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MAK v Pitts & Spitts v Cookshack

Zalick

Newbie
18
19
Joined Apr 5, 2020
I'm upgrading from my GMG Daniel Boone and starting to get analysis by paralysis!

I'm upgrading because I want something with greater temp control, better build quality and better cold smoke options.

The grill must be made in the USA.

I've mostly narrowed down my choices to a MAK 2 star with super smoke box
Pitts & Spitts Maverick 1250 w/ smokebox
Fast Eddy's PG1000

I'm cooking for 2-4 people most of the time. I'm an older parent so when the kids get older, I imagine I'll be cooking for larger groups.

I love low and slow for just about everything. I don't care for and will not use the pellet grill for higher temp grilling. My cast iron on my induction stove gets to 750 degrees quickly. I also have blackstone.

I cook/smoke just about everything and cold smoke fish/nuts/cheese etc.

I thought I'd settled on the Maverick 1250 but I've been reading quite a few people say they don't produce enough smoke. I've discovered that's because the controller is too precise with temp control and apparently they updated the controller and I help with this. The MAK on the other hand seems to get rave reviews for it's ability produce quality smoke.

I don't know much about the PG1000 as it's just come on my radar today after seeing quite a few people mention it up there with P&S and MAK. It looks fantastic.

MAK is about 45min drive for me.

Price is not a concern.

Can anyone with the experience with any of the above either persuade me to buy one or convince me to scratch one from the list?

And I'm not interested in other brands like Yoder, Rectec, Grilla etc. I have no doubt these are great grills and maybe better bang for the buck. I bought my GMG because it's fantastic bang for buck. And I love it. At this point in want maximum bang for any buck!

Thanks!
 

SFLsmkr1

Legendary Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
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I had a MAK II Star general. You wont find many pellet grill/smokers that come close to it. MAK is the Bently of pellet poopers. I had to sell mine when we went full time RV. If you drive to the MAK place in Dallas, tell Bob i said high.
 

oldsmokerdude

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
858
336
Joined Jun 5, 2018
Those are three great choices and you can't go wrong with any of them. At this price point, I would think technique would be more important than the smoker itself. The one question that you haven't asked yet: "which would look better in your backyard (on your porch/deck, etc)?"
 

Zalick

Newbie
18
19
Joined Apr 5, 2020
Those are three great choices and you can't go wrong with any of them. At this price point, I would think technique would be more important than the smoker itself. The one question that you haven't asked yet: "which would look better in your backyard (on your porch/deck, etc)?"
I think the Maverick looks the best design wise. I wish the MAK looked more traditional since they are a short drive for me to the factory.
 

Zalick

Newbie
18
19
Joined Apr 5, 2020
After reading hundreds of posts about MAK and Pitts grills, and seeing the MAK work in person, I decided on the MAK 2 star. There were pros and cons to both and I even waivered this weekend after making my decision. But ultimately I felt the MAK suited my needs best.

I then spent the last three days staring at my cart loaded with a 2 star and accessories, I finally clicked purchase. That was a rush! Can't wait to drive down and pick it up this week. Now the big question is what to make for my first cook and which whiskey to sip while I watch the smoke roll???
 

schlotz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Jan 13, 2015
Congrats, you chose wisely, and WELCOME to the MAK FAMILY! Lots of choices for that first smoke, for me, I'd suggest either a butt or a couple of racks of St Louis ribs.
 

Zalick

Newbie
18
19
Joined Apr 5, 2020
send us pictures of the first smoke! Congrats
Did a wagyu boneless ribeye tonight. Sous vide at 129 and then seared on grill with flame zone open. I was hungry so only let the cast iron get to 550. Also smoked some stuffed bell peppers and portobello mushrooms and pineapple. I was hungry when shopping for dinner today and everything looked good. First time having wagyu. Ridiculously expensive.... but it was delicious!
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And go Ducks!
 

jchaison

Newbie
2
0
Joined Nov 12, 2020
I am in a similar situation between the MAK and the Pitts & Spitts.

Zalick...what was the biggest negative to the MAK in your eyes? For me it seems to be the small cooking area......
 

Zalick

Newbie
18
19
Joined Apr 5, 2020
I am in a similar situation between the MAK and the Pitts & Spitts.

Zalick...what was the biggest negative to the MAK in your eyes? For me it seems to be the small cooking area......
The smaller cooking area was my only real concern. With all the grates there is plenty of room though. You cannot slide full size grates all the way out because of the way the lid opens. Each grate only has half a rail to slide on. So if the grate is about 20" deep, the rail is only 10" and you can only slide it about 5-7". This is more of an inconvenience than a real negative. No issues at all if you use the full bottom grate and then 3 half grates.

I could easily cook 9 racks of baby backs on it. I cooked 3 racks the other day and they were delicious.

With the grate sliding issue, you'd have trouble basting stuff on the back half of each grate if you had all 4 levels loaded with full size grates (main grate and 3 shelves).

The smoke output is absolutely amazing as is the temp control.

Having used the MAK 2 star now for a few weeks, and having read a TON about both the MAK and Pitts, I have absolutely zero regrets and would buy the MAK again.

* One other minor negative is that when you are cooking hot, the warmer box/colder smoker gets about 100' less so the "shelf" aspect of it becomes tricky. Its gets hot. But I'd rather have that then none at all.
 

schlotz

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,107
425
Joined Jan 13, 2015
The MAK 2 Star will most likely handle the amount of meat you will be smoking. It can easily do 8-9lb pork butts for example.
 

jchaison

Newbie
2
0
Joined Nov 12, 2020
The smaller cooking area was my only real concern. With all the grates there is plenty of room though. You cannot slide full size grates all the way out because of the way the lid opens. Each grate only has half a rail to slide on. So if the grate is about 20" deep, the rail is only 10" and you can only slide it about 5-7". This is more of an inconvenience than a real negative. No issues at all if you use the full bottom grate and then 3 half grates.

I could easily cook 9 racks of baby backs on it. I cooked 3 racks the other day and they were delicious.

With the grate sliding issue, you'd have trouble basting stuff on the back half of each grate if you had all 4 levels loaded with full size grates (main grate and 3 shelves).

The smoke output is absolutely amazing as is the temp control.

Having used the MAK 2 star now for a few weeks, and having read a TON about both the MAK and Pitts, I have absolutely zero regrets and would buy the MAK again.

* One other minor negative is that when you are cooking hot, the warmer box/colder smoker gets about 100' less so the "shelf" aspect of it becomes tricky. Its gets hot. But I'd rather have that then none at all.

Thanks!!!

Did you get the full rack for the second rack? Would you advise a 1/2 or a 3/4 rack to minimize the issues of sliding out?
 

Zalick

Newbie
18
19
Joined Apr 5, 2020
Thanks!!!

Did you get the full rack for the second rack? Would you advise a 1/2 or a 3/4 rack to minimize the issues of sliding out?
It comes with two half racks. Definitely get the full rack for the included rack option. Then you can put the full rack on the bottom and use the two half racks. Should be plenty of cooking space. If you need more, you could order 3/4 rack.
 

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