The Bottom Line
Seeking to produce the pellet cooker that is both a great smoker and a powerful grill. The truth is that burning pellets in a controlled way is not the best method for producing high grilling temperatures. Most pellet grills top out at 500 degrees F while the hottest units can hit 600 degrees F. This pellet cooker is, in reality, a combination grill with a large smoking space, and a small but powerful direct grilling area.
Reasonably priced with quality construction, this is definitely a pellet grill to look at.
- High-temperature direct grilling space
- Precision temperature controller
- Large hopper capacity
- Small direct grilling space
- 504 square inches of primary cooking area with up to 784 square inches total cooking space
- 180 to 600 degree F/82 to 315 degrees C temperature range
- 36,000 BTU pellet burner
- 22-pound capacity side mounted pellet hopper with quick empty trap door
- Stainless steel rod direct cooking grates
- Precision control panel
- Warming drawer under cooking chamber
- Stainless steel construction
- Single layer lid
- Removable bottom mounted ash catcher
- Made in the United States by Cookshack, Inc.
Guide Review - Fast Eddy's by Cookshack PG500 Pellet Grill
Many years ago, Cookshack who has been making smokers for a very long time, partnered with Ed "Fast Eddy" Maurin to produce a pellet powered smoker for the barbecue competition circuit.
This cooker is the result of that partnership and years of work. The innovative feature (increasingly duplicated these days) is the direct grilling space. Though small, this space can cook at very high temperatures, improved by the cast iron cooking grate directly over the pellet burner.
At its core, however, this is a relatively large capacity pellet grill which is configured to focus on its ability as a smoker.
There is a large upper rack and the high height cooking chamber and front open doors make it ideal for low-temperature barbecue smoking. The controller is accurate, but simple, so monitoring food temperatures is up to the user. That aside, the doors close tightly and the airflow is excellent so this is an efficient smoker that can be relied upon to run for many, many hours without human intervention. Even the pellet hopper is large than most competing products and at around $1,600USD it is less expensive than a lot of the higher end pellet grills.
Ultimately, I have to say that this is a very good pellet grill. I would probably want another grill for high-temperature cooking, not because this one can't do it, but because the space for that is small. The reputation and support forum Cookshack makes this a virtually risk free purchase and considering that most of the lesser expensive grills are much more limited in capabilities, it is a good value as well.