New LSG Pellet Smoker

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BBQing Family

Newbie
Original poster
Sep 9, 2022
3
2
Ordered Lonestargrillz Pellet Smoker mid-April and received it end of August. My wife and I absolutely love and think it a significant step up from our other pellet smokers: quality of smoke, evenness of cook and more impervious to winds. Below is OUR personal history with various pellet grills and other's experiences may be quite different.

A little personal history: we lived near the Traeger Farm where the old Traeger smokers were built and decided BBQing with a pellet smoker was the way to go. Big upgrade from our Weber $75 kettle. We enjoyed it but our first one gave out after two or three years so we opted for a new Traeger. It was being built in China by this time and its electronics only lasted about two years no matter how we covered and cared for it in the Oregon rain. We desired better smoke flavor and opted for a Mak II pellet smoker. We were convinced by the dealer to get away from Traeger's infused wood pellets. He recommended Bear Mountain and Lumberjack pellets. Immediately we saw the boost in smoke flavor, much less clogging and a whole lot less pellet dust from the bags. We were quite satisfied and eventually retired to Arizona where we could grill most every day, usually in nice weather. Our only issue was that we have a lot of 20 to 30mph windy days and it impacted the Mak smoker too much. Also searing the occasional steak was not great. After talking to the Mak folks (awesome support) decided to upgrade the Mak smoker with new controller and grilling upgrades. Mistake for us. The grill seems to run too hot and we can't get low smoke any longer. Set at 225 degrees the ambient grill temperature runs upwards of 350 degrees, great for corn and potatoes but not for low smoking. About three years ago, we ordered a LSG Mini Insulated smoker. Build quality, the people at LSG and results we were getting for larger and longer cooks were exceptional. We were in hog heaven. Still looks and cooks like new after many long smokes. We don't always want to smoke large or long and we desired to upgrade from our Mak II and based on many positive reviews and our own personal experience with Lonestargrillz, opted for the LSG Pellet Smoker.

In the first two weeks we smoked several racks of ribs, chicken thighs and country style pork ribs. Have not tried searing steaks as yet. My wife says the ribs (smokiness, flavor and juiciness) are the best we've ever done. She is impressed with the evenness of the cook temperature across the grill plus the better smoke flavor with the same pellets we use in the Mak grill. I love that the one windy day did not impact our cook like it does on the Mak Grill. She has done 1000's of smokes on the Mak grill (which she loves) and assesses the LSG Pellet grill as a significant notch above. Historically, she has been the pellet grill cook and I have been the charcoal/wood smoker on our Weber Kamado and our LSG Mini smoker. I am loving smoking on the LSG Pellet grill. What they have done with the Fireboard controller for ease of operation and integration is astounding to me. Easier and better than my older Fireboard controller I use on the mini.

Some other things we have noticed with the LSG grill. 1) When we turn the heat up (e.g., at start up or going from 225 to 300 during the cook), the temp bounces about 25 to 30 degrees hotter than setpoint at first then levels out quickly and holds temperatures relatively steady at set point. This is about a 5 minute swing at the higher temperature until settles nicely around the setpoint temperature. Not certain it impacts a longer cook at all. 2) The Fireboard controller on the pellet grill holds close to setpoint temperature better than I have been able to with my Fireboard controller on the LSG mini, so I am impressed. 3) the lid on the LSG smoker (we did the 36 inch) is heavier and taller than the Mak Grill. My wife is 5'4" and had a hard time getting the LSG lid all the way open. A non-issue for me. She also had a hard time loading the pellet hopper. We alleviated the issue by getting her a rock solid 8" tall, wide platform RV step off of Amazon. Now we can both do the cooks handily. 4) the quality of this pellet grill matches fully the exceptional quality of the LSG mini as far as workmanship. Mak grills had nice workmanship as well. Both seem worth the money to us but the LSG is not as expensive and better meets our need as far as smoking in windy conditions.

In a nutshell, we opted for the LSG over installing a wind barrier our backyard. If wind was not the major issue, we would still go for the LSG Pellet Smoker vs the Mak grill now for smoke flavor, evenness of cooking area temps and initial cost. This all, of course, is personal opinion and experience. There is no wrong choice between LSG Pellet Smoker and Mak Grill II.

One last note: LSG grill arrived solidly crated on a pallet. I used a Sawzall to quickly and easily uncrate the smoker. I had ordered the 8" wheel option and though it weighs in at 400lbs, I was easily able to roll it across pavers with one hand, my wife could also easily maneuver it. The Sawzall make uncrating very easy. Just need to know how to tape the legs and cooking chamber back together again (I jest).
 

tbern

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 27, 2015
2,133
1,024
Southwest Minnesota
welcome to the forum from Minnesota, enjoy your time here!! also congrats on your new toy and glad it's working good for you!
 

BBQwithaView

Newbie
Sep 10, 2022
4
3
Welcome from another newbie! We also started our smoker journey with a Mak II and upgraded to a heavier unit (Yoder) due to wind. Wind is definitely not your friend when smoking. My first try at smoking a turkey was on Thanksgiving day several years ago on my Mak II. It was about 20 degrees outside and the wind was blowing between 30 - 40 mph all day. After a long cook, I took the turkey out and one side was done and the other (wind side) was still raw. Dinner delayed a few hours which was not popular with my family. A couple of lessons learned. First, spatchcock is the way to go with a big turkey. Two, rotate things in the grill to get more even cooking. Three, the inside oven works great when the wind is blowing that hard :)