The Bottom Line
MAK Grills came into existence literally in the shadow of Traeger, or, at least, a short drive away. The 1-Star is MAK's most basic unit, but still has everything a Pellet Grill needs to both smoke and grill. This is a quality built grill though some parts make it look like it was made in someone's garage. The components are durable and the design is excellent, allowing for quick heat up times and a top temperature of 500 degrees F.
Large enough to grill or smoke four whole chickens, this isn't a huge grill, but large enough for most people.
- Quick heat up time
- Solid construction
- Excellent temperature control
- Large capacity pellet hopper
- No pellet release door (for changing out pellets)
- Some parts seem like they were made in someone's garage
- 380 square inches of cooking space
- 170 to 500 degree F. temperature range
- 20-pound capacity pellet hopper mounted on the side
- Electronic temperature control system works
- Powder coated aluminized steel construction with some 304 stainless steel parts
- Made in the United States by MAK Grills
Guide Review - MAK Grill 1-Star
MAK Grills grew out of MAK Metals, a metal fabrication company in Dallas, Oregon (Yes, Oregon). With 20 years experience in metal manufacturing, they decided to take a try as 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 2-Star costs around $2,300USD, 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 $1,700USD.
This sounds expensive for a grill, especially a black grill with 380 square inches of cooking space (an additional rack can be added, but is only useful for smoking). 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 was also insistent that their grill be made entirely in the United States. That means every part and many of those parts have to be made specifically for this grill.
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 he higher price I would suggest taking a look at that version.