The MAK Grill is one of the first pellet grills to hit the market after the Traeger Patent expired. They are a small company dedicated to US manufacturing and a pellet grill that does more than most. The 1-Star General Pellet Grill is their smallest and least expensive. But it still runs over two thousand dollars.
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MAK 1-Star Pellet Grill
Traeger may have invented the pellet grill, but MAK Grills reinvented it. It was MAK that first introduced wireless monitoring and control. They created the system that allowed a pellet grill to be controlled from anywhere in the world via WiFi. They also innovated the way heat was distributed and diffused inside the cooking chamber. Their perforated barrier gives a more direct flame experience while still allowing for low and slow smoking.
I’m not going to say that the design is stellar, but for a serious pellet grill, the kind that can produce a perfect BBQ Brisket, this is the one to look at. You get sear capabilities at 600°F and a lifetime warranty. This is the kind of pellet smoker that professionals will use.
Everything here is over-engineered. The firebox, made from high-grade stainless steel, has a funnel shape that provides a more even heat and smoke. In many ways, this grill was designed to fix the problems that Traeger and other pellet grill makers didn’t want to address. MAK has innovated and many of their innovations have become standard on most pellet grills today.
- 429 square inches of cooking space
- 170 to 600 degree F temperature range
- 20-pound capacity pellet hopper
- Pellet Boss Control system (PID)
- Three temperature probe ports
- Pellet dump door
- Two-quart grease collection drawer
- Powder-coated aluminized steel construction with some 304 stainless steel parts
- Total weight of 195 pounds
- Made in the United States by MAK Grills
Full Review – MAK 1-Star Pellet Grill
MAK Grills grew out of MAK Metals, a metal fabrication company in Dallas, Oregon (Yes, Oregon). With 20 years of experience in metal manufacturing, they decided to take a try at building a pellet grill and after a year of experimenting came up with the MAK 2-Star Pellet Grill. Built to include everything they felt that the perfect pellet grill should have, the MAK 2-Star costs around $3,200USD, a steep price for many. For this reason, MAK Grills went back to the drawing board and stripped away everything that was essential, as well as most of the stainless steel, and produced the 1-Star, costing around $2,200USD.
This sounds expensive for a pellet grill. Especially a black powder coat pellet grill with 380 square inches of primary cooking space. Add an additional rack for more smoking space. Pellet grills are more complicated than other kinds of grills. They have a motor, auger, hopper, and firepot. Don’t worry if you don’t know what all that means. MAK Grills is also insistent that their grills are entirely in the United States. That means every part and many of those parts have to be made specifically for this grill.
What the MAK 1-Star can do
The MAK 1-Star runs at temperatures between 170 to 500 degrees F. While the high end isn’t exactly flaming hot, it is hot enough for decent grilling and at the low end, it is more than perfect for low and slow smoking. Since it is a pellet grill, this unit provides good smoke production and, since it is relatively small, it heats up quickly, reaching a good smoking temperature in minutes and good grilling temperatures in around 10 minutes. This version of the MAK grill uses the same fully programmable temperature control unit that is found on their more expensive grills and this one comes with one temperature probe.
The quality of construction is very high and support is very good. Whether you are new to pellet grills or not, this is an excellent choice in its price range. Of course, the MAK 2-Star has features that are very helpful, like a door for emptying the pellet hopper, and if you can afford the higher price I would suggest taking a look at that version.