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Poor Start with a Cookshack PG500 Fast Eddie

Gatorengineer

Newbie
7
1
Joined Jul 11, 2021
Well after bouncing around a FedEx truck for way too long (I hate that company), my cookshack arrived yesterday. It was well packed and arrived with minimal damage, the only damage was the rain cover on the stack was bent. Some comments and observations

1) It shipped on a robust pallet with a nailed together base frame, so out came the maul....... Cookshack please use screws......

2) The three inch wheels are a joke. Dont they know a lot of folks but these on Trex Decks?

3) The grill is CO2 laser cut, and the edges are darned sharp. There is no place to grab this thing to pick it up and both me and my son got cut up moving it. Yeah, I know work gloves, but wouldn't think you would need em to move a grill.

4) Grills are Nickel plated. Very disappointed in this. at this price was expecting solid stainless......

5) So onto the fire. Filled it part way up with Pit Boss competition for the burn in. Grill lit right up and got to temp quicker than I ever thought it would.

6) Going to 400 degrees, the temp swings were Plus 30 minus 20. OK, I did my homework, but this is a lot more than I was expecting.

7) Mama came home from work, and I wanted to show her the grill, well it goes from belching smoke (no seals to cooking the way it should) she caught it at the belching smoke point

8) At the end of the cook took it down to see how she would do at min, which is 180. Well it takes a LONNG time to drop temp. So this isn't a sear and smoke unit.

9) swings were closer to 10 degrees here.

10) Now the bad part. Opened her up at the end of the run and the grates were covered in ash, and the ash drawer was largely empty.

11) today went to fire it up for the first cook, started it and went in to prep the cook, and much to my disappointment it was cold when I came out and the pellet hopper bridged.

Expected a lot better for the money....... I know I got to play with it but, still. maybe I got a bad bag of tractor supply Pit Boss, but... not what I was expecting.
 

sandyut

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WOW...that is not a good review...IMO. I am sorry you had a rough go. I would be disappointed as well. I spent half that much and would still have been M.A.H. Have you contacted them about all this? See if there is anything they can do?

after bouncing around a FedEx truck for way too long (I hate that company
and YES I HATE FEDEX. no idea how they stay in business. they break more than they deliver correctly. and SLOW AF!!! OMG, I have seen my packages sitting at the SLC warehouse for 3-4 days before they get on a truck. When i buy something online and the tracking comes back as FEXEX I cringe and then start screaming.
 

thirdeye

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Report back in a month, unless you use it 3 or 4 day a week and let us know how it's working out.

If you are changing the castors, start HERE. You will go nuts looking because the inventory is so large and there are many choices.

Are you sure the grates are nickel plated? Electropolished stainless often looks like Nickel plating. And the magnet test might not confirm as 400 family and Duplex stainless are magnetic. 304 and 316 are not magnetic.
 

SmokinEdge

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Joined Jan 18, 2020
Sorry for your trouble.
No offense, but you sound just generally irritated.
Give the grill some time, learn the pit. I know those are very high quality machines, so use it and learn. I’m going to guess you are not a pit master with 20 years experience on many different pits? If so, relax and learn this pit. I’m sure it will serve you well for many years and produce some exceptional food.
Welcome to SMF.
 

retfr8flyr

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined May 20, 2013
Cookshack website says the grills are nickel plated, I don't know how you missed that during your research. I agree at this price point they should be SS. Good luck with learning the grill, maybe you will start to enjoy it better.
 

Gatorengineer

Newbie
7
1
Joined Jul 11, 2021
Well after bouncing around a FedEx truck for way too long (I hate that company), my cookshack arrived yesterday. It was well packed and arrived with minimal damage, the only damage was the rain cover on the stack was bent. Some comments and observations

1) It shipped on a robust pallet with a nailed together base frame, so out came the maul....... Cookshack please use screws......

2) The three inch wheels are a joke. Dont they know a lot of folks but these on Trex Decks?

3) The grill is CO2 laser cut, and the edges are darned sharp. There is no place to grab this thing to pick it up and both me and my son got cut up moving it. Yeah, I know work gloves, but wouldn't think you would need em to move a grill.

4) Grills are Nickel plated. Very disappointed in this. at this price was expecting solid stainless......

5) So onto the fire. Filled it part way up with Pit Boss competition for the burn in. Grill lit right up and got to temp quicker than I ever thought it would.

