to set thermometer alarm to go off when it hits 203 º. Can be anywhere from 2 to 5 hours in the oven but usually closer to 2.

7. So which finishing method do I use Depends on the time available, if plenty, leave it in the smoker. We do not mind the softer bark and the total time is less using the oven method.

8. Pull Butt @203-205º & REST Remove from oven/smoker when done (IT 205º). The meat still needs to rest for at least 2 hours (3 hrs even better). Place the panned butt in a large sealed cooler surrounded with a couple of bath towels to help maintain warmth. REMEMBER: to be safe, meat must be kept above 150º, so I leave the thermo probe in the meat and monitor it while it sits.

9. Pull meat apart with forks. It should be so done that if you grab the bone you can pull it out without loosing any meat. Can be served plain, or in sandwiches with maybe a side of coleslaw. I suggest a good barbecue dipping sauce like BBQ Sauce #2-Rum Sweet Heat.

Notes:

Pellet smoker method: grate temp - controller set to 245º yields an operating readout that’s 10 deg lower BUT actual grate temp is 255º. So actual temp is approx 20º higher than reported at the controller readout. i.e. Pellet Boss set to 240º should yield ~ 250º grate temp. If it’s cold, add another 10º to the controler setting.

If trying to manage a dinner @5:30-6:00 start the smoke no later than 7:30am if going the oven method otherwise make sure it’s on no later than 5:30am.
 
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scooter

Moderator
Agree with the pork butt as first cook. It was my first cook in #28.
This is my favorite recipe for pork and it comes out amazing every time:

Slap Yo Daddy Bone-In Pork Butt | Slap Yo' Daddy BB

If BP chimes in here he was #1 pork cook in the nation with KCBS in 2015 (Out of nearly 3000 teams) so if he talks about pork you would do well to listen!!
 
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jssaylor2007

New member
Agree with the pork butt as first cook. It was my first cook in #28.
This is my favorite recipe for pork and it comes out amazing every time:

Slap Yo Daddy Bone-In Pork Butt | Slap Yo' Daddy BB

If BP chimes in here he was #1 pork cook in the KCBS world in 2015 (Out of nearly 3000 teams) so if he talks about pork you would do well to listen!!

Definitely will, I'm in Texas, so I'm somewhat unfamiliar with the world of pork BBQing.
 

AN89AG

New member
Congrats on your new toy! The pork butt is awesome and easy. Give it a try! One thing you might want to do is check to see where the grill is hot or cold. There are a zillion ways to do this, but one that is easy is getting some brown/serve biscuits. Place them around the grill and cook 'em up. I'm sure you could use bread/toast or whatever, but the goal is to see what area cooks/burns faster than the others. Helps when cooking steaks to figure out where any hot spots may be.

As for upgrades, I love the MAK Grill Mobile add-on. I use it every time I cook, as I just don't want to go outside to check the display. Kinda spendy, but you need to spend some more money to catch up to the rest of us, LOL!

Also, get an extra temp probe, or two. Spendy, but very nice to have an extra probe in case one decides to die when you least expect it.

Thermapen thermometer. Get one. But if it is on sale, just make sure it's not pink. Apparently, they come in different colors.

I really like cooking steaks on the smoker. Takes longer, but I rarely regret it. I get Prime sirloin from Costco at less than $10/lb, add salt & pepper, cook to 130F and done. Or, maybe to 120-125 and then a bit of time on the skillet for color/crust. Yum.

I haven't found a huge difference in taste with various pellets, but that hasn't stopped me from trying different types. Just get some plastic buckets with good (tight) lids for storage and experiment. I doubt you will make a "mistake" with pellet flavor/type, so don't worry. The nice thing about the MAK is the pellet dump feature. Makes it very easy to dump the apple and load the mesquite (assuming you don't forget to close the pellet dump thingy - you will figure this out quickly). Getting a tall bucket for the pellets helps minimize making a mess. Another hint: cut out the wood type from the bag (to make a label of sorts) and keep it in the bucket. Tape the newly created label to the inside of the pellet bin in case you forget what is in there at the moment.

Good luck and enjoy - I think you will be quite happy with your choice.
 
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