6) Going to 400 degrees, the temp swings were Plus 30 minus 20. OK, I did my homework, but this is a lot more than I was expecting.

7) Mama came home from work, and I wanted to show her the grill, well it goes from belching smoke (no seals to cooking the way it should) she caught it at the belching smoke point

8) At the end of the cook took it down to see how she would do at min, which is 180. Well it takes a LONNG time to drop temp. So this isn't a sear and smoke unit.

9) swings were closer to 10 degrees here.

10) Now the bad part. Opened her up at the end of the run and the grates were covered in ash, and the ash drawer was largely empty.

11) today went to fire it up for the first cook, started it and went in to prep the cook, and much to my disappointment it was cold when I came out and the pellet hopper bridged.

Expected a lot better for the money....... I know I got to play with it but, still. maybe I got a bad bag of tractor supply Pit Boss, but... not what I was expecting.

Its definitely on me to learn the grill. Did two cooks on it today, some Jalepeno poppers 180/350 30 minutes each, came out good, a little dust but the family didnt notice. Then ran a 6 lb chicken that the store had on sale. Ran it 300 for 2 hours, was a bit under so went back on for another 30...... pretty impressed with the bird.

What sold me on the grill was really 2 things the ability to sear, and that side does get hot, and the ability to go to 600 for Pizza. Frankly kinda glossed over the Nickel originally. Castors will get changed out, not a big deal.

I am sure the Rig is a much better Q'er than I am a cook, but I did read all of the arguments on PID control, and dont want to start those here, but......... if it had it, I think I wouldnt need to mess with heating values of pellets like I am going to have to get her dialed in.

Next up is some hot smoked lemon Pepper Salmon.

This grill was intended to replace 4 products, my knock off Egg (actually its a real japanese kamado that predates the green things), my smokin it smoker, my propane, and the Pellet Pizza machine the wife wanted. I dont see a reason to suspect that it wont accomplish that mission with some tuning and some mods, but....
 

SmokinEdge

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Joined Jan 18, 2020
Its definitely on me to learn the grill. Did two cooks on it today, some Jalepeno poppers 180/350 30 minutes each, came out good, a little dust but the family didnt notice. Then ran a 6 lb chicken that the store had on sale. Ran it 300 for 2 hours, was a bit under so went back on for another 30...... pretty impressed with the bird.

What sold me on the grill was really 2 things the ability to sear, and that side does get hot, and the ability to go to 600 for Pizza. Frankly kinda glossed over the Nickel originally. Castors will get changed out, not a big deal.

I am sure the Rig is a much better Q'er than I am a cook, but I did read all of the arguments on PID control, and dont want to start those here, but......... if it had it, I think I wouldnt need to mess with heating values of pellets like I am going to have to get her dialed in.

Next up is some hot smoked lemon Pepper Salmon.

This grill was intended to replace 4 products, my knock off Egg (actually its a real japanese kamado that predates the green things), my smokin it smoker, my propane, and the Pellet Pizza machine the wife wanted. I dont see a reason to suspect that it wont accomplish that mission with some tuning and some mods, but....
Good to hear. Try some different pellets and see what works best for you. pit Boss is not on my list, but try some 100% flavor woods, like Lumberjack, or Bear Mountain. Play with it, you will start to like each other a little bit.
 

sandyut

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Joined Feb 18, 2015
Try some different pellets
Agreed on that!! Lumberjack is all I use now. Better favor and everything. other had way more dust in the bag. I like the competition blend on everything. I never change the LJ pellet flavor I use. far too much of a PITA.
 

SmokinEdge

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Joined Jan 18, 2020
Agreed on that!! Lumberjack is all I use now. Better favor and everything. other had way more dust in the bag. I like the competition blend on everything. I never change the LJ pellet flavor I use. far too much of a PITA.
Different machines can be finicky with things like bridging or ash. Most all pellets work well in most machines, but some better than others especially when you climb into the upper tier of pellet machines.
High end machines don’t perform well with low line pellets. And Corvettes don’t run well on 85 octane. High end machine = premium pellets. Just how it is.
 

mike243

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Joined Feb 25, 2018
Try some Kingsford pellets if you are having bridging problems, they are stubby and don't think they could ever bridge, also they have great flavor
 

